Tamales for sale!

The lovely Vivian Alderete is selling tamales again this Christmas season ... want some? She will either give them to you frozen, or you can name your dats and pick them up, cooked or uncooked...anytime between now and the end of the year... OR, get THIS, she will deliver them HOT AND READY to your house on the day you choose! Seriously!

Price list is as follows. Either leave me a comment and let me know what you want and when, OR call Vivian at 602-710-0577 to give her your order. I know she's got RED tamales made already, so that means you could be eating them TOMORROW NIGHT if you wanted to... yum...

1 dozen red .......... $20
1/2 dozen red .......... $11.50
1 dozen green .......... $18
1/2 dozen green .......... $10
1 dozen plain with cheese .......... $15
1/2 dozen plain with cheese .......... $8.50
1 dozen sweet .......... $15
1/2 dozen sweet .......... $8.50

Again - leave me a comment, or call Vivian directly at 602-710-0577. And you're welcome!


Thanksgiving 2009:

Pictures? Not a one. Sigh. The tables, set for 17 - gorgeous, new plates - awesome, napkins, napkin rings, glasses and tablecloth - great finds, company - spectacular, kids - played together wonderfully, even though Bria "ruined M's life" again, food - WOW, it was good, if I do say so myself. And it was all hot and ready at the same time, on time. A feat in itself. For my memory's sake, I'll record what we served...

The menu:

Appetizers - Stuffed Mushrooms, Veggie Tray, Hawaiian Bread Bowl and Dill Dip, Wheat Thins and Purple Cheese, Queso Dip and Chips

Dinner - Amazing BRINED Turkey (Totally the way to go!), Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Trader Joe's Salad, Twice baked Sweet Potatoes (need that recipe!), Green Beans, Cranberry sauce straight out of a can (my favorite), Awesome Rolls by Raedeen

Dessert - Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Denten's Apple Pudding-Spice Cake thing.

Maybe this hosting-Thanksgiving thing ain't so bad, because I've enjoyed some top-notch leftovers for three days now. I actually look forward to the turkey sandwiches afterward more than the dinner, I think... I also got to control the menu, including all my favorites and must-haves, and passing off all the stuff I didn't want to make to guests coming. Thanks everyone... it was great! And honey, I promise to make the lemon meringue pie this week!

Halloween 2009

Wait, wrong holiday - didn't we just celebrate Thanksgiving? Didn't I go Christmas shopping last week? I thought I should play a little catchup with Halloween first on this here blog, before I move onto the next holidays...
I have to admit, my standards were pretty low this year... I didn't want to go through the time and money and manipulation it would have taken to convince the girls to be a part of our family costume... so I didn't! A wanted to be Hannah Montana, and though her thrift-store makings didn't pan out to be the greatest costume, I didn't care at all... M was a witch, J was Buzz Lightyear, N was Woody, and I was Jessie. We didn't even get a pumpkin carved this year - shock! Our festivities consisted of going to our ward party the night before Halloween, and then trick-or-treating around our neighborhood on Halloween night (which is a downer, really, because 80% of the residents we visited weren't home!) Here are just a few photos of friends and such...Here's Woody - what you can't see is his cool boots or the pullstring on his back! I still intend to put my Jessie costume back on and take a picture, for scrapbooking sake...!Buzz actually had his whole costume on at one point!His costume quickly degenerated, though, losing the purple headpiece, the shoe covers, and the wings...Here's J playing the "skeleton squeeze" game. He was great at it, and got the clothespins in the jar every time! Yes, this particular skeleton went in too! I love his gansta one-leg-pushed-up look.We even had my Dad dress up as Stinky Pete, the prospector - sans the pick axe... *** Robinsons, do you have any pictures of my girls? ***
Jonas rocked the mummy costume, but Trent was a little too happy as Dracula...Jackie had the best.hair.ever. as the Bride of Frankenstein...creepy eyes and lipstick too...The Bride and her offspring...I don't know why sucking in your cheeks is "witchy", but whatever...Like Mother, like daughter... this one's a cutie as a "pretty witch!"

Here's Wade in the pie-eating contest - better him than me. Just the thought of cramming pumpkin pie in my mouth so fast makes me sick.


I am Thankful...

for my little man. He is SUCH a joy to be around, and communicates pretty well lately. He's my sidekick and is willing to be shlepped just about anywhere, even when Mommy's errands take precedence over his nap. He is sad to leave balls and toys at the store, but we just say "bye bye tar" or "bye bye ball" and then he's okay to put things back.
He is in love with his blanket, his Papa, anything sweet to eat, glow necklaces, "maeee" (money), Finny, Senny, Perper (Cooper), and running away from Mommy when it's time to brush his teeth. He also likes eating all the leftover snacks from his sisters' school lunches every day, playing with A, and growling like a tiger, monster, dinosaur - you choose, they all sound the same. He gets his feelings hurt and does a great pitiful cry when you tell him no. He wants to be a big kid so badly, and gets sad when his sisters leave him for one of their adventures. He loves to snuggle and often asks for a "HU!" (hug) when he wants you to pick him up. I love to hear his cackle and little padding feet as he runs throughout the house. When we ask, "Who wants ___ (fill in the blank, pizza, lunch, pancakes)??" he is quick to raise his hand and say "ME!!!" (Does he eat it though? That's a different story.) He is oh-so-coordinated too, and hops on and off of everything with both feet. He is so sweet with babies and younger kids, and always tries to pat them, rock them, and put his arm around them. Sigh... Did I mention that I LOVE this kid?

Would it be weird...

to get my two-year-old son a nutcracker? I swear he's obsessed with these things! He has found them in EVERY store we've been in the last couple of weeks...he seems drawn to them, when I don't even notice they're there! In Michael's he had them all set out in an aisle, lined up perfectly... he spotted them on TOP of the freezers at the grocery store, and knows just where they are up in front at Fry's and disappears every time I'm in the checkout line to go say hello to his tiny wooden friends... he settles down on his knees and carefully plays with each... what a cutie! I guess I need to add at least one to my lineup of Christmas decorations...


Happy Thanksgiving...

Enjoy those pumpkin pies!


I'm so irritated...

that my 8-yr-old knows how to add songs to my blog playlist. Now, instead of being pleasantly greeted by Bono, I've got Hannah Montana singing at me when I open up. Grrr...


Pride of the Desert.

Sun Devils through and through, us Carters LOATHE cats — all kinds — especially those nasty Wildcats from Tucson! As graduates of the great Arizona State University, we both come from entire families of Sun Devil fans, and grew up watching and attending games. We know that the rest of the season doesn't matter, just as long as we beat those CATS! This is THE game of the year! We are grooming our children to be Sun Devils as well - note picture at right! We would absolutely love to drive our car, aptly named "Sparky", over to our alma mater next weekend, with S sporting her Sparky jewelry, of course, enjoy the fireworks, see Sparky step on that BUS, and watch the Devils polish off the Cats to finish off their Thanksgiving meals! As payment for our "free" tickets, we offer any and all of the following services to the cutest and most generous couple we know - the Malones. • S will help Jackie assemble all of her handmade Christmas cards, or watch F/J while she makes them, as many hours as needed. • S promises to help process the 40 pounds of chicken next time so the Malones don't die of Salmonella poisoning. • S will come up with and create something crafty and fabulous for our visiting teachees' Christmas gifts, so all Jackie has to do is show up. • S will create an amazing custom header for the Malone Monkeys blog. • S will watch F/J so Jackie can go observe at all the local schools in January, so she can get J on a list SOMEwhere. • N will conduct in Sacrament meeting while Trent is enjoying time off on the 29th. • N will also act as the LONE member of the bishopric that Sunday, and teach the 5th Sunday lesson for Trent... • We will take all the excess produce off your hands from the Malone garden next summer... • We will happily show up and enjoy any and all FHEs or desserts the Malones feel like sharing... • Josh will gladly wear all of Finny's hand-me-down clothes that he wants to pass on... • And, last but not least, we will tell at least 50 people in the next month how cute and generous the Malones were, for giving the Carters a chance to attend the ASU/U of A game this year!

If it's a tossup between us and the Gregorys, please consider these points as tie-breakers. #1 - Our word count is higher than Scot's post. #2 - N will give Trent a ride up to bishopric training meeting tonight... and #3 - by the way, we didn't ABANDON you and the Vineyard ward like the GREGORYS did!!!!!


I am grateful for:

My self-cleaning oven, which is taking care of QUITE a gooey disaster right now.

My dishwasher, ditto for the reason listed above.

Lessons learned, that when you forget to add eggs to a recipe, loaves of pumpkin bread tend to seriously overflow their containers, yet never actually cook.

Kleenex. What did the pioneers do when they got a cold? Not like they could throw all of their handkerchiefs in the washing machine each night...

Sales on asparagus. I think I could eat it every day.


Last of the vinyl!

A "Be attitude" square, that you would put on a tile, and an "All this because two people fell in love" - for $5 a piece - - - who wants them???


Out of the mouth of my babe.

M: Mom, there are THREE kinds of crickets!

Me: Really? What are they?

M: There is the BUG cricket, there is the CUTTER Cricut, and there is the STORE Cricket!!

So right!

My daughter is a genius, and a future scrapbooker for sure!

Stuff I'm grateful for, week 2:

1. Exercise, even though it wears me out and pretty much makes me useless the rest of the day.

2. Peanut Butter. Man, I love the stuff. Maybe if I didn't eat it so often I would actually see some results from #1.

3. Teachers. My girls LOVE their teachers, even when they're not so fond of schoolwork sometimes. It's so cool to see M absorbing so many two-letter phonograms right now; she's a sponge.

4. Birthday parties. Seems we have at least one each weekend. I'm glad that my girls have friends, and that we get some pretty cheap babysitting hours out of those parties!

5. My mortgage. Funny thing to be thankful for, huh? It gives me a sense of accomplishment with every statement we receive, knowing that we're making actual progress, and paying more principle than interest each month. There's a light at the end of the tunnel!

Stuff I'm grateful for this week:

1.My cool visiting teacher.

2. Culture passes - I got one for the first time today!

3. My car, functioning perfectly at the moment.

4. Our school, which takes my girls away 7 hours each day.

5. Quiet afternoons.


It could have been worse.

After 11 years!

11 years, the anniversary of steel. Hmmm... I don't think I want any steel today, I'm all good on stainless steel appliances and swords and silverware and such, and I certainly don't want anybody stealing anything from me, either.

Two years ago on this here blog, I listed 9 things I loved about my husband. Those haven't changed.

Last year, I blogged about all the things we've experienced .

What to list this year?? The honeymoon has been over for a while. But in a way, I feel like we're just starting on this journey. I am thankful to be married to this man, and hope that we figure out each other, someday.


Feelings, nothing more than... feelings...

Do you know those people in your life that make you feel like a million bucks? Like you're oh-so-talented, or oh-so-funny, or oh-so-righteous, or oh-so-interesting-to-talk-to, etc? Go on, think about it... there's got to be some in your life!

I have lots of those people in my life. I consider them to be my closest friends (maybe I have self-esteem issues, and their affirmations subconsciously help me?? Who knows...)

What I've been thinking about lately is how, or even if, I reciprocate. I know I tend to lack attention in the listening department... SQUIRREL!... what was I talking about again?? Oh yeah. Since "Words of Affirmation" is not my love language, and I think words can be empty and meaningless (funny, coming from a journalism grad) I don't think I praise people around me nearly as much as I could, or should...

When it comes to blogs, I can't STAND those that are sappy love-fests. Comments in such blogs read like the following... "Oh you're SUCH a good mom!" "I wish I was as ( fill in the blank ) as you!" blah blah blah.... Again, my aversion to Words of Affirmation, I guess... hee hee...

What's the point of this here post? I guess I've just had this on my mind lately - how to be a better friend, a better support to those around me, a better visiting teacher... my new visiting teacher is so easy to talk to and STELLAR at making me feel good about myself. Maybe it's her yellow personality? Not sure, I just know that I want to be more like her! My old visiting teacher was no slouch either, let me tell you! I guess I'm just lucky lately!



Wow, I'm getting to be a pretty lame blogger, aren't I? I guess we've been busy, sort of, so how come I feel like I've still got nothing to blog about? Certainly nothing exciting like a visit from Super Nanny, and our Halloween costumes weren't even in the same realm of coolness as THESE were, even though Colman took the "TAMN"-garment-optional-approach, and I never got around to carving our pumpkin this week, so I don't have cool pictures like these, sigh... but I'll try to give you a rundown anyway.

N - Dressed up as Woody for Halloween, complete with boots and pullstring! Is uber-busy at work. Also busy running a networking group within work, plus starting up a local chapter of a networking group outside of work - if you ask he'll start throwing a bunch of acronyms at you in an attempt to explain what they do - be smart, don't start! Also busy with bishopric duties, basketball, his fantasy football league, Drudge report...

S - Is so not motivated to clean or finish any projects lately. Has been listening to Black Eyed Peas and U2 continuously since the concert. Got stuck throwing together a bunch of the details for Friday's ward party. Dressed up as Jesse for said party, and actually really liked the way our costumes turned out. Didn't get any pictures taken of herself in costume. Wishes more people would show up for volleyball on Mondays and Thursdays so it would become a regular event again. Wants Cricut cartridges for her birthday and Christmas. Is so excited for our California trip for my birthday, because we're flying and renting a car! Hello convenience!

N & S - Are having their 11th anniversary this weekend! S is going to Safford to scrapbook by herself to celebrate, hee hee... Just finished a "strengthening marriage" class, which we actually learned a bit from. Maybe I need to form a post with our takeaways from the class...

A - Is growing UP! Dressed up as Hannah Montana for Halloween. Will climb over our back fence and go play with neighbor kids for hours without telling Mom. Feels like she needs a "clubhouse" in our house, and keeps trying to take over closets, etc, to make her own. Like one bedroom, a closet, and a whole playroom aren't enough???!! Is defiant, and so independent it's driving her mother crazy lately. Testing the fence, if you will... I think that fence needs to be built up and fortified! Has started to sigh like her mother, and her grandmother, when she's irritated.

M - Dressed up as a witch for Halloween. Is a brilliant student in school, though she gets mighty frustrated when she can't form her letters PERFECTLY the FIRST time when she's doing her homework at night. Is getting so BIG! Eats like a horse, and almost always takes seconds of dinner. Has grown out of all her shoes, skirts, and pants she was wearing at the beginning of the school year- Sheesh! Is sweet and helpful most of the time. (She'd be sweet ALL of the time if her sister weren't around to fight with, or if we didn't expect her to take baths or brush her hair every day.)

J - Finally decided it was okay to put his costume on at the ward party, after he saw another little boy there dressed up as Buzz Lightyear too - hooray! Has a sweet tooth that is insatiable. Won't hardly eat any meals. Is starting to combine words more and more, and will mimic what anyone says, though he doesn't use the ending consonants for any of those words. Thinks he is hilarious when he wipes people's kisses off. LOVES to see and play with Finn. Will gladly sit on the potty, but hasn't actually USED the potty yet.