Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What I'm Thankful For...

It has been awhile since I have posted but I figured I just needed to sit down and update a little. We decided that since Kelly was unable to travel anywhere for Thanksgiving we would all come to him. It was the first time in quite awhile that we were all here together. (Unfortunately Kelly wasn't feeling well enough to come to Mom's for dinner so we all took turns and went and saw him) It really was a lot of fun to get together and just unwind for a bit. The cousins had a lot of fun teasing and laughing at each other. They really know how to have a good time. They had us all laughing the entire day.

Grandma was nice enough to let us have dinner at her house but only if we brought all the food and did all the clean up...hmmm...sounds like my kinda hostess gift!

Bob and Tracy came up from Arizona and Bill and Nancy came down from Idaho. Even though Kelly and Bonnie couldn't be there with us, we did get to have Kimber and Jen.

Bob and Tracy flew into town on Wednesday to surprise Annie, who is up here going to BYU and she was totally shocked. She just stood there in the restaurant with her mouth open for about 30 seconds and I am not exaggerating. I wish I would have had my camera but she might have caught on that something was up if I was wandering around town with her with a camera around my neck. We went and saw Twilight that night, which by the way I loved.

The next day was turkey day and along with that come the famous TURKEY BOWL. The young men in our neighborhood play football against the leaders every Thanksgiving morning. It always starts out as a "Friendly" game of flag football but it inevitably ends up going to a not so "friendly" game of tackle. The young men used to win quite frequently when Chad was on the team but now since he is on the men's team, the men are winning. Chad thinks that might have something to do with him. (Chad always thinks good things happen because of him) Chris came and played with them this year. It was fun to go and watch them both play together. With Chris on the line and Chad making catches, how could they lose?

It was a great weekend except for the fact the Bob ended up getting the flu Thursday night and was in bed until Saturday when they had to check out to go to the airport. Thanks Bob for exposing us all to the flu...let's see....what are we thankful for? Actually we all felt really bad for him and are glad that he is feeling much better and didn't "chuke" on the plane. (up chuck and puke all rolled into one) Here are some pics from the weekend! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too. Wished we all could have been together, now that would be a party!

The cousins...

The girls

We all got a little tire of waiting for the food right Annie?

Once it got there, we all got a little excited

Bill and Bob sharing a moment

It has been quite awhile since Bill and Nancy have come down together and it was great to have them there.

What am I really thankful for? My Family!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kelly Update

I have been getting lots of phone calls and emails from family and friends asking about Kelly and how he is doing. I thought this might be the easiest and quickest way to get the word out to all of you who have shown love and concern.
For those of you who don't know, Kelly was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer last May and his prognosis was not very promising. The cancer had metastasised into his lower back on his first lumbar region. He has been fighting long and hard these past few months with all sorts of different treatments, all with promising outcomes.
Unfortunately he is not doing so well at the present time. He has been in a lot of pain and it seems as if the cancer has spread. The pain is no longer just in his back but has also gone down into his hips and both legs down to his knees. We are very greatful at this time that he is not having difficulty swallowing. Luckily we have some pain specialists who come into the home and have made him as comfortable as possible, which is hard to do considering the amount of pain he is constantly in. He is fighting hard and all of your prayers and faith I know would be greatly appreciated by him and his family. Thank you all for your constant love and concern.
He has taught me the meaning of faith and what it means to never give up. I love you Kelly.

The Things You Learn About Your Friends...

We had the
opportunity tonight to go with some friends to the "Farley Family Reunion." For those of you who don't know, it is a one man show and he portrays all of the characters that you might see at your own family reunion. It really was quite funny and you would be surprised at how many people that you actually think you recognize. Curt and Kathy Lowe invited us and Ryan and Cassie Farley, no relation to the play (although some of the people in the audience might have been related to them lol)

We went out to eat first at this new restaraunt called Paradise Bakery and Deli in American Fork. None of us had ever been so it was a new experience for all. The food was actually really good and their cookies were to die for. While we were waiting in line, they brought around a sample bowl of the cookies and the chocolate ones were pretty amazing. Of course most of us only got one sample because Cassie kept making me steal them out of the bowl for her when the server wasn't looking. We finished up dinner and headed for the play.

Well we got there about 40 minutes early so we decided to kill some time in the car chatting. I have decided that this could be a dangerous situation. The more time you have, the more things you learn about your friends that you had no idea. It really can be quite enlightening. For instance...

I learned that it is Curt's birthday in 3 weeks and he is turning a REALLY BIG number. Happy birthday Curt.
I also learned that Kathy and Curt have a friend by the name of Harry Orchid and you never know when he might show up.
I learned from Cassie that you should never brush your teeth with anti itch cream because it makes your tongue swell up and go numb. (thanks for the tip Cassie)
We finally killed enough time and went into the theater. As we entered we had to make nametags for ourselves just like you were at a real family reunion. Everybody's last name had to be Farley since that was the name of the play. It wasn't a problem for Ryan and Cassie but the rest of us made up our own names. Mitch was Charlie Farley (which by the way is Ryan and Cassie's son's name) and I became Frannie Farley.
We got to our seats and as I looked around, I swear that there must have been actors in the audience because there were some really weird looking people there. The lady sitting behind us must have thought that the show was the funniest thing she ever saw because she laughed so hard at every comment that she would put herself into coughing fits. Along with her was the woman who must have had a bit of a cold because I honestly have never heard anyone blow their nose for so long and so loud. The guy in front of us, whose name must have been Bubba, had this thick ol mop of hair on his head that he shook into Kathy's popcorn. She actually had to change seats because she couldn't see around his head.
The evening ended with lots of laughs and friendships made stronger...thanks for the night guys, it was one I won't forget.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Susie Homemaker? I think not

There is something about the fall season that makes me feel like Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart. I am not sure if it is the crisper air or the smells of people using their fireplaces but there is something in the air. It seems like wherever I drive there are fruit and vegetable stands with cars stopped along the way buying produce. I decided to stop. That I think was my first mistake. It is kinda like going grocery shopping when you are hungry. The damage had been done. I bought 2 lugs (what is a lug anyway?) of tomatoes. One regular and one roma. I was actually feeling pretty good about the whole thing. On the way home however, it hit me. What the crap? What am I going to do with 2 lugs of tomatoes? I know...salsa., stewed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce.

I got home and pulled out the dust covered canning jars. (not joking the dates on the lids were 1997) I loaded up the dishwasher, had Mitch run to the store and buy lids, got the rest of the ingriedients out of my garden...that's right I have a garden... and got started.

I went into my recipe drawer and found "The Best Salsa Ever" recipe. Hmmmm sounded easy enough. It did however occur to me that I was going to need some help and what better bonding moment between mother and daughter than canning together right? I got Kylie out of her sleeping stupor and made her come and help. She was a great sport and let me take pictures along the way.

To be fair, I did let her choose what her task would be. She had the option of slicing and dicing the jalapenos and anaheim chilies or chopping the onions. She chose the onions because I have this handy dandy onion chopper from Pampered Chef. I am sure she thought "quick and easy" and then she could escape. LOL nope. She had to chop 9 onions and it turns out it wasn't so easy. Not only were they the strongest smelling onions I have ever come in contact with, they imediately burned everyone's eyes that came into the kitchen. I honestly have not ever been around that strong of onions before.

It didn't take long to discover that we couldn't work in the kitchen without opening the windows and turning on the fan. It really was quite funny. Mitch came home with the lids and imediately his eyes started to water. He had to go into the bathroom and rinse his eyes.

Here is Kylie trying to get the smell of the onions to waft under the bathroom door while Mitch is rinsing his eyes.

Well after 6 hours of cutting and chopping and "cooking down" and stirring every 15 minutes for 3 hours, we finally got our harvest bounty. With the help of Mitch, Kylie had escaped hours ago, we got the salsa poured into the jars and waited for the seal to pop. Which by the way I never heard cause no one told me that when you cold pack, the entire bottle has to cool down before they completely pop. THAT would have been a good tip to put into the recipe.

We finished, cleaned up and I looked around and I still had a lug of regular tomatoes. I thought to myself, tomorrow I am going to make the stewed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. I went downstairs into the storage room to get more jars so I could stick them into the dishwasher to prepare for my adventure in the morning and found 2 cases of store bought stewed tomatoes, 2 cases of spaghetti sauce from the cannery and 2 cases of salsa from the cannery. I muttered something under my breath, (can't seem to remember what it was) and stomped back upstairs. The lug of tomatoes went to Angela.

I got 15 jars of salsa after 6 hours and burned retinas...

Pretty sure whatever was in the air is gone...can't smell it anymore cause my house still smells like onions.

Halloween...not so much fun anymore...

I love the holidays. It all starts for me on October 1. Out come the boxes of decorations, I throw out the old and replace with the new. Tombstones, ghosts, grim reapers and so on. We eat dinner out of pumpkins, Chad and his friends sit on the roof and chuck candy at the trick or treaters and scare them to death. We decide on costumes and get the necessary items to make them perfect. Ahhh the fun of the holiday... Not so much anymore. What happened? Could it possibly be that I no longer have little kids? No costumes, they have their own parties and lives to attend to. I didn't even get dinner out of my pumpkin this year cause I was reffing the state volleyball games. (who scheduled that over Halloween?)

I did get to see Grant, Angela and Victoria however.
They were so cute in their scarecrow family costumes. (Thanks for driving all the way here!)
Still waiting for the other two grandchildren halloween pics...(hint hint Heather)

I think my biggest gripe however has to be the jerk that invented "trunk-or-treat". What happened to going door to door and getting as much loot as possible? Taking your mom's favorite pillow case and dragging it down the sidewalk cause it was so full of candy? I remember my brother Kelly and me dumping our haul on the family room floor and trading for our favorite candy and both walking away with a grin thinking that we totally ripped the other one off. NOW? they walk around the parking lot and get their candy. Please. I only had 4 knocks on the door from trick or treaters and they were teenagers...hmmm not quite the same. Even though Chris, Chad and Kylie are not home anymore to make my Halloween experience complete, I did find some old pictures of them at Halloween. I suppose it will have to do for now. *sigh*

Monday, October 20, 2008




My Twilight Zone Adventure

I really wish that I had taken my camera because this town is a must see event. I had to travel to Rangely, Colorado last Friday to officiate a couple of college volleyball matches. I really wasn't looking forward to the 41/2 hour drive let alone having to spend the night but hey they pay my gas and my hotel right? How bad can it be? I honestly felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone. We left civilization and entered into this little town and there was nothing there...how can you possible have a college in a town where there isn't a fast food restaraunt, movie theater, bowling alley, nothing. There was this awesome museum...ummm?

The closest town with any of these things is an hour away. So my partner, Lisa, and I arrive and find our hotel...the Budget Host.

WOW...that is the best I can come up with. The room smelled like stinky feet. Lisa and I both started to gag, literally. I am really not sure what could make a room smell like that and i was not sure I really wanted to find out. We chose our beds and put our suitcases down...okay I can only describe the sound the bed made as a rubber band. We sat down on them and they twanged. If you moved even a little bit the beds rocked and banged against the wall. We both got the giggles so bad that I almost wet my pants. I had to run to the bathroom and while in there, took a peek into the shower...yep...hair in the drain. Now honestly that is so disgusting to me that I can't handle it. We decide to leave and look around because we couldn't take much more of the room. We leave and I lock the door behind me. BIG MISTAKE. I guess I didn't realize that when you lock your door, your key won't work anymore. I think that might be an important heads up for the front desk to tell you. So when we get back to the room, (which didn't take long cause there wasn't anything out there to do) we can't get into our room. We go back to the office and she has to call the manager because she doesn't have a master key. Well come to find out, the manager's key doesn't work in our lock either. He says to me, "are you in room 213? Yeah this always happens" Hello...maybe you should fix your lock. Okay so after 20 minutes of him trying to open my door he announces that it will have to wait until the morning. Ummmm noooooo...my stuff is in there and I kinda need a place to sleep. In the meantime, some guy down below us I guess hears what is going on and comes up to help. He says that this happened to him here before and he pulls out his credit card and slips it into my room door and it opens. Okay..so now the guy down below knows that he can get into our room with his credit card even with the "unbreakable lock" that the master key can't even budge. Not really comforting. We finally make it through to the morning and find out that the hotel checkout is at 10:00 and our match isn't until 3:00.
We decide to go to eat a the only restaraunt in town that serves breakfast (found it on the hotel brochure). We drive by and it was burned down...not joking. We are both just looking at each other and laughing...honestly what else could happen? We go back to the hotel and ask them where we can get breakfast and she tells us to go to the grocery store. Hmmm not quite the idea we had in mind. She then recommends this Italian place down the road a bit. Not really the breakfast food I had in mind but better than wandering the 3 isle grocery store.

I order the calzone and cut into it and I promise I found the most disgusting grey big old half a sausage just plopped into the middle of it. It looked like..I can't even say but you get the picture. It wasn't cut up, just plopped right into it. It is now that I remember that I have a camera on my phone. I got a couple of pics but that is about it and the quality isn't great. It is what it is I guess.

Some great pictures of Rangley, Colorado...

Looking down Main Street...hmmmm

We finally get done with our matches and head back home.

We drive to the nearest town and it is called Dinosaur, Colorado.

There are these paper mache looking dinosaurs all over this little town just randomly place around Main Street. All and all it was a good trip and definately a memory I will have for quite a while.

Not thinking I will be going back anytime soon though...lol

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our Denver Getaway

Well we did it. We took a much needed trip together JUST THE TWO OF US! It wasn't exactly the best time of year to go, what with Mitch's new work schedule and it being right in the middle of my busiest time of volleyball, but it was so much fun.

I have been going to Denver now for about 5 years to ref volleyball tournaments and coming home and tyring to tell Mitch all the stuff that I see and finally we just decided to see it together first hand. The Convention Center where I ref the games is really enormous. There is this big blue bear that stands outside and looks in the window. For the life of me I can't figure it out. It is really kinda strange.

Ever since Mitch has watched "Forrest Gump", he has always wanted to go to Bubba Gump Shrimp. Well...there is one right down the street from the Convention Center. He was in heaven. I am pretty sure that if we had done nothing else but go and eat there that the trip would have been complete. He is so easy to please, LOL. The food was actually really good and the atmosphere was a lot of fun too!

I had no idea that the Denver mint was right around the corner from where I have been going for over 5 years. We got to take a tour but they wouldn't let us bring our camera or our cell phone in. Who would have thunk that the security would be so tight at the place where they make our money? They were making pennies the day we were there. That was pretty interesting and I had no idea all that goes into it. It gave me a new appreciation for those pesky little coins.

This is perhaps one of my favorite pictures of the whole entire trip.

Ever since Mitch was a little kid he has had a fascination with trains. He loves them. We found this awesome train museum and of course we had to spend an entire afternoon there. There is not a sign that was written or a picture that was displayed that we did not stop and read and look at. There actually was a lot of cool stuff there and I even got to sit in the conductors chair and blow the whistle...pretty cool.

They had some really funky looking trains too that I have no idea what they were used for.

We then went to the State Capitol building. There on the steps is a spot where you can stand exactly one mile above sea level. Hello....it is the mile high city..

While we were walking up to the capitol I swear there was this kamakazi squirrel that kept chasing us. No matter where we went it would run after us. I wasn't sure whether to kick it or run away. It totally freaked me out... I know it looks cute and innocent but I swear it was a killer squirrel.

I don't think I have seen more beautiful mountains and scenery in my entire life. We had to stop at the rest stops on the way back home just to take pictures and appreciate the world. Heavenly Father really knew what he was doing when he created this wonderful world we live in. I forget how lucky I am to live in such an amazing place. The mountains and the colors were amazing. The pictures really don't do it justice.