November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving gave us much to be thankful for...first, each other. This is our first Thanksgiving together as husband and wife and I can't think of anyone I'd rather be with. Second, spending this day with our families. Considering we were scheduled to be in Dominica at this point, it's a blessing to be able to share another Turkey Day with grandmas, grandpas, moms, dads, brothers, and sisters. We love all of you so much and it meant a lot to look across the table to see your smiling face. And last, but certainly not least, Kyle and I found out we're going to be an aunt and uncle in August. Kyle's brother and his wife are expected a beautiful bundle of joy this summer and we are thrilled. I must say, I never gave much thought to the idea of being an aunt until now. As an only child I never thought of anyone calling me Aunt Heidi, but I do like the sound of it.

We started the day with a turkey lunch at Kyle's grandma's house and finished the day with a turkey dinner at my mom and dad's. Let's just say we had to be rolled home by the time we were done. We certainly didn't go hungry. The picture to the left is a nice shot my mom took of my dad and I...thanks mom! We're flipping the bird in the oven to get 360 degrees of crispness. It's a 2-man job for sure.

It was a great day with great people and great food. We are truly blessed and many ways.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

November 17, 2010

Shoppin' Till We Were Droppin'

I had mentioned a few weeks ago that we were going to California and this past weekend, we did. It was such a fun trip filled with LOTS of shopping, but somehow little buying. Nonetheless, we had some great times. I do believe that Kyle was fed up with all the shopping by the end of the 3 days, but he was such a good sport. How do you reward a tired boy for being so patient with his mother-in-law and wife who happen to be professional shoppers? Well, you get him a Ninja Turtle ice cream of course...

He looks happy doesn't he?

One place we went was the LA Fashion district. It's about 4 square miles divided into men's, women's, flowers, fabric, diamonds, and more. People sell anything and everything here. It seemed like we walked all 4 square miles and all we bought was some fabric and makeup. We were entertained for sure. My favorite part was the flower market. It's filled with rows of beautiful flowers. Everything from roses to orchids, containers to put them in, moss, branches, etc. It truly is a fun place to walk around.

On the way to the Fashion District we drove past a diner and noticed there were about 30 people lined up outside to get in. We decided it was a sign of good food and made up our mind to have lunch there. Even at 11:00am the line was still out the door. We waited about 40 minutes before we got our table. It's called the Original Pantry Cafe and it serves good old fashioned food like grandma makes. The menu is on a chalkboard, they only take cash, and they haven't closed their door since 1924. What a find!

You might notice the portions are HUGE!!! We could have easily split one meal. Our leftovers could have fed a family of 6. Live and learn, right?

On Sunday we were off to the fabulous Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Of course we had to have some of the delicious lemonade. That also kept Kyle pretty happy. Are we noticing a trend?

We really didn't buy too much, but we still had to work on getting it all into the car. We looked a bit like hillbillies on the drive home.

What would complete a trip to California??? A wild fire and a field of wind turbines near Pasadena, of course.

We made it home Sunday night just in time for Kyle to miss all the football games. What a sport he was. Not many guys would go on a weekend of shopping with their wife and mother-in-law. Either we're just that fun or he's a trooper. We had a terrific time. Thanks Mom!

November 15, 2010

It's Chili in Arizona, With a Side of Philly

While I will admit that it is cooling down, finally, here in the desert, it's only about 76 degrees for a high each day, the chili I'm referring to is the kind we made last week for Monday Night Football. As the Steelers worked on taking down the Bengals we cooked up some savory Cincinnati style chili. Known for it's slightly sweet, yet spicy, taste this chili has cocoa powder, cinnamon, and allspice in its list of ingredients. It's also served over spaghetti noodles and then a heaping pile of cheddar cheese is placed on top. We took it a little easier on the cheese than suggested, but it still turned out fabulous. My dad and I are really becoming quite the cooking team. I love getting to share in these new, yet wonderful traditions.

After some chili, we had a philly...cheesesteak that is. This week the Eagles played the Redskins and we honored them with our own take on the famous cheesesteaks of Philadelphia. What's "our take" you ask? No Cheez Whiz! We actually bought some for Kyle, he wanted some, but I forgot to use it. Whoops. So, all of us (my mom and dad, my grandma, Kyle, and I) had provolone. It was basically deliciousness on a toasted hoagie roll.

November 6, 2010

Kids These Days

I've been so blessed to have been able to go right back to a job since we've been home. Obviously our extended visit was unplanned and I needed to fill my time in some way and make some money too. Substitute teaching has been the perfect thing. I've worked almost every day each week that we've been here and it's something I truly love doing. I sub for K through 9 so I get to experience a little bit of everything. One day I have a 6 year old tugging on my pants and telling me I'm pretty and the next day I have a 14 year old giving me "the bird" and telling me he hates school. It's always an adventure and I truly could write a book on all the things I've experienced. These are just a few of my favorites since I've been home:
  • I had a 3rd grader poop on the floor. It literally fell right through his shorts and onto the floor. The next day I noticed he was wearing pants that seemed to be tighter at the ankle. Poor little fella'.
  • I had a 1st grader make the comment "I just don't think that Harry Mitchell is gonna make the cut this time". This was on election day and she was referring to an AZ candidate for Congress. Kids must really pick up on everything they hear.
  • A 3rd grader told me "Man, my new shoes are increasing my speed each and every day. I don't know when I'll be able to stop". Where do they come up with this stuff?
  • While I was in the middle of reading a story to a class of kindergartners one of the girls raised her hand and said "I feel like coloring". That was it...she felt the need to raise her hand, stop me in the middle of the story, and tell me that. I wanted to say "Yes and I feel like a cocktail, but we don't always get what we want in life now do we?" Instead I simply said, "That's not what we are doing right now". I am constantly censoring myself.

I love my job and look forward to a new adventure each time I step onto a campus.


In an attempt to further slim down the amount of stuff in our storage unit and to make a bit of extra cash, Kyle and I decided to have a garage sale. Luckily my cousin, Edie, had a lot of furnishings and items for kids that she was also needing to get out of her house/garage. Together, we had a fine lookin' sale! While I taught 3rd grade, Kyle and Edie held the sale on Friday and boy was it busy. Lots of stuff sold and we all made some money. Now today, Saturday, I'm sitting here by myself as Kyle puts out signs and gets us some coffee. I've had a drive by and 1 couple peruse our "junk", but not a single sale an an hour. Is it me??? Hopefully not. Otherwise, it's going to be one loooong day. While I hate, doing these yard sales, I always feel good when their done. Our pocket books are thicker and our lives are less cluttered. I thought I'd run down a few things that really bother me about yard sales...

I hate when everything is clearly marked and they still ask you how much for everything! (There's a reason why I spent hours labeling each item)

I can't stand when they bring up a big pile of stuff and make you an offer, much lower than priced, and tell you this all the cash they have on them. (I say BS! Who goes for a day of yard sale shopping with only $7?)

My biggest pet peeve is when they ask you if you'll take 1/16 of the price you have labeled. I mean, come on! I understand the need for a bargain, but you're at a yard's already a bargain. (What they're really asking is if I'll take $1 for the item I have priced at $12, but originally paid $80 for and used twice...I don't think so)

Well that's my rant for the day. Poor Kyle's heard it a few times, so I thought I'd share the wealth.