Okay, I know it's Sunday, and this probably isn't the best thing to be doing on the Sabbath so shhhhhhhhh, but Mooch is sick (passing another kidney stone) and me and the little girls were board so we thought we would experiment a little and try to do something creative. I was on my skitzo Janae's blog the other day and came across a link she had for Bakerella. This lady had the most amazing and creative ideas for treats that I had ever seen, just look at this photo. Before I go any further, I have to say that anyone who knows me, knows that I am not the best cook around, but as I was looking at all these treats I thought, (and here's where it begins to go wrong) "I can do this", and I even have the ingredients. Okay, so my candy melts are green and red left over from Christmas, and my lollypop sticks are BBQ skewers, but it's Sunday after all and we are improvising, right? So we bake the brownies first, easy enough, right? After they cooled we broke them up into a bowl and mixed in the softened cream cheese until it was sort of like a dough (this recipe is from Bakerella's blog). Sorry, I forgot to take a picture at this point. Then we rolled the mixture into little balls, we didn't have a cute little cookie cutter-----more improvisation (is that a word?)------ and dipped them into the melted candy coating. Easy enough, right?


It all went downhill from here, or was it when the idea began to formulate in my mind? We should have stopped after we made the brownies because they were a perfect batch of brownies, but hind sight is 20/20. Anyway, we put them in the refrigerator to harden the candy coating and then we attempted to put the "lollypop sticks" in before we dipped the other side and things didn't go so well. "We don't care", we said, "They don't have to be cute to eat them." Here's a picture of Mady eating one. She's only smiling because I'm taking her picture, because when she actually took a bite, she said they weren't very good. So now we have all these brownie balls covered with red candy coating. Bakerella's are much cuter and better tasting I'm sure. Click on the link and check out her blog, she really does have some fun ideas. I may try the cupcakes with the candy melt flowers this week (with colors other than green and red though) ...................wish me luck. It may take me a lifetime, but I will find a talent, or die trying.



We have had our share of pets over the years. The first pet we had was a Shi-tzu named Alex. She was a really cute dog, but very hard to house train and it didn't help that I had a newborn baby (Madysen) at the time, so she drove me crazy. We didn't have her for very long though. We left her with family while we went on vacation to the beach for a week, and on our way home we got a phone call from my mother-in-law telling us that she had been stolen from the front yard (I swear I had nothing to do with it). She said that they had looked all over for her but to no avail. I cried, more out of fear of telling Amy than anything, but to my surprise she handled it quite well, probably still too young to understand.

We moved into a much larger home not long after, and decided that we would go and "look" at dogs one night and came home with a puppy that eventually morphed into a horse. Meet Hershey, our Chocolate Lab:

Hershey was mainly Amy's dog because Tyler had his own dog at his Mama Nikki's house, and Mady & Hayley were still too young to really care, however, that eventually changed and the pleadings for a new pet began. That year for Christmas, Mady got a kitten that she named Oreo. Oreo wasn't a very nice cat and tormented the little girls, often biting, scratching and attacking them for no apparent reason, but we had her for a few years and even had a batch of kittens, five total. That was a very fun experience, really. We found homes for all the kittens and had Oreo spayed (once was enough), but one of the kittens eventually found its way back into our possession (long story for another day). Meet Sonny:

Sunny was the odd one of the bunch, born with red fur while the rest looked just like their mother with gray and black fur. Sunny also did not get his mother's disposition, he was the sweetest, most lovable cat, always looking for hugs. The brief separation of mother and son was long enough for them to become bitter enemies. One day Oreo was just gone, we have no idea what happened to her but we joke that Sunny ate her because he was so huge. Not very many tears were shed, we think because of the trauma she inflicted on the girls in her early years.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I lost my mind for one brief second and purchased another dog. Meet Lacie:

Lacie has become my little buddy, and I can't believe how attached I have become to her. Even Mooch, who has never wanted us to have any pets, can be found on occasion when he thinks that no one is watching, talking, playing and even showing affection to Lacie. She is that cute.

Back to Sunny. He became the neighborhood "Tom" cat, often leaving for days, and then returning for food, rest, and to lick his wounds, but then he was off on the prowl again. After one long stint away from home I noticed that he didn't leave again after refueling, and he wasn't eating very much, but I didn't think much of it until I noticed that he didn't run up and give me my usual hugs when he saw me. When I looked closer I could tell that he was sick. Now, up to this point, the kids hadn't had much to do with this cat, but when Amy found out that he was sick she was right there with me for the trip to the vet. The vet did her usual examination, then looked inside of Sonny's mouth to discover a mouth full of sores which explained the loss of appetite. She drew some blood and asked us to wait for the results. Several minutes passed and she came in to tell us that Sunny was in kidney failure, probably because he hadn't been drinking either, and that she didn't think he would make it through the night, unless we left him there and had him hooked up to IV's to the tune of about $700.00. "No", I said, "Let's just put him to sleep". Upon hearing this Amy intervened with pleadings and tears and begged me not to do it. I explained that I wasn't going to pay that much money to try and keep him alive. After more tears, the vet agreed that it would be okay for Amy to take him home and try to nurse him back to health, but that if he didn't improve within two days, then it would be inhumane to try any further and a decision would have to be made. We brought him home with about $200.00 worth of antibiotics and for the next 10 days my sweet, animal loving Amy stayed by that cats side nursing him back to health. We have always called her Dr. Dolittle because of her love of animals. She literally made a bed out in the garage, and she would wake up every two hours to give him water with a dropper and try to get him to eat. She never missed a dose of antibiotics either.

After two days, the vet gave us a call to ask how he was doing and Amy gave her a report. Sunny had begun to eat and drink on his own and was even walking around some. She agreed to let Amy keep up with the nursing but said we should bring him back in when he was done with his antibiotics for another blood test to check on the kidneys. It looked as though Sunny was returning to his old self again, and we were so proud of Amy for all her efforts. The day came for us to return to the vet, and when she saw Sunny she couldn't believe how much he had improved. She drew the blood and we waited. She entered the tiny room, and to our disappointment, informed us that his kidneys were in complete failure and that there was nothing more that could be done. We brought him home so the little girls could say their good-byes, and it was quite tearful to say the least.

The vet asked if we would wait in the waiting room while she gave him the shot but Amy would have none of it, she had stuck by him this far and she was staying with him till the very end. First, the vet gave him something to make him really sleepy, then she administered the medicine that would take his life. My heart broke as I watched the pain rip through my daughter as she held Sunny while he slipped away. In the past 10 days she had become his caregiver and best friend only to have it end so tragically.

Amy did not want the traditional cremation disposal of Sunny, so we brought him home in a box, and had a little service for him in our back yard, under one of our trees.

In between the cats and the dogs, we have also had our share of hamsters, baby hamsters from two male hamsters (or so the pet store guy told us), one crayfish, and three tarantulas (not all at once). This is our latest tarantula, and yes he is dead:

I looked in his aquarium today and discovered him all shriveled up and when I told Hayley about it she said "Yea, he's been dead for awhile". No tears, not even a mention of it when they discovered him, all alone in his aquarium, shriveled up, dead. You mean to tell me that I have been housing a giant spider that "we just had to have" and nobody cared that he had died? Where are all the tears for this dearly departed pet?


Happy Mothers Day to all you mother's out there.  Today was a great day, but I have to back up to yesterday because that is where my Mother's Day really began. I had flown to Sacramento with my friend Janae', to attend the funeral of our dear friends mother. We got home pretty late that night and I was worried that my home was going to be a mess and there would be no time for me to clean it up before my entire family arrived on Mother's Day for dinner. I was so surprised when I walked in the house to find it completely spotless, and not just husband kind of clean (because we all know they don't clean like we do) but my kind of clean, from dusting to toilets. It was the best gift I could have been given. Then on Sunday morning,  I was woken up to a phone call from my Australian Missionary, which was so great.  He sounds so good, but with only 5 months to go, I can tell that he is getting a little "trunky".  After church, my family arrived and we had an amazing dinner, and a great time visiting while the cousins played with each other. I have an amazing mother, and I am so grateful to her for all that she does for me.  She has taught me so much throughout my life, and I appreciate her more than she will ever know.  I love you Mom.  What a fabulous day.



I would have to say that spring is my favorite time of year. I love the flowers, the warmer weather, the birds chirping, and the nights....oh the nights. They are some of the best, sleeping with your windows open, it's still a little chilly but comfortable with a light jacket on, and I love how it stays lighter longer (my kids don't, at least not till school is out). But like anything else, there is always the down side. For me it is allergies with a nose that constantly runs, and don't forget that terrible sore throat that I get each year, but I think even worse than those two things is SPRING CLEANING.....Yuk!!! Who wants to clean when the weather is so beautiful, but boy, it sure feels good when it is all done, or is it ever really done? Now that I have taken on the task of doing my own house cleaning.......I know, I know, I've lost my mind, I am more aware than ever of all the nooks and crannies of my house, and there are a ton of them. It will take me clear till next spring to get it all done, only to start over again. It has started me thinking, something that I try to avoid most of the time, but--does anyone really care if you have dust on the tops of your door jambs, or a dirty toy closet, or junk drawers that are "junky". I mean, I know it is important to do the regular stuff, like dusting, vacuuming, mopping, bathrooms, windows, etc., etc., but does that other stuff really matter? Or, as I like to say and my Skitzo's will attest, the dust will be there tomorrow, but missed opportunities with my family and friends, you cannot have back. So if you ever find yourself in my home, I hope that you will "pardon my dust" so to speak, and lets make some memories, because the dust will still be there tomorrow.



Have you ever had one of those days when the simplest thing gave you the most joy?  Mine was last night.  I was having a great day anyway, I'm feeling like my old self again and I was able to get out of the house and get a few errands done, for the most part, the day was just a good one.  Later in the evening I received a "Thank You" from someone that I didn't even think cared if I existed or not, and it was the "Whipped Cream With a Cherry on Top", end to my day.  There wasn't anything else that could have made my day better than that, not even if you had told me that I had won the lottery......well okay, maybe that, but the thank you was so unexpected and out of character for this person, and it was nice to be acknowledged. I'm sure it was an involuntary response and she couldn't catch herself in time to stop the words, but for me it was like manna from Heaven.  Here it is, the next day, and I am still thinking about that "Thank You".  How grateful I am for those two simple little words.  YIPPEE!!!  Sometimes your kids surprise you when you least expect it (wink-wink).  

P.S.  Visit Mooch's blog.  Very funny stuff!!


I finally ventured outside of the house today after almost a week of being sick in bed.  I think that I must have shut my brain down while I was sick because I have almost had to re-train myself on what to do, where to go, where things are around the house, who my children are etc., etc.  There are some people who would argue that I probably have to do that on a daily basis.  It kind of reminds me of the Adam Sandler movie: 50 First Dates, where he has to re-play the same events each day for his girlfriend (Drew Barrymore) so that she will fall in love with him each day, because she has some sort of brain injury that only allows her to retain about one days worth of memory, at least I think that's how the movie goes, its been so long since I've seen it, or maybe I've had a brain injury myself...I don't know, but if you've seen the movie then you know what I'm talking about, and if you haven't, then please just humor me.  Anyway, great movie, and something that Mooch may want to consider trying with me to ensure the safety of his children.  Tee Hee 

Got an e-mail from Tyler this week, and he has been transferred "Out Bush" again, which is where he was when he got so sick.  Hope all goes well and he stays healthy.  He only has about 5 months left, boy how the time has flown by.  We are all getting so anxious for him to come home, the girls all miss their big brother so much.  It has been such an incredible experience for our family to have a son in the mission field, we have been blessed beyond measure.  I'm so excited to see the man that he has become.


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