Nov 21, 2009

Twas the Saturday before Thanksgiving.....

I am really excited about Thanksgiving this year. We live away from all of our family, so sometimes feel a little "homesick" at these times. But my sister Autumn and her family are coming and I can't even wait! I love my sisters! They are some of my best friends and I am so grateful for each one of them. I'll have to blog about each one another time...but I thought I would just write some things I'm grateful for at this time, in no particular order.
* David. I don't know where I'd be without him. He is one of the most Christlike people I know. He really does bring out the best in me and all those around him!
* My parents and David's parents. I feel like they are both MY parents!
* Mason, Eli and Abbie. They are great kids with so much potential! I feel blessed to be their mom.
* The Priesthood in my home. I know that our home is blessed to have a worthy Priesthood holder, and I seriously don't know how I'd get through life without Priesthood blessings. I have seen numerous miracles in our lives through those blessings. It has been really neat to see Eli's testimony grow in this aspect. He has had numerous blessings because of poor health, and just the other night he woke up and couldn't breathe, and came downstairs crying and immediately asked David for a blessing! I love his faith!
* I love the gospel. It reminds me of HOW I should be and gives me direction in WHERE I am trying to get to!
* I love my neighbors and neighborhood. We have something really good going here! We all look out for each other and really love each other. There is no "keeping up with the Jones'" Maybe it's cuz we're all struggling in one way or another, but we really just have so much fun together!
* CHOCOLATE! I just plain love chocolate. I don't even need to go into it, but it makes life more grand!
* FRIENDS. They help me keep my sanity! Where would I be without good girlfriends? Someone to talk to, to laugh with, to cry with, to get good ideas from, to hang out name it, they are my "built in sister" since my sisters all live far away from me! I love my sisters so much too! I think I already mentioned that at the top, but I need that influence in my life.
* Going on Trips. Really, we don't have the money to do it, so I try to figure out how cheap I can do it, but I love leaving my own "reality" and seeing new things...and just spending time with my family. If money was not an object, I would be traveling ALL the time!
* GREAT CLIENTS! Some of my clients have become some of my best friends! I love the people I've gotten to meet and talk with and grow friendships with. I love that I can "stay at home" and be a mom, but still help to bring in some income for our family.
* Steve's Crazy Sub. I love that place! They have the best sandwiches I have ever tasted!
* This country. How am I so blessed to be born in a free country where there are so many opportunities and where I can be who I want, worship where I want and work where I want to. We just went to Mexico and were really saddened to see some of the mothers with their 3 or 4 children begging for money. We really are "rich" in so many aspects. Even if this week I have been feeling pretty yuck about my financial situation.
* Heavenly Father. I have really developed a better relationship with him in the last 10 years. Through my trials, I have learned how He talks to me and that He will answer my prayers if I just ask. Sometimes they aren't the answers I think I need, but He knows more and I am grateful that I can go to Him anytime and will feel the comfort I need and the strength I need to get through whatever I am going through.

I could keep going...but I just want to remember some of the things I feel grateful for. This time of year it's easy to feel overwhelmed and caught up in all the excitement of everything. Though it is fun, it's also a lot of stress in trying to buy presents and decorate, and travel to family, and all that kind of stuff. So, it helps me to see the important things and remember how truly blessed I really am.

Nov 17, 2009

What did we do BEFORE cell phones?

SO, I was doing the dishes like a good wife on Sunday and I heard my phone kind of vibrate or something. I thought..."Hmm...I must have gotten a text" I started looking for it and couldn't find I kept on doing dishes. I was letting the water out and what did I find? Yep, my red cell phone lying in the sink totally DROWNED! You have GOT to be kidding me! I personally get SO irritated when I have to buy something that I already have. LIke tires for example. I think once you buy tires, a blow dryer, a flat iron, a cell should just work until you want a new look or something. TODAY I had to buy a new cell phone and blow dryer. One was $145 and the other was $130. What a spendy day for something I already had! UGH....Yes, I am a little bitter about it. I tried to take the battery off and air it out for a couple of days and even tried to immerse it in a bowl of rice to "soak up the liquid"....but, NO...nothing, nada, zilch, dead, no more! AAAHHHhhh!!!! I feel like screaming! I NEED a cell phone. HOw spoiled does that sound? I really don't know how I did it without one now. I used to think the people that had them were IDIOTS! How rude of me huh? I wondered why people needed to talk on the phone all the time. NOw, I don't feel safe unless I have a cell phone. I don't know how to leave town without my phone. For heavens sake, I am in California tonight to do hair for the week. I need to be able to be reached for whatever reason! I have clients that need to get a hold of me here and in AZ....and c'mon, how is my father in law supposed to know I'm ready with my bags and waiting outside if I don't have a cell phone to call! So, my question is...what did we do BEFORE cell phones? I have been "shushed" by an elderly woman before, so I know there are some people out there that still think cell phones are a disgrace to society! Seriously, I was sitting in the dentist office and a client called to ask what kind of products to pick out at the store. I started to tell her when the old lady next to me said, "EXCUSE ME! Could you please go OUTSIDE?" Now mind you, I have one nearly deaf ear...the one that was next to her and I still heard her. It wasn't like I was talking about my neighbor or some crazy gossip...for heavens sake I was telling a client to buy CHI pommade and stuff like that.
So, you wanna know why I'm in such a crazy grouchy mood tonight? I'll tell you! David and I decided it was NEEDED to get a phone before I left town. So, we went into Verizon Wireless store and bought the CHEAPEST, yes I will say it again, THE CHEAPEST phone we could get...but since my contract is not up....that blasted thing cost me $145!!!! Is that CRAZY? I thought so too! I was NOT happy!
Well, now that I have that off my chest, I am GRATEFUL for my cell phone. Aren't you?

Grandma and Grandpa Crawford

Grandma and Grandpa Crawford came to watch the kids while we went on the cruise. How nice of them, huh? Here is grandma helping the kids do a puzzle! Always a fun memory to have, huh?

While here, they were able to go to a couple of Mason's football games. Of course the weekend they were here... it was HOT! IT was like 102. Don't worry that we thought it would be nice and cool in OCTOBER! We can NEVER promise perfect weather here in the desert! BUt, I will say, the week we were gone, I hear it was PERFECT weather. That tends to happen when I leave. The joke is that every time it rains, I have left town. Is this a sign or something? I don't know what the sign would be, but it could be some kind of sign. Arizona is sad I'm gone? LOL just kidding!
We got a new game called "Pretty as a Princess" As you can see, Grandpa was the first one the kids had to play the game! We didn't even have the jewels on the crown! Grandpa was such a good sport to play a dress up game with Abbie. Grandpa made it look so fun that pretty soon the boys came and joined in, and then got Grandma to play too! What fun memories!
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The day before they left, we had a small Halloween party in our neighborhood. We got a quick picture with Grandpa and Abbie the ballerina. This is my favorite time of the year! October-January!

Nov 12, 2009

Many Hands Make Light Work!!!

Here I go again....can't pass up a bargain! I went to the Superstition Ranch Market and saw pears were only 4 lbs for $1.00! I know, amazing deal huh? Well, they looked like small and harmless boxes. So, I got 2 boxes. I almost went back for 1 more!

Yestersday was Veterans Day and the kids had no school. I had a few clients, so David decided to take the boys and their friends to the skate park to try it out. They have one friend who is really in to that they went. Well, I told the kids that I wasn't going to load them with chores....(like I do anyway)....but I did say I wanted their rooms cleaned and help canning pears. They were so excited! And I was so excited that THEY were excited! Imagine knowing that you are going to have help in such a long and tedious process!! Ethan Winfield slept over and was really excited to help out! I had a client in the house, so I decided to get creative and set up shop outside. As you can see, there is a little system to this....1 or 2 peel, then one cuts in half and takes out the seeds and that funny thing down the middle, and then one puts into the water/solution so they won't brown and then we put them in bottles..
Now I wanto you to know how much fun they were having! I really was NOT a slave driver! Ethan went home and told his mom how much fun he had canning pears and that they were going to be able to go ANYTIME to our house to eat pears throughout the year! How cute is that?
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We've got Eli washing and rinsing bottles to get them ready for the pears. What great helpers I have!
We were having so much fun that Braeden, and Schuyler came to help and before we knew it, we had Cliff and Laura Mostosky over helping us out! They were WONDERFUL! It's a big job doing all of that canning. I can actually say it was fun. Maybe because it was outside, or maybe it was because we were with friends. Happy Pear Eating!

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Nov 9, 2009

Cute picture of the kids with Grandpa Crawford. He is SUCH a FUN Grandpa! We love him so much! Always finds time for people. We need more people like Bob Crawford in this world!

Pretty as a Princess!

I was in San Jose doing hair in October. Here are some picutres I found while there.  Looking through Grandma and Grandpa's pictures on their computer.  Couldn't pass this one up!  Abbie has always been into dress up and being more grown up!  I'm really missing my kids today!  This fall time is my favorite and I am wishing I was at home with my family.  Usually I look forward to a break, but time away is making my heart "grow fonder"...  Abbie was about 3 here.

How cute is this one?  We were coloring Easter eggs in Grandma and Grandpa's kitchen.  Mason is 5 and Eli is 3.  Notice Eli's hands!  He preferred using his own hands instead of the tools to move those eggs around!  I miss those little guys!  Oh man, this is bad, I get more nostolgic when I see them being little! 

We lived with Grandma and Grandpa for 6 years.  They really are more like 2nd parents than grandparents.  Eli seemed to take it especially hard!  It's cute that he needed to snuggle up to Grandpa and be by him as much as possible!   Good ole Grandpa Crawford!

Wow.  I'm walking down memory lane now.  We moved to Arizona while Grandma was gone to Missouri.  Cathy was having her baby that same week.  So Grandma Crawford flew in to see us right after we moved there!  We are LOVING Arizona now, but I have to say that was a really tough time for us. 

Here is Abbie with her cousin Hawley.  Ready to go to church!  What a couple of cuties!

Eli has always had an imagination!  Would lay on the floor and play cars for hours!

Nov 5, 2009

The Final Tale of the Ensenada Cruise

I guess there are only 3 Blow Holes in the world. One is in Hawaii, one is in Australia and one is in Mexico. We were able to wheel and deal once we got to Ensenada. That's kind of a fun thing. I'm sure the people there were getting pretty sick of us. We managed to get a taxi driver to drive all 6 of us in his van to the Blow Hole which was about 45 minutes away. He waited there for us for 2 hours and then brought us back. All of that for $60. That was $20 a piece. There is a huge flea market leading down to the Blow Hole that you can't resist....even if you wanted to. It was amazing how those people just call out to you to come and see their merchandise. The funny thing is that it is the same stuff the whole way down....purses, fake silver, masks, and some TERRIBLE T-shirts! Mercy! They all swear they can give you a better deal than the last guy! It was fun at first, but it gets to be a little much after a while. You don't know if you should feel sorry for them or be really annoyed with them! We ended up getting some jewelry for Abbie and I and sling shots for the boys. David just wanted to have some tacos like he remembered from his mission. They did NOT disappoint! They were actually quite tasty. Of course, Dave Allen let them know that they didn't put enough meat in his and to load it up! They did for NO extra charge! You won't see that happening here, that's for sure!
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We just walked around the town for a while. Trying to see if there was anything else of interest. It's so heartbreaking to see women with 3 or 4 little kids walking around on the streets begging for you to buy little packets of gum from them! They seemed so desperate! I just kept thinking how grateful I was for all I had! It made me miss my own kids and wish that I could just help EVERYONE!
The life here is WAY different! I guess that's nothing new to any of us. It was just really interesting to see a day in the life of these people. They have these HUGE fish markets...everything was out in the open! Flies and everything! WOW...that's all I have to say about that!

WOW! What a handsome guy, huh? I have just enjoyed being married to David. He is such a great person! I really do look forward to each day being with him! I never thought married life could be so fun! I'm sure it has a lot to do with him being a peace maker. But I SOOO appreciate him! He really does bring out the best in me! I know, I know...enough of the mushy stuff.....
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Well...I gotta stay on the mushy side a little more...I LOVE these friends! I just enjoyed every minute and feel like I know them all better! I will always cherish the memories from this trip! I hope we can do something like this again!
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I know, it's a little out of order...but I'm a little tired of writing about this trip and refuse to figure out how to shuffle, so I'll just continue. This was one of the things they had to entertain us while on the ship. A guy making a sculpture out of ice. Can you see what it is? If I remember right, it is 2 love birds forming a heart or something like that. It's fascinating to watch!

David and I
Jason and Shelly
Dave and Jessica
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Our last night on the cruise, both of the Davids decided to parade in their robes from the rooms. I couldn't help but get out my camera...don't they look fantastic in their attire? I thought so too!!!! I THOUGHT this was going to "Be all for now Folks"....but as you can see, there are still a couple of more collages to finsih off this trip!
This really is funny....we STARTED off the trip with a tire that was "low"...we stopped at a gas station every 2 hours to fill it really, this was just inevitable. Is that the way you spell it? Don't know... Anyway, we are happy that we made it ON the cruise looking back, because on the way HOME....all of a sudden "POW!!!!" The tire went flat! Of course Dave will tell you that it was the tire that I was sitting over, but c' was waiting to happen! Back me up here folks! I got out the trusty ole' camera to document such a fun time! It was fun watching the guys figure out how to get that spare tire from under the Suburban. That only took like 10 minutes...and by then, a cop stopped to check on us...Of course Dave has to talk to him and then needs his picture with his hands up on their truck. I guess he's practicing for when it really happens, huh? No, just kidding....
Well, it sure was fun and I'm glad to say I've finally finished documenting this trip. NOte to self: Don't take so many pictures next time! I never did go and get pictures from everyone else, I decided I was overwhelmed with how many I took.
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Nov 1, 2009

Cruise to Ensenada and Catalina Part 3

There are always lots of things going on during the cruise. Something I always looked forward to was the evening meal in the "Destiny Dining Room". This is the area that we got some GREAT food! I tried Lobster for my first time....and Veal Parmigian. While we ate, we always had some form of entertainment. There was a man named Constantine that sang to us, or this picture is Menoj the magician from India. He had some cool card tricks. Dave Allen even tried to get him to teach him a trick to do at home. Menoj was really nice and came over to teach him and then Dave tried to mess him up! You had to be there to understand everything I write about. I am just trying to write some things down to remember the trip.

This picture is due to an ongoing joke we had during the cruise. The day we were getting off the ship to go to Catalina, these 3 guys were ahead of us in line to get on the water taxi. They were kind of flirty with me....teasing me and stuff. We kept bumping into the them....and they didn't seem to mind flirting even though we all had our husbands around. Well, when we saw this picture of them, we had to have some I picked it up and look like I am in love with them...

During the cruise, there are photographers that set up these cheesy backgrounds and these pictures of everyone on the cruise are up on display the whole time. We thought we would take some pictures of our own. The camera guys were NOT happy with us! Hence, not too many pictures of us in these "prime spots".... we do have the "Charlie's Angels" one of us.
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Oh are Dave and Jason. Dave always had some kind of "different" picture he wanted to have taken. He walked up to an Asian lady he had never seen before and asked her if she would be in a picture with him. She looked kind of worried and said, "That's my husband over there!" And Dave said, "That's ok...that's my wife over there, I just want to get a picture with you!" She was so patient and actually waited with him and got a picture with him. The camera guy didn't let us take the shot with our camera....but I still have to include the funny things that happened...Just use your imagination for what the picture looked like!
We were so excited to go to a dance one of the nights that had all 80's music! SOOO fun! I got excited to see that I kind of matched the dance place with my zebra print!

We had fun playing cards while watching the ship out at sea. Such a relaxing atmosphere! I wish our cruise was longer! As if we didn't eat enough on the ship, we had our snacks and drinks out.

Dave and David. Just relaxing after the Ping Pong tournament.

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We had the same waitress each night in the Destiny Dining Room. Ours was named "TaTa". I think she was from Thailand, and we couldn't pronounce her name, so she told us to call her Tata. Easy enough, huh?
Here we are with Blessing. (That's really his name). He is the one that took care of our room for us. REALLY nice guy! Another funny story, Dave Allen told Blessing he had a complaint about the room. He told him he didn't get enough chocolates left on his bed! Well, turns out, our room was the last one that Blessing took care of....and Dave Allen had a different person. Blessing still left us like 10 chocolates each night becuase of Dave's comment. Each night we came into our room, there were towels folded on our bed in a different shape. I forgot to get a couple of them, but here are 3. Pretty cute, huh? An elephant, a pig and a frog.

I just couldn't believe all there was to do on this ship! We played a game of "HORSE"....I lost quickly. I would like to think that the reason why my shots weren't going in was because of the wind.

Miniature golfing at sunset! Doesn't get any prettier than that! We had so much fun. If you notice in these pictures, there is a red colored track that people could run on that goes around part of the golf course. One couple was having so much fun watching us, that they started to cut through half of the track so they could keep watching us. Cute, huh?

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Here are the guys warming up for the ping pong tournament. Don't know how well they did, cuz we went downstairs to play cards. I think they just had fun.