Monday, December 21, 2009

Family Fun and Cougar Wins!

Thought I'd catch up my blog with everything that's happened this last month. This is a long one, just to warn you. Thanksgiving this year was a little more low key than normal. My little brother and his family couldn't make it up so we didn't have any little kids to play with but it was still a bunch of fun. My big brother Jason made the long drive up and it was so much fun to see him! He came up a week early to go to the BYU/AirForce game with me and he was a good luck charm because they won! We lucked out with getting a win but it turned out to be the coldest game day of the year! It was FREEZING!!!! We all had on about 5 layers of clothing then we wrapped up in blankets, hats scarves and gloves. That worked until the sun went down then it just got colder and colder by the second. We stuck it out for most of the game but did end up leaving early so we could thaw out. We still had a really great time. We ended the day by eating dinner at Famous Dave's. They have the best BBQ! It was a great day! My Mom treated me and my sister to a girls night out and bought us tickets to Bravo Broadway, that played at the Utah Symphony. It had three Broadway singers that took turns singing well known Broadway hits. It was one of the best nights ever! We had so much fun! It was over 2 1/2 hours long but the time seemed to fly by! We really hope they do put it on again next year so we can make this a girls' family tradition. Thanks Mom!!! Dad turned 66 and we had a little party for him. I love that his birthday is always around Thanksgiving so I get to spend it with him every year! Love ya Dad! The morning of Thanksgiving was our wards annual Turkey Trot around the neighborhood. We had a few more people show up this year than last, which was still not as big as we'd like but I'm sure we'll get more each year we do it. It was freezing cold that morning also but we all had a great time. For as much food as I ate later that day, I'm really glad I got some exercise that morning. :) Jason got sick the day before Thanksgiving and ended up not even eating anything the whole day. Poor Jason! Fortunately he felt better in time for the biggest rivalry in college football, the BYU vs. Utah game! But unfortunately, by Dad caught his bug, so my sister went in Dad's place. Poor Dad! This was only the 3rd BYU vs. Utah game he has ever missed since he started getting tickets in the '60's. But Michelle had fun in his place. Michelle ended up sitting with me and Jason was with Mom. You couldn't have asked for a better game! The Coogs were sleeping for most of the first quarter. It was pretty scary there for a bit. They got their first, first down with 6 minutes in the first quarter!!! Thankfully they woke up and put a bunch of points on the board. Then they fell asleep again and let the Utes slowly chip away at the lead until they ended up tying it at the end of regulation play and they had to decide it in overtime!!! Talk about a nail biter!!! The Utes got the ball first and the Coogs held them to a field goal. Then it was the Coogs turn!!!! The Utes were all over the Coogs and it was third down. We needed this play to work or we'd have to settle for a field goal to tie. Max Hall found Andrew George in double coverage, he hit him right in the hands. George grabbed it and held on for dear life expecting to get creamed from both sides, as the two Utes were running at him from opposite directions, but they missed him! They went for the ball instead for going for the tackle and the two Utes ended up crashing into each other and George ran it in for the touchdown and the win!! I still get goosebumps thinking of that play!!! Tons of people stormed the field, I was too chicken and up too high, but everyone went crazy including my sister and I! We were jumping up and down and screaming like little girls! My Cougar Tail I'd bought to bring home was trampled in the excitement. We cracked up over finding it smashed on the floor. (That's a really long maple bar for those not in the know.) What a great game!!!! I love it when the Coogs smash those wimpy Utes!!! Bragging rights until next year are ours!!! You gotta love it! A few days later we went over to Winder Dairy for our annual tradition of eating hot yummy scones with honey butter! I love Winder Dairy! I love that you can still have milk delivered to your house by a Milk Man if you want! I just love it! The Winders had all decorated their houses with cute cow lights. It just isn't December without a drive down Winder Lane. A few week ago we got our first big snow storm and man oh man did it dump on us. We had over a foot of snow that day. We're supposed to get another big storm like that starting tonight. I'm happy about the storm because the snow had almost melted away. You gotta have a white Christmas! My dear friend Shelley found out that she had uterine cancer and had a complete hysterectomy the first week of December. She is a wonderful and amazing woman! As the day of her operation approached she decided to have a "Farewell to my uterus" party. It was packed with her friends and family that love her and we all had a blast. She found out a few days ago that they got to her cancer before it had spread! Thank you Heavenly Father for watching out for my friend! I love you Shelley! My friend from work and I send out Christmas Cards every year as a joke to everyone in our office and a bunch of random people too. Here is this year's picture. Anita is the best! Last but not least this weekend was a time to fit in as many get together as I possibly could before leaving for Phoenix. We had our Relief Society Christmas dinner, a get together with some old mission companions and a "Chocolate and Cheese" party at my place with some wonderful friends from the neighborhood. I didn't get any pictures of the last parties but rest assured we had a blast! I'm so grateful to have such amazing and wonderful friends and family in my life to share the holidays with. You all bless my life more than you'll know! I wish you all much love and happiness and a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween time!

Every year Halloween kicks off my favorite time of year...Fall! It's the best! You just can't beat this time of year. I started having a Halloween party a couple years ago. My good friends and their families come over and we play games, carve pumpkins and eat tons of food. This year we kind of skipped all the games and such and just talked all night long. The kids went off and played outside until it was too cold then they moved down stairs. They looked like they had fun even without the games and carving so I'll call it a success by those standards. Annette, James and family where there, along with Rachel, Alex and Judy, Jessica and her darling little ones and Hailey, Clint and their little dude. Jessica had the best adult costume by far. She came as OctoMom and Hailey's little dude Max was the best costume overall with his Lord of the Rings' Hobbit costume! He was adorable! Annette made the best food dish. She made chicken noodle soup but the noodles were in the shape of worms and she added red food coloring to make the broth look bloody. It looked a little kind of nasty but tasted delicious! Way to go Net! Thanks everyone for coming over and making this year's Halloween party a blast! The Thursday before Halloween I and my parents caught a plane to Phoenix for my newest nieces blessing on Sunday, Nov 1st. We had a great time down there. My little nieces are just the cutest little girls! My brother Jason decorated the house all spooky for them and blew up balloons to play with. We started watching a movie later that night and Paisley was so transfixed that instead of walking over to the couch to sit down she grabbed the closest thing possible to sit on. That turned out to be a balloon and to all of our surprise it didn't pop when she sat on it. It was so cute to see her sitting on the balloon watching a movie that I couldn't resist taking a picture. For Halloween Aspen dressed up like a Mermaid and Paisley was a Fairy Princess. You had to make sure not to leave off the Princess part our you'd get in trouble for calling her just a Fairy. So cute. I got together with some friends I hadn't seen since before my mission and went out to lunch on Halloween. It was wonderful to catch up with everyone! I forgot my camera of all crazy things so I'll have to steal it from someones facebook account when they post it. Marlowe's blessing on Sunday was very nice. Joey got a little choked up at the end of it. He's such a softy! Teri used the same beautiful blessing dress her other daughters were blessed for Marlowe and she looked adorable of course. She doesn't quite know who I am so didn't really like it when I held her but I got a few pictures of her. Her hair is the absolute best how it sticks out all over! She is so stinking cute! My parents and I flew back to Utah this morning and I raced over to work. Another fun weekend but now it's back to business. Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Behold, the power of cheese!

Went to Melting Pot with my Mom and Dad the other day and it was delicious! For those not in the know, the Melting Pot is a fondue place in downtown SLC. It has tons of different types of fondue, some cheese, some chocolate and then there are some broth fondue's that you cook your meat in at your table. So cool. This was our chocolate desert. I'm drooling just looking at it. For our appetizers we had cheese fondue with veggies, bread and fruit to dip in it. I'd forgotten how cheese can make everything taste like heaven! I was grabbing anything I could get my hands on just to make sure I could dip SOMETHING in the cheese...a penny, breath mint, anything! I couldn't spoon that stuff into my mouth fast enough! While we were eating I couldn't help remember back to when I was a little kid. My parents were always trying to make us be healthy by torturing us with "green, leafy veggies". I despised them. Especially brussel sprouts, spinach and lima beans (I get that lima beans are technically a "bean" but they are so odious to the taste buds that I have always lumped them in this category. Plus, their green so it kind of works.) It never failed. Every night at dinner something green and leafy was placed on the table, and the war of wills would start! Michelle, was the brown nosing, oldest child and would take her heaping spoonful of glop with a smile on her face, and then pass it on to me. I'd hold onto the bowl for a few seconds and maybe stir the contents, so it looked like I was dishing it up, and then pass it right onto my brother Jason, without putting any on my plate! Jason, oddly enough like everything green, except for peas. Go figure. But I digress. So after fooling everyone with my trickery, I'd dive into the main dish or the mashed potatoes with relish, until the bowl would get to my father, then the jig was up. My dad would look at everyone's plates before dishing up his helping and would ultimately see something missing from my plate. "Zan, did you take some veggies?" he'd ask. I'd just sit their staring at him like I didn't understand what he was saying. Then he'd ask again. Now you couldn't lie or you'd get spanked, so I usually had to fess up at that time, and to reward my honesty, he'd dish me up a huge spoonful of whatever crap was being served. But that was only half the battle. He still had to get me to eat it and that's when the real war would start. The rule was you couldn't leave the table until you'd eaten everything on your plate. Normally I'd just give in and eat them but there were some nights I'd end up falling asleep at the table because I was so stubborn. Man, I was a brat, wasn't I? But this terrible behavior did have some reward. Every now and then, taking pity on us, dad would make a cheese sauce to pour over the greens so we'd eat them without complaint, and it worked. Ladies and Gentlemen, if a simple cheese sauce can get a brat like me to eat BRUSSEL SPROUTS without crying and whining, you know it must be the most powerful substance on the earth! The CIA should use it in their interrogations! Forget water boarding, just have have someone in the room eating something smothered in cheese and tell the insurgent that he can't have any until he spills the beans on his terrorist organization. They'd be amazed at how fast he starts talking. :) Mmmmm...cheese.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Girls night out.

This weekend was General Conference and while the fellas went to the Priesthood Session us girls got together and went shopping! Ton's of the local craft and home decorating shops have caught onto this event and have special sales just for the girls. This year we went to Ti Pan Trading Company and got some fun decorations than ran over to Gardner Village to check out their deals. Gardner Village is one of the cutest places to go. They have tons of little shops that they decorate for all the holidays. One of the funniest things I found in one of the toy shops were these Twilight Bella and Edward dolls! I can only imagine what type of crazy nutcase fan would want to buy those dolls. Sadly enough the sales lady said they had sold tons of them. Wow! Who knew! I guess they are kind of like Barbies and I did have a couple of those growing up, so maybe it's not that weird. But only if your under the age of 10! We took some fun pictures with the witches they had scattered around. We had a blast! Too bad Conference only comes along twice a year. :)

Last of Summer and Kick off of Fall!

So I've been a slacker and have neglected my blog these last few weeks. School is going well but is tough. I try to squeeze in as much studying as possible but still fail miserably at getting as much in as I'd like, but that's OK. B's get degrees right? :) My goal is to get an A on the last 5 Unit tests I have so we'll see how it goes. These first few pictures are from our Ward Camp out that was back in August. We had a great time there and had a pretty good turn out. It was in a little camp the church owns back in Midway, with a pond that has a zip line. The kids took turns riding the zip line across the lake but it always got stuck in the middle so they ended up getting to take a dunk in the lake. There was even a moose and her baby that paid us a visit, from a safe distance, thank heavens. They had canoes and we had some canoe races. It was a great spot. We had a potluck for dinner one night and ton's of ward members drove up just for that and the little program around the camp fire. I made my famous chicken and veggies in a butter cream sauce. Delicious! We roasted marshmallows and had Smores, the last of the season. Everyone had a great time. My awesome friend Kim turned 33 and her family threw her a fabulous birthday party at their house. Check out her cake!!! Burgers, swimming and ton's of fun! To top off the great day we even watched the BYU vs. Oklahoma game where the mighty Y beat Oklahoma!! Take that ya Sooners! I have to admit that win had visions of a National Championship dancing in my head. Those visions ended just a few weeks later when the Coogs met up with Florida St, but it was good while it lasted. Happy Birthday Kim! Love ya! Sept 10th was a day I look forward to every year. It's not exactly because of the date but because that is when the State Fair is here!!! I love the Fair. It's just plain luck that my office is within walking distance from the fair grounds so a friend and I have made a tradition over the past few years of going to the fair for lunch. It's the one time a year that I have to eat a giant corn dog, no exceptions and just about everything else there. This year I had the corn dog, half of a Phillie cheese steak sandwich and part of the strawberry smothered "Elephants ear" that Laurel got. I was in fair food heaven! There were some super cute bears at the fair this year that performed and so we sat and watched them play in the water and roam their cage. Kind of sad if you think about it too much it gave us a very rare opportunity to see one of these beautiful creatures up close and personal. I was about 5 feet away from that big guy when I was taking pictures. The fair never let's you down and this year was no exception. We checked out the pigs on the way back to work. Cute little piggies! I recently got called to be the 2nd counselor in the Stake Young Women's and our first big event was to put on a Standards Night for the youth. The topic was about dating and all the do's and don't they should follow. It turned out really well. The speakers had that perfect mix of seriousness and humor that helped the kids see how much fun dating can be when you stick to church guidelines. I think the kids got some great dating advice, me too for that matter! I should be a dating queen after this, right? :) My friend Annette came up with the decorations and I just had to take a picture of them. So talented Annette! She's the best! We served chocolate cake, plain and strawberry cheese cake and carrot cake with some punch at the end of the event. I ended up getting season tickets to BYU football this year and it's been fun going to the games. Well, the Florida St game was the most painful game I've ever sat through but the other's haven't been too bad. I took my niece to the Colorado St game and it was fun to sit and talk to her about all the fun things happening in her life. She turned 14 this year and is really looking forward to driving and dating in the future. I was trying to think about what I was doing when I was 14 and we had just moved to Phoenix. Wow, that was a long time ago. :) She is a really good kid, for the most part. I guess we'll keep her. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bear Lake fun and New little niece in Phoenix

This weekend was probably the last weekend for some fun before school starts on the 26th so I had to really pack it in. Annette and her family and I went to Bear Lake for a couple of days and had a food extravaganza while we were at it. On the way there we stopped at LaBeau's in Logan and had the Mammoth burgerJame's brother in law had been talking about for a while and I'm glad we stopped. It was the biggest burger I've ever seen! It was seriously the size of your face and piled about 6" high with nothing but meat! Well, that's not true, they did through in the mandatory piece of lettus and a slice of tomato but the rest was meat heaven! There were honestly about 10 layers of the stuff! It had hamburger patties, slices of ham, pastrami, bacon and cheese, and there were two layers of everything! It's insane! Annette chickend out and got the chicken cordon bleu sandwich which looked really good, but me and James went for the mammoth! James finished his and was actually able to walk out to the restaurant under his own power instead of us needing to carry him out. I wimped out and only got through about 1/4 before I though I was going to explode, but it was well worth the tummy ache. Two thumbs up LaBeau's! We also went to Bear Lake Pizza for the Old Ephraim I'd told them about last year and dug in! It was as good as I remembered it! The crust seriously rocks! That's my favorite thing about pizza. Annette's showing you just how enormous this puppy is! It's crazy big but delicious. Bear Lake it's self was beautiful, the water was awesome and we had a really fun time playing in it. The trick is to stay in the water long enough that you get numb, then it really does feel good. :) We arrived in Bear Lake on Thursday night and I took off Friday night because I'd scored a really good deal on a flight to Phoenix for Saturday morning and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go down and see my new little niece Marlowe. She is just adorable, as expected, and I had fun seeing the rest of my family. Aspen is a crack up! We were eating dinner and we had corn on the cob. Joey asked someone to pass the margarine and Aspen said, "Do you know Spanish Dad?" We all cracked up over that one. Who knew margarine was a Spanish word? She also got mooned by a boy cousin and started fanning herself with her hand and said "Us princesses aren't used to that." She is seriously a crack up! Paisley, will go over to the couch, sit down and then pat her lap, thus signaling that she wants to hold Marlowe. It's so cute to see her do that! Man, I miss those little kids when I'm gone! Paisley and Aspen were a blast and boy do they love their new little sister! It's always hard to come home after visiting with them. I wish we lived closer together. I'll have to start working on them to move up here.