Friday, October 30, 2009

Lots and Lots of Chili

Growing up we always went trick-or-treating and my mom usually made our costumes. Like Raggedy Ann, clown, punk rockers, an angel, a ballet dancer, one year she even crossed to the dark side and let me be a witch. We looked forward to it all year. Never did I know that my mom pretty much hates Halloween. She doesn't like it at all. Last year I was 9-months pregnant with Elise and had the stomach flu so only got off the couch to go to the bathroom and Rob had taken Robbie to his grandparents' house and my sister had gone blind (true story) and just released from the hospital so my mom had to pass out candy. I think she said at least four times that she didn't like Halloween, but she still answered the door with a smile because I asked her to and it was important to me.

I find that I love Halloween. It's so much fun to get your kids all dressed up and meet all of the neighbors and their kids. Everyone seems to come out to trick-or-treat. Even the neighbors who pull into their garage and shut it before they even get out of the car so they don't have to pretend to want to be your friend or go through the akward motions of getting to know strangers. Even they come out.

This year we're having a block party here with our neighbors tomorrow before trick-or-treating...and possibly a fire afterwards. We so badly want to meet the neighbors we don't know yet and hopefully get to know them ina natural way, see who they are and maybe how we can befriend them.

I thought it would be no big deal to just make all of the chili and have the other neighbors do cornbread and such. Then I realized making chili for between 12-60 people can be quite an undertaking. However after a momentary breakdown it has turned out to be no big deal. (so far, ask me tomorrow when the shindig is over).

I borrowed a huge crockpot-style roaster from my MIL that she uses to cook turkeys in at Thanksgiving and cooked 6 lbs of pinto beans in it on Tuesday. Then put the pintos in the freezer. This morning I chopped 5 huuuuge onions and 3 green peppers and browned 5 lbs of ground beef/turkey, added red wine & tomato paste, the peppers and onions and a whole load of garlic and chili powder. Put all of that in ziplocs and now tomorrow afternoon all Ih ave to do is dump all the ingredients in the crockpots and huge roaster add some tomatoes and tomato sauce and i think...I'll be done. SO if this works, I will be making 30 lbs of chili every Halloween. Why not? It's stress free and then you can invite the whole block over!

Today on my cooking blog I'm posting a recipe for my Aunt Terri's Apple Cider AND the Crockpot Lady's Pumpkin Spice Latte's that I'll be passing out to the parents who come with their little trick-or-treaters. Check it out if you're intersted:

Coming Soon: pictures of the kiddos in their Halloween costumes with all of their friends AND trick-or-treating.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Elise played a huge part, she was just lovely and happy in her chair while the carving took place.

The final product.

Rob was gone for 2 weeks in China. Thankfully it went smoothly and the time actually flew by this time! Anyway when he got home on Thursday night he took FRIDAY OFF!! Which is totally monumental! We had such a fun day as a family. And Sprouts was having a big sale on pumpkins so we bought a couple and Rob and Robbie (mostly Rob carved into the shape of a little monster which was totally cute. Now almost a week later it looks like a shriveled up little goblin or something.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Arizona State Fair

Happy girl as usual.

Over my dead body.

Lego building tent. Free!

Having Lived in Arizona for 13 years you may be shocked to know that my first visit to the fair was yesterday. Or you may just chuckle under your breath and know why I may not have been there. The Arizona State Fair has many positive attractions---Police motorcycles, Fire trucks, free farm area for kids, 12-pound corn dogs (possibly an over-exaggeration). However there are also a few ...not so positive attractions--"Carnies", smoke, filth, obesity lurking behind every food station waving you in and enticing you with said corndogs, smoked turkey legs, homemade lemonade, Navajo tacos, deep-fried twinkies and Oreos.....the list goes on. I'm sure the typical family goes into the fair and drops a good $150 but thanks to Rob's grandparents who are on the Board we had guest passes, free parking passes, free rides it was a great couple hours for our little family.

We got there right at 10 when they open-- saw the sights, rode a few rides, ate the enormous corndog (which was a bargain at $9 when the single dog fed our entire family). Robbie played the pitching game and won an enormous inflatable baseball bat which really has no purpose on this earth besides enticing 4 year olds to beg their parents to spend money on a game they aren't capable of playing correctly....but it made him happy, which in turn made us happy so we really enjoyed ourselves.

Apparently Robbie has no memory of his first visit to Disneyland at 18 months-old, because he was so taken-in and infatuated with it that he has not ceased talking about it for two days and proudly shows off that inflatable bat to anyone who will listen to his ramblings about his trip to the fair. Take that Disneyland! The Arizona State Fair was more memorable to our child! Ha! Thanks so much for the day at the Fair Mona and Papa Boo! Until next year here are a few pics to keep you company.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Wondering Vol. 1

Just wondering if anyone else notices that Wal Mart has 32 lanes available....and usually only opens 3. What the heck is up with that?!! Why do they insist on spending lots of dough on the register, the moving belt, the light-up numbered sign....when they have no intention of using it---ever? I. Just. Don't. Get. It. Couldn't they "rollback" prices even more if they just built the three regsters they were planning to use?

Every time I go there I promise myself to never come back. And then I do.

Just wondering if anyone else notices this phenomenon.

FINALLY Hit the Milestone!

Elise is crawling. I don't even think I need to say more. I'm so excited and so is she. She is so proud of herself and watch out house! Everything is about to be turned upside down. It only took 11 1/2 months for her to figure it out!

Videos coming soon to Rob's youtube channel.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Makin' a Mess

Elise is still not crawling. Yes you read that right. She's not crawling yet. She is eleven months old and does not crawl or walk. I'm pretty sure she's not paralized or 'lame' because if I hold her up she'll grab onto the coffee table with her legs down. She just doesn't want to, which is actually fine with me because she stays where I put her. But as you can see from the picture she gets around if she wants to. While I was showering the other day she got into the basket on my night stand and made a big mess.
Robbie was very concerned about the mess, but hey--it kept her busy AND happy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Rob's business is called Procerex. They make crowns, sell them, etc. He and his dad and his brothers own the business, the sales guys take cookies to doctors offices when they visit. Which is kind of a funny situation because they are visiting dentists...and bringing them sugary lattes and cookies...and the doctors offices LOVE them. But--I digress. I make the cookie dough and my sisters in law and I bake the cookies. So once a week I make 20 dozen chocolate chip cookies and I always keep a few back or else Rob gets fussy with me! Surprisingly enough I don't even eat the cookies anymore they actually make me a little nauseas just looking at them. Pretty much every single member of our family is employed by this company in some way. I'm loving a little extra "cookie money".

Yesterday Elise got her first chocolate chip cookie. Needless to say she LOOOOVED it. She was so proud of herself. There is no way unless over my dead body that Robbie at 10 1/2 months would've been eating cookies. I was going to be a "healthy" mom. Apparently I've gotten over that idealism. If a cookie makes my kid happy while I clean the kitchen, then so be it! Rob left yesterday for two weeks so whatever it takes to keep my sanity while he's gone will be done!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Legitimate Food Blogger

Well, I finally did it--I started my food blog--- . I plan to post recipes, grocery budget tips, and other random ramblings that may or may not pertain to food.

New York, NY the proof is in the pics

NOT EVEN all of the luggage for 11 girls for five days.

No Skycaps were injured in the taking of this picture.

A bus just to take us to the hotel from the airport.

Tavern on the Green

Carriage Ride in Central Park.

Red Bus Tour...before we put on the "Snuggies"

Shayla's 21st Birthday!

At the Today Show---Celebrating Lisa's 50th!

Just had to throw in this bad one of Matt Lauer.

I'm a little lazy. Especially when it comes to anything technical. I'd rather not know how to hook up a dvd player...or program a new phone...or upload pics to the internet. Because then that means...I don't have to do it. But I do know how to upload pics (finally) so I just put it off until it's rude to not do it immediately and then get a lot done at once.

SO all that to say that a few weeks later here are the pictures of NYC. Have I mentioned how much fun it was? AND that I wish I was there now? Anyway, see for yourself.
Most of the group pics are on Lisa's camera so this is just a look.
Thanks for Turning 50 and hating parties Lisa!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Camping...After the Fact

Apparently I've gotten a little behind on life's events! Over Labor Day we went Camping up in Pinetop Lakeside with Rob's mom and her husband. We had a blast. The weather cooperated for the most part, no one got hurt or sick, and we ate our a good time was had by all.
Something I'm learning from all the blogging is that I'm the only person taking pictures around here...and as much as I don't usually enjoy pictures of myself, I think it's high time I was in one or two so that my kids know I was on these outings, trips, events with them! So I'm going to have to remind Rob to take some pics of me, and suck it up and post them even if I don't think they turn out. So there. And P.S. preferably of my "good side" with my chin up and no bad arm pics.
Anyway, thanks for the great time Pam and David! We need to do it more often!