Sunday, November 30, 2008

When cooking goes very wrong...

Do you ever have one of those days when things just turn out wrong? Today is that day for me.
My good intentions in the kitchen failed miserably.
Enjoy my misery...
These are supposed to be magic bars.

Being the die hard chocolate lovers that we are - we're still going to try a taste.


Apparently I did something wrong with this loaf of bread.
video
Oh yeah - we're still going to eat it - I'm off to fetch a chisel!
Tell me I'm not the only one with days like this...

Friday, November 28, 2008

A fun-filled Thanksgiving!

Ah, Thanksgiving. What is better than enjoying great food, family, and friends - all in one weekend? Here's a rundown...

Dinner was found at my humble abode this year. I learned that it is dangerous to seat my dad and brother at a table full of food and expect them to wait for the prayer. As I was taking this picture - I noticed the heaping mounds of (half-eaten) food upon their plates. They clearly could not be bothered with formalities such as saying "cheese" at my picture-taking attempts. Did they forget about my ruthless tendencies to post embarrassing photos? Like from
this post?







Note the cup. The beautiful, perfect cup.











We had so much fun! Seriously, few people (if any) are funnier than my two brothers. When they get together - I never know what will come out of their mouths. And I just laugh. Usually I'm blubbering and drooling because I'm laughing so hard. I blame them for headache today - my laughter hangover.

Then - guess what I did today?!!!

WOOT! I met more blogging friends!!

Binders, Pam, Kitchen Ditcher, Tink and Moi

I have had so much fun getting to know my friends and fellow bloggers. You are all such beautiful, lovely women and I am so happy to know you!

After lunch - I met my hubcap and we picked out this..















I will have to blog about our tree incident one of these days - which is why we now buy real trees. Forgive me MCF.

Tomorrow, Todd and I are supposed to head up to the Yellowstone area to pick up the girls.
















Usually - I jump all over the idea of a weekend jaunt up to that neck of the woods. Truly it is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

But all I really want to do this weekend is this:






Except I would be enjoying a bag of crazy bread instead.






Tonight - we're off to Twilight!

It's been a fabulous weekend and Thanksgiving and I'm reminded - it's only FRIDAY! I still have two more glorious weekend days. For that I am definitely thankful!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Food, glorious food!

I have found the perfect antidote for beating the blues:


An early Thanksgiving dinner












Family













And lots of hugs

















We had Thanksgiving dinner tonight at my mother-in-laws house. It was SCRUMPTIOUS! We are having dinner at my house on Thursday and I hope that my offerings are 1/8th as good as hers.

**Thanks to all of you wonderful friends who commented and sent me emails with advice for fighting discouragement. Your words touched my heart. Thank you! I feel soo much better tonight.

Have a great week!!

Discouragement

Last night I found myself feeling discouraged, resentful, and slightly angry - familiar feelings that I had hoped would stay forever in the past.

I asked myself the 'why' questions. Questions that have no answers - at least not in this life.


This morning, I was still discouraged. This scripture came to mind:


"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." D&C 122:7

Clearly, my life has not been so dramatic as to be cast into a pit or into the hands of murderers, but I will admit to feeling sorry for myself in the past for some of the things that have happened. Trials that are meant to give me experience.

I started a quest about a year ago to draw closer to the Savior and to leave the past behind me. To trust the Lord. To follow Him. To have faith.

Faith has been a difficult lesson for me to learn. I like to 'see' what I believe. I like tangible evidence. But as I've grown more faithful - so has my testimony grown.

I suppose it is normal for the old feelings to pop up now and again. I've learned a few things that have helped me to put it all into perspective. Tricks to reject the negativity and keep it out of my life.

This music/video helped me today. Take a minute and watch.

What do you do when you feel discouragement? What helps you to put things into perspective?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Great day with friends!

Alyssa, Binders, Sher, Me, Frumpy, Mother Board, and Moxie (Debbie and her son Tyler came later).

I met these great ladies today! Before today they were just names and pictures on their blogs. Today they are friends.
Lunch was a lot of fun - it was great to finally meet all of you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Twilight Obsession

My cute girls are obsessed with Twilight.
OBSESSED!
They have read the books.
Reread the books.

Rereread the books.
Bought Twilight clothes.
Made Twilight clothes.

They have blogged about Twilight.
Dreamt about Twilight.
Dreamt about Edward.
Donated blood (seriously).
BEGGED for movie tickets to the midnight showing tonight (there is no school tomorrow - how convenient).
And have made me chuckle because of all the craze!!
Tonight is the movie and they are just a wee bit excited!!
My ladies - have a great time!
Are you going to the movie? Are you Twilight crazed too?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bloggerama

Not that I'm trying to brag or anything (okay - I admit that I'm totally bragging) - but I get to meet some of my favorite bloggers this month! Frump/Wonder Woman/ Julie/Motherboard?/ Sher?/Binders (who has been my bud since before the Driver's Ed incident) will be hangin' with me on Saturday.

Next week it's time to dish it with Kitchen Ditcher and Pam at Comcewens!! I might possibly even meet Shaila at DaBergs (hoping)!

Is anyone else going to be there? Tink?

Wahoo! Life is good.

Red is doin the hoodoo dance!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gift Exchange - last chance!

If you want to join in the gift exchange - please let me know by tomorrow morning. Here are the details.

These ladies have signed up to play...

Deb, Lonna, Alyssa, Linda, Sharon, Jeni, Lisa, Jody, Cindy, Shellie and moi.

Your secret person will be emailed to you by tomorrow night! Wahoo!!

Jody

My friend Jody lost her father today. I'm sure she would appreciate some kind words. Please visit her blog here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Todd is soooo Busted

Tonight I was hanging up clothes in our closet.


Very innocent looking, don't you think?







As I was looking for a spare hanger, I found this...

A grocery bag was tucked neatly between his shirts.















Huh?

Upon closer inspection (because inquiring minds really want to know), I found this....



The motherload of chocolate.













Several things jostled around in my mind as I scurried for the camera to blog about my findings.
Why did he hide chocolate? Is he afraid I will get mad? That's silly - we have a pretty darn good marriage and he doesn't have to worry about 'hiding' things from me.

Did he forget that there is a stash of leftover halloween candy in our living room?























So after teasing him relentlessly (because that's my job), I asked him why he hid the chocolate.
The reason?

This kid.
Connor is our resident chocoholic and can sniff out the edible goodness within minutes.

Apparently, Todd wanted to hide some for himself before Connor got to it.

The perfect ending to a weekend. I love my little family and their shenanigans.

But, do tell - do you hide things from your kids? Do you have secret stashes?

Forgiveness


Wherefore I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is requred to forgive all men.
D&C 64: 9-10

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weekend Love!

Kids home? Check

Dinner? Check

Clean house? Uh - good enough. Check!

Weekend? Check!!

Time to check out my friends blogs? CHECK!!!

The weekend is here and I'm on the prowl. You may want to make your blogs private in the next few minutes because I'm going to check out everyone on my sidebar! None of your blogs are safe! Bwahahaha!

I love the weekends!

On my mark. Get set. GO!



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A confession

My kids love oranges - but I'm an apple kinda girl.

A lot of people I know love the color blue. But It's just not my thing.

And, my dear friends - I'm the lady who puts up her Christmas tree before Thanksgiving although a lot of people think it's a sin!


Except that it usually looks more like this....



And I have bravely, brazenly, bold faced-ly (is that a word) changed my blogging template to a Christmas theme in mid-November.

Can we still be friends? =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Secret Santa - Blogger Style!

I received a lot of responses in favor of a Christmas Gift Exchange. So here we go!!

**DEADLINE TO SIGN UP IS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17 - 6:00 PM (mst)**

1) Send me an email with your name and mailing address to redhoodoos at gmail.com

2) In the email, share your favorite color, music, snack/treat, type of music, books - and anything else you think your Secret Santa may want to know about you (decorating colors and style, etc).

3) Everyone who signs up will get to be a Secret Santa to someone. You will also be the recipient of a Secret Santa.

**I WILL SEND AN EMAIL TO YOU WITH THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU ARE 'GIVING TO' BY TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18**

1) Please keep your gifts under $25 if possible.

2) Once you receive the name of the person you are giving to - have fun! Familiarize yourself with her blog and personality and make this a fun event for her. Send her secret cards or anonymous comments before sending the gift if you'd like.

3) Try and keep your identity a secret until the end!


**FINALLY - MAIL YOUR GIFT DURING THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 8**

**Note - I will be extremely careful about who participates. Only bloggers that have existing blogs can join in the fun. I will post the blog names of everyone participating.
These bloggers have signed up to play Santa!

Calling off the Wesley Berry Anger Post!

The refund was in my account yesterday - as they promised.

I wasn't defrauded (like I feared) but it was a whole lot of inconvenient and the customer service was AWFUL.

Sooo.....buyer beware. For me - I'll be using a mom and pop's floral shop from now on!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas Gift Exchange

Come back Tuesday for more information about the Christmas gift exchange. (I'll try to put it up tomorrow but it's going to be a crazy busy day). This will be fun!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Christmas Love

I would love to send all of my blogging friends a Christmas card next month.

If you are interested in receiving a card from moi - please send me an email with your address to redhoodoos at gmail dot com.

I hereby promise not to stalk, send bombs, give your address to anyone else, or tape cat fur to the card (sorry Janell - sometimes my cat obsession just eeks out in odd places).

Also - I think it would be fun to do a Christmas gift exchange with each other. Let me know if you're interested and I'll post something early this week.

If you are interested in a gift exchange - let me know the following:
1) Would you want your identity to be a secret until the time your person receives the gift from you? Or would you like it to be known from the start?
2) Should there be a gift $ limit? If so, what amount do you think it should be?


YAY - I'm finally starting to feel the Christmas spirit!!

Beware of Wesley Berry Flowers!

I'm sending an email and posting about an experience I had - to warn you of a horrible company that I think defrauded me.

The company is WESLEY BERRY FLOWERS. Don't go there!! Whatever you do - stay away from this company.

Here is my experience...

A few weeks ago I googled florists and found this company. Their website is very professional and looked pretty legitimate. It's at
http://www.wesleyberryflowers.com/

Have any of you ever heard of them?

I called customer service and ordered flowers and a dozen cookies. I wanted them sent to someone in a hospital out of state. I gave them my credit card. The money was taken out of my account the same day.

The next day I received an email from this company saying that they didn't have my item in stock and it wasn't delivered. Huh? An email? A day later?

I called them and asked what they were going to do. "I will request a refund for you. You will receive a refund in your account in 10-15 business days."

What?!! Why did they even take the money out of my account if they didn't have the item in stock? Couldn't they have found this out sooner so the recipient could still get her flowers before she checked out of the hospital?

So I've been silently fuming the last few weeks. Each day I check my account. Each day the refund is not there.

I decided to call them today. Clearly, I was not happy. I was ready to tell them of their poor customer service.

As a side note - it really takes a lot to get me mad. I am a pretty easy-going person.

I called a few minutes ago and spoke with a woman in their customer service department.

Me: Poor you. You had to take this phone call. I'm not happy at all.
Her: Sigh. Were you just speaking to someone? (I thought this was fairly 'telling')
Me: No.
Her: Sigh. What's the matter?

I explained the situation. Told her I was unhappy that they debited the money out of my account if the item wasn't even available. blah blah blah.

Her: Just a minute. Click - she put me on hold. I wait. MAAM - Your money will be taken out within 24 hours.
Me: You mean it will be put back 'into' my account, right?
Her: Oh yes, that's what I meant. Thanks for calling. BYE.
Me: Wait!
Her: Click.

She hung up on me.

I was sooo not done with that conversation. I didn't hear one "sorry for the inconvenience". Not even a simple "sorry". Nothing but rudeness. I was calm throughout the entire conversation. Never once was I rude to her.

I called her back because now I was as mad as a hornet. I wasn't going to be calm anymore!! Someone picked up the phone and hung it up again.

!

I am just astounded. I got online and found that I'm clearly not the only one who has had problems with this company. There were pages and pages of complaints.

I will be calling a manager on Tuesday morning if there is not a refund in my account.

It's not the money that upsets me. It's the way I've been treated. They took my money. Didn't send the flowers and then told me it would be 2-3 weeks before I would get my money back.

I don't understand why some people/companies can't be honest and forthright.

So beware of this company. Tell your friends to beware. It is a nationwide online florist. I hope I see my money on Monday - but I'm not counting on it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On a happy note - have a great Sunday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Making lemonade out of lemons..

It happens every year. Whether we like it or not - we can all expect to get older. Unfortunately, it's that time of year for me. If I'm still blogging next year you will get to hear (er, read) my whining, kicking, and screaming because it will be the year of the big 40! Holy cow - 40! (But I don't want to talk about that.)

At the risk of sounding doom and gloom - it seems like something bad happens every November. Seriously, every year in November there is an incident of some sort.

One year I hit a dog. Another year it was the Driver's Ed incident (which was really the last week of October, but I'm counting it). One year I was called to work the shift for a girl who was murdered the night before (this was a horrific experience for me). Last year was the mother load of multiple bad incidents. Go here to be truly entertained! (It was technically my first blog post).

It is seriously uncanny.

So every year I usually brace myself and just wait for the events to unfold. I tend to get pretty discouraged during the month of November. But this year I'm going to try to have a positive mindset through it all. Of course I can't control everything that happens, but I can control my responses to the events. I can be grateful.

So far this month, there have been a couple of incidents. Nothing major, and I really hope this is it! I can handle this.

Yesterday at 6:00 am I received a phone call from my husband and son, who were stranded in our season's first big snow storm. They couldn't make it up the hill that goes up our mountain. Cops were patrolling the hill and we were worried that they would close it to all traffic (as they often do in the winter). But hey - positive mindset, right? I drove down in a sturdier vehicle, picked them up, and brought them home! No roads were closed. It all turned out okay! They made it home safe and sound.

I was hoping that was going to be my only "November Incident" this year. But alas - I had another one this morning.

This morning, I was driving to pick up Connor from swim practice. I took a freeway exit and headed for the left turn lane when I heard a pop and a hissssss. 30 seconds later my back tire was completely flat. Fortunately, I made it through the light and I pulled into a parking lot, and just sat there trying to figure out what to do.

I really tried to find the good in this incident.

The Good News - I have a husband who can fix anything!
The Bad News - he left his cell phone at home.

So, I called his desk. No answer. I had him paged - Victory Was MINE! He would leave work to rescue his wife who was in distress.

While I waited, and while looking for the positive in this little issue - guess what I found?



My camera!! I soooo launched into blogging mode.

This is how I felt about having a flat tire:




Luckily, my dear husband came to my rescue. (Except that he wasn't too thrilled about me taking his picture doing manly things...) And luckily my son found another ride to school.




Todd messed around with the tire for a while before telling me the bad news - we didn't have the tool that he needed to get the spare.

But he had a great idea! Let's take the tire off of the car and drive it to Big O. They can patch the tire and then we can drive back and throw the tire on the vehicle.

Except that the tire had a gaping hole in the side and couldn't be 'patched'.

But as luck would have it - I had 4 snow tires in the back of the car.


I was actually going to have them installed on Saturday - but hey - there's no time like the present! So off we drove to Big O on this beautiful Thursday morning.

And here I am again - a happy camper!


I'm sooo hoping that this post is the end of my infamous bad November luck for 2008. But if not, I'm sure blog land will be the first to know!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Todd and Creature are sooooo in the DOG HOUSE!

Yes, it's another cat post - AND IT'S AN ANGRY CAT POST!



I am the angry elf.

I realize that after this post I may lose both of my readers - but please find it in your hearts to allow me to rant about the conspiracy that has been brewing, BEHIND MY BACK, in the walls of my own home.

First, behold the cutest cat in the world. Surely there has never been a more lovable feline.



Even the biggest cat hater EVER has to admit that he is downright adorable.



For years I have lovingly cared for this cat. He adores me. He follows me everywhere I go. We have an understanding. When I come home, I call for my cat. I hear him jump off of my bed and he runs down the stairs. He rubs against me and purrs. He loves his mommy. (Yes, I just said that. Please don't mock me.)

But he has betrayed me.

Because this guy bought catnip.

Oh, he may look sweet. Handsome. Innocent. But don't let that cute face fool you. He has beguiled my cat into thinking that HE is the cat's meow.

Todd has used this past weekend to his advantage and has gained major brownie points with my cat. He has spent the weekend feeding him catnip drugs. Today he came home before me and laced Creature's cat food with it.

HOW CAN I COMPETE WITH THAT?

Now, when I come home - he doesn't come running. When Todd calls him - Creature scampers to his new master. He stares at Todd with eyes full of anticipation for the never-ending catnip.

I just want you to know that I am not happy about this.

There is no point to this post. There is no moral. There is no ending question in an effort to get comments. This is it.

I am an angry elf.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grateful

Wonderful Kitchen Ditcher left a comment on my blog and said "You are so blessed with your family Red." That made me beam from ear to ear - because she is so right.
Aren't we all lucky to have loved ones? People that mean the world to us?
Here are some random photos from the busy last two weeks.

Connor's first swim meet (He's the swimmer on the far right)



Connor - I'm so proud of you~!


Larissa's Choir Concert. She's the beauty in red/black.

She is such a sweetheart.


Creature snuggling with Elora. He can't decide if he's a cat or a human. Children and animals love to be around Elora. So do I.

I had to laugh at Elora's socks...



They just don't look comfortable to me! LOL.



My amazing husband.


Finally, here is a portion of a letter from my missionary son, Darren.

"I realized also that I haven't always been the best son and that it has taken some real patience to raise a child like me! Yikes! I think I get it now... I thought I had it back then.

To my Moms! As far as support and love I've never seen better examples of unselfishness and forgivness than I have seen come from both of them. I sure pushed them to the limits! But I really can't believe how much I am missing them. Of all the "things" I thought I would miss I didn't really understand just how much my family means to me.I find that I am not catching myself saying, "gee, I wish I had spent more time working" or "I should have gotten in one last 'Halo Night' with my friends." Instead I find that the things I miss most were the ones I spent the least amount of time with.

I wish we had had more game nights, more time to fish, more trips through the mountains picking berries, more fun times feeding the squirrels at Bryce. My family(s), and just how lucky am I to have two of them! Mean everything to me! I wish I had helped out more, spent more time working on cars or making the burden lighter for my parents."

I am so thankful for my family.