Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Light Rail

Today, the kids and I took advantage of the last day of free rides on the new light rail. It was pretty busy, but not bad. We stood a lot, but standing up in a moving vehicle is a novelty for the kids, so no complaints.

(Don't worry, they're not leaning agains the door as the sign forbids. Just close)

We rode almost the whole line; from the second stop on the west side to the second stop on the east side. That stop is about two miles from my parents' house, so they picked us up and we hung out at their house for a while. We had lunch with them and visited for a little bit, and then they drove us back to the train stop.

I wanted to get on the train by 3:00 so we'd be on the way before rush hour, but that sort of backfired. Turns out the Insight Bowl started at 4:00, so ALL the fans were riding the train to Sun Devil Stadium. Oops.

We had to wait at the stop for two trains before there was one with enough room for us. Then there were more people getting on at the other stops, so we were packed like sardines! But that was only for a couple of miles and most of them got off. We got to sit down for the last half of our ride home.
It was a different way to spend the day. We had a good time & saw a lot of stuff!

Christmas 2008

It's about time I post about Christmas!

We had a great Christmas. Santa was good to everyone, the kids were happy, and the parents were happy.

We drove around on Christmas Eve to look at lights and get the kids sleepy. Then we came home and ate cinnamon rolls, and set one out for Santa. The kids had to go to bed right away so Santa wouldn't have to eat a cold cinnamon roll. The note Erin left let him know his cup of milk was in the fridge. Why would Santa want tepid milk?

My parents came over at 7:00 on Christmas morning and we got the kids up. Santa left a pretty good spread, and of course we all enjoyed opening presents.

After presents and stockings, we had more cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

Grandma & Grandpa went home after breakfast, and we got all the paper, packaging, etc., etc. cleaned up and presents mostly put away. Including all those wretched little plastic bits and rubber bands that secure every inch of children's toys to the packaging... I hate those.

Then it was off to Mesa to see Rob's family. We did stockings, presents, and lunch. Everything you need! I brought my camera, but it remained untouched. Erin had a fun time playing with her cousins, and it was fun to see Sydnie (Scott & Stephanie's 4-month-old) on her first Christmas. We stayed and visited for quite a while, and Erin ended up staying the night. We got home around 10:00 or so and we were glad we had put all the Christmas morning stuff away!

The next day, we got everything else put away and organized, and we just enjoyed our stuff and not having to really do anything. Robbie likes to wear his scooter helmet at random.

Rob's mom & Brigette and the girls brought Erin home that night, so we had another little visit with them.
It was a busy couple of days, but in a good way! We love Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Today, we drove up toward Flagstaff to play in the snow. This was the kids' first experience with snow! We had a nice little patch all to ourselves. It was pretty powdery, so snowballs only went about as far as the fingertips, but we did everything else you're supposed to do in snow...

Snow angels
Eating snow (Robbie probably ate several pounds)

A tiny snowman, complete with baby carrot nose (we didn't have high enough expectations to bring a full-size carrot)

A 6-1/2 - foot pillar of crusty snow chunks courtesy of Rob

The best part about driving up to the snow? Leaving it there when we're done!

We had a great time, and the kids were happy to finally experience this mysterious snow they've heard so much about! Rob and I were happy that we both still fit into our ski pants. Something for everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Kiddie Tag"

My friend Alayna tagged Robbie with this one... what parent can resist this?

Five neat things about Robbie:

1. He's a multi-sport allstar. He always surprises us with what he knows about sports - like he knows to hug the football tight when you fall so you don't fumble. He recognizes Amare Stoudemire, Shaq, and Steve Nash. He will talk about hockey and the Cardinals when we drive past the arena & stadium on the 101. Surprisingly, this isn't because his dad ingrained it into his brain; he just picks it up.

2. He knew the entire alphabet before he could really speak words. In order, out of order, you name it. I know Erin taught him some, but he also spends a lot of time studying the alphabet blanket my mom made him when he's supposed to be taking naps.

3. He's very gentle with animals. Kind of surprising for a little boy with tons of energy! Our cat who is afraid of everything regularly follows him around for attention.

4. He loves music and regularly requests specific songs when we're in the car. Right now he's all about Vampire Weekend's A-Punk and Rihanna's Disturbia (don't worry, he hasn't seen the video; I just saw it myself - yikes)

5. He is a sweetie! If someone gets hurt, he's the first one to run over and kiss the wound. If he accidentally whacks the wall with something, he'll say "I sorry, wall" and go kiss it. (He's also a little weird)

Thanks for the tag, Alayna! Now I'll tag some friends' kids...

Canyon Brimhall
Julian Avila
Isaac Larson
Zachary Busch
Maxson Daley

Tell us about your kids!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beauty School Dropout

I am mourning the loss of my boy's hair this morning. Yesterday, I gave him the worst haircut ever and ended up having to trim it all really short.

The hair on top was about 3" long, and I was going to trim about an inch or so off. I had cut his hair before with the clippers and did a pretty good job (if I do say so myself) so I didn't have any reservations about yesterday's haircut. Just like before: shorten the top to help manage his cowlick, taper the sides & back, and trim around the ears & the bottom.

Mid-haircut, I noticed that the hair right on top was like 1/4" long! The clipper guard hadn't slipped, so I have no idea what happened. My stomach sank and I knew I needed to trim the rest to match. How sad. I wanted to cry!

Yesterday, his hair was shiny. You could run your fingers through it and it would fall back down into place. It was pretty when it was tousled. This was a few days ago:

Now it's fuzzy.

Rob says it's fine, but I was just so sad. It took him long enough to grow that hair, and now it's gone! On our back lawn, in fact.
The cowlick isn't a problem anymore. And I've heard it grows in thicker & more even after it's trimmed really short. But for now, I'll continue to mourn.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tucson gives me the creeps

Here's a little something to get us in the right spirit... for the ASU vs. U of A game today!

I tried & tried to post the video, but Blogger isn't cooperating, so you'll have to use this link.

Side note: if you ever hear Robbie talking about "stepping on the naughty bus" this is why. Enjoy!

In all fairness, here's a list of things I actually like about U of A:

There you have it! Go Devils!

Friday, November 21, 2008

School Portraits: The Legacy Continues

So, we got Erin's school pictures back the other day.


I see she inherited my super powers! So this post is the sequel to this one.

We didn't bother with re-takes; we mostly wanted her class picture, and that one was OK. Re-takes would've cost $10! That's crazy. Not a gamble I care to take, either. I don't like the odds.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Running with the Devil

We spent Saturday at ASU! It was homecoming, so there was a lot of stuff going on. Lots of booths & things to look at. We went to the parade. The kids had never been to a parade, so it was a new experience. Erin was pretty happy about all the candy they threw! (check out the knees of her jeans from her clamoring to get it)

We walked down Mill Avenue for a little bit, and Erin got to see lots of hippies.

After lunch, we walked over to the stadium for the game. The shade crept over our seats just before the game started, and the weather was perfect! We beat Washington State 31-0, so the game was a lot of fun.

I was sick all weekend, so that probably wasn't the smartest way to spend Saturday, but I'm glad we did!

Robbie has been singing "Fight, Devils, down the field" over and over since Saturday. That boy needs to learn the other lines to the song.

Only one more home game left this season!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wild Kingdom

OK, I think I'm a pretty good sport with all the creatures that live around our house - lizards, cicadas, worms...

But do they seriously need to come INSIDE the house?

This lizard has been living under our oven for the last two weeks. In the afternoon, when the patch of sun reaches the oven, he comes out to sun himself. What is this, a resort? Does he brag to his lizard friends?

Granted, I haven't seen any crickets in the kitchen recently, so he's earning his keep. And I like lizards. I just don't think I need one in my kitchen. The kids are pleased.

The little stinker never comes out very far, so I can't quite get my hand behind him before he scurries back under the oven. I try several times a day. At what point do we just decide to consider him a pet?

Speaking of pets, the poor cat. If she gets a peek of the lizard, she'll hang out in the kitchen for hours, staring at bottom of the oven. A while back, we had another lizard in the house, and I don't think she has ever forgiven me for relocating it outside. She just doesn't see that much action in here, you know? She tries, but I think our lizard is pretty safe.

So in the meantime, I'll have to be OK with a creature under my oven. But every afternoon when the sun patch gets closer to the oven, you know either the cat or I will be in there, ready to pounce.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Behind the Scenes

Bear with me, because who knows how this will turn out! I think one of my favorite things about old pictures is looking at all the stuff in the background & piecing together all the memories. (i.e. "I remember that Michael Jackson poster!" "Look at our huge console TV!")

I took a picture of Robbie cleaning up after lunch today. When he eats something especially messy (mashed potatoes today) I'll take his shirt off, and I'll let him play in the leftover bubbles from doing the dishes (makes cleaning him up easier).

So when I uploaded the photo, I was looking at the details. I think I'll ramble about some of them! In no particular order...

1. Window open, partially dressed kid, November 12! Arizona is awesome.

2. I like my purple kitchen. It looks dark in this picture, but it's pretty bright. I painted it before Erin was one. Above the window, I have vinyl lettering that says "Many have eaten here, few have died".

3. By Robbie's head are some glass vegetables. The tomato's stem is the perfect home for my wedding ring when I'm washing dishes or doing messy kitchen stuff. There is a bell pepper, a carrot, and a chili in a copper bowl behind the tomato. When I was working for Phelps Dodge (now Freeport MacMoRan) in their old Tempe office, I would meet my parents for lunch pretty often at Casa Reynoso on Mill Ave & Southern. Sometimes my mom and I would look around in a dollar store that used to be in the same strip mall - that's where the glass vegetables came from. I just liked the bright colors.

Casa Reynoso! For my Arizonan friends, if you like the Mexican food in Globe-Miami, this is it. It's the same family that runs Chalo's in Globe. For anyone else heading to Tempe, you can't go wrong with the red chili or bean burros, and the gollo burro is my favorite (green chili, whole beans, pork... mmmmm) It's also a good place to run into people from home.

Back to the kitchen.

4. I see Robbie's underwear band peeking out from his shorts. Completely potty trained for a month. Yay!

5. He's standing on one of our dining room chairs. My parents bought the table and chairs for us when we got married. From Smitty's, even! Before they were all Fry's. We furnished our first apartment pretty well from family. Our living room furniture and our bed all came from members of Rob's family, and I still have the dresser I used since I was a little kid.

6. The phone (sticking up behind Robbie's head) was a wedding gift from my friend Brian. My EAC friends will remember him! Unfortunately, we've been out of touch except for occasional e-mails or running in to each other. He's the drummer for The Cremains - although I haven't seen them play for almost 10 years! Nice guy, super smart.

7. The copper bowl holding the glass vegetables... I have two of them. The other one is always full of M&M's on the counter. One year my mom and my friend Cyndi from work both got me the same exact bowl for my birthday. They both knew I love copper stuff, and I was glad to have two! It was great. I always kind of keep my eye out for stuff to add to the copper collection in my kitchen.

8. The day we moved into our house, our cat got stuck in the corner of the cabinets just behind where Robbie's standing. I opened the lower cabinets to let her check everything out (you know how weird cats are in new environments). Well, she disappeared. We thought she got outside somehow, and I felt terrible because we hadn't updated the tag on her collar with our new phone number yet. I was imagining this poor kitty wandering an unfamiliar neighborhood & being eaten by dogs or run over or just being scared. It stunk! Later that night when Rob and I came home from one of many trips to Home Depot, we finally heard her meowing & after about a half hour, Rob figured out where she was. There was a gap in the side of the cabinet's interior that led to a no-man's land between the two banks of cabinets. She's not the sharpest crayon in the box.

And now I think I've exhausted every detail I can possibly talk about in the picture. :) Maybe one of you will post a mundane picture & ramble on about what's going on behind the scenes!

Fourth picture in the fourth folder...

I saw this on Summer's blog & thought I'd see what I came up with. Post the fourth picture from your fourth folder!

This was after I painted our cardboard haunted house for the Trunk or Treat, and I had just taken some pictures of the kids I babysit so they could make a little Halloween craft with their photos. Robbie needed to have his picture taken, too.

With his car. Notice how he carefully placed it facing the camera. Good shot of the birthmark on his leg, huh? He thinks it looks like a football.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We went to our ward's Trunk-or-Treat last night. (I think everyone knows about these. But if not... everyone in the parking lot decorates their trunks and the kids go trick-or-treating to the cars.) It was a lot of fun, as usual! They had hot dogs, popcorn, homemade root beer & cotton candy, and of course lots of games.

Erin got to run around with her friends for a little bit, and Robbie got really good at saying "Trick or Treat" and "Thank You"!

I am currently typing very slowly as I eat the chocolate off a little tiny Milky Way.

The kids were chickens for Halloween. I guess Robbie was actually a rooster.

I duct taped pom poms along their belts and on some old shirts. They wore orange pants, I spray painted some old shoes orange, and I made chicken feet out of foam paper. Erin's face paint stayed on really well, but Robbie's was pretty spread around by the time we got around to taking pictures!

Here's a closer look.

Thank you to Rob for getting all the pom poms! The kids and I didn't go to the ASU/Georgia game with him a few weeks ago, but I told him to get a whole bunch of pom poms if they were giving them away. He ended up with 52 of them! We picked him up after the game, about a mile and a half from the stadium. He walked all that way with pom poms stuffed in all his pockets... people honking at him & stuff. Hard to look cool when you've turned your shorts into a hula skirt.

And here's our trunk. Of course the lighting doesn't show up, but we had some black lights & strobe lights to make our cardboard haunted house extra spooky. Our dangling bats didn't show up in the photo. Erin was making quick work of her cotton candy, and Robbie had been freed from his costume and was happily munching on a Dum-Dum. What more do you need?

The kids had a great time! We had a hair-washing-and-bath marathon, and we all went to bed tired.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gila Valley Temple

Thanks to Monica for this information! The Gila Valley AZ temple was announced several months ago, but I've been so curious about where exactly it will be.

Monica posted lots of details here today if you'd like to read about it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

San Diego

Rob and I spent the weekend in San Diego for our anniversary. Just the two of us - we've never left the kids, so that was kind of strange. Rob's mom took care of the kids while we were gone. They had fun playing with their cousins and Nana's dog (Robbie's favorite part)!

It was so nice! The weather was great (a little windy, but nice) and it was relaxing to just wander around and do whatever. We don't have too many pictures, because we're not huge fans of asking random strangers to take pictures of us in stiff poses. Just one - this is us on a horse-drawn carriage through the gaslamp district and Seaport Village.

A group of like 30 teenagers spotted us on the carriage ride, and while we were stuck at a red light, they all started chanting "Beso! Be-so!" (Spanish for kiss) so we had to oblige. They all cheered. Just a little embarrassing, but hey, that's not something that happens every day!

We went on a boat tour of the harbor, we went through the USS Midway museum (a decommissioned aircraft carrier - pretty neat), spent a lot of time at the beach on Coronado Island and Mission Beach, and Rob took me for some yummy seafood at Anthony's even though it's not his bag. We also got some good use of the hot tub at the hotel! Every time I'm in one, I wonder why we don't have one.

On the last day, we went golfing at Sycuan Resort in El Cajon. Rob loves golf. He's pretty good at it, too. I'm not so good at it, but I can get by & it's nice to be out on the course. It was a beautiful golf course! I hadn't golfed or even swung a club in years, so I didn't have great expectations. I did, however, get a hole in one... teed of right into a tree, and the ball dropped straight down into a squirrel hole.

We could totally see the ball down in there, but we couldn't get it out with our clubs; just pushed it further down. So I lost a ball, and probably confused the poor squirrel.

Now it's back to regular life! It was a nice little vacation, and I'm glad Rob thought it up & planned everything out. For anyone wanting out of Phoenix for a little bit, it's just a 5-hour drive - go for it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nine Years

Tomorrow is our anniversary! Rob and I were married Friday, October 8, 1999 in the Mesa temple.

We met while attending the University 2nd Ward (U2) in Tempe. "A bunch of us" were getting together at Golfland one night, and that's where we met. (I put "a bunch of us" in quotes, because while that's what it was supposed to be, it ended up only being like four people.) I was wearing my University of Illinois shirt (a shout-out to my mission) which caught his eye since he's from IL. We started talking, and we played mini golf and air hockey the whole time.

Neither of us was really looking to date anyone at the time. He was tired of psycho girls, and I was just enjoying dating & not having a boyfriend. He started picking me up for firesides and little get-togethers... "Why don't I pick you up? It's on my way." ...and I guess the rest is history. After a while, we realized we were pretty much seeing each other exclusively, and shortly after that, we were engaged! Just kind of snuck up on us. Good thing I lived on his way to everywhere.

A good way to get a guy to bring you flowers is to have surgery. I had my ACL replaced (knee surgery) shortly after we met; here's the card that came with the flowers Rob sent. See, I'm awesome.

Some more relics...
Our "take a number" from the courthouse when we got our marriage license:

My parents had Chinese food shortly before Rob proposed, and this is what their fortune cookies revealed:

Now nine years and two great kids later, it just keeps getting better.

Happy annivesary, Rob! I love you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Helicopters and the Zoo

On Saturday, Rob was umpiring softball again, and the kids and I went to Bass Pro Shop and the Phoenix Zoo. We were happy that my parents came along with us!

They were doing a family preparedness day at Bass Pro Shop, so there were all kinds of fire trucks, police departments, hospitals, etc. with little tables set up. And the Chick-Fil-A cow was there, which meant coupons for free kids meals! Take a wild guess where we ate lunch.

They also had the Med Evac and Native Air helicopters in the parking lot. Robbie has been really excited about the color yellow lately, so the two yellow helicopters were pretty cool for him. The kids got to climb inside and check them out. I liked it myself! I guess I've never actually been that close to a helicopter before. Here are the kids with the helicopters - don't you love the "squinting in the sun" faces?

If you haven't been to Bass Pro Shop, it's a cool place to look around. It's a lot like Cabela's. There's a lot of stuff to look at - plenty of dead, taxidermied stuff, a big fish tank, a fish pond. On Saturdays, they let the kids feed the fish in the pond.

By lunch time, we were all sweaty, tired, and probably dehydrated! But we felt better after eating and after plenty of refills, and off we went to the zoo.

The Smithsonian was doing Free Museum Day, and the zoo was included, so that's the whole reason we went. We only had a couple of hours before the zoo closed, and none of us really felt like walking around the whole zoo. So we saw all the exciting stuff - the giraffes, tigers, monkeys, elephants. Here are the kids up close & personal with the mandrills:

(Side note: The mandrill in the back was picking through the other one's hair and eating his bugs. I alwyas get a kick out of that)

It was so HOT, though! I probably should've brought my parents back to the Med Evac helicopters afterward. We were pretty wiped out. See?

Hot, sweaty, and smelling like the zoo!

It was a fun day, though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

EAC, Part 2

Now that you've read about our luxurious accommodations, you may wonder why Iwould ever leave! But I did tear myself away to go to class. Some of my teachers included:

...The geology teacher who wore more clothes than anyone ever needs to. She would wear a turtleneck under a t-shirt with a button-up shirt over that. In the cold months she would add a sweater, a jacket, earmuffs, gloves, AND mittens.

...The theater teacher who seriously thought she should be on Broadway

...The psychology teacher with an awesome sense of humor, but you always felt like he could see through your soul

...The sociology teacher who was blind but would pace around the classroom without his cane as he lectured. He woud call on someone like this "Okay, the person in the third row, second seat..." and sometimes one of us would have to tell him, "Um, nobody's in that seat"

...The art history teacher who was awarded the prize for "Least Interesting Man in America". Or he should've been anyway. He would get a room full of college kids at 8 am, dim the lights, and shows slides for 90 minutes while he read the slide captions in monotone.

Aside from that last guy, I liked my teachers pretty well and my classes were interesting.

Some of the other fun stuff we did at EAC:

The Institute was a great place to hang out. The teachers were all really good, and it was just a nice place to be. I don't know if they still have it or not, but there was a bulletin board there and a stack of little paper. You'd check it a couple of times a day between classes to see if you had a note from anyone. I still have a lot of these little notes somewhere! There was always something there to make you laugh or brighten your day somehow.

Red Knolls was a cool place to hike. The heavily-clad geology teacher even took us on a field trip there once. But it's like a giant lump of solidified clay, with all kinds of weird formations, caves, and tunnels. It's a neat place to climb around. I only have one photo of it, so this will have to do. You can kind of make out one of my friends standing (in black) by the opening of the cave.

Choir! Dr. Lunt was the coolest choir director ever. Everyone went to the concerts, and they were always lots of fun. He always had barbershop and beauty shop quartets, and those four guys and four girls were like mini-celebrities. They said that if you drank the water from the choir room drinking fountain, you'd get married. Dr. Lunt even started putting little placards up around the drinking fountain to commemorate those couples who "drank the water". One winter when we were decorating the choir room, we hung a bunch of mistletoe above the drinking fountain and I remember him saying it was a dangerous machine. Here's a picture from one of the Fall Sings. These always ended with a big patriotic number, and a giant American flag would come down behind us. Always gave me goosebumps!

The hot springs. There were several places along the Gila River where you could find natural hot springs. One of them actually had a little home-made concrete hot tub that someone had crafted! The only drawback to the hot springs was that a couple of times a year, little groups of roving hippies would live there for a couple of weeks on their way through to wherever.

Mount Graham. I still like to go camping up there! It's just really pretty up in the mountains, and it's always fun to play with the squirrels & stuff. And snow in the winter!

I need to tell a few stories, too, but I'm running out of time! Maybe I can tell some random college stories in future blogs.

EAC, Part 1

I had to copy Amy and Summer's blogs about college! Who knows how long this will be, so hang on...

EAC (Eastern Arizona College) August 1994 - May 1996

Thatcher, Arizona
Colors: Purple & gold
Mascot: Gila Monster (hey, at least it's not an artichoke)

There wasn't an abundance of "official" housing at EAC, so lots of kids rented old run-down houses or trailers around town. Howard's Trailer Park may as well have been a dorm.

We lived in a house that was past being called "run-down". It has since been demolished and I believe an A&W sits atop its grave now. Many of the college houses were named. There was Val Halla, the Peach Pit, etc. Ours was the Passion Palace! Lucky us.

My first year, I was one of ten girls living there. Roommates are great because you sort of get automatic friends. Having nine is good because you don't get tired of the same person all the time. It takes nine times as long to get tired of them.

There were certainly not nine bedrooms in the house. Five bedrooms had been created over the years, and at least three of them also served as hallways to get to other parts of the house. Mine was an add-on to the back of the house. The old "outside" of the house had never been painted or drywalled - it was weathered gray siding, and the porch light was still attached by the former back door. (The window on the back door had been painted white, and this was now a door to the next bedroom) My room had two doors to the outside, and it served as a passageway to one of the bathrooms and the laundry room. The laundry room was also an add-on, and while doing laundry, you could look through the old kitchen window at whoever was doing the dishes. From certain angles, you could even see into the bathroom from the kitchen window. Awesome!

There were two bathrooms which were almost always in use. They set the stage for the infamous "bathroom wars" my second year. Lots of pranks going back and forth. Old brownies rolled into logs and placed lovingly on the toilet seat, traffic barricades left mysteriously next to the tub... etc. Oh yes, and if someone was doing laundry when you took a shower, you had to get out before the rinse cycle or all the laundry water would come up the drain up over your ankles.

The kitchen had two fridges, and if you didn't put your name on your stuff, too bad! At one point, there were only two saucepans in the house, so we quickly adopted the rule that saucepans had to be washed as soon as you were done cooking in them. Otherwise, how could we all make our macaroni & cheese?? The dish calendar was a source of unquestioned justice. We got a calendar, wrote all the names on there in order, and you had to do all the dishes on your day. If you missed your day, the dishes were still yours until you got them done! Ten girls can generate a lot of dirty dishes by the end of the day. But the calendar reigned supreme, and it actually worked.

A working television sat atop a non-working television in the living room. The legless couches had cinder blocks under the corners to lift them off the floor. The floor which was covered in matted olive-green shag carpet. Our decor was eclectic, but I think the best description is "Early American Landfill". For some period of time, the TV only worked for movies and not TV. I watched The Fugitive about a thousand times that year.

Near the floor in my room was a light switch. Nobody knew what it was for, but we liked to turn it on and off. Later on, we learned that there was a cellar, and at the end of every school year, the roommates would go down there and sign their names. We finally knew what the light switch was for! We fully expected to find Jimmy Hoffa in there. But no, just a basement and a bunch of writing.

Other highlights of the house:

Home of the longest phone cord known to man. This cord could stretch through each of the bedrooms and then back to its home in the hallway. It was the cause of many near-death experiences.

We lived about 15 feet off the highway and directly across the street from Mark Allen Hall (dorm). The dorm residents would be locked out after midnight, so lots of times they would end up at our house. In the mornings, you could wander out and find a handful of people sleeping on the couches and the floor. Sometimes you knew them, sometimes you just figured one of the roommates knew them. No big deal.

I remember after complaining to our landlord about a wasp problem, she sent her teenage son over with a can of Raid. After an especially rainy and leaky season, we complained about the nineteen bowls we had to scatter around the house to catch the rain, so during spring break, they painted the roof. The next time it rained, we had nineteen bowls filled with milky-white water. Much better!

We taped an especially small roommate to the wall once. She was actually a couple inches off the ground. I've blacked out her eyes to protect her identity. Is that okay, Monica?

We used a lot of duct tape. One of our chairs was held together solely with duct tape. We also did a fine drywall patch with duct tape and paint after our good friend Chris fell through one of the walls.

I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out! It was a wonderful place.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rob!

Rob turned 33 today! Here are a few flashbacks photos...

About 2 years old:

(Yes, he was born without Lefty)

Maybe 3 or 4:

On his mission in Ecuador - this is how they slept:

Rob was born September 17, 1975 in Aurora, Illinois. He's the middle child, right between two sisters. They moved to Mesa when he was a kid & he's been here since, except for a few summers and a school year spent in Illinois, and his mission.

He kept busy in high school. In Lena, IL, he played football, and he called the school's volleyball games over the radio for the local station. I think he played some basketball, too. In Mesa, he went to Westwood High School, and he played baseball (first base and pitcher). He was in all kinds of clubs, and played the trumpet in band.

He started college at Scottsdale Community College (the Fighting Artichokes - I am not making this up) and he tried out for their baseball team, but didn't quite make the cut. He went to Mesa Community College after his mision, and then finished up at ASU. He graduated in 2000 with his degree in Exercise Science.

He met his wonderful wife ;) in the spring of 1999. Rob is very hard-working and makes sure his family is taken care of. He umpires softball as a second job, just to make sure we have what we need! He's a busy guy. He loves sports! Mostly baseball. But name a sport, and he's probably played it & is pretty good at it. Basketball, skiing, bowling, rollerblading, ice skating, tennis... you get the idea.

He's also very active in church, and he takes his responsibilities seriously. That's something that's important to me. He is a good example, especially when it comes to pitching in to help others. We like having him around.

Happy birthday, Rob! We love you!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It's a dark day for Sun Devil fans. We lost to an unranked team - in overtime - last night. That's all I have to say about that.

So let's move on to happier things! Some more thoughts about ASU games, in no particular order...

Erin visited with her favorite cheerleader again before last night's game. Imagine Erin's delight when she said, "Hi, Erin!" I was happy this girl remembered Erin's name from last week. That was a huge deal to Erin! We saw her several times last night & it's kind of fun to run into her now.

After halftime, part of the band splits off and they go play in the aisles of different sections of the stadium. We hollered enough for them to come to our section last night, and they all give high fives on their way up the aisles. Here's Erin high-fiving the band:

They were going to leave after one song, but we made enough ruckus & demanded the fight song, so they obliged.

Fight, Devils, down the field!
Fight with your might and don't ever yield.
Long may our colors outshine all others;
Echo from the buttes, "Give 'em hell, Devils!"
Cheer, cheer for ASU!
Cheer for the old maroon!
For it's hail, hail, the gang's all here,
And it's onward to victory!

Yes, my kids are allowed to sing "hell" in that song.

The people who sit in front of us are really cool. They're just the right amount of rowdy & they're fun to sit with. Here's the view from our seats - not bad! That sea of gold shirts on the end is the student section.

I worked as an usher during my first year at ASU. I got paid $5.00 an hour to go to all the games. Nice deal! The ushers basically just sign up for whatever they want to work, so I did all the football, some basketball, swimming, some concerts. It was a fun job! Although that was also the 96/97 season when we went to the Rose Bowl, and the fans were completely nuts... which led to my first experience with pepper spray. Some brilliant college rent-a-cop thought spraying pepper spray on a windy evening would be good crowd control. Yeah. Let's hope that's my only experience with pepper spray.

That year, Sparky was my home teacher! Paul was always really busy on game days, and I found it odd that he went to every single ASU event and all the away games. Finally, he let me in on his super-hero identity & I thought it was pretty awesome that I was friends with Sparky! I think most of our singles ward knew. I know Misty and Sherry were friends with Paul, too. We ended up going on our missions around the same time, and we ran into each other a lot at the MTC. Here we are being very missionary-like and shaking hands for the camera. Unfortunatley, I lost touch with him not too long after that. But look at that smile - he really is part Sparky!

Finally, Robbie's latest accomplishment. He saw the U of A logo on a shirt in the store yesterday, and he promptly made a thumbs-down and blew a raspberry at it. One of my proudest moments as a parent!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Go Devils!

(No, I didn't take this picture. Nice, though!)

ASU fans are happy once again this weekend - we beat Stanford 41-17 last night! Here's how we enjoyed the game:

1. Got there early & listened to the band warm up outside the stadium. Erin had her picture taken with her favorite cheerleader - she decided this girl was her favorite & didn't want her picture with any of the others. I told the cheerleader this & she got all happy! Erin was excited that she let her hold the pom poms.

2. Wandered around the stadium with the kids looking for Sparky before the game. We were watching the players through the fence when Sparky came up behind us! Hi Sparky.

3. The kids learned quickly that if they want to make the entire student section scream and go "Woooo" all they have to do is hold up the pitchfork sign when we walk by. (See Sparky's hand above if you don't know what this is)

4. Sweat, cheer, sweat!

5. Took Robbie for his halftime bathroom break & ran out a little energy. One thing I love about Sun Devil Stadium is how it's built right into the mountains!

6. Sweat, cheer, sweat!

7. Leave about two minutes early to beat some of the crowd on the way out. Walk about 1/2 mile to the car, where we blast the a/c and the kids snooze on the way home.

Go Sun Devils! See you next week.