Monday, July 23, 2007

Musical Monday - tribute to my retreat scrapbooking buddies

Here's the story: Last year at our yearly Creative Memories scrapbooking retreat, the girls and I got silly and started singing the "ma-na-ma-na" song one night. It has been our "theme song" ever since. Kerri, Reesa and Mona came to Jessica's birthday party and while they were here, they conspired to get the t-shirts and went in together and got me one too. I had no idea they were going to do it so when they gave it to me at this year's CM retreat, I was so surprised! I have to say that it was quite fun! Too bad our whole group didn't get a chance to get in on it. (Jessica's birthday was right before the retreat).

Here is our group on "pajama night".
Mona, Joy, Kerri, Reesa, Darci, Me, Valerie and Denise.

The Ma-na-ma-na girls playing it cool

We had such a great time at this year's retreat! Denise did such a great job taking care of me and my customers... maybe I can get her to do it again next year so I can just enjoy!

Saturday, July 21, 2007


This week's theme is TINY.
ooops, that should be

Jessica caught a tiny snowflake.

Brandon made a tiny snowman

A tiny pirate

This is Grandpa Taylor when he was tiny.

And finally:
We are a tiny bit crazy...
Jessica and I doing our Cousin Itt impressions.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Surprise Visit

My sister, Alice, called me at about 12:30 pm to tell me that our Aunt Marie was coming into town today between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm.... and she was coming to my house. My first thought was... "oh no! My house is so messy! *gah*!" Having been up with Jessica until 4:30am and not getting to bed until 5:00 am, I was not even up and going for the day when Alice called. I had less than 2 hours to get myself and Jessica fed, dressed, and ready for company... and clean up the house as best as I could. Karl had taken Brandon and Austin to church and Justen had already left to go to his ward. I had several loads of clean laundry in the living room - most which I had folded the day before, a bag of books that the boys had gone through and wanted to donate which I needed to look through, bag of shoes that needed to be returned, sofa and love seat pillows and cushions awry, two pairs of shoes that Brandon had left out in the family room, gamecube and games as well as videos had been left out. I'm proud to say that I was able to take care of all those items! wOOt! Fortunately I had done dishes the night before. Just yesterday I had set up my sewing machine to mend a stack of clothes and had almost finished with them but the sewing machine had to stay where it was as well as the stack of junk on the table. I also just left my scrapbooking tables and stuff left out. There was no way to put it all away in such a short time and I also want it out so I can continue to work on my albums.

When my Aunt called me from her cell phone telling me that she and Uncle Willard were in town and to double check the directions to my house, she also told me that a few other people were coming to meet at my house too. You see, my aunt wrote a book and she had just gotten it published and was bringing our copies to us (my sister and I). There were other families in my area who purchased the books too. At that point I was really glad I had done the cleaning I had but really wished that I had more time to make it more presentable.... or I could have even fixed snacks for everyone. Ah, well.... that's the way it goes!

We had a nice visit. Silly me, I didn't think about taking pictures until everyone had left. Figures! One person that came was a cousin of my dad's, Lorin Jarvis. He said that he hadn't seen me since I was very small. He grew up with my dad in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico and he had several fun stories to tell us. Then some friends of mine, Claudia and Dave came. Claudia and I grew up together in Colonia Dublan and went to high school at the Academia Juarez together. (I bet most of my readers didn't know that I was born and raised in MEXICO!) It was so good to meet a cousin of my dad's and to see Claudia, Dave, Aunt Marie and Uncle Willard again! Of course Alice and her 3 kids came over and it's always nice to see them too - but we see them more often since they live just about 5-6 miles away.

My aunt's book is about her life and our ancestors who lived in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico. There are a lot of great pictures of my great-grandparents, grandparents, my aunt's children, grandchildren and her first great-grand child. I haven't had much of a chance to look through the book yet but I am glad to have it and will share it with my children. My aunt (like myself and many others) moved out here to the US, got married and are raising our families here. My aunt includes that in her book and named it: "The Tale of Two Countries". My parents still live in Mexico and come to visit us frequently. Since Jessica is too ill to travel, it's been about 10 years since I've been "home". I'm sure it has changed a lot and some people have left the area, but I can't help but get homesick sometimes. It's a beautiful area and the people are warm and friendly. I would like to see some of the wonderful people again but I'll just have to wait. My mom keeps me updated on how everyone is doing.

Today a true angel earned her wings

Today a true angel earned her wings and is in heaven. This sweet angel's name is Danielle.

Seven years ago I came online and found support for families with children and adults with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). I have met so many wonderful friends through these support groups and have even met some of them in person. One CHD family who lives in Ohio, came to AZ for family reasons. While visiting the area they came to my house and we got to meet them face to face. I had chatted with Mary (Danielle's mom) many times online, via email and through support groups. I had also previously called and spoken to Mary. Danielle said, "I love you!" to me on the phone and I was so thrilled! Danielle has suffered several strokes, accidental morphine over-dose (that was not the family's fault), heart defects, stomach/GI problems and most recently, brain bleeds. Danielle has defied the odds for so long..... she has truly been an inspiration! We will miss you, Danielle, but you are finally able to dance and do all the things your earthly body wouldn't allow you to do.

Please pray for Danielle's parents, brothers and extended family.

Below is a picture of my daughter, Jessica, with Mary and Danielle.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


This week's theme is shadows. Here are two photos using shadows to create two very different effects. I like them both but as you can clearly see, they are completely different.

This first picture is of my friend Keri's son. This little guy is usually into everything but I was able to get him to hold still for this photo. The highlights on the right side accentuate the shadows on the left.

In this picture I used shadows to accentuate the Christmas lights. In my opinion the shadows in this picture are a little over powering and you don't see the other decorations, but I am an amateur photographer and am experimenting with my camera. By the way, my cat, Charlie, is in the picture. Can you find him?

UPDATE: I lightened the shadows on the picture above - it has a different effect doesn't it? Now you can not only see more of the Christmas decorations but you can see Charlie, the cat better. The lights on the tree aren't nearly as impressive this way though. Congrats to those of you who found Charlie before I lightened the photo.

Monday, July 09, 2007

So little time, So much to write - of So little importance (rant involved - be warned)

OK, where to begin. Let's start off on the topic of juvenile delinquents. Is it the parent's fault? Lets look at the following events:

A couple of days ago Karl and I went to our local stop 'n rob convenient store. We got there just in time to miss seeing a bike get stolen. We were there but we weren't paying attention. I had picked up the mail as we were leaving our house and we were sitting on our car in front of the store when one of the clerks (we'll call him.... Greg - 'cuz that's his name) came and knocked on our window. He says, "Karl! Did you see that kid steal the other kid's bike?" NO. It happened right in front of us. *doh!* Anyway, it was decided that I would stay at the store and get the things we came for, Karl got a description of the kid and the bike and Karl drove the car to go find the stolen bike. We could see the boy crying who's bike had just gotten stolen. Karl didn't find the kid on the bike but he thought he did and almost jumped on the wrong guy. Shortly after Karl got back, the kids RETURNS TO THE STORE in an SUV and the clerk recognizes him. Apparently the kid didn't tell the people he was with that he had just stolen a bike and they just happened to stop by the store on their way out somewhere else. The police pulled into the parking lot just as the clerk is telling us that the kid who stole the bike (we'll call him Freddy - yup, that's his name - there's no protecting the criminals here!) is definitely in the SUV. Karl was about to go and talk to the people in the SUV when I motioned to him that the police were there. He went and told the cop where the suspect was. Apparently the cop knows Freddy all too well. He told us (after arresting Freddy) that he has arrested good 'ol Freddy many a time... as well as his mom. So Freddy confesses, the cop takes him (in the back of the patrol car) to go get the bike. By that time another officer is talking with us in the parking lot. (us being Karl, me, the victim, the victim's sister and now the victim's mom). The people that Freddy is with are his in-laws and of all things, they are copping attitudes TOWARDS US! - the victims and the people who are helping the victims. Puhleeze! We aren't going to be intimidated by a bunch of criminals ermm.... the people who originally denied that Freddy was in the SUV. Freddy is only about 12 or 13 years old... tops! I'm afraid he probably has a life-time of being a criminal. I feel bad for the dude - his mother is a crack-head and his in-laws (could be an older sibling's family?) are either criminals or at least don't care if he is doing anything wrong. But I felt really bad for the boy who's bike was stolen right in front of him. His mother said that his first bike was stolen right out of their garage and the garage door was closed! This new bike has been kept inside the house. This kid had only left his bike right outside the store doors for a moment when Freddy the Fredster took off on it. The owner took off after him and almost caught him! Greg kept telling us how fast that kid is. The clerks have given him permission to bring his bike inside the store from now on.

Another juvenile delinquent story:
This evening Karl and I went to KFC for dinner. As we were leaving we see 3 teenagers getting out of a car. They are wearing the "goth" garb, which is fine. They all have thick eyeliner - one which looks like tears. Fine. Their hair look funky. No problem. Piercings everywhere. Not a problem... it's their bodies, what do I care? But their language! "F" this, "F" that... more than every other word is "F" and they are talking very loud. I close my car door and notice that the back of on kid's shirt says, "I am the god of "F". HUH? I wonder where the mom is?! Oh wait... she is in the car, smoking her cigarette while waiting for the kids to get her some chicken. Ahh... well, if they are getting her some chicken then I guess it's ok for them to talk like that and wear a shirt with the "F" word spelled out in big bold letters. I was repulsed. As I said, I don't care if the kids wear the goth stuff, the chains, piercings, make up and wild hair. It's their business. But what I do care about is them polluting the air with their obscenities: both vocal and visual. I am trying to raise my children to love the Lord... not be the "god of "F". I was highly offended that someone would even use the word "God" and "F" in the same sentence much less print it on a t-shirt. Karl told me that there used to be laws against wearing stuff with vulgarities like that but not anymore. "Freedom of Speech". Well, I'm sure that's exactly what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote about freedom of speech. I can tell you one thing. If any of my kids were to bring home a t-shirt that said that, it would go directly into the fireplace. We'd have a huge fire even if it were 110° outside. If a friend of one of my kids wanted to enter my house (or my car) wearing something like that I would say no way. Go home and change your shirt... and by the way, change your attitude while you are at it. I would definitely not be taking the little ... kid.... to KFC and listen to him (or her, I couldn't tell which it was) talk like that either. There have been a few times that a friend has been visiting and I've heard an undesired word come out of his mouth. I have told said friend that he isn't allowed to talk that way at our house. If he says it again, he has to go home. One kid didn't think he had to obey MY rules at MY house and he was sent home and wasn't allowed to come back until he changed his attitude. He came back with a much better attitude and if I ever told him not to do something again, he obeyed right away. Recently Karl and I saw that same kid at a local store and he came up to us and was very happy to see us again. (we moved away from that neighborhood 9 years ago) He asked how everyone was doing and he still had the utmost respect for us. I was very happy to see that he seems to be a nice young man.

And the last item on the agenda would fall under the heading: "You might be a redneck if". At least this one is not anywhere near the stupid stuff I wrote about above. This one is family related. Fortunately most of my family doesn't read my garble so I think I'm safe in writing this... after all, it is my youngest brother that says our family puts the FUNK in "Dysfunktional". lol Anyway, my niece got married last month, June 21, in CA on the beach. We weren't able to attend the funeral wedding but my middle brother sent us some lovely pictures. Beautiful young bride and handsome groom. White sand, blue sky and ocean waves in the background. Cute ring bearer (niece's youngest brother), beautiful flower girls (sister's girls), nice wedding all around. My brother, the bride's father, sent me an email inviting us to the wedding. I wished we could have made it but Jessica is unable to travel and I just can't leave town with her not doing well. I sent an email to my brother telling him how much we wished we could make it and hoped he would understand why we couldn't. I didn't get a reply but I usually don't.... just one of those "man things" I guess. So today I get an announcement for my niece's wedding in the mail. Yes, the one who got married 3 weeks ago. I figured the announcement must have gotten delayed in the mail. Oh wait... there's a picture included. It's a picture OF THE WEDDING. Did I mention that on the announcement it says: couple is registered at Walmart. Is this a hint? hahahaha!!! Is it just me or is that a redneck thing to do? Karl and I had a good laugh over it. He said we should send them a picture of our wedding from 1985 and say that we are registered at Walmart too. ROFL... I bet my brother and SIL figured that since we weren't able to attend the wedding that we might like a picture of it and the announcement for a scrapbook but it was really funny the way it came across.

Hey, at least we got a laugh out of the whole thing.

[disclaimer: if you don't agree with anything I wrote then too bad. It's my blog and I'll write what I want to. haha! I have the power to delete unwanted remarks... mwuahahahaha!]

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Musical Monday


We've been getting up to 109 or so the last couple of weeks. The monsoons are starting so that means one of two things. It is muggy and hot or the heat can actually trigger thunderstorms which sometimes lead to some rain and cool us off but many times it leads to high winds, dry lightening and scary thunder and walls of dust being blown around the desert. yeah.... good times!

I tried to find a better video of this song on YouTube but couldn't find one. Ah, well, here are the lyrics:

The Heat Is On (Glen Frey)

The heat is on, on the street
Inside your head, on every beat
And the beat's so loud, deep inside
The pressure's high, just to stay alive
'Cause the heat is on

Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
Caught up in the action I've been
looking out for you
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
The heat is on, the heat is on,
the heat is on
the heat is on
Oh it's on the street, the heat is - on.

Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
Caught up in the action I've been
looking out for you
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
The heat is on, the heat is on,
the heat is on
Oh it's on the street, the heat is - on.

The shadows are on the darker side
Behind those doors, it's a wilder ride
You can make a break, you can win or lose
That's a chance you take, when the heat's on you
When the heat is on

Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
Caught up in the action
I've been looking out for you
Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
(Tell me can you feel it)
The heat is on, the heat is on,
the heat is on

It's on the street
The heat is on, the heat is on,
the heat is on
Yeah it's on the street
The heat is on

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Our 4th of July Celebration

We went to Karl's parents house for dinner. Karl's nephew, Jeremy, and his friend, Michael, just moved here to go to the university. After dinner the kids (Karl included) got to have some fun in the swimming pool. Jeremy is the one dancing his heart out in this picture. My oldest son, Justen, is in the water to his left and Michael is to his right.

Karl is helping Austin learn to swim. Austin's form is improving. Too bad his dad can't see it from the water splashing in his eyes. lol

Jessica is not able to get clear into the water. She gets extremely "blue" when she does. It's not fun at all because she can't breathe and gets sick... so she has to be content sitting by the side with her feet in the water. Even then she got "blue" pretty quickly. When it was time for her to get out, her grandpa brought some chairs for us to sit on and we all (grandparents included) sat by the pool and enjoyed the boys having their fun.

Brandon getting ready to jump into the pool.

He made a pretty good splash!

We went to watch the fireworks. Jess and I hanging out waiting for them to start.

We weren't able to get very close to the fireworks but we were able to see them ok. My oldest son, Justen, helped me figure out how to set my camera so the shutter would stay open longer. I experimented with the settings and moving the camera around and I got some pretty interesting shots! I had to zoom in to get these shots (or cropped them) but I am pretty happy with how they turned out. I hope you enjoy them!


This week's theme is FAKE. Jessica got Davey Jone's treasure chest for her birthday.
Is it the real thing or a FAKE?

It looks like it could be the real thing... I see the heart and Jessica is showing some of the "treasure". (She loves to make bracelets and necklaces)

Now it looks like it could be a fake... I didn't think that Davey Jone's heart glowed!

It may be a FAKE Davey Jones treasure chest with a FAKE heart but it is a REAL CD player!

Thank you Kerri and Summer! Jessica loves her new CD player!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

I am proud to be an American and am thankful for those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom. Today I am most thankful for the freedom for my family and I to worship as we please. My sons are involved with the Boy Scouts of America through our church and today in honor of independence day our church had a flag raising ceremony. My son, Brandon, was part of the color guard. Karl asked his srg if he could go in to work late so that he could be there to see Brandon in this ceremony and the srg gave him permission to not only go to the ceremony in class A uniform, but he was able and participate in the ceremony too. Here are the pictures:

Brandon carrying the flag. Josh and officer Karl in the background.
Karl called out the commands.

Brandon and the other scouts preparing to raise the flag.

Raising the flag.

Officer Karl calling out the last commands.

The scouts dismiss.

Happy Independence Day