Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Senior Pictures For Ammah

Maybe posting these pictures I took of Ammah will help me come to terms with her impending high school graduation. (Probably Not!) I'm having a very difficult time thinking about her being out in the "adult" world and her not even being a real adult. She just turned 17 you see and I wish I could send her to school for the year she skipped. More photos to come a little later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hollywood or Bust

In November we took a much needed weekend vacation to California. The "PLAN" was to leave at 4:00 a.m. and drive straight to Hollywood, take in the sights there, shop and then head to the beach for bike ridding and family pictures at sunset. We did get out the door at 4:25 a.m. which is an amazing feat considering 4 girls that had to do all their pre primping for pictures to be taken 12 hours later. We arrived in Hollywood in record time 5 1/2 hours. Ate lunch and headed out into the great WEIRDNESS of Hollywood. There were cross dressers and a lot of impersonators including a black Wonder Woman, Batman with dreadlocks and Cat Woman who looked like her costume had been through a few to many battles. Elvis was our favorite and decided to have our picture taken with him. This same Elvis has been on the Walk of Fame for many years because I've actually taken another picture with him 5 years ago.

As we were walking around Hollywood David spotted a place where vacation brochures are plenty and a black and green cover pamphlet caught my eye. It was for the musical "Wicked" a Broadway musical we have always wanted to see. We found where the theater was, walked the 8 blocks and asked for prices and times. Now it was up to the girls. "Do you want to see this amazing show (from nose bleed seats) or ride bikes and take pictures on the beach at sundown”? Hands down we all wanted the show. Plan changed! These clothes were all we had on us and we didn't want to make the long trek back to the car to TRY to find something more presentable for a Broadway show. The show was to start at 8 p.m. that night which left us with plenty of time for shopping and eating. When 3:oo rolled around we found ourselves spent and wanting to sit and have a nice long rest but there was no place to do that and we weren't hungry. We decided to see a movie and HSM 3 happened to be playing at the Hollywood Disney Theater. It was a beautiful theater and we had our choice of decks. We chose the front seat of the upper deck and then were treated to a pre-show entertainment which included a sing along with games and prizes. HSM 3 rocks! Best of the three for sure.
Following the HSM 3 we ate at the Disney ice cream parlor and then headed to the musical via the LA subway sytem. Who knew they had a subway??? This was the girls first time ridding on the subway and it was fun wathching them experience it. As we took our seats for Wicked Amelia promptly fell asleep and I was having serious 2nd thoughts as to why we pushed ourselves this much on a “vacation”, alas the orchestra began and Amelia refreshed from her 15 minute cat nap woke up and enjoyed the whole show with wide eyes. It was both her and Andelyn's 1st big show and they loved it. We all did. It was witty, funny and the two main characters (Ga) Linda and Alphaba were played by amazingly talented women.

Upon leaving the theater we discovered Edward Cullen from the Twilight series making an "appearence" and Ammah just had to steal a sweet kiss.
We didn’t get to bed until 1:00 am that night and dragged ourselves up the next morning to get the girls to Disney Land where all three were performing with their dance studio. Disney was practically deserted for the fist ½ of the day and we were able to ride and re ride everything we wanted with out much of a wait.
We did have to suffer a little from all the ash and nasty smoke cloud that had swept over Disney Land from the Santa Barbra fires. We felt bad that we were enjoying a family vacation while others were loosing their homes to a fire. We thought we would leave when the park closed at 11 p.m. but pooped out at 10:00 and headed back to our Hotel for a much needed good night of sleep! We always need a vacation from our vacations. Someday… maybe we can have a “relaxing” vacation that's not all crammed into a long weekend!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Our Christmas tree is not a beautifully decorated tree with matching shiny ornaments, one color scheme or themed as I have seen in department stores and other peoples homes. We call it the "traditional tree". It's filled with ornaments that we as a family have collected or made over the years. Every year the girls get all the ornaments out one by one and "ooh" and "aah" and remember. They always linger on a few special ones they have loved more than the others and gently try to find just the right spot on the tree for it. I even have a few favorites. There are the ones that Dave and I made by hand and gave away as gifts to family and friends, mementos of trips we have taken, some the girls made in school and some that bring me back in time to when we started as a family. This year I gave a brief thought to having a more "glamorous" tree with matching balls and ribbon and lights and flowers but I would have been sad to see our ornaments sit in a box untouched for the year. I didn't even bring it up to the girls and I'm sure the idea would have been vetoed quickly. We love our tree and all that it represents, of course the Christmas tree and ornaments and bows and candy canes all have their own symbolism's but really, our "traditional tree" symbolizes FAMILY to us.


If you give a kid a camera your gonna end up with silly faces galore!! With this new age of digital cameras a kid can take as many silly, sneaky, crazy pictures as they please. As a young girl it was a coveted event that Mom would let me take a camera on a school outing or to any kind of activity. One roll of film was all that was allotted per event and developing that roll was never a priority of mom's. Things sure are different now. My kids come home and I have a whole slew of silly faces, random snips of video and a few posed to perfection shots. I actually enjoy looking at these pictures especially since my two older girls are a little more reserved. For some reason.... if you give them a camera... inhibitions are shunned and the posing begins. Of course if it's not quite right.. just hit the delete button and try it again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Own Lemon Drop Cookies!

Okay - I can't take all the credit for these scrumptious lemon drop cookies. The original recipe was given to me from a friend who got it from a friend and here is the original in CHOCOLATE!
( I call them Devil Drops)

1 Box Devils Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
Mix together.

Roll into small balls, roll in sugar if desired (we don't like the sugar) (can also add a 1/2 a tootsie roll in center and roll into a ball,) bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 340* for 6 minutes. Oven and cooking times may vary but this has been my ideal bake temp and cook time.

Here is where I come in.. "ooooh I wonder what other kinds of cake mixes could make this cookie?" and because I am a lemon of any kind dessert lover I immediately wanted to try a lemon cake mix. I had to fidge and fudge with it a little to get the consistency just right. I've now brought them to a party, given them to neighbors and also made them on Thanks Giving day and they were a hit so I'm assuming they really are yummy and it's not just me. If you give them a try please feel free to let me know if you liked them too.I think I might try a cherry chip cookie next time.

(Soft and Chewy Lemon Drops)
By Shannon Jones
1 box lemon cake mix (any kind)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2-3 tbs of lemon juice (depending on how lemony you like your treats)
1/4 cup all purpose flower
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Mix well!

Roll into small balls and bake at 340* for 6 to 7 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Let cool before taking off cookie sheet. Makes about 3 dozen small cookies. Optional ideas - Roll in sugar before baking or top with lemon frosting which would be extremely sweet but fancy like.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A date with Jason Mraz

Dave and I waiting for the show to start.

We had really good seats. Row 23 in the middle. This picture
didn't do our seats justice.
The Bakers loved the show too!

Oh and Dave too of course.
David and I have been big fans of Jason ever since we found him on the yahoo's New Artist sight. We bought tickets to his 1st concert here in AZ about 5 or so years ago. They were only $12 back then and only 150 to 200 people were at the concert. Now the tickets go for $35 and I'm thinking there were around 5000 or so in the crowd. He did not disappoint. We loved the show. Jason has such an amazing vocal range and uses every bit of it to put on a great show. He's not your average guitar wielding new artist. He uses bongos and brass horns in his band and scats his booty off. He is a true artist with the vocals to back himself up. If any of you wanna here a few songs click on the link below and enjoy.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dave and Shannon

18 and 1/2 years. It seems so ridiculous that we have been married for that long and together for another year on top of that. Just shy of 1/2 our lives we have spent together. When I think about the years I never quite believe the time has gone by so fast. Sometimes I still feel like a newly married couple. Strange I know but then on the other hand...I often think, what was life like before "us". It feels like we have just always been together. He is my best friend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home Coming Date

Both Ammah and Taylor had decided one week before Home Coming that they should just go together because neither of them had a date. Ammah advised me that she could just use the dress from her cousin Mariah's wedding last August and it wouldn't cost us any money to buy a new dress. Ha. $13.00 for her jewelry, $29.00 for (very cute) red heels and 1 new formal jacket cover $35.00 and she was out the door looking very chic. I think we got off easy with only $77.00 spent on accessories. Funny. I thought she looked even prettier this night than she did heading off to prom last May. Maybe it's because I'm coveting those new red heels.. Dang, why did she have to outgrow my size. I'll add a picture from both date/dances.

Crazee Hair Day

Amelia LOVES crazy hair day! Last year (sorry no pictures) we created a one of a kind "bun hock" and spray painted each bun with a different spray on color. This year, we decided to go the "who" route and put a cup on top of her head and fastened a tiny bun topped off with a striped pink ribbon. Just as she was about to get on the bus that morning she advised that her head was hurting and I suggested she may need to take her hair down after she showed everyone her crazee doo. I was surprised to see her get off the bus later that afternoon with the crazy doo still in perfect tact. She is already thinking about a new creation for next year.


I've never really been much for getting rilled up about politics but this election year has been different for me. I talked to my girls about the elections and all 3 girls had the opportunity to participate in a school vote. Ammah and Andelyn voted for Mc Cain and Amelia voted for Obama. I asked each girl for their reasons and was surprised at how much Ammah and Andelyn knew about the Republican and Democrat voting. Amelia on the other hand just stated that all the other kids in her class voted for Obama cause everyone else was. We had a short talk about basic beliefs and choices. I think she has changed her mind and was sad to hear that everyone else in our family had voted for Mc Cain except for her. She is still not getting it. At eight years old that's ok.
Anyway. This is leading me to my first ever post! A letter I wrote to Oprah Winfrey. I thought I would post it and just put my thoughts out there.
Dear Oprah,
I've never written a celebrity a letter before and in writing to you now I would have thought it would be about how much I have enjoyed your shows for the past 20 years.

That's not what this letter will be about. This election year with you has been way too much. You are not a politician and I do not think it is your place with the power that has been given to you by the people who love and watch you to cram Mr. Obama down our throats. I admittedly watched the show where you introduced him and his wife Michelle this past year and I thought he was a nice man with a promising career in politics. I did not think he would be running against Mc Cain in the end though. I did not think he had enough time qualifications and experience serving the people of the US yet. Now here we are with him as a president.
Fine.. Okay. I'll get over the disappointment like I did when we elected Bill Clinton twice. When Bill won, I was sad but felt that everything would be okay and he would do a decent job. Aside from being a liar and a cheater I guess he did well enough. But now with Obama. I'm not allowed the decency to be sad.. There you are in prime TV. Cramming more of Obama down my throat. Fortunately for me I can turn off the TV. Which I have done often over the past few weeks to get away from all the hype over his election. You Oprah should think about the millions of fans out there and step back from your political soap box and get back to what you know best. Entertainment! And helping people. We need time to lick our wounds with out you throwing it in our faces anymore! It would also be nice to not see all the news shows with predominantly black churches holding “praisathons” for Obama. It's not like when we elected white presidents you saw white people speaking in an eloquent fashion to" pass the grey poupon, we have elected yet another white President". It's not about COLOR! For now - I'm mad at you and will not watch your show during my daily run/walks on the treadmill at the gym. That makes me sad. I feel like I can not trust you. You use your celebrity status to get what you want without disregard for what other people feel would be best for this country. I feel like you just don't care about the losers. That's not like you.