Monday, May 25, 2015

Week of May 18 - 24, 2015


The Phoenix Temple is on their semi-annual two week shut down, so I just stop and look through the gates on my jogs. Dave Simonson, our friend and ward member, was an official photographer for church construction and he published these on Facebook...

Our home teachers, one of whom is now our bishop, came by and we had a wonderful visit. He shared stories of the ward father son campout and how prayers were answered over and over as people were freed from being stuck in the mud. (It rained and snowed last weekend) He also shared with us his inspiration for a goal for our ward members to work on this year. He and the members of the ward council had offered prayer and asked for inspiration, and with all the great things that were suggested, the one thing that would help all is improving scripture study, so that is what our ward will be working on. Bishop Edwards is a great leader and we are so thankful for his inspiration!

I finished my visiting teaching via letters this week, as we were assigned a brand new sister, who no one has seen or knows about. My visiting teacher came and we had a wonderful visit! I went home teaching with Dad on Sunday evening and had a great visit with the Burrows family. On Sunday, I also substituted for one of the teachers in the CTR five class. It was a wonderful chance to help out, even though wrestling twin boys who have a very difficult time concentrating was no simple effort.

In my scripture reading, I am now in the Book of Mormon and am now starting Alma . I so enjoy reading the Book of Mormon. After reading the Old Testament, the Book of Mormon is SO much easier to understand! Dad is also reading the Book of Mormon every evening.

I indexed during a few afternoons this week and have indexed  over 2200 records so far.


The Wilkins Family
The earth truly moved under their feet as they felt an earthquake on Friday!Adam's play at school was a smashing success. Adam posted some of it on Facebook and it was wonderful to see him try something new. He looked like he was having such a great time! He was a great participant in the musical numbers and did a superb job! Adam, we are so very proud of you!!! And Allison, the costumes you made were beautiful!

The Ethan Rice Family
Had a busy week, and Thursday, Kaylee started the day with a cough and a fever, and ended it with throwing up over and over. Nasty Spring virus! Cameo worked as communication leader for quite a few days and finally arrived at a day that most everyone can go camping this Summer. July 17 and 18th are the selected days! They stopped by for a visit on Sunday night and we enjoyed playing visiting, especially with Ethan, who is so busy that we don't get to see him much. Kaylee had a great time at Wet and Wild and was looking forward to their Memorial Day fireworks show (which we watched on our front porch after they left). Kaylee had a gymnastics class on Saturday and had such a fun time!

The Doran Rice Family
Kelsie celebrated her final day of second grade this week. 

 And Kooper scored at a Saturday yard sale...

Morgan Rice
Morgan stopped by on Saturday to borrow some tools from Dad. He does a lot of odd jobs and has many scheduled for the future.

Kayty Rice
Kayty had a good work week and also attended a reunion party for her former bishopric at church. She went and saw that car racing movie (has Paul somebody in it) with the tailor at work, who offers to take her to movies. She thinks he likes her...but she isn't interested at all.

The Nathan Rice Family
Nathan was blessed with extra work hours during the holiday week, plus lots of homework, so he briefly stopped by on Thursday. On Saturday, he let us know about a discounted floor model stainless steel LG microwave oven that was discounted greatly, so we ran over and got it. When next year comes and we can work on the house, this is gonna be great in my kitchen! Thanks Nate!!! He also came over for a little bit after church. School was so busy but he is keeping up well. He and Jessica had to work out a financial plan for one of her classes and they are on such a good track for the future. I am thankful for their wisdom and planning. It sure helps when life's "surprises" come up!

Dad's team was making good progress on Monday, and even coming close to solving the problems. Then, late Monday, Dad's supervisor emailed him and informed him there was a new vice president in charge of his group and he might have yet another focus for them to work on! He is also taking over projects from another person on the new team that is retiring, so that required new meetings. In addition, his boss from the old job wants him to meet the suppliers of the Supplier Engineer he will take over for when this assignment is complete, since he is retiring, so he attended some of those meetings as well this week. Friday was a work day for him, but it ended up being very quiet, since many had taken the day off.

My weeks "off" are always full. I picked tomatoes every day. I started the week preparing pans of tomatoes to roast, and early Tuesday morning, I got the sauce made and bagged up to freeze.

I canned on 14 quarts on Saturday too, which nearly gives me a years' worth of jarred tomatoes. The rest will be roasted tomato herb sauce.

I also dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed kitchen cabinet doors, put a new sealer on the kitchen floor (the other one was wearing off already), had lunch with Grandma, planned Nano's birthday party with Nano and Kathy, hauled trash out to the pile for quarterly pick up, brushed the pool, took five wonderful and cool jogs and one tremendous hike in a May!!!

Dad's Garden
It was zucchini week at our house! Monday was Zucchini Chicken Skillet, Tuesday it was Mexican Zucchini Boats, Wednesday was Zucchini Lasagna.

Dad used a potato peeler to slice the zucchini very thin, and I hid it in the layer next to the pasta.
 By Thursday, Kayty was wise to what I was doing, so I prepped Chinese Food with zucchini so Kayty would have no problem picking it out. With Dad's first cucumbers harvested, I peeled, sliced, and marinated them in a mixture of rice vinegar and spicy chili sauce (the Asian kind). People come up to me often and ask me gardening advice. I do not garden, though I am expert at finding uses for it!

So, this weeks harvest included tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, cucumbers, oregano, basil, oranges, lemons, ghost peppers, and habanero peppers.
No...he isn't growing iphones. He was just using it as a size comparison.

Total tomatoes harvested as of Sunday:728

Dad's Truck
His week of wonderful weather made it a pleasure to sand, prime, sand, prime, sand, prime, grit blast and paint, plus put parts on it. He worked and worked and worked on the doors, trying to get them just perfect.

The sad thing: he finally painted one door...and EVERY SINGLE little flying creature in the state of Arizona was attracted to that door! I didn't photograph it, but it looks sad. I am not sure what you do to solve that, but I am sure it involves lots of sanding!

He has also been working on his steering wheel: filling in cracks and sanding. It is ready to prime and paint. He also got the power booster finally and totally installed, as well as the gas tank inlet tube. 

Other Highlights
Grandma took me to Souper Salad for lunch on Wednesday, and to the new Smart and Final store near her house.

Nano and Kathy came by on Friday for some birthday party planning.

Dad got a call from his old friend, Cliff Eccles,  on Sunday and had a good time catching up.

The weather here has been such a treat! We just cannot believe how cool it has been!!! We are so very thankful!!!

Not So Highlights

Other than the bugs on the door, we have been blessed that difficulties have been few.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week of May 11 - 17, 2015


I am putting this notice first, so you see it before the blog puts you to sleep. We are celebrating Nano's 80th Birthday this summer on Saturday, August 29, 2015 from 1 pm to 4 pm.  We will have the celebration at her church building at 49th Ave and Orangewood...a little north of Glendale Avenue. It will be a Mexican luncheon, with colors of Hot Pink, Orange, Yellow, and Lime Green. Uncle Scott is ordering some mini chimis from Manuels and we were thinking mostly finger food, a melon salad, veggie trays and cupcakes. Mom loves tostados, so that is one thing I will bring. She is getting her guest list ready now...Kathy is the one spearheading this. I will let you know more as time goes on. I was also hoping to have Doran do a little photo set up on the side so Nano can have a pic taken with her friends and family.

Dad spent two nights in temple sessions this week. He also attended a great Stake Priesthood meeting early Sunday morning.

We both had a blessed opportunity to clean the temple with 22 other people from our stake arrived at the Phoenix temple at 9 pm and were given assignments to clean a certain  portion of the temple. We dressed in white scrubs, with socks and shoe coverings on. Dad and I, with another sister from our ward, vacuumed, dusted, scrubbed and cleaned the temple worker bathrooms, study rooms, dressing rooms and the engineer's room and office. After the lower level was complete, we were escorted upstairs where we mopped the bathrooms on the main level, including the one in the temple president's office. It was a rare opportunity, to take in so much of the beauty of  all the temple that we don't usually see, including all the beautiful artwork. We also took a longer look at the gorgeous brides' room. The best opportunity, though, was the chance to work in a dedicated temple. It was so different...different from cleaning our ward building. It was almost like cleaning a portion of heaven. And as we were escorted out and the gates were unlocked and then locked again, I was so thankful for the three full time, and the 25 people every night that arrive at the temple and do the same cleaning every single night the temple is open. Many people serve so that we can enjoy the blessings of a beautiful, spotless House of the Lord. Getting home at midnight was so worth it!

I was very tired in the evenings, and super busy on Saturday, so indexing happened on Sunday, when Dee was at Stake Priesthood Meeting early in the morning. I have indexed 2061 names this year.

I was asked at the last minute to substitute for our primary chorister, which I was dreading, but actually turned out to be a lot of fun. Thanks to the Lord for His help!


The Wilkins Family
We did not hear from them this week, but know that they are super busy with the end of school year!

The Ethan Rice Family
Cameo and Ethan had busy work weeks and looked forward to some time off with Kaylee on the weekend. Ethan has had a stubborn hot water pressure problem that he and Wade have taken much time...tearing try and locate.

The Doran Rice Family
They are well. Dad talked to Doran on Saturday night. Amber and Kelsie enjoyed a "Girls Night Out" movie with some friends from their dog rescue group on Thursday. They are always busy with adoption events...


Morgan is back from Utah. He had a good time working there and enjoying the weather.

Kayty took "Ellie" in for an oil change...and came home in "Ruby II". Seems there was some major work, under warranty, that needed to be done, so off Kayty was in another car! She had a long work week and went out with some friends on Saturday night.

The Nathan Rice Family
 Happy First Anniversary on Sunday, Nathan and Jessica!!

These two are so busy working and doing lots of homework, as you all know online college classes require. We found a great deal on a rocking chair at a yard sale that Jessica wanted, so we delivered it to them and visited for a bit. Nate had a little time on Friday, so he helped Dad work on some of his truck. Dad had ordered parts and some were shipped for the wrong truck year, so he had to get that return going while getting the parts out that worked on the truck. Dad cut, Nate polished, and Dad machined this shiny plate thing that goes...under the hood. I asked why it was there and who would see such a thing. His reply: "When you look under the hood!" I now see why every time a guy sees a vehicle, he has to open the hood and look...Looking for shiny things!

He briefly stopped by on Sunday afternoon, borrowed our dehydrator to make fruit rollups, and ran off home. 

Another week of many many meetings. He meets every single day with the same teams about the same issues with the same parts. I cannot even imagine what they have to talk about every single day.
He patiently sits as they go over and over the same things. He did use two vacation days to work on the truck.

As for Kaylee and me, we had a farm week. We played with farm animals on the flannel board, painted a Pig-gy bank

My feeble attempt at a Pig Sandwich!
watercolored farmers, glued duck and chick stick-ons,

made a farm necklace, went to the library, made a sheep mask and did a color sheep tail match

made pancakes, and did all sorts of fun things.

And swam...or rather...walked around the step, unless Papa was in the pool with us. Friday, when it was rainy and cool, we walked outside in boots and stomped in mud and puddles.

Dad's Garden
Tomatoes continue at a furious pace, though there wasn't time to can during the week, so they were cut up, put in freezer bags and frozen for future canning, which I did on Saturday. I got a new picking bucket at a yard sale on Saturday, which helps them not get broken on the way in. Zucchini have taken off and I am desperately trying to find ways to use them!

Tomato Total as of Sunday night: 575

Dad's Truck
He installed vents, the parking brake, the glove box, grit blasted stuff, filled and sanded and primed the two front doors,
Dad sanding a door on the patio while the rain poured

Notice the shiny silver rectangle thing behind the new brake booster. That was a shabby old square of aluminum that Nathan polished and polished...It looked like a mirror. And then, the put it under the hood!

Other highlights:

Our weather was warmer at the beginning of the week, and then turned cooler...and we got RAIN again on inch or so, we figure. This May has been awesome!!! Our plants are just drinking it up and so are we! 

Five jogs in this week...from my shorts and shirt to Saturday sweats and hoodie. (I had to cut Saturday down to two miles because it was "misting" and I was starting to get soaked.

Saturday evening, Dad was writing in his journal and I was cleaning up, when we heard some banging outside. We investigated and saw Fireworks at Wet n Wild Waterpark. There was some corporate event there, and the fireworks and a chilly evening were absolutely awesome! I declared that it was my birthday right then! Happy Early July 4th Suzzy!!!

Not so highlights:
I guess for us, it's kinda sad that the temple is closed as of Monday for two weeks. I saw notes on the engineers board about a leak in the baptismal font needing repaired, parking lot needing cleaning, and Kathy said the elevator makes terrible sounds and has to be shut down on Saturdays at times when it overheats due to much use. It sure has been a blessed six months for us! I will miss sitting on the grounds for the next two weeks of jogs. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week of May 4 -10, 2015



May 4, 1974, I was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...Best. Decision. Ever!

I was able to begin Tuesday morning doing temple work for many of our ancestors. I had done some ordinance work for five relatives, and when there was not a long line, I was able to do some work for five more. I am so thankful to provide family members the opportunity of choice. I also attended the early Wednesday morning session, which was a perfect start to my day!

Dee attended the temple Thursday evening. (I had planned on going with him, but I had to crawl into the pantry to rotate the tomato quarts, and by the time I was done, I was a sweaty, stinky mess!)

Visiting Teaching - It is always a challenge to get with my companion on a day I don't have work, but we managed again this week. On the day of our scheduled visit, my companion couldn't go, but I grabbed some tomatoes and had an awesome visit with Yvonne.

On Saturday afternoon, I reached my yearly goal of indexing 2000 entries. I expected perhaps an animated Tabernacle Choir singing "Hallelujah" or images of cheering angels. Nope. All I got was "Please set your next goal". So, I decided to try for 2000 more. 


The Wilkins Family:
We loved seeing the pictures of Adam and Grace's outfits for what I assume was their school Spirit Week. Thank you so much for sharing them with us, Allison! We also loved the sweet photos of Josh and his Mother's Day gift, and of Sam totally enjoying the neighborhood splash pad!




The Ethan Rice Family:
They had a busy and fun week. Saturday was spent at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.


 Doran Rice Family:
We visited with Doran and Amber at a rummage sale for their pet rescue group. I got a few large mouth canning jars that Amber had sweetly set aside for me! We also brought Kelsie and her friend a couple of doughnuts and some chocolate milk. Kooper was having a blast playing at Grandma Penny's house!

Dad tried to contact him via Facebook but he hasn't responded yet. However, we contacted his friend Kyle's girlfriend, who kindly shared information and pictures...and scolded him a little for not calling his mom. What an amazing 18 year old young lady! She even gave us her phone number in case we needed to contact them! He is working hard, though work has been interrupted by weather problems. They should return home next weekend.

May the fourth is a special day for Kayty. Star Wars Day. She had planned a movie marathon, and planned to force me to watch one episode, but our dvd player wouldn't play her movies...any of them, so we ended up watching David Tutera plan crazy weddings on Netflix. It was fun. She wore a Star Wars Tribute to Family Home Evening...

On her day off Wednesday, we went to SAS to get some knit fabric. She has a dress she bought that she LOVES and so she wants to make more like it. Knit is crazy expensive, so I asked my mom where to go and she reminded me of SAS. That place is amazing. Kayty got three or four pieces of fabric to use for a try out copy of the dress. I got some fleece for an adorable blanket for Annalee. Kayty worked in the evening to create a pattern of that dress. I was not much help, since Allison is WAY better at this than I am!

And "Ellie" is back and better than brand new!!

The Nathan Rice Family:
While we were relocating some rocks in the back yard, Nate called, asking for a copy of his favorite brownie recipe. He made these often before his mission (no espresso powder used in our version), and they were a decadent and heavenly treat. I thought I would share...since he LOVES it when I share his recipes! not so much!

THE Baked Brownie


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
In a large bowl set over simmering water, stir together chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder until completely melted and smooth. Keeping the bowl over the water, turn off the heat and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan and cool to room temperature.
Once the chocolate mixture is cool, add 3 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla; stir until combined. Be sure not to overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. (a bit of the flour mixture should still be visible).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, in the center of the oven for 27-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.


Nate's job started this week. He works starting at 4 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He LOVES working their, operating the forklift, etc. He has accomplished a lot of work on his truck and has gotten some great deals on truck parts on ebay. He came Saturday to photograph some forms of art for one class (thank goodness for that brass zebra he bought at a yard sale years ago to melt down and make a shotput! Never had time to melt it, but it was a bronze art piece!)

Dad's work weeks are very up and down. He makes progress, or he thinks he makes progress, and then the people he convinced to go another route with problem solving revert back to their old habits. One gentleman in particular, who is the leader of the group, has been such a difficulty. It is truly apparent that is down right lies, as Dad's week started by being told that he had acted prematurely on an issue. Dad felt bad, the man practically dictated a letter of apology for  dad to write and send, and then, at the meeting later that day, it turns out Dad was right! and this guy lied about others being mad, about the issue at hand...everything! Craziness. He does say that with all this "stuff" he has to deal with, he has learned that he is often led to work with people in companies who are not the decision makers, so when a solution is found, change doesn't follow. In the future, he will push to have people in greater control on teams he works with.

Dad's Truck
He ordered parts and worked on getting the wood floor cut and varnished. It took more than one can, and the stain he used I ended up finding in our cupboard where we store odd yard sale purchases. Score!

Nate helped him get some stored parts out of the attic and he grit blasted and painted those. Holes need to be drilled in the wood, and those parts help him accurately drill the holes.

He also ordered some parts that are now on their way.

Dad's Garden
Tomatoes are coming steadily

and I spent the early days of the week deciding whether to can or roast. Wednesday turned into canning tomato day, and I canned 11 quarts of tomatoes.

I filled all those jars and only had 1/2 of a small jelly jar extra!

Then, on Friday, I roasted tomatoes to make tomato sauce.

We had SO many eggs, so I froze some. I broke four eggs into a cup, stirred them up a bit - to break the yolks - and put them in a labeled freezer bag. I should have ready made measurements of egg for future cupcakes and cookies.

I pick every morning and every evening. I am starting to call what I do "Tomato Yoga", since I have to bend and climb and go though quite the contortions to get those tomatoes!

So far from this garden, we have picked 298 tomatoes!

Other highlights:
Our week began with rain! Now, I could grumble that I began a run thinking that the rain was just a sprinkle, but when I got only a few houses away and my hair was soaked, I had to return home, and that Grandma Liza got a beautiful weather week, while I seem to always get the molten lava weather weeks, OR, I could just be thankful that I can get more outdoor work done on these beautiful weather days, so it is good that the weather weeks work out this way!

I had time to buy extra chicken breasts, grind, and package ten packages of meat for future use.

Cinco de Mayo was celebrated with both beef green chili burros and chicken green chili burros.

I ran five times, and each time, I had to wear my jacket longer and longer. On Saturday, I was in sweats and a hoodie! You can bet that won't happen again!

I spent each night moving furniture, mopping and then sealing the floor. I still have a bit of a walkway to do.

Nano had her first cataract surgery on Thursday and is doing well.

Happy Mothers' Day to all!

Thanks to my mom for all you have done for me...for my kids...all these years. You are one tough and talented lady! You and dad worked hard to raise Scott, Sharynn and I, and even with Dad's health problems, a stroke requiring you to re enter the work force, and his passing away when I was a high school senior and they were younger, you made sure we were in baseball, softball, band, chorus, school dances, plays, and were cute little trick or treaters! Thanks for sewing, for cooking, and for showing all of us what it means to make adversities into triumphs!

Thank you, Dorrie, for raising my sweet husband! He always shares wonderful memories of growing up and doing things with you. Thank you for your meat loaf, your potatoes and cheese, your "heartburn candy", your divinity (Dee LIVES for that divinity!), your loving care of our grandchildren!!

Thank you, Allison, for being my first miracle, and giving birth to our first miracle, and for bringing four precious miracles into the world. Getting those sweet little ones to this earth was never easy, and you never let on how hard it was. Thank you for KNOWING each of your children and what they need to be the best they can be. Thank you for studying the scriptures with them. Thank you for giving them the opportunity to serve.

Thank you, Cameo, for loving one of my sons, and for sweet Miss Kaylee. You take such tender care to make sure she has everything she needs. I love sitting in the next room as you work on her hair. Such tenderness and love! (Ask Allison and Kayty...I was sometimes not so tender! ) Thank you for giving her chances to experience so many things!

Thank you, Amber, for loving another of my sons, and for bringing Kelsie into our lives! We cannot imagine our family without that lively little spark of fun! And Kooper is the happiest and most wonderful treasure! He carries on his daddy's "Mr. Happy" name, since that little guy is always smiling!

Thank you, Jessica, for supporting and loving my last son, and for the magic of a new little granddaughter, Annalee, you will bring into our family. Thank you for helping Nate be the best he can be, and to make it through these tough college years. Thank you for enduring Idaho, the place he loves so much.
 My Mothers' Day was awesome! I got to use the computer all I wanted! I got to wear my "crown jewels"
I wear all the jewelry from my kids that has survived. (A few things disintegrated...noodle necklaces) Plus, I enjoyed the lovely orchid Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee got me.
At church, we had a great lesson in relief society, and then we adjourned early and went to the cultural hall, where our sweet new bishopric had chairs set in circles and cheesecake. I held another sister's sleeping baby so she could eat, and we all got to visit! What a treasure!!! Our bishopric is amazing.

Dee made me a wonderful dinner.

Nate and Jess came by.

Doran called.

Ethan, Cameo and Kaylee stopped by.

We took some tomatoes and bread to mom and visited a little.

And I celebrated another wonderful Facebook free holiday!

Not so highlights:

While Dad was grit blasting on Saturday,  when a dust devil came by, and he glanced up to see our awning/sand tent lifted high up in the sky, spin, and drop in the next subdivision. We jumped into the
jeep immediately and saved it. It was folded up by a wall, and a van was coming behind us...probably to take it with them! (We arrived within moments of it happening!) Ethan helped Dad put it back up on Sunday night. With some bending and replacement of a plastic corner piece, it should be fine.