Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I can't believe this sweet girl is 12.  I know I say it every year, but where is the time going?
I took her on a shopping spree for her birthday.  Here are a few of her favorite things.  She bought 3 navy shirts.  Are you super happy about that Aunt Pam?  There was a time when every shirt Pam owned was navy.  She's following in your foot steps Pam.  I learned that her style is flowy and pretty. 
And just when I think she's growing up and getting mature, she wants a cute panda shirt that says hello on front and goodbye on back.  It's actually her favorite thing.  I love that she's still little in some ways, even if she is almost taller than me.
I made her favorite meal, roast beef, carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls. She saves her potatoes for last.  Best for last she says.  My gosh, that's what Aunt Pam does.  :)
Even though she went on a shopping spree, I wanted her to have something to open.  Noah made her a cute card too.  She got some a video game and some little tsum tsum thing.  It's like a blind box and you don't know what character is inside.  Wouldn't you know it, she got Bambi, which is the one she wanted.  Lucky grab on my part.  I was feeling through the bag trying to figure out what it is, but I had no clue.  Glad I got lucky.
And I made her favorite pumpkin roll.  It's so labor intensive, so I tried to talk her into a box cake, but she wasn't having any part of it.  So, I made it.  She's worth it and I just want her to feel special and loved. 
I don't know what she wished for, but I hope all her dreams come true. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Call Me Penny

So, I pretty much think I can learn anything from youtube.  It's full of so much info and has helped us learn how to cut hair, fix the car, anything.  It's a wealth of knowledge.  But, there are some things that should be left to the professionals.

I can cut my hair and have for years, but I should've drawn the line there.  I've been getting a lot gray hairs, especially around my temples and in my part.  It would drive me nuts.  I hated pulling my hair back as it was even worse.  I bought headbands which help, but also make me look like a 10 year old.  So, I did some research and found that henna is a great way to color hair red naturally.  Now, I've always thought I had red hair, but after this experiment, I realize it's more brownish, blondish, red.

So, I got the henna hair dye from Amazon.  Check.  Watched a few videos.  Check. Check.  And, I'm ready.  This was my before.  I look like my father more and more; or rather my Grandma Palma.

And holy shit, this is the after!!!!!!!!!!

Wow!  I now have red hair.  Seriously red hair.  I actually kind of like it, but it needs to be less red.  It was also orange in a few places yesterday after I did it because the under part of my hair is brownish, the top has a lot of blonde from the sun, the temples were almost all blondish/white.  So, those parts turned orange.  The rest turned red.  Really red.  

The only way to get henna out of hair is time, a buzz cut or olive oil.  So, I've done 2 olive oil treatments.  They say 3-4 will usually do it.  The picture above is after 2.  What I notice is the orange parts aren't as orange anymore.  Thank God.  But, it's still red. Really red.  

Did I mention it's really red?

You can't go to the salon and color over it.  After you've done henna, it can make chemical dye wonky.  Like turn your hair green wonky.  That would just liven everything up a bit!

Dakri didn't know what henna was.  It's the things the Indians (dots, not feathers) use on their hands and body that look like tattoos.  It's really pretty and I thought that's the perfect color! A brownish, nope just red.

Did I mention it's really red?

So, I'm doing olive oil treatments daily.  My hair smells like the Olive Garden and I'm hungry for a salad.  The good news is it feels great and super conditioned.  

Now, if I had ever dyed my hair in my lifetime, this probably wouldn't be so shocking. But, I've never done anything to  my hair.  Ever.  So, it's quite a change.

I look like The Little Mermaid.  Or better...Jessica Rabbit...Or maybe just like a brand new copper penny!  And well, you can't see my grays anymore!

Traveling Slumber Party

Emily is part of this great foursome of friends.  They are all best buds.  Three of them have August birthdays, the other is late June.  So, what normally happens is every weekend in August is a slumber party.  The girls are exhausted, take a full day to recoup, and it's right back to school.  It's exhausting.  At least for the parents.

So, I had a brilliant idea.  :)  Let's do a traveling birthday party.  They can go to each house for a "shift".

Dakri (Alanah's Mom) got the pizza and movie part.

Then, she dropped them at Steph's (Alissa's Mom) for the slumber party.  Alissa doesn't like to sleep anywhere but her own bed, so it was pretty clear who was going to get the lions share of this party.

 They did a lemon eating challenge.

And started the night sleeping on the trampoline.  Until the thunder and lightening came, and they quickly moved inside.

Steph made them hot cocoa in the morning and shipped them off to my house.

We are known for our breakfast, so we made hashbrowns, chocolate chip waffles, bacon and sausage.  They played soccer while they waited and Rio played too!

Then, Heidi (Ava's Mom) took them to lunch and to the mall to shop. It's so silly...we give Alissa a $20 gift card somewhere or buy her a $20 gift and then, she does the same for Emily.  And that's how it works for all the girls.  So, each Mom gave their girl $20 and they got to go to the mall and buy what they want.  Which they all loved Claire's and Bath & Body Works.  Except Emily. B&BW makes her sneeze.

These silly girls.  Who would think they are 11 and 12?

I think it all went great.  Then, for the big birthday party all 4 of the families are going to Wet n Wild in a few weeks.  They'll have a blast!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Our Week

Emily was sick on the 6th day of school. How is that even possible?  Luckily, she had Rio to keep her company and she was better in a few days.  

David and I donated blood on Tuesday.  I literally hate donating blood.  I'd rather get a pap smear and a mammogram than sit there for 10 minutes with a needle in my arm.  But, when push came to shove and I needed some plateletes when I had Noah, I was thankful someone had donated theirs.  I took this pic of myself and then I went to take one of David, but my alarm had started going off, so the guy came to adjust my needle.  And then, I almost fainted.  I've done that before.  But, I'm eating low carb on some days and apparently, that's not smart when you give blood. Oops.  So, I got cookies and chips and whatever.

I volunteered at school for the first time this year.  Those poor teachers at the beginning of the year could use my help for weeks on end.  I did what I could in 3 hours, but it's never enough.  But, I spotted this outside of Ben's classroom.  Future cop?  What?  Really?  Since when?  I'd rather him be Spiderman.  Cops...God, that's a dangerous job these days.  Stick to being a comic book writer. Please. 

My girl and I went out shopping today.  Emily really hasn't ever cared too much about clothes.  But, she's starting to now.  She doesn't need to be trendy or the most fashionable.  She just likes what she likes, so gone are the days of me picking out stuff for her.  I had nothing for her birthday next week.  Not one thing on a list.  So, we decided to go shopping.  And boy did we shop.  

We hit Kohl's, TJ Maxx, Ross and Target.  And Starbucks, of course!  She is now a huge fan of TJ  Maxx.  She used to like Justice, but she'd get a $100 gift card there and be able to buy 3 shirts.  She was surprised to see Justice stuff at TJ Maxx and we bought so much stuff.  We spent $190 and she got 18 new things, everything from PJ's, to shoes, to a piano recital dress to 10 new tops!  She's super happy with all her stuff.  She now only wants gift cards to Ross and TJ Maxx.  That's my girl!  Seriously, it made me so proud.  There are lots of things I want my kids to learn from me, but shopping smart is high on that list.  We work too hard for our money.  Why spend more than you have to?

I told her I needed to wrap it all for her birthday, but she said no way.  She wants it now, so whatever.  Who am I to say no. It's her birthday. It was a fun day with my girl.

Next weekend, her friends are having a 4 way slumber party for their birthday.  They all have summer birthdays (3 August, 1 June) and it just seems silly to have a sleepover at someones house every weekend for 3 weeks in a row.  Plus, us Moms get tired of the attitudes when our girls don't get enough sleep.  So, we are trying something new...the girls are going to Dak's house for pizza and a movie.  Then, she will drop them at Steph's house at 10 for the sleepover.  Then, we get them when they wake up for breakfast and whatever.  Then, the other Mom is taking them to the mall for some shopping.  Instead of my giving one of her friends a $20 gift card and then they give us one, each Mom is giving her kid $20 and they are going to the mall to buy something.  So, that's our 4 way slumber party.  Hope it works out!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Proud to be an American

It's official...David is an American!  He's been in this country for 30 years and now it's finally legal.  It really started as a financial decision.  It costs about $500 to renew his green card which was up for renewal, as it is every 10 years.  It cost about $600 to become a citizen. So, it just made financial sense to take the plunge and become a citizen.  It was a long process with several appointments down in Phoenix.  Although, when we say long, it was 3 months.  Now, I imagine most people in the room have been working on this for years or even decades.

It all worked out great and I was able to go down with David.  With the kids in school and different schedules, I had no idea if it was all going to work out.  But, it did and I'm so happy that I got to go.  My best friend, Pam, came too to help us celebrate.  There was not enough room in this building and about 100 of us had to stand in back, and it felt like the AC wasn't working.  It was hot.  But, it was a nice ceremony and nobody passed out.  So, that was good.  :)

It started with a slideshow...

And they called each country and people from that country stood up.  There were 120 people becoming citizens from 38 different countries.


Then, they took the oath.

They got their certificates and that's it!  Here's a look at the newest American.

We celebrated with Mexican food!  Now to get him to register to vote before the next crazy election!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Meet Rio

So, we got a cat. This right after I told David when Rocko dies, we are done with pets for awhile. Sometimes, I just want to go away for a few days to Vegas or the Grand Canyon and it's impossible with a dog. But, a cat is different, right? You can leave them for 2-3 days and it's not a problem. Or just have a neighbor come over once and you're good. That's my logic anyway.

First, this is Rio.

Now, here's his story.... It's Wednesday afternoon. I'm waiting at the bus stop for the boys and Dakri texts me to say she got home and there was a cat on her front porch. She opened the door and he ran right in. She put it in her dog's crate in the house. Now what? She did the usual check of Lost Pets on Craigslist and sent an email to neighbors. They didn't want to keep a cat. They have a dog door and around here, if a cat is outside, it's just a matter of time before it's dinner for a coyote.

She asked if we wanted the cat. We went over to see him. David was working in Show Low. We texted him a few pictures and he reminds me Emily and Noah are allergic. Emily wasn't allergic for the first 4 years of her life because we had a cat. We get rid of the cat and all of a sudden she's allergic. But, they weren't having allergies to this cat. They seem to react quicker to long hair cats. We come home. I try to text David. Nothing. Meanwhile, Dakri's trying to get rid of this cat. So, I make an executive decision and say we'll take him. We go get him. The kids are thrilled. But, I keep telling them that the owners will probably show up. He was skinny, but he still looked like someones pet.

The kids made toys for him and were playing with him. There were a few sniffles, but no major allergies.

Then, David calls and asks what the scoop is on the cat. I start to speak and he says, "There's a cat in our house, right". He knows me too well. He's so sweet. I ask him if he's mad at me and he says, "How can I get mad at you?". God, I love that man.

Then, our phone rings. It's Dakri. The cats owners are at her house. NO! But, they are moving and want to rehome the cat. YES! This is a cool cat. He's over a year, so he's not in the kitten phase, but he's still playful. He is totally social and loves people. He's cool with Rocko. He likes to be loved, but doesn't insist you pet him for an hour at 2 AM. He's neutered and up to date on shots. He's a dream cat.

The owners want to meet us, so they come over and we chat for a bit. First, his name is Helmet. Yes, helmet. Because it looks like he has a helmet on his head. He's also been lost twice in a week and four times in the past few months. They live in Prescott and were having friends watch him here and there. Apparently, he hung out at Kentucky Fried Chicken for awhile and the people there fed him. He got attacked by a dog at some point and had a $1500 vet bill. I don't know, it all seems like a lot. I don't know why the cat didn't have a collar on and why they didn't keep him inside. He won't be an outdoor cat with us. But, my fear is he won't be happy indoors. We tried to keep Max indoors when we first moved up here, but it's hard to cage a bird that's been allowed to fly free.

I didn't post about anything because I was waiting for the owners to say goodbye. They had some food and toys for him, and paperwork on his microchip. They had a cat tree for him. So, they came back again last night and brought some stuff and said goodbye. So, I finally feel like he's ours now.

The kids seem like they have a few allergies here and there. Nothing that Claritin and hand washing can't fix. I know that when you have a mild allergy and expose yourself to it, you can become not allergic. My friend has been getting allergy shots filled with all the pollens that she reacts to. The idea is that over time, your system builds up an immunity. So, we are hoping for that, but so far, the allergy to him has not been bad at all. Like a 2 out of 10.

We tossed around a lot of names. David and I liked Hamlet, since it was close and he responds to Helmet already. But, the kids didn't like it. Emily liked Milo, Boomer and Otis. Then, Emily and I liked Carlos, but David vetoed that right away. Then, David suggested Rio with the Olympics. We liked it, but Emily, Ben and I liked Rico better. But, David just won't go for Rico. So, Rio it is.

He's quickly adjusting to our house. He makes no attempts to even want to go outside so far. Maybe he's had enough adventure. He is super curious and is good exploring the house. The previous owners lived in an apartment and were amazed at the size of our house.  He sleeps all night and doesn't bother us a bit. He really is a sweetheart. And Rocko and Rio are going to be best buds in no time. They were nose to nose last night and I could tell Rio was thinking of rubbing against him. He wasn't quite ready for it, but soon, they'll be spooning.

So, that added a lot of excitement to the first week of school, which went great for all the kids. The boys now know what bus stop to get off at. And Emily is doing just fine too. She really likes Jr. High. All in all, it's been a great week!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


I can't believe this sweet boy turned 7.  I always get so emotional at his birthday.  It just brings back so many bad and good memories.  It was such a hard time, and he was worth every second of it.

He had already opened all of his presents, but we got him up for school and let him open one from Dakri.  It was Spiderman Legos and Ben was just as excited as Noah.

They spent what time they had before school putting it together.  

School was school.  I guess it's like going to work on your birthday.  He brought in treats for all the kids, so I'm sure that made him the hit of the classroom.  

I didn't get a picture of dinner, but he wanted steak.  I also made those Pillsbury biscuits because he loves those and I so rarely make them.  It's funny, a few weeks ago, this was our conversation:

Noah:  I like my steak with red stuff.
Me:  You mean ketchup?
Noah:  No, like that pink in it.

I had no clue.  Then, we had steaks the other day and he said, that's the red stuff!  He meant he likes them cooked medium.  No well done for this kid.  Oh, got it.  And last night I made him a banana smoothie.  He takes a taste and says, "I think it needs vanilla."  How does he even know what vanilla is or that it would be good in a smoothie?  

Noah is funny like that.

The other day, I'm at my computer and he's the one next to me.  I have a huge booger that I can't blow out, so I pick it out and put it in a tissue.  And he tells, me "That's disgusting, you're supposed to eat it."  LOL.  Oh my gosh, this kid.

Then, thunder boomed the other day and Rocko was shaking and went to Noah for comforting.  Noah tells me, "Oh my gosh Mom, Rocko is vibrating so much."

He's naturally funny and makes us laugh.  He is so strong willed too.  This kid doesn't want to follow the leader.  He doesn't want to be the leader.  He just wants to do what he wants to do.

He's not a cake or ice cream kid (unless we are on a Carnival cruise, then, it's ice cream cones for breakfast), so I made him zucchini muffins at his request.  

Ben and Noah are best of buds.  It's so nice.

Then, he opened his cards from grandparents.  Thank you to everyone.  He loved all of it!

Happy birthday to Noah.  He's one of a kind.

Monday, August 8, 2016

First Day of School

Today is Noah's birthday, and I'll write more about that tomorrow as his day isn't over yet.  I've actually only seen him for about an hour this morning and they were all at school.

It's so different this year with Emily in Jr. High.  We put the kids to bed around 8:45 last night, so they'd get a good nights rest.  Then, I was making streamers for Noah's bedroom door for his birthday and David and I went to hang them up and he could here Emily crying in her room.  It was after 9:30 and she was upset because she couldn't fall asleep.  I know she was nervous and scared.  So, David slept with her in the middle room, but they both slept lousy.  As did I.  We were all nervous for her.  When, you go to the same school, it's more excitement on the first day.  With a new school, there is so much change.  But, not only a new school, but lockers and 7 different classes and 7 different teachers and bells dismissing you.  

Emily said, so where do we line up when the bell rings?  Um, no, nobody lines up single file.  You just go.  Welcome to the real world.  There are so many changes for her.  I've been watching the clock all day and wondering how she's doing.  I know she is fine.  But, did she get her locker on the first try?  Did she find all her classes?  Did she finds friends that have her lunch period?  Sigh.  I've had butterflies in my stomach all day.  Why can't parents just go to Jr High and High School with their kids for a day?  :)

Noah and Ben are old pros at their school. I didn't even park and walk them in.  I knew they'd be fine.  All they want to do is go to recess anyway.  But, they have some questions about the taking the bus home.  I know they'll do fine and they'll find everything.

I couldn't get a picture of all three of them because Emily was out the door as the boys were getting up.  Typically, they won't even see each other in the mornings.

On the way to school, Noah said, I miss Emily.  They are so used to her being in the car with them.  As much as her and Noah fight, I was surprised to here he missed her.

So, I was hoping they all had a good day today...'s the update:

Emily had a great day.  She gave it a 9 out of 10.  She had a friend she sat with on the bus home, so that was good.  She liked all of her teachers.  She has 4 male teachers, which is new.  She's only had 1 male teacher in all 7 years so far and he was just for one subject.  She didn't have problems with her locker or anything.  Yea!

The boys had great days too.  Their bus was 27 minutes late.  The decided to pave our neighborhood on the first day of school.  However handles scheduling should be fired.  Their was a pilot car and delays all over the place.  So, I think their bus got delayed several times on the way home.  But, they made it.  They weren't 100% on the stop, so I'll have to be out there waving my arms until they get the hang of it.  But, they liked their teachers and all went well.

Now, let's hope everyone gets a good nights rest!
I'll write about Noah tomorrow.  We're still celebrating!