Thursday, December 16, 2010


(July 2005 - Asher after a water ride!)
Day 15 was all about this boy! He had his Christmas Choir Concert! I'm so proud of him for accepting the invitation to join choir. He really has enjoyed participating this year. (but don't ask him - he'll never say so!) He even auditioned for their spring production of High School Musical. I can't wait until January when we find out what part he'll get! Way to go, Ash!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


(rub-a-dub-dub my three men in a tub 2005)
Day 14.......well....we are in finish-up-the-semester-mode. Colton's busy studying for finals (wed&thurs), Asher's frantically reading (last night to read for AR tests), Kyler needs a bath (how did he sneak out of it the last couple of nights!), Dad's practicing a solo for our Ward Christmas Sacrament Meeting, Mom is trying to keep a supply of patience while babysitting, driving kids to choir rehearsals, shopping for important things like shampoo, maintaining the house (for my sanity) and helping the kids stay on track! So I officially declare that mom keeping a supply of patience for everyone and everything was the family gift today. (we didn't need an activity....we need a break!)

Monday, December 13, 2010

(October 2005)
Time to play catch up! Christmas days 9 through 12 - we've watched shows! Boring, maybe? Practical - for sure!!! We're busy with homework, babysitting kids, dinner, YM/YW, sickness, etc. It seemed like watching something is all I could manage. Saturday night we went out to Serrano's with my mom (THANKS, MOM) and came home to watch Stalking Santa. Sunday we watched Sorcerer's Apprentice (my boys LOVE it! they couldn't wait to show it to their dad). Tonight, the boys are going to help Tony put up colored lights on the back patio. I've always wanted the lights here since we're always in the family room. I hope to enjoy them later tonight as we sip on hot cocoa (our hot cocoa bar is a family favorite). I am planning more hands-on activities as soon as the kids are out of school! Thursday is their last day and our Relief Society Progressive Talent Night which will make their 1st stop at our home. Friday will be the official start of our break, the official start of Tony's vacation and the official start of some FUN with the kids!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Are you ready for this?
Nice action shot, huh!
The only problem.....he's on the dark side!
Curse you, Jacquelen!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


© RICHARD FOREMAN/American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Is my family getting more pathetic?!? I'm really trying to do more Christmas themed activities, but we're BUSY!!!!!! We watched The Middle together was a Christmas one...does that count? (we didn't watch The Middle when it was actually on...we taped it and watched it once everyone was home from mutual) We love this show!!!!! I did want to share a food blog I follow Robin Sue is posting an advent calendar for 25 days! I plan to try her eggnog muffins tomorrow. Enjoy!


Day 7 was a repeat as Day 6, Charlie Brown Christmas Special. There were additions to the day such as another Charlie Brown special, some Santa's helper special and these cookies! My kids LOVE these cookies so much that they are on their Christmas lists!!!! I can't wait for my kids to not be so busy with school that we can do something more with our evenings. Until then....thank you Charlie Brown and Pillsbury!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Can you guess what we watched last night? I love the Charlie Brown Christmas special! I love that my kids are enjoying the same shows I did as a kid. And I think it's a crack up that the tree is for sale this year. I can't wait until the kids are out of school for Christmas break and we can do other activities. For now we'll keep enjoying our Christmas movies.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Our family time wasn't Christmas themed...just lots of fun time together. After church, we watched America's Funniest Videos (AFV) as a family and played Kyler's favorite game - CHARADES!!!!! That game was NEVER my favorite or even a game I liked as a girl. I was too embarrassed to play it! But Kyler (who never gets embarrassed...unless he has a turkey feathered bottom) could play this game forever. Which is quite a feat when you consider his words are generally about superhero movies or video games. When he first discovered charades, he only acted out Spiderman or Wolverine. He also always held up 3 fingers for 3 words. Confusing since Spiderman and Wolverine are only one word each. He wasn't telling us the amount of words, he was telling us how many syllables there were! It was REALLY interesting trying to play with him when he veered from Spidey and Wolverine! I should have taken a photo of Kyler acting things out, he's always very enthusiastic about it.
This is what most Sunday evenings look like at our home. It's the easiest time for me to run the kids laundry through and know that they have the clothes they need for the week. Colton was so happy to tell me what he learned in church. He even grabbed me in the hall to inform me. He learned (and it was even in the teacher's manual - he liked having the black and white proof) that we are NOT to do ANY chores in our homes on Sunday. Now that's a rule he can really get behind! He did say if I was willing to relax the no video games on Sunday rule, he'd be willing to bend the no house chores rule for me. I wish you had such a thoughtful teen!!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Our family activity today has been a favorite of the kids - Robison Orthodontics Snow Party! The boys LOVE attending this party every year. They have snow for the kids to play in, face painting, bounce house, in the past they've had a game truck and this year they had a rock wall. And the food....there's plenty of hot chocolate, orange juice, water bottles, muffins, brownie bites, cookies, cinnamon rolls, etc. If that wasn't enough, they even have Santa!!!! Well, the boys were so excited to attend.......until we realized a couple of things. Colton has a job! Asher had an all day competition! The only boy that could attend was am I able to count it as a family activity?!? The Stock's are in trouble if we can't since we weren't able to all five be together today! I'm counting it though. There was definitely lots of family time today.
Kyler loved throwing snowballs. This was not representative of the snowballs he was forming - I Promise! I was just making him slow down and pose for a picture where he was actually looking in my direction. The photo below shows him just after throwing a snowball.
While I was with Kyler and Colton was at work, Tony and Asher were here.
It was an all day event! It was scheduled for 8am to 5pm....but they weren't out of there until 6 pm. They had technical judging, presentation judging, a practice run, and three competitive runs. was a LONG day! Kyler and I showed up to watch their 1st competitive run.
After they would compete, they would regroup and adjust their programming. I love that Asher is able to participate in this. He really does love it.
Asher's team....The Pathfinders!
I'm really proud of Asher for all the hard work he put into this. Since August, he has spent 2 hrs every Tuesday AND every Thursday afternoon preparing for competition. It was a big commitment for this boy, but he's familiar with commitment. (He's been in Tae Kwon Do almost 3 years now and holds a Deputy Black Belt.) Now for much deserved R & R....and maybe some family time!

Friday, December 3, 2010


I just LOVE this photo!!!!!
It's one of the first ones I took with my digital camera on Christmas Day 2004. There were many big gifts for our family that year......Kyler miraculously came into our lives, his adoption was finalized and he was sealed to us for time and all eternity! This year I just want more time with my family and I'm getting it! I can't wait until the kids are out of school for the break. Tony will also be taking vacation time during their break. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Until December 17th I'll just have to take smaller bits of time with everyone. Everyday in December we're doing some activity as a family. December 2nd we attended the tamale dinner at Colton's school and then drove around to see some Christmas lights. Tonight we're watching a Christmas movie....don't know which one yet. There are TOO many to choose from!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


The Monday before Thanksgiving we had a dilemma. Colton had an orchestra concert and Kyler had the 1st Grade Thanksgiving Concert. Both of the boys wanted their dad to go with them.....(YES, I'm such a horror to be with! feeling the love!) and really....who should be punished with my presence?! Since Tony went to Kyler's concert last year, I was the one to attend this year. My friend, Renee took the photo of him and I'm so THANKFUL since I didn't bring my camera! I finally had something I could share on here about Kyler and I wasn't prepared....again, Thanks, Renee! Before the concert I asked Kyler if he was nervous. He thought that was a ridiculous question.....why would he be nervous? He said he was fine, but there was one part of the program that was going to embarrass him. I was pretty sure they didn't have to kiss I couldn't imagine what else could possibly embarrass this boy! During a Chilean song about turkeys....the children (who were wearing a belt of turkey feathers on their backside) turned and shook their feathered booties to the audience. After shaking it, Kyler looked at me and gestured "SEE.....EMBARRASSING, HUH!!!!!" Life really does baffle me at't-like-to-shut-the-door-while-in-the-bathroom-talk-about-inappropriate-things-all-the-time-son (that I can hardly blog about because I'M TOO EMBARRASSED to let the world the way, Ryan - I have a story about Kyler jumping....that's all I can say....remind me next time I see you) is really embarrassed by shaking his turkey feathered bootie in public. Did not see that one coming! I love this photo, but it did not represent Kyler's performance. Picture him yawning....and you've nailed it!!!!! He yawned throughout the ENTIRE program......and it wasn't that long! I wish I had video of reminded me of Asher performing around that age. During the song firefly (which was very slow and not his favorite) Asher yawned about a dozen times...and yes, it is on video!
Another event in November was our Young Women in Excellence program. I was not only invited....but none of the girls complained that I showed up instead of Tony....SCORE! This photo is missing a few of our girls - two that couldn't make it and one that hides from our cameras! Yes, Meghan....that's you!
Here's our dessert table! The centerpiece was put together by the wonderful Cynthia Baxter!!!!!!! I was so inspired by the centerpieces on all the tables that I took home some leftover branches and made my own very simplified centerpiece for our Thanksgiving. (no lights, birds, bow, or filler in the vase....I told you SIMPLE!) I was in charge of the refreshments. I chose lots of bite-sized desserts and water to drink. We had 3 different kinds of Cookies (Thanks, Deanna!), Cream Puffs (Thanks, Elaine), Cupcakes (Thanks, Brianna), Brownie Bites and Oreo Truffles from me. (did you notice I capitalized all the desserts....they are THAT me!) It was a great evening as always....I love the Young Women!
And finally......WELCOME TO DECEMBER!
I really wanted to have a family activity every day in December and we are at 100% so far!!!!! Last night, our whole family decorated our tree while listening to the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas album. I used to listen to that album when I was a kid. I would get permission to go into Mita and Papa's living room and get the red....YES, RED, disk of vinyl out of the sleeve and place it so carefully on the record player. I even fell asleep in their once while listening. After the record ended Mita and Papa were searching for me and thought I was lost. They yelled for me (I am and have always been a very, very sound sleeper) and searched everywhere.....except the closed off living room....which is where they found me a while later, snoozing and holding on to the album cover. (there is a slide of that picture they took somewhere....maybe I'll search for it one day) Anyways.....back to boys were all happy to open their advent calenders before bed. What a way to end the day....with chocolate!

Monday, November 29, 2010


This year we were blessed to have two Thanksgivings! I wanted to make a turkey for both and my first turkey went so smooth and was delicious! The second turkey....not so smooth. I had been baking and the oven was at the correct temperature when the turkey was put in the oven.....only problem........the oven got turned OFF! (yes, Tony put the turkey in the oven for me.....mmmmm....I wonder how the oven got turned off?!?) I didn't notice this fact until 1 1/2 hours had passed. After a little panic set in....we tried the TURN THE OVEN ON method and everything went well from there. (well....we ate later than we planned.....but we ate!) You would think that I would take pictures of our fantastic dinner....but I didn't. Our menu: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potato gratin (a DELICIOUS savory dish.....again, DELICIOUS!), rolls, and sparkling grape juice. After dinner we quickly cleaned up to welcome extended family for dessert. Everyone contributes to dessert and we all talked while the kids run around. Our home was so full of people and noise.....we call that a HUGE SUCCESS. My contribution to the dessert - chocolate truffles from Costco and two chocolate pecan pies. Isn't it beautiful!
I don't know how this photo got on my camera.
Lesson: If you snap it, I will share!
It wouldn't be the holidays without a meal at Blue Adobe Grill.
Jacquelen's stacked enchiladas with red enchilada sauce!
My mom's tenderloin relleno and lobster tamale with green enchilada sauce!
My Cruz Kitchen: tenderloin relleno and smoked pork tamale, Christmas style (red and green enchilada sauce)....YUM!!!!!
Putting puzzles together is not my normal tradition....but I always want it to be! Colton and Asher helped me do this 1000 piece puzzle. It was a used puzzle from I didn't think I'd be too upset if the puzzle had a missing piece. It had 999 pieces! (i was upset) Can you find the missing piece? I still felt an accomplishment from finishing it though....I think the boys did too. (especially since they pulled out the Simpson's 1000 piece puzzle...maybe next weekend) Tony was amazed that we finished it so quick - just Sunday afternoon!
Sunday I decided to bake some rolls again......THEY WERE HUGE!
Half were made into rolls....half into cinnamon rolls. One pan of cinnamon rolls had regular glaze, one pan had maple....both were delicious! (how many times have I used that word?!?)
It was a wonderful weekend with lots of great food, family, friends, movies, games, etc. We ended the best 4 days with half naked boys wrestling in the family room! (I think it was a good transition back to reality)
Kyler loves to beat up his sweet!
Even Colton got into the mix!
Roscoe stayed out of reach, but close by.
I'm so thankful for all the craziness and love in my life!

Monday, November 22, 2010

1st THANKSGIVING OF 2010 read that correctly...our 1st Thanksgiving of 2010. Jean-Jacques and Linda came in to town this weekend to be with his children and I thought it would be fun to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. We set a simple autumn table for the adults. The kids had bright colored cafeteria style trays to use. We had the traditional Thanksgiving menu: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Stuffing, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Rolls, and a Pumpkin Pie. The only item not so traditional, but totally appropriate was the Pumpkin Spice Cake with Creme Anglaise. (Thank you Jean-Jacques and was delish!!!!) It was all so YUMMY!!! Yummy enough to make it again on Thursday - when we'll all enjoy the 2nd Thanksgiving of 2010!

Monday, November 8, 2010


This is our 7th year at our elementary school. In all those years I have gone to the fall festival. It's our biggest fundraiser of the year and I not only like to support our school, but the kids have a great time! I've even done my turn as a fall festival parent. I've set up booths, taken down booths, sent millions of letters home asking for help, put together our classroom silent auction basket, attended meetings, and worked with lots of parents. But this year....I'm just tired! It was the first year I didn't want to even go to the fall festival. So....I decided to not give myself a hard time and ask Tony if he would take the kids alone. He didn't have a problem taking them or volunteering at the booths I was going to work at.....SCORE! (thanks, tony) This year Colton also decided to stay home....yes, he IS too cool for this school!
When Tony, Asher and Kyler came home we were greeted by this!
Kyler had his face what you might ask?!?
A zombie, of course!
(apparently this zombie plays soccer)
The scariest part about that, not these glasses...
(although I did freak out my mom and Tony with them....heehee)
The scariest part was hearing all about Asher's night.....the hanging out with his friends and GIRLS!!!!!!! He was too cool for the games and decided to spend his tickets on food/drinks and just hang out with his friends. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THIS KILLS ME?!?!?? I've accepted (for the most part) that Colton is a teen and growing up.....but NOT my Asher!!! My Asher that used to snuggle with me ALL THE TIME!!!!! The boy that loved being by my side! Well....THE BOY!!!!! He's not a boy anymore and I'm having a very hard time with it!!!!!!!!
(side note: I watched Toy Story 3 for the 1st time last night. I heard from all my friends that they got emotional with this one. I was totally prepared and made it through the movie great. I was even wondering what they were talking about until the very end of the movie. I could feel my emotions running away and then.........well, if you thought Tempe Town Lake bursting down the Salt River was dramatic.....that was nothing compared to my water works!!! I was only consoled by the fact that Colton is just a freshman in high school. On the bright side...I got a great cry in!)

Friday, November 5, 2010


I was so proud of the boys for making their own jack-o-lanterns this year. Tony helped clean them out, but they all made their own designs. Here's Colton's...
Kyler's.....those orange things sticking out are his "ears"
That's what Kyler says.....and if Kyler says must be true!!!
Inspired by my neighbor....I decided to roast the pumpkin seeds of all three pumpkins.
After taking them out of the orange innards, I washed them...
Aren't they looking clean?!
Then I spread them out on a cookie sheet, sprayed them with a little vegalene, sprinkled some herbamare on it, and baked them. They turned out so good.....we couldn't stop eating them! Thankfully I still have some left. I'll be sprinkling them on top of some butternut squash soup in the next couple of weeks. YUM! Now if the weather would get out of the mid-90's I could really get into fall!
Do you roast pumpkin seeds? What fall traditions are your favorite?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Asher launders money!!!!

This kid is loaded after his birthday!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Asher's had a big month! He turned 12, became a deacon, started passing the sacrament, became a Deputy Black Black (2 more tests and he's a 1st Dan Black Belt!!!!!). I missed Asher's first Sunday passing, but Tony assured me he looked calm and in control! I was able to see him yesterday. He does know what he's if I can just keep Kyler quiet during the sacrament, we'd be set!!!
Now, on to the Tae Kwon Do testing! Kyler was our photographer for the evening. (this kept Kyler occupied during the 3 hours.....YES, 3 HOURS!) I just put the camera on the museum setting (no noise or flash) and let him shoot.
This was Asher during his testing. Grand Master Won Ki Hong is at the table.
This is how Kyler took the photo.....this is how it will be posted!
There are maybe more shots of the spectators that night then of those testing!
Here's Kyler and Tony.
It would be lovely to say that this is how the night ended.....NOPE! This was how it must have been that 5-7 min. catnap that gave him all the energy he had for photography that night! He wasn't ready for bed when we arrived home either.....that boy has LOTS of energy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ASHER IS 12!!!

I can't believe it's been 12 years since Asher came into the world! (and 12 years since he was on the news!!! What a beautiful baby!) I tried to get him to plan his birthday.....but he's a boy and had no intention of doing that. I tried to plan a party for him and a group of such luck. Finally, he did sit down with me and planned out a very detailed day. It started with his free Krispy Kreme. (a dozen doughnuts.....a dozen years!)
After he picked up the doughnuts with his dad, they went to pick up Simon.....the lone guest to his birthday fun. They ate and drank hot cocoa (part of the plan) and.....
(I know....big shock!)
Then it was time for the first present......
$15 to go to Sweetie's Candy Shop!
(yes....Colton does hold the dog like a baby....and our dog thinks he's a baby!)
Now.....I don't have pictures for the middle of the day, but here's the schedule: Go to Sweetie's, then off to Liberty Market (huge cheeseburger and chips) and Joe's BBQ (meat plate, mac & cheese and more chips) to get free birthday food, come home and Simon and Ash shared the burger before rushing off to.....the movies (Legend of the Guardian-the Owls of Ga'hoole to be exact), then back home to eat the meat plate and more video games, late in the afternoon the boys went to Joe's Farm Grill for more free birthday food (CHOCOLATE SHAKES!!!), back home again for.....yes, you guessed it......MORE VIDEO GAMES!!!!
Then the dinner...
Mashed potatoes
Veggies with Ranch and
Asher is a carnivore....and proud of it!!!!!!
I'm not sure how he ate all the food that he did!!!!!
I didn't have time to bake his cake and thought I'd get to it on such luck.
Then Sunday was VERY busy. Asher had an interview before church, then church, after church we went to the bishops office for Asher to receive the priesthood, then home for a minute to grab a snack before we went out to Queen Creek for a baptism. It was a great day....but no cake.
Monday Jacquelen came over and made awesome french bread pizzas for lunch. Tony even came home and we were all able to finally sing Happy Birthday to Asher! (get my 1 - 2 candles for 12.....lame, I know!)
His birthday wish!
I love this picture!!!!
(I think I'll have to blow it up really big
and look at it every time I'm frustrated with this pre-teen....
it just might save us both!)

Dad and I are so proud of you and we can't wait to see you pass the sacrament on Sunday!!!!