Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rob and Big (Part 2)

Ben came over to hang out this weekend. Matt and Ben are such the odd couple (just like Rob and Bid), but they are the best of friends. Ben is your quintessential bachelor-artist-video game designer. Meanwhile, Matt is every bit the "regular Joe," and somehow it just works. We went out to dinner to grab some pizza and then we came back and the guys did this...
They pulled the love seat right in front of the TV to play X-Box. (They were laughing because I was taking a picture). I think Katie wants to be part of their group really bad! She gets very jealous.

Here they are with their "video game playing faces."

I just thought this was a funny picture because you can see things from their perspective...such dorks ;)

Anyway I went in the other room and watched a movie while they played their bloody video games. I am glad they got to have their "guy" time.

Sunday we got up and went to church. It was Matt's Granny Barbara's 78th birthday so we went out to lunch at a place called the 4th Floor Grill in Scottsdale for lunch. It was really good! I hope she had a nice birthday.

Brenda (one of Matt's cousins) took some family pictures for us. She is an excellent photographer! I plan to post the pictures once we get them from her. Thanks a ton Brenda!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good News and Kind of Bad News

Bad news first. I made a bet with Matt a few years back. When gas prices started increasing about 3 years ago and we crossed the whopping $2 mark I said to Matt, "I bet we never see gas below $2 for the rest of our lives." This past summer I thought that I had won for sure! (For those of you who have forgotten we reached over $4 a gallon). Don't get me wrong; I was not happy that I was winning because it was costing a fortune, but a win is a win. I should probably mention one stupid thing on my end though before I keep gloating about my now shot confidence. I realized after making this bet that I would never actually be able to win. You see, I made the timeline until the end of our lives. What good is a bet if you win when you die? I know. Stupid. Well, either way, I officially lost yesterday...

It's too bad that neither one of us remember the conditions...This was on the corner of Lindsay and Baseline. It's a beautiful sight isn't it. Anyway, that is why it's only kind of bad news.

Now onto the good news...I am done with my Rio Salado certification program! WAHOO!!! :) I took my last final last weekend and it feels amazing! I am so ready to have my life back. All the countless, mind-numbing hours in front of the computer doing useless homework assignments are over. I will now have time to work on some projects that I have been putting off: learning how to tile and putting up a back splash in the kitchen, putting up wainscoting and painting in our bathroom, helping Char set up a blog, reuniting with friends that I have neglected the past 2 years (Saturday morning phone conversations are back on Meghan!), you name it. Watch out world Nikki is back :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

What an Insane Week

Let's start with last Saturday. I was in our room talking to my mom and I hear a cat shriek (you know they kind they make if you were to step on their tail). Turns out Katie and Jack got into a little fight. Except when I say little I mean an all out brawl. Katie did this to Jack (I apologize in advance for the graphic nature. Rest assure, that after a $400 vet bill later he will recover...I will not be showing the pictures post surgery because they are about 100 times worse than this one.)

And now he gets to wear one of these nifty devices...He loves it cant you tell?
Just for the record. I blame my last post. Here I am showing how much they "love" each other and then BAM! I realize that a lot of people do not read my blog, but seriously, if you know anyone who wants a cat and will give him a good home please let me know. We cannot keep him for much longer.

Moving on...(that same night) Our friend Ben was having a housewarming party and he invited us so we decided to go. We had a really good time! Ben's house is really nice and he has some very interesting roommates (in a good way). We ended up bringing my sister and Kenney (an old friend from high school) along with us. Kenny and I have stayed in touch, but we probably haven't actually hung out since high school. It was so nice to reminisce on our million memories. Kenney and I have known each other since 8th grade (when I moved to AZ). I will never forget how much he used to drive me NUTS! (I'm talking blowing his nasty Corn Nut breath on me and asking if it smelled)...Well not much has changed. He is still annoying, but I guess you could say he is that lovable annoying friend who you want to have around. Freshman year we used to walk to school together every day and he would pick on me incessantly. Some people actually thought we were brother and sister because we would fight so much yet we were always together. As much as he made me insane, I have really missed hanging out with him.
Ben and Courtney, as always, it was a pleasure. I am really looking forward to our Lakeside trip(whenever it happens)!

Kenney, Courtney, Benyamin, Me, Matt this picture. I have been dealing with this crap since high school! I used to try and fight it but I have just given up. As I was walking into the room to get Matt one of the girls said to me, "there is some serious man on man action going on in here. I said, "I of them is my husband!" I'm telling you what a proud moment...I guess I just don't get it :) Oh, by the way neither of them were sleeping.

Then Sunday, we had a torrential downpour then ended up with this.

Yeah, those are hail balls! I asked my students on Monday if it rained in Gilbert and they said that it didn't really even rain yet we had a hurricane followed by an avalanche of hail. Arizona is so weird! Please excuse our dying grass. I just don't have it in me this year to deal with re-seeding.

Fast forward to Tuesday... Matt's parents came out to Queen Creek to go to lunch with us. We went to Cravings (the Mexican food version of Gecko Grill). It was really yummy, but I think we all would agree that we ate too much! After lunch we went out to a development called Encanterra that is right down the street from us. Matt and I love to go look at model homes and this community has a ton of them so we took Mike and Donna so we could go walk off our lunch. We had a nice time with them. Thanks guys for lunch!

Fast forward again to Friday...Chet ("Mr. C") the paraprofessional in my classroom 1st hour was retiring and it was his last day. My kids wanted to throw him a party (which is code for they didn't want to take the regularly scheduled quiz). Since they are such an awesome class I let them have their party. Chet has always had this ongoing "joke" with me about how I should bring in peanut butter balls. So, for his last day I had to do it. I spent 4 hours Thursday night making over 100 peanut butter balls (I had to make them for my other colleagues as well or they would get mad at me). A little side story, one of the teachers called them little drops of Heaven. Anyone who watches Friends would understand how I had a total Monica moment when he said that. Anyway, back to the story at hand. Chet had a had a very nice last day. A lot of people brought him in goodies and presents which he loved. I had a lot of fun working with Chet even if I only got about 50% of his jokes. (He thinks that I don't get them because "I'm too young." I don't have the heart to tell him that sometimes they are just not that funny...I can say that on here because I know he will never read this). Either way, he was a very nice man and I am glad I was able to work with him.
Now...since I have made a habit of posting my most favorite recipes. I guess I have to post the recipe for peanut butter balls. First, I have to be honest about 2 things: 1: This recipe is my mother-in-laws (not mine). Matt loves them so one year I made them for Valentine's Day and I have just been making them ever since. 2: I don't really like them. In my opinion they are too sweet, but I think this is just me because whenever I (or Donna for that matter) make them people go crazy.

And the recipe is:

Mix together:
1C Creamy peanut butter
1/2 C (1 stick) butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar (I never measure mine. I go by texture and taste. You want them to be firm enough to stay in the ball shape, but taste it as you to make sure they aren't too sweet).

Roll dough into balls.--you can put them in the fridge to make them easier to handle when dipping, but its not necessary.

Dip into microwaveable chocolate with a toothpick (I have used CandiQuick, Kroger and Almond Bark and they have all worked fine) . When you microwave the chocolate be sure to mix it REALLY well or it will get clumpy.

Let the excess chocolate drip off then drop them off the toothpick onto tin foil or wax paper. Use a butter knife dipped in the chocolate to fill the toothpick hole and create the swirly on top.

And there it is.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween...Now Cool Down Already!

We had a nice Halloween this year. We pretty much just handed out candy, but its fun to see the kids in all their costumes. Some people are really creative! I think my favorite costume was a girl dressed up as the Morton girl from the salt container. Something I noticed this year though was parents trick-or-treating? I am sorry, but no! This holiday is a kids holiday. If you want candy, go buy some. Well aside from that Halloween was good. Hopefully it will start cooling down here pretty soon now that the holidays are around the corner. Since we don't have kids, here is Katie "dressed" for Halloween.
Isn't she cute? (Don't worry Matt has shorts on, you just cant see them:)

Aww, they love each other!