Friday, November 28, 2008

I Work Hard for the Money!

It seems like each time my parents come to visit we eat at the Golden Coral. The last time they visited and we ate there and ended up sitting in a sea of elderly men and women. I'm guessing they bussed a bunch of them over from the nursing home a few blocks away. Anyway, Rufus was just being his well-behaved, cute self, eating anything and everything on his plate. After we finished our meal an older women commented on what a good child he was and offered to give him a dollar. Rufus curiously took the dollar and we found a photo opportunity.

Sing... Sing A Song...

Any time Albert receives a call on his cell phone you'll hear John William's "Summon the Heros." Rufus has learned to recognize this particular cell phone ringtone, and now tries to sing the first half and direct the second half of the ring. "Ba-ba-ba----! Ba--ba--ba--ba-ba-ba," he starts to sing, then finishes with rapid up and down motions with his arms. It was no surprise to us when he pulled out my music stand and pretended it was a microphone. He was also pretending to read music out of a book (like the hymnals at church).

It's Halloween Time!

Okay, so I'm a little behind on my blogging... get ready to be caught up.

We had a hard time deciding what Rufus should be for Halloween. Our two options were either a skeleton (because he had black pajamas with a full skeleton on the front) or a shark (because the costume he wore last year still fit somewhat). WELL! The week before Halloween he hit a growth spurt and out grew both! Right... so, now what. Rufus had a few ideas:
"The Love Guru"
... and the ever so original "Casper the Friendly Ghost."
We found this camouflage outfit in the bottom of one of his drawers and thought, "Hmmm... G.I. Dane!"

We went to two parties that night. One at Matt and Holly Winters where Rufus mostly played with Jordan's toys. Then we drove over to Dave and Darcey Cook's where they were watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" projected on their garage door and handing out candy in their driveway. Sam and Sarah were there with their little one too!
G.I Dane here with Tigger and Charlie Brown.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rewards Night

I keep meaning to post these pictures! Back in July, Albert and I (mostly me though) went through an "As You Wish" extravaganza! Here are our creations...

A mug I painted to hold pencils/pens on my desk at school. Fitting isn't it?
Albert made us an art deco butter dish.

Who stole the apple from the cookie jar?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Garden of Weedin'

These are photos I took while visiting with my parents on and off this summer. This year the flowers seemed exceptionally beautiful! May be because this year I realized that a part of me still, and will always, live in Holbrook. Enjoy...

Sunday, August 31, 2008


During the months of May, June, and July I qualified to take myself and Albert on a 4 day-3 night, all expense paid trip to Big Bear, CA with the Saladmaster crew. It was a bitter sweet trip... Albert and I definitely needed some time to ourselves; however, that meant we had to leave Rufus behind. Thank goodness he has a loving Aunt Shelley and Grandma Knudsen that watched him while we were away.
After an 8 hr. bus ride we arrived ready for fun! We stayed at the Best Western Big Bear Chateau and met up with other Saladmaster friends. That night we had a pizza party by the pool, which was too cold to swim in, so played freeze tag and Frisbee in the grassy area next to the pool. On the other hand, the jacuzzi was delightful and we spent quite a bit of time relaxing in it's bubbly water!
The next morning the bus took us to to the marina to board the Big Bear Queen for our tour around the lake.

This is the Saladmaster crew from AZ!

One of the first sights we saw as we circled the lake was the Big Bear Solar Observatory. If you'd like to read more about it check it out at

There were hundreds of multimillion dollar homes just like these along the lake front. Albert and I had fun deciding which one we would buy when we became rich and famous.

Of course Big Bear Lake is a man-made lake because of the Eastwood Dam. The fountain is pretty but is really meant to aerate the water.

We even made a pit stop at the S.S. Relief (with much gratitude from many of the passengers). The S.S. Relief is a floating port-a-potty, if you will, that they tote in periodically to dump. Vanna there is my friend Renae with whom I work.
After the grand tour of the lake our group divided. Some went to the spa, others shopping, we went to the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain. There they had water slides, a dry luge, and arcade that kept us entertained for hours. After realizing how sunburned we were getting, we walked to a local Italian restaurant where we enjoyed pizza and salad. Needless to say, we were pooped when we got back to the hotel that evening. But that's not all!!! We revived ourselves with a shower and went cosmic bowling that night! Crazy, I know.

The next day, Albert and I decided to take it easy and go see a movie since we hadn't seen one in the theater in awhile. We decided on "The Dark Knight," which most of you know is phenomenal. After the movie we browsed a few shops for souvenirs then took a taxi back to the hotel. That night Tracy & Tiana (my bosses) treated us to fancy dinner at the Evergreen, a restaurant that overlooks the lake.

This is my manager, Valerie, and I being silly after dinner!

It was a much needed vacation and a good experience for the two of us. I'm grateful I was able to get to know those I work with a little better too. Rufus had fun with his Aunt, Grandma, and cousins swimming and playing hard the whole day long. May be he's the one that really got the vacation?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Smithson Reunion 2008

We made it back to the Smithson Reunion this year. That makes two years in a row... man, we're on a roll! Instead of wimping out and driving back into Vernon everyday, we tented it with my sister, Mashell, and her daughter, Krysta. Rufus loved being in the great outdoors; and despite all the rain we all had a good time too.

If for nothing else, it was worth attending the reunion for the biscuits and gravy breakfast on Saturday morning.

Good times!

Even Grandpa and Grandma Frost made an appearance! Rufus loves playing with Grandpa's pen.

Mashell and Krysta walked to the Minerale and back; making for one long Saturday afternoon.

As we drove out on Sunday we stopped to pay our respects to my Grandparents. They sure are missed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Little Dab Here... And There...

A close friend of mine, Diana (who I used to work with at another school), babysat Rufus last week while I attended an educational training class. Her daughter, Emily, works at As You Wish and gets to keep any slightly damaged pieces they can't otherwise sell. She had recently acquired this heart-shaped plate and thought it would be a fun activity for Rufus to paint it. He indeed had loads of fun! Of course, Emily added a few finishing touches and below is what the finished product looks like. I can't wait to hang it on his wall in his room!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Getting Dirty

The first day we were in Holbrook Rufus & I went out in the garden to help Grandma. Little did we know that she had a family of sneaky snakes living in the grass and insects galore! At one point we went squash bug hunting. She and I would find the squash bugs and Rufus would step on them for us. It was a fun morning...
Finding a big "stick."

Relaxing with an old friend.

Getting dirty.

Playing in the water.

Watering Grandpa & Grandma's grass.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Singin' In The Rain

Rufus and I made the trek back to Holbrook this week so I could cook a few Saladmaster dinner shows. Like most of Arizona, Holbrook got a few sprinkles and it sure felt good! Grandma & Grandpa let him splash in the puddles while I was away at a show. Like Bill Cosby said, "they're just old people trying to make it to heaven!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission

I couldn't resist posting this picture. He just looks so cute! The tie and corduroy pants are courtesy of my sister, the shoes are from Grandpa and Grandma Frost, and the shirt I borrowed from a sister-in-law to complete the ensemble. Doesn't he look like a smaller version of Albert?

For it's 1, 2, 3 Strikes Your Out...

I got a smokin' deal on a set of group tickets to the Diamondbacks game on the 4th of July. We played a lousy game against the San Diego Padres and lost by 4. Rufus was obviously dreaming in this picture...

It was Rufus' first baseball game!

My parents drove down to attend their first NBL game ever, too! You can see my mom modeling the free 4th of July D-backs t-shirts we earned by being one of the first 25,000 in the gate.

Albert's mom and sister came along as well. (His mom tends to throw things as the game intensifies, so we put her at the end!)

Our seats were on the bottom level in left field. They opened the retractable roof and after the game they shot off fireworks from the parking garage next door. We were told we wouldn't be able to see them from our seats and would have to walk out to Jefferson St. if we wanted to watch the show. Thinking we were going to beat the heat, we climbed to the 3rd level (above our seats) to get a better view of the night sky. Unfortunately, we were still at the wrong angle to see the firework show.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"...Livin' in a Van Down By the Riviera!"

So, um... yeah we bought a mini van. It's a 2003 Mazda MPV LX with a fold away third row seat. I know what you're all thinking, we didn't think we'd ever by a mini van either. However, I have to say it's so nice when you have children... even if it's only one child. Not only were we thinking futuristic (more children down the road, no pun intended) but we're also looking forward to vacations where we can actually tote everything we need (e.g. tent, chairs, coolers, etc.) It looks sorta greenish-blue in the photo, but it's really a light blue. Oh! And it's gets decent gas mileage 19/25 mpg. Anyway, we hope you understand and can forgive us. Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Goodbye, Old Friend...

We found a vehicle on Auto Trader that peaked our interest, so this past Saturday we drove to Paradise Valley to test drive it. Surprisingly, we both felt it would be beneficial to purchase the vehicle and sell our Nissan Stanza. Sunday evening we posted the Stanza on Craigslist and by Monday evening we had cash in hand. Albert and I were both sad to see it go (I'm tearing up just thinking about it!). I'm having a hard time understanding why I am emotionally attached to this car! I know change is the only constant in our lives. However, this change makes me feel like we're saying "goodbye" to our years as a young, newly married, couple and "hello" to 30-something, debt, and parenthood. We purchased the Nissan Stanza 6 years ago at a steal of a deal; and it saw us through our remaining years at EAC, the blistering heat and monsoon season in Mesa, and the bitter cold and snow while we attended NAU. More importantly it was a constant, reliable mode of transportation while everything around us changed. May be seeing it drive down the road with its new owners made me feel like we were losing the last piece of memorabilia from our college years. Who knows! Crying over a car is just ridiculous [sniff, sniff]. Goodbye, old friend... our little silver bullet.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Riggity Jig Jig!

While our stay in Holbrook was adventurous [ha! ha!] and exhausting, it's nice to be home. Let the laundry commence! I'm also scheduled to finish my Stock Program with Saladmaster tonight! Some of you may not know what that means, but in a nutshell in just three short months I'm getting 100% return on my investment in Saladmaster. I'd also like to send a shout out to the lovely town of Star Valley. Not only did they welcome me to their town by taking my picture but I've also been given the opportunity to donate $120.00 and 4 hrs. of my time to the community. Gotta love photo radar.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bon Appetit!

I have been affectionately dubbed "the cook." In short, my Mom and Dad do not cook anymore and if we (Rufus and I) want to eat we've gotta cook it ourselves. Anyway, off the topic... I've reunited with a friend of mine from high school during our visit to Holbrook. She let me look through her Pampered Chef cook book and write down a few recipes. Here's the only recipe I've tried so far, and will be making many more times in the future! YUMMO!

Chicken and Broccoli Wreath

2 c. chopped cooked chicken

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh broccoli

1/2 c. diced red bell pepper

1 c. (4 oz.) shredded cheese

1/3 c. mayonnaise

2 tsp. dried dill weed

1/4 tsp. salt

1 garlic clove, minced

2 pkg. crescent rolls

1 egg white, beaten

1/4 c. slivered almonds

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Combine chicken, broccoli, red bell pepper, cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed, salt, and garlic in bowl; mix well. Unroll packages of crescent rolls; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange 8 triangles in circle on pan with wide ends 3 inches from edge of pan and points toward outside. (Points will extend off pan.) Arrange 8 more triangles in center matching wide ends with triangles already in place. Seal wide ends, do not seal center. Scoop filling over sealed seams. Beginning with last triangle placed in center of pan, bring point of triangle straight across filling. Next bring point of opposite outside triangle diagonally across filling covering point of previous triangle. Repeat. Tuck last end under first. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just Keep Swimmin', Swimmin'...

This morning I decided to take Rufus swimming at the public pool. I wanted to go early because he usually takes a nap around 11am. We arrived at the pool at 9:30am and there was no one at the front desk to take our fee. The restroom doors were open so we walked in, through the showers, and into the pool area. There were guards at their post and instructors giving swim lessons in the big pool. No one seemed to mind we were there so we walked over to the baby pool to check it out. Empty. Rufus had the whole pool to himself! The water only came up to his chest so he loved just walking around and splashing. He took a few face dives, I'd pull him up, he'd sputter, and laugh! He also learned to jump in unassisted! Aw... our little polliwog.

All The Pretty Horses

Sometimes I feel so isolated up here and my blog is my only connection to the outside world. Therefore my goal while I'm away is to post a little note everyday. This is the palomino (along with a few other horses) that live across the street from my parents. Anytime Rufus is outside he makes a beeline for the horse coral! You think he has the makings of a cowboy?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I booked quite a few Saladmaster dinner shows up North this week, so Rufus and I left Albert behind to hold down the fort. That makes for a lonely Father's Day for him... so I thought I would post some pictures of our trip to cheer him up! My parents have a good sized garden in their back yard and spend a lot of time in it. If you think Rufus looks drenched in this picture you'd be correct! My mom was spraying her flowers with the garden hose and Rufus took advantage of the situation by sticking his head in the stream of spraying water. Not just once, mind you, numerous times! Whadda FISH! Looks like he's taking after dear old dad, huh? Rufus loves fixing things too... or at least he thinks he's fixing it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Four-year-old McCheeseburger

You've heard of the seven year itch, right? Well, check out the four year cheeseburger! I currently work for a health and nutrition company called Saladmaster. I know, strange title... but fabulous opportunity. Albert has unintentionally lost 25 pounds! Really! He can't find it anywhere! [Ha! Ha!] It has literally changed the way I think about cooking. In short it has changed our lives. I encourage you to check out their website if you're ready for a life changing experience: Oh yeah, and check out the cheeseburger video too! Uggh!

Remembering Dad

Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day by briefly visiting the site where Albert's dad was laid to rest two years ago. We go there often (i.e. Veteran's Day, the anniversary of the day of his passing, Memorial Day, Father's Day, etc.) and tell stories remembering him. It's a tradition I believe is good for Rufus. By visiting often and hearing all the fun stories he can become more familiar with him even though he will not meet him in this life. Albert will not often say aloud, "I miss my Dad," but I know he misses him more than he lets on. I feel a part of Albert's dad is alive in him and each one of his brothers and sisters; and because of that he will never be forgotten.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Black Widow

A few weeks ago I had opened the back door to let in some fresh air. Later that afternoon Albert came home from work and asked, "What's on the screen door?" I had not seen this "lady" hanging on the screen when I opened the door earlier, and now wonder how long she'd made our home her home! Needless to say, she's gone home to meet her maker!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"It's a... nice day for a... white wedding."

On Mother's Day my brother-in-law and his wife-to-be ask me to take their engagement pictures. This is the one I thought turned out the best! Although, there were a quite a few that look great (if I do say so myself)! Anyway, they're to be wed on Saturday, May 24th with a reception to follow. We're so happy to have Larinda and her son Kelton as the newest members of our family! Sing with me now:

The Knudsen Family!
Da-da-da-dum [snap! snap!]
Da-da-da-dum [snap! snap!]
Da-da-da-dum, da-da-da-dum,
Da-da-da-dum [snap! snap!]

Ukulele Hawaiian Style

My friend Alonna (and fellow music teacher) posted this on YouTube and won a free Ukalele! For those of you who know her know what a talented, wonderful musician she is. CONGRATULATIONS ALONNA!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Where's Rufus?

I just went to COSTCO last week to pick up a few items, including diapers. Before I could take the box out to the recycle bin Rufus turned it into his play pen. He would squat down inside and wait for me to ask "Where's Rufus?" then...

... he'd pop up and squeal with laughter! I love this kid!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hippty! Hoppity! Easter's on it's way...

I know it's a little late to post Easter stuff, but I'm trying to bring you up to speed since our computer crashed. Grandpa & Grandma came to visit us on Easter weekend and I decided I wanted to take Rufus to meet the Easter Bunny. Now I don't know why we parents are fascinated with taking our children to see giant fictional characters around the holidays, but we are. I found a store (Once Upon a Child) where the Easter Bunny was to make an appearance and parents could take pictures for FREE (my favorite 4-letter word!) Well, I think the picture says it all. Obviously not a pleasant experience. Although, I did find a couple pairs of shoes on sale for him at the store; so in all it wasn't a wasted trip!