Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving keeps giving

Like millions of traditional American families, my husband Eric started his thanksgiving day at the crack of dawn playing football. Enjoy a little movie magic that captures all the 'turkey bowl' drama . Special thanks to our favorite cameraman, director and editor the one and only Jared Foster.

Meanwhile at the Phillips compound, we started working on a little magic of our own, the biggest feast of the year. The Phillips hosted 36 family members and guests, not counting the kids. Fourteen lemon meringue, pecan, and pumpkin pies lovingly made by the hands of Jane Phillips and her father Ken Taylor (FYI: a legend in the kitchen). Kelsey, Camille and I helped with a few pie shells. Naturally there were several robust turkeys. Homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, and artichoke dip, also made by Ken Taylor. And arriving families brought everything in between.

Lt to Rt: Jane, David, Marjan, and Todd.

I made my favorite thanksgiving dish, The Famous Pam's Yams. Who's Pam? Pam is my mom. For those who plan to pass on the yams this year, I challenge you to make my moms version of yams. I am willing to bet serious money and grantee that you will now love yams. Yes love is a strong word to use in the same sentence as yams. But trust me, we don't call them 'The Famous Pam's Yams' just to be over dramatic. All whom dared to partake has echoed that title. And so in the tradition of giving I am willing to share this coveted recipe. Enjoy.

Yam Filling

1/3 c. butter (room temp.)
3 c. mashed yams (5-6 yams, peel, chop and boil)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk


1/3 c. butter ( room temp.)
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 c. walnuts (chopped)

Don't cover. Bake for 1 hour at 350. If you are a Phillips, Taylor or a Piller you will need to add a little more sugar, butter and vanilla to yam filling and make double the topping.

From Lt to Rt: Eric, a boyfriend, Karen, Kenna, Kelly, Matthew, and Mike. MIA: the Reeds and the Cooks. We missed them and please pray for baby Bree.

Lt to Rt: Mimi holding Liberty, --------, GG Phillips, Tracey Bookes, Pam, Connor, Aunt Janet and Grandma Taylor.

One table of twelve, and three tables of eight held all of us.

Shoots from my seat. Lt to Rt: Spencer, Evelyn holding Izzy, Jessie and Eric. In the back ground, Todd, Jay, Grandpa Taylor, Kelsey.

Connor hiding in the pillows.

Phillips Family Lt to Rt top row: Todd, Wendi, Eric, Connor and Kelsey. Lt to Rt bottom row: Camille holding Brinly, David holding Joceyln and Pearce, and Jane. Sorry, no Piller Family picture. My brother, Grant and his wife, Amy couldn't make it to AZ. Next time.

Our Family. Eric, Wendi, Connor and Pearce.

My kids are pinball addicts. The only thing Pearce and Connor fight over..... turns to play.

Connor scored a record 108,890 points.

You did it Connor. You are now a pinball master.

It was a beautiful day with partly sunny, rainy skies. Picture taken at the basement level back door. In Chandler Arizona.

Taken on main level back balcony.

Taken on upper level back balcony view, over looking The Ocotillo Golf Course. Arizona is beautiful at this time of year.

Thank you to all for the good time, the good food and the good company! We are truly blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back in Arizona

Only a month home and we are packed to go again. The kids and I are headed to Arizona for three weeks. Eric will be in Washington D.C. for the first week and then will join us in Arizona for the following weeks.

Week One. We stayed at my parents, Spencer and Pam Piller's home in Chandler Arizona. It was very relaxing except for all the homework Connor had. Poor kid. It makes me wonder what they're doing during class time? Connor attends a private school that has an accelerated learning program. He is doing algebra in the fifth grade. I think that borders on cruelty. Just Kidding, he is getting a first class education. Of course I am thrilled.

Connor hard at work drawing a picture for his platypus children’s book project titled, 'Who's new at the zoo?’

Connor after too much homework! Or too much sugar?

Meanwhile, Pearce has been examining his pizza for an hour with a very large magnifying glass.

My Mom in the kitchen baking. Seriously, she should have her own bakers boutique. But I am glad she doesn't cause that means more treats for me. I think I ate at least six of her cookies a day. I love my Mom's cookies. Thanks Mom.

Pearce in time out. And the only time out he requested to relive. Maybe he was waiting for a massage?

My Dad in his man cave, I mean office looking up new toys, hobbies or places to travel. Doesn't retirement sound great. On one of the days, my Dad kidnapped me for a Daddy-daughter date. We spent the day at the golfing range. My Dad taught me how to golf again. If I can only keep my head down, I could make some real money. Then, we laughed it all off over lunch. I love Daddy-daughter dates. Thanks Dad.

The gang at the Zoo. Both my kids are big animal lovers. So this day trip was a hit.

Check out the size of those horns. Is that natural? Sorry, we don't have bulls in Hawaii. Well, at least not on my Island.

This is a little flick showing how my boys like to pass the time. If they’re not playing guys, playing sports, or playing Kung Fu wrestle mania tickle matches.

We had a great time with my folks. The only thing that would have made it better...if Eric was with us to share in the joy. But with the holidays coming the joy is just getting started.

P.S. Grant and Amy too. Miss you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pray for Bree

I wanted to alert everyone's attention to our cousin Kari Cook's blog. She is Eric's first maternal cousin. She just found out that her beautiful baby daughter, Bree, has cancer. Bree will be going through intense chemo over the next several months. Please visit Kari's site and pray for baby Bree. Nobody deserves something like that, but especially Kari and her family. Long before this trial, she was already an amazing example of strength and patience. But as you'll see if you read her blog, her current attitude will undoubtedly cure you of any pity parties. Her site is It's also listed on my fellow bloggers list to the right under "Cook."

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We started celebrating Halloween last weekend by just being ourselves. For a last minute costume, I think we did ok. But Pearce may need therapy after seeing his Dad dressed as a woman. Let's just say he was very unsettled.

Eric stood about 6'5 in those platform beauties. We both agreed Eric looked like an uglier version of Kelsey (his 19 year old sister). A really, really uglier version. Here are a few of the other young married's who participated. Good ideas for next year.

Mr. and Mrs. Palin. Accent and all. Move over SNL Tina Fay.

Hippie Chic and the bride of Frankinstin.

Frankenstien. And my favorite Juno and her cross country running boy toy. Where's your backpack dude?

The gang of young married's. Pearce happened to walk into the shot. Where's his sitter? And where is Wendi aka Eric? All in all it was a good time. Thank you to those who sweat and toiled to make our young married lives so festive.

We also went to the Tri-Ward Family Carnival Halloween party at the Tab. Eric ran a booth with a pumpkin ring toss. Meanwhile Pearce was having a two year old melt down about putting on his costume. I tried everything to get Pearce to wear it. But he was determined. I only managed to get one leg in. So Pearce went to the party costumeless. And of course this happend after I had given him a black eye....with make up. We went to the party anyway. And if anyone asked what Pearce was for halloween we explained, that he had been a Championship Boxer at one time, but now he was just an abused child. Fortunatly, Pearce was okay with wearing his costume for actual Haloween.

Boxing World Champion Pearce Phillips fights for his share of the candy.
Check out the six pack on that two year old!

Pearce had the lingo "Trick or Treat" down once he realized he would recieve candy in return. We tried to teach him to yell out " Adreane". But he was too focused on getting more candy.

Pearce was victorious and happy with his winnings! Another Halloween has come and gone. Surprisingly, not the candy. Yet.