Monday, September 28, 2009

McKay Happenings

i wanted this blog to be a journal of my family and our life. i realize that i have not been writing about the things i will want to read about later, or at least the things that will continue to be important to me. i write too much about crafting (the lack of it) and food (more like wanting it) rather than all those things in my life that are so little, yet important to me. i need to write more about addison and the milestones she is reaching and passing, as well as the fun things kyle and i do with her. i don't want to stop writing about orange rolls and how i love fall decor, i just don't want those to be the main subjects of my blog.

i'll start with kyle. his new job at balboa insurance takes more time than he would like. balboa only offers full time employment and kyle wants to work part time so he can take more classes and get better grades. he is always thinking about our future and can be found reading any financial or investing book. these books are so boring to me. but he gets so excited reading these with all the ideas spinning in his head that he can hardly contain himself. rarely will you see a night that he is reading one of his books where he will not have to set it down several times to do his "excited fingers".
kyle let my buy some things the other day at the thrift store and wasn't even upset that it was home decor. it's hard being students and wanting to buy that kind of stuff in your price range. i love you kyle!

funny story. last wednesday i was talking to kyle about going to his dad's office the next morning. thursday afternoon he calls me on break. here is our conversation.

ME: kyle, you forgot to tell me something yesterday. i can't believe you would forget.

KYLE: (silence) happy birthday?

ME: (laughing so hard i can hardly talk) no. you forgot to tell me your dad's office isn't open today.....

okay, so writing it here isn't that funny, but i tell it better in person. point is, kyle knew my birthday was really close but wasn't sure if he forgot it or not. the way he said "happy birthday" like he was thinking uh oh, i'm in for it now just made me just laugh so hard, i couldn't talk for a while. i was just caught off guard. it was very cute.

we just got back on friday from house/teen sitting for the olson's again for several days. being with teens is kyle's element. he knows how to get along with them so well and at the same time be their older brother. he's also an excellent tease. it'll be fun doing it again starting tomorrow.

as for me, i have been going to school every monday and wednesday for intermediate photography at chandler community college. addison is watched by my mom during this time. my mom actually suggested that addison spend the night for my first day of school. it was so much easier to have her spend the night, that now she does it every sunday and tuesday night. that is such a huge help for me. if it wasn't for my mom, i don't think to could make it to school. i think that once kyle graduates, i will go back to school to became a nurse in the labor and delivery area. i have always been fascinated by watching babies come into the world. i remember when i was in young women's, i told another girl what i wanted to do and she made a crude comment about how i was so gross that i wanted to see a baby come out of "there" plus some other stuff i won't repeat. i was so mad at her. i was dumbfounded at how she could take something so beautiful and special and make it sound so sick. i hope to be able to change the way people view childbirth!

addison has come so far since i last wrote about her. she is seven and a half months old. five weeks ago (at five months) she started doing what kyle and i called a snail crawl. on her stomach with her head low, she would pull her legs forward until her butt couldn't go any higher into the air. then with her elbows, she would pull her upper body forward until her butt came back down to the ground. she got faster and faster. two weeks later, she stared a regular crawl that she taught herself. it is very cute to see her crawl while carrying things in her mouth like a dog. i can just see her wheels turning!
when she was doing the snail crawl, she learned the word "dada". kyle was very proud, although i don't think she knew what she was saying. about a week later, i was doing laundry at carson and jen's when addison, crying, snail crawled to me saying "mum muma". jen said that addison was definitely calling for me and knew what she was saying, i couldn't believe it! (addison calls for me all the time, but she says "dada" a lot less which makes me think she still doesn't understand that word yet.)

three weeks ago, i found addison crying in the living room. she had pulled herself up into a
standing position against the couch. she was scared, holding herself up at an angle, about to fall and was crying for me to save her. i had been on the phone and ignored her crying for a few minutes. i felt awful when i realized why she had been crying. now she pulls herself up all the time and knows how to get herself down too. she has even taken a few steps while holding on to something.

this will be addison's Halloween costume: addison loves food. i can't remember how old she was (maybe four months) when she started recognizing her bob. ( i began calling her bottle "bob" or "the bob" when she was born, kyle caught on pretty fast and now my sisters and even kyle's mom calls it that) now if she hears us shaking it, she will start crying in anticipation. it's so funny to watch. she eats solids too. when she is hungry, she will cry in between bites if i don't feed her fast enough. she definitely likes adult food a lot more though. chili, pizza, bread - she loves everything.

if she wakes up in the morning and i am too tired to get up yet, i will bring her in bed with me. sometimes she won't go back to sleep though so i will hold on to her ankle while she crawls to one side of the bed, gets bored, crawls all over me, and then crawls to the other side of the bed. needless to say, i can't really keep sleeping if i am trying to keep a hold of her ankle. i do try though.
even though i want this blog to be more centered around my family, i will continue to throw in all that other stuff. i think it adds personality. blogs are so fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

McCleve Family Camp and Hunt

This year Brittney's uncles were drawn to go bow hunting for elk and we all decided to make it a extended family camp out. Brittney and her family left Thursday night, and I went up with her sister Michelle and husband Jesse Friday night to the nice cool mountains just a little past Flagstaff.
It was tons of fun with most of the aunts, uncles and cousins up there. Cameron built a zip line, teeter totter, and swing for the kids. Uncle Lauren had a quad and Jesse and Cameron had dirt bikes that we zipped around on. We went on several little hikes with the cousins and found petroglyphs and some small caves.
We had quality bonding time playing phase 10, Scrabble, and other games. Dad brought the projector and we watched movies at night. We loved sitting around the camp fire, and telling stories and laughing at uncle Kevin and aunt Jenelle's dating stories. Brittney and I had a water fight (She started it and I finished it with her soaked to the bone). I think it all started with her giving me a hard time about losing the phase 10 game. I starting to tickle her, and after she poured water on me from a water bottle, and after chasing each other around for a minute, it ended with me dousing her with a few gallons of water form a jug.

I was able to get Brittney to ride the dirt bike, much to her dislike. She tried every excuse in the book and even tried hiding from me to get out of learning to ride (when I found her, I lifted her up over my shoulder in a fireman's carry so she couldn't escape). Finally I was able to get her on, taught her how to shift, and ran along side her as she rode. After her first attempt (not very successful) she tried running away, but I graped onto her shirt and pulled her back on the bike. Her second attempt was really good, and after a few more tries, she was shifting through all the gears and riding like a pro in the X-games. Addison was born to camp. She probably gets it from both sides of the family. She loved the outdoors. Poor girl had to be held most of the time because we didn't want here crawling around in the dirt. But she enjoyed hanging out with the family, swinging and quad riding with her dad, chilling on the hammock, and being fought over on who got to hold her by family members.
The food was amazing thanks to Mom and Dad. Some of the items on the menu were, dutch oven pizza, pazooki, Navajo tacos, hobo dinner, french toast, peach cobbler, smores, bacon, sausage. (Mom also brought some cold cereal for me) There was so much food, we had tons of leftovers.

The hunt didn't go so well. Uncle Lauren and the cousins would leave around 4:30 am and wouldn't get home till dinner with nothing to show. The saw a lot of good elk, but they were too far away for the bow.
Sunday afternoon we had a nice informal church meeting with talks from Jesse, Cameron, and Chantell.

I can't wait till next year! This was a fun family outing and another adventure to add to our list.

The fam!

Addison and Dad enjoying the wind in their face and the thrill of the ride

Addison on the swing

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Camping Season

this is what addison looks like right now. i love that baby along with her adorable fat rolls and buddah belly!
tonight i am packing for a camping trip. addison and i leave tomorrow afternoon and kyle will join us friday night with michelle and jesse. my dad's family made it a tradition to camp as a family while those who get drawn for hunting season do their thing. when grandpa mccleve unexpectedly passed away six years ago while hunting with my uncles, the tradition was put on hold. i think that some of my uncles have gone a few times since, but it hasn't been a whole family affair again until this year. i am so excited to be able to spend time with my family around a campfire, sing songs, play cards, explore, eat, build forts and all sorts of stuff i haven't done in so long! this will be addison's first campout and it's gonna be great. she is just shy of seven months now. my mom is cheating and isn't really camping. she insisted on renting a motor home; said she's done her fair share of camping in a tent. i can't wait to show you pictures of dirty faces and ratty hair topped with huge smiles!

here is most of the stuff i am bringing. i still have to pack a tent , sleeping bags and stuff like that. isn't kyle cute all squished to one side? what are you doing for your weekend?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Recycled Christmas Ornament

so this cute craft is one i found on accident and i thought it was sooo adorable!! the website is (i dont know how to type the word "here" and create a link so i posted her home address. if you would like to help me learn, leave a comment or maybe show me in person. i would appreciate it!) the blogger's name is Amy Gates and she is trying to make recycled holiday crafts - ornaments especially. i think this grinch is so cute, don't you?!

Standard Light Bulb or Wooden Bulb


Transfer Paper (if needed to trace pattern)

Aleene’s Premium Coat Acrylic Paint Colors: Holiday Green, Light Yellow, True Red, Burgundy, Yellow Ochre
Sponge Brush (spouncer works well)

#2 and #6 Shader Brush

Decorative Snow

Permanent Ink Marker (fine point)

Ribbon (for hanger)

Glue Gun

Clear Matte Spray Sealer


1. Wash light bulb and dry thoroughly.

2. Basecoat bulb holiday green using 2 coats, let dry in between coats. (hint: I use a basic socket fixture, the kind you affix to the ceiling to hold my bulbs while I base coat, otherwise you have to hold until paint dries).

3. Basecoat metal part of bulb true red using 2 coats.

4. Basecoat the face with light yellow.

5. Overpaint the face using a thinned holiday green (2 parts water 1 part paint). Let dry completely.

6. Draw or trace pattern on with pencil.

7. Paint the nose holiday green.

8. Using #2 shader dry brush (load your brush and then wipe off on a paper towel until the brush seems dry) holiday green in eyelids, under nose and mouth.

9. Paint eyes using light yellow. Paint pupils burgundy and highlight with a small dot of light yellow. Paint top of eye using yellow ochre.

10. Use black permanent pen to outline the face features.

11. Hot glue a small loop of ribbon to the very top for hanger.

12. Using decorative snow paint over hot glue at the top and around the bottom of metal part for hat band. Let dry completely.

13. Spray seal with clear matte spray.

on amy's website she shows you how to also make a light bulb ornament into the character "mumble" from happy feet as well as snowman tea lights from baby food jars.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/12 Declaration

Its been eight years now since that tragic day when malicious men tried to tear apart our country with death and fear. But the American spirit that resides in each of us would not allow such a terrible act tear us apart, but it brought us together bringing us closer to our neighbors, our families, and our God.

Even today we see the ripple effects caused by that infamous day as coffins carrying our brave men and women, who have given the ultimate sacrifice, come home each month. Yet the war on terror and oppression still continues. Our enemy, elusive and coward-like, still remains, posing a constant threat against us. Their objective: to take away freedom by causing fear. But it is a war that they can lose each day as long as we, the people, continue on with courage and fortitude, striving each day for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I see today the same courage and fortitude that existed during the birth of this great nation. I am reminded when oppressed, great men gathered together and with God given inspiration, declared their independence from a destructive foreign enemy.

On 9/12; On the dawn after a long night of darkness and fear, let us make our solemn pact with each other and declare our independence once again from our common enemy.

9/12 Declaration of Independence
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bonds of terror which have binded them, and to assume among the powers of the earth, to separate them selves from such bonds to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of terror or oppression becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to abolish it, and to institute the means whereby this people can enjoy peace and freedom, helping those lay a foundation of such principles and organizing their own goverments in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness..... Experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such forms of oppression and terror, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these United States and other nations; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to abolish terror and and its organizations. The history of the present Terrorist Organizations is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these and other nations. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

They have killed over 2,900 innocent people from 90 different countries on September 11, 2001 in the USA

They have killed 20 innocent people in a series of bombings on March 2002, in Israel

They have killed 202 innocent people in a series of car bombings on October 12, 2002 in Indonesia

They have killed 179 innocent people during a theater hijack on October 23, 2002 in Moscow, Russia

They have killed 41 innocent people in a series of bombings on May 16, 2003 in Casablanca, Morocco

They have killed 34 innocent people in a series of bombings on May 12, 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

They have killed 60 innocent people in a truck bomb on November 20, 2003 in Istanbul, Turkey

They have killed 191 innocent people in a series of train bombings on March 11, 2004 in Madrid, Spain

They have killed 330 innocent people (mostly children) as gunman raided a school, September 3 2004 Beslan, Russia

They have killed 56 innocent people in a series of bombings on July 7, 2005 London, England

They have killed 179 innocent people in a series of attacks in November, 2008 Mumbai

They have established themselves in governments of other countries oppressing the weak

They have caused prolonged war in Afghanistan and Iraq cause causing casualties of several nations
They continue to plan more attacks threatening all nations of the world

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these states, solemnly publish and declare, that these united states are, and of right ought to be free and independent of terrorist and their organizations; that they are absolved from all oppression and fear from terrorist organizations, and that all connection between them and the free people of the world, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent nations, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.


Kyle McKay

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My new set of Wheels

There was no sound, no lights turning on, no life coming from it at all. It was 4 pm during a hot and miserable august afternoon. After coming out of church all I wanted to do was go home, but my car had died on me. Luckily my EQ president had some jumper cables and I was able to get my car started. I drove my family home and waited in the car while Brittney ran inside the house to drop off our manual and scriptures, then we were off to my parents for a Sunday roast dinner. At the light of Country Club and Ray, my battery light turned on I and could feel my car shake a bit then die.

"Great!" I thought, trying to turn on the car again, but there was no sign of life.

My wife was freaking out because there were people behind us.

"Please Lord, just let my car start" I prayed silently, but I guess I needed to be humbled as I found myself pushing my car's dead and lifeless body to the corner gas station. I popped the hood like any guy would, trying my best to act like I knew what I was doing. I figured it was probably the battery or the alternator. I scraped away some of the build up on the battery connectors and tightened them. The car started back up again and as long as I kept the gas going I found that we would be fine. Needless to say, the next intersection we were approaching was a red light. I slowed the car down the the crawl of a snail, but the light still remained red. I had to make a complete stop and when I did, my car sunk into a lifeless state. I waited for it to turn green then restarted my car. I was lucky. Unfortunately the next light was red and the same thing happened all over again. (Gilbert has the worst timed lights in the world!) We hit almost every red light and every time, my car would die, and all we could do was wait until it turned green, hoping that it would start up again. Thank goodness it did. We finally made it to my parents house.

While at my parents house my mom and dad told me stories of them in their early married years and the car troubles they had. There was one time when the transmission on my dad's car went out and the only gear that worked was reverse. Yes.... he drove the car home backwards. Or when my mom had to stop every few miles to fill her radiator with water in order to prevent the car from overheating and she couldn't get it fixed because she was helping dad get through medical school. Now my parents just look back on that and laugh, but I ain't laughing.

So I'm done with spending more money on our cars, and decided to go green. I bought a nice Mnt. Bike on craigslist and since my work and school are close, I'll be riding my bike.

So now I ride my bike to work and absolutely love it. It takes me just as much time to get there on bike as it did driving, plus I get the exercise.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Science Center Date Night

The first Friday of every month the Phoenix Science Center has free admission. so Brittney and I went with Kirt and Brittney's cousin Chantell to check out some of the exhibits. It was really awesome! They had a guest speaker come in and talk about illusions and the mind, and went though different examples of how our mind can trick us. Afterwards, Brittney and I went upstairs and they had a really cool exhibit on physics where you could lay on a bed of nails, play with electricity, and spin around like an ice skater.
Downstairs they has some really neat exhibits on the bodies organs, such as the heart, kidney and liver. We found out the your skins is the largest organ on your body.
On the top floor they had a Lego exhibit, but we ran out of time, so were going to go next month to check it out. Come along!
Brittney and I checking out our heart rates after racing on stationarywheel chairs. ( I tromped her of course!)
Here I am learning about the nose and sneezing while throwing balls into it. Watch out, this one made us jump.

Kirt riding a bike on a steel cable. There was a three hundred lb weight at the bottom, and even though he tried, Kirt couldn't flip it. Pretty impressive skills!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homemade Mud Pies

i made homemade oreos last wednesday with my beehives at my house. warning: do not eat the triple fudge and cream cheese filling if you are trying to loose or maintain your weight. oreos will not help you. but, they were SOOO divine. (thanks for the recipe stacia!) it made so many, but i am now craving more! i guess i will just have to give in. i know you would love pictures to look at of these huge oreos, but alas, i did not take any. i will repent.

the recipe

chocolate sides:

  1. 2 boxes chocolate cake (i used triple chocolate fudge)
  2. 3/4 cups oil
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 TP water

since i used the triple chocolate fudge, i also squeezed the extra pouches of fudge into the cake mix. my beehives used the topping at the end. roll into 1 inch balls, spaced apart. (they get flat and spread a lot.) bake at 350 degrees for eight minutes. take them out and "drop" the pan onto the counter to make them more flat and pliable (sp?)


  1. 2 bars cream cheese, softened
  2. milk
  3. powdered sugar
  4. vanilla

add milk and powdered sugar until the right consistency. it needs to be thick enough that you can "plop" it onto the chocolate sides. *i like my filling to be more cream-cheesy rather than sweet, but that is just me.

turn the cookie bottom upside down and plop the cream cheese filling onto middle. top with a second, right side up cookie. bon appetit!