Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Grand Weekend

This past weekend we traveled with most of my family to Williams, Arizona. Friday night we boarded the Polar Express Train and rode to the North Pole. On Saturday we took the two hour train into the Grand Canyon. We had the most amazing time. We enjoyed both of the train rides as well as the company. I would definately recommend this adventure to anyone.

This is grandma (my mom) and all the grandkids waiting to board the train. They wore their pajamas and it was very cold.

This is Nathans new pose for pictures. As you can see, Andrew's as excited to get his picture taken as he always is.

I've included these two pictures because I'm interested to see which one of us you think Nathan looks the most like. (I don't see much resemblance to either of us.)

He was very excited to see Santa and get his bell. He was even more excited when he could "hear" the bell ringing.

These guys were sitting with their cousins most of the time so I didn't get as many pictures of them. But they had a blast and the cookies and hot chocolate were so yummy.

The next morning we arrived at the train station early for the Wild Wild West show. It was funny but a little hard to enjoy because it started snowing and the wind was blowing and we were FREEZING. Of course we took our picture with the sheriff, not the train robbers.

Here is what we saw when we walked up the hill from the train station. This was unbelievable to me. I had never been to the Grand Canyon before and was completely amazed. I was also very frightened at how close to the edge you can get without any barrier to the canyon floor. Nathan stayed quite close to me the entire time we were there.

Our trip lasted less than 36 hours but it was so worth it. We had fun singing Christmas carols on the Polar Express ride. Everyone enjoyed being entertained by the musical cowboys on the Grand Canyon train ride. And we'll never forget the train robbery on the way back. It was definately one Grand adventure.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

13 going on 30

Monday, Emma celebrated her 13th birthday. So I am now officially the parent of a teenager. I know it sounds scary but I'm not too worried. (Ask me again next year when she turns 14 and is old enough to go the Saturday night dances!) Emma is a magnificent girl or should I say young women. She is responsible, self-motivated, compassionate and sometimes just plain fun. She is a good example to her brothers and sister. I feel lucky to have her as my oldest child.

Happy Birthday Emma! We love you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Funny Pictures

I went with Katie's class on a field trip last year. We saw this monkey and he cracked us up. Katie is always willing to be crazy to have fun. She's a great sport.

He had chapped lips and insisted on a Band-Aid.
(I must admit there were some other benefits from this.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer Vacation...Finally!

School was finally over on Friday. And with only two weeks off before it starts again, we need to cram in as much fun as we can. Kyle, our nephew, was going to attend surf camp down in Manhatten Beach for a week. Kami called and invited us to come hang out for a couple of days. So we loaded up on Tuesday and headed to Melody's house for some beach fun. Gary needed to work so it was just me and the kids. We got there by early afternoon and spent that night watching movies and eating yummy food. On Wednesday morning it was off to the beach.

As you can tell in this picture, Andrew didn't want to waste time taking a picture when he could be playing in the water.

I was worried about this kid because he can't stand to get dirty and he hates cold water.

But with some help from his Aunt Kami he jumped in and had so much fun.

These kids were awesome. They played both days for hours without complaining or fighting. And I was able to sit back, relax and enjoy the cool weather and great company.

Of course you can't go to the beach without burying someone and Andrew was more than willing to volunteer.
Thanks Kami for inviting us and thanks Melody and David for letting us use your house (they was gone all week visiting grandkids and attending their daughter's college graduation).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Official!

Katie was baptized on Saturday, August 1. She was so excited. There were two other kids from our ward baptized and the program was wonderful. Then, of course, we came back to our house and ate amazing food. Minty made the Cafe Rio pork with all the trimmings and dressing. (I believe I must also thank Chandra for this as they were tested out at Jace's baptism dinner first.) I have never tried Cafe Rio but I think I can say this was better than the original, at least all the comments were positive. For dessert I tried two new cupcake receipes, fresh strawberry and caramel. I should have taken a picture but I was too busy stuffing my face. My favorite were the caramel. I believe this will be a favorite receipe for years to come. Thanks so much to all the friends and family who showed up for this special day for Katie!

We couldn't find a white dress so I told Katie she could pick her favorite and this is what she choose. Our friend who took this picture didn't know that the best part of her outfit were the shoes.

So I made Katie put them on a few minutes ago to take a quick picture. I think you'll agree it was worth it. Gary says she is definately my daughter choosing a black dress with cute shoes.

Congrats Katie. We love you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Birthday Time Again

I cannot believe it! Katie has turned eight years old. What can I say about this child? She is one of the most joyful and animated kids I've ever known. She never holds back and always tells you exactly what she thinks. She talks like she's 20 and sometimes thinks we should treat her that way too. She loves to play with her friends. And she is amazing with little kids (she'll make a great mom one day). She brings so much laughter to our home and we love her so much.

Just waiting to open her presents.

Minutes old with Grandma Nanette.

Ready to be blessed.

I love these eyes.
Whenever Katie is excited about something her eyes get bigger and bigger.

As a little child she was always happy and ready to laugh.

On her new birthday bike.
Happy Birthday Katie!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Anyone for a game of catch....up?

OK, so it's true. The older your kids are the busier life becomes. Eventually I'll have to catch up my posts with the Pine Wood Derby, band concerts, primary activites and dance recitals that have happened. But for today I had to post about my garden. Emma helped Gary plant it and then she was in charge of watering. She did it for one of her YW value projects. For the last six weeks we've been reaping the benefits.

This is the last of the squash. We had summer squash, zucchini and pat-a-pan which were amazing sauted in olive oil and butter sprinkled with salt and pepper. I picked the tomato this morning. It was one of the prettiest I've seen.

These are about how many tomatoes I pick every other day. They are so wonderful. We've enjoyed them in BLT's, sandwiches and hamburgers. Or just cut with salt and pepper. This is probably my favorite thing about summer. This weekend we are going to shade the tomatos and see how long we can keep them going. I will definately miss them when they're gone.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ghost Town

A couple of weeks ago our school had a Spring Carnival. In the past this has always happened in October and has had a Halloween theme, but this year they moved it to May and went with a country theme. It's always been a tradition to have a cake decorating contest and Andrew came home excited to do this. I told him we needed to come up with a cowboy idea and this is what he thought of...

Last year Katie made a cake called ghost mountain and Andrew decided to do the same idea but turn it into a ghost town. This kid amazes me. He is so creative and always hilarious. He decorated this all by himself and won second place.

Monday, May 11, 2009

California Weekend

So we (Kami, her daughter Lauren and I) headed out Thursday afternoon. Our flight was delayed so we spent an extra hour waiting at the airport. When we finally got to L.A. it was almost 8:00pm. Carly was waiting for us and then Melody picked us all up. At her house we had fruit kabobs, coconut shrimp and a basil smoothie (that was a first). Then we snacked on these cute little cakes while we did manicures and pedicures.
Friday morning we slept in and were lazy all morning. Then Melody gave us a cooking demonstration of Island Pork Tenderloin with Coconut Mango Rice. It was unbelievable. Yum! Next we headed to the beach where we laid out for a few hours. Of course after that we got in some shopping. Kami tried on a pair of $300.00 shoes. Crazy! I found a great cookbook called bigfatcookies. I can't wait to try some of the recipes.

That night we headed to a restaurant that David's (my brother-in-law) first councelor owns. He bought it for his mom. She cooks Salvadorian food. We had papusas and a salad with yuca root and beef (my favorite) and a yummy fruit drink. That night I watched Mama Mia for the first time. It was funny.
Saturday morning we headed out for the Revlon Run at 5:20am. Once again this was so much fun. Their big stars were Miley Cyrus, Christina Applegate and Michael Bolton. We also saw Fran Drysher, Carrie Ann Inaba and Derric Huff (both from Dancing with the Stars), Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives) and Diedra Hall (Days of Our Lives). There were a few others I recognized but don't know their names.
Here we are after the race down in the Collesium. This is where we saw Michael Bolton perform. He was amazing. You'll notice in this picture Melody is wearing her earpiece (so official). She is in charge of the VIP booth which is why we get to do this in the first place.
Of course we spent a few more hours shopping. Then we went back home and just laughed for a long time. We finished off the awesome pork and rice and headed back to the airport.
I love doing this each year because when I get back home I remember that I like these cute kids of mine. They had adorable cards and presents for me for Mother's Day. And of course, chocolate.
Hey Melody, thanks again for the great weekend. I can't wait until next year.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Boys!

I thought that after the trek my life would slow down some, but it seems busier than ever. Last week we celebrated two birthdays. Nathan turned four and Gary turned...well let's just say he got a year older.
After I finished decorating his cake he wanted to take a picture. I know there are more than four candles on the cake but we decided the race track needed lights.
After he blew out the candles he asked if he could race the cars. Of course he is the last child so I said "whatever you want cutie".

This is one of his favorite presents, a Lightning McQueen hat from his brothers and sisters. You'd think he would outgrow his Cars obsession by now but he still loves them more than ever.

And then here is my other birthday boy. I can't believe he is getting so old. We celebrated our 14th anniversary a few weeks ago. Have we really been married that long? Seems like yesterday we were footloose and child free. I can definately say it's been a long road, but also a very happy one.
I also have to give a shout out to Nathan's birthday buddy, Michael. Hope your finals are going well. Can't wait to see you and your family.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Busy Weekends

Saturday, February 28th we started at our Stake Baptisms. Andrew was asked to play a piano duet for the musical number. I am so proud of this kid. He chose 'I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus' and we practiced a lot that week. At the baptism he did a great job. He said he was a little nervous but the song sounded wonderful. (All that hard work is finally paying off)

Here we are after it was all over.

Then Gary and Andrew headed out for Monster Trucks. This is the second year they have gone with our friends the Owens and the Johnsons. They said it was super fun. Andrew's favorite truck is Blue Thunder. The other kids and I went to my niece Sarah's baptism. Luckily she was the first of the ten kids to get baptized. My brother took Katie and Nathan to the dinner and Emma and I came back to watch the Young Women Conference. Her first one. It was great.

Last weekend we drove up to Salt Lake and went to conference. This was the first time Emma and Andrew have been. We had tickets to the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions. It was amazing to sit and talk with our kids about the prophet and apostles. They both said they loved it but I think Andrew had more fun when we went shopping with Melody and Carly while Gary was at the Priesthood session.

In back of the Salt Lake Temple. We walked through the two visitor centers and looked inside the Tabernacle and the Assembly Hall.

And now I am frantically preparing for our next busy weekend. Gary and I were asked to be a pa and ma on our Stakes Pioneer Trek which starts tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to share from that, maybe we'll even be smiling in some of them.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Just Can't Wait!

Gary called me this afternoon to say he'd ordered my plane ticket to L.A. The past few years Gary's sister Kami and I have flown down to LA to spend a weekend with his other sister Melody. It is so much fun and I am so looking forward to this years trip.

Here we are last year at the Revlon Run. We worked the VIP booth. It was crazy fun. We got to meet some famous people, eat tons of food and go home with a lot of free samples and t-shirts. It was so much fun we are doing it again this year. (The gorgeous blond girl is my niece Carly)

The day before the run we went to Newport Beach and shopped. We had to take a picture holding our gilatos (my first time ever trying one). They were so yummy! We always eat well on these trips.

Two years ago we went to Solvang. It is a little Dutch community with great shopping. I know this picture didn't turn out but I loved the little windmill in the background.

Of course we had to take a picture surrounded by all our shopping treasures and then e-mail it home to our husbands.

The best part of the whole trip is Melody's hospitality. She tells us we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Even if that's nothing. We've relaxed on the beach, done pedicures and laughed until I thought my checks would fall off. I can't wait to board that plane and do it again!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Springtime Flowers

I walked out my front door the other day and this was what I saw.

My iris' had bloomed.

I love the color of these plants.

And I love this time of year when everything seems so much brighter and more colorful. Gary always takes such good care of our yard. This last weekend he planted our garden. I can't wait, fresh tomatos, summer squash and zucchini.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was tagged by my friend Heidi. Here is the sixth photo from the sixth folder.

Nathan was 18 months old. I was teaching a piano lesson and he wanted me to come see something. When I told him just a minute he got mad. As he ran away he tripped on his blanket and slammed his face into the side of the coffee table. As soon as I turned him around blood came spilling out from under his bottom lip. I took him to Urgent Care where they stitched him up which was no fun because I had to hold him down. And the medicine they used to numb him up didn't work. The nurse said it should make him sleepy but Nathan was wide awake watching everything the doctor was doing. It was crazy but it healed well and he was left with just a small scar. I should feel lucky, he is my only kid that has ever needed stitches.

Monday, February 9, 2009

All About Andrew

At our elementary school they have flag ceremony every Friday. Each class gets a turn to be in charge. A few weeks ago it was Andrew's classes turn. The kids love participating.

Andrew was excited to carry in the Nevada flag.
That Saturday the cub scouts went on a hike. Gary was able to go and they had a great time.
Andrew, of course, had his walking stick that Grandpa Paul made for him.
This last Saturday Andrew competed in his first wrestling tournament. He didn't place but he did great and learned a lot.

The writing on his arm is from the weigh in the night before.

Here he is waiting for his turn. (He's to the left of the ref.) He had to wait 90 minutes before his first match. Sorry no pictures of his match, I was too busy with the video camera.

I ran into an old friend, Tony, that used to wrestle with my brother David when they were Andrew's age. It was good to see he's doing great. Watching Andrew brought back memories of all the tourn. I went to as a kid. I felt as nervous now as I did then. I am glad Andrew has this opportunity, he is learning discipline and confidence and he's having fun.