Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spring and Summer 2010

Our cute girls are growing quickly and so many changes are passing us by.
Monica graduated from High School, and has been accepted to BYU-Idaho.

I thought I'd try to preserve a few of our highlights today.

Here we are at Venice Beach, California. We were so lucky to have my sister and her family join us for Spring Break!

We also traveled together to San Diego and visited Sea World. This is a photo of our family at the Mormon Battalion Memorial. What a great place to tour!

James and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by going on a cruise. AAAhhhh...such luxury for me! We cruised on the Carnival Dream. It embarked from Port Canaveral, Florida. We had four stops: Cozumel, Mexico; Isla Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico. Our favorite excursion was to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. A knowledgeable and spiritual tour guide really made this special.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Testimony of the Book of Mormon

This sends chills through me each time I hear it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Portland Oregon and a wedding!

In the middle of December, the six of us boarded at plane to Portland, Oregon to be with family for the wedding of Kerrie and Pavel Dunn. Kerrie is the daughter of James' brother, Larry.

Day One: checked into Embassy Suites Hotel near the airport (and for those who know us, we use Embassy for their breakfasts). Napped a little, ate at Shari's Restaurant, then went to the charming church where we helped Larry and Diane (and others) with a little set-up for the reception the next day.

Day Two: awoke to a delicious breakfast, then we got ready for the wedding at the Portland Temple. This was our first time in the Pacific Northwest as a family. Winter here is VERY different than our SoCal! I was fascinated by the moss that surrounded the trees. I'd love to see this place in the summertime! After the temple wedding, our group dined at a Thai Food place. Later, we headed to the old, Mormon church for the reception. Kerrie chose the prettiest colors, and her mother, Diane, did an amazing job with creating all the table linens and chair covers! James and Larry were masters at stringing many lights throughout the ballroom (no basketball standards here! *wink*). I wish I could just blog about the food that Diane and her friends and her sisters put together. What a spread! The cake was the most delicious creation of Diane's. She is going to have to publish the recipe and make a fortune!

Day Three: Jenna found the pool and I found the gym before breakfast. Although it was another drizzly day in Portland, we wanted to check out the Portland Saturday Market. James heard it was nicknamed The Hippie Market, but I beg to differ. There were a lot of amazing vendors that were possibly NOT hippies. :) After the market, we headed to "Uncle Larry's" house. Our girls were so thrilled to be with these cousins they hadn't seen in about 10 years. The girls were already making plans for cousin Jamieson, 15, to come hang out in SoCal with us next summer. Alicia, home from college, was playing the role of mom, since her own mom was out of town for Kerrie's next reception. We missed one more cousin, Jesse, who is serving a mission for the LDS church in Taiwan. Monica also had a friend join us, since he just lives just North of Portland. Small world! We didn't want to leave on Sunday. Rain or shine, we loved connecting with our Portland family!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our summer...so far

Well, it HAS been a long break between blogs...so here is an update.

We have had a very fun summer. The girls and I were thinking we only went to the beach twice last summer. So first thing on the list of activities was the beach! We abandoned our (safe) favorite, Silverstrand, for Zuma. I'm thinking we won't go back. Silverstrand beach was cozy because of the jetty on our right and shallow shoreline. The kids had plenty to keep them busy with catching those weird little sand crabs (I call them Sand Bugs because they look like Roly Polys on steroids). Also, it was a usual day if it was very cool with a blanket of fog. We didn't mind 'cuz we don't like the cold water much.

Now we are fans of Zuma Beach. The same Sand Bugs can be found, and even though Zuma is about 25 miles southeast of Silverstrand, the temperature is about 10 degrees warmer, and much less fog.

Monica and Amanda enjoyed a week with their cousins, Michelle and Kirsten, at Santa Barbara College (about 1 hour North). It was a week of Especially For Youth, put on by the church. The four of them had a blast and didn't want it to end.

My mom and my sister came down with the cousins and another cousin, Jocelyn. I didn't want them to go back to their homes in Utah.

I just returned from a couple of days in the Santa Barbara mountains. I was helping out with the church's Girl's Camp, held each year for the girls 12 and older. It is VERY different than the camp I attended as a youth. This camp is owned by the Boy Scouts and is staffed by them. It has a lodge for the staff-prepared meals, a large swimming pool, and cabins with bunkbeds (mattresses also!). Since fire is such a danger there, we never have campfires and so no one goes home with that "camp smell".

Amanda and I went to Disneyland for her 15th birthday. She is such a funny girl! I loved every moment with her.

James and I went to our first concert in about 15 years. Our friend, Kevin, decided to surprise his wife, Audrey with tickets to The Fray. They were playing in Santa Barbara. James and I were happy to help out with the surprise...plus, we had a very nice dinner just before the concert at Enterprise Fish Company.

I think the summer is winding down, and we need to concentrate on the Back-to-School sales. Nobody wants this summer to end.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Mormon Prom

Monica is sixteen now, and gets to date. On April 9th a Prom was held for the Mormon kids (and friends) in this area (2 Stakes). Its like a regular prom, but with LDS standards. Specifically, it comes down to modest dresses, clean music and clean dancing. Never any alcohol or rented hotel rooms. The kids cluster at homes before the prom for their photo-ops. The dinner and dancing is at a local country club. It ends around 11:30 pm and then the kids usually head to another home for more food and fun. Monica's group had a full-blown breakfast at midnight and jacuzzi time.

I only blog about this because I can't believe how lucky my girls are to have a nice, raunch-free place to be with good kids like them. I wish all parents could have an event like this for their teens. Monica went with a friend, Alex.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some baby pix of us...

I am so thankful for digital cameras and that they hold a gazillion pictures.

But sometimes I am too lazy to upload the whole group of photos,.....so I don't do it.

Then I don't have anything fun to show you.

But I was browsing absent-mindedly thru my old photos and ran across the kids' pictures.

Maybe you will find them as fun to remember as I have!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The simplest Valentine

You won't believe how sweet a child can be, until you give her a chance to explain herself....

Our schools were out for Friday, Feb 13th this year. The last day for Valentine's fun (at school) was Thurs, Feb 12th. Two weeks earlier, 7 yr old Jenna started cutting out paper hearts and announced that she was making Valentines for her class. This was all fine (and un-noticed) until she ran out of paper for her last three Valentines.

I brushed it off, day by day, until 3 days before the Valentine's Day party in her class. I glanced at the home-made items, and impatiently said, "No problem. We'll go to the store and get the last three. It will be so much easier." She made a little pout and set me straight with, "But mom! I don't want them to think I was lazy!"

Wow. Good point. I took a deep breath and remembered another stack of red construction paper in my files. She was thrilled. This is how simple those heartfelt Valentines turned out.
Now if you think I could just let them leave my house in that sweet, simple style---then you don't know me very well. I begged her to reconsider and add a note. Add stickers! Add more color! Add a piece of candy--for crying out loud!! She added stickers to a couple of her Valentines to appease me, but then Jenna wisely left the rest alone with a simple, handwritten, "Love, Jenna" on the back.