Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. This year I decided that I did not want to cook dinner; the time I would normally spend in the kitchen cooking I wanted to spend visiting with friends and family. I’m thankful for a husband who suggested we order our Thanksgiving dinner from AJ’s. With a few added sides, appetizers and desserts brought by family and friends we had a feast.
The girls and I started off the morning by running in the first annual Gobble Wobble & Pumpkin Plod. These girls were such good sports about getting up to go running at 7:30 am on a no-school day. The bribe of Mexican hot chocolate helped! We ran in the Pumpkin Plod – 2 mile race. After the race Rachel said, “I’m glad we did this, I feel accomplished,” and so did I. I was reminded that I’m totally out of shape and still feeling it a few days later.
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I’m very grateful for my family. We’ve had a trial or two to deal with this year but through those trials we can still find a lot to be thankful for.
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I’m thankful that we have family locally that we can share the holidays with.
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I’m grateful in a selfish way that the blizzard in Utah kept Seth’s brother and his family home this year for Thanksgiving! Sorry Utah family!!
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I’m grateful for friends who have been like family that we can share the holidays with.
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I’m grateful that these boys did not burn down my house! (They were building rockets and lighting them at my kitchen table.)
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I’m grateful that Alex & Rachel have cousins that live locally and get to see and hang out with.
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I’m grateful for this picture, it represents the fabulous day we had and all the love that was shared in our home.
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A few other families were missing on this day Dave, Jenn and their kids who will be moving to Utah and all my family in California. You all were missed!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gilbert Temple Groundbreaking

It was such a wonderful experience to attend the groundbreaking ceremony.

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Elder Costa and his wife. Elder Costa gave the dedicatory prayer.

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Alex's Piano Recital

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Christmas Cards & Procrastination

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is this week, last year at this time I promised myself that I would plan ahead next year and make sure that we got family pictures done. Did I do what I had planned? No! This year went by so fast that my head is still spinning and I really don't want to admit that the holidays have begun. I went back and forth about what to do for cards and pictures this year and then Shutterfly came to my rescue! They have this deal you get 50 free cards if you blog about them. I could use free cards; who can’t? As I looked at the assortment of holiday cards they offer I realized that I could do a collage of photos from throughout the year of our family. I’ve used Shutterfly in the past and was very happy with the quality and process. This is a win-win!. Shutterfly has put me at peace with the idea that I procrastinated getting a traditional family photo done. There’s always next year!

This is one of my favorite layouts:

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Monday, November 1, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Last February we joined Disneyland in the “Give a day get a day” program and we got free Disneyland tickets for volunteering in our community. So for fall break we were off to California to cash in our free tickets, see some old friends and try out Magic Mountain.

I love Disneyland, but I’m not a Disney fanatic. My house is not decked out in Mickey Mouse stuff. What I love about Disneyland is the exciting energy and to me it really is one of the happiest places on earth.

Our adventure started off with a quick stop at the General Patton Memorial museum in Chiriaci Summit, California. It was really fun looking at the artifacts from this time in history. I left feeling proud to be the daughter of a man who served in WWII.

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Our next stop was Anaheim, California — Disneyland!!

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After our day at Disneyland we drove to Los Angeles and took the girls to the Simon Weisenthal Museum of Tolerance. In 6th grade Rachel’s class learned about the Holocaust and a Holocaust survivor came to speak to the students and their parents. Alex will get a chance this year to be part of this program at school. At the beginning of the tour we were each given a picture and a name of a Jewish person who lived in Germany at that time and we learned a little bit about them. It was very emotional walking through the 75 minute exhibit at the end of the tour we each found out if our person had died or survived.

We also took the girls to the La Brea Tar Pits and went to visit some friends and family. The next day we took the girls to Magic Mountain and they had a blast! Unfortunately, I was getting over a migraine from the night before so I didn’t get to go on the rides. We had so much fun we forgot to take pictures. Well we do have this one below. Did I mention it was also fright night at Magic Mountain? Very Fun!

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These girls are quite the adventurous roller coaster-dare-devils. They went on some really hard-core rides. I was kind of glad I had an excuse of not feeling well to get me out of having to chicken out in front of them. We had a fabulous trip!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gilbert Temple Site

Last week after church we took a ride to the site where they have started construction on the Gilbert Temple. On November 13th the ground breaking ceremony will take place. I’m so excited that we get to watch a temple being built in our neighborhood (ok, ten minutes away near my neighborhood). For more information on LDS temples click here and here.

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I love this pictures of these two girls.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sushi Anyone?

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Seth is a BIG sushi connoisseur. He LOVES it! And when I say he loves it I mean he LOVES the hard-core stuff. He will eat Salmon Roe (salmon eggs) wrapped in seaweed and Uni (sea urchin) with a quail egg.  Because of him I have learned to tolerate it over the years and I’m starting to enjoy the safe stuff.

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Seth decided it was time for Rachel and Alex to experience Sushi so last Saturday night they were introduced to Sushi. And what an experience it was! They embraced it and tried everything. I was impressed. Before we ordered sushi the girls were looking at the dinner menu and asked the nice Japanese waitress if they had orange chicken. (I just about died.) The nice lady said, “This is Japanese restaurant.” I added, “Orange Chicken is Chinese.” It was a pretty funny moment!

Alex & Rachel started with the safe stuff. They tried a Spider Roll — soft shell crab, avocado, and rice.

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Next was a Las Vegas Roll. Who wouldn’t like deep fried rice, cream cheese, salmon, and crab?

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The last of the safe stuff was the Dragon Roll, which was Rachel’s favorite — avocado and eel.

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When Seth and I were dating he took me out for Sushi and ordered quail eggs. He challenged me to try it so of course I took the challenge. I had to impress him with my adventurous side. Seth told the girls this story and commented that I’m too wimpy to try it now. So again, I had to take the challenge just to be an example to the girls. But let me tell you this is not my favorite thing to do. Alex decided to try it with me.

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This is Alex slurping at it. She never did shoot it.

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And that’s me trying to chug it as fast as I can.

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rachelsushi Alex and Rachel both tried the Uni (sea urchin). They liked the taste but not the texture. They also tried the salmon roe (salmon eggs). I don’t think that one was a favorite. But all in all it was a fun, adventurous night!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 17, 1999

This was a BIG day for me, this was the day I became a mom. I can’t believe that 11 years have gone by so fast. I feel very privileged that Alex chose me as her mom, she has taught me about unconditional love, patience (still a work in progress), selflessness, and how to lighten up and laugh!

I’m so proud of her and I love her enthusiasm to try new things. She excels at piano, tumbling and horse back riding, and she would love to add more to her plat if I would let her.

Happy Birthday Alex!

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For her birthday she wanted to hike to Hole in the Rock have a picnic and then go to the zoo. We had a really fun day, the weather was great and I was really happy because our hike was less than a mile.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Gooooo Firebirds!

Over the summer Rachel attended Cheer camp with her Willis Cheer squad. The squad spent 3 days at the Arizona Grand Resort learning cheers and on the last day they had a competition with the other squads that attended. Rachel's squad won “Most Improved” and “Best Dance” routine.

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Two weeks ago Rachel cheered at her first football game, it was a hot and miserable day but those girls did a great job cheering on the team. I think Rachel might have been wondering to herself, “What the heck did I get myself into”. Poor girl was dying in the heat!

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