Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nothing like QT and skateboarding!

I took Braiden and his buddy Christian for some much needed "boy" time. He loves hangin out with his girls cousins but I think after a whole night being the only boy he needed to do something ruff and tough. So we went to every mans favorite stop, "QT" (at least my husbands favorite) and then we went to the skate park. We have the neatest skate park here in Apache Junction and it's free! They had so much fun.

His Body just doesn't work like it use to

After watching the boys skate for awhile, Otis decided to give it a try. I was cracking up when this happened I don't know how I managed to get pictures. Just another sign that we are getting old.

It took a few trys but after awhile he had it down pretty good.

Cousin Sleepover

Last night we had a fun Cousin sleepover. I had been telling my kids they can have a sleepover during Christmas break. So we decided to have everyone all at once. We just hung out at home, the kids had fun jumping on the trampoline and watching movies. I think the best part of the night was when we decided to go for a walk in our PJ's. It was about 10:00pm, we got bundled up, we got flashlights and we walked around the neighborhood. Before we left I told the kids that there are snipes that live out in the desert(for those who don't know there are acres and acres of open desert land right next to my house) anyway I told them that the snipes come in for water at night. I told them there might be something nipping at there ankles so watch out! So the whole time they kept saying,"did you feel that?" or "I think I just saw something run by!" It was so funny.
Then we ended the sleep over in the morning with french toast and sausage for breakfast! It was a fun night!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Day!

We had a nice dinner at my house. We had homemade creamy potato soup served in bread bowls( a great idea we got from my sister Nikki Thanks Nik!). It was perfect for a cold and rainy Arizona day.
The girls had fun getting dressed up in their cute Christmas outfits before heading off to the movies to see Bedtime stories.
I just love this picture of Blake(my nephew) with his cute little teeth showing. He is so... cute and so much fun!

Christmas Morning!

It was a very relaxing Christmas Morning. we actually got to sleep until 7:00 am. I know it still sounds early but anything is better than 5:00am like years past. Otis made us some yummy
cinnamon rolls, with fruit and orange juice and chocolate milk.
Otis and I had so much fun just sitting back and watching the kids open presents. Believe it or not, the first thing they wanted to open was found in there Christmas stocking. It was one of those whistle suckers with the stick on the bottom that you pull up and down to make different notes. (like the ones we had when we were little) I haven't seen those for years, I just had to get them one to see what they thought. To my surprise they thought they where pretty cool.
It was a wonderful Christmas. This year was different than others. Otis and I decided that we were going to make an effort to really focus on the things that are important and to sit back and enjoy our family. It was hard to keep things simple at first, but it was so relaxing and I was really able to enjoy the holiday season instead of stressing. I have so much to be grateful for. I have wonderful family members who love and care about me and my family. There is so much peace in knowing that. Thank you to all of my family! I love you guys!

Christmas Eve Eve!

After our Wonderful Christmas dinner we all went home to get into our Christmas Jammies. This year I decided to start something new. Every Christmas eve I let the kids open one present. This present is usually something more sentimental. One year I made them each a blanket, another year I got them each a CTR ring etc.. Well I was running out of ideas so I decided that I was going to get them each a Christmas Ornament that reminded me of them at this time in their lives. I explained to them that every year they will get a new one with their name on it and by the time they are married they will have a collection of ornaments to have in their home.
So this year I got Briana a sparkly heart because she loves anything that sparkles (including Edward), I got Braiden a snowman on a long spring the bounces up and down, because he is so full of energy and is always bouncing around, and Brooke a cute little teddy bear because she likes to cuddle. I explained to them that in years to come these cute Ornaments are the things they will remember, not all the presents even though presents are fun to get. In five years they won't remember what they got for Christmas but I am hoping they will remember the year that they got there first Christmas ornament.

Of course the kids (including dad) had to go outside to see if they could see Santa.

Christmas Caroling

I just had to post this picture. The kids wanted to go caroling to a few of the neighbors on Christmas Eve they were so excited, unfortunately no one was home. So they all stood at the door and knocked and we acted surprised as they caroled to us.

Christmas Eve Dinner!

We had a nice Christmas eve dinner at Allison and Jason house. We had Ham and all the fixins'. It was delicious. It was fun to sit around and chat with everyone while eating a nice dinner. Allison was so creative she had questions hidden under every ones plate. We each took a turn going around the table and answering our questions. They were questions like, "Whats your favorite Christmas treat?" etc.. It was fun!

We took lots of cute pictures through the night. Then my sister Chery read a story of the symbols of Christmas and each child and the dads held each symbol and read what their symbol represented. This reminded me of when I was little and my mom would read us a cute Christmas story every Christmas eve. One year she went all out and had the pictures put on slides and showed it on a projector. It was fun to re create those traditions for my kids.

Here's all the cousins, I think they were singing a Christmas carol here. This was my first Christmas here in Arizona with my Sisters it was so fun to do the things together that we did growing up and also to start a few new traditions.

Monday, December 22, 2008

After Church Christmas Activities

Today after Church we decided to squeeze in a few more Christmas Traditions before it was too late. We put together gingerbread houses, the kids had so much fun making a mess and being creative. Otis and I sat back and listened to their conversations as they talked about, how they wished they could live in a house made of candy and what kind of candy they would have on their house. We were remembering having those same conversations when we were little kids.
After that we broke out the chips and homemade salsa and watched one Christmas movie after another. (Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and Here comes Santa Claus.) We usually watch each of these movies at least once during the holiday season and haven't had a chance yet. So, we decided to watch them all on one day. It was a fun relaxing day full of Christmas traditions and memories!

Ward Christmas Program

Today was our Ward Christmas program. It was so neat to see Briana up there singing with the ward Choir, she's getting so old. We have such a talented Ward with lots of musical instruments and special musical numbers. It was very spiritual meeting. Every year I look forward to "Christmas Sunday" to be reminded once more of the meaning of Christmas just before Christmas arrives. The Primary Children also sang a cute Christmas song. Brooke was grinning ear to ear and Braiden was singing along. It was a nice Christmas Program.

Today I also decided to visit Young Women's so I could hear Briana play the opening song. She played, "Joy to the World" she did such a good job. I am so glad she is becoming more comfortable in sharing this talent. Just another sign that she's getting older and so am I.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My All Time Favorite Holiday Treat!

Candy Cane Hershey Kisses! MMMMMM!
Okay! I admit it! I have probably eaten an entire bag or two of these myself this Holiday Season. I just can't help myself. I crave them. I will be sad when Christmas is over and you can't buy them anymore. Anyway, I felt guilty and I needed to get this off my chest. If you haven''t tried them do it now before it's too late!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

14 Wonderful Years!

Today is our anniversary! Happy anniversary hon! Otis and I were married on December 16th, 1994 in Salt Lake City, Utah. I remember it being very cold and white! It was a beautiful white Utah day. I was so excited to marry my best friend. I remember just hours before we got married my Mom and Dad telling me that this was just the beginning and that our relationship would continue to grow and mature and in years to come we will feel a whole new kind of love and respect for one another. At that time I couldn't comprehend what they were saying but I knew they were speaking from their experience in 43 years of marriage. Now, after 14 years of marriage I have an idea of what they are talking about, I'm still along way from 43 years years and I'm sure their is still so much to learn. I do know one thing I truly do feel like I am married to my best friend. Otis is such a good person, such a wonderful Dad, I am so blessed to have him. I can't wait for the next 14 years.
Recently I was at a church meeting were our Stake President was speaking to a room full of women. He gave us a bit of advice that I think is so powerful, he encouraged us each to go home and tell our husband that he is a good man. These words are something I often think, but I don't know how often I really say them. They need to be reminded of this , they need to know that we think highly of them and that we love and respect them. This was the best advice I have ever received. I think everyone needs to hear how wonderful they are every once in awhile. I try to remember to tell this to Otis often. As we go through our ups and downs I know that there is one thing that is constant and that is that he is " a good man".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Love Christmas!

Christmas lights!

The tree!

I like Pie!!

I don't where they came up with this but, Braiden and his friend Christian have this little saying they always say, "I like Pie". I was substitute teaching their Sunday School class last week and I was asking them questions about the Jaredites, ex. "why where the Jaredite people destroyed? They both answered because, "they like pie and they ate too much" Every answer was about pie !! I told them the better not do that when there real teacher is there. (little smarty pants) So, I decided to surprise them both and make them an, "I like Pie" t-shirt. They were so excited to wear them to the Ward Christmas party.

Ward Party

The Young Women helped the Primary kids with some Christmas Crafts during the ward party. Brooke loved it she sat there the entire time making crafts. Briana enjoyed helping! It was a great Ward Party!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Temple Lights

We went to the Temple lights Saturday night. It was beautiful! We got to see Brooke White from American Idol flip the switch for the opening night. There were lots of people yet it was peaceful walking on the Temple grounds.

My Favorite Family Home Evening of the Year!

Decorating the Tree!
We put on our Favorite Christmas music turn off all the lights and hung the decorations on the tree. I love it!

Brooke got to be the lucky one this year to put the star on top. She was so excited to climb the ladder and do it all by herself.

Christmas always makes you feel warm and fuzzy. It brings back so many fun memories!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Chery's house. We all have so much to be Thankful for. We were so blessed to have Allison with us who was literally being released from the hospitol just hours before Thanksgving. It was a fun relaxing day!
I didn't take alot of pictures at Thanksgiving. I think I was just too excited to eat. I did get this one of Otis and Briana pouring the Sparkling Cider for our Thanksgiving toast!

Go change your clothes!

Most Men (or boys) want to change their clothes the second they walk in the door from Church. Not Otis and Braiden they don't waste any time they head strait for the backyard to play some football. This just cracked me up Sunday after church to see them out there in a shirt and tie throwing the football around! I guess they have to get their wiggles out!

Twilight Night!

It was the night we had all been waiting for! Twilight at Midnight!

I dropped Briana and some friends off at 6:00pm to wait in line for seats. They meet up with Emalee, Ashlee, Chery and Allison. Then I went to Church meetings and meet them back there at 9:00pm. I meet up with more friends from church. It was so fun there were at least 18 of us. We all sat together, we got some greats seats after some confrontation by a psycho lady. It turned out great, we had a fun night!

Being Silly with the Sista's (It was after midnight what do you expect we were delirious!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Dude Party!

I asked Braiden what he wanted to do for his Birthday reminding him that after 8 years old we simplify our parties. So he said he wanted to have a "Dude Party" with just a couple friends over to play football and video games. This was the easiest party I ever threw! they played football in the backyard the entire time. I had a hard time even getting them to stop long enough to eat pizza and open presents. It was great! Braiden has some good little buddies, 2 of these boys he has been friends with since he was 2 years old. I reminded them all of when they use to wrestle each other and sit on each others heads. They just busted up laughing. Little boys are so fun.
Since we played the wii, Braiden came up with this great idea to have a wii remote cake. I am no artist but I tried my best and Braiden thought it was the coolest cake ever! I guess that's all that matters.
Cupcakes for school. I asked Braiden what he wanted and he said, "I want cupcakes with a big letter "B" on them for Braiden cause it's my Birthday!" I said you got it! He had fun handing them all out to his classmates. Happy Birthday Braidman!

Little Buddy!

On this day 9 years ago at 5:39pm this whopping 9lb 11ouncer came into our lives. It was a happy day for both Otis and I. Otis was so excited to get his son to play football with. Yes, they play or watch football any chance they get. I was so excited to have a little boy to cuddle and kiss on his cute little chubby cheeks! I am so greatful for Braiden and the wonderful blessing he is in our life. We love you Braiden! Happy Birthday!

This picture says it all. It was a rough delivery to say the least. He was very swollen from so many hours of being pushed on. I guess it isn't very natural pushing a almost 10lb baby out. We did it and he came out just right!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Let your light so shine before men"

The following message was written by my Sister Tricia, it was so well written I had to share her thoughts with everyone!.

Stand firmly for what you know to be right. In standing for the right, we must not be fearful of the consequences (Gordan B. Hinkley)

I thought allot about this past week with the controversy on proposition 8. I have watched as thousands of protesters have lined the streets in Salt Lake City surrounding Temple Square. I have watched thousands that have surrounded the Los Angeles Temple in protest. I have felt so sad! I thought to myself I didn't vote for President Obama but the people have spoken(its the democratic process)I will support him and definitely give him a chance, after all this is our country in which we live. This morning I woke up early, 5:30 to be exact and turned on the early news for just a few moments and there again they reporting the backlash against the Mormon Church. It showed Salt Lake City and the Temple and all those yelling profanities and throwing things...I was kind of shocked but them the news show zoomed out and there was the Beautiful Temple. Its lights glowing in the darkness. I felt a chill come over me and immediately in my mind I recalled the words

“A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men,I know that is exactly what we are doing. this is The Lords work, not President Monsons, not the leaders, its The Lords work!!!! The church is taking a standing of that which is perverse....It will always shine no matter how much opposition is around it!!!!!

This has always been my favorite Temple. This is the temple Otis and I where married in. It has saddened my to see the turmoil surrounding it. When I read this message from my sister it gave me peace in knowing that the Temple still stands strong and is more beautiful than ever. The Temple will always shine, just as each of us can continue to shine in a darkening world.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We have the Best Mom Ever!

This quote says it all!
"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts"

Thanks for coming to visit Mom! We love you!!!

I Love Halloween!!!

It was a fun Halloween! Braiden was Indiana Jones, he came up with this one on his own. He dug through the dress up box and used Dad's hat. Good idea Braiden! Brooke was Hanna Montana, any excuse to wear glitters and sparkles! And Briana the beautiful roaring 20's flapper girl.
My Mom came to visit for Halloween. Except the kids had no idea she was coming. So , some "lady"(my mom) showed up to trunk or treat in a scary witches costume and she decided she was going to hang out with us. The wierd thing is she didn't say a word. After awhile the kids started saying, "Mom who's that Lady?" I just played it off and said "I have no idea". They were a little freaked out and then all of the sudden this "lady" ripped off her mask and all the kids said "Grandma" and went running to give her hugs and kisses. It was a fun Suprise! I am so glad my kids have a loving Grandma who genuinely loves and cares about them.

Jason's Birthday

Otis and Jason went golfing for Jason's Birthday and then we all meet up for dinner! It was fun to get together. Happy Birthday Jason! Who's next??