Oct 28, 2009

Cruise to Ensenada Part 2

Here are some of the houses we saw in Catalina. I guess I took more pictures of the houses than us. Go figure! Speaking of pictures...I'm waiting to get some from the other 2 couples....cuz I feel like I'm missing a bunch. Note to self....take more of the people and less of the scenery. It's beautiful anyway, eh?

The lovely golf tour....we were a BIG LOAD! Fun way to see the island though...

Couldn't ask for a more beautiful day! As you can see, the guys weren't really into the shopping. Unless you count Dave Allen trying to get free samples from the Candy Shoppe. They told him that they would go broke giving the million visitors a year free samples! Otherwise, you can see they were accross the street "resting" on a bench. They were good sports.

Posted by Picasa
Who would you think is the wedding crasher out of all of us? Take a good look in the background of one of the pictures. Yup, you guessed it, Dave Allen. He liked being somewhat of a pest on this trip. I don't mean to sound rude. He just seemed to like pushing people's buttons. We were highly entertained or highly embarrassed...or both during this trip. This couple that got married on the island, were also on our cruise. One night after they had gotten married, we were just getting into the elevator (on the ship)....we recognized this couple. We all said our "congrats" and all that good stuff, and then just as the elevator door was closing, Dave Allen goes right up to the door and said, "I guess it's too late to back out now....." I thought they were going to kill us! If they really wanted to, they could have. We were only going down like 2 floors to our rooms! We were all in shock! He is a character!
Before our trip even began, the 3 of us girls got together to "plan". We thought it would be so fun to para-sail. I got home and told David about it and he WAS NOT excited! For the next month, every once in a while he would bring it up that he didn't really want to do that! I really thought he was kidding! Well, on the little boat ride over to Catalina, David informed me that he wasn't going para-sailing. He said it wasn't his idea of "fun". Really, he was completely FREAKED OUT! David really isn't a man of many words, but his actions were speaking LOUD and CLEAR! It was kind of cute, actually. I still wanted to go, so I said I'd go tandum with one of the girls. Well, we got a really GOOD DEAL and at the last minute, David decided he would go. So, we paid, but then had to wait 2 hours until it was our turn. Let me tell you, I think David found every bathroom on the island! He would say, "I'll be right back!" And off he'd run! He was such a good sport. He ended up really loving it and actaully said that para-sailing was one of the highlights of the trip! Pretty awesome, huh?

Jason was a little afraid too...but is pretty good about pushing himself to try new things. I can't believe how peaceful it is being up there 1,000 feet in the air. You can't even hear the wind blowing...and to my surprise, it doesn't make your belly jump like a roller coaster! I was really happy about that! I was hoping it wasn't like "drop zone" or something. I would TOTALLY go again!

Posted by Picasa
Dave was the only one that had gone before. Jessica was a little nervous. I guess while they were up in the air, Dave looked at Jessica and noticed her knuckles were WHITE! We just really enjoyed ourselves and laughed so much! Again, I would TOTALLY recommend going with friends on a trip!

Oct 27, 2009

Our Cruise to Catalina and Ensenada!!! Part One!

Here I am the night before leaving on my cruise. David and I have never been on a cruise before. We HEARD that there are no fun snacks (like Candy) unless you buy them, and that drinks cost too. So, as you can see, I made sure to have my "stash". This was the first suitcase I packed. David's dad was thinking it was so funny to see a suitcase full of food that he took a picture of it. Now that I look back, I wouldn't take so many snacks, but FOR SURE I'm glad I had my Diet Coke. One of my guilty pleasures......
Posted by Picasa
Here we are on our FIRST cruise ship! We are on the Carnival Paradise. We left at 6:00am to be able to board in Long Beach, CA at 1pm. Before getting on the ship, we went to the Queen Mary and got a milkshake! YUMMY! The first thing that happened after we got on our ship was EAT! I was amazed how much food there was and how often we were able to eat! I've heard all about cruises and how much food there is, but mercy, it's truly a crazy thing how often and how much you could eat. We didn't actually leave until 5:30pm. So, we just tried to walk around the ship and get acquainted with where everything was!

Tuesday morning, we woke up and were in Catalina Island. David is a kid. He couldn't wait to see it, so while I was getting ready, he ran upstairs on top of the deck to see what it looked like and then came down to get me to go to breakfast. We had a water taxi come to get us at the ship to take us over to the Island. Here we are....The Allens, Us and The Turners. We had SOOOO much fun with them! I love them all! I would HIGHLY recommend going on a cruise with friends. :)

We asked a local what was the "must do when you're in Catalina". The answer was to rent a golf cart and drive around the Island. It cost us $60.00 for one hour. That was an easy split of $20 a couple. We thought that was such a deal to be able to see the whole island for $20! The place is gorgeous. The funny thing was that we were given a limit of an hour. If we took more time than that, we were charged more. Well, the cart only went like 5 miles an hour! We were a heavy load! We didn't stop to "smell the roses" too much because we were so worried about getting back in time. The guy punched a time card and everything....so we stayed on task!

Posted by Picasa
I will say that I loved the island. It was beautiful! I don't think I could live there though. There are people that actually live here. I would feel island fever quickly. I guess I don't have to worry about that, because I think you need to be wealthy to live there, or inherit a home from someone that is wealthy.....

Oct 15, 2009

Petersons, Our Cousin Friends!

When we moved here to Arizona 4 years ago...we weren't quite sure what we were getting ourselves into. We have NO family down here and didn't realize how many friends we had that lived here! Well one family that we instantly got reaquainted with was Mark and Liz Peterson. We have actually known them for a long time. We were in the same singles ward in Utah and several of us all got married the same summer. Mark is cousins with our brother-in-law Dan....so we consider Mark and Liz cousins. I know, a little too much explanation....but remember, this is my journal and I've gotta include some detail for my posterity. :) Anyway, Mark and Liz have taken our boys under their wings and we just LOVE them! They are such a great family and we have really enjoyed getting to know them so much better since moving here to Arizona. The boys have really had fun with Cade. They call him their cousin friend. Last weekend, they took our boys to the WNBA playoff game in Phoenix. Looks like they had lots of fun getting something to eat beforehand, and then having a blast at the game! Liz is like a sister to me. I love her to pieces!
Posted by Picasa

October Break

This has been an interesting week.  It's the first time I think we've had a whole week off for October break. Well, to start things off, Abbie had a fever and headache for 3 days. Not your typical fun way of spending a break.  At least she's not missing school, right?  We have had scares of the swine flu all around.  I don't know exactly WHAT that really is....it sounds so disgusting!  My friend calls it the "piggy sniffles"....but it seems like it's just another kind of flu.  Anyway, what I've enjoyed about this break is that David is home this week.  Sometimes I tease him that he's a little "anal"....but I've enjoyed that side of him this week since he has been cleaning, and organizing, and then cleaning and organizing some more!  I feel like I never have time to get it all done.  I find myself having just enough time to keep up with dishes, laundry, and your usual surface cleaning.  I am LOVING staying at home!  We are actually trying to get ready to go on a cruise next week.  Which really is UNBELIEVABLE!
It all kind of started out as us just "thinking out loud."  We get together as friends and have dinners and stuff.  We will talk about how much fun it would be to go on a cruise with just friends.....well our friend Shelly Turner decided to put our dreams into reality.  She was like, "Let's go in October!"  I quickly said that I didn't even own a Passport!   So, of course a planner like Shelly went home, and found out the information and sent it to my email address.  Then, a week later, she called us and the Allens and told us we were meeting at their house for Family Home Evening and dinner, and that we were going to buy our cruise tickets all together.  WOW.  This is REALLY going to happen. That is CRAZY!
So, David's parents have so graciously said they would come and watch our kids. I feel so blessed to have such great Inlaws! Not everyone loves or even LIKES their inlaws. We have NEVER been on a cruise, so we are excited to see what this kind of adventure is all about. We are going to Mexico. Catalina and Ensenada.

Oct 11, 2009

Time Out For Women

I just had the most amazing weekend ever! I am just at a loss for words to say what this TIME OUT FOR WOMEN did for me! This is actually my 2nd time going. It is 2 days full of the cream of the crop speakers and inspirational music to make your spirit fill full and ready to take ANYTHING on! I wish I remembered to take my camera. These are actually pictures my friend Katie took.... Friday evening we were able to hear AWESome music from Jenny Oaks Baker. That girl can play! She is a wonderful violinist. In fact, she used to play for the National Symphony in Washington DC at the Kennedy Fine Arts Center for 7 years. She was the top violinist. It seemed to be the perfect job because she rehearsed 20 hours a week, and got full time pay and benefits too! It was all fine until she was pregnant with her 4th child. She felt she needed to leave her job! She knew if she did this, she would never be able to return to it. She said she realized that no money or prestige could replace the hugs and kisses and time spent with her kids! She worked her whole life to get to that spot! What a wonderful example she is to me! I am SO grateful to be a mom. Yes, there are times that I feel really overwhelmed and underappreciated, but this helped me to refocus and see that this calling to be a mom is divine and although it is hard....it's something I would NEVER trade! It's all about prioritizing, and taking time for the most important things. I'm still going to cut hair, but this year I've been shifting things around to make sure I have more time with my kids!

Jessica and Katie came with me this year. They are such great friends! We kept laughing and crying through this seminar! Totally good for the soul!

Posted by Picasa
Here we are with KENNETH COPE! :) Pretty handsome man, huh? He has an AMAZING voice! It was a great experience to see him in person. I grew up listening to his music and playing it in church!
I think my FAVORITE speaker was Kristin Belcher! What a funny name, huh? She is an AMAZING woman. I think I've said amazing a few times. When she was 7 months old she developed cancer in her eye. with all the radiation she had, it left her with an hour glass shaped head. I'm thinking her bones didn't keep growing in the eye region or something...She is now totally blind since the cancer came back....Being disfigured AND blind would cause most people to be so angry and feel sorry for themselves. She did feel like that at first, but then decided that she could be angry or could learn from her adversity! What an example she is to me! It's so easy to get overwhelmed with the daily grind. It's so easy to think "I'll be happy when.....we pay off the bills, when I lose 50 pounds, when my kids start behaving better, when I don't have to be the taxi driver anymore, when we can go on trips whenever we want, when we get a bigger house, etc.......the list can go on and on. I learned that you have to try to see the POSITIVE in everything. Learn to laugh at yourself and not take everything so seriously. Kristin was poking fun of her situation and had us ROLLING on the floor with laughter! She told of funny things people have said and done! One quick example is when they went up to a cabin for a family reunion. She went into the bathroom right after they arrived there. She talked about getting into the bathroom, shutting the door, and right before she sat on the toilet, she reached behind to feel if she was actually sitting on the toilet and not the sink or tub and instantly felt a head of hair! She quickly pulled up her pants and said to the little girl, "I bet THAT was scary!" She wondered why the girl didn't lock the door or say "I'm in here!" I can't even explain what I learned, but I know that I'm more determined to "be delightful" and to be "Fun to be married to" and to know that I'm not required to do everything on MY OWN. I need to remember that Jesus is here to make up the difference. We can do ANYTHING with HIS help! We just need to ask! Even if it's just for strength. We can't ask for Him to take it away, but we can ask him to help us get through the things we need to. That is where our relationship grows with God and where we learn to trust in HIM no matter what experiences we have to go through! I am SOOOO thankful to have the gospel in my life! I really don't know where I'd be without it!
To read more about Kristin's experience, she wrote a book....
HARD TIMES AND HOLY PLACES by Kristin Warner Belcher

Oct 5, 2009

Fajitas Anyone?


Can I tell you how much I LOVE our neighborhood? We couldn't ask for better neighbors! We have a good thing going here. We try to help each other out where we can and seem to all take turns feeding each other now and again. It's not an every day or even every week or month occurrence, but it's still SO fun! Here we are just watching Crandell cook the fajitas on the Randall's grill. Pretty fun, huh? They were TASTY! We'll have to do that again!
Posted by Picasa

Just like at Grandma's house!

Posted by Picasa
Gotta keep this tradition going! Even if it KILLS me! I remember growing up and going to Grandma's. We would wake up in the morning and watch LOONEY TUNES cartoons and grandma would bring us white bread with homemade Raspberry jam on it! We would just keep asking for more and more! Now, when we go home to my parents, we like to take some of mom's Raspberry and Strawberry freezer jam home. I'm tellin' you friends, once you've tasted freezer jam, you'll NEVER go back!
So, with that said...let me tell you how it all went down last Tuesday. It all started with me thinking that I could get SO MUCH accomplished because I only had ONE client and it wasn't until the evening. I did that on purpose because I was "helping" my friend Katie throw a baby shower for our friend Johnna Paxman. Mason was home sick for the day, so I had to run to the school to get him his homework and stuff, but I still had "LOTS" of time to do all I wanted. (Can you see where this is going?)
I had to run to the grocery store and the Ranch Market to get some stuff and then was going to come home and get everything done. Well, what do you know? Raspberries were on sale for 3 for $1.00. Usually ONE of those baskets cost $3 or $4. Now, mind you, I really had too much to do....including packing to leave for San Jose the next morning, but remember, I had "SO MUCH TIME" to get a few extra things done. So, like a dummy...I bought 6 cases of Raspberries! They look so little and HARMLESS! I thought this would be a really easy thing to do. Well, I had to run to a couple of more stores for jars, lids, pectin, and sugar....
LOOONNNNGGG story short, I only got 1/2 of them done when it was time to get the kids at the bus stop, then off to games and dance, and then the client and then the baby shower. Needless to say, My GREAT and HANDSOME husband stayed up with me until 12:30 am making this jam. It is going to taste that much better because of all the blood, sweat and tears that went into it!
The moral of the story is? When you have too much to do, pass up that sale. But really, I'm sure if I had to do it all again, I would have made the jam. I LOVE it, and now I can enjoy it all year long! Here's to you Mom and Grandma! MMMMMMmmmmmmmmm........

P.S. I never did get pictures of all the jam in the jars. I was in a hurry to find a home for all of it, and needed to get packing. There's always next time....