Monday, March 14, 2011

Cabo Cruise & Andrea's Birthday Bash...

For my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, we went on a 5 day cruise from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. Everyone made arrangements to leave the 11 grandkids home and off we went!
It was an amazing trip and surpassed my expectations for fun.....

Travis and I had t-shirts made with my parents' wedding picture on the back:
My parents, Juanita and Rollin, with my sisters, Emily and Jamie, me and brother, Josh:
We swam with the dolphins in Cabo.......Everyone LOVED the wetsuits....hahaha
Travis and I swam with an 18 year old dolphin named Nacho......he was awesome
He kissed me on the cheek over and was hilarious!
My parents with Travis and me:
I got to cuddle and hold a lion cub......his name was Randy and his brother Tomas is in Jodi's arms....they are 3 months old

Travis and I on the cruise ship one evening waiting for a comedy show to begin:
This was the "elegant" evening was also lobster night. Travis was so happy about that.
Travis and I went on a 2 tank dive in Cabo. The water was so cold to me and the visibility was okay, I've been spoiled in the Caribbean.

Here is Travis saying "Hi."
Nice close-up, huh?
Posing with Pablo, the iguana (I love the sombrero)
Olivia started cheer this cute is she in that uniform??
Ryan doing some damage on the soccer field:
Ethan leading the pack on his team, the Suns:
Ella played a mean defender:

My 38th Birthday.......March 12th. Few things bring me as much joy in life as my birthday and good food. I love my birthday and plan for weeks all the fun I will have. I began the festivities with a red velvet cupcake from "The Coffee Shop" at Agritopia. I put it on a pretty plate and ate it in happy delight:
I also enjoyed a free car wash at Danny's Car Wash and then picked up a free dozen at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. (for the kids, of course. I don't want to look like a complete PIG)

Then it was off the Liberty Market with my mom and sisters for brunch (also free on your birthday)
My family showered me with wonderful gifts and cards. Even Max the cat was included in a card.
I also saw 2 movies (free popcorn at Harkins on your birthday) and went to dinner at Joe's Farmgrill (also free on your birthday) I had an ahi tuna burger and sweet potato fries. It was all delicious. I'd have to say the theme of my day was "See how much free stuff you can get on your birthday"......not too bad.

We celebrated the next day with the rest of my family, including my brother-in-law, Christian's, birthday, which was on the 10th. He is holding Paisley, my niece and we are sharing a not so attractive, but delicious cake that I made.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Of Things That Matter Most...

A couple months ago I was called to serve as 2nd counselor in Relief Society. This means I teach the lesson every 3 months and today was my day....

I got to choose the topic (which makes it all the harder in many ways) so I picked a conference talk that stood out to me in October by President Uchtdorf, "Of Things That Matter Most."

This is a time of resolutions and fresh starts and deciding what is working or not working in my life. It was such a great lesson for me to evaluate my life and the past year. In some ways, I've allowed myself to get distracted by many things. President Uchtdorf stressed the importance of getting back to the basics in the Gospel. There are 4 key relationships that matter most in our lives: our relationship with God, our families, our fellowman, and ourselves.

I'm so thankful for living prophets to give guidance that is relevant to my life. It helps keep me on track or get back when I wander off a little.

Here is what our family has been up to lately:
Olivia is 12 years old and in 7th grade at Highland Junior High School.
She plays violin in Orchestra and recently made the Cheer Squad that will cheer for girls' basketball in the Spring. She continues to take piano lessons and started a cheer class to learn tumbling and jumps. She is so into make up, hair, clothes, jewelry and is a scary thing! She earns her own money babysitting and is very good at it. She is a loving, kind, talented, beautiful girl and I can't believe she is my daughter!
Ethan is 8 years old and in the second grade at Challenger Basic School. He continues to astonish everyone with his intelligence and quick wit. His teachers have all discovered how helpful he is to other students in need so he continues with the unofficial role of student helper. He plays soccer, rides his bike, plays with friends and recently started rollerblading. He also excels at piano, which he started this past summer. His greatest passion in life is the Wii. He would play it 24 hours a day if we let him.
Ella is 8 and also in the second grade at Challenger Basic School. She keeps Travis and I entertained with the most interesting and hilarious comments about life. She is a prankster and loves to watch for "slug bugs" while driving around. It's a game Travis started with the kids whenever they see a VW Bug they call out "Slug Bug" first and they get to slug someone. If the Bug has a convertible top it's worth 2 slugs. So the other day Ella shouted out "Slug Bug with a hoodie!" So now we call all convertibles "hoodies."

Ella takes tumbling and piano lessons, usually begrudgingly......she is our resident home body and loves to just hang out. She is social, creative, loves to cook and bake, and play with cousins and friends. I just love this girl and find joy in her sweet personality!
Ryan is now 6 and in kindergarten all day at Challenger Basic School. He is our "Little Man." He has looked like one since birth but sure loves his role as the youngest in our family. Everyone who knows Ryan, school and church teachers, other parents, love and appreciate Ryan and his sense of humor. He keeps everyone entertained with his candid comments about EVERYTHING. He wears his feelings on his sleeve and leaves nothing unsaid. We repeatedly have to talk to him about what is appropriate to share. We never know what to expect next. Those big brown eyes and mischievous smile make my heart melt.
I surprised Travis on Thanksgiving Eve with a new truck he was drooling over. I made all the arrangements with Brian Jones Ford Dealership in was the most fun I've had in a while. I had it parked in my sister's garage and made up a story to stop by. I opened the garage and he was completely shocked! He couldn't believe, a. I knew how to contact the dealership, and b. I would by a vehicle without his knowledge.

I loved doing it and think I might win "Wife of the Year" for this stunt.......
Thankgiving Day at my parents:
The Phoenix Zoo with our friends Morgan and Hayden:
Our family at the Mesa Arizona Temple Lights:
My mom with her grandgirls.....she made them cute necklaces:
Our annual cookie decorating party:
Ella and me in our kitchen:
Christmas Eve, Olivia plays for Uncle Morgan:
Grandpa Williams took us all for a hay ride around the neighborhood while we sang Christmas carols:
Travis and the kids with Uncle Morgan and Grandpa:
The kids in their new jammies right before climbing into bed......they were panicked Santa would pass our house if they didn't get to bed quick!
Ryan got his wish and Santa delivered him a fish....oh what fun!
Our family with Grandma and Grandpa Adams:
Ella got a karaoke for Christmas.......she sang non stop ALL day........Taylor Swift, no less.
Olivia got a pair of "Glitter Toms" and was thrilled:
Even Ruby got a couple new toys and treats:
Olivia bought me a darling shirt and necklace with her own money:
Ethan gets suited up to try out his rollerblades:
Olivia got Travis a shirt from American Eagle:
My dad gave my mom a beach cruiser bike......she was so adorable and excited! She rode it up and down the street several times:
Ella got rollerskates and a pillow pet.....she was in heaven:
Travis and me, both sleep-deprived, but happy to see our family have such a joyful experience.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am Thankful

With Thanksgiving only days away, I have been thinking a lot about what I am thankful for. There has been lots of talk of gratitude lessons, general conference talks, stake conference addresses.

Someone once told me that saying "thank you" is one of the most important words spoken.
I agree. I heard a quote by Pres. Monson that said, "Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

I want to express some of the things I am most grateful for:

My husband, Travis.......

I am so blessed to be married to this man. He is my best friend and the one person in the world I always want to be with. I love him and love spending time with him, I never tire of it. After almost 20 years together, that says A LOT.

Here we are in Vegas in September...

We also went to Disneyland to make use of our soon to expire annual passports. Just the 2 of us. What a blast!

My family means everything to me. Here we are at the temple grounds of the Gilbert Temple:

My kids bring me so much joy....(and frustration, insanity and humility)
We attended the groundbreaking ceremony last weekend...
I am thankful for my talents....

This may sound odd to express but I truly feel blessed for the talents and abilities that I've been given.

My sister hosted a baby shower for her sister-in-law and the theme was "Sock Monkey."

I volunteered to make sugar cookies......I didn't realize I would have to attempt to make them look like the themed monkey!

Jamie was sweet to point out that this is a talent I have. I love to cook and bake and I guess it can be considered a talent. Might I mention that my husband didn't have so much faith in my "decorating" ability. He told me I'm a good baker, just not so experienced with the decorating. He recanted after I proved him wrong.
My crazy crew on Halloween...
I am thankful for my wonderful church ward.

We had such a fabulous ward Halloween party. It's an annual family favorite!
I am thankful to be able to have FUN with my family.....

We took the kids to Disneyland for Fall Break. I am so thankful that we can do this each year with our kids. They love it and look forward to it all year. It brings us closer together.....

I love this picture of my boys in an embrace.
Ethan in full Disney gear....Goofy hat, pin lanyard and of course, an ice cream bar. I complain to him, but I love how messy he gets when he eats ANYTHING. Such a sweet boy.

I am thankful for my tween, Olivia. She is such an amazing young woman. Despite my flawed parenting, she is turning into a little lady any mom would be proud of. I am thankful for her kindness, goodness and all the unique qualities that make her my Livi Lou.
I just adore my sweet Ella. She is such a girlie girl. She loves music, dancing, singing and all things girlie. I am especially thankful for her life. She is a miracle. I am thankful for the great annual checkup she just had. The specialists at Phoenix Children's Hospital are amazed with her resilience and good health. She is my reminder that Heavenly Father performs miracles.
We stayed at the Grand Californian Villas......2 bedroom, 3 bathroom condo right next to California Adventure Park. It was so luxurious! Sadly, I may be spoiled for life.
I love the absolute joy and excitement in my kids' faces. They were watching a parade and loving it.

I am thankful for how much my family loves each other. This is priceless.
My silly boy with all his artifacts following his flu shot appointment. Yes, I bribe with ice cream and treats.
I am thankful for our little dog Ruby. She is such a delight in our family. I just love her!
I am thankful for the Gospel, my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for opportunities to work in the Church and serve such amazing people in my ward. After 9 years in the ward, they are honestly my extended family.

I am thankful for the Young Women of my ward. I was blessed to serve them the past year and a half, mainly the Beehives. (12-13 year olds) I was recently released and miss them terribly.
They love so unconditionally and taught me more about kindness, friendship and integrity than I think I was able to teach them.