Sunday, December 28, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!




We had the very best Christmas ever, and hope you all did too.  There is nothing that beats family time.  Having all the extended families with us would have made it perfect!  I've been trying for days to upload a quick-time movie of our Christmas, but it keeps flopping, so instead, here are some pictures:

We were TOTALLY surprised a couple of days before Christmas when Brad's little sister, Lizzy, her husband, Jeff & two of her boys, Austin & Garrett showed up at our front door!  Lizzy was standing there with a box of chocolates and I thought, "Wow - a whole family is here to sell candy ..." it took me at least 10-seconds to realize who it was.  They stayed a couple of hours and we had a great time visiting.  It's never long enough with them, but what a great treat!      


The days before Christmas were spent playing games, making treats (Steve's the pro at making truffles!), working on presents, doing the puzzle, caroling, and talking, talking, talking.








We even found time to help Trevor and Caci shine up their bus.  

Christmas Eve we carried on our favorite traditions:














And Christmas Morning was fabulous!















Sunday, December 21, 2008




If ever there was an enchanted time of life for me, this is it!  I LOVE having everyone together.  It's been a crazy week, and an even crazier month ... but moments together are what put everything into perspective.


Trevor and Caci have been traveling back and forth between here and California, getting their "SummerSalesBus.Com" bus ready for transport.  It's an amazing accomplishment!  We were all so excited when Trevor arrived just after Caci and Jace did a couple of days ago.  They signed with a major business last week, so they're having successes even before getting started!  This bus started out as a regular, gigantic bus ... but after gutting it and putting lots and lots of hours into it, take a look at it now:



The boys spent a little time working on the heater, "testing out the games", and inviting the girls to help ... while others of us took care of Christmas things.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SNOW








LET IT SNOW!  LET IT SNOW!!! LET IT SNOW!!!!!
Hooray!  It's December 17th, and SNOWING in Henderson, Nevada!  We're all loving it!  My visiting teacher stopped by with a Christmas bag FULL of lemons from her tree and we looked out the door and saw this gorgeous snow!  Hooray for us!!!!!  Caci is now making lemon curd from the lemons, then we'll make some lemon bars too.  YAY FOR US!

Then Brookie and Caci will be making LEMON MERINGUE PIE!!! Another Yay for us!!!!!!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthdays

video
We've had a crazy couple of weeks as a family ... and it's culminated in a couple of glorious days with us all together.  Truly glorious!  The best gift I could ever hope for on a birthday is for us all to be together.  And sitting in church ... taking up a whole middle row ... that was something I will cherish forever.  I'll write more later - just wanted to share this precious time with you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting our BEAUTIFUL tree (By Azure)







On Friday we all got into the car and drove to Lowe's to get a Christmas tree. We were all trying to decide if we wanted a Noble Fir or a Douglas Fir. In the end we got the Douglas Fir (Sierra's and Bryan's pick) and not the Noble Fir (Dads and my pick.) Mom didn't vote for either one because she liked them both:) Then it was time to put the tree on the car. Bryan and Dad put it on and then put the twine cord on it so Sierra, Bryan, and I were in the back seats holding on tight to the twine and laughing so hard! When we got home the boys put the tree in the stand and carried it in the house. Bryan and I cut the tag and string off and then it was all ready to decorate. But Trevor, Caci and Jace are  going to  be here on Monday so we thought we'd wait to have them here with us to decorate the tree. We LOVE Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!



It was a pretty relaxed Thanksgiving this year ... just the 5 of us, so we spent a couple of hours last night making side-dishes and pies and even put the turkey in the oven before bed on a low heat.  The house smelled so good when we woke up!  The girls set a gorgeous table and we all gathered to eat right around noon.  Every year I'm shocked at how much time it takes to make a meal that we eat within 15 minutes!  This year we lingered a little longer, spending the meal talking about what we're thankful for.  (In past years, we've tried saying what we're thankful for BEFORE we eat - and that's a killer ... everyone just wants to eat.)  The pies this year were our best ever!  Pumpkin pie by Sierra, Chocolate Cream pie by Azure and I made my Grandma Call's Apple Cream pie.  SO yummy!  Brad and Bryan were an integral part of food prep this year, so everything went so smoothly.  Afterward, we chilled ... put together puzzles, worked on Christmas presents, watch the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade, etc.  Nice day.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

VALLEY OF FIRE



We had to say good-bye to Caci and Jace today :(  But we had a fun drive with them half way to St. George where we met up with Mindy (Caci's mother) and Gabe (Caci's brother).  It was so fun to see Mindy again!  (She looks fabulous!  She could be Caci's sister!!)  PLUS ... Mindy brought us a jar of her precious grape jelly and really, really delicious green-tomato catsup that she canned! Hooray for me!  On the way home we decided to take the truly scenic route.  We turned off of I-15 into the Valley of Fire park.  It was amazing!  As soon as we rounded the corner near the toll booth it became obvious why that name was given.  So bright and beautiful!

We got out of the car and wandered around on some of the beautiful rocks.  We were able to hike right up to petroglyphs ... they were amazing! 

Az could have hung out all night there - she loved it.
Of course, Brad hiked the furthest of all 3 of us, making his way right into this amazing cavity in the huge rock.  

We were sad that we didn't have Bryan and Sierra with us, nevertheless, it was a sweet end to the day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CACI & JACE ARRIVE!





Busy, busy day!  Caci and Jace arrived at the airport 20 minutes early!  I was just picking up Bryan and Sierra from school when Caci called.  So we zipped to the airport where they were waiting curbside for us.  Caci hadn't slept in 48 hours (knowing she and Trevor would be away from each other for so long, they didn't want to sleep) but Jace had slept most of the way on the plane.  It was so good to see them both!  Caci's crashed now - I hope she sleeps all night.  Jace is still going strong.  He is totally comfortable with everyone.  I can't believe how much he's grown up since Brooke's and Steve's wedding.  He speaks in sentences now and has such a strong personality.  He's been walking around shooting Bryan, taking pictures with Sierra, making cookies with Grandma, laughing at Grandpa, and pretty much wanting to hang out with Az.  He's currently throwing a floppy frisbee at Bryan, picking it up, then putting it on Bryan's head and laughing.  While Caci's been sleeping I talked him into taking a quick bath and even brushing his teeth.  (He finally agreed when the kids all started spitting in the sink and showing him how much fun they were having.)  We only have these two till Saturday ... but then they'll spend a chunk of December with us too.  We just hope that Trevor can hurry and finish his business in Florida and join everyone out here! We miss you Trev!  Brad's at YM and Bryan didn't want his picture taken because his eyes are blood shot .... Caci fell asleep before we started taking pictures.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FINE SUSPENDED!!!!!

HOORAY, HOORAY, HOORAY!   Several weeks ago I was pulled over with overdue registration.  It was two motorcycle cops who looked like twins.  Big bald guys.  The one stood in behind the car cleaning out his ears with Q-tips (true) while the other growled at me (not completely true .. but you get the idea).  The fine was $407 ... and it didn't matter to him a single bit that I promised I would get the car registered on Friday ... he just continued to growl.  Well, I could either pay the fine before November 18th or go to court and hope for a lenient judge.  At noon today I appeared in traffic court for the 2nd time in my life.  It was short and sweet.  For your entertainment I will reconstruct the event:
Judge:  Is this your legal name?
Me: yes.
Judge:  How do you plead?
Me: guilty.
Judge:  Is your car registered now?
Me: yes.
Judge: Please give the baliff your registration
(I give to baliff, baliff gives to judge, judge looks at it.)
Judge:  I will suspend the fine.
Me:  Thank you.
Then I fairly danced out of the courtroom to my car and giddily called Brad to share the good news.
Ok ... that may not have been very entertaining.  So to make up for it, I'll share my other experience in traffic court.  But before I do, let me just tell you that I have a completely clean record.  When I was 16 I did back a pick up truck into the missionaries' car - but no citation then.  And once when I was driving back to Philly from Utah for Christmas I got pulled over (my brother insisted I drive as fast as he was driving - it was his fault!) but the cop was kind; then my only real ticket was in tiny Sitka when I was pulled over for speeding in a school zone.  I deserved that one.  BUT now my record is clean - that was a long time ago.  So anyway, while in Sitka (remember, this is a town of only 9,000 people) I was at the middle school one evening for a meeting of basketball coaches.  (Just wanted to brag about that a bit ... I'm sure Sitka's the ONLY place that would have me for a coach)  Anyway, I came out to see Kyle Ferguson .... oops ... I mean, OFFICER Ferguson, sticking a ticket on my windshield.  Technically it was my sister's windshield ... but  ........  Anyway, there was no yellow curb, no "no parking" sign, no indication that I couldn't park there.  As we had previously visited with each other (hehehe) I wasn't afraid to debate this with him.  After 15 minutes I realized we were at an impass.  I did tell him that it would be easier for him to rip up the ticket than to come to court on his day off.  But he was stubborn.  So 6 weeks later I did see him in court.  In preparation I took pictures from all angles.  The majistrate happened to be Judge Horton (I had interviewed him for our TV show a few weeks earlier - but even if it were the other judge, I knew him too) who I knew to be wise and fair.  Officer Ferguson presented his side, then I spoke - and quite eloquently, I might add!  I presented the pictures, the circumstance, everything.  After some deliberation, some research into a couple of HUGE books, the judge dismissed the case.  What a thrill of triumph that was!  Way more dramatic than today's traffic court.  But although today was short and sweet, I am way more grateful.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SATURDAY

Brad and I spent the bulk of the day at his office today.  It took us 6 hours, but nearly every paper has been gone through, filed, disposed of, etc.  His bookshelves look awesome; all dive gear is concealed; and there's now enough floor space to do cartwheels if he wants to!  We had a fun time working together and came home to the kids having done all their chores and their homework.  This is a great stage of life :)  We also went to our first ever "High Priest Social".  We've never lived in a place where there were enough Priesthood holders to separate the Elders from the HPs ... so this time we were among the old people for the social.  It was actually really, really fun.  We gathered at the Tritsch's house and ate outside.  I don't know what the temperature was, but it was completely comfortable (I wore a sweater!).  Unfortunately Brad had to get to work to drive the dinner/dance cruise, so we left a bit early.  Still ... it was a good day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

SIERRA'S THOUGHTS


Last weekend was so fun! Sara Sheahan and her family came to Vegas for a little family trip. Sara stayed here at our house while her family stayed at a couple of hotels on the strip. We ate at buffets, wandered the disgusting streets of the strip, went on the boat at Lake Mead, and went on a roller-coaster! I think that my favorite part of them coming here is being able to spend time and talk to Sara (in person) :) She hasn't changed a bit. Except for her being about the same height as me! Hopefully I will see her again SOON!!! :) !!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

MONDAY, 11/10/08


With no school today, we were busier than ever.  Sierra spent the day with Sara & her family doing the Vegas thing, Brad spent the day at work; Bryan and I took Azure and her friend, Mikayla to the Mall.  We got a little fun Christmas shopping in, filled up on gas ($2.25/gal. now!) and got Bryan's work card so he can officially start work this weekend at Lake Mead Cruises!  We capped off the night watching "Get Smart" for our FHE activity :)  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Blog




Ok ... I guess it's time for me to join the world in blogging.  The kids will have to make sure we keep this updated, but for now ... I'm just proud that I could get this far!

It was a great day yesterday and another great one today.  Yesterday we all hopped into the clown car and drove through Lake Mead National Park stopping at one of the scenic over-look areas.  We hiked down to the water's edge and explored all over.  Thankfully, Bryan made some wasabi-tuna sandwiches for our picnic so we didn't starve.  It was a perfectly comfortable day - probably about 65-68 degrees.  While Brad and Bryan and Sierra were hiking up to a pinacle, Azure and I slipped our shoes off, rolled up our pants and waded in the very comfortable Lake Mead. Eventually, Azure and I got really brave and went for a swim.  Up to our necks!  It was SO REFRESHING!  Of course, everyone had to turn their backs while we stripped down, then when we emerged from the water and dressed again.  SILLY PEOPLE:  NO!  We didn't skinny-dip!  Bryan and Sierra both dressed in layers and reluctantly took off some of the layers for us to wear swimming.  That's all the details I'll share :)  

Today we had the missionaries over for dinner (we love these two:  Elder Hamilton and Elder Pahulu).  That is always a treat for us.

Ok ... now I'm going to see if I can figure out how to add pictures.  

2 hours later:  Well ... I figured out how to add pictures, but didn't figure out how to place them where I want them.  While adding pictures, our Sitka friends, Pat & Diana Sheahan and their kids, Ricky and Sara showed up!  They moved to California last June and decided to take a quick trip to Vegas!  So we have Sara staying with us overnight and with no school tomorrow or Tuesday, Sierra and Sara will be playing together here in Henderson and with Sara's family in Las Vegas.  This is a HUGE treat for Sierra!