Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the sweetest thing in the world

Last night being the last FHE of the year
meant it was our
time for setting New Year Resolutions
In a nutshell, inspired by Amanda Dickson's talk at EFY 2008,
we write down the ridiculous things we've been hanging onto
for the past year
(people we can't change, situations making us crazy, etc)
take them outside, and as Bry lights them on fire
with his homemade blow torch
we watch them disappear and we
bless & release :)
Thankfully we had Trevor, Caci & Jace with us
and Trevor led us through our goal setting
He had us list 3 6-month goals
2 1-year goals
2 5-year goals
and 3 10-year goals
As overwhelming and daunting as some of those goals may seem, he told us to imagine one of those goals (the one that would have the most positive impact on our lives) being magically achieved over night.
This is the goal we circled.
Then on the other side of the paper we listed what we need to do to accomplish that one goal.
That goal is our aim.
Some of us shared some or all of our goals with each other
and this leads me to the
Brad shared only his circled goal
the one that would be the most joyous
and bring the most positive impact
this was it:
"help Denalee accomplish her goals"

I am blessed.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


not the best picture in the world
This year we gave Gage the book,
"When You Take a Mouse to the Movies"
and the stuffed mouse to go with it.
Our tradition is that we write in the book
and paste in a picture.
This is the picture going in his new book.
Christmas Eve we have several traditions.
This is one we don't talk about with others, but is the highlight
of the entire Christmas Season.
(it's good to have secret traditions!)
We try to get FIRST DIBS
on the missionaries for Christmas Eve each year
we invite at least one other
REALLY FUN person over
This year we lucked out with our set of Elders
PLUS their 2 roommates! along with
"NancyTaylor" (all one word, please)
The tradition includes EVERYONE participating
in our little Christmas pagent
(Where am I? I'm the narrator, of course! It's TRADITION)
Christmas Eve the kids all sleep in one room (quite a feat when Trevor & his family, Brooke & her family are visiting!) .... Anyway, Santa makes his delivery upstairs, including stockings (true, in Henderson we don't have an upstairs - but traditionally, it's how we differentiate between the stockings). He also delivers goodies and surprises to the downstairs stockings which the kids can retrieve at any horrid hour of the morning. This keeps them busy for a couple of hours so Mom & Dad can get a little more rest. For those with young kids, really young kids, DON'T THINK THAT WHEN THEY'RE ALL TEEN-AGERS YOU GET TO SLEEP IN! Even with the downstairs stockings to keep them busy, we were up at 4:38 am Christmas morn!
Then they all line up, youngest in front and oldest in back.
Lucky Azure.
It's only when the grandkids
are here that Azure is de-throned.
Since our oldest, Trevor, was a baby, we've taken
the wrapping paper picture.
We've loved watching the pictures zoom out
to include in-laws
then grandchildren
This wasn't our year tho' - we're without our grown kids and their kids
so we're back to just 3
3 GORGEOUS still-living-at-home kids

We have lots more traditions for which there are no pictures:
*french chocolate *ornaments from Grandma & Grandpa Call * puzzles *games *caroling *tournaments *Christmas movies *hugs *santa letters ******

they're good for us

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Worth Watching ... take a look

This was posted on Brooke & Steven's blog. I love it.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2 fun days & nights

it was a great birthday
it began with BREAKFAST IN BED
compliments of Bryan, Sierra & Azure
Brad took me shopping to add to my Christmas Village
and we came home with
2 new beautiful houses
both great fantasy houses
(we all sit in front of the village at nights with only Christmas tree & village lights on and imagine which house we'd like to live in tonight and which room we'd claim ...)
After FHE we had a quick family shopping trip
for Christmas gifts
then came home to watch
Christmas With The Kranks
and drink hot chocolate from the cool new machine Sierra gave me for my birthday
(Great gifts this year! also got an amazing lotion gift pack from The Body Shop, a spice grinder and an antique spinning chair)
When all of a sudden there was a knock on the door
Greeting me with an ice cream cake (yes - candles too!)
a dozen red roses
balloons galore (minus the balloon that caught on fire)
and a very cute card
and singing at the top of their lungs
was the Campbell Family
What a surprise!!!!

Then tonight we all got together for pizza and caroling
Chris' van held all of us
What a fun couple of nights!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

happy birthday BROOKIE

how did that happen so fast?
I know that for you it feels like a lifetime (hehehe)
but for Dad & me it feels like a couple of blinks
How we've been blessed by Brooke:
*as a child any angst came out in song
(sometimes so high-pitched only doggies could hear it)
*definition of loving caretaker: Brooke Chapman Redfern
*you had to have been amazing in our pre-earth life
the multi and varied talents you possess awe me!
*you are so aware. so very, very aware.
*you've taught me how to make positive changes
*there is room in your heart for everyone
*watching you mother your precious baby
thrills me to the bone:
even with talents beyond what most could ever hope for
you also excell
in the most important work of all.

Brookie, everyone who knows you is a better person
because you were born.
What a blessing that
I am your mother.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweetie-pie.

Monday, December 7, 2009

i love sitka

Sitka, Alaska
Az & I had a blast together
We spent Sunday afternoon at Halibut Point Rec beach
searching for seaglass, skipping stones, breathing the amazing fresh sea air
cold, yes.
but oh so refreshing!
today's our last day here
so when I pick up Azure from school
I think we'll hit Crescent Harbor,
Sandy Beach, and we can't leave
without seeing the bears and eating chocolate samples!
Azure was an absolute pro
on our long taping day!
We completed taping of 12 shows
(editing took a bit longer)
So because we worked so hard the 1st two days, we've been able to totally enjoy Sitka this last little bit. Church was great, games with Camielle & Josh were fun
and the beach was amazing ...
We LOVE Sitka!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a happier post

Thanksgiving Weekend
was fabulous! More about it later ...
I just wanted to show a couple of pics of all the girls
in our matching pjs

Sunday, November 29, 2009


It was a glorious week.
which makes our nearly empty house feel
oh so hollow.
our Christmas decorations are making me feel
now that so many of the people I love have left.
so I'll give myself tonight to cry
and then tomorrow I'll remember how blessed i am
just to have loved ones

Saturday, November 21, 2009


What?!? Steven really joined our family only 15 months ago?
Seems like you've belonged to us forever, Steve. We weren't complete without you.
Here are some of the things we love about you:
You'll wear a lime-green shirt all day just because we ask you to
Your sense of competition rivals all of ours put together :)
It's fun to beat you
You've made our family yours and make what's important to us important to you
You understand and take care of our Brookie
You fit right in.
Happy Birthday Steve!

Friday, November 20, 2009


... thankfully it was only 24 hours long...
Coke syrup almost always works for me -
when the kids have had the stomach flu
and I start to feel queezy, I down a spoonful
of coke syrup and although i don't feel great
I can usually keep from throwing up.
Not this time.
I was SO SICK for 1 full day
but, JOY OF JOYS! it only lasted a day!
I feel like, well - I was going to say million bucks
but actually, I feel more like about 200,000 bucks today.
Fever's gone
no chills
no vomiting
the only complaint I have is a band of sore muscles
from the violent sickness.
(But at least I got my exercise in for the day!)
here's hoping no one else get's it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

why i love my life

Isn't it amazing how the live's we're handed
are SO MUCH better
than what we would choose for ourselves?
I would NEVER have chosen
to be a full-time babysitter
at age 50.
But with the life I've been handed,
I now have 3 adorable,
precious children
who make me smile
everytime I hear them holler:
I love these kids.
Added blessing:
with these kids comes 2 incredible adults
I'm happy to call my friends.

Reason #2 that I love my life:
Brad and the kids
have totally stepped up to the plate.
Between shoulder massages
and offers to help out with my work
everyone is watching out for me.

Reason #3:
grown kids, kids-in-law and grandkids
in the entire universe!!!!

I love my life.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Girl Trip 2009

When Azure was a baby we started new tradition.
the boys had been going on annual Frostbite Challenge trips
and we thought it was time for some girl adventures.
Our first girl trip
we took the ferry to Juneau for some real shopping
(they have a "mall" and had a K-Mart)
One year we went to their cousin, Christy's wedding in Arizona.
Anyway ... we have had to miss one here & there ...
but as a rule, the GIRL TRIP is sacred time -
not to be messed with!
This year we all met in Provo for Halloween weekend.
Why do we include a picture with Brad, you ask?
We were supposed to be on the road by noon ... but I had to stop in at the production office, and as fate would have it, Brad was on 215 the same time we were, just a mile or so behind us.
So we slowed down to a ridiculous speed (for us) and waited for him to catch up so we could wave. That was a thrill :)
By the time we got out of the studio, Brad was headed our way, so we met at a gas station for a quick kiss good-bye.
Brooke wasn't supposed to arrive till a day after we did, but her sweet hubby talked her into an early departure. This meant we got to start of our GIRL TRIP right! We had all been saving money for this trip for a while - everyone secretly popped some cash into a container and Friday morning we divied it up for a fun shopping game.
We each had the exact same amount of money with which to get the BEST DEALS.
We began the day at NAME DROPPERS an incredible consignment store
in SLC. They only have top-of-the-line name brands
(thanks for introducing us, Yayoi!)
We were all supposed to be shopping for ourselves to get the very best deal of all, but Brooke and Sierra morphed the game and started picking out amazing (sometimes outlandish) outfits for each other to try on. The boutique lady was very accomodating with our giggles and picture taking. After all, we did spend a good chunk of our allotment there!
Hard to say who won during that shopping trip:
Caci got an AMAZING pair of Theory gray slacks for just $20
Azure got that darling jacket you see in one of the pics above
Sierra got a very cute white puffy vest
(Brooke just shopped like crazy for Sierra)
and me?
Well ... actually, I think I won.
I got a black wool, fully lined, J. Crew coat.
Originally over $300 for just $37.
Next stop:
My grown kids have been telling me for years that I need to go to Ikea. If you've never been, it's worth the trip!
We were all STARVING when we arrived, so we stopped 1st at their food court.
We had SO MUCH fun there!
I think Ikea ranks right up there with Disneyland.
(definitely better than Lagoon or the Adventure Dome)
We got some great deals there - all of us.
But winner:
Brooke got a rocking chair!!!!
Also during the GIRL TRIP:
We were a group of
but DEAD
Can't wait to see what we do next year of our GIRL TRIP.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

happy birthday JACE

Jace was such a PRECIOUS baby!
now he's a big, tough, cool 3-year-old
I love you Jace!