January 31, 2009

Miracles and Memories

This week has been filled with sweet, tender miracles and wonderful memories.
Last night we were invited to go to a fabulous dinner and to see Phantom of the Opera with our wonderful neighbors (and new Bishop), Derrick and his wife Jan. Let me just say how amazing they are and how lucky we are to have known them and been friends for thirty + years!! We love them!!! Chris Jones (a church scholar) and his wife Louise and Elder Marlin K. Jensen (member of the Seventy and Church Historian and Recorder) and his wife Kathy were with us and it was such a honor! It was hard to describe how amazing it was to talk to them and get to know them a little bit. They are so humble and genuine.We had a great time and a really fun evening! Thank you Derrick and Jan!!!!!
Then early this morning we were all able to go to the temple together. It was such a special experience.
After the temple, we all went to the Hodson's where they presented Elder Jensen with a very special gift. Derrick had purchased Lucy Mack Smith's personal copy of the Book of Mormon and was giving it to the Church. That is why we were so lucky to have Elder Jensen here. As he humbly took it and reverently held it in his hands, I couldn't stop the tears from streaming...

The Hodson's had invited several friends and neighbors to come over and see this special book and hear Chris Jones share some of his incredible knowledge of the early years of the church. I learned so much and was very grateful to be a part of it. What a memory for sure!

Last Thursday we met an incredibly special family that will forever be dear to us. Brett, Azurdee and Janika are our own special angels and truly a miracle in our lives. They are a wonderful family who are including us in all their excitement as they prepare to adopt a precious baby boy. They sent us these beautiful flowers but I think we are the ones that should be sending them the flowers. I know more than ever, that our Heavenly Father knows each one of us personally and each of us by name. He knows our deepest desires and dreams and blesses us through the love, kindness and hope given by forever friends and loved ones.
I am so grateful.

What an amazing week!!!

January 28, 2009

Pinewood Derby

Tonight was our first ever Pinewood Derby! Kaden was so excited... he talked his dad into letting him leave football practice early so he could get to the derby. He got there just in time for the races to begin. Each car was raced on each of the tracks and then the combined times of all the races were tallied. There were about twenty kids there... all the cars were so cool. Everyone received an award of some kind and then the top three were announced. Hunter came in third. Bridger came in first... & Kaden came in second (he missed first by 1,000 of a second!) ~ They each got trophies and you couldn't wipe the smiles off of their faces...it was awesome!

January 26, 2009

Mediterranean to the Eastern Pacific

Amy and Allyson are continuing to have amazing experiences on different sides of the world. I love being able to see them (via the computer) and talk to them so often. I don't know how you missionary moms do it!

Ally called at 3am the other night. This is the conversation:
Ally: Hi Mom!
Me: Ummm Hi...(not sure which daughter is calling)
Ally: Hey, It's me Ally! Sorry, I forgot it is 3 in the morning there...Oops!
Me: Is everything OK? (freak out a little)
Ally: Oh yea, everything is great! We are in a little town called Valencia. I just was wondering if you would like a $50.00 nativity set I just saw?
Me: Oh Ally that is is so sweet of you... but you save your money and buy something just for you.
Ally: Are you sure?
Me: Yea, that's Ok... I love you and I miss you tons!!! Call me at 11am tomorrow!!
Ally: OK I'll call you when we get back tomorrow... Love You

The next morning Ally did call at 11am and told me about their little weekend trip to Valencia (which is 6 hours away) and how they went to this one and only porcelain factory in the whole world.... where they make Lladro.
Lladro!!!! I suddenly went very pale and asked if it was a porcelain Lladro nativity set for $50.00!!%%%!!!##*** that she was so sweetly going to buy me?
She said ..."yes...and I called because I knew you would have really liked it"... I said... "You forgot to mention that it was Lladro!!!" Ally: "Oooops!"
Oh well, she was thinking of me, and it's the thought that counts, right?!

Amy is in the middle of Chinese New Year in Taiwan. Fireworks, food, parties and everything shuts down. They have a week off from teaching school, so they are doing a lot of biking and sight seeing. She is becoming quite attached to her only form of transportation...her bicycle!

They celebrated Chinese New Year at their Branch President's house. They had to eat something long, slimy and green. They were told if they ate it all at once, slurrping it in and not chewing it into little pieces, they would have a very long life... as long as President Hinckley's.
She saw this guy on the street in full costume and ran up for a picture with him.

January 24, 2009

Football Saturday...

Levi went with us to Kaden's football game today. Big cousin played great for little cousin...3 touchdowns!!! Levi even gave Kadaman a big high 5...
Go Green Machine!!!

Levi is a little heavier to carry around than the football Kaden is used to running with!

January 23, 2009

Lov'in Little Levi

I am lucky to get to babysit Levi for a couple of days... He is sooooooo cuuuuute!
He totally melts my heart. Nothing is better than this being a grandma stuff!!!

January 19, 2009

10 inches!

Taylor has been begging to cut her hair for three years... We all have tried to talk her out of it because her beautiful long hair was so pretty. Well, today she got her wish and it is sooooo CUTE! Aunt Krista cut off at least 10 inches!! Taylor is excited to be able to donate her hair to Locks of Love to help make a wig for someone suffering with cancer. Taylor is so brave and never afraid of change. (I need to be a little bit more like my
#1 grandaughter!) She had the biggest smile on her face ever!!!
The only problem is she looks older and we will have to work even harder to keep the boys away !

January 16, 2009

Madrid to Taiwan

Amy and Allyson are...

missing us a wee bit
trying crazy strange foods
trying to talk to people (big and little) who can't understand them
seeing beautiful things and beautiful places
learning a lot about themselves
using Skype a lot
going to church and still feeling the Spirit even though they don't understand the language
feeling a little lonely sometimes
being happy and laughing a lot
feeling very grateful for the opportunities they have been given
loving the children
having amazing experiences

January 14, 2009

Lisa's Present

My sister Lisa has a huge crush on Thurl Bailey. She loved his basketball skills but more than that she loves his inspirational story and his beautiful singing voice. He is such an ambassador for the Church. Her husband James knows how much Lisa admires Thurl Bailey and decided to give her a very cool surprise gift for Christmas this year. The guy who calls the Jazz games is in their ward and so James asked him to get an autograph from Thurl to give to Lisa. Well, instead he came to their house and knocked on the door and said, "I am sorry, I couldn't get you an autograph from Thurl Bailey, but will this do?" Out of the car stepped Thurl... and my sister almost fainted! He was so cool, came inside the house (almost hit his head) and met the kids and signed autographs in person. He acted as if he had known them for years.
Needless to say...very cool surprise.

January 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Princess Olivia!

Olivia turned 4 years old today...She is such a joy and we all love her so much!
Olivia loves...
princesses...all of the princesses
having Mommy read her books and cuddle
hugs and kisses (I think Olivia says "I love you" more than any 4 year old on the planet!)
dance class with Kate
Daddy's big hugs
sleeping over at Grama's
making cookies
the color PINK
having Tiana paint her nails and do her hair
her big brother Caleb
Happy Happy Birthday Olivia XOXOXO

Kate, Levi, Jennie, Leah, Amber and I took Olivia to Build a Bear today! The girls had so much fun making Scruffy the Puppy and Sissy the Bunny...

Brian had a big Princess Party for Livie yesterday...
It's been a big birthday celebration for two days!!

January 10, 2009

#44 is a STUD

Kaden scored 3 touchdowns and had 4 tackles today in his first game of the winter season!
Referee: "Man, #44 is a STUD!"
Coach Jamie: " Yea he is, he's my son!!"

January 8, 2009


Ally is doing great! They have internet in her apartment and so we got to Skype with her yesterday. She looks great, is very happy, and the house mom, Pilar, is a great cook and so Ally is well fed too. And she isn't sick anymore, thank goodness! The University is within walking distance and the little town, Alcala, is absolutely beautiful. It is about 20 minutes outside of Madrid. They have gone sight seeing, touring and shopping. School started today...hope that went well too.
In this picture Ally said that Madrid is right outside the window.

We just finished talking to Amy...it is so crazy that we just saw her and talked to her while she was sitting in her room in Taiwan and it is 2:30pm tomorrow there! It was nap time for the kids (they take a two hour nap everyday!) Amy and Stacy's apartment is right above the preschool and so they get to go upstairs and do whatever they want for those two hours. Usually they take a nap too...or prepare for their next lesson. It is fun to hear her crazy stories about the food they have eaten, the cute kids, teaching salsa dancing to a Taiwaneese 15 year old, lov'in the cute little pre-schoolers, trying to figure out lesson plans everyday, and looking forward to her $20 hour and a half massage.

As for what I did today... I got to watch this cute little (well, not so little) guy...Mr. Levi. He is so dang cute you just want to kiss those chubby cheeks every minute. He is rolling everywhere and loves to laugh!
We also had a play date with Olivia and Kate at McDonald's. Olivia's hurt eye from the dog that bit her on Christmas is getting better. She has to wear a protective plastic cover over it so it doesn't get bumped, but she will be getting the stitches out next week. Those two sure love each other!