Friday, March 27, 2009

Random Sampler

Here are 20 random photos from our glorious vacation over Spring Break. The weather was beautiful while we were there and then we heard it started to snow right after we left. We are glad we could bring the Salt Lake Valley a week of sunshine! (Utah family - I promise I will send all of the pictures today!) Uncle Mike giving Courtney a tow back to the lift after her first (ever) run down the mountain!
All of the skiers on the first day of skiing: L to R Courtney, Alan, Luc (in front), Mike, Morgan, Devon and Haylee

I am constantly trying to get a cool picture of the cousins.

Courtney, Sydnee and Haylee making pouty faces.

The cat (Alan's new best friend) came along skiing. It really is a funny story of the cat jumping in the car during loading and everyone thinking she had jumped out.

Another attempt at cute cousin picture - lighting all wrong.

Right before we got to SLC, Alan's grandpa had another stroke. We were so glad to be able to spend some time with him and hope it is not the last time we get to do it. He is very incapacitated after this last stroke but still himself in many ways. Grandma was pointing out to him how much our kids had grown up and he said "Did you expect them to grow down?"

I was a tad obsessed with the cousins picture.
I thought this was so cute - they were doing that without being prompted - but as soon as I tried to get a better angle - right behind.....
Nicole turned around to look at us.

Morgan and Whitnee

Finally, a cute cousins picture with everyone: L to R - Front Row - Whitnee, Nash and Sydnee
Back Row - Tanner (in Devon's lap), Devon, Haylee, Morgan, Courtney, Nicole and Luc

We made really good time on the way there - partly due to several test sections with a new speed limit.

Courtney, Morgan and Nicole with Aunt Suzanne. They had so much fun with her the first day we went up to Grandma and Grandpas.

Alan's family with his mom: All of the grandkids in front - and Michelle sitting next to Syd and Nicole (she is so little she fits right in) - standing next to her is Will, Alan's brother and Michelle's husband. They just moved back to UT after living in Santa Barbara for the last few years - they have two dogs, Molly and Dexter - Michelle blogs here. On the left in front is Matt, Alan's youngest brother - he is preparing to go on a mission. Bart (Alan's brother) and Bryn (wearing yellow) are Nash and Tanner's parents. On the way home from this trip Nicole told us that Uncle Bart is her best friend. Next to them is Mike and Jen (Alan's only sister) - this is their house, whenever we go to UT we stay there. Their home is haven for all who step across the threshold - they make everyone feel welcome and loved. Mike and Jen are two of my most favorite people in the world - I wish we lived closer (by that I mean, I wish they lived in Arizona). Next to us is Alan's mom, Nancy. She is looking for a rich, single, nice Mormon man. Know any?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Best Vacation EVER!!!

That is what my kids are saying.

We didn't go to Hawaii or to Disneyworld or anything. We went to Utah to visit family. It is how we spent our October Break as well. When faced with vacation decisions, our kids will always choose the cousins in Utah. We gave them the choice of a new trampoline, California/Knott's Berry Farm or Utah and they chose the latter.

We had a great time seeing so many that we love - lots of family and my True Blue. I have a ton of pictures to post of the trip and the skiing - definitely the highlight for the kids. We are all already missing everyone that we left behind. I cried big old salty tears watching my kids hug their cousins good-bye at 5:30 this morning.

Good Times.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Johnsies!!

Our dear, dear friends the Johnsons returned home from their mission to Cyprus last week. We are so glad they took time out of their first few days home to come see us. All of the kids put on their Cyprus t-shirts to greet them.

The Johnsons used to live across the street from us. Seven years ago when we built this home they started the adoption process. Our kids were so little and they loved to go over to the Johnsons (Nicole started calling them the Johnsies and it stuck) and get treats. Sister Johnson had a "treasure box" full of little toys and goodies and each day she would let the kids answer a gospel question and then pick a prize.

So they started with the kids and then Alan and I wanted to be part of the action. R. Wayne and Leslie became our fast friends. They had dinner with us, shared Family Home Evenings and they attended all of the ball games and concerts that they could. Even this last week while they were trying to see all of their family - they made it to Courtney's first school basketball game.

Leslie was an Arizona State Representative and R. Wayne was a judge. They are civic minded and love giving service to the community, the church and their friends. One thing we really missed while they were gone was the help they gave us filling out our ballots at election times. They are the only people I know who research each one of the judges and keep track of the ones that make bad decisions and vote against them.

I have never met anyone who has as much love to give as the Johnsons do. Everyone that comes in contact with them can feel it. Every e-mail they sent us from Cyprus was all about how much they loved the people they were working with. There are several people that they met and taught in Cyprus that have plans to come to the U.S. soon.

Whenever Alan and I talk about our future, we consistently say that we will model our future after the Johnsons. If we can be half as spiritual, loving, generous and kind as they are then we will be all right. While we are sad that they no longer have a home in Mesa (they will live in their cabin outside of Show Low) we are so glad that they have returned safe and sound.

If you live in the area - we will be hosting an open house for the Johnsons at our home sometime after Spring Break. I will let you all know when it is going to be. If you read this and think that I won't remember to invite you - please send me an e-mail and I will let you know as soon as we iron out the details.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Few More Things (this time with some pictures)

My life is not really my own right now. Well, that is a little dramatic. What I mean is that I feel super busy - Devon is on the track team, Courtney on the basketball team - combine those with all of our everyday afternoon/evening commitments and I feel swamped. I'm having some stress about signing up to do Pat's Run. I'm really going to do it. I would love it if you would do it too. I'm not really sure why I decided to do it. I've never run in my life - I don't think I really like to run. I just felt like it was something that I could work towards. Pat's story has always moved me and I think that is part of it. I started a training program that eases the running in - yesterday was the first day - I ran 60 seconds and then walked 90 seconds, I did it seven times - 60 seconds has never seemed so long. But, I did it and I will do it again tomorrow.

My other stress is my new camp calling. I was called to be in charge of the "spiritual night" - if you are not familiar with girl's camp or maybe more specifically, girl's camp in this stake - the spiritual night is a really big deal. I am not a big deal. I'm not sure how to pull off a big deal.

For the promised pictures. Courtney took my Morgan out in the back yard for a photo shoot the other day. I don't have a fancy camera - it is really just a point and shoot digital thing but the pictures she took are so amazing. I love these girls!

One last picture: I can't think of anything sexier than a husband doing housework. Alan pulled out the ladder and dusted and cleaned all of the things in my front room that are way too high for me to do. It was awesome.