Monday, December 3, 2012

New blog

We have a new family blog site!  Here is the link:

Please come and visit!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I've been a busy beaver since we've returned from Florida.  I cranked out a few pages of our trip and thought I'd share.  We started our trip with a special surprise at the airport.  It was 5 am, still dark and we had not had much sleep the night before.  For months we had been telling the kids that we were going to visit cousins in Californa because we had spent our Florida money on a new delivery truck for the business after Casey's old reliable one finally gave up the ghost.   This was entirely true...we did have to spend our much saved trip money on the new truck...which was affectionately called "Walt" in honor of the Disney trip that was not meant to be.  Throughout the summer, we kept the possibility of still going open (privately) if the business had a good enough busy season.  Thankfully, and unknown to the kids, we re-saved the money and were even able to negotiate for some free lodging (through business trade).  Because we decided to go in the off season, we also got ALL of our Disney dining for FREE!!  It was amazing!  Anyway, on that memorable morning, we read the kids a carefully worded poem (see below) about our real intentions.  Charlotte burst into happy tears and the other girls just stared at us.  I don't think it sunk in until we were halfway to Florida. 

Though Disney is a BIG deal, we were fully aware that we would probably never return to Florida as a family again.  Since this was a "once in a lifetime," we arranged to use a few extra days to visit Universal Studios and of course, our first stop was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Oh My was incredible.  We felt like we had been sucked right into that world!  Jillian was especially excited.  She has read each of the 7 books, 7 times.  As we were waiting in line to get onto the Forbidden Journey, Casey was quizzing Jillian and her Aunt Kailee (also a Potter nut) using a Harry Potter trivia program on his phone.  Jillian was stumping everyone with her knowledge of the Harry Potter world.

How many times do you go on a ride and wish that the line would move slower?  That was the case with the Forbidden Journey.  The cue literally takes you right through Hogwarts.  You start in Herbology, move to Dumbledore's office, to the Great Hall to the Gryffindor Common room.  At one point, Harry, Hermione and Ron appear and perform spells on  you...different ones every time you go through.  The ride itself was intense, and I had to close my eyes through most of it because it made me sick but it is a truly incredible piece of technology!

The last finished page is Jurassic Park.  This section of Universal's Islands of Adventure park was right next to Harry Potter.  It was a fun part of the park but not nearly as cool as Harry's world.  You may notice the matching shirts.  Casey made us 3 sets of matching shirts.  We were so BRIGHT that we could see each other for miles!  It makes amusement park hopping really easy when you want to stay together!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A great trip and post election thoughts

Phew, it's been a while!  We just returned (a few days before election day) from a long anticipated and much saved for trip to Florida.  We have been dreaming of and saving for this trip for years and we decided that now was the time.  Before we left though, we celebrated Maggie's 11th birthday.  She asked for a hot tub cake and I think it turned out really cute.  We are so happy to have Maggie in our family.

The big secret of this trip was that for months we had been telling the kids that we were going to California for a visit with "cousins" and perhaps a few days at Disneyland.  They were totally geared up for that and even accepting of the strange layover in Houston.  (Why would we be having a layover in Texas if we're going to Californa, Mom?)  At 5:30 on the morning of our departure, in a little corner of the airport, we revealed to them our real plans.  They were so excited and overwhelmed.  Charlotte burst into happy tears.  I will go into detail in future posts about our trip, but for now, I am posting my project 365 for the week before and the first week of our Florida adventure.

I also wanted to mention the election that was held this week.  I am deeply disappointed by the outcome and the wicked, wicked state of our nation.  I am amazed that things like legalizing marijuana and assisted suicide passed easily in some states.  I have this overwhelming feeling that the Lord is coming sooner than we think.  I was proud to pull the lever for Mitt Romney.  I was sure that he would be an honest and virtuous president.  But, like all things in life, the Lord often has different plans.  I know that half of our country was fasting and praying for a different outcome.  I am sure the Lord was so sad that he couldn't grant His faithful with what they were collectively asking for.  But, we know the ultimate outcome and we know that if we live righteous lives and do what He asks, He will help us.  I fear that dark and terrifying times are coming for our nation.  I have recommitted myself to be good and to be worthy of His help and love because I think we are going to need it.  Despite the deep sadness I feel, I am also filled with hope and faith and those feelings overcome all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

week 39

I know I already blogged about Charlotte's Portal party, but I just finished the scrapbook page and thought I'd share!

Here is week 39!

Monday, October 8, 2012

a birthday

Hello all!
I am sorry I haven't updated in so long.  Our computer of 3 months decided to burn up it's fan so we've been  without a computer for a while as Carbonite has been restoring our files onto our backup laptop.  Lesson: don't by an HP laptop.  This is the second one that has done this to us. :)

Anyway, Charlotte's birthday was last week.  She is 14 and we can hardly believe it!  She had a pretty quiet celebration with family.  She is so unlike most 14 year olds as all she wanted for her birthday was Legos.

Kudos to the first person who can name the video game that her cake represents.  She is hooked on a video game named Portal.  This year, she wanted to make the "companion cube" herself and I made the official Portal cake that is presented to the winner at the end of the game.  Confusing, I know but the girls totally get it.

We love this girl so much!  She is such a mature and sensitive young lady...mature beyond her years.

With the crash of our computer, I lost all of my scrapbooking tools and pictures.  (Highly recommend Carbonite...a cheap way to protect your priceless files) so I am way behind.  But, here is week 38.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Girl's camp fireside

This last Sunday was our Girl's Camp fireside.  It has been a month since I've seen my First year girls and it was so FUN to re-unite with them at the fireside.  (the above pic features two of my first years and of course, Charlotte).  Speaking of Charlotte, she was assigned to be the pianist for the night.  It was her first time playing a hymn for a big crowd while following a chorister.  She was pretty nervous and practiced and practiced, and practiced for weeks before, but she did great!  I encouraged her to play the simplified version if it would make it easier on her, but she insisted on playing the regular more difficult hymns out of the hymnbook.  We were pretty proud of her!

I've been pretty busy with  my scrapbooking.  Here are a few:

And finally, here is our last week!