Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Girls just wanna have FUN!!!

Nana and I took Laurisa's friends to the cabin for a girls get-a-way! It was so much fun being with these amazing girls! Their fun positive energy is contagious and just draws you in to want to be around them! I always learn so much from them, especially how to be a true friend!
It brought back so many memories of when my mom used to take my friends and I on girl outings! We had such a wonderful time, making pizza, drinking hot chocolate, having a movie marathon, playing games, playing in the snow, and eating continuous goodies! We always eat tons at Nana's cabin, it's tradition!!! We all love the kettle corn that Nana makes! Nana's cabin is always inviting and she is always the perfect hostess, making sure everyone's every needs are met! Her motto when she brings teens is, "What happens or is said at the cabin stays at the cabin!" I think that is why my kids love going to the cabin so much---who wouldn't!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Fun Family Game!

One of my very favorite things (Okay I know I have a lot of favorite things) about the holidays is playing games with family and friends! I thought I would share a fun game that our family got for Christmas from the Youngs! It is a game the whole family will enjoy---all ages! And it only takes 1 second to learn and it begs you to keep playing, or should I say I keep begging my family to keep playing. I do have a tendency to burn my family out because I LOVE TO PLAY GAMES!!! My friend is in a game club, maybe I should join and then I wouldn't burn my family out but actually the part I love the most is spending time with my family playing games! Thanks Youngs for a super fun Christmas present!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Family Traditions!!!

We love family Traditions! We drove 8 hours from Colorado straight to Nana's kitchen! Nana's yummy Christmas dinner is definitely a tradition--with shrimp, crab and all the table festivities (poppers with crowns, gadgets and jokes)! It is also a tradition to wear reindeer antlers! Tom is always the last to put his on and jump in the think he could get out of doing this tradition? Somethings never change from year to year!!! Another tradition we all enjoy is going over to the Jackson's to see all the Wright family! Santa always makes his way to their home for us to sit on his lap(poor Santa as our family continues to get older and weigh more!)We love being a part of this family! They always are so fun to be around! On the drive home it is tradition to drive through the neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. Then we come home get on our Christmas pajamas and watch the Nativity movie of the Saviors birth. It really puts everything in perspective of why we celebrate Christmas! We are so grateful for our family traditions that make us feel apart of our family and our so thankful for what each family member adds to our wonderful family traditions!A family tradition the kids all love is getting new Christmas pajamas!
Four Generations of Women! We are so blessed to have Great Nana for Christmas! She radiates love!

The Gift of Love

Christmas morning was truly a memorable one! This year we have a new family member, Golden Goodman and I should also include their dog, Dolce. It was so wonderful to have them with us! They spent the night on Christmas Eve. Wade and I woke to giggling in the other room pretending to be looking at all the presents, "Yes, I got a life saver story book in my stocking!" I new better, but figured it was time to get up! They were all waiting in Laurisa's room for Wade and I to wake up! We started with the traditional singing of Jingle Bells and all wrote our gift to the Savior this year! My favorite part of it all... was feeling the LOVE that each family member has for each other! The excitement they felt as they could hardly wait for them to open the gift they gave them! I love that they are always more excited to give than to recieve! We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast with our family along with Great Nana, Nana and Paul, Tom, Holly, and Waylan. After, we played games, snowboarded on the Wii, watched Dolce play with Paco and Roxy, watched videos of past Christmas', watched Christmas movies and listened to Mitch play on his new keyboard for 7 hours straight, hmmmm....I wonder if he liked his gift?!!!

Let it snow ...Let it snow... Let it SNOW!!!

My spontaneous and CRAZY family--- one night, a week before Christmas planned a ski/snowboarding trip to Colorado! I expressed concern that if I left in a day how would I be ready for Christmas, especially coming back home on Christmas Eve. They all assured me that with all of their help it wouldn't be a problem! Laurisa and Joslyn spent almost the whole day wrapping presents and the kids had the house sparkling clean! So we all packed our winter gear and loaded Big Red for a vacation to Colorado! They were determined to follow through with their plan even with Laurisa having a fever the day before and Jacob throwing up the whole 7 hour car ride. We ski/snowboarded two days and stayed in the cutest cottage-like Marriott!

We were spoiled with the perfect ski conditions! TONS OF SNOW!!! I have never skied in so much powder! It was amazing! It spoiled us for any other kind of conditions! We all loved skiing in powder to our knees! It was truly a beautiful winter wonderland! We had such a wonderful vacation together! My family said I was the most quotable, but I can't remember any of my wise quotes right now! I'm sure they'll remember them forever! We enjoyed every night coming back to our warm cottage getting into our new Christmas pajamas(that we opened early), drinking hot chocolate, watching Christmas movies and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of Durango Colorado! It brought back a flood of memories skiing there with my family growing up! I'm so thankful for my CrAzY, FUN, Spontaneous family that talks me into doing things that create wonderful memories for years to come! Also thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Whiting and Nana and Paul for the money for the lift tickets! It was the best Christmas present EVER!!! We are also thankful for Wades platinum reward points for free Marriott stays! It was truly the perfect vacation and got us in the Christmas spirit!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Family Christmas Card 2008

We want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas! One of our very favorite parts of Christmas time is the cards we recieve from all of our friends from all over the country! We have lived in 6 different states over the years and have made some of the most wonderful friends along the way! We love connecting with all of our friends and seeing their families grow! We display them all along the door frame to Wades office and tape them all along the inside of the front double doors! It is our favorite thing to see all of your faces in our home! Keep the cards coming!

Happy Anniversary!!!

We want to wish Mom and Paul the Happiest of Anniversaries! This couple has so much love for each other! They are examples of not only serving each other but taking time out of their schedules to volunteer at the elementary school to teach reading and working at the temple. They always find time for each other---they love to escape to their cabin in the woods! I had the opportunity of working side by side Paul as his dental assistant for 2 1/2 years and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him getting to know the amazing man he is! They are the most amazing grandparents. Always trying to find ways to spend time with their grandchildren--sometimes having to be very creative (offering to let their friends come along)! Thanks for setting such a wonderful example and teaching us all how to love!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A SPECIAL visitor!!!

What a special treat! Great Grandma Young came to visit us for Christmas! It was so wonderful spending time together with her tonight! We feel so blessed to have her in our lives! Any of you that know our Grandma know that she makes you feel so special! Grandma is truly the most loving person I know! She has the most amazing way of reaching into your soul and making you feel like you can do and accomplish anything in life. I over heard her talk to each child individually and tell them how amazing they are and that they are going to accomplish great things in their life. I overheard her tell Jake to reach for the stars and he will catch one! She wanted to hear the boys play the piano and attentively listened to their whole repertoire! She wanted to catch up with each great grandchild. We shared many memories that we have created together--many hours teaching me how to sew, crochet, and how to love with all your heart! We love you Grandma and feel like we are a better person just for knowing you! Everyone needs a person like Grandma Young in their lives!

19 SWEET girls making SWEETS!!!

I am so blessed to have 19 of the sweetest beehives! Wednesday night we made four different kinds of goodies; drizzled chocolate covered pretzels, white chocolate dipped nutter butter cookies made into snowman, oreos dipped in white chocolate with crushed peppermint candy canes, and Christmas mice cookies made out of a chocolate kiss and a marchino cherry dipped in chocolate. It was like a chocolate factory in my kitchen! These girls amaze me with their creativity! After, we had a present exchange, exchanged family traditions and listened to my favorite Christmas story "The Christmas Candle"! They are so much fun to be around. They are examples to me in so many ways---they really know how to live in the moment and they get so excited to try new things! I love being around them! I love my Beehives!!! Thanks for bringing the Christmas spirit in my home!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beautiful weather ...time to celebrate!

Where else can you go to lunch and sit outside in the middle of December? For all of you that know how many years it took me to come back home---it was worth the wait! There is not a day that goes by that I don't say, "pinch me is this real"! I love sunny ARIZONA! I love everything about it! Especially going out for Mexican food and enjoying the sunny weather in the winter! Laurisa and I went to celebrate after she took her A.C.T test! When I told her," it's your last time you'll ever have to take it'll never have to see that test again!" She replied with, "Thank goodness" She felt like this time was her best out of the 4 times she took it! With each try her score improved! She just put in her application to BYU! Exciting times that deserve a celebration!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas treats!

One of my favorite things about Christmas is to deliver neighbor gifts! This year I got some of my ideas off of my friend Kim's blog (she is so creative, and always has so many awesome ideas). So I thought I would share some of these fun ideas on my blog.
My neighbor gifts turned out so cute this year! They are hot chocolate boxes (that I bought at Costco) with a homemade candy cane (bought at Costco) and a bag of the homemade pretzel and oreo goodies all tied up in a bow!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
  • Buy pretzels that are already dipped in Yogurt or Chocolate. You can get them at Sprouts in their bulk bins for 2.99 a lb.
  • melt green and red chocolate melts in microwave for 30 seconds at a time until fully melted. Directions are on the back of the bag.
  • cut a very tiny hole in zip lock bag, spoon in chocolate and squeeze on to pretzels.

Candy Cane Sprinkled Oreos

  • melt white chocolate melts same as above.
  • dip in crushed candy cane

We did these both for family night! They are so easy and taste so yummy. The Candy Cane sprinkled oreos are a family favorite. This is also a fun idea for Young Women's. We are going to do them this Wednesday at my house after having a gift exchange.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jake's wrestling tournament

Jake and Wade were gone all weekend at a Jr. High wrestling tournament in Phoenix. It was an exciting week for Jake he had 6 matches and pinned all 6, 5 of them he pinned in the first 30 seconds! He scored the most points for his team which he loves doing! His team took 1st in the tournament! When they came home they played the video over and over! I loved seeing how proud his siblings were of him! Mitch and Jake taught each other different moves in our family room the rest of the day! Way to go Jake!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas time in the BIG APPLE!

These pictures were taken from the airplane as we were landing in Manhattan New York. They seriously took my breath away! I am in love with the beauty that surrounds me!We were given a private tour and had a formal Christmas dinner at the U.N. building! So amazing!

The city that never sleeps---TIMES SQUARE! Wade and I love to walk and explore the city!

Taxis everywhere! I couldn't help posting all these pictures! I got a new camera---an early Christmas present. I am in love with my new takes the most AMAZING pictures! I felt like a kid in a candy store!

We love Rockefeller Center! Christmas is definitely in the air!

A friend once accused me of having a charmed life, I don't know about that but I do know that this was a charmed vacation. It all started by getting bumped up to first class---that pretty much described the whole trip! FIRST CLASS all the way!
Wade and I spent 5 days in New York at the Waldorf Astoria! It felt like the life of the rich and famous for a few days any way. We had a day at the Waldorf spa, shopping, dining at the U.N., Broadway musicals, sight seeing, and of course our favorite... New York pizza! There is nothing that compares to New York at Christmas time! The whole city is lit up with the most beautiful window decorations! It is quite a sight to see! Wade and I didn't want to sleep because we didn't want to miss a minute of it! We have so many traditions and things we love to do in New York, this year we started some new ones but kept the old so we were continually on the run! I came home ready for the festivities of Christmas to begin!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Winter Formal

I'm sitting here waiting up for Laurisa to came home after her date to Highland Highschools Winter Formal. My all time favorite thing is to wait up for my teenagers and hear all about their dates! I keep telling myself not to live vicariously through my children but I can't help is just way to much fun! I ABSOLUTELY love teenagers! They are so much FUN!!!
Tonight I found out that they changed the dinner to one of my best friends house instead of the restaurant they were planning on going to. So I called her to ask her if she needed any help...of course she said no, but said just come over and visit! I am so glad that I went over because feeding 22 teens is not an easy task! Her brother is a gourmet chef. It was the fanciest meal I've ever seen! I came home stuffed because he kept asking me to taste everything! It was all amazing! I'm so grateful for good friends and mothers that go all out in behalf of my children! Thanks Rochelle for all your hard work you did tonight!
I came home and my husband had finished all the wash and had everything all folded in the closet, the suitcases out and an itinerary and packing list of what I needed for our trip to New York tomorrow! He never ceases to amaze me! I don't know what I would do with out him! If I was half as organized as he is our home would run so much smoother, I guess that is why we make such a great team... he makes up the difference where I lack! Thanks Wade I don't know what I would do without you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Family Pictures

Here is some of the pictures we took on my camera in between the professional ones!
I can't believe these pictures turned out so well! We took them after being up at 4:00 am and shopping all day! My mom and Paul had scheduled these pictures since all of the family was in town for Thanksgiving! It was such a fun photo shoot because it was done on a whim! We got ready so quickly and with hardly any thought! I decided this is the way to go for all the family pictures to come, it took all the stress out of it! Of course Janelle is such a talented photographer and can make anyone look amazing! I love family pictures because it makes you love and appreciate your family all the more!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Benefit Concert for Marius was amazing!!! Light opened for the country group DUE WEST. They were so entertaining and quite the performers! Our good friend from Nashville wrote many of their songs and is their record producer! We loved all of their songs and have been listening to their CD ever since. We should have bought 2 or 3 CD's because every time I want to listen to it someone else in the family has it in their car! It was so fun to have friends and family there to enjoy the special night. I love benefit concerts because it is so wonderful to see people so generous and supportive. You can't help not loving Marius. He is such a darling boy and is so happy. It really puts in perspective of what life is all about, helping one another. Thanks Light and Due West for making the night so wonderful! Everyone needs to buy their National Album in January. Due West is going to make it BIG!Laurisa and I at the Matinee show. It was so fun to talk to these amazing singers and reminisce of our Nashville days!
Family and Friends with Due West

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shop till You DROP!!!

One of our favorite traditions is for the the girls and I to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving(black Friday). It has become one of our favorite days together! We wake up at 4:00 (which is an amazing feat for me) and we shop all day until we are exhausted, to try to get all the great deals! One of the best deals that I have ever found was last year, my laptop that I am using right now to blog! I paid $300 for a $800 dollar computer. Anyone that knows me knows I love a good deal! It is definitely an adrenaline rush! We have such fun memories from years past that we always laugh at through the day! This year Joslyn spent the night so she could wake up and go with us! It was such a treat to have her back home with us! We started off by going to Kohls to get a GPS for $50--no wonder the check out line wrapped around the store! Then headed for Chandler Mall! We were able to get all of our Christmas shopping done!
When we came home, Wade had put the Christmas tree up, cleaned the house and taken all Jakes friends to the bowling alley for his birthday party! We hurried and changed for family pictures with my side of the family, then Mom and Paul treated us to our favorite restaurant Tia Rosas. It was a fun but exhausting day! Wade and I both dropped by 9:00 that night but got woken up by our kids coming home with all their friends asking if they can hang out at our house! No rest for the weary!