Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Forgotten Carols~ A special night

Tonight, The Gray's, Rollender's, Boohers, and our family all went to see The Forgotten Carols. It was such a special night. It really put the spirit of Christmas in our hearts. These songs have been a favorite of mine for many years and to me they are what Christmas is all about. As Michael Mclean says, we all have a carol in our heart and tonight they sang loud and clear in all of our hearts. The highlight was singing as a family, while holding hands, one of my all time favorite songs..."We Can Be Together Forever Someday!" It made us all think of Grandma and how blessed we are that families are eternal.

Christmas Lights~ A tradition

Within a day apart these are the gorgeous views we beheld. It was a delight for the eyes and especially wonderful to get to experience it with those we love. This year we were able to experience the Christmas spirit with hearing Thomas Heaps sing at the Assembly hall on temple square and then walking around Salt Lake's temple square to view all the beautiful lights. Emily kept us on track, and we had to do it in a hurry because mom froze, but we got it all in and came home and warmed up with hot chocolate.Upon arriving back to Arizona we went to see the Mesa temple lights and nativities. It is a family favorite, in fact I think this was the fourth time this year for the girls. Quite a contrast, it was such a warm night that we ate our Mesa frozen yogurt while walking around the grounds. We love the display of nativities from all around the world in the visitor center! I love these two temples, they have a special place in my heart and always bring the Christmas Spirit. I feel so blessed that we got to experience both temple lights this year.

Family Night with the Dovers

We had a Christmas family night with the Dover family! We just love this family so much! They have become our adopted family. Joslyn and Laurisa have been their babysitters for over 7 years and they have been apart of our family ever since. We had a crepe night (Marcus' idea) since he loves our family crepes! We made dipped oreo treats and listened to Grandma and Grandpa Dover share the Christmas story! It was a great night and fun to share with such wonderful friends. I love sharing the Christmas season with friends and family!

Hiking in December

These women make everything fun, but hiking with them is a favorite! We have lots of laughs and solve the world's problems at the same time. It's amazing how beautiful the weather is in December, perfect weather for hiking. Jan wanted us to come to her house in Awahtukee, where she has hiking right out her back door. It was a beautiful hike, with beautiful views. We only hiked for 2 hours because we had a lunched planned at Carol's along with opening gifts. We had the best Panini's ever! Everyone brought food and we enjoyed lunch at Carol's house overlooking the whole valley. I feel so blessed to have the most amazing friends who I enjoy doing just about anything with. I think we need to hike at least once a month!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Testing out New Big Pictures!

A Glance Back to Grandma Whiting's Funeral

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mitch's Winter Formal dance

This was quite the day! Mitch wasn't sure when he got asked to Winter Formal if he could go because he had a wrestling tournament on the same weekend. I told him it would all work out and to have faith. He found out the night before the dance, that the tournament would be over in time to go. I love how flexible his date was. We all scrambled at the last minute to pull it all together. We helped his date get tickets, boutineers, corsages, a shrug and a necklace and a dress shirt for him all while he was at the tournament. It was so great to see the night turn out to be such a success. Mitch said he had the night of his life, and it was especially fun to go with such an amazing girl who he considers his best friend.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We love visitors

Visitor's spoiled us with their presence this month. We always love the opportunity to have visitors stay with us. First we had Wade's brother Justin, who flew in from Baltimore and was able to stay with us for 10 days. What a treat to have so much time with Justin. He seriously is one of the easiest guest we've ever had. He is just part of the family, he pitched in on getting the house ready for Thanksgiving. He was such a good sport to sleep on the couch in the family room where all the action always was when it was his bedtime. We had some great late night talks. His easy going nature is so fun to be around. Wade's parents drove down from Utah to be with us for Thanksgiving. It was such a special holiday to have so much family with us. We feel so blessed to have these wonderful people apart of our lives and cherish the time we get to spend together. Justin felt like he was at a resort. He would go out everyday and lay in the sun and read. It was good seeing him get some rest and relaxation because he is such a hard worker in Dental school.We also got a bonus visitor, Meg came to stay with us. We were so excited when she called telling us that she was coming down for an interview. I got her an interview with my friend and she got the job! So now she will be moving by us! We had such a fun few days, it felt like I was on vacation. We had so many good laughs, and went to a movie, shopping decorated for Christmas and made yummy food.Meg was able to go to Institute and lunch with us! It was wonderful having her and we are looking forward to more fun times with her.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My most popular purse

I decided to post my purse on my blog since everywhere I go people stop me to ask where I got it...can you believe, OLD NAVY. I didn't even know they had purses until I went to friends and family 30% off day to get our Christmas pajamas and came upon this purse with matching shoes. If you want it you better hurry since I have seriously sent over a hundred people there to buy one.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Double the Festivities

This year we had double fun with two Thanksgiving dinners. We enjoyed our traditional dinner with the Wrights. It was extra special this year because we had Mom, Dad and Justin with us. And then Joslyn wanted to make sure we had our Traditional Thanksgiving dinner with just our family. It was amazing how much more traditions meant to Joslyn after living away from home.
The Turkey trot was a great way to start the day. Everyone ran, except Mitch who is recovering from tendinitis and Joslyn and Laurisa who had to watch the traditional Macy Day Parade.We decided to save money this year and have our very own Turkey Trot. Wade gave mom a number so she felt like a real contestant. We had a great time running together and it was the most beautiful day. Justin helped me make the traditional wheat rolls that the family loves.The night ended with our traditional black Friday shopping day. This year we changed it up a bit. The malls opened at Midnight this year so we joined the "Midnight Madness" sales. It truly is an adrenaline rush. It was so much fun but exhausting. We got some amazing "steals"! These pictures was taken at 4:00 a.m. after shopping all through the night.The girls found a place to sit while Mom Whiting and I kept shopping. After shopping instead of sleeping Mom came home and had to get her 5 miles in. She has more endurance than all of us put together!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

We are Thankful for Jake

We love having Jake's birthday around Thanksgiving because it helps us to reflect on all the reasons we are thankful for him. Our family tradition is to pass around the blessing bird and tell the things we are grateful for. Everyone had many reasons to be thankful for Jake.

We are Thankful for Jake's:

Giving heart, he would give you anything he owned, even the shirt off his back, but maybe not his food.

Compassion and concern for others and their feelings, and puts others before himself

Photographic memory with lyrics to songs, scriptures, and Spanish words

Bravery, he has an amazing high tolerance to pain and has courage to take on any challenge, even 21 days in the hospital

Fun personality, he makes everything fun and is very entertaining

Amazing ability to attract friends, everyone is Jake's friend

Loyalty to friends and family, he would never speak ill of anyone

Frugality, he loves to save his money as well as others

Example, to all even his older siblings

Has amazing etiquette and loves others to have the same, especially while fine dining

Work ethic, he's always willing to do any chores even with out being asked

Sensitivity to others feelings and wishes

Integrity, you can always count on him to do what he says he will do

Responsibility, never has to be asked twice to do something

Athleticism, he has amazing athletic talent and always pushes himself to his fullest potential

Academic work ethic, he strives to keep top grades and works hard studying and achieving excellence

Forgiving nature, he never holds grudges and is a peacemaker

Spirituality, he never misses reading his scriptures or writing in his journal

Friendship with girls, Mitch says he witnesses at school what a "chick magnet" he is

Kind heart

Humility, in fact he won't like that we posted all these things about him, but we do it anyway

Affection, he gives the best hugs and loves to express his love to his family~ We love you Jake!!!

It was so wonderful having all of Jake's grandparents here for the celebration.Jake's friends brought gifts throughout the day. These darling girls brought him Krispy Kreme's along with a matching hat.

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Family Pictures

A sneak peak at our Christmas card photos. Laurisa's best friend Kylee took our pictures this year. She is an amazing photographer and really has the eye. She took so many good ones that it is going to be hard to choose which one goes on the Christmas card. Thanks for taking our pictures Kylee, you are so talented.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I couldn't Wait!!!

Something has happened to me. They say that you become more like your spouse with time, and I think it has happened. Wade has a very difficult time waiting for Christmas or Birthdays to give presents. So following in his footsteps I gave in...I couldn't wait for Christmas to give the girls their skirts that I made them. I rationalized it by thinking of the many times they could wear them before Christmas. I just couldn't hold back. Could you if you knew how excited they were when they saw them. I will probably be disappointed in myself when Christmas rolls around, but for now I have great satisfaction seeing them look so cute in their new skirts! And they fit them perfectly, thanks to my friend Kelly who is great with measurements, and I also have to thank Katie, who posted these on her blog in the first place and tempted me to want to make them! So, Happy New Skirts Joslyn and Laurisa!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hoorah!!! Jossie's home!

We are so excited, Jossie's home for a visit! Right when she arrived she wanted to go to her favorite restaurant, Gecko Grill. When we arrived we were so excited to see Aunt Ginger and Tony. Laurisa was there with all her friends for a girls night. It was the perfect night having my family all together!Today we cleaned the church. I love cleaning the church as a family because it makes us appreciate our church building even more and I get the greatest satisfaction out of serving as a family. I love seeing my kids work hard. When we came home Joslyn wanted pumpkin pancakes. Wade was so happy to have his daughter home that he was flipping pancakes. I love the relationship these two have! He would do anything for her.

5K Run

My friend Rosemary and I ran the Gilbert Days 5 K. It was fun to have a running partner. She has ran a few marathon's, so she is a veteran. She kept a good pace for me the whole time. Thanks for running with me Rosemary!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cross Country banquet

Cross country season has come to an end. The boys went out for cross-country to get in shape for the wrestling season, and fell in love with it. They are natural runners and were fun to cheer on. Jake should have got the "ralph award" because he threw up during every race, but two. I was surprised to hear another child win the award. I didn't realize, that it was a common practice. It amazed me that he still enjoyed running each time no matter what happened.
Mitch finished the year strong after coming back from tendinitis in his knees. He lettered this year and made varsity! The boys enjoyed being on the same team together and are now in amazing cardiovascular shape for the wrestling season. Way to go...all that hard work paid off.This coach is the most amazing coach. He really builds the kids with his positive nature and truly believes in them. He even runs with the team which makes all the kids even love him more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Snow in Arizona?

Mitch got asked to Winter Formal with these cute snowflakes hanging in the front yard.

This is how he answered back! These teens are so creative, it amazes me!

The best pancake mix ever!

I absolutely love anything with pumpkin mixed in it, especially this time of year! This mix makes Amazing pancakes! You can pick it up at Trader Joe's. I also bought my favorite pumkin spread to add on top, that can also be purchased at Trader Joe's. Enjoy!

Girls Hike~ Hike of the Month!

I found this "Hike of the Month" in my hiking magazine. I was telling my friend how much I missed my hiking club when I was living in St. Louis, and she said, "well let's all go hiking!" So we decided to try out the hike of the month. It was an unmarked trail so it made it even more of an adventure! It was a such a beautiful hike and completely hidden. I love to explore Arizona and it is the perfect time of year for hiking. I love doing anything with these women, they make everything fun. We had such a wonderful time that we already have our hike planned for next month.