Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Christmas Temple Lights

One of our favorite traditions is to visit the beautiful Temple lights at Christmas time.  This year it was so fun to have our son-in-laws join us!  The girls are now outnumbered 5 to 3...and we like it that way! It really brings Christmas in our hearts walking around the temple ground and remembering why we celebrate Christmas.  I am really looking forward to Christmas this year with all my family being together and sharing it with our new sons!
After we went to Laurisa's and Grafton's new place and had delicious hot chocolate.

Joslyn's bridal shower

Wow Susie and Jaimie had the most beautiful bridal shower for Joslyn.  So many people came and "showered" her with such lovely gifts.  I only wished I would have took pictures of the fun food display.  It was such a fun evening in Joslyn's honor.  Thanks for all the love and support in Joslyn's behalf.

A true gift of LOVE

I have been in a quilting group for the past year and when I started quilting I had no idea this year I would be making two wedding quilts. It was crazy with wedding planning to make quilts but actually was a therapeutic diversion. Joslyn picked out the early 19th century Civil War replica fabric for this quilt. The pattern is called Tag Sale and is a replica of an old fashion quilt and since my daughter loves anything vintage, I knew she would enjoy it! The 100+ hours was a gift of love for this beautiful couple.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Winter Formal

Jake got asked to his first school dance.  Mitch went with Jaimie Wilcox and Jake went with Shay Butler.   They looked so sharp and matched their dates so well. 

My boys compete in a Triathlon!

Our son-in-law Grafton inspired Wade to try a triathlon.  It was Grafton's third and Wade's first, but definitely won't be his last...he is hooked.   I think he liked the training as much as the actual race.  It was so fun to see them competing together.  Laurisa and I made great cheerleaders!  Way to go G and Wade!!!  You are both amazing and we are so proud of you!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jake's Sweet 16!

Big 16!!! Yeah...Jake finally gets to drive and date.  Being the youngest he anxiously awaited this time when he would get to have these experiences like his older siblings. The first day he could, he got his drivers license and passed with flying colors.
I sunshine attacked his room for his birthday with all the ways Jake brings sunshine into our home and lives!
One of Jakes favorite parts of his birthday was going around town taking advantage of all the free birthday treats local businesses offer by just showing your drivers license.  I had so much fun going all over getting freebies with him.  He got a free Cold Stone, a whole dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, and a Bahama Bucks ice.  He googled all the other freebies he could get through the month including a steak at Black Angus.  Jake loved every minute of being spoiled with free food.
One of our favorite traditions as parents is going on our children's first dates with them when they turn 16.  Jake wasted no time and asked me out on his actual birthday.  It was a very special day to spend with my son.  I love having one on one time with Jake and he was a perfect gentleman.  He planned such a fun date where he brought me to the park and had a picnic lunch all prepared along with games to play.  We had such a great time together and I realized all his future dates are going to be very lucky girls.  We had a random horse as our chaperone the whole time keeping an eye on us over the fence.
To top the night off we went to watch Laurisa perform at an Alumni Light show!  It is amazing that she still has her talents and it was the first time Grafton was able to see her perform.  The whole Milne clan along with our family came to cheer her on.
We ended the weekend with a family celebration in Jake's honor with the tradition of heavy heavy hangover and an frozen yogurt pie.  Meg made yummy desserts also.  Jake thanks for letting us share in your special day and enjoy a year of dating and driving!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A little piece of Grandma Wright

Joslyn and I have been having fun making embellishments for the past year with her headband business so when Grandma Wright passed away I thought it would be special if everyone had a little piece of grandma to wear as a remembrance of her.  So I made all the daughters and cousins a floral broach with fabric from her clothes.  It was a special experience being able to make these as gifts for her loved ones.

2010 A Thankful Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for this year; family, health, strength and love abounding. Today we started our Thanksgiving off with the turkey trot.  Training for months before didn't prepare us for the hills that were on the course in fountain hills, but we were able to adapt. The boys decided to stay with the girls which made it so fun to all run together.  At the last leg of the race Laurisa had extra strength and raced ahead to the finish line. I felt so blessed to have strength to run with my family and enjoyed being all together on this beautiful thanksgiving morning.

After the turkey trot we came home to fix a delicious turkey dinner and enjoyed being in the kitchen together.  Our favorite tradition is going around the table and sharing the things that we are thankful for.  We have so much to be thankful for but most importantly is each other and the love we share.
Later that night we went to see the movie "Tangled", another favorite tradition since I was a girl.  It was a darling movie and fun to have Justin back from California just in time to come with us.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hawaii Paradise on Earth

We have had the fortune of visiting the different Hawaiian Islands every year for the past 5 years and every time I fall in love with it all over again.  Hawaii is definitely on my favorite lists of places to discover.  I think I was a Hawaiian girl in another life.  Wade had the opportunity of speaking to the Hawaiian region of Pfizer with his "Strengths Course", and he told them he would be glad to come to Hawaii and asked if he could bring his wife.  How could I refuse?

We spent the day at Ko'lina.  Everywhere we turned was a breathtaking view. We read books on the beach in our private cabana, snorkeled, swam through the water falls, felt like kids again on the water slides and loved the Jacuzzi at the end of the day while the sun was setting.
This is our breath taking view out of our hotel window that we awoke to every morning .  We looked forward to watching the sunrise every morning, slowly but majestically rising over the diamond head volcano.
Waikiki is such a happening spot, there is always something fun going on at every corner.  Beautiful walks on the beach,  restaurants with amazing sunset views every night, an aquarium, entertainers on every corner, concerts in the park, surfers catching waves....just to name a few.  Wade and I even attempted paddle surfing.  We couldn't stop laughing as we kept going overboard.  The ocean was beautiful and the weather was perfect...but I guess that is expected when you are in Paradise.

Hawaii...I hate to leave you but will be back next year.  They already asked Wade to come back for another speaking engagement next year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mitch is the Big 18!!!

Mitch started the day having a breakfast chef (Jessica Barney)  in the kitchen making him a birthday breakfast. Her and Jake decorated his car so everyone could honk at him all day.
I heart attacked his bedroom with all the things that make Mitch so great!  Mitch stole my heart from the moment I held him in my arms.  I can't believe it has been 18 years.  How did my baby grow up so fast, right before my eyes.

We celebrated his special day all day long!  At work a few girls brought him a cake they made.  His employers bought him a company shirt.  So now he really feels apart of the Menlo group....thanks to Grafton.  Outback Steakhouse was the choice for dinner so Mitch could eat his favorite...Steak!  After we all celebrated and showered him with Gifts!!!  Some of his favorites were his new leather bound journal, a book and gift cards along with a Mcdonalds T-shirt from Marshall and a gift card that Marshall gave him several years ago that could never be used because Beyond Image went out of business, so they pass it back and forth each birthday!  Gotta love best friends!

We celebrate your birth Mitch and are so blessed we get to enjoy your blessed life with you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Boo Bash

Our Annual Boo Bash is always a hit with over 500 people in attendance.  Last minute I took my hat decoration and decided to be a Witch ( a good one that is) and found Wade a warlock costume last minute.  It is always so much fun seeing everyone all decked out.  Everyone really goes all out every year.

Many of my sister witches came to the party.  The boys spent hours setting up the Spook Alley that the young men were in charge of, so they could then scare everyone all night.  I had to go through twice to find which ones were my sons.  It was a highlight for them to scare us all.  Nana was the most frightened but she came out fine.
Mitch dressed up like John Travolta to go with his friends to a dance party!  How could he not be the best dancer on the floor with a costume like that.  Waylan alias (Dragon) came to visit us and Tommy alias (werewolf) attacked Nana. Laurisa made yummy carmel apples.  They were in Washington for Halloween weekend so it was fun to have them over for a chili dinner. It is tradition for Paco and Roxy to dress up.  This year they were a football and cheerleader.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Which Witch quilt

Shea and I finished our Halloween quilts.  I have never had a hobby I enjoy quite as much as quilting.  It is something I have always had an appreciation for but never had the time.  Quilting is one of my very favorite things to do....I may even be addicted!

Family Halloween Dinner

 Nana and Grandpa Paul always out do themselves when it comes to festivities of holidays.  They had us over for a Halloween dinner and pumpkin carving.  Nana served soup in a pumpkin bread bowl, along with every pumpkin bread, salads, veggie trays, and every Halloween treat you can think of.  We even had Halloween poppers with a toy inside.  The kids had a pumpkin hunt where they found money inside small plastic pumpkins.  Upon the kids arriving Wade hid in the bushes with Grandpa Paul's werewolf mask to scare them.  You should have seen them jump.  I loved watching Grafton, he was ready to kung fu Wade right in the face.
Look at the faces of these pumpkin carvers.  They take it very seriously when there is a prize involved.  I had to finish carving Mitchell's since it was a school night and he had to finish his homework.  Nana and Paul thanks for making it such a memorable night...we loved your glow in the dark Halloween shirts.

Will someone pinch me please!!!

This is the view out my front drive way that I never tire of.  Yes,I live in paradise.  Everyday I feel so blessed to live in this beautiful place that is home.  I am so thankful Wade brought me back home so I can live in this beautiful part of the country that is so familiar, warm like a comforter and looks like paradise.  Sometimes it feels like a dream and I pinch myself to make sure it is real!

2010 Homecoming

Mitch took Jessica Barney to the Highland Highschool's Homecoming dance.  They each made video's of themselves singing a rap song they made up, to  ask and answer each other to the dance.  You can go on to view them.  They are amazing!  I had the songs stuck in my head for weeks.  This year the theme was to dress up as a couple, so they went as Cinderella and Prince Charming.  As you can see they are so adorable. These two have so much fun together.  Mitch said it was his favorite dance ever!  Reminds me of Laurisa, every dance was her favorite.

Jake our Eagle Scout

Jake received the highest scouting rank~Eagle Scout last week.  It was a very inspiring and motivating Court of Honor.  Jake did a great job talking about his project and put together a slide show.  He highlighted his mentor and thanked everyone for all the leadership training and support they have given him through his scouting journey. His scout master gave him a picture of him at 11 years old, it warmed my heart as a mother to see a comparison of that freckle face happy boy with a crooked teeth smile grown into a handsome young man.  Jake we honor you and are all so proud of you and your accomplishment as our newest Eagle Scout in our family.

Family support.  It was awesome to have 6 members of our family in the Eagles' nest~Wade, Mitch, Grafton, Justin, Jake, and Grandpa Paul.  We love our newest Eagle Scout!!!

Jake's Eagle Project was for an organization called Save the Family.  It is an organization that provides shelter for homeless families for a few years until they can get back on their feet.  He organized a paint and clean, which means he cleaned and painted a home so a family could have a nice place to live.  Jake had such amazing support system, so many people came to help that they couldn't all fit in the house. Jake showed amazing organization skills along with tremendous leadership.  It was wonderful as parents to witness Jake's growth and leadership as he modeled the qualities of one worthy of the highest status of Eagle Scout.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fall Break 2010~ RoCkY PoiNt

Our Tradition for Fall Break is to go to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) Mexico for some rest, relaxation, and fun family time.  This being our 7th year to go, our family loves the traditions of:
  • building sand castles
  • playing games at night
  • flying kites
  • kayaking
  • boogie boarding
  • skim boarding
  • reading a good book
  • playing sand games (ring throw, bean bag toss, botchie ball )
  • swimming in 90 degree ocean water
  • looking for seashells
  • jet skiing
  • feet in the warm sand
  • beach fun
  • jacuzzi time
  • romantic sunset walks on the beach
  • early morning sunrise walks
  • breakfast on the patio overlooking the ocean
  • homemade tortillas and salsa
  • buying stuff from the vendors (more sunglasses that we don't need
  • coconut Popsicles (helado)
  • practicing our Spanish with the locals
  • looking for crabs on the coral
  • riding horses when Adam Sanchez shows up
  • sitting on chairs with our feet in the ocean watching the sunset

    It is tradition to go with the Gray and Rollender family. We love these families and have so many great memories with them. This is the first year it has been just our families, usually we have about 20 more. We also loved having Grafton a part of our tradition this year.  The boys have so much fun having another brother to hang out with.
    Look at this inviting crystal clear turquoise ocean, it was hard to stay out of it. We kayaked and boogie boarded.  Grafton practiced his swim for his upcoming triathlon,
    Every sundown when the tide went out the kids made a new sand sculpture.  The creativity was over flowing.
    My favorite part of the beach experience is when the sun is setting.  We love to put our beach chairs in the water and talk while the sunsets.  We also love our sunset walks on the beach.  It is always hard to say goodbye every year to this beautiful place in the world. We missed Joslyn and Justin, we'll all be there next year!

Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 Pioneer Trek

Our Trek Family
Words cannot describe what an incredible experience the pioneer trek was and to be able to experience it with our boys made it that much more special.  I can actually say it was life changing in so many ways.  The pioneer trek is a reenactment of the pioneers coming across the plains to the west, 500 youth, along with adult leaders participated  pulling handcarts 25 miles in 2 1/2 days up hills and over rocks.  Wade and I were a Ma and Pa of 10 youth. 

My friends who were the other Ma's, trained for 2 months prior by walking every morning together.  Also to prepare I read every journal and story I could get my hands on.  Recounting those stories while walking I felt as though I could feel a small part of what they went through and gain strength from them.  So many of them experienced things that I have never and will never experience in my life, all for their religious freedom.  Their testimonies, positive attitudes and desire to follow the Lord, help me on a dailly basis to know that I too can walk with faith in every footstep and overcome obstacles and adversity in my own life.
The first night we froze and didn't sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time,  it really gave me a glimpse of what it would have been like for the handcart companies. I was thankful for the experience and since I have been back home I feel like I can not take anything for granted.  I am so thankful for my warm comfy bed, toilets,toilet paper, shelter, clean clothes, comfy socks and shoes, food, and most of all the sacrifices of these early Saints so that we too can have the gospel of Christ that blesses are lives so abundantly.  It was definitely the hard that made this experience "Great".  I realized that with the Lord's help I too can do hard things.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pioneer Buttermilk Donuts

For family night we made pioneer donuts.  We had a lesson on the early saints of our church.  Their faith and courage was so strong and helps us learn to find ours by reading their stories.  We have been preparing for the pioneer trek that we are going on this week with the boys.

Here is the recipe if you want to try them out.  They are so yummy and very fun to make as a family.

Brigham Young's Buttermilk Donuts
A favorite with President Brigham Young, the donuts became so popular that they were eventually sold at the Zion's Cooperative Mercatile Institution (ZCMI) department store in Salt Lake.

2 c buttermilk                                  1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten                                 1 tsp nutmeg
1 c sugar                                         1/4 c melted butter
5 c flour                                           oil for frying
2 tsp. Baking soda                           1/2 c sugar for coating (you can add a little cinnamon)

Combine buttermilk, eggs, and sugar, mix well. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a large bowl. Stir in buttermilk mixture, then melted butter, then melted butter.

 Roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick on floured board. Cut with donut cutter or a cup.

 Fry in hot oil (375 degrees) until golden brown on both sides.  Drain on paper towel.

Place 1/2 sugar in a small paper bag.  Place donuts, one at a time, in bag and gently toss with sugar.
Enjoy!  Yum!