Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fourth of July "Traditions" Endure

Our tradition of Old Navy matching flag shirts continued even though we were in four different states.  It is hard for me to get used to the fact, that we may not always get to be together for the holidays, but we can still continue on with our family traditions which keep us connected.
  We spent the fourth of July at Nana and Paul's cabin.  Relaxing vacation was the goal for this little get-a-way!  Wade and I love to read in the hammock.  Jake brought his friend Brandon and they fished and played games.  And don't forget the "Tradional" fourth of July cake we made and enjoyed eating.
We had the most spectacular display of fireworks ever to be seen and we have seen them all over the U.S., but this topped it all.  It was a beautiful setting over the lake.  Our view on the grass hill next to the lake felt like they were just for us.  It was a perfect night with a coolness left over from the mist of moisture we received.  It was almost the perfect 4th, but I have to admit we all really missed having the whole family together.

Sewing Marathon

This years quilt retreat was an adrenaline rush in more ways than one.  We went on the zip-line at Kelly's cabin in the white mountains.  It is a thrill and gets your heart pumping.  The other adrenaline rush is sewing every minute without any interruptions.  I think this is as close to Heaven as it gets.  I absolutely "Adore" all these women and our friendships that grow with time.  "Friends that quilt together stay together".  I never realized how addicting and exciting quilting is.  Spending three days at Kelly's cabin is "Never" enough. Her cabin is nestled in the pines and is such an amazing resort setting. 

Our strong addictive desire to finish our projects didn't leave us much time to do anything else but quilt.  We never took a break to watch a movie in her movie theatre but we did take breaks to eat amazing meals.  Thank you Sassy Sewers for another exciting, fun, and addictive quilt retreat.  I love you Chay, Lynneann, Robin, Kelly, Dianne, and our amazing quilt instructor Elaine.  Can't wait until next year, I'm sew sew addicted to quilt retreat!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How how I love these Utah visitors

I can honestly say it made our summer having The Heaps girls come to Arizona.  It felt like a vacation for me also because we just swam everyday and played.  We made treats, I bought an ice cream maker and snow cone maker so we had to try them out (anything to stay cool). 
Roxy and Paco loved swimming with Jac and Emily.  They would throw the ball into the pool and Roxy would retrieve it.  Emily had a dog fashion show, we went to the beach and swam at Valvista Lakes clubhouse.  We made crafts, and Emily used Wade's face for her craft back drop.
The night before they left we put together a care package for Mitch and the girls helped make BYU cookies!  Thanks for making our summer Heaps, we loved every minute of the time we spent together.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Father's day to the best father ever!

It was a quite father's day with only two of the kids here but Wade felt very loved, and spoiled. He felt loved from all his kids, Mitch and Joslyn started the day with calling him.
We made him his favorite dinner and Laurisa and Grafton bought him barbecue gear to go with his new Infrared state of the art barbecue.
He has been a barbecue maniac ever since. He loves his rotisserie, but my favorite is his grilled veggies. Anyone up for a barbecue come over anytime and will grill you up something.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Three moves all in the same day

How did this happen, three of our children moving all at once. We went from five kids including my nephew to one in 13 months. Wow life is every changing with such wonderful opportunities.  I have realized true happiness is seeing your kids achieving and reaching their goals. 
Since all three of these exciting events happened the exact day I had many helpers to make it happen.  My Mom and Paul helped drive Joslyn and Justin's vehicle to Ohio.  It took them three days to drive across the country.  They loved seeing all the sights and arrived just in time to move in on Saturday!  Their place is so beautiful, can't wait to see it in person.  Nana and Paul thank you so much, I truly couldn't have done it without you.

Three weeks ago weeks we all moved Laurisa and Grafton into a storage because they had a three week interim before moving into their new house.  What a treat to have them stay with us for three weeks until they closed on their house. Happy New House.
Mitch and I headed to Utah to get him all settled in the dorms for BYU.  He decided to go summer term so he could get some schooling in before his mission.   I really enjoyed the parent orientation and it was fun to see Mitch make so many friends the first day.  He is definitely in his element. After we got him all moved into his dorm room we went shopping and out to dinner at the Brick Oven.  It was so fun to reminisce and go down memory lane. I took this picture of where I lived when Wade and I met. 
We really enjoyed being with family, Mom took off work to be with us and we spent time with the Heaps.  It was a fast trip, but much was accomplished in such a short time.  I know Mitch is where he is supposed to be and will have so many great experiences, which makes letting go so much easier. GO Mitch, GO Cougars

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 Whiting Family Reunion

This year our Whiting Reunion was at Duck Creek at Pinewoods Resort in southern Utah. It may be the last year for quite awhile that everyone was together.  It was worth the effort of arranging all our schedules to make it happen! 
The Whiting Clan...look at all those beautiful smiles.  You can feel the love and support this family has for each other.
Fishing was a favorite.  We only got fishing licenses for one day but by the looks of these pictures you can see that they couldn't get enough.  One day, as a combined effort they caught 21 total.  The last day they even fished way into the dark.  They not only caught them, but cleaned them, filleted them, and cooked them.  I have to admit they were the best fish I have ever tasted. Davin especially liked the taste of the eyeballs, but more importantly he liked the reaction of everyone when he ate them.
 We spent two nights in cabins with a common gathering area.  We had championship games of ping pong, horse shoes, basketball, ladder ball, and bean bag toss.  The official games were called the "Swag Olympics".  It took all day to get through the brackets, but made for a fun day of crazy fun. At night we had a retirement party for Grandpa and Grandma and sang by the campfire, thanks to our guitar performers, Mitch, Mac, and Jake.
Let the games begin!

Mammoth Cave- Our Family
It was a fun way to end the reunion exploring the caves which were several year old lava tubes.
Our family stayed an extra day and hiked Bryce Canyon.  It was stunning and a breathtaking hike.
What a fun reunion spent with those that we love and cherish the relationships we have!

High Adventure to the Max!!!

A few years back Wade came up with the idea that when the girls moved out we would take the boys on a high adventure vacation to Moab. It was three boys and a mom high adventure to the max. I loved getting a vacation with my boys. Mitch felt lucky to have this his senior trip. We didn't leave any stones unturned. We experienced everything from Whitewater rafting, Canyoneering, ATV riding, exploring caves and hiking to the arches, and mountain biking slick rock.
Whitewater rafting was intense and definitely and adrenaline rush.  We hung on for dear life as we went down the rapids of Westwater.  There were whirlpools, boils, and drifts.
Mountain biking slick rock was an experience.  I only went over the handlebars once, I guess that was pretty good since this was a 10 out of 10 on the difficulty of mountain bike trails.  The boys were naturals.
Moab is a giant ATV playground.  The terrain was so varied with sand, rocks, water.  It was a thrill to ride up these giant rocks leaving you feeling like "King of the Road". 
Hiking to delicate arch was a highlight with spectacular views of this arch that sits in a giant basin that looks like a Colosseum. After hiking to the top and turning the corner to see this spectacular structure made this high adventure trip an all time favorite.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Las Vegas get-a-way

A few days after school got out Wade whisked me away for some Q.T.  Both of our love languages are quality time and we were in desperate need of some.  It had been a crazy, busy few months and so the first break we got, we had to take it.  We had so much in Vegas seeing the Piano Man, Donny and Marie Show, relaxing by the pool, dining and  uninterrupted conversations.  My favorite thing in all the world is spending time with my sweetheart. I love getting him all to myself. 

Double Celebration 2011- Two Graduates!

Mitch graduated from Highschool and Justin graduated from Medical School. It was a week of celebration! We are so proud of these two.

Sitting in Hawk Stadium watching Mitch receive his diploma.  It was the perfect weather and such a fun evening.

 Everyone wanted a piece of Mitch, which was his face on a cake.  Boy was it yummy!  Mitch loved his T-shirt quilt. We are so grateful for Mitch and all his accomplishments.
We are so proud of Justin after 4 years of Medical School.  Way to go Dr. Pattee!  His brothers flew in for his graduation.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Perfect Mother's Day!

A perfect Mother's Day is being together with all of my children.  I am the luckiest mother in the world to be surrounded by these amazing individuals who bless my life.  Mitch Jake and Mac sang a mother's day song in Relief Society and Mitch spoke in sacrament meeting.  I can't think of a better Mother's day gift.  We came home from church to homemade crepes that Laurisa, Grafton, and Joslyn with all the toppings you could ever want.  My mother and grandmother joined us which made it extra special to have four generations together to celebrate a legacy of amazing mothers. Having such an amazing role model for a mother and grandmother has blessed my life and given me an example to emulate. My mother loved the quilt I made her. It was a true labor of love.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Senior Portraits

It is hard to believe that we have our third child graduating this year.  Laurisa's good friend Kylee took Mitch's senior pictures.  She made it so fun and did such a professional job. I love how she captured his personality.  Mitch's smile has always warmed this mother's heart.
Mitch you radiate a passion and love for life!  Thanks for sharing your life with us and always giving your best in whatever you do!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Family Night with the Mcbeth's

Mac's turn to pick family night he chose to have the Mcbeth's over for a sharing of talents. This family is so fun to be around.  Madeline played the guitar, along with Mitch, Mac, and Jake.  The boys for the lesson gave the first discussion.  Mission prep really payed off, they did such a great job.
We ended the night with a family favorite, "pazookiis".  We just love the Mcbeth's!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2011 Family Pictures

We took our family picture early for our Christmas card since in a few weeks our family will be spread out in three different states.  Wades cousin Jessica Drew took our pictures.  She did such a great job.  It is so fun to see our family grow with two more handsome men in it.  Boy do I have a handsome family and I love all these faces so much. Most importantly I cherish the love they have for each other.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prom 2011

The cousins went to prom together, they had so much fun asking the girls, planning the date, getting dressed in their tux's, practicing their gentlemen skills and being together in the same group.
Laurisa, Grafton, Wade and I served them a fancy dinner at our home. We loved seeing them all interact and have fun together. It was a memory that they will always remember.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

BYU Roommate Reunion

This year for Women's Conference all six of my college roommates got together for a reunion. Words can't express the fun we had reminiscing about our college days, late night belly rolling laughing, being back together in the dorms, lingo that only we can understand, walking around campus together, catching up on each others lives, enjoying late night snacks, and being spiritually fed at Women's conference. I can't even begin to express the love and admiration I have for these women. It was so much fun to catch up and see the direction our lives have taken. The most remarkable thing for me was to see how the gospel has blessed all of our lives. This was a highlight of my year! I will never forget the memory and the bond that we have even 26 years later.

Helping someone in need

For family night we wanted to do something that would benefit someone else.  We decided it would be a neat idea to go to McDonald's and buy 40 big macs and hand them out to the homeless.  The boys were amazing at reaching out to those less fortunate and sharing food with them.  The homeless were so appreciative and it felt so good to give of ourselves in a small way.  I loved watching from a distance this good deed being done.  The boys felt so blessed to have so much in their lives and it changed their perception on life and they want to find more ways to reach out to others because they loved the good feeling they had after.  Service really does benefit those that serve. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Body World Exhibit

Wade bought us ticket to see Body World.  An exhibit that shows the intricate details of the human body.  We had our own guide through the exhibit-Dr. Pattee.  Justin so patiently explained the in's and out's of the human body.  I came out of the exhibit in such awe of the blessing our bodies are and how God thought of everything and the love he has for us to give us this amazing gift.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Funny Bunny's

As you can see by these pictures, we have some "funny bunny's" in our family. Nana asked the kids if they were too old to dye Easter eggs and they all replied,"no way". It's amazing that no matter what the age you don't grow out of traditions. Nana makes if fun with her contests. The traditional chick and bunny hop contest and of course the best colored egg contest and having money involved even makes it that much more competive.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Cabin Fun

The cabin is the place to be at Easter time. Spring is so beautiful in the mountains. Before everyone got to the cabin we took Justin and Joslyn to see Tonto bridge. Hiking on the slick rocks to see the waterfall was a fun adventure.
We celebrated Easter with "follow the string" followed by an Easter egg hunt in the forest.  It gets to be quite competitive, challenging and exciting.  I think the Easter bunny's (Wade and Grandpa) enjoy it even more than the egg hunters.  This year Mitch made bank with finding 62.00 dollars worth of eggs.
Our little friend, Butter the squirrel wanted in on the action and loved all the attention and sunflower seeds we fed him.  The rest of the day the kids played with their Easter basket goodies.  It was wonderful celebration all together in such beautiful surroundings.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easter Pageant

We really look forward to the Easter Pageant every year. The true meaning of Easter is captured in this beautiful re-creation of the Saviors life. We loved taking Mac to see it since he had never seen it before. Our favorite part is when the Savior ascends in the sky towards heaven. We feel so incredibly blessed for our knowledge of Christ atoning sacrifice in our behalf, his life, resurrection, and unconditional love he has for us.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our traditional Spring Break snowboarding/ski trip was spent in beautiful Brianhead Ski resort in Utah. It definitely wasn't your typical spring skiing. The weather report was snow and wind so for us fair weather Arizonians we weathered the storms and enjoyed every minute of skiing together. My all time favorite thing to do with my family is being all together on the slopes.

The boys loved the snowboarding park and took us on an adventure run to get over to the other side so we could watch all their tricks and talented footwork.
We stayed at a a beautiful, warm, cozy condo and played games, relaxed, watched movies mixed with March Madness, snuggled and enjoyed lots of yummy food.
Our traditional St. Patricks attire.  We love to show are Irish spirit and feel the luck of the Irish on St Paddy's day.  We can always find each other with our bright green wigs.  We love to celebrate such a fun holiday on the slopes and avoid any painful pinches by being prepared with green attire.
Snowmobiling has become a tradition the last few years for Wade's birthday!  He is always so blessed to have his birthday on Spring break and loves to pick a fun family activity to celebrate his birthday in style.  It was the most beautiful country to snowmobile through the aspen's overlooking the beautiful mountains.

We all enjoyed milkshakes!  Happy Birthday to my high adventure, amazing husband who makes life so much fun and everyday is a celebration just being around him.