Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crazy Wal-Mart pics: Holiday Edition

So, I'm at my Mom's and I've decided to neglect time with my family to post on my blog. I'm just one sick blog-addict. No, really, we just got home from stuffing our faces with Mexican food and everyone is either napping or watching TV(our family likes to just lay around after eating, doesn't yours? :) , so I thought I'd use this time to get my blog fix in. Here are some kooky pictures from my time with Laura and my sister at good ole Wallyworld.

Giving Laura a much-needed massage. She is 14 weekish pregnant. She deserves it- gosh darnit!

She made a comment I didn't like. So I let her have it.

Tara sat in a pokey place and poked her bottom real good.

Santa, put some clothes on!

This isn't even funny. I don't know what I'm doing, but my Mom just said it was cute. Thanks Mom!

We all just thought this was one of the ugliest stockings IN THE WORLD! And Laura's facial expression says it all.

We had Ella and Cali with us(it wasn't a late night escapade like usual). Ella wanted to get in on the photo action. I think she is quite the adorable present(and she actually was back in 2003 being born just 3 days before Christmas!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vacation

So, I didn't get to post anything else before leaving this morning:( I wanted to post more pictures from when Laura was here. It will have to wait a week. I was crazy busy with packing, laundry, and everything else this week! I'll be back to blogging next week. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

...maybe my Mom will let me sneak in a post or two while I'm visiting my family:)

Friday, November 21, 2008

28 year-old Cheesecake Factory Virgin

The first night my bud Laura was here, I took her to The Cheesecake Factory for a late night dessert. She had never been to this restaurant before, so I made sure I took lots of pictures of her very first bite of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake....


See the excitement in her eyes?
Scared of the cheesecake.
No longer scared. Ready to conquer.

She likey.

Success! We both felt very full of very good cheesecake that night. I was on the verge of sick actually. Lets just say I have a hard time putting my fork down when I'm full:) Laura tried the Macadamia Nut and I had the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Divine!

More Adventures of Laura & Holly posts coming soon! :)



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shocked!

Yesterday I was totally surprised! I was at home and Joey called me telling me he would be getting off work early that day because his boss was going to come over to borrow some tools to work on a project. Joey also said he would be coming inside to look at our tile(I figured he was installing tile in his house). So, I swept the floors and was straightening up the house. Joey arrived home and I was still busy cleaning. Then the phone rang and I saw on the caller id that is was my best friend Laura, who lives in Utah. I told Joey not to answer it and that I would just call her back after his boss left since I was still trying to clean up a few last minute things. Well, Joey picked it up anyways, and man oh man, that made me really irritated with him!(Not that I didn't want to talk to my pal, but you know what I mean). I was mouthing to him, "I just told you not to answer it!" So, he hands the phone to me and I am seriously ticked at him. Then I start talking to her and there is a knock on the door, which I assumed was his boss. Then Joey has the nerve to ask me to answer the door and I refuse and tell him to answer it because I'm holding Cali and talking to Laura on the phone. I said something like, "Its your boss, you answer it!" I was being a major terd! :) Then I tell Laura I need to call her back in a few, come out of the kitchen to see that Joey has answered the door and I see this girl in my house(this girl was Laura!). For the first couple of seconds, I didn't know it was her! She had her sunglasses on and her hair was really short and I wasn't expecting Laura so the thought didn't even occur to me that it was her. I just thought, why did Joey let this chick in our house and who is she? Then she took her sunglasses off and I my eyes just about popped out of my head:) I was so happy! (and felt pretty dumb at the same time) I still can't believe she is here visiting! Its just awesome. This was a great surprise-they totally got me! Laura's birthday is this weekend and this is what she asked her husband for for a gift-a trip to Texas to visit me. Its a great gift for me too, so thanks Peter! And thanks Joey for picking her up from the airport and keeping the secret so well. Joey even had cleaned a few things in our house this weekend and I thought, wow, thanks Joey! Now I know he was doing it for me for other reasons-he knew I wouldn't want the house to be messy when Laura came to our house for the first time! Anyways, here is the video Joey captured of me being a jerk and my surprise when I saw Laura. Its pretty funny. And a little embarassing:)

video

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our own scriptures!

Since finishing the Book of Mormon as a family, Joey and I have talked about what we could do special for the girls to show them how proud of them we are. We decided to go to the LDS bookstore here to look around for something for them yesterday evening. When the kids saw the scriptures lined up against the wall, they ran over and each picked their favorite set and said, "Can we have our own scriptures? Please!" with the most excited and hopeful expressions on their little faces. How could we say no? Joey and I had actually talked about getting them their own but weren't sure of when(we had originally talked about getting them a set when they turned 8 and were baptized, but then that would just kill Ella to have to wait 2 1/2 more years). So, we looked at each other then at them and said, "Yes!" We felt it was a fitting gift and they were so happy. They were so excited you would've thought we were taking them to Disneyland:) Aubrey picked out a compact blue quad and Ella picked out the compact burgundy quad and we had their names engraved on the front. They told us thank you about 10 times before we got home:) I think this was the perfect gift for them. When we arrived home, this was the scene.....
They were just so cute last night and all of today. Aubrey woke me up this morning and said she had been reading the Book of Mormon that morning. She said, "Mom, I've already read 5 pages!" I was pretty wowed that my daughter read five pages before I was even out of bed(kids have so much to teach us, don't they?) And then Ella had her scriptures in her bag and by the stairs to make sure she didn't forget to take them to church this morning. During sacrament, you could just see them turning the pages and looking through their scriptures the whole time! I just loved seeing how excited they were to have their own scriptures. We have talked to them about taking good care of them and treating them with reverence and they have taken that very seriously. They love their scriptures so much and are treating them as their most prized possession! Isn't that how we should value them? These girls have taught me a lot this weekend. They have reminded me of how special the scriptures are and how blessed we are to have them. They should be one of our most valuable possessions.

Tonight we had FHE about the scriptures. Aubrey was in charge and taught a great lesson! She had a list of questions to ask for a family discussion about what scriptures are, how we got them, etc. It was awesome! Then I made this lame cookie cake for dessert. I call it lame, well, because I didn't decorate it very well(If you want to see some good decorating, check out my sisters blog. She is becoming a master cake decorator. Me not so much:). I didn't have time for the cookie to cool enough before frosting it, so the frosting became really runny. Oh well, the kids liked it and it tasted good. Thats all that matters, right? So, here it is....the We finished the Book of Mormon cookie!YUM!Isn't Ella's hair getting so long?I even gave Cali a big piece like her sisters-she was in heaven! When I asked her if she wanted a cookie, she said, "Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah!" Thats how she says "yes" these days. Its so funny.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Aubrey: Our Award-Winning Photographer!

Aubrey entered the annual Reflections Art Contest this year and won 2nd place in the Photography divison! We are so proud of her!

This is her award-winning photograph. She took this completely on her own and with own little camera. That day at the Heard Museum Dinosaur exhibit she was clicking away. Isn't it awesome? It is so clear and the color is so vivid.

The school had the entries displayed during school Wednesday afternoon and all the kids that entered got to come to a popcorn party. The parents/families were invited too. It was lots of fun and we were able to see all of the other kids awesome artwork along with our Aubrey's(whose was the best in our opinion:).

Last night the awards were announced at the PTA meeting. We already had been informed Aubrey was a winner(but we didn't know what place she received until they announced it). We decided to keep it a secret and not tell her. She was really surprised and happy when they called her name. We were all smiling and taking pictures:) She is most excited that her picture will now go to the regional level and compete with other schools in the area. GO Aubrey GO!

She is following in the footsteps of her Daddy. Now we have 2 award winning photographers in the family!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Hirelious"

This morning, while as I was in the process of doing Ella's hair, Ella said with one eyebrow up and with deep concern, "Mom... I look hirelious." (trying to say the word "hilarious") I guess she didn't think what I was doing with her hair looked very good! I had to explain I wasn't finished yet and that it would look good when I was done(and it did!) It just sounded so funny...



This girl always makes me laugh :) Joey took this picture a couple of weeks ago and it captures her personality perfectly. She is a spunky one thats for sure! She says the most "hirelious" things and makes the cutest facial expressions. She has a style all her own and loves to dress herself-I love to see the clothes and accesories she picks out:) She is also quite the dancer and has taught me a few moves:) She is doing great in preschool with learning her letter sounds and even reading some words. She is very friendly and gets along great with other kids. She loves to make her own lunch and help me with the laundry and dishes. She has also taken on the role of big sis so well and is so so sweet to our little Cali. I will be sad when she isn't with me everyday next year:( So, I'm treasuring every minute right now! She is just a great little gal with a special little spirit. We don't know what we'd do without our Ella! Love you Ella bean!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barbie's sweet new ride

Who needs a Barbie Ferrari when you've got an old shoe to cruise in?
Aubrey & Ella used their imaginations the other day and used our shoes as automobiles for various characters(Lets see...Barbie, Alex the Lion, Prince Charming and a Webkinz cat) for hours. Their hot pink Barbie Ferrari sat quiet and still in the next room.


I like that. Cuz a shoe is just way more cool.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our family finished the Book of Mormon!


About 2 1/2 years ago we set a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon as a family. Being a young family with little ones, that is a daunting task! We started from the first page and slowly, but surely we made it to the end-today! When you have little ones, you only read maybe a few verses a night(Well, thats how we are- some nights we maybe only read one verse!) but I can honestly say we made sure we read something just about every night.
Aubrey was about 4 1/2 when we started it and we would whisper in her ear the words for her to say aloud(like we do with Ella now). Its been awesome to see Aubrey as she has learned to read, just pick up so quickly. She can zip through the scriptures with barely any help now! And she has already gained a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon. The other day we read in Moroni where he tells you to ask God if the things in this book are true. Joey thought it would be a great opportunity to teach the girls about prayer. He said to Aubrey something like, "We should try that, don't you think Aubrey? Lets say a prayer to Heavenly Father to ask if The Book of Mormon is true." Aubrey looked at him and said without an ounce of doubt in her voice, "I already know its true Dad." The way she said it was so powerful. She knows its true and its not because I have told her or because Joey has. The spirit has touched her heart and told her. Its the Spirit that teaches us and helps us to gain a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Aubrey is such a sweet and special girl and this experience just confirmed that. It was a tender moment in our home that night. I'm grateful for a daughter who is teaching me so much.

Ella has been our faithful scripture-getter:) When we would sit down, she would always be the one to go and get the scriptures and make sure we read them. I remember a couple of times hearing her say, "Don't forget to read scriptures!" She was a good little reminder many evenings! It quickly became part of our routine and I hope it will always remain that way since we have started it when they are still so young. And Cali, well, she has only been with us for half the journey, but she was definitely great for some comic relief:) (burps, sneezes, toots, yawns, beeping noses, sitting on people, playing with noisy toys, etc:)

I have read the Book of Mormon myself several times, as well as the Bible and the other standard works. I can honestly say that reading from the scriptures every night with my family brings an added measure of the spirit into my life and into my home. While it is important to have personal scripture study every day, its especially important to do it with your family. It unites you as a family as you read from the scriptures and as you pray together daily. When you hear your children reading the words of Christ and you are all sitting down together with the scriptures in hand, its awesome. Not every night did the kids cooperate, it wasn't always perfect, but it was worth it and our family has been greatly blessed. I'm so proud of us! :) It took us over two years, but we did it!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Carnival

This past weekend Joey and Cali were sick, so just me and the older girls went to Aubrey's school carnival. We missed having Daddy and Cali with us:( But it was nice to get to spend some quality time with just my older two. The carnival this year was awesome! Way better than last year-not that last years wasn't good, but this years had so much more and seemed more organized. They had so many games, booths, bounce houses, a rock wall, a petting zoo, face painting, cake walk, you name it!

Here is Aubrey and her friend Caroline at the petting zoo area. Ella lasted about 2 minutes before freaking out and begging to get outta there:) She didn't like the sudden movements of the animals near her feet. I think the geese experience at Town Lake scarred her for life.
Caroline held a rabbit while Aubrey pet him. I was proud of Aubrey because sometimes she can be afraid of animals. She loved this rabbit!

Look Mom, I'm even petting a goat!

Aubrey concentrating very hard on the cake walk

Ella digging for treasure/fossils at the Dino Booth
Score! We just won two items that will be in the quarter bin at our next garage sale! Yippee! :)
Riley & Aubrey(This is the boy that invited her to lunch a couple of months back. Not too shabby Aubrey! :) You could tell he thinks the world of Aubrey(and she seems to fancy him too). It was so cute to watch! Hes definitely got good taste if I do say so myself:) .
Bounce house fun

Ella doing her usual stomach slide. Facing forward still worries her:)
Tats for everyone! I'm such a good mom(I actually call them body stickers to make myself feel better:)
Going fishing.
After 4 tries, Aubrey won us cupcakes at the cake walk! Thanks Aub! Lesson learned that night: Determination=free cake.

Ella showing off her sparkly dolphin face painting.


It was a fun evening! Hopefully next year Joey and Cali will be there with us. I hate that the holidays are not only a time for fun memories and togetherness, they are also a time of sickness, viruses and the flu. Bummer. They are both on the mend though, so thats good. We missed you guys!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tigerthon!

Aubrey's school held their annual Tigerthon fundraiser on Friday. The weather was perfect this year! The children run/walk laps for 20 minutes and family/friends can donate a dollar amount per lap to raise money for the school(basically, its manual labor:) Ha ha. Anyways, the kids love it. They get Tigerthon T-shirts and every time they run one lap, they get one "mark" on their shirt to keep track of laps. In P.E., they had been "training" for weeks. Aubrey was ready to rock n roll.

Getting ready to race! Aubrey is the one with the blue pants in the middle.
Run Tigers run! Aubrey and her buddy Courtney run side by side.
I did it!
8 laps-oh yeah!
Aubrey & Courtney after the race

Aubrey's 1st grade class
We're proud of you Aubrey! You ran sooo fast!
p.s. Aubrey posted to her blog today. Check it out!

Friday, November 07, 2008

I made this!


Last night I attended a breadmaking class that a lady in our ward holds every other month. It was my first time to attend. One of my callings at church (yes, I have 6 now) is now the Assistant Food Storage Specialist. So, I figured if I have that title, I better be it! So, now you are looking at a professional bread maker:) I ground wheat for the first time ever and made Whole Wheat Bread last night. Doesn't it look yummy? I'm so proud of myself! Joey and I dug right in last night and ate some with butter and honey. YUM. And then for breakfast, I heated some up and served it to the girls with butter and jam. They loved it and gobbled it up. It made me happy watching them eat it and love it. I felt like all motherly or somethin:) The extra loaves I bagged and put in the freezer. I've started mylar sealing this year and I love it. Our ward has a sealer at someones home and she opens up her home two days a month for people to come and use it. The bags are inexpensive and will keep things for years! I've been getting a good supply of basics: wheat/flour/sugar/oats, etc. and have been really working at getting our food storage together. It feels good to be doing it and it definitely makes us feel more prepared. It also feels good to be doing what the prophets of our church have told us to do. You never know what the future holds(especially now. . .:)! And I'm so glad I know how to actually grind wheat and make something with it! If any of you are in wards where a sealer and wheat grinder is available, I would really recommend trying it out if you haven't. Flour, mylar sealed, can last 30 years! And wheat, stored properly, can basically last forever! These are awesome machines that will help you so much with your food storage goals. So, there is my food storage plug. :) Do it!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Back to your regular scheduled programming. . .

Okay, I'm off the political kick:) And back to cute pics of my kiddos! Are you excited or what?

This past weekend we were so happy to have Joey's parents visit! They came to spend Halloween with us and also to attend a good friend of ours wedding. It was lots of fun hanging out with them, trick or treating together and playing games. Oh, and of course eating Joe's famous breakfast and some Chamorro bbq ribs:) Joey posted a fun post with pics on his blog from when we had game night. I'll post some others. . .

Nana, Tata & Girls

Eatin' some ribs


Halloween night-making those yummy mummy dogs
Nana & Cali share a sweet moment
Nana and her Dorothy. Nana LOVES the Wizard of Oz and was thrilled the kids dressed up as some of her favorites characters this year.
Thanks for visiting Nana & Tata! It was nice to see you and spend some quality time with you. I say our kids have the best sets of grandparents in the world! They are so blessed to have you all. Only a couple more weeks and we'll be seeing everyone for Thanksgiving! Yea!
For more pics of their visit, check out my hot husbands blog.