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Sunday, June 17, 2018


Bridger gives good smiles

Thursday, May 24, 2018

15 Years Of Marriage

For the past few years, I have told Steve that I want to go to Hawaii with him for our 15th anniversary. He's never been and it's been 22 years since I've been there.  We decided that we'd do it and we'd save up.

Those years went quickly, and we weren't exactly in a position to go to Hawaii when I realized that this was the year we were going to go, but guess what! We are still going to go to Hawaii, made possible by my cousin who is getting married this summer in Maui and is paying my plane fare to be her photographer!

We are trying to save up all the money that we can because it is still costly to vacation in Hawaii. So I'm trying to watch our spending more closely.

So, when our anniversary rolled around this year, I asked Steve when he came home from work if I should go buy us a cheesecake, just to celebrate a little. 
He said, "Why?" And was somewhat confused. 
Realizing he forgot I responded with, "For our anniversary." 
At that, he got a look on his face that was priceless and a little shocked. In a somewhat apologetic tone he squinted his eyes at me and said, "Happy anniversary, honey!" Then he agreed we should have cheesecake and bring home some tasty things for dinner.
We had Totinos pizza, a favorite of ours that dates back to when we were first married. Those little pizzas are only about a dollar each.

I also got sushi that is made fresh every day at our grocery store. Yum!
And the cheesecake was a step-back in time to our wedding reception when we served a variety of cheesecakes.  For us it was the most decadent dessert around.

Oh, Steve also requested ice cream. Ice cream is something we always had in the freezer when we were first married. I remember being shocked by the giant bowls of ice cream Steve would dish up. I remember coming home from work and going to dish up ice cream that we had just bought the night before only to find a little bit left at the bottom of the quart. His threshold of when ice cream starts to make him feel sick is much larger than mine.

And so we indulged in some of our favorite foods to kick off our anniversary celebration. In a few weeks we will be enjoying Hawaii together! 

It's a joy to be married to Stephen.  His sense of humor and drive to always learn and improve makes me happy. He sacrifices his happiness frequently just so we can have a steady income.  I really hope we can figure out soon how to be profitable entrepreneurs so he can find joy in providing for our family. We're looking forward to the end of the school year in a couple days. It will be nice to have a break from that responsibility for a bit.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Alex's Graduation Party At Tucanos

Our family was excited that we got to go to Tucanos to celebrate with Alex's college graduation. We had made sugar cookies the day before with special pink vanilla frosting, and we decorated one especially for him with 2018 written in gel icing across the front and candy pearls dotting the outer edges. We wrapped it in a cute basket we made out of a paper plate, slid it in a bread bag and tied it with some curling ribbon. Totally made with love!  Then we drove 2 hours and some to BYU.

Graduation was long and boring in the Marriott Center with multiple colleges graduating. We listened to them call names of the graduates for well over an hour. Alex was one of the very last, and when his turn was getting close, he texted Heather and we all got ready to cheer. I think he appreciated the love and support, and he told us that he could hear us cheering for him! After graduation, we went and got pictures outside then off to Tucanos for all you can eat meat buffet!

The graduation party was requested that only adults attend, but since I was confident that my children's behavior would be sufficient for such a place, and they really had no other place we could take them, I brought my kids. They got to be the lucky recipients of the exciting ambiance and fun as the waiters brought around a variety of meat on swords for us to partake. There was also a delicious salad bar and warm food buffet that served all kinds of foods including little cheese breads, rice and beans, lobster bisque, pasta and sauce, sushi, fried bananas, and salads.

When we got there there was a bit of confusion as to our group reservation, and they began to seat us only to discover that there were not enough chairs for us. So we had to leave the restaurant for a time while they finished getting a table ready for us. Because it was graduation, the place was packed to the gills! But waiting wasn't so bad because we were in good company! I think we finally got seated around 8 p.m.. After we had our fill of food, we gave Alex a hug and congratulated him and drove to Steve's parents house where we would be spending the night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

4-H TRY conference for Lily and Me!

Steve's muffin with milk poured all over it was his choice for breakfast at the hotel.
Lily and I had an opportunity to join 4-H for a conference that trained youth in healthy living and encouraged them to teach it to others.  Other than the $10 4-H fee for Lily, everything else was free, including the stay at the hotel, all the meals, and the conference with all it's swag.  Since we had the hotel room to ourselves, we invited Steve and Amara to join us.  Then Lily had the chance to be in the room with the other girl in the conference, which she took right away.  Then we met the girl and found out that we actually know her.  She's in our ward! 
Lily, Me, Gabby Pike
We enjoyed our time together at Thanksgiving Point going to the different classes.  Lily was really not looking forward to this conference that I was basically making her go to for her own good.  I'm happy to report that she actually enjoyed it  more than she thought she would.  She had a good time other than the fact that she was starting to get a cold and had a sore throat and other annoying symptoms.
Our first class

Our teacher talking about potatoes

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of potato made 3 ways. P.S. Chips are the worst for you, yes worse than fries.

Comparison of grease from regular chips vs. baked chips

Lily trying a new fruit!  Kiwiberry!

Kiwiberries!  They're at walmart and SO GOOD!  Unfortunately they're like $7 a container.

Taste like a sweet kiwi just without the fuzzy skin!  You can eat it like a plum.

Steve, Amara, Grandpa hanging out until our conference was finished.
It was a short trip to Utah County, but I'm glad we could do it!  More memories for the books!

The Girls Begin Dance Classes

Lily was wanting to take dance classes.  Amara hurt her feelings when she told her that that was never going to happen because they cost too much money.  It crushed Lily, and when I discovered she was so sad about not having dance classes, I told her we could look into it. 

We attended a dance performance in January by Discovery Danceworks and after seeing that, Lily wanted to join.  I spoke with the teacher, Miss Heather, and she said Lily could join the class just below her age group because there was an extra spot.  The cost was $125 per semester and a $25-$35 costume fee.  Lily wanted so badly to join, so I set things up for her to join. 

Well, then Amara suddenly thought she wanted to take dance, too.  So, long story short, I was able to enroll both kids in the same class.  I wasn't super excited to pay for 2 kids to join dance, especially since Steve just had surgery and we hadn't' received the bills from that yet.  The girls have money they have been saving from Grandma Debby for horse riding lessons, but when I mentioned they could help pay for dance with that money, my suggestion was met with dismay, and I could feel their walls going up in defense, a readiness to say "never mind" to dance just so they could hold on to their saved money.  So, I talked to Miss Heather and worked out a way that we could do a trade and do some work for her for their tuition this semester.  I figured that the girls could help me work for their dance classes.
 So, Lily has been stretching.  She started stretching before dance, but dance made her want to stretch more and more, so she's been giving it a good go. 

Steve was watching her do a back bend and he wanted to teach her how to do a sideways move into a backbend, like he used to do all the time in capoeira.  He stood next to her and coached her through it.

 And she did it!  He was so very proud of her!
 In March, their dance company performed "The Red Ribbon."  It was a lovely performance based upon a children's book.  Miss Heather is amazing.  Not only did she choreograph the dances for all 110 girls, she wrote her own script, found all the music, arranged all the costumes, and I'm sure the list goes on.

 There were 2 performances and we went to both of them.  See if you can pick out our girls.

 The job Miss Heather had given me was to make a display that related to the Red Ribbon book, a place where the dancers could make an art piece and pay tribute to someone that had done kindness, just like the people in the book. 

My display turned out really well.  It basically led people down the hallway with excerpts from the book, and then they followed the red ribbon into the room with the display wall.

Amara's art paying tribute to her mom and dad.

Lily's art paying tribute to Miss Heather.
 Because this display was supposed to be something the audience could do while they were waiting for the show to begin, I set up a few other things to make it more interactive.  I gave people the opportunity to think of something they could do to make someone smile and write it down and clip it to the red ribbon that was strung up behind the table.

 It was a lot of work and my kids didn't really help a whole lot with it, which is a bummer because I wanted them to earn their own dance lessons, but oh well.   I feel bad about that.  I guess I earned them dance classes. 
The good news is they're dancing (and stretching), and it brings them happiness as well as me.

Lily was sick one Sunday and stayed home from church and stretched for 3 hours straight just so she could do the splits, and sure enough, she did them!

 I look forward to seeing them dance more and more!