Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowed In

These pictures are from last night. It snowed all day long yesterday and by the end of the day, this is how our back deck looked.

 Then the snow continued all night long and when Jeremy woke up to get ready for work, we were completely buried. He started shoveling at 6:15 am and was able to finish just the driveway by 7:45 am.

After he took these pictures and came inside, he turned on the news to see what the rest of the valley looked like and it was announced that school was CANCELLED! This is the first time we have ever had school cancelled because of snow. Crazy! I think we've had it much worse than this and still had to go to school - although this was pretty bad too.

 I was actually really bummed because today was when all the kids would have their Christmas parties at school! So, instead . . . I spent all morning shovelling the parts Jeremy didn't get to yet. I did the sidewalks, a spot for Max (so he could go potty), and by the time I finished those spots, there was another 5 inches of snow on the driveway that needed shovelling.

I finally finished clearing what I could by about 10:30am and headed off for my primary meeting. Athena and Samantha were so anxious to play outside, so we brought the meeting to my house and we sent the kids outside. :)

Even though it takes A LOT of work to recover from all this snow (and more is coming), I have to say that I really enjoy the sense of community and service that it brings. As I was outside shoveling, all the neighbors were also outside working on their driveways and helping each other to dig out. Anyone who owned a snowblower finished their own work and headed throughout the neighborhood to make sure everyone's driveway was cleaned out.

The snowplow didn't ever make it down our road, but the neighbor's son has a plow on his pickup truck and he went ahead and cleared the road for all of us. Now we really are dreaming of a white Christmas. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

13 Years with my Honey! :)

Happy Anniversary!!!

We celebrated our 13th anniversary yesterday, December 18th. :) Who knew 13 years ago that time would pass so quickly and I would find myself here, in a house, mothering 4 kids, and very much in the grind of life.
That said, I am very happy to be exactly where I am right now. I chose to settle down, get married, and find happiness and joy in my family.

This year has passed by so quickly because of all the busy-ness that comes with living the family life. Jeremy is the 2nd counsellor in the Young Men's program and I am the 2nd counsellor in the Primary. I spend a lot of my time helping kids with homework and running back and forth from choir twice a week, dance twice a week, gymnastics, planning and teaching an aerobic pump class, keeping up on housework, and throwing in playtime when I can.

The nice thing in all of that is that we get to spend a lot of time together as a family, and Jeremy is really great about always finding a way for he and I to spend time together.

Now that Athena is finally old enough to babysit, Jeremy and I are able to go out on dates and have some alone time . . . even if that alone time is a little trip to Walmart!

For our anniversary date we kept it really low-key. We went to eat at a less-fancy-than-Jeremy-would-have-wanted restaurant because it was my pick. Then we went to the mall and window shopped WITHOUT KIDS. It was an enjoyable night out just spending time together.

I am happy to have Jeremy as my husband and best friend and glad to say all is well. :)


Friday, December 17, 2010

Who Drew the Line?

Gee, I wonder who drew the line to make it "fair".

We have this white board in our family room for the kids to show their creative side and it is fought over often. Well, this was one of those times - and to make it fair - a line was drawn down the "middle" to give everyone equal portions. In case you can't read it, the left side says, "Samantha's side". The right side says, "Nathan and Alex's side".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Samantha!

This post is SO LATE! However, I cannot neglect it. We missed Samantha's 9th birthday when we were on our cruise and it was an especially hard day for me. Lucky for her, she was spending time with her loving grandparents (on both sides) and they made it really special for her. She was taken to dinner twice and got to go to the BYU football game.

Jeremy and I came home from our trip 2 days after her birthday and we gave her the big birthday gift she had been waiting for. :) I didn't have it wrapped already and we got home late, so I wrapped it in a blanket for her.

I love the look on her profile in this picture. She wanted a lego castle set and I found this really cool medieval house set for her. She loved it!

All the kids were so happy to have us home and I was happy to see them again! :) It's weird how even after a week, you start to forget your kid's little faces. Even though it was really late, we enjoyed just being together again for a little bit before sending them all to bed. Here is tired, but happy Athena.

Finally he made it home to his couch!

This expression is the best. Doesn't she look so happy to be back with the family? Cute!

The next day, after school, Samantha was so anxious to get started on her birthday gift. She delved right in and I sat down and worked on it with her. Legos are so fun!

Happy Birthday Samantha! I love you!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mormon Battalion

Today we visited the Mormon Battalion Museum and became honorary members of the Mormon Battalion! :) We'll have to work on Alexandra's "smile". It took us 4 or 5 tries to get this shot. You can click on this picture to enlarge it and get a better view.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


On the day we got to Cabo San Lucas, we decided to try the room service. It came really early, which was fine because we needed to get up and get moving for our busy day. This is me, ready to dig in! I was actually quite disappointed by the room service menu and think I'll not opt for that again. I only liked the fruit and ended up being hungry all morning.

My first look at Cabo was this.

I was disappointed by the surroundings because I didn't really expect it to be desert. On the other hand, the waterfront was so pretty and the weather was perfect! We left the ship early and were tendered to shore on this smaller boat.

Here I am standing on the dock. It's crazy busy with boats!

Jeremy and I wanted to do some quick shopping before we headed out for our tour. We purchased an excursion to kayak across the bay to Lover's Beach and wanted to see the city first.

We ran from place to place to find our last souveniers. :) Jeremy treated me to a beautiful little piece of jewelry in Cabo. We went into a jewelry store because we had a coupon for a free sapphire. Of course nothing is ever "free". They offered to set it for me and I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. After a little haggling, I ended up getting a beautiful sapphire ring with white gold and a matching sapphire pendant! At first I was mad because I didn't go in to purchase those things . . . but now I love them. They are special to me because I got them with Jeremy and he had them specially made for me.

We took a little bit too long on our shopping trip and had to run back to the pier from the shopping district. We took a picture of these guys because they were driving us CRAZY! All along the very long pier were tons of men trying to sell tours and water taxi rides. They pestered, yelled, begged, followed us, and just didn't stop trying to get people to buy their tours. On the way back, when we were running to our tour after shopping, we just held up our tour tickets while we walked. They saw our tickets and didn't say a word to us. We should have done that on the way in!!!

We found our tour guide for the kayaking with not a minute to spare. Then we boarded our water taxi with the rest of our tourist group.

This is a view of our ship as we passed it while on our taxi.

This was our view upon arriving for our tour. Doesn't it look like fun? All the pretty kayaks lined up in a row.

While we were waiting for things to get going, we met some new friends, Justin and Monica. I was having a dilemma because I wanted to bring my camera along, but I didn't have a way to keep it from getting wet. Justin had a baggie, but nowhere to put the cameras. So we put both of our cameras in the baggie to keep them dry and I put them in my snorkelling bag. It worked out well for both of us! I'm glad we were able to bring our camera along because we got some neat pictures. :)

Even though I didn't love the desert landscape of Cabo, I LOVED the beach. Isn't it so pretty? I would come back just for that.

We got in our kayaks and rowed all the way across the bay and around our cruise ship to Lover's Beach. There were so many boats in the water and it was really choppy. I was scared that our kayak would tip over when we went through some of the big wakes, but we managed to stay upright and get a good workout in the process. Before we went to the beach, we first rowed over to where the famous arch is to see it and get some pictures. Again - thankful I had my camera!

Cheesy Jeremy!

As we were kayaking across the bay, I looked in front of us as we cut through the water and about 3 feet in front of us a sea lion popped its head up out of the water. We were going straight for it with our kayak. I couldn't believe how big it was right up close! We kept going forward and it wasn't moving. Right as the tip of our kayak got about a foot away from the sea lion, it dove under the water and right underneath us. SCARY! I was afraid it was going to come up right under us and try to play with our kayak! I didn't see where it went after that, but I got a little more respect for the sea creatures we were sharing the water with.

This is what we looked like in our kayak. Me in front, Jeremy in back, with our snorkel gear tied up at the front.

Here is a closer view of the arch. I really loved that we took kayaks out to see the arch because we were able to be so close and right at that level.

We also kayaked around the rocks to where this sea lion rock is. It was fun to see all the sea lions hanging out there, but wow it stunk so bad!! I wasn't sad to leave this spot.

After viewing the arch and the sea lions, then we turned around and headed towards the famous Lover's Beach.

This is it! It is supposedly very remote because there is no dock and you can only get there by kayak or water taxi. It was very pretty, but didn't seem so remote. There were tons of people here!

The really neat thing about this spot is that you can walk "inland" from the beach, between these huge rock walls, and you come out on the other side that faces the Pacific Ocean. So, Lover's Beach faces the Sea of Cortez, and you walk across the sand to Divorce Beach which faces the Pacific.

This is what the rock walls looked like. It was about a 5 minute walk through VERY hot sand.

This is Divorce Beach . . . and Monica taking a picture.

The waves at this beach were amazing! So impressive. We were told not to swim at this beach and we didn't understand why until we got there. The waves were enormous, they crashed right on the beach, and there was a very strong undertow.

Jeremy wanted me to take a picture of him with a really big wave behind him. He was waiting for a good one so I could snap the perfect photo.

Justin and Monica were doing the same thing - she was trying to get a picture of him with a big wave behind him. Both Jeremy and Justin had their backs turned to the water and were looking at us. This wave came that was twice as tall as both of them and completely wiped them out! Other than the fact that it dragged them both up the beach, it was the funniest thing EVER! I only got this shot before it hit because I ran out to see if Jeremy was OK.

Neither of them were expecting the wave to be SO BIG and since their backs were turned they absolutely didn't see it coming. It swept both of them off their feet at the same time and Monica and I just watched as they plummeted through the water and up the beach. Jeremy's whole suit and hat were full of sand. Even funnier was that when Jeremy stood up, he saw another big wave coming and thought he could just hop over it. He jumped, and when he came down there was more power than he expected and it swept him right off his feet again! LOL! After that he was done with the water.

We stayed and watched the waves as long as we could. Then we had to walk back to Lover's Beach and meet our group. Next was snorkelling. I could have stayed at Divorce Beach and watched the waves for a long time. They truly were amazing.

I don't have any pictures of us snorkelling. We didn't bring along an underwater camera this time. We took a boat over to Pelican Rock where they let us off to snorkel for about 1/2 hour. I think this was some of the best snorkelling we have done. There were so many fish, and so many different kinds of fish! I don't know how deep it was because there were so many fish below us. I thought I was looking at the bottom at first, but then the whole thing shifted and I noticed it was just covered with big silver fish below us.

I did try feeding the fish with some food that the guide gave me. It was fun to have the fish take it right out of my hand. The part that wasn't fun was when a fish that was about 1 1/2 feet long BIT MY HAND!!! At first I didn't realize I got bit. I thought that someone had hit into me hard because the water was really choppy and I was in the middle of a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of fish. I took my hand out of the water to see why it hurt so bad, didn't see any blood, and just kept on snorkelling. I didn't even realize it was a bite until I got back to the ship and used hand sanitizer. My hand just burned and then all the bite marks showed up. I had 3 little punctures and 2 scrape marks across the palm of my hand. Dumb fish.

When we finished snorkelling we got back on the water taxi and headed to the beach to get our kayaks. I forgot that all I had was fruit for breakfast and hadn't really had time to eat anything all day. When I got off the boat at the beach I was so sick. I thought I was going to throw up, I was super dizzy, and thought I was going to pass out. I hurried over to sit on my kayak and thankfully we had some sugar with us. We have to take sugar wherever we go for Jeremy's diabetes. I downed a bunch of tootsie rolls and some Crystal Lite and took a few minutes to recover. Then we pushed our kayak out into the water and rowed all the way across the bay again to where we started.

Overall it was a WONDERFUL tour and we had a very good time. This picture is of us after the tour, on the water taxi, back to the dock to get on tender boat.

So, we were on the boat with our tour guides on the way back when all of a sudden our boat stopped in the middle of the water. Why did it stop? Because our boat RAN OUT OF GAS!!! Really? Isn't that something you check BEFORE you load it with tourists?

Our guides asked everyone to come to the back of the boat so the gas would pool up in the tank and hopefully reach the engine. They tried and tried to start the engine, but to no avail. Finally they called in another boat to tow us to the gas pumps.

We had to sit and wait while they got their refill, then we took off to the dock where we get off. I took this last picture of Justin and Monica. They were really fun to hang out with for the afternoon and if they lived closer, I'm sure they are friends we would get together with. :)

I took a picture of this pelican just because.

We finally made it back with only about 1/2 hour to spare before we absolutely HAD to be back the cruise ship. We still had a few souveniers we wanted to get, but a lot of our time had been wasted with the whole "we ran out of gas" thing. Jeremy and I ran to the shops, got a few things, and made it just in time to be tendered back to the ship. PHEW!

This picture is for Nathan. A pirate ship!

Once we got back to the ship, we hurried to Deck 11 to watch the famed belly flop contest. I begged Jeremy to enter, but he preferred to watch. I think he would have won. While we were up there and waiting for the contest to begin, we took a few more pictures of the area. This picture is of Lover's Beach from the view of the cruise ship.

Just the 2 of us.

Me, in my new leopard swimsuit coverup.

Finally the contest began. This is the guy that eventually won the contest. :) It was funny to watch the guys trying to make the biggest splash by doing a belly flop.

By the end of the contest (there were several rounds), the finalists bellies were just red as could be. OUCH! I guess it's good Jeremy didn't enter.

We stood on top and watched as the ship left the bay and headed out to sea. What a pretty place!

This is out on the Pacific, looking towards Divorce Beach.

These are the homes up the hillside that faces the Pacific Ocean on the Baja Peninsula.

I tried to take a picture of my fish bite, but it wouldn't show up on the picture.

As we sailed out of Cabo San Lucas, it got really windy. We sat and watched for quite awhile and I actually saw 3 whale spouts! That was so exciting for me! They were surprisingly close to the shore - between the ship and the shore. After sitting out in the wind for awhile and watching us sail away from land, Jeremy and I realized we hadn't really eaten anything all day and were suddenly starving. Dinner was in only an hour, so I told Jeremy I'd go get us an ice cream cone to tide us over and I'd be right back.

I went downstairs and made 2 ice cream cones. Then I came up the stairs to the top deck and the wind hit me really hard. The sides of the ice cream started blowing all over the place - all over the floor and all over me, just leaving the core of the ice cream cone in the middle! It was funny that it didn't just blow the whole top off. I yelled to Jeremy to come help me and he jumped off his lounge chair and came to grab his ice cream cone. We ran to the railing of the ship and bent over trying to hurry and stuff our ice cream cones into our mouths as we fought the wind.

After that fun little adventure, we cleaned up and sat down in our lounge chairs. Not 5 minutes later, I looked back to the stairs at the same place where the wind hit me before and saw a girl walking up the stairs with a plate of food. It was such a joy to watch as she turned the corner and immediately tried to shield her plate from the wind. The first to go was the french fries . . . followed by the top of the sandwich . . . and the kicker was when her blob of tuna salad blew right off her plate and splatted on the floor. She stood there looking at it for just a second, turned, and walked away with her empty plate. It wouldn't have been so satisfying to watch had I not JUST HAD the exact same experience!

After that, Jeremy and I went to our room to get ready for dinner. It was lobster night! Hooray for everyone who likes lobster. I don't give a hoot. I had chicken. Jeremy likes lobster, so he was super excited.

Here is my chicken. It was a lot tastier than it looks.

The cool thing for the lobster eaters was that the waiters would actually come and take out all the meat for you! This is the carnage Jeremy left behind.

Dinner was good, as usual, and we had to be rolled out of the dining room. When we got back to our room, this is what we found. A monkey hanging in our room! (The thing made out of towels.) It was so cute! We left it up there all the next day.

That was our fun day in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was a very long, tiring, fun, and eventful day!
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