Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This is Jingles, our Magic Elf. He comes to us every year on December 1st. He lives at the North Pole and is assigned to our family from Santa. We have had him now for three years, and it is so exciting for us to have our very own Magic Elf! He flies around during the night and we have to find him every morning. He also has a card each day that teaches us all about the true meaning of Christmas. This is one of our families favorite traditions each year. WE LOVE JINGLES!!!

O Christmas Tree!

I have a love/hate relationship with our Christmas tree. I love the finished product. This tree is big and full and it usually looks great when all is said and done. But it is a royal pain to put it up!!! I didn't know when we were buying it a few years back, that instead of putting it all up in sections, you have to put on each lovely little branch!

Here is Rachel, my awesome helper this year! She straightened out each branch for me, and then I shaped each branch and put it in it's place on the tree.

Here it is in it's early stages. It is amazing to me each year how long it takes to put this tree together!

Don't I look happy? I am almost done! It doesn't help being 4'11" tall, and this tree is 7' tall!!! The last few rows are really stretching it for me, but I somehow manage to get it.
Here is the finished product! I love our tree, and it adds so much beauty to our home each year! Someday I will have an easier tree to put together, and then I will look back on this tree and be grateful for the experience!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Funny Daisy!

Today we came home from church and saw the evidence of our dog around the house. She had found a small garbage can and emptied it. Luckily it wasn't very full. Then we saw that she was chewing on something. She looked like she was sucking on a binkie! Hilarious!!! What do you think she is "chewing" on?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

Here it is....my birthday! Where has the time flown? I feel so amazingly blessed in my life, so I thought I would list all the things I am thankful for, one for every year of my life. The only problem with that is that everyone will then know how YOUNG I am. Oh well! Here are the 41 things I am most grateful for:
1. Jesus Christ
2. My dear husband, Brian
3. Rachel, my darling, sweet daughter
4. Daniel, my handsome, funny son
5. Daisy, my dog
6. My wonderful parents
7. My four sisters
8. My five brothers
9. My dear parents-in-law
10. All my in-laws
11. My home
12. My friends
13. My good health
14. My testimony
15. The Book of Mormon
16. Our prophet
17. The sanctity of marriage that has been preserved
18. Good music
19. The opportunity to be a piano teacher
20. My husband's job
21. I am a homemaker!
22. I am a stay-at-home mom!
23. The hot summer temperatures are gone!
24. Autumn is here......my favorite time of year!!!!
25. I was raised in the gospel
26. 35 pounds less than I was last year!
27. Sunsets
28. My marriage in the Salt Lake Temple 13 years ago.
29. Temples
30. My heritage
31. Exercise
32. The scriptures
33. Family love
34. Prayer
35. Hugs from my children
36. Good books
37. Education
38. Being married to my best friend...Brian!
39. Being sealed to my family forever!
40. Chocolate :)
41. My life of 41 wonderful years!!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Here it is almost one week late, but here are some cute pictures of our fun Halloween! (even though I hate Halloween, I consider it successful if my children look good!) What do you think? I think they looked pretty darn good!

Rachel was NOT Pocahontas...she was an Indian princess! Daniel was a Knight in shining armor. This was a fun Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prop 8 Wave Party!!!

Tonight our family joined many of our ward members in waving signs for Proposition 8. We stood on a busy street in Clovis for one hour cheering and waving to people to encourage them to vote. It was so much fun to be united with our friends in a common cause. It also restored our faith in humanity to hear so many people honking and cheering us on in support of what we were doing. It was a great experience! YES ON PROP 8!!!!
We ended the evening at In and Out Burger with quite a bit of our friends for a great dinner! What a great way to end the day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our Photo Shoot!

Last week, a good friend was doing a portrait project for her photography class and asked if we could be the subjects. Since Rachel and Daniel are sooooo adorable and take such great pictures, I said sure! So here are some of the best ones. I love my children! They are such great blessings in my life!!! Thanks Jana for taking these great pictures! I love them!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I have always had good friends in my life. I consider this to be a great blessing! I remember my first best friend when I was just five - Cherie. We were neighbors, and we spent all our time together. Then she moved away in third grade. There was all my "Madrigal friends" in High School. That was a fantastic time! There was Becky, Allyson, Thayne, Brent, Reid, Dave, Taylor...my life was shaped by these people! After High school, there was sororiety at the University of Utah when Natalie came into my life! We were inseparable! Laurie was there as well as tons of friends! After I got married and moved to California I met Candee...we were so close and shared many "mothering" experiences together. Now there are so many friends in our wonderful ward, I hardly know where to begin!
But all through my life there has always been Chari. We met in eighth grade Mr. Willams english class, and we developed a friendship that is eternal! The whole reason for this post today is because of Chari! I found her again! We have not had any contact for NINE years! Yikes! That is almost a lifetime. After much searching, we connected again, and I called her on Sunday. We talked for hours; we laughed and laughed as the years erased away! I felt like she was just around the corner again and we were heading off on another crazy adventure! Chari became a part of my family, and spent more time at my home than hers. How fun to reconnect with her and hear all about her life as a mother. I miss you Chari and can't wait to talk to you again! Let's get together and do lunch sometime! Love you!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Skiing in Clovis!

Sierra Summit came to our elementary school today, and Rachel got the chance to snowboard! She was excited, but a little nervous as well. She is in leadership at school, and that's how she got this opportunity. After getting fitted and given a board, they had a quick training session on the grass. Then they all lined up and waited their turn.

Here she is getting ready to ski down the hill. She was pretty nervous at this point, but we were all cheering her on. This hill felt like cold, wet, fake grass that was colored to look like snow.

Look at that smile! Good job Rachel! You gave it your best shot! Now you know (sort of) what it feels like to go snowboarding! Sure wish it felt like snow outside! It was about 85 degrees....Whew!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Let's Preserve Marriage!

Our family feels strongly about preserving marriage in California. We have joined in the Proposition 8 team to help define marriage as only between a man and a woman. There are a few very good websites that have lots of valuable information to help us all understand this vitally important issue! We encourage everyone to read up on this whether you live in California or not.
It is so important that this proposition passes! We have our bumper stickers on our cars, the yard sign out, and we just received some buttons to wear when we go out. I plan on wearing mine proudly every day until election day! I hope that I can be an influence for good!

Monday, August 25, 2008

BACK TO SCHOOL....The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Well, here we are....the first day of school! What an exciting day for all!!! Rachel's excited because she's in fourth grade and she finally gets to have the same class with her best friend! She also got the teacher she wanted. Yeah!!!Daniel's excited to be in second grade and to be eating in the cafeteria again!!!! He's also been counting the days since the last day of school in June! Sue's excited because she gets a little more free time, and to be helping her family get back on a better schedule. Brian's excited because everyone else is excited!!!

The Last Splash!

Here we are at our last swim party of the summer! Since I have forgotten my camera at every swimming event so far, I had to make sure I got some wet pictures! I love seeing my children in the water, swimming and playing with their friends. There is always so much joy on their faces when they are swimming!

It's also fun to watch them jump off the diving board. I love to try and capture the moment on the camera!

We are lucky (or should I say blessed) to have so many good friends to share our lives with. Rachel and Daniel always have someone to play with and have fun together.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Entering the Blog World

Ok, we caved!!! We have entered the blogging world! I'm not sure I know what I'm doing, but here goes!

We have just returned from our family vacation to Utah. We were there from July 11-26, and we had a great time. For the first week, we stayed with my (Sue's) parents, and the next week with Brian's parents. We were there for Sue's mother's 81st birthday party at Red Lobster. We got to have dinner at Marilyn and Dennis' home with Diane and Reed, and Richard and Denise. That lasagne was fabulous! We worked in the garden for my Dad, and went swimming. We drove to Provo to see Nick and Carissa's new beautiful baby girl, and then to lunch at Fudrucker's. YUM! Brian and I went to Migun Massage a few times which felt fabulous!!!

We then had a wonderful two day family reunion with Brian's family. We had a potluck dinner and talent show the first day. The second day we spent at the Farley cabin up Lamb's canyon. Then we all met at the Jordan River Temple for dinner and a session. This was the first time to have the entire family together at the temple. It was the highlight of our reunion!

The next day, July 20th, we celebrated Daniel's 7th birthday!!! Wow! He is so excited to finally be 7!

We were able to have a tour of the church's Humanitarian Center which was amazing! We then drove around the valley with Mom and Dad Anderson looking at the construction of the two new temples in the valley. We spent an afternoon with Ramona and Paul and their family and enjoyed pizza and games. We also slept overnight at the cabin which was so beautiful!!! We love it up there! We celebrated Pioneer Day up at the cabin with Sue's family with Mom and Dad, Carolyn, Steve and Terri and their family. That night we went to the Salt Lake Bees baseball game with Ken and Cheri and their family. We enjoyed a great dinner at the ball park, watched the entire game which we won, and then saw the fireworks at the end! What fun!!!

We loved seeing all our family and spending time together in Utah! It was very sad to leave and come home to California. But as always, there's no place like home, and it did feel good to sleep in our own beds again!!!