Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Issue 188

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2011, we've been having so much fun, we almost forgot to blog about it! We started off Christmas Eve with a matinee of the new movie "Tin Tin." The kids were really into the Tin Tin comics when we lived in New Zealand, so we loved the movie.

Then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's with our Subarus loaded down with gifts. Grandma had gingerbread houses for all the kids to decorate. Grandpa grilled steak on the BBQ, which reminded me Christmas in New Zealand, where every one grills and goes to the beach to celebrate the holiday.

We spent the night and opened our Santa gifts in the morning before church. Its was wonderful to attend services in the ward I grew up in. The rest of the day was spent exchanging gifts with waves of family as they arrived at different times throughout the day. We had so much fun, we didn't want to go home, so we didn't. We spent the night again, and repacked our Subaru's for the ride home.

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Issue 187

Food Bank

Whitney had the chance to serve at the Food Bank for a Young Women's activity recently. It was a wonderful service opportunity that she enjoyed. But she says, "Don't donate pineapple!" They have enough.

'Tis the Season

Whitney's school choir had six performances downtown on Tuesday, and a full concert on Wednesday at the school. They performed Christmas music and Temple Square, The Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the State Capital. Steve got back in town in time to see her sing at the State Capital and then run over and see Janey's first swimming race, and then home to run Scouts. 'Tis the Season!

First Swim Meet

Janey competed in her first Swim Meet this week! She swam the 100 meter freestyle, the 50 meter back stroke and the 50 meter freestyle. She did such a great job! The times she swam this meet will be her times to beat next time. It's so different having a child who loves to swim, since my first three children would rather eat worms than put their faces in the water. Janey is my little fish!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Issue 186

The Week of the Nutcracker

Janey and Ellie's dance company put on the full Nutcracker concert every year in conjunction with a near by city. Last year we went to see some friends in the production and the girls loved it so much they wanted to be in it this year. They do the full Nutcracker production (over 3 hours long!) with about 250 dancers. With 2 dress rehearsals and 2 performances, it was a week full of Nutcracker. Janey danced beautifully in the Japanese themed number and Ellie did a great job in both the Chinese and Scottish numbers. What a wonderful production to be a part of!

Bronze Medalist

Daniel competed in a Novice Fencing Tournament this weekend and came away with a 4th place in Y12 Foil and a 3rd Place Bronze in Y14 Epee! Not bad for 3 months of training! Way to go Daniel.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Issue 185

A New York State of Mind

Growing up we had a children's Christmas book that showed people ice skating beneath the glow of a giant Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center in New York. I've always wanted to go skating there at Christmas time and so for an early anniversary present Steve took me to New York to fulfill my childhood wish. It was as romantic and thrilling as I'd ever hoped it to be. We stayed with Steve's business partner and his family in gorgeous Summit, New Jersey, which is a very convenient train ride away from Manhattan.

 Christmas shopping on Times Square and 5th avenue was so much fun! The Christmas window displays & bright lights were magical. My favorite stops were the giant Toys R Us, the Lego store, the M&M store, of course the American Girls' Place!

 Another wish granted, I got to see Wicked on Broadway! Incredible, even if we had to cash in the kid's inheritance to afford the tickets.
 We saw downtown, midtown and uptown by double decker tour bus, and learned a lot of history along the way. Our second site seeing day we took in the amazing Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest cathedral in the world. The stained glass and sculptures were stunning.

 The traffic was so thick on a Saturday that it took us almost 2 hours to get from the museum area of town back down to Times Square. We had tickets for a harbor cruise at 4:00, and thought 2 hours would be plenty of time to travel the few blocks. We ended up running the four blocks from Times Square to the harbor and arrived just in time to see the boat disappear! So, the Lego Lady Liberty is the only one we got to see this trip. Good thing our friends invited us to stay with them again in the fall.

Saturday evening we attended a wonderful Christmas concert, held at the church located in the Manhattan Temple building, and went to church on Sunday with our friends in New Jersey. Can't wait to return!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Issue 184

An "UP" Kind of Weekend!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Hope you did too! We started the weekend off right with family pictures on a gorgeous afternoon. Seriously, you couldn't have asked for better November weather. (Can't wait to show them to you when we get them!)

Steve's parents put on a lovely feast, with all but one of the 27 Grandchildren attending, including the 2 brand new babies. We filled out the weekend with going out to dinner and the movies, more cousin time, a hike up Butterfield Canyon, a visit to the "UP" house and more going out to dinner and the movies.

Can't wait for Christmas break to do it all over again!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Issue 183

First Ski of the Season

The first snow of the season, mean breaking out the cross-country skis around here. Ellie and Janey traded off for at least 4 hours Saturday afternoon, first in the back yard and then at the park. Should be a great ski season.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

For the last two weeks I have been in the sitting choir for my school's Joseph play. Because I'm in the sitting chorus we don't have to worry about makeup or costumes, but we are basically the soundtrack for the entire play and rarely stop singing. It's been a good exsperience but I'm glad tommorow is the last performance. Then I can get back to having a life and picking up the slack I've left behind. :) We have a great director, Mr. Harsh, he's orchestrated the best high school play I've ever seen, much less been a part of. Mr. Jensen the choir and orchestra director has also been great and has kept us non-actors prepped and going. It's the first production I've been a part of and I'm glad I did it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Issue 182

Snow Princesses

For my Birthday Date this year we had a wonderful dinner at Market Street and then Steve and I went to the H&M store opening in Utah. After waiting in line for twenty minutes to even enter the store, we found a beautiful jacket for me and these darling sweaters for the girls.

Steve told them they looked like Snow Princesses which delighted Ellie to no end.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Issue 181

Happy Halloween

The kids came up with their own Halloween costumes this year, as usual. A gangster, devil and a witch, definatly the opposites of their true personalities. Hope you had a happy Halloween!

First Fencing Tournament

Daniel competed in his first fencing tournament this weekend. He did quite well for his first tournament, even though he lost most of his matches, it was usually only by one point. His coach thought that was quite impressive, since most first time fencers don't score many points. Most the kids he fenced had been competing for a year or two. We're excited to see his progress in the next few tournaments.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Issue 180

The Montage


As part of a signing bonus for Steve's awesome new job, we received a weekend stay at a very nice resort. After the long hours and much travel of the last several weeks, it was nice to take the weekend off and relax together. It was most definitely the nicest place we've ever stayed with incredible service and breath taking views. We felt a little out of place, but had no trouble enjoying ourselves.

Principal's Pride

Ellie received the coveted, "Principal's Pride" award this week for her outstanding fall artwork. I love the attention to detail and her understanding of perspective. That's her, peaking from behind the tree! Ellie is my little artist.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Issue 179

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Ellie wanted a pumpkin flavored, pumpkin cake for her birthday this year. This gluten-free labor of love took four separate trips to the store (it's a long story!)

We had a Halloween friend party on her birthday and a family party the next day when Dad was back from New York. To complete the pumpkin theme, we went to the pumkin patch to pick our own. Ellie wanted a pet for her birthday and settled on a hermit crab named Stripes, who she loves dearly.
Happy 7th Birthday Ellie!

Trax Trip

The kids had a day off school so we rode the trax line all the way downtown. It dropped us off right on the Planetarium doorstep. We had a fun field trip and then rode the train back home. It's exciting to have access to downtown right at our doorstep.

Swim Team for Janey

Janey LOVES to swim! She took swimming lessons this summer and did very well. Since school started, she has asked almost daily to go to the pool. When I realized this wasn't a passing fad, I got permission for her to try out for the premier swim team in our area. She made the team and trains three and a half  hours a week, which she says is "A dream come true!" Her best friend is also on the team, so she is truly in heaven. Looking forward to her first meet.

Karate Competition

Daniel competed in his first Karate Sparring Competition at the South Towne Expo Center this weekend. He won round after round and ended up taking 2nd Place! Way to go Daniel!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Issue 178

Good Hard Work

This week was full of good hard work for the whole family. We have settled into our new fall routine, and everyone is doing a great job working on their projects and goals. Dad pulled 12 to 18 hour days at his new job, and I had a chance to attend a 2 day dyslexia training for math. I'm very excited to implement what I learned with Daniel.

Steve is off to Phili tomorrow and then back to New York! Here's to another great week of good hard work.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Issue 177

Scout Camp

Yes, it's hard to believe, but that is snow! It snowed the whole time at scout camp for Daniel and Dad this weekend, but that never stops the fun!

The Leonardo Gala

 Above, an amazing art sculpture that hangs from the ceiling of the Leo.

Below, my brother Tai and I at the formal Gala. Steve was flying home from Florida, and was sadly unable to attend.
I had the opportunity to a Formal Gala for the ribbon cutting opening ceremony at Utah's newest Museum, The Leonardo. My sister-in-law has worked long and hard for years to help it open. After hearing from the Mayor, the Governor and a Nobel Laurette, the museum was opened for us for a preview. The Leo is a science and art museum, that I can't wait to bring my kids to experience.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Issue 176

New Zealand Family

This weekend we were able to visit with our dear friends, family really, from New Zealand. Auntie Hoki and Uncle Owen have been family friends with my side of the family for over 60 years. They became our adoptive Grandparents in New Zealand and we owe much of our wonderful experience there, to them. We hadn't seen them for two years, (since the last time they came for General Conference) and the children had been asking weekly for those two years when we would see them again! Auntie Hoki brought lollie's for the children and we had a wonderful time catching up and remembering wonderful times. We will miss them dearly until we see them again.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Issue 175

First Week on the Job

 Steve started his first week at his new company in New York meeting with a couple big clients with one of his business partners. He promised Janey this picture of the 9/11 memorial. He came back from New York and went straight to Summit County to work with his other business partner. I love this picture of him working at his business partner's office on a plastic chair and TV table. It's the epitome of a start up company to me! Steve loves his new job and had a very intense and rewarding first week.

Happy Birthday Steve

I can't believe Steve L. is 15! We went to the theaters to see Captain America to celebrate. Happy Birthday Steve!

Sweet Ellie

 Ellie and cousins playing in the calk at Grandma's

Ellie on her Daddy-Daughter date this week