Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a fabulous "2009"!
New Year's Resolutions and thoughts
to come. Start thinking on your
resolutions and goals for the
new year.

I am anxious to meet as a family and
discuss our family and individual goals/resolutions
for the new year. I love goal setting.
So, put on your thinking caps and think hard.
What do you want to achieve in "2009"?
Perhaps its personal, physical, spiritual, financial,
a new hobby or nurturing a talent.

Remember, "If you dream it, you can achieve it".

Monday, December 29, 2008

Trying something New!

Scott had a Tee Time with a friend, so I decided to take the kids to try a new activity. Now keep in mind that my kids do not like to try new things. Especially when they will not be perfect at them. I told them they were going and they went all be it "kicking and screaming."
I have great memories as a kid of Ice skating at Utah Lake. So much fun! Now that was outdoors and we were going to an indoors rink. My kids thought I was crazy for bringing an extra layer and gloves. Little did they know what was awaiting us at...

You can tell by the nervous and anxious faces. They were not sure about this new adventure. And Holy Cow, how do you get these skates on. So perplexing to these "city kids."

After a few times around the rink, everyone started moving away from the wall. Jensen had great balance from the get go. Mackenzie was a little nervous, due to a previous tail bone injury and was not wanting to fall on it again. Alec was all boy and once he got the feel of it, he was ready to go. So watch out! He does have a new habit of skating with only the left foot gliding and pushing him. Kind of like riding a scooter.

Oops! Looks like someone had an accident. Being perfectionists, we don't like being in this position. A little hard on the ego. She was not the only one in this position. I believe Alec went down 5 times. Not bad for a 1st timer! Although he is not as graceful and will take down anyone by him.

The kids did find out that even though it is indoors, it is chilly. After the Zamboni goes across the ice it is like glass and it becomes very cold inside. Brings back great memories. I am so proud of the kids for trying this and being good sports. Now if we could get their dad to join us. I am still going to try for snow skiing. Maybe some day I will get us on the slopes shushing down. Until then, I will keep dreaming.

Christmas 2008

Christmas Memories
New Church clothes for Christmas
It has always been a tradition to get new church clothes for Christmas. Here are the kids looking so thrilled to pose for yet another photo in front of the tree. They do look rather smashing
Christmas Eve Festivities
Christmas Eve game with friends
Every Christmas Eve we have a group over for Feliz Navidad. Pretty much it is Mexican food, games and a program on the Savior. This year we had some of the Smith clan and then Scott's cousin and his family. Alec was so excited to have lots of boys over.
We dined on fabulous Mexican, thanks to everyone for contributing. It was so yummy!! Mackenzie and Jensen did a great job with the program. Way to go girls!! It was a lovely evening.

Christmas PJ's
Another tradition is to open new PJ's on Christmas Eve. Are you ever to old for new, snugly PJ's? I don't think so.
We had a very relaxing and calm Christmas. Everyone loved their gifts and we had a great day bonding as a family.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Scott

I am a little late in posting my husband's birthday entry. He had a birthday one week ago and now I am getting to his post. Every year I feel so lucky that we have had another year together. Even though we get older, our love gets stronger and I feel blessed to have this special man.

Happy Birthday Scott!!

  1. Selfless (puts everyone else first)
  2. Giving
  3. Understanding
  4. Problem Solver ( I have had a few problems lately)
  5. Easy-going
  6. Great Father
  7. Peacemaker
  8. Faithful
  9. My Best Friend
  10. Hard Working
  11. Ambitious
  12. Ideas (Scott can always come with some good ideas for whatever I need)
  13. Generous
  14. Great sense of humor
  15. Loyal

Happy Birthday Scott! I love you and I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays!


Watching Jensen dance with my parents
We had a great time 2 weeks ago when my parents came to town. They usually come after Christmas. This year they came early and we went to see Jensen dance. I am proud of my dad. He survived the ballet (not his favorite thing).

I will miss having them here after Christmas. They always come and stay until the new year. It will be weird not having them here.

It was a relaxing visit with them. We did a little shopping, eating at all the favorite spots. My dad LOVES Oregano's! We did not do any projects this visit. The kids had fun doing an early Christmas with my parents. Who doesn't like getting early Christmas gifts?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I love this time of year. Traditions play a big part in our house. Some are from my childhood and some are my husbands and others we have created. Here are a few:
  • Driving around and looking at lights.
  • Hot Cocoa from QT. YUM!!
  • Christmas music; in the car, at home or on the piano. Alec loves playing Christmas songs that he can sing to.
  • Writing Santa letters. Alec has mailed his off and this year his main question is...Does Santa really have a BIG snow globe that he can see everyone in (like the one in "Fred Claus"?) He can't wait to get a letter back in the mail.
  • Looking at ALL the toy catalogs that come in the mail.
  • Watching Jensen dance in the Nutcracker.
  • Watching Christmas movies..Elf, Christmas Vacation, Fred Claus, Santa Claus. You get the picture.
  • Christmas Countdowns. Alec loves to do the countdowns each morning.
  • Baking treats for neighbors and friends.
  • Temple Lights
  • Christmas Caroling with the youth. This is such a great activity!
  • Acts of service to those in need. So great to give at this time of year.
  • Baking treats, goodies, etc...
  • Smith Family Christmas Eve at our house

WOW!! What a fun time of year. Lots of bonding as a family. As the kids get older our traditions change somewhat, but I always look for to November and December. Now if Arizona could only get snow for Christmas!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Me 1 year ago

This photo was taken one year ago. I would look in the mirror and think...well, I look pretty good today. As the months went by and the weight kept creeping on I began to become dissatisfied with myself. Clothes weren't fitting, low energy, low self esteem, unhappy, etc... I think you get the picture.

Then in April for my birthday a good friend and my very loving husband found me a personal trainer. They purchased me some sessions.

The initial visit was a SHOCK to say the least. To have every inch measured, fat calibrated and the REAL facts staring you in the face. I had let myself go!!

The hard work began. Cardio 5 x's a week, weight training 2 x's a week and a strict meal plan that got changed every two weeks.

I was ready and motivated. I was paying Bernie a lot of money to help me. No way was I going to cheat or short change myself. Thank you friends for being understanding during my long and painful metamorphosis.

I literally went into a cocoon. Nothing stood in the way of my new lifestyle. I followed every rule to the letter. Twice a week I would go and get beat up by Bernie. Whatever she would give me I would do it. Sometimes to the point of getting sick.

Slowly, but surely the weight, inches and fat started to come off. It was exciting, empowering and felt good. Sure, I endured many sore muscles and fatigue, but it was so worth it. I now have actual muscles.

Now at 7 months from my start I am where I want to be. The butterfly has been released. It feels great. I could not have done this without Bernie. She has been there for me through everything. Not only is she my trainer, but I have a new friend. She gave me the tools for a healthy life. Thank You Bernie!!

Thank you Scott and kids. You have endured many a night of grilled, baked or crock pot chicken. You are the best and I love all of you! Thank you for helping me achieve this goal.

Why do I share this? You can achieve anything you want. Motivation, hard work, determination and support will get you whatever you want to achieve. I am not sure what the next goal will be, but it feels so good to accomplish this.

The End Result

Monday, November 10, 2008

80's Night

80's Night with the Mia Maids

Mackenzie and I dressed up for 80's night

My Mia Maids wanted to have an 80's night for a Wednesday activity. Well, here is my daughter and myself all dressed up for the evening. The girls had so much fun and loved getting dressed up. It is sad to say but, this was when I was in High School. Yes, some of us did dress like this.

The girls think this was soooo long ago. It really wasn't. Okay who am I trying to kid? What were we thinking in High School. Really?? Did we honestly think this looked good?

Just a few of the things worn on that night....leg warmers, mini skirts, jeans folded over and rolled up, BIG earrings, blazers with pins, bright colors. Ya, you get the idea.

We had a great time in our lovely outfits. We then came to my house to play Sing Star 80's. These girls had never heard of half of the songs. We will just say that not all of us are singers, but we gave it a try!

Great activity and LOTS of FUN!!


Cole as "Harry Potter", Alec as "Indiana Jones" and Sam as "Batman"

Boy Oh Boy are we glad the Eatons moved back to Gilbert!! Can you tell how excited Alec was on Halloween to go Trick or Treating with his friends?

Alec and Cole have been friends since Alec was 18 months old. Now Alec is 8. They are almost like brothers, only they are nicer to each other than brothers are.

Halloween was great at the Eatons. The boys went and got a lot of candy. We had yummy food and treats. It was nice to hang out and chat and pass out candy. What a perfect evening!

Thanks Eatons for a great time and fun memories!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

When it rains it pours!!

Have you ever heard that saying, "When it rains it pours!"

That is exactly how my life is right now. I have no reason to complain. We all are in good health, Scott is employed, the kids are doing well and so am I.

But, at the moment it seems that each day is bogged down with STUFF!! I refer to them as "burdens" and Scott says they are tasks. I'm not sure who is right.

Each day there is a list and it progressively gets longer and longer. I guess that is LIFE for the moment. Do you ever get to come up for air?

As I reflect on all of this stuff, I realize that at these moments other things in life seem to suffer as well. Relationships, time with my kids, scripture reading, family prayer, alone time with my husband, patience, etc...

I could go on and on, but why? That is why I feel like it is pouring. I am sure it is not only on me that it is pouring. How can I get on top of life and gain some control? Why does everything have to spiral out of control at once?

And then I ponder... What am I to learn during this time? What am I being tested for? How will I grow from this? Are there any answers?

I am sure when the time is right the rain will stop. Hopefully I will be able to come up for air and I will have gained a new perspective. Until that time...I hope the umbrella holds!

the love of music....

This kid LOVES music. He has had an IPOD since he was 5. He knows all the words to any song on the radio. That can be dangerous!

One year ago I decided to teach Alec the basics of piano. Needless to say he ate it up and wanted more and more.

This summer I officially enrolled him in piano lessons. This kids loves to play the piano. He will run to play the piano several times a day. I am not exaggerating.

He taught himself all the hymns and primary songs in the beginner books. How I love to hear him playing and singing along. There is nothing quite like it.

Who knew that an 8 year old boy would love the piano so much. This weekend he got a book full of Star Wars music. This is his new passion.

I worried that he would not be able to sit still long enough to learn a song. That was silly!! All he wants to do is learn new songs and have us guess the name of the song.

I certainly hope he keeps this up. Such a great talent and there is nothing like a boy who can sit down at the piano and play for everyone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Driver in Town

Watch Out!!
There is a new driver in town. Mackenzie got her learner's permit on October 6th. She has been driving all over town. I must say...she is a darn good driver. She has even been on the 202. I am impressed with her ambition and willingness to learn and cope with other drivers.
I can't believe that she is old enough to be driving. Where did the time go?? It is fun having a chauffeur. I think I will like having another driver in the house.
Congratulations Kenzie!!

Fall Break

~My Parents~

Wow! What a great 10 days. Who knew time could go by so fast. I LOVE it when my parents come to visit. My kids have such a good time with them and love having them here. We don't get to see them all that often, so we treasure the moments we have. Here's a recap of their 10 day visit.

  • City Swim Meet at Mesquite High

  • Nutcracker Rehearsals ( watched Jensen partner with a boy for the first time. Yikes!)

  • Went to Oregano's

  • Saw the movie "Express"

  • Packed up my whole house and moved it out for new carpet. Great timing!!

  • Made Cinnamon Rolls

  • Moved the furniture back in and rearranged a few rooms and pieces of furniture

  • Went to Joe's

  • Shopping

  • Decided to do storage shelving under the stairs and in the garage (My dad always does a BIG project when he comes. This was BIG)

  • Still unpacking the house and putting back together

  • Made LOTS of cookies

  • Ate LOTS of cookies

  • Homemade rolls and crash potatoes

  • Played dominoes (Family favorite)

  • Watched movies, BSU game, BYU game

  • My Mom was my running partner. So fun to have someone go with you. I will miss that. Alec rode his bike with us one day.

10 days just flew by. We miss having them here. Thanks for all the hard work and help. We appreciate it!! We can't wait until the next visit. We will make it a relaxing one, we promise! It's back to reality...laundry, cleaning the really dirty house. Who knew that new carpet could make your house so dirty. Thanks for a great Fall Break!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Go "GET IT" (period)!!!

Why is it that we are not better cheerleaders for each other? Why does the jealousy and envy creep up? Can we not be happy for one another when good things happen?

This weekend I watched a great movie with my husband "The Pursuit of Happiness". What a fabulous movie and full of great messages. The following is what I took from it this time around.

Will Smith's character tells his son the following;
"Don't ever let someone tell you you can't. If you got a dream you've got to protect it. If people can't do something themselves, they want to tell you you can't do it. If you want something go "GET IT" (period).

Words to live by. I am big on goal setting and thrive on achieving those goals. I believe that we should be cheerleaders for one another. We all need that positive reinforcement. It is such a great feeling knowing that someone believes in you and is cheering you on to success.

Why does ones success make others feel threatened or insecure? Friends should be loyal through thick and thin, good and bad. Are each of us that type of friend?

As a family we have talked a lot lately about friends. The discussions have included how we are as friends and how our friends are to us. Do friends pressure us to do things we normally wouldn't? Are we honest in our dealings with our friends? Do we support one another? Are we there for each other?

Friends are important to each of us. It takes a lot of time to cultivate that lasting friendship that will endure. As of late I had some experiences with friends that shocked and hurt me deeply. As I come closer to achieving a personal goal, I have found out who my true friends are. I hope that I myself am a good, positive friend and that my friends know I am there for them.

Dreams and goals help mold us into who we are. What a shame not to be able to share those with your friends. Let's not stop others from their dreams. Instead, let's help them along the way and be a part of their journey.

I have told my kids, if you have a dream, put in the work, ask your Heavenly Father for help and "GO GET IT!!"

Thank you to all of my friends near and far. I cherish you and each of you know who you are. The biggest thanks goes to my best husband. Thank you!!! You are the best cheerleader a girl can have. I love you!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

One Matters for Impact!

One Matters for Impact!
By: Mitt Romney

I don't remember when it was exactly that I finally went past the sandbar. My family had a summer cottage on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. For the first forty or so feet, the lake is shallow, warm, and protected from big waves by the sandbar. That's where I spent most of the hot summer days as a boy. I liked it there. One day, my brother got me up on water skis. Perhaps fearing that a turn would make me fall, he drove the boat, and me, straight out into thedeep. By the way, this lake is over 100 miles wide. I screamed at him the whole terrifying ride. He took me about a half mile out. But ever after, the deep water was where I wanted to be: surfing in the breakers, water skiing, diving. I got out of the shallow water for good.

Over the years, I have watched a good number of people live out their lives in the shallows. In the shallows, life is all about yourself, your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort.

In the deeper waters, life is about others: family, friends, faith, community, country, caring, commitment. In the deeper waters, there are challenging ideas, opposing opinions, and uncomfortable battles.

Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water. Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics, each can be lived with you comfortably at the center. Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.

At some point in your life, a few of you may be presented with the opportunity to step off your career path, to give yourself fully to some kind of service. When I was asked to leave my investment company to run the Olympics in Salt Lake City, I dismissed the idea out of hand. I was making too much money, I didn't know bupkes about running a sports event. The job would pay me nothing. The organization was in the worst condition of any I had ever seen.

And, after the Games were over, the position would lead nowhere. It was a dead end.

I took it. It was the highlight of my professional life. I gave more of myself than I ever had before. I came to know and respect remarkable people. There are currencies more lasting than money. It can be enormously rewarding to take the unobvious course, to jump into the deep water.Bias is shallow thinking and shallow water.
Read widely, particularly from people who disagree with you. Argue to learn rather than to win. If you don't respect, I mean really respect, the views of people who disagree with you, then you don't understand them yet. There are smart people on both sides of almost every important issue. Learn from them all. If you have life all figured out in neat little packages, you're in Neverland, not the real world. And it's boring there.

There's one more thing I've seen in the people who swim in the deep waters of life. They don't fashion their values and principles to suit their self-interest; they live instead by enduring principles that are fundamental to society and to successful, great lives.

I learned important lessons about those principles from some of the Olympians I saw in Salt Lake City, like bobsledder Vonetta Flowers. Vonetta was brakeman on USA sled two. All the attention, however, was on sled one, the sled that had taken the World Cup and was a lock for the Olympic Gold. But just before the Olympics, the pilot of sled one dropped her partner and invited Vonetta Flowers to join her.

Vonetta had a tough decision. On sled one, she'd get a gold medal for sure; the first Olympic gold to be won by an African American in the Olympic Winter Games. Those of us rooting for US medals hoped she would jump to sled one. She didn't. She decided that friendship and loyalty to her longtime teammate on sled two was more important than winning the gold.

Of course, sled one did well. But when sled two beat them all, coming in first, the crowd went nuts. And tears dripped off Vonetta's cheeks. Friendship and loyalty above gold.

You live one time only. Don't spend it in safe, shallow water. Launch out into the deep. Give yourself to your family, to your career, to your community. Open your mind to diverging viewpoints. And live, not by what suits the moment, but by the principles that endure for a lifetime. Jump in, the water's fine!
I thought this was interesting and wanted to share. Great advice from Mitt Romney and food for thought.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Swim Team

This girl is amazing!! She dislikes sports and doesn't feel like she is very athletic.

I have to disagree. Anyone who can handle 3 months of swimming 2 hours a day is ATHLETIC!! The coaches beat them up on a daily basis. Not only do they work out in the pool, but there are sit ups, push ups, holding plank, running stairs (barefoot in 100+ temps) and the dedication to show up everyday. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, determination and courage to be on swim team. Ask the kids who quit after 1 week.

Recent swim meet for Gilbert High.

Oh, the nerves before a swim.

Swimmer's take your mark!!

So much fun to cheer your kid on!!

That's our girl Mackenzie!!

We love you and are so proud of you. Keep it up!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Since I have taken up running as my cardio, I have found it to be very therapeutic. Especially when I am doing it outside as the sun is just rising. The weather is perfect now for early morning runs. I find myself caught in various thoughts and so I thought I would share a sampling from this morning's run.

- I Love "TO DO" lists. They keep me focused and on track. At times they can be overwhelming, but I feel a sense of accomplishment with them. Scott does not like them one bit and neither do my kids. WHY???

- GOALS, I am a BIG goal setter. Which is good and bad. It does set you up for disappointments if you set a lofty goal, which I tend to do. My husband will bring me back to reality. I love the feeling of reaching that goal and setting a new one. It is so powerful.

- Why do we judge? We all do it, even though we know we shouldn't. We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, that person may have troubles or demons they are dealing with. I guess it is human nature.

- The Gospel... Need I say more. I feel so lucky to have it in my life. I wish everyone was willing to accept it and I wish I was a better missionary. I am not very good at the missionary work.

- Power of Prayer... WOW!! I had a huge testimony builder last week on this one. Prayer is amazing and those you are praying for can feel your prayers. A lot times while running I will pray and converse with God. It feels like a perfect time while I am surrounded by his creations and I am able to open up without any distractions.

- Teenagers... I can't believe I have two of them. Wasn't I just a teenager. I am not old enough for this. They can be so much fun and then the mood can change. I love their new found sense of humor, there can be so much drama and of course as parents we don't understand anything. I am sure I was never like this. HA HA!!

- GRATITUDE....Do I do a good job of being grateful? Do I show gratitude? Perhaps some things to work on.

- How do I get my 8 yr. old to slow down on his school work? Boys are sure different than girls. Someone knew what they were doing when they only gave me one.

- Where does the time go? There are never enough hours in a day. Enough months in a year. And my kids are growing up way too fast!!

This morning my thoughts were running rampant, but it helps me to keep running. I do not like to run and only do it because I have to get in cardio. Oh, the things we do.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clara at Last

"Clara" and Jensen last year

Yesterday, Jensen accomplished a 5 year goal. Let me back up a minute...5 years ago Jensen performed in her first Nutcracker as a Gingerette. Since that time she has aspired to be "Clara" in the Nutcracker. Every night going to bed she watches one of her Nutcracker DVD's. One week ago she was asked to participate in the Advanced Audition for Nutcracker. It was at that moment that she realized she could have a chance of being selected for the role of "Clara." At long last the letter arrived yesterday; one week later. What an anxious and tense week of waiting!! Needless to say there are always some heartaches amongest dance friends when roles are given. It is never a question of who is "best", but only a matter of what role best suits the dancer. Of course, at ages 13-15 this is always an emotional time and they don't always understand the different paths we all have to take in life. I am glad that I don't have to make such decisions, they are all such beautiful dancers.

WAY TO GO JENSEN!! Hard work, determination, dedication and money from dad all help! :)