Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Photos

Sorry I'm a bit behind in sharing some fun Christmas moments this year. But I've been enjoying having my husband home for 2 weeks and letting him deal with nutty, wired kids while I curl up with lots of good books that Santa brought. But here are a few photos past and present that I wanted to share before we head into the New Year.

Christmas 2005....Katelyn 4, Laura 1 month old
Christmas 2008...Katelyn 7, Laura how they've grown!

Christmas 2005....Laura is much smaller than the stuffed animals

Christmas 2008.....only 1 is bigger than her

Katelyn was once smaller than all of them too, not anymore
What's with the serious faces?!

Now this is more like it.....Laura bolting and Katelyn laughing cause I can't keep her little sister in one place very long for a picture. Gotta pay a professional to get these kids to pose for pictures these days. LOL!

I can't forget the cats......and yes they got even later.
This is Al
This is Cookie
He's plotting his revenge

We had a great Christmas with lots of fun gifts.....both given and received. Here are two that are my favorite. My father-in-law got these for the girls. Katelyn was 14 months old when my mother-in-law passed away. Rick took a picture we have of Katelyn as an infant (about 6 months old) with her grandma Colleen and had the image put on a blanket. It's gorgeous and she loves sleeping with it each night.

Laura didn't come along for another 4 years. But she is named after Colleen. Laura Colleen. So Rick used a photo of Colleen on their wedding day for Laura's blanket. Again, gorgeous. She's a little too young to get it yet and hasn't asked for the blanket each night. But I know as she gets older and learns more about her angel grandma that she'll ask to be tucked in with her grandma blanket as well. For now, we are keeping it in a safe spot so cats don't ruin it.

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and we wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Lights

Okay, so I'm a bit behind in updating the blog. But I get busy around the house and with the girls right before Christmas so I didn't get around to it. I have so many pictures to share and should just do a video clip of them. However alot of them need some explaining so I'll just do a new blog per day with lots of fun pics. Be sure to check back daily til I'm done!

Today's entry are Christmas lights. Just about every year since my parents moved to Rancho Cucamonga, we've gone to see the city's street that has become popular for it's lights. It's now more "streets" than "street" now and it's best to walk it since the crowds are so crazy you crawl along like a snail in a vehicle. Plus you miss out on little fun stuff.....some homes have a stage set up for carolers or dancers, portable pianos and kids playing Christmas music, a house with a ramp built up for their two golden retrievers to walk up to stand for all to see them with reindeer antlers (doggy reindeer, LOL!), those mini horses with antlers, residents selling hot chocolate/hot apple cider/tamales/popcorn/homemade choc. chip cookies for $1-2. Plus you get a close up view of all the lights. Here's some of our family's favorites:

I loved the snowman family. Too cute!
Santa making his list and checking it twice.

Katelyn wanted a picture of the Grinch.

Santa's Workshop, this is a favorite of mine.

For the Disney fans......Jasmine and Aladin

Cinderella and Prince Charmin
Beauty and The Beast

Katelyn (who moved and made it blurry) in front of her favorite

Princess Aurora

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our 10th Anniversary!

We've had such a busy weekend that I am finally blogging about how we spent our Friday night. And this was on the heals of a night out without kids when we met with the Elder's Quorum presidency for a dinner out with wives. (it ended up being us...Clark is secretary....and the EQ president and his wife and that's it)

Friday evening Clark and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. That's right...the big 10 years of marriage. We both kept saying that we couldn't believe it. Why? Well in some ways it still feels like we were just married yesterday. Ask us on a different night and we might have said it felt like much longer. But Friday night we felt like it was just yesterday. For those not in the know, here's a little recap of our meet-up, dating, and first 10 years.

We met in 1995 not long after I got home from my mission (Buenos Aires West Mission....the best one in the whole world). We met through a group of friends at Chaffey College Institute of Religion in Rancho Cucamonga. We hit it off so well and soon I was sending a "Dear John" letter to the elder I said I'd wait for. (I swear I never thought I'd be one of those! LOL!) We had a lot of things in common his best friend had also served his mission in Argentina and so had his dad (one of his comps was my first mission president, Pres. Richmond....and another comp of his was my 1st year Spanish teacher in high school....small world); my sister was born in the hospital just down the street from where he grew up; and one of the guys he grew up with in West Covina moved out to Rancho C. with his family and when we were like juniors in high school or something like that I can remember that Sean brought a bunch of his friends to church and introduced them all...I still remember that one of them was "going to be baptized today" and I remember the truck they all hopped into later. It was Clark's truck. I even remember Danny was there and I think Cory. But gosh I do not remember Clark at all. It totally wasn't the right time to meet.

So we dated for 3 years. Yeah it was no whirl wind romance for us. And even though he didn't fit my ideal marriage material (you know wanting Temple marriage and all), I knew he was the man I was to supposed to give my heart to and marry.

We married on Dec. 19, 1998 at the Hillside Ward Bldg in Rancho. Clark's dad, Rick, was a bishop at that time and so he performed the ceremony. I don't have a scanner or I'd share pics of our wedding day.

We haven't had an easy 10 years. We are so different that we tend to bicker and argue.... alot! We've also had lots of monetary set backs over the years. But we love each other enough to work things out.

Somewhere along the line we became parents to two beautiful girls (okay so I am a bit biased on that) and are owned by 3 crazy cats. Our life isn't as exciting as others but we have fun, we love each other, and we enjoy what we do have.

And this is how we celebrated our big 10th anniversay.....

My parents took the girls for the night (thanks mom and dad! you rock!). We had made reservations for The Melting Pot in Brea. For those who have never heard of this restuarant, it is a fondue theme. You have a 4 course meal and it is European style......everything except the salad is cooked on your table in fondue pots.

1st course: cheese fondue of choice...we chose the Wisconsin trio.....the waitress mixes it up for you and then brings out chunks of different breads, apple chunks and a veggie medley (carrot chunks, celery, cauliflower). I have never had apples and cheese before and the apples tasted great in the cheese fondue.

2nd course: salad and you have your choice of salad, this is the only course that you don't share; I had the basic house salad. It had a honey mustard vinagrette that was soooo good. This was brought out while we still munched on the 1st course but towards the end so we weren't rushed or anything. They really give you the chance to savor your meal at this place.

3rd course: main course.....we did one of the feature meals for two and it had a variety different cuts of steaks, filet mignon, chicken, shrimp, lobster and pasta along with more veggies. The fondue is a broth based one and it is hotter so the meats cook fast in it. The meats are small chunks so someone with a huge appetite might not want to splurge at this place. But over the course of the evening you do get fed well. The veggies are different from the 1st course veggies. For this one they served red potato chunks, mushrooms, broccoli and yellow squash. They also bring out a variety of dipping sauces as well and explain what each tastes good with. Hard to remember so we just tried it all. Everything was delicious!

4th course: get your choice of chocolate fondue. We chose a milk chocolate with chunky peanut butter swirled in. They bring out a platter of lots of yummy dippers. Here's a picture----strawberries, bananas, oreo and graham cracker covered marshmellows, brownie bites, rice krispy treats, pound cake chunks, a slice of cheese cake (Clark let me have the cherry cause he knows I love them!). It was all so delicious!

I really can't decide which was my favorite part of the meal. It was all so good and the service was great. Our waitress was awesome. I even got a rose for the night. So here are some pics of the evening:

The yummy desserts!
Me, getting ready to eat a strawberry.

Clark and I....and my pretty rose.

This is why I married Clark...he's so hot, he's steamy!

And this is all we can show you of the rest of the evening. ;)

Happy Anniversary Clark my love! May the next 10 years be as wonderful as the first 10 years!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Lesson In Honesty

A couple of 7 year old girls got a lesson in honesty today. Here's the story:

This morning I needed a print out of something in Katelyn's school file. So I went into the office. While in there I realized that the Secret Santa Workshop was today for her class and NOT tomorrow like she told me. So I asked the secretary what time her class went. 9:45 a.m. I went home, got the envelope and filled it out, stuck $25 of cash into it and flew back down to the school. (I walk and I haven't walked this fast since my mission....and heck I'm not sure my comps would think I walked all that fast back then, LOL!) I gave it to the principal who happened to be manning the office at that moment.

When school was over, Katelyn had no gifts. I checked her back pack. Nothing. So I go to talk to her teacher. She says that the principal did call her room but the class was in the computer lab already and so the principal was going to have Katelyn paged to the office to get it. We asked Katelyn and she says "I didn't want to go alone. So I didn't go." Figures. So I head to the office to find out if the envelope is there.

No envelope there or in the teacher's box. The principal comes out and says "When she didn't come, I was going to take it myself. But a grandparent volunteer came in to help out there and I gave it to her to pass along." By this time the grandparent volunteer is not around. So the principal takes me to the library to talk to the librarian. Librarian was on the phone......we overheard the conversation. Another little girl had brought home gifts and mom had not sent in any money. So the other mom was making the little girl bring the gifts back. Librarian ends the call and talks to principal and I. They began digging through mounds of empty envelopes. They find Katelyn's.....bottom part ripped apart. I'm asked if I had cash or check in $25. Librarian says "Do you have a Kayla in your class?" No but we discover both girls are 1st graders and both classes were in there at the same time. Librarian lets Katelyn shop since the other child is bringing items back. We head home, passing a sad little girl and her mom on the way.

Not 5 minutes after getting home, the door bell rings. I recognize the mom and little girl. They were the ones we saw coming in as we were leaving. We also pass them each morning as I head home. See they live like 4 houses from the school so wait for the first bell before leaving their home. We live down the street and around the corner so we leave our home a bit sooner. Plus we pick up another girl on the way. Anyhow, the mom has seen me around the neighborhood so knew where we lived when the librarian mentionned that "the mom and little girls leaving were the ones the money was taken from." So the mom brought the little to our home and asked for Katelyn.

An embarrassed and repentant looking Kayla quietly said "I'm sorry I took your money." Katelyn said "thank you." The mom explained to me what had transpired on her end. They had decided not to have their daughters do the workshop since they were done with all their shopping. However the grandparent volunteer handed the envelope to Kayla by mistake. Kayla told her mommy that she knows the name wasn't hers but saw there was money in it and that all her classmates were getting things and just had to buy things too. So she ripped open the envelope and took the money. Being only 7 years old, obviously she wasn't thinking that it would go unnoticed by mom.

This story could have had a different ending. It's very rare that you find honest people these days. Esp in my area. A lot of the parents would have just brushed it off as a loss on our part and let their child keep the stuff. But this mom taught her child a valuable lesson. A lesson in honesty. And in doing so also taught her that it is wrong to steal, taught her how to make ammends (returning the items), and how to apologize for our wrong doings. Big lessons for a child. And though my daughter did nothing wrong, I was able to teach her a lesson in all that by explaining and discussing the situation to Katelyn.

I felt really bad for the girl and knew it was not easy to come and apologize. I let her know that I know what she did was wrong but that I thought it was nice of her and very brave of her to come and apologize for it. I also thanked the other mom for instilling all these values in her daughter because the world needs more parents like that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It's wet and raining here in southern California on this Wednesday in December.

The cats have taken over my couch. They think it's the warmest spot in the house it seems.

And Laura has decided that today is a jammie day. That's 3 year old has decided that today is a great day to refuse to get dressed. She will let me change her pull up when needed but that's it. Today is a jammie day and there's no changing it. I don't give in to my kids' demands very often.....but jammie day I can live with. Esp when the jammies are this cute. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Making Memories

Having kids is all about making memories. From the moment of birth we are recording even the tiniest of experiences either in our minds and hearts, in a journal, by photo, or any of the combined. The past few days we've been making some fun memories of our own. We took pictures for these moments. Come...take a look.

First up........Clark on Thanksgiving. After a nice, big, and tasty dinner he promptly fell asleep. Katelyn was heading out the door to help my sister walk her dog so she stuck her bear in daddy's arms and told him to baby-sit. In his sleep, he cuddled with it. Isn't he just too cute for words?! :)

On Saturday we had both the elders and sisters over for dinner. Katelyn and Laura had found out earlier in the month that Elder Anderson had a birthday on November 29th so they insisted we have them all for dinner to celebrate. Clark grilled up steaks and made salad and mashed potatoes. Thanks to his sister, who is on my facebook list, I found out Elder Anderson loves cheesecake so that was what we had for dessert. We got him a small journal to record addresses of members and missionaries and for them to write notes in as well. We left the first one. I had one on my mission and still love to pour through it now and again. That's where I got the idea. The sisters got him a mini football and birthday masks. That's Elder Anderson there with the girls and with his mask on.

While they were at our home on Saturday, we kind of told the girls at one time to settle down or we wouldn't go get our tree yet. Elder Slade (shown here in the red hat) was like "Christmas tree?! Can we help decorate? I haven't done that in a long time!" Later before they left, when they ask the typical missionary question of "is there anything we can do for your family this week?", my husband said "Sure, come by tomorrow night and help us decorate the tree." They were totally excited and even double checked on the time at church the next day.
Elder Slade saw we had a couple of Santa hats. Red and pink. As senior comp he made sure to wear the red hat. What they didn't realize at first was the hats say "princess" on them. They quickly turned them around. haha! Elder Slade made sure to put the breakable ornaments on top. Not bad for an elder who hasn't been around kids much it seems.
Laura gets a boost up to the top from Clark. She had a blast getting hoisted up a few times.
Here is Katelyn putting hooks on some of the ornaments. This is the first year I've had them help. Normally I do it but this year I just let them have fun with daddy and the missionaries. They had a blast and I think it's a tradition I'd like to continue from now on.
Laura and Elder Anderson pause for a photo.

Elder Andersn got the pink hat. A little girly but hey he would have voted yes on 8 if he was a California resident so it's all good. LOL!

The girls and the elders in front of the finished tree before they left for the evening.

And this entry wouldn't be complete without a picture of the finished tree. Everyone did a great job and the tree looks the best ever! I can't wait for family and friends to see it so we can tell them all about our fun evening.
Oh and if you all are wondering where I was during the all the fun........I was in the kitchen heating up some my mom's hot apple cider mix (1 gallon apple cider, 2 cans pear nectar, 3 cans peach nectar, 3 cans apricot nectar, handful of cloves, 6 cinnamon sticks and heat) and baking chocolate chip cookies to warm everyone up. Yum!
We had fun making our memories and look forward to making many more this month and throughout the coming year.