Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Gilbert Arizona Tempe

This weekend was the groundbreaking for the Gilbert Arizona Temple. I am so excited to be here for this! We have had the Mesa temple since the 1920's and this will be a second one right here in the valley. I am mostly excited to take my girls through it once it's finished. That is honestly my biggest excitement - to see their faces and they look upon the beauty of the celestial room and the bride's room. I can't wait. We opted out of going to the actual site and went to the stake center instead to see a broadcast. I just didn't want to battle thousands of people with a 2 1/2 year old for hours -- because I'm sure people were there very very early!

Our stake presidency has prepared for this for a while and had a stake theme all ready for us. A few months ago they asked us to go the the site and take a family picture so that we can go back once it's built and take another picture with the temple there and compare the two and see how much we've grown spiritually during that time. At the time, it was vague, but after stake conference this weekend, it all makes sense and I'm excited about it!

We haven't gone back to get another picture and we need to before they get started too much! We took this when Nate was in Texas. But we need another with him! And it was windy and the girls weren't happy and this picture isn't framed too well with the equipment in the back. Just to the right of us are some beautiful mountains - much prettier than equipment. I'll have to post an updated version with Nate in it when we get out there again.

The adult session Saturday night was great. I felt so uplifted and ready to do better in my life. Here's the blueprint that will take us "from groundbreaking to dedication" so that we can see how far we've come on our own temple (ourselves).

They are all very basic gospel principles, but there are some specific things as well. For example, we are to pray daily as families and individuals, but they don't stop there. We are to pray "that our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will increase, that He will bless each person and family living within the boundaries of our ward and stake, and that we will reach out in love and service to each other."

On "attend the temple" we are instructed to not only go frequently but to pray for those things mentioned above when we are in the temple and we are to make a goal to attend and be accountable for that goal.

For studying the scriptures individually and as a family, they gave us numerous scriptures to read/discuss as a family (the border of the paper). I will say that we have only recently (since Nate got home) started consistently reading the scriptures as a family and it has been wonderful. Even Reagan gets to read and she looks forward to it -- Nate or I will say one or two words and she'll repeat them until her verse is over. It's funny because if she's doing something else and doesn't have her BOM open (which is almost the whole time), then she insists on opening it before she'll repeat what we tell her. She loves being a part of the reading. And the girls are doing great learning the lingo as they read. Plus, I love hearing Nate teach the girls.

Under service they talked a lot about serving not just our families or ward member, but also our neighbors. I need to reach out more to neighbors. Here in the valley, I think members have a reputation of keeping to ourselves and helping each other. I think the goal here is to change that perception so that more missionary experiences will open as this temple is built over the next few years.

So here we go on a quest to become better. . .

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reagan and Ryder played together today. They have so much fun. I get to watch Chancho every Monday from 7 to noon while Tyler and Gina go to school together (how romantic!). It is so easy to watch this boy and it keeps Reagan busy while I get the girlies off to school, do yoga (or whatever exercise for the day, most often yoga), shower and get ready. My morning flies by with someone to help me keep Reagan busy -- I should thank Tyler and Gina because today is the first day in a long time that my yoga hasn't been interrupted once by Reags. They even came in during the last five minutes and did stretches with me.

Speaking of Tyler, his birthday was on the 6th. Amy had planned on making these darling cookies and invited me over to help. I love going over and learning her tricks of the trade. It was even better because these cookies were only for Tyler and Nate so I got to do a lot more hands on learning than if she'd been doing it for someone else. She's a good teacher and I am surprised at how fun and easy it is to do these! I was especially impressed with my little deer -- yes, I actually made all those tiny deer! I was more impressed that I impressed Amy with them! They turned out cute and left me wanting to make more although I have no reason to and I can only eat sugar once a week (Happy Holiday Habits). For better pictures of the cookies, go here - Amy is amazing and it made me really miss living by her.

I can't believe it's almost Thanksgiving!!!!! Seriously. The other day Reagan found this pilgrim hat and insisted on wearing it so she could be a "cowboy." I don't know where she got that but she was thrilled to be a cowboy and wore the hat most of the morning.

This weekend was the groundbreaking for the Gilbert AZ Temple as well as Stake Conference. Both were uplifting and I will work on blogging that tomorrow or Wed.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I never got a good picture of the girls so this is all I have -- after the school party and Savy's hair was all messed up instead of slicked back in her vampire bun. Oh well. I get so sick of dressing them up five times in a week! Last weekend we had our ward carnival so this weekend we ended up going to Jill's ward carnival/trunk-or-treat Friday night. So after the exciting school parade and party, we came home and got ready for the trunk-or-treat.

Savannah has had that costume since last year when we saw it on clearance at Target. She loved it and I loved that it was only $6! She's been excited for a year to wear it for Halloween. Then London fell in love with Savannah's snow princess dress from about two years ago (weird - very weird for London). She got the glasses at her school party and they definitely made the costume more "London."

London just cracks me up!

They thought I was crazy making them pose like this.


Personally, I think London should have been the vampire!
Check out those teeth!

Jill had a couple streets in her ward that had lots of members and they sent out fliers about trick-or-treating on Saturday night. So we headed over there and the girls got to go around with dad. Here they are with their Archibald cousins - Dallin, Ryan, Luke and Paige.

Sunday we had a little party. I like doing fun stuff for holidays and I love Halloween. Plus, I felt bad that the girls didn't get to go out on Halloween so I planned this fun food. They were actually fine with not going out since we'd had such a non-stop busy weekend and they already had tons of candy.

Mummy hot dogs, bones 'n blood, pumpkin bread bows with soup, and apples with caramel dip. Tasty spread. I especially liked our skeletons hanging from Grandma Norma's lamp!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I now have one less thing on my to-do list.

I voted today.

Have you voted yet?

I hope you do - Tuesday is the day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reagan and her Cousins

Reagan's best friends are her cousins.

Her cousin, Paige. It's funny because it you ask Reagan who her favorite person is, she will always answer "Paigey" even though almost every time she plays with Paige, her face gets scratched up! Paige is cute, but she's a spitfire having to defend herself in a household of boys!

Reagan has seen her sisters play a lot of Barbies lately so that's her latest thing. She always wants to do what they do. She's come up to me many times very excited to tell me that her tooth came out. She so wants to be big like them.

Ryder is her other cousin and best friend. We are so glad that Tyler and Gina moved down here because it's been very fun for the kids to play together. Ryder, otherwise known as Chancho, loves Reagan and they play so well together. He is so sweet with her.

Caleb is her other buddy, but we are sad because they moved to Tucson after living nearby for the past year. These two really got to know each other as Megan and I hung out. They are actually more like brother and sister than best friends. He always seemed to be thinking of some devilishly evil thing to do to her - like run at full speed and then push her down. But there were a few tender moments as well. She loves him and I know she misses him a ton!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Family Zoo Trip

We decided to go to the zoo yesterday. Apparently half of the valley decided to do so also because I have never seen it so dang crowded in my entire life! They had traffic signs saying the zoo parking lot was full and people were parking and walking almost a half a mile to a mile just to get there! We luckily found someone leaving and were able to park in the parking lot though.

I guess that's what you get in Arizona when the weather finally starts to cool off - people want to do things outside for a change!!

The weather was lovely.

This is where Reagan spent most of the day - with her daddy!
(her favorite person in the world)

She actually never even got in her stroller until we left the gates. That girl kept up and ran around like a maniac when she wasn't on dad's shoulders.

Maybe my girls (Savannah in particular) are getting too old for this seashell. I must have about 50 pictures of this same shot with them at various ages. It'll be fun to go back and compare.



Reagan - she loved this statue.

The petting zoo which I despise so Nate took them in. I have been forced to take them in there many, many times when I've come without him. His turn. He's more of an animal lover than me, but who loves goats - seriously?

Miracle of all miracles - we saw the cheetah!
We usually barely see him stalking in the high grasses or laying under brush, but he apparently liked the nice weather too.

Fun Family Saturday.

We also had our ward Halloween carnival last night. It's a huge ward tradition and even adults dress up. Nate and I dress up as hunters (no pictures, sorry) and gathered our vampire, snow princess and lion to head to the party.

An older couple in our ward has a lot of land with a barn which conveniently turns into a pretty darn good (scary) haunted house every year. Nate took the girls and their little friend, Anna, and ended up with three girls hanging on all parts of his body! They refused to go through the upper level of the barn. They also had a bounce house, carnival games and all kinds of good food (that I couldn't eat). Very fun. I wish I had taken pictures and I'm cursing that I didn't. I'll be sure and get some this weekend.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Back!

This time I'm serious. I have a few good reasons why I'm going to be consistent this time.

1. My cute niece, Emma, emailed me last week asking for my blog address. She lives in Montana and we never get to see her because before that it was Denver and then Boston and then England. We hardly ever see her and she wants to keep up with the girls.

2. Happy Holiday Habits. I really like this idea because all 10 things are things that I should be doing everyday anyway. And I really, really want a family picture shoot for free! Like really. One of the 10 things is to journal/blog everyday. So I've decided that between this family blog, my personal journal and my gratitude journal I can do that one every day easily.

3. I haven't been taking pictures lately. Something about blogging makes me think to take more and more pictures.

4. I have a horrible memory. And I don't want to forget all the funny little stories and things my girls say. For example, Reagan talks in her sleep. She usually cries "no sissies, no!" over and over again. Last night, however, she cried "No sissy! No London! No London, no!" Her biggest tormentor (London) torments her during the day and apparently during the night!

5. I have a lot of things to be grateful for and blogging is a good way to remember those things!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Before Nate left to work in Texas for four months, he and I went on an overnight trip to Sedona. This month it will have been 9 years since we went to Sedona on our honeymoon. It was fabulous to get away from the kids and just be together. You don't realize how much life/kids interfere in your relationship until you actually have that time absolutely alone for two days. So here are all the pictures of our trip. It's funny because most are single shots of either me or Nate (just like honeymoon pictures) unless we asked someone to snap a picture.

Above (and below) is the B&B we stayed in: Casa Sedona.

The mountain behind me is called Thunder Mountain. It is said that Walt Disney traveled through Sedona once and they believe that is where he got the name for the ride.

Imagine a cool spring morning eating a three-course breakfast here. Lovely.

Our room: Serena Vista. We loved it and although the walls look very yellow in the picture, I didn't notice them as that bright. Nate got me a massage and it was so nice because she came and set up right there in our room. It was 10:00 with our patio door and windows open with a nice cool breeze and just the sounds of nature outside. . . perfect for a massage. Even Nate, who was reading a magazine on the bed, snoozed a while. Sedona is one of the most peaceful places. I love it!

As we were driving up the road from our B&B we saw Alma de Sedona Inn -- the first place we stayed on our honeymoon (we stayed in a few different placed in Sedona - it was fun switching around). It was fun to see it and remember being there the first time.

There's a huge shopping complex with an Indian name I can't
say/pronounce/remember that is fun to wander around window shopping. They had a lot of statues too so Nate and I had some fun.

Before going, Nate looked up restaurants and found Dahl & DiLuca.
It looked fabulous, romantic and cozy. Besides we love Italian food.

We got there and the man at the front gave us this little "nook" that was cozy, dark and just perfect. Throw some rose petals on the table and there you have a romantic nook. It's funny because in the pictures the flash lights it up so much that it doesn't look that cool, but it was -- I love dark nooks!

They were fancy but not too expensive. They didn't even have soda (only wines) so we stuck with our water. And the food, well see for yourself . . . . (with the privacy of our nook we felt at liberty to snap pictures)

Nate's chicken was seriously, hands down the best I have EVER eaten.
I would drive to Sedona again just to eat this chicken!!!
It's that good.

My shrimp was perfect and the homemade noodles fabulous.

Creme Brulee - our favorite!

You hate all the pictures of yourself, but you have such good memories, so here's one we took holding the camera out.

We decided to head home leisurely through Oak Creek Canyon which takes you to Flag, then we went across the Rim and through Payson to come home.

Indian Gardens is on the road up through Oak Creek Canyon. This is where one of the first white settlers came and started farming. There was a historical marker Nate and I stopped to read about his cabin. We are total suckers for historical markers.

Below are some pictures of us in the canyon. Nate loved this hat and swore it was made for me so we got it. I must say, I don't look too bad in a cowgirl hat! ha! ha! ha!

What a great escape.
I don't know why we don't do this more often.