Thursday, December 29, 2011

Home For Christmas

I was able to take 4 days off from work to head to Seattle to be with my family for Christmas.
I flew in on Christmas Eve.  It was probably the most beautiful descent I've ever had on any flight.  It was right at sunset.  It was so pretty on top of the clouds and then when we dropped below, we saw Mt. Ranier along with the sunset and it was breathtaking.  I wish my pictures turned out better.
I didn't really take any pictures that night, but we got a bunch from Christmas morning on!  Susannah got this one of cute little Evie in front of the tree.
She also got some video of her opening presents
Evie definitely seemed more interested in playing with the boxes and wrapping paper than anything!
We went to church that morning at 10:00 am.  Susannah wanted some cute pictures of Evie in her Christmas outfit in front of the tree, but she kept yanking her headband off before we could get any good ones.  My dad stuck it on like this and made Evie smile.
We settled for a few cute shots without the headband.
The next day, us girls did some shopping at the mall.  We saw a cute carosel and couldn't pass it up!  I went with her.
She had a pretty somber/concerned face, but she was making noises the whole time that let me know she was having fun.
The next day we went out for some grocery shopping.
I had to snag a video of her walking since it's such a novelty to me.  I hadn't seen her do it in real life until I came out for a visit.
Much to her parents' dismay, Evie seems to have taken an interest in World of Warcraft.  My brother plays a lot and she got up on his lap once and started mimicking they way he typed on the keyboard.  It was pretty cute.
Another thing that cracks me up is how much Evie LOVES looking at pictures of herself.  If anyone is sitting at my parents' computer, she'll beg to get up on their lap.  They have a whole folder full of Evie photos that they'll put on "slideshow."  She can watch it several times and doesn't usually like to get down.  In this video she's enjoying the pictures AND the music!
I also have a folder of Evie pictures on my computer so I was showing her.  I thought I'd sneak a quick picture of us, but she didn't look too amused.  She really is super smiley and funny until the camera comes out!
My dad got a remote control plane for Christmas.  We had a good time watching he and Adam try flying it.
Today is Adam's birthday.  Susannah made him an awesome cake.
My mom actually made the frosting and Susannah made the trees and the fly-fisherman out of chocolate.  It turned out really cute.
I think I'm going to have to try this sometime!
I gave Adam this i-pad tips and tricks book for his birthday and I think he'll get some good use out of it.
Here's the happy couple!
I tried to get a smiling picture, but no luck yet.
Evie has been a picky eater - or more a girl who'd rather play with her food than eat it, but not so with avocados.  I got a kick out of her going to town on them!
Ready to blow out his candles.
Here's the video of it.  I'm only about halfway through my time here, but knew I had a lot to post, so I thought I'd break it up into a couple of posts.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Relief Society Christmas Dinner

For the last while, I've been the "additional Relief Society meetings" counselor in the RS presidency.  We usually do an activity a month and we planned a big dinner for December.
First of all, let me say that I have an awesome committee and we have a great ward with lots of great and helpful people.  The two in the middle of this picture - Shauna and Kelly are on my committee, and Trena (left) just came early to help out.  We had the activity at Kelly's mom's place - Karen (right).
Dorothy (left) is Kelly's grandmother and also lives with Karen.  She and Karen were big helps too.  Theresa (center) and Ashley (right) are fantastic members of my committee.
Sorry - drink holders.  Very handy and now on my wish list! :)
We were able to set up for 44 people in her main living room.  Ashley had the idea to use real China so several people let us use their plates and goblets.  It was a nice dinner.  We had it catered from Italianos.
Kelly had this awesome garland she'd made for her banisters at home, but we used it for table centerpieces.  The whole activity was a big success and I think we'll make it annual thing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

I was just realizing I haven't posted in awhile.  It's been a busy few weeks, but I haven't taken many pictures.
One I did take is of my Christmas tree this year.  Besides the lights, I pretty much just used natural decorations. 
I put dried orange and lime slices and chains of cranberries.  I like the citrus because it's like little stained glass windows.
I did get together with some friends and we made these cute little graham cracker houses.  They turned out pretty cute.  Mine's in the middle.   I head to Seattle in a couple of days and I can't wait to be with family!  I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


One of the downsides of my new job is that I definitely have less time off.  At school this year everyone got a week off.  Me?  Thursday.  I will admit, though, that we got off early on Wednesday and only have to work a half day on black Friday tomorrow.  I didn't get to be with my family - the first time since my mission, I think. The Calls - my relative here in town went out of town for Thanksgiving so I was a little worried about being here by myself.  Luckily, though, (for me anyway) my cousin Shalene and her kiddos were here for Thanksgiving so we planned to have dinner together.
I made this pumpkin pie along with some sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, and stuffing.  Shalene made the turkey, potatoes, and an apple pie.
Here are her cute kiddos enjoying the feast.
We got a pictures with our pies before dessert.  Both were delicious.
Here's our little spread.  I was so stuffed and had to come home for a nap!

Visiting PFE

The other day I was looking at my old school website and noticed that there was an open house for grades K-2 one evening.  I decided to take the day off (I needed to take another one before the end of the year) and get some stuff done.  I then made some Navajo Tacos and took them to my old teammates since I knew they'd be stuck up at school for a long day/night.
It was so great to see everyone.  I also loved it because the second graders were having a performance so I got to see a bunch of my old students all together.  They spotted me watching from the back of the room and were waving.  I bunch of them ran up to me afterward and we had some fun little chats.

Robbie & Brad

Some of you may remember that a couple of summers ago, I got to babysit a little 7 month old boy named Robbie.
This is my favorite picture I took of him during that week.  It was so fun and he was such a good little guy.  I was so sad to take him back at the end of the week!  Sadly I hadn't seen him since I took him back . . . 
until the other day!  Luckily, I now work with his dad and he invited me to Robbie's 2nd birthday party.  He's so big!
Here he is with his mom and grandma and new little brother (who looks a lot like Robbie did when I watched him).
At the party we watched a video of Brad and Jake singing at a stake dance for the youth.  Robbie liked the music and was dancing up in front of the tv.  So cute.
 Recently it was Brad's (Robbie's dad) so I made him a cake.  He requested something pumpkin flavored.
 I had seen this idea on Pinterest and thought I'd try it out.  I just made two pumpkin bundt cakes, turned one upside down and put them together.  I frosted them with cream cheese frosting.  The stem was quite the undertaking.  I put a plastic cup upside down in the middle and rested the stem, made out of some stuff similar to fondant.
 Brad was excited to try it and it was a big hit.
I had to get a picture of the inside with the cup showing because it cracked me up! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I had a couple of fun Halloween activities.
Our ward had a trunk or treat and RS was in charge.  It was an easy one.  I just bought rootbeer float stuff and Kenna and I manned the booth while the kids went around and got candy.
I loved this little peacock costume.  Sorry it's a little blurry!
I loved April's costume.  She's pregnant and added the baby skeleton to her costume.  I thought it was super cute.  Nate showed up for a quick visit.  He was in town to see his kids over Halloween, but I forgot to take any pictures.
Katherine's birthday is on October 30th.  We had a little dinner party for her on Halloween, though.  About half the folks there dressed up.  Here are a few of them.  Justin was a "chick magnet,"  Scott was . . . not sure if there's an actual name, but he went all out.  I don't know Kath's pirate friend, but Katherine's old lady costume was awesome.  The sign on her says Granny Smith and it has the grocery store code on it.  She's funny.
Scott had his nails painted and even had a purse with make-up in it.  We got this one of him reapplying some lipstick.  It was hilarious!
Here's looking down the table.  There were lots of people there.
Katherine was also reapplying lipstick a lot.  Like any "stereotypical" grandmother, she was kissing everyone on the cheek.  It cracked me up.  No, I didn't dress up.  I was lame this year and had no ideas.
I got Katherine this cake but forgot candles.  Chuy's gave me this little "chip" to light.  It worked really well.
Here's a better shot of Granny Kath.  She wore a body suit with a saggy chest and a saggy pooch.  It was hilarious!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My new job

I've been wanting to get some pictures of my new job, but working at Merrill Lynch isn't as conducive for taking pictures as teaching first grade is!  I do have a few now, though.
When Jen came to have lunch with me, I had her take a picture of me at my desk.  One of my favorite things is that you can see Alan Skidmore in the background.  I work with a lot of great people.
This is a professional shot of our team.  I would have liked to take a less formal one, but they have rules about what you can have for websites and stuff.  This is one that will be posted in a lot of places for our group.  I really enjoy working with these folks.
. . . especially on Halloween! :) 

Austin Mid-Singles Activity

A few weekends ago there was a mid-singles activity in Austin.
13 of us girls stayed at the Williams' lake house.  The activities were great, but I was sad we didn't get more time at the lake too!
One of the 13 was Julie who flew in for a surprise visit.  I was glad she came with us.  With Julie around, you have to be on guard.  She reverted to an old girls' camp prank and hung Katherine's bra on the flagpole.
Katherine was down by the lake and saw it going up.  We heard her shout from down there, but she was too late.  The colors had been raised.
There are actually two houses on their property which was perfect for so many of us.  This is looking up at the deck of the bigger house from the ground.  I hardly took any pictures this weekend.  I need to get some from Mauren!
I did get one of the three of us.  Love those girls!