Thursday, December 12, 2013

So much to be THANKFUL for!

Our Gratitude Tree
It has been so fun adding leaves to our tree this month!
I don't consider myself a creative person, but I am proud to say I did come up with this by myself - without pinterest. :)
We really miss fall colors and every time I see this tree I smile! Anyone who has visited our home (and many who haven't) have added a leaf to our tree. This is our second year - though I am much more pleased with the tree design this year - and I believe it's a tradition that we will keep!

SO grateful for our AMAZING family! Missing you all!

We LOVE Aunty Mibi!
Most Sundays we sit at church by Aunty Mibi and the girls typically choose to ride home from church with her. (And I ride home all by myself . . .)

 Father-Daughter Hike to Wailele Falls for activity days.

 Charmaine had never been on a hike before. Even though it took us 5hrs round-trip, she never gave up and didn't even really complain even after falling a few times. I was so proud of her!

Kenna being brave and jumping off the rock. (Sorry for the blurry picture.)
Yes, she is wearing socks. :) Her tennis shoes were too small so she got some serious blisters on the way up that hurt when she jumped into the water. We tossed the shoes AND the filthy socks when we got home. The hike down was challenging because her heels hurt. She did great - especially after reminding her that "There is nothing so bad that whining doesn't make it worse."

Bryn and Kait helping Mom make Grandma Peggy's strawberry pie.

 Since we couldn't be with family, we did the next best thing - 
the beach with friends!
This is beautiful Kahana Bay. I think this will be the backdrop of our next family pictures.
Our friends borrowed a few kayaks so we ventured out into the ocean and explored up a few channels that flow into the ocean. So much fun!

Thinking of Uncle Norm and Aunt Judie!

We LOVE it when it is SOUP weather and we can dust off our snowman dishes!

Mike was the Devotional speaker Nov 26th.
You can watch or read at:
He did a great job! "Be There and Be Happy!"

We were SO blessed to have Mike's Mom out for Devotional. We all LOVED having some really fun Grandma time!

 That's one tired Ladybug Girl!
This didn't actually happen in November, but it was too cute not to post it. :)
 She fell asleep on the walk home after trick or treating. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

September and October

Since my family is spread about as far as possible across the US (Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, Utah and South Carolina), we started a family blog to help us keep in touch better touch with each other. We've all committed to posting on the first Sunday of the month (though some of us didn't today). I figured I might as well add it here also. Maybe that will inspire me to get back into posting and recording our lives.

It was a very busy summer, that led into a very busy fall with a new school year, a bunch of birthdays, mainland trips, and some memorable BYU–Hawaii events. Here's a smattering of our happenings. 

Whitney's 12 and is loving the responsibility of getting to babysit and being involved with student council at school. Here she comes, Beehives!

Celebrating with her friends :)

Remember THIS game, Jones siblings? I'm sure all of us played it at least one of our parties! 
Two dice are rolled and when someone gets doubles, they put on the mittens and try to unwrap a kiss with two spoons. When someone else gets doubles, they get to steal the mittens.

Kait turns 3! She is so funny and full of spunk!

Bryn's Birthday Sunrise
We really live in a beautiful place! Mike and I began running three mornings a week back in March (yes, we love being able to run year-round). Besides getting to spend uninterrupted talking time, we get to see the sunrise most days. It's a wonderful reminder of God's love for us! 

Bryn turned five on October 3 - third b-day in four weeks (we're birthday-ed out!). 

Our little Merida.
Ever since she watched the movie "Brave" she has been trying to make a bow and arrow out of anything she could get her hands on. So for her birthday, I made her one like the ones Krystal made at Grandpa's funeral. She was SO excited!

Bryn's party.

Each fall break our elementary school does a "play in a week." Sixth graders help write the script, auditions are Wednesday before break and practice starts Monday. With only two hours per day, the lines, costumes, and set all come together ready for the performance on Friday. This year's play was "The Case of the Missing Porridge," where two detectives went looking through fairy tale forest for the bears' missing porridge visiting several different fairy tale scenes. Kenna performed a dance as one of the ladies in waiting in the Rumplestiltskin scene and Whitney was Mary Q. Contrary, the lead detective. Both did amazing and I was one proud mama!

Mike's first fall trip was to UT for some meetings and he got to see the beautiful fall colors! Of all the things I miss (besides family, of course) the fall colors are at the top of that list!

Timing worked out perfect to drive up to Pocatello to surprise attend Cahlin's baptism. HE really enjoyed being with family - (and we wished we could all be there)!

The boys hot-rodding with Uncle Mike in his rental car.

Kenna as Super Citizen-chosen for outstanding academics and taking initiative to help a fellow classmate.

Another run and a beautiful rainbow.

Liberty Bell
Mike's second fall trip took him to Philadelphia for the PRSA conference. He couldn't leave without seeing some of the historical sites there. 

The Rocky Statue
Those steps can be killer!

Happy Halloween! 
Annabeth (from Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief), a gypsy, witch and Ladybug Girl! (If anyone said that Kait was a ladybug, she quickly corrected them that she was Ladybug GIRL!)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Mainland Trip

And we're here! After our not-so-restful red-eye flight from Honolulu to Salt Lake City, Alan, Lynette and boys met us at the airport during our layover before our flight connected us to Idaho Falls. They brought us breakfast-THANK YOU GIFFORDS!-bagels, yogurt, and smoothies. (They didn't tell us it had spinach until after we drank it.) Such an awesome way to start our trip!
What kid doesn't like playing on the escalator?!
Cute Jakey!
We began our trip at the Burtons to give us a chance to adjust to the time change. Jill made her famous Mickey Mouse pancakes for us.
We love the Meek Family!
(My socks are mismatched on purpose-I am a fan of fun socks, but the only time I put socks on now is when I am exercising. And unfortunately even that hasn't happened much lately. So I enjoy wearing socks when we are back on the mainland.)
Bob was amazing Brynlee with his "magic" trick making his pen disappear and re-appear. Looks like someone is ready to be a Grandpa! It was so fun listening to them both laugh together! It kept her entertained for quite awhile.
Brynlee tring to see if she could make it disappear.
Making St Patrick's Day cookies with Jill
We, unfortunately, spent the beginning of our trip sick. Whitney and half of Melinda's family got Influenza B so we were quarantined to the Burton's basement so we didn't share germs. It was killing us that we were so close but didn't get to be together. Luckily everyone was mostly better before the baptism.
Silly Faces!
Dinner with Brian and Kalene
Mike and Brian met in Honduras and were roommates at Ricks the semester before Mike and I started dating. It was fun re-connecting with them.
All the kids-Sterling is seriously out-numbered when we add our four girls to their three! It is so fun to watch kids pick up where they left off. They had a lot of fun together!
Somehow I didn't get a picture of Aunt Judie, but we were so happy to get to have the Jensens at the baptism to share in Kenna and Bekah's special day!
Grandma and Kait hanging out watching the fun. After the baptism, we joined the Johanson party at their hotel pool.
Bailee's family couldn't make it to the baptism, but we asked if we could borrow her for the weekend, so she got to come up from UT. It was so fun having her-she is such a doll! Even though they don't get to even talk much they are still such good friends. This is a friendship that will last forever!
Morgan and Jessica
I had the hardest time getting a picture of these four! They wouldn't all hold still at the same time!
Silly kids!
All the Johanson girl cousins-Bryn wouldn't smile for anything. I think she was a little overwhelmed with all the festivities from the baptism.
Mike and all his sibs

Driving to UT to give Bailee back to her family. SO glad she could spend the weekend with us! These three laughed and talked the whole way.

Well-almost the whole way. Kenna crashed about 10 mins away from Bailee's house.

Bryn and Aunt Stef

Beautiful Wasatch Front

Jimmy is learning to play the trombone-just like Uncle Mike and his brothers, so he put on a little concert for us.

Then it was Mike's turn-he hasn't played a trombone since high school. :) We were all impressed!

Goodbyes are never fun! :( After the baptism we moved the party (minus Jonathan and family) to Jenna's house. It was nice to have a little more time that wasn't quite so crazy.

After our party at Jenna's we moved to Lynette's.
One day Uncle Alan instigated a "war" that was SO fun! We put the play tents up as the dividing line and used all soft toys as ammo. Adults vs the kids. I LOVE making fun memories like these! There was lots of laughter all around. We also tried again to have a Phase 10 re-match, but Alan must be too afraid to lose to me. The first game started when I went to Kansas in 2008 when Jake was born. (Jakey was on my team.) But we never finished the game. The next time was at our family reunion in Oregon and when Alan started to lose Jake conveniently "needed" him. Apparently Jake is still on my team. :) Another game began at their house this trip but we only made it half-way through the game. I'm pretty sure he is mostly just scared! :)

Kaitlyn and Aunt Nette just chilling

Sisters' Date
Em, Lynette, Me and Jess-letting our hair romantically blow in the wind.
These sisters adopted us when we moved to MT-we had so much fun with them in HS and continue to create awesome memories with them. LOVE THESE GIRLS!

We went bowling and laughed SO MUCH! From hassling the poor guy trying to do his job to Jess struggling to get on the board to our left-handed round, we had a blast!
On our way back up to Idaho, we stopped to spend some time with Jas and his kids. (Katy was working.) I didn't get any pics of all the kids, only Sienna and Bryn. They were so cute together!

What is this white stuff?!
This trip was a little tricky, we had to buy pants and shoes and jackets. Luckily we had cousins to borrow some stuff from to supplement the things we bought. I have to admit I do miss the crisp air and sleeping under a blanket! We know it is cool in Hawaii when we turn off the ceiling fan at night!

Back at Melinda's we had a girl party and french tipped/stickered everyone's toes.

Cute kids! We miss living 2.1 miles away!!!

The birthday girls-we made rolly pancakes for them to have since Bekah hadn't had hers yet.

Kait and Aunt Melinda

The day before we left it snowed a few inches overnight. When Bryn woke up and looked outside she was amazed that it was "all white!" They loved getting to play in the snow before we left for home.

YUM! Can't enjoy the snow without tasting it!

Caloway and Kait

Maren (a friend from our old neighborhood) came to play with the girls-once again it was so fun to see them not even skip a beat even though they haven't seen each other for awhile.

Mike and Dale BBQ-ing with snow patches on the ground. It's never to early to BBQ! Awhile ago we were BBQ-ing in Hawaii and the girls commented that the only thing missing was the Desmonds. It was so great to live so close and get to spend so much time with them! Maybe again someday.

Cousin sleepover the night before we left for home.

Trips are never long enough and filled with WAY too many goodbyes! But lots of great memories too!