Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Driving and the Holidays...

We left Dec. 18th for St. George (Bill's parents house) and the Las Vegas Bowl (BYU). It is about a 20 hour drive. Thank goodness we are use to driving long distances...our kids have been good car-travelers for many years. We were gone for 10days and spent a portion of 8 of those days, on the road! The details are too complicated to explain...just know that we needed a vacation from our vacation when we landed back in Texas on Sunday night!
It was great spending Christmas with family. We love Papa and Grandma so much. They are the best. We have to admit that the best part of Christmas was speaking to our missionary! We only had 40 minutes. But they were the best! We (I) talked fast...not wanting to waste a single minute. I was strong and didn't cry until the very end! William sounded great and even had a bit of an accent...the cadence in his voice is a bit different too. What joy he brings to us all!
We did miss a White Christmas though. It actually snowed here in Texas while we were in Utah! Go figure! Enjoy some of the highlights of our trip as you look at the pictures below...we do love to be together. We are in the business of making memories.

The Las Vegas Bowl...Enjoying some pre-game fun with Cosmo.

The kids FREEZING at the game!

Garrett hanging in Las Vegas with everyone's buddy, Peyton!

Grant and Christine snuggling up in their "Snuggies".

We enjoyed some time with Bill's ailing grandmother. Certainly we gained more from visiting her than she did. Her mind is going fast. We were grateful for some cherished moments.

Christine had fun playing with her little cousin Marra...You are never too old to play "Princesses."

Before we left Bill's parent's house in St. George, we had a family prayer. Bill's mom offered it. She prayed that our trip home would be part of our vacation and that we would enjoy ourselves. As the following pictures will show, we had a great ride home. We followed our handy-dandy GPS and it took us on a beautiful drive through Zion's National Park. It wasn't the most direct, but it was the most awesome!

Snowy mountains all around us in Zion's National Park.

It was SO cold driving through Zion' you can tell from the temperature gauge...-4 degrees!

Christine is giving a "thumbs up" to the ice that is building up on the INSIDE of her back window!

Garrett, our tuba player, had to take a picture by this "fitting" sign...too funny.

Here we are at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Most of the family at the Canyon.

Christine rocking her cool Letterman's Jacket at the Canyon!

Inside a cool tower at the South Rim of the Canyon.

Garrett catching up on his beauty sleep! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

No Pictures....Just Catching Up

I always hesitate posting something if I don't have a picture to include...but really, it's been a while since I updated this and thought I would take a moment this early (6:15) December morning. I was pretty heavily involved with the massive Nativity Exhibit at church last weekend...not the actual nativities, but rounding up musical numbers to be performed during the exhibit...20 hours of live music. It was a job that my partner and I started back in the beginning of September. Everything turned out amazingly good. We were on our feet for two days straight...and running the entire time. Such a rewarding experience...service is a good thing. No regrets here.

I spent this week getting "Christmas" bought and partially wrapped and packages sent to a few family and friends. Our decorations this year are minimal. Outside lights, Christmas tree and several nativities...the banisters aren't wrapped, the mantle isn't done...heck I haven't even found the stocking holders so I can hang the time or energy. I do have a reason for not going all out this year. We have decided to drive to St. George/Las Vegas to be with family and to see BYU play. We rarely leave at Christmas...but because it was just us for a very quiet Thanksgiving...we have decided that we need to make more of an effort to be with family. It is more work, but never something we would ever regret....the kids are excited to be with family!

Bill continues his job hunt. He's got lots of prospects and has had some interviews...we're just waiting for something to "stick". And it will. We have faith. In the meantime, he continues to do contract work, which is great! We want a permanent position, but know that there are people who do contract work forever...they like the flexibility...I can't see that being us. We like stability and someone else who will pay our benefits...:)

William is doing well. Getting ready to spend his first Christmas in the mission field. I loved being a missionary in Chile for Christmas. We joined with some elders and visited an orphanage. We served them lunch and sang some Christmas Hymns...lots of fond memories. William did say that in Colombia in his area of Barranquilla, the people totally deck their houses out with lights and decorations! The blow-up Santas and reindeer that have moving heads and music that plays if you clap your hands and tons of lights...he said it's crazy. That was not my experience in Chile. We can't wait to speak to him on Christmas Day!!!

Merry Christmas to ALL! Be safe and enjoy your family and friends and eat some really yummy food! And Cindy...if you are reading this...enjoy Hawaii for the Caspers, who are on an exotic-travel hiatus.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Go see it if you haven't already. We just got home and loved it. What a great story of what can happen if we look outside of ourselves. I cried on and off through the entire movie...big surprise for those of you who know me well :) Lots of lessons to be learned.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was quiet...we are missing family today. We will head to Austin early in the morning to visit with my dad and some of my brothers and then be home late at night. Trying to keep family ties secure in this crazy world of ours...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Seeing GREEN makes me happy!

When I log into my Juno account, the Stock Market numbers pop up. I never used to notice much whether they were RED numbers or GREEN. Well, being unemployed has caused me to focus a little more on things such as the Stock Market and what is happening there. For my birthday last month I told Bill that one of the things I hoped for was that the Stock Market would hit 10,000. It did! Happy Birthday to me!!! Then the numbers started fluctuating a bit, and falling below 10,000. Today I just noticed that they are back up a, today the sun is shinning (hooray!) and the numbers are GREEN!!! It's shaping up to be a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boo Bowl and Halloween 2009

Every year, around Halloween, the band members trade their uniforms in for Halloween costumes. This is called "Boo Bowl". It is always fun to see the creativity these kids have. There is a costume contest and I believe that one of the Drum Majors won for his cupcake costume. I thought the Energizer Bunny Drummers were great as were the kids who dressed up as all of the characters from the "UP" movie...the little scout boy complete with balloons tied to his backpack...very fun! Christine dressed up in Grant's football uniform, so glad it actually got used this season...even if it was as a costume! Garrett was "Billy Mays" the Oxyclean infomercial guy who died. He was a perfect Billy Mays...we even died his hair black. The best part of the night was watching Christine march in Grant's "too big" football cleats. It was a great night...and we kicked the snot out of Plano East! That always feels good :)

Grant insisted on Trick-or-Treating this we all tagged along. Who doesn't enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood on a crisp Fall evening? Plus, the houses in our area are too spread out, so we don't get many (any!) trick-or-treaters, thus no need to hang around and pass out candy. Therefore, we headed back to our old stomping ground. We all went, plus Shanette, a friend of Christines. In case you were wondering, Grant is a "dead John Lennon". How does he come up with these things??? I am glad that no one hasseled him about being too old to collect candy...he really is only 11, although he looks like a 15 year old. Poor baby!

This Is It

This morning we went to see the "movie", "This Is It". I must admit that I wasn't sure what to expect, but the kids wanted to go, so Bill and I tagged along. Can I just say that I loved it! I have never really been a big Michael Jackson fan, although I have loved a lot of his music over the years and as a kid I LOVED the Jackson5. The entire movie was clips of rehearsals of his concert tour...clips shot from April-June of 2009. They did a little part on the Jackson5...singing "I'll Be There" all-time favorite Jackson5 sent me back to my childhood, a happy part. I loved the "Thriller" clips. I don't care what you think of "MJ", as they referred to him, but you have to admit that he was a musical genius. A truly amazingly talented human. I thought it was pretty inspiring yet tragic at the same time. Even though there is a fair amount of "crotch grabbing", I would definitely recommend this movie...we really enjoyed the glimpse of this amazing musician.

Seniors 2010!!!

On Friday mornings when the Allen Eagles play at home, the high school has a HUGE pep rally. I remember our pep rallies when I was in high school, they didn't even compare to the enormity of these! Most of the fun for us is seeing the band march down the main hallway of the school. I know that I am a big boob...don't have them, just am one...but the band moving through the massive hall, always moves me to tears. It is so amazing to watch. I am one proud band parent! The band files into the enormous gym and the student body and staff follow them. The band plays, the National Anthem is sung, cheerleaders cheer, dancers dance and fun is had by all. Being that our football team is the defending State Champs, there is added enthusiasm for the if Texas Football needed increased enthusiasm.

One of the many traditions here in Texas are "Senior Jeans". Girls spend many hours the summer before their senior year, designing and crafting unique jeans. Here is our resident "Senior" in her custom crafted pair! We think she did a great job. The senior girls wear them for every home football game. Christine wore hers for the last time yesterday...secretly she's glad to never have to put them on again. Truth be told, they are a bit of a pain...kind of delicate. Anyway, I think it's a fun tradition. And she looks darling wearing them! (Just a bit biased, I am.)

The Friday night game was also "Senior's Night". All of the seniors who are a part of the escadrille or on the football team are recognized...notice the flower Christine is wearing...that is in honor of being a senior.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Okay...have a little fun reading the comments on the photos...just when I thought I was getting the hang of blogging, I screw it up. Oh well! I suppose you are all smart enough to figure it out. Have fun and thanks for being my family and friends! I love you all for your patience...

Catching up...

It's been a while since I posted anything. Really we live a pretty boring life...and I am NOT complaining. The kids are doing well...actually, now that I think about it...Garrett has been pretty sick for the last couple of days. In fact, Bill is at our friend's house watching the BYU/TCU game (we don't have the weird Versus channel) and I am blogging, eventhough we BOTH should be at the Adult Stake Conference meeting...I am tending to the sick and Grant was having a spaz attack because we wouldn't take him someplace to watch the game...I guess it all worked out. Hopefully someone will fill us in on the important things we are missing as I type...and I wonder...being unemployed and all, are we going to be denied blessings because we opted not to attend the meeting...I'd like to hope not. Our hearts are in the right place...tending to the sick and supporting the Lord's football team! :) Geez...I always tend to digress....We are well. Bill is keeping busy...even doing some awesome project work which more than covers our expenses and still allows him to network. Life is good.

William is doing well...happy and working hard. This last week he and his companion were given the assignment of looking for a new place to live. Apparently they are currently sleeping in the room reserved for "sick" missionaries. In his mission there are a fair amount of sick elders so they are sent to live near the mission president and his wife until they are healthy enough to return to their areas. I doubt William will mind living in a place for 2 rather than 10 elders. He said it requires a lot of patience to live with so many people. No doubt he is doing fine though.

Here are a few pictures to catch you all up on our exciting lives...enjoy....

We enjoyed some yogurt at our new favorite spot here in Allen...Yogurtville! It's yummy! Reid and Clay liked the fact that you got to serve yourself and add whatever toppings you wanted...good times...

Grant loved the visit from his Uncle Reid! They really are great friends. Here they are at Grant's football game...Grant is still on "injured reserve" so they hung out on the sidelines together...a beautiful Fall day.

Garrett is FINALLY "brace-free". Hooray! It's been a long 2 1/2 years...but well worth the hassle. He looks great!

We have had an awful lot of rain this fall. These shots are from our back patio...not an uncommon sight in these parts. I love me a good old fashioned Texas storm! This particular storm dumped a TON of water...creating "Lake Casper" once again in our backyard

And THIS my friends, is the result of so much ant hills. And they are everywhere! This one is huge. Probably 12-14 inches tall...built right into a Dwarf Nandina plant...the nerve of those things! Bill has used several bags of ant killer this fall alone. Good thing he has some extra time on his hands...he spends a fair amount fighting fire ants...oh the joys of Texas!

Christine us a Quartermaster in the marching band. I love this picture of her being silly. Band is SO good for my kids. They have a is hard work, but full of great times.

William and some "resident" Colombians. This happens to be the profile picture of one of the young men...Welcome to 2009! My how times have changed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I am Blessed!

Not sure what has brought on the added emotion in my life, but I just have to say that I feel so blessed! Although I could feel sorry for myself...I STILL miss William every minute of every day, we are STILL unemployed, I STILL need to lose that extra 20+ lbs, the laundry is STILL reproducing as we speak, yet I feel an overwhelming amount of joy! As I watched General Conference and then the special about President Monson, I was in tears! How blessed am I to know that I am not alone in this life...ever! No matter my circumstances, the Lord knows what I need and how to comfort me. I am so grateful for a living prophet who lives worthy to receive revelation for the Church and who gives guidance to the world. In a world where there is so much heartache and struggle, I am grateful to know that, come what may, I will be watched out for and taken care of because I have tried to live a life worthy of the Lord's blessings. I do have much to be grateful for. I am living a blessed life...just saying...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

News from Colombia

William wrote last night to tell us that he is being transferred to Barranquilla. He has been in Cartagena for the past 5 1/2 months and this is his first transfer. He'll be the senior companion and he'll be living close to the mission office. Because of the location of their apartment, I guess the mission president stops by to study with the missionaries. William feels a bit of pressure...I think it will be great for him. So, as I type he is most likely on a bus headed for Barranquilla. I think it is about a 2+ hour ride. Fun adventures await, no doubt. He was a little bummed because they have an upcoming baptism that he'll miss. Such is mission life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Best Friend's Weekend

For the past 5 years my best friend from college, Jennie Jenkins, and I have taken a "girl's weekend" to escape life. It's one of the best ideas we've ever had. Nothing but rest and relaxation for 4 whole days! This year was no exception. The forecast called for a 40-60% chance of rain for the entire time, but we were pleasantly surprised...a sprinkle here and there but Saturday (our pool day) there wasn't a cloud in the sky! We talked, laughed, ate, saw some sights, watched lots of movies, caught some rays, and ate some more. It is a time we look forward to all year. Thanks Jennie for putting up with me and sharing your time. Your friendship blesses my life.
Marriott Hilton Head Resort South Carolina

Paula Deen's "Lady and Sons" Restaurant. Yummy! Savannah, GA

The Citadel...Very cool place. Charleston, SC

Fort Sumter...first shots of the Civil War were fired here...Charleston, SC

Kicking back in the hotel's hammock! So relaxing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our TWO Pools

It has been raining for the past 3 days...Texas is FLAT! Our yard is no diffferent! The water has no place to go so it puddles and pools everywhere! So you can see...we now have two pools in our backyard. Oh the joys!