This is my simple photo journal. I like to take pictures and once a month or more, I load them onto this blog so that we can remember some of our family highlights.



After I got the kid's school schedules squared away, I took a quick trip to visit my sister Bridgette.
She happens to live in paradise with her husband, Corey, and Baby J.
Corey received a good job offer and can work while schooling at BYU Hawaii.
So, they moved out last spring.  

Their place (for the summer) sat right on the beach.

with this view from their balcony

and a little private beach cove 100 yards away

As great as paradise is--- 
I really came to hug and kiss on this yummy nephew of mine.

...and spend as much time as possible with this crew. My mom flew out with me 
but stayed for a couple weeks longer. 
It was so much fun.
The only thing missing was Corey.   He works long hours-- 6 days a week.
He didn't get home until about 10:00 every night.  
They are looking forward to school starting up and less work hours.

It was fun to watch my mom enjoy the beautiful surroundings and her grandbaby.  
She had a perma-grin the whole time.
My mom is just an easy, happy, content person.  
  She sees the silver lining in everything. We sometimes
give her a hard time about it--but I hope I can be more like that.  
I also wish I had inherited her long neck.  
I have the neck of a football line-backer
compared to her.

My sister Bridgette and I are almost 17 years apart.  
I left for college when she was 18 months old.
I remember her as a little ragamuffin wearing leotards with roller skates.

It has been so fun to become friends as she has grown up.
She is an anchored, content, and happy person.
She married an amazing guy.  Everyone loves Corey.

Motherhood becomes her

We made a couple of trips to the North Shore of Oahu to see the LDS Temple, BYU campus, Botanical Gardens, and the Polynesian Culture Center.  It met all my expectations and more. 
 I absolutely loved it all.

Bridgette scouted out some great food places for us to try.
I am a bit of a foodie....ok, more than a bit.
I love good food and there was a lot of it on this trip.

I hope this little jungle baby remembers something about his life in Hawaii.  
I hope he'll remember the smell of Hawaii....I noticed it right out of the airport.
They say that smells create the strongest memories.

About the time I took this picture of the lilly pads on steroids...I realized I had about 4% battery life left with no charger packed.  Arrghh!
I called every camera shop on the island and struck out.

 So for the rest of the trip, I did not use my camera so I could try and snap a few family pictures for Bridgette before I left.  It was killing me because there was so much I wanted to capture.
I'll never forget to pack that dang charger again.

There is nothing more beautiful than a happy family.  I am glad I had about 3% (2 minutes)
to take a few shots of them.  


Bienvenue en France

I am always searching for fresh ideas for YW activities...hopefully successful ones.
I have 3 activity ratings:   Successful (Repeat Idea later), Mediocre (one time is good enough), Flop (let's move on-- forget about it).   Tom can usually tell what kind of activity we had, by the way I come in the door.  He also gets to hear all about what I would do differently next time, whether he likes it or not.

This "Welcome to France" idea was thought up by one of the ladies that I serve with, Lisa Heywood.
Her son, Jake, just returned from serving in the Lyon, France mission.
The Heywood family did an amazing job hosting all the young women in their home.
They decorated with pictures, items, and food from France.
The highlight was Jake Heywood sharing with us French greetings, food, language,
embarrassing stories, travel, and his love of the people.
 He likened the French to the baguette he was holding-
"A little hard on the outside but soft and warm on the inside."
His enthusiasm for France was contagious. 

After our lesson in culture, we enjoyed some bread and cheese and of course crepes.
They were served with powdered sugar, nutella, whipped cream, and strawberries.
Oh. my. gosh!  How do you say delish in French?

We had so much fun, we are already planning a Japanese night in November.

 Next up, 2nd annual scorpion round-up service project...hoping it's not a flop.


First Day of School

What is on my mind at the start of another school year....


3rd Grade

Still outgrowing his clothing too quickly

Almost as tall as Cole was in 7th grade

Cracker Snacker

Sweet tooth (sneaks into the pantry when I leave the house)

Scooters to the bus stop and hides it in the bushes

Never goes to bed late---checks the clock about a dozen times to make sure

Deep thinker and conversationalist





Loves to Read

Still writes and draws everything that affects him in some way

Still coming to terms with the fact that he will be the only child at home when he is in high school

 Forgets to make his bed and pick up his room

Reads all the time




7th Grade

Always striving to better herself

Starting to really like "girl things"

Quotes movie lines  

Very generous 

Has an aversion about pulling her hair back  (I have to talk her through the occasional bobby pin)

Learning to curl her hair with a stick


Full of substance 

"Mom how can I help you?" asked daily

Doesn't like to be rushed, likes her daily routines

Tries not to boss Isaac but it is just too tempting for this little chief

Gives a good FHE lesson 

Loves helping me cook and clean

Good babysitter--always has a game plan for organized fun

Works and plays hard

Shares with me Phineas and Ferb highlights whether I ask for them or not

Sometimes gets in trouble for reading too much...there is such a thing

Makes me want to be a better person


9th Grade High Schooler

Is getting better about letting me takes pictures of her

Loves people and remembers a lot of details about them

Good with names

Loves children



Strives for what matters most

Sings and plays on her keyboard constantly

Well- rounded

Dark Chocolate

She has been looking forward to high school because she may get a cell phone...sometime(:

Pushes through her fears and makes me proud every time

Plays piano every Sunday in church

Likes to tease Isaac

Makes food for her hungry brother Cole

Freshman Volleyball player

Straight As

Punctual, Organized, Reliable



11th Grade

Always Hungry

Just passed his dad in the height department

Big on hygiene and good table manners

Surrounded by good friends

Head is sometimes in the clouds--gets a bit of nagging from me

Likes to talk things over at night with Tom


Another heavy class load this year

Hard worker on our yards and Tom's office building

Good driver

Mature but with a few moments of teenage boy showing through

Loves kids

Always wants to do the right thing

Still taking piano lessons (in protest) but plays the hymns well

Tired of hearing "You'll thank me one day" and
 "I am trying to teach you everything before you fly the nest"

Tries to enlist all of us to do the Ab Ripper with him--never any takers

Makes me feel like a better cook than I really am

Still my golden boy