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.


January 2014

Happy New Year

One of our favorite traditions is spending New Year's Eve as a family.  We team up with several fun families and everyone pitches in with games, dance prizes and breakfast. 
Tom's sister Ruth always holds a big dance-off.  She places several numbers taped down on the sport court and while the music plays, everyone dances around.  When the music stops you bogey on to a number.  If Ruth calls your number, you pick it up and come claim a prize.  The prizes progress from goofy to cool.  The longer you stay in, the better the prize will get.
The only downside to staying in the dance is that you have an audience.
I know my kids are always relieved to see me get out in the first few rounds.

After we got our groove on, we held a big breakfast.  Pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and spam.
Yes, SPAM-and it is surprisingly so yummy sliced up and cooked on the grill.  The Cowley family introduced us to this delicacy.  The Cowleys also put on an amazing firework display.  

We held our annual Polar Plunge on New Year's Day.
This is as tough as we Arizonans get.
The kids jump in the pool and swim across to the hot jacuzzi.  
Kate Bunker, Sophie Sampson, Charlie (friend), Travis Tingey, Ike, Ava Sampson, Bret Bunker, Blake Tingey, Luke Shill and Cole

Rachel and Carol Tingey along with my mom

Since they were willing to participate, we fed them lunch.

These two cool cats rode home with the stereo pumping on Jack's new hog.

Tom and I got invited to a lunch with some of my old high school friends.
So fun to laugh and catch up with these guys. A couple of fun facts about this group.
My cousin on the far left, Jason Bagley, helps create those Old Spice commercials.
He has even won an Emmy, so he had some fun stories to share about that.
The girl to my right, Christeena (Riggs) Driggs who is married to my good friend Jeff Driggs, was a Broadway star.  Among some of her roles, she has played
Glenda in Wicked and also Cosette and Eponine in Les Miserables.  They currently live in NYC with their darling two little girls.  We got to spend some time with them when we went there in October.

Family Picture Attempt

Getting a grandchild picture is like herding cats--pretty darn near impossible.
Faces are cut-off and toddlers are escaping left and right.  
This was the best we could do with my lack of photo shop skills.

I never pass up a chance to get a picture with these 4 together.  
I can't stand to think of 
Cole flying our nest in a few months.  

My brother Clint's family.

Chad with Carissa and baby Elle

My sister Aryn's family

My sister Michele's kids.  

My step sister Kippy's family

My step brother Clay with Heather and cute Jenna

My step sister Shelley's family- the Cooley's

After the family photo challenge, we celebrated Big Grandpa's 90th Birthday.
We sure love this man and his big laugh and sense of humor.  
I am so grateful for the fond memories 
and traditions that are connected to him.  

After the holidays were all wrapped up and the kids were back in school, 
I headed to snow covered Idaho to help my sister Aryn organize her new house.  
I mostly just cuddled her 4 month old baby Jack for hours and had lots 
of conversations with 5 year old Luke.
The Sampsons have a happy home and it was so nice to see her Idaho life.

Ya, not a good photo of me....but look at little Jack.  I am in love.

My sister is always so thoughtful and she had this welcome basket waiting for me.
She knows my fav treats.

Isaac performed with the "Junior Suns" at the Mountain View H.S. pep assembly.
This was started years ago when Cole was little and somehow it has kept going all these years.  
They put on a little skit and then compete against some of the starting varsity players.
Isaac has loved it but did announce his retirement due to "getting too old to be cute."

Some of the varsity players and Head Coach Gary Ernst.  
Coach Ernst was there when I went to Mountain View- way back in the day.


So I thought this was a fun birthday idea that my sister in law Carol cooked up for her daughter Coco's 16th birthday. She rented a limo and it took Coco with her cousins on a progressive dinner.  
They had a stop for appetizers at their cousin Molly's house, salads at grandma's, dinner at her friend Tessa's, and the dessert was served back home where friends gathered for a surprise party.   

The girls met at our house so 
I grabbed a couple of shots before they went to pick up
the birthday girl.

When an LDS temple is built and finished, they hold an open house so that the public can walk through and see it before it is dedicated.  We went through the Gilbert, Arizona temple open house.
It is about 20 minutes from our home.
A lot of what we do in the temple is centered
on eternal families so it was neat to go through it with our children.

Photo courtesy of LDS Newsroom

Meg's club volleyball season is in full swing.
She plays the position
of libero and isn't afraid to dive for that ball. 

For Christmas this year, we gave some of our college friends tickets to Toad the Wet Sprocket, a band that was popular "back in day."  They are one of Tom's favorite bands and he likes to blast their music while in the shower.  I think our neighbors can probably hear him singing along.

When I uploaded this photo that we took at the concert, I noticed that it was photo bombed by a
guy I went to homecoming with my junior year of high school.  He is the dark haired guy, on the right, with the big smile.  I didn't run into him that night, but he made it into our photo.  
Small world