Saturday, June 30, 2012

Celebrating her baby


My very good friend Christie and her husband Justin are having her little baby girl next month and in honor of her, Christie's mother and sisters threw her a wonderful baby shower. We returned from California just in time to attend her shower that weekend. It was great to see Christie again and celebrate her little girl and we are so excited that we will be here in Arizona to meet their baby girl before we move back East!! 
This little girl is very lucky to have Christie and Justin for her parents. I look up to them so much and I know she will too!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beating the 110+ heat in Arizona

Those owners at Water & Ice know what they are doing. 
Have people come in to fill there water jugs with great water  
and offer ice cream  
and Jones Soda too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Look to the Temple

 We were so excited when Amanda agreed to babysit Taryn so we could enjoy an afternoon at the Mesa Temple. It had been nearly a year since Tyson and I were able to go to the temple. After years of living in Arizona and having a temple so close, a year seemed like way too long! What a wonderful experience to be able to go again after so long. I could feel the Spirit of God so strongly inside the holy walls of the temple.  I want to attend as often as possible now that we are close to a temple again. I'm grateful to be able to go to the temple and be with my sweetheart. 

I was reminded after visiting my sister's home in St. George about President Thomas S. Monson's challenge to "Touch the Temple." In her home, she has a wall dedicated to a map of Utah where you can see the pins marking each place where, as a family, they have touched the outer temple walls of many temples in Utah. With each place, they have also taken group pictures to remind their children once again of their memories of being on Holy Ground. I thought this was such a great way to teach your children what the temple is and how it can be a constant influence in your life as you set the goals while you are young to "Look to the Temple" (Elaine S. Dalton, 2009 BYU Women's Conference) and one day enter into it's hallowed walls.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Scorpion Hunting

Tyson killed a scorpion outside while we were working and I think it scared him. He said it exploded when we killed it. Gross. He wanted to check the yard for more scorpions so that we would know if Taryn could play back there. 

So he went scorpion hunting.

You have to wait until it's dark to go scorpion hunting because you use a black light flashlight to see the glowing bodies of the scorpions. Grossed out yet?

Tyson took two of his nephews out with him and they were all excited to find out what lay in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard. I could hear the boys from inside the house as they yelled with excitement  when they found one, two, three scorpions outside. But they weren't trying to kill them. They wanted to catch them. One of my nephews brought a mason jar to collect the little creepers but they were only successful in catching 1- after accidentally taking off it's stinger.

 Fortunately we live on the same cul-de-sac as our exterminator and he comes every month to spray the home, which is typical in Arizona. They can be alive outside - fine by me. I'm just glad we don't have to worry about them being alive inside the house. I'm happy to have an exterminator who keeps those creepers outside of the home!

Tyson says that the scorpions stick out like a sore thumb once you shine the black light on them.
My old roommates who were born and raised in Arizona used to tell me about scorpion hunting and how they would do it for fun. I didn't really understand what was "Fun" about it until I could hear the boys outside and then listening to their stories of how the other 2 scorpions got away. As long as they wear closed toed shoes and long pants, I'm fine with Scorpion Hunting fun!

A Labor of Love

My mother-in-law and father-in-law return next Sunday to Arizona after serving in Thailand as Mission President for 3 years. We are super excited and can't wait to see them!

The family has been busy preparing for their arrival (especially Janette and Travis!) as we anticipate their return. We are currently living in their home in Mesa until the end of the summer so we are trying to help out as much as we can on the literal "Home Front."

As we worked in the front yard the other day, I thought about how wonderful it is to be preparing for their homecoming and how the whole family is becoming more and more excited with each passing day.

We are also very grateful to Mike and Janis for letting us live in their home for the rest of the summer before we move out to Washington D.C. It will be great to catch up and spend time together before we move again.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Waffle Beach and Crescent Bay Beach and my California love keeps growing

While in California we had to make a stop off at the beach and revisit our favorite spots. Mom took us to Stuft Surfer that has the best Belgium waffles, breakfast burritos, and fresh squeezed orange juice. I love eating with my feet in the sand. It was almost 1 year exactly that we were here saying goodbye to my parents before we took off on our Italy adventure. Taryn could hardly stand back then and now she was literally rolling in the sand, kissing it, and laying on it. She was in love and it made my heart sing. Our girl has some strong California blood running through her and it makes me proud that she loves the sand a beach as much as we do.

We also visited my favorite beach getaway- Crescent Bay. It's tucked away and never too crowded. We heard the seals barking from Seal Rock and I've seen dolphins there too. The water is very clear and I love the cool breeze mixed with my feet in the hot sand. Taryn run up and down the shore as the waves moved in and out. She yelled "Daddy!!!" every time she spotted Tyson boggy boarding in the water. Taryn buried her feet in the sand (and mine) over and over again and loved seeing her wiggly toes as she unburied them. The day was perfect at the beach. We drove a short ways down to the Shake Shack on PCH and enjoyed some yummy sweet potato fries and shakes. There are few things better than sitting and watching the waves as you sip on something sweet.

My parents gave us two movie passes that night so Tyson and I could have a little date night (THANK YOU!!!!) I thought that Snow White was a happier story than the one depicted in "Snow White and The Huntsman" but we still enjoyed it and enjoyed even more being together.

We've noticed that we've fallen into a form of "tradition" when we are in California visiting. 
Some of our favorites:
Villa Roma- The Argentinian & Italian Restaurant 
(to get the Alfajores that Tyson ate on his mission)
Crescent Bay Beach
Ruby's Shake Shack on PCH
"Waffle Beach" in Newport Beach
(delicious waffles and breakfast burritos- the the fun of having your toes in the sand while you eat)
A's Burgers 
Laguna Beach

and I'm sure we will be adding to the list

A drive from California to Arizona

Saying goodbye to Grandma Jackie

On Wednesday we packed up again, rented a car (a Ford Flex- they are awesome!) and made the drive to Arizona. We had so much stuff in the car and thanks to Enterprise Car Rentals, we were able to get a great price for our rental to fit everything. The best way to entertain Taryn while driving was playing the "Mahna Mahna" song from The Muppets movie and watch as she kicked her feet along with the beat and moved her arms and body all around. She always gets a surprised happy face on when she hears the song begin and we've been known to boogy down with her too. Lotso the Bear (thanks for letting us borrow him Brooke!) and Emi provided lots of laughter as they danced about the car. We made it to Arizona at 6pm and were welcomed with 110 degree heat. I think because the sun was setting the heat didn't bother us when we arrived but we've felt the heat a lot in the past few days.  We're happy that we were able to spend so much time in California and with family and now were are happy to be in Arizona visiting with more family!

A Beach Babe

Some fun shots that I love left over from Lake Powell.
This girl loves her water and sand.
Just in time to enjoy the many pool filled days in Arizona.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A day to celebrate great Men

We came back from the lake on Saturday and started our Father's Day celebration. We ate pizza and pies from a yummy local bakery in St. George. Each of the men picked the flavor of pie that they wanted and we feasted! Sour cream Lemon stole my heart but each were so good! The boys watched a war movie after we swam that night and the girls worked on a secret project!

My brother Tyson had to catch a fight back to Oregon early that morning so he wasn't there for the breakfast celebration but we heard that while he was in the airport wearing his new Father's Day tie, that people were taking pictures of him and sending it to their Fathers. 

We had a great breakfast for Father's Day before heading to church. The girls had worked on a special gift for the the men of the family we gifted them Sunday morning. My SIL Jen was the inspiration behind these truly one of a kind Father's Day ties. It was so fun to see the reactions of the my Dad, brothers, Tyson and brother-in-law. These ties were a gift of love and I think this will become a tradition for Father's Day in our family.

AND- these ties work as a great play toy during church meetings- Taryn was so entertained by Tyson's tie. We lost a few pieces in the process of trying to tie it and when Taryn played with a few pieces but it was worth it!

Megan opened her new home in St. George to all of us so we could have a travel hub before and after Lake Powell. We had family coming from California, Oregon, and Utah. She worked so hard to make it a great experience for all of us. It made the trip much easier to be able to travel only a few hours to the lake instead of a straight 9 hours! Thanks Megan and David! We loved seeing your new home and being able to see a glimpse into your St. George life!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lake Powell

 We had a fantastic time at Lake Powell this past week with family. Being on the lake again after two years was such a treat. Seeing family, playing in the water, watching Taryn play with her Scott cousins, and taking in all that is Lake Powell. I love the lake and being there with my family. I am grateful to my parents who put forth so much effort for this trip.

The babies of 2011 altogether for the first time.
Left to Right Quincy Tate, Oliver Scott, and Taryn Liesel



Taryn loved the Lake especially being on the shore and throwing sand or rocks in the water. She even waded in the water up to her knees by herself. She kept asking to go "outside."

This picture makes me laugh because it looks like Taryn is a fake baby. She was fast asleep and we always covered her with a towel so her legs and arms wouldn't get burned. There was always space between her hat and life jacket so she could breathe! And with the wind from the speed of the boat, we were always cool.

The boat and jet ski's put Taryn to sleep almost every time she got on them. It was a great way for us to make sure she got in her naps during the day with so much going on around us. With a little one on the Lake this year, we wanted to make sure she was always covered with sunscreen, a shirt, sun hat, and a life jacket. Luckily, she didn't mind her life jacket and would happily play with it on.

Making ice cream on the boat for dessert one night.

Giving kisses to her cousin Nataleigh. Nataleigh was so great with Taryn and they had a lot of fun playing together. Nataleigh knew just how to make Taryn laugh and it was so fun to watch these two together.

 Everyone sleeps on the top of the house boat under the stars at night. I love watching the shooting stars zoom above my head and seeing the vast amount of stars fill the night sky. One night, Taryn had a bad night sleeping and Tyson and I took Taryn downstairs to try and calm her down. Hours later, we got to sleep just before the sun rose. It was a hard night and being close to other family members (and lots of little kids) we were worried about waking up everyone. We found out the next morning that Taryn had night terrors due to lots of sun exposure. We knew that something was wrong when Taryn wouldn't fully wake up while crying. With no lights to turn on or movies to watch (the generators are turned off at night) we couldn't fully wake her up. My brother taught us a trick he used years ago at Lake Powell when his son was young and had night terrors too- hopefully this won't happen again, but if it does, we will be ready! My sister snapped these photos after everyone woke up and came downstairs.

The boys on the boat went fishing for the morning.

And the girls played in the water.

Tyson grew up on this lake and is a master of anything water. He is so happy being in the water and expanding his skills.

We played cards, danced to music, watched movies, and played games.

We wakeboarded, water skied, used paddle boards,  played on the Banana Boat and some other fun tubes. I remember the first time on this trip that I slipped on those water skis and stood up as the boat pulled me along. I was so completely happy on the water. I circled the open water around our house boat and played around in the wake of the boat like it was second nature. As we rounded by the house boat, I dropped my left ski and continued on skiing with my slalom ski. It was so much fun. I remember being so happy as I climbed back into the boat to let someone else have a turn. This is why I love going to Lake Powell. Being on the water is so much fun and being able to wake board and water ski is the best. I love being able to be with family in such a beautiful place. I'm happy to share these experiences with Taryn as we float together in the water and play on the shore.