Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Hero

Brooklynn was nominated as a Hero for her Jr. High School. She was nominated by her teachers for demonstrating one or more of the schools Community of Caring values for Responsibility, Respect, Caring, Trust and Family. Here is what her teacher wrote about her: "Brooklynn is a fine example of our Community of Caring. she is a very kind and caring individual, eager to help those who may need it. she seeks out opportunities to help others and the teacher! Even though she might be small in stature, she is a very strong leader for her peers. she is passionate about her schoolwork and her extracurricular talents, like dancing (I guess doing skating moves on dry land looks a little like dancing to the untrained eye). I appreciate her desire to 'go the extra mile' in getting her work done in such an efficient manner. I am sure she will continue to have a positive influence on everyone she meets! How fortunate we are to have her as a studnt here at Hillcrest! Keep up the great work and keep showing that beautiful smile!"

Brook got a certificate, a pin, a medal and a cash award for being nominated and was recognized at a breakfast this morning at the school. I'm so proud of Brooklynn and her dedication to her school work. I never have to remind her to do her homework, she always turns in all her assignments and works very hard to do good work in school. She really enjoys school and has a very positive attitude. Today is the end of the term and if all stays as it is she will bring home straight A's on her report card...a 4.0 GPA. Way to go Brookie! Love You!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Book reviews

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, Book 1) Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fun to listen to on a road trip to Escalante, Utah

Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I struggeled with the first part of this book because it was so silly. The main characters foster family is so outrageous that they weren't even believable. It also seemed like he "borrowed" a lot from the Harry Potter series. There were times where I could tell that this was written by a teenage author. But I stuck with it and it got better. All around not a bad book.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Braden's first dance, and first date for that matter. He went with his good friend Megan Walker from our neighborhood. They've basically known each other since we moved into our house on Crystal River Dr. when they were 7 years old. No longer is homecoming just dinner, dance and maybe something afterward. It was an all day activity

They went hiking in the morning. They packed a picnic lunch and ate at the top of the hike to Moss Ledge. Then they stopped at the busiest 7-11 in the world at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon for Slurpees on their way down the canyon and went to a park to hang out. Then it was a few hours of separation while the girls got ready for the dance.

Here they are back at our house for dinner. They picked the girls back up around 5 pm
and had lovely Asian inspired meal. Cream cheese wantons, Lettuce wraps, orange chicken, fried rice and fortune cookies.

Here's the boys just before they left to go pick up the girls

Here are pictures of our decorated basement. The pictures really don't do it justice. It turned out so cute. Jason, Braden and I spent Thursday night hanging the white lights and lanterns. The boys spent a good hour or so on Friday cleaning up the basement. I don't think I've ever seen it so clean.

Eating Dinner

A toast to Homecoming. I promise it was just sparkling cider. We have to put the wine fridge to good use somehow

Brooklynn helped by serving their dinner. She also spent some time harassing her big brother. Of course she claims it was him harassing her, but but for the most part she was helpful.

Then it was off to the dance, which I assume was just fine as the only description I get out of Braden was "It was good."

After the dance they headed over to my sister Leisa's house. They have a great fire pit built into their backyard for doing S'mores. The kids had a great time roasting marshmellows, jumping on the tramp and playing on the swing set. Are they 6 or 16? Sometimes it is hard to tell.

Devan and Britt on the swing set

I think they all had a great time. Braden is now sleeping off the whole adventure. It was a busy day, but lots of fun. Maybe he'll be recovered enough to do it again come Prom?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oktoberfest 2009

Here I am with my beautiful little skater girl. She did such a great job at the Oktoberfest competition, and despite thinking she did not skate well placed 3rd in her division. She was so excited to get a medal and be able to stand on the podium to get her picture taken. Her group consisted of 4 skaters, three of them from our same club.

She got lots of comments on her dress. This is the first time she has competed in this outfit. We found it at our rinks skate swap. It fits her perfectly, looks beautiful out on the ice and is a very good color for her as well. Maybe it's also a lucky dress.

Here she is in the lobby of the rink getting ready for her turn to skate. The competition was running just a bit early this morning, but it sure took a LONG time for them to get the results up. Luckily it was worth the wait.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Braden's 16th Bday (July 12th)

Sixteen years has gone by in the blink of an eye! I'm so very proud of Braden and the man he is becoming. I couldn't ask for a better son (well, maybe one who does his homework, but other than that...).

Braden looking all fancy in his new suit

There were multiple family parties as we celebrated Braden's big day with all the many sides of our families.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Youth Conference

They were so dirty everyday!
Every evening they would get these ducks with a note attached of all the things they needed to have the next day. It was the "getting your ducks in a row" note.

Swimming at the Taylorsville Pool at one of the evening activities

Team 7

We were a little concerned about our ward youth conference this year. First you have to understand that our Stake President doesn't do anything small. This year he decided that our youth should do a service project. No, not just A service project, but 12. There would be 12 teams and each would go out and do a different project. All together I think they re-roofed 7 houses, built two handicap ramps onto houses and did 4 other home improvement/landscaping projects. Then after working out in the summer heat all day they met in the evenings for activities. Fun, but tiring! However, it turned out to be such an amazing experience for the youth. Braden had a really great time. Because I am a YW leader I got the opportunity to spend two of the days on two different roofing projects. It was amazing to see how the kids just jumped in and got the work done.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Brookie's First Day of 7th Grade

I cant believe how grown up she is! She had a great day, and only got lost once. She was a little upset after school today because she had left her cute scarf on the bathroom counter.

I love the "sevies" only day, and am almost more nervous for Tuesday when she'll go back with all the 8th and 9th graders there. But I'm sure she'll be just fine. She's a great kid!

Her goal for this year is to get a 4.0. I'm sure she'll be able to do it if she puts her mind to it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The first fun thing we did this summer was a trip to Hawaii. It was actually supposed to be a Mexican Riveria Cruise but about 6 weeks before we were supposed to leave the "swine flu" hit and they redirected our cruise to Seattle. Now I don't have anything against Seattle, but when your planning on going on a cruise to Mexico it's just not the same thing. Luckily the cruise line refunded our money and it all worked out that we could get a condo and flights to Hawaii for the same week. It was an awesome trip. The kids loved it and are looking forward to going back in about 18 months.

We were visited each night in our sleep by Kapua'a the Hawaiian Trickster God. He left small gifts for us to find each morning. (Yes my husband is the cutest thing ever!!!)

We took a cruise along the Napali coast and came up along a whole group of dolphins. There were tons of them, all jumping and playing and swimming right along side our boat. It was so cool.

The boat let us off to go snorkeling and we got to snorkel with 3 big ol' sea turtles. It was a good day for seeing some fun marine life.

Unfortunately Jason had his first bout of sea sickness on the boat ride. Very strange since he's never been any kind of motion sick before and has spent plenty of time on boats.

This was the view from our balcony. So pretty!

We barbequed at our condo one night for dinner. I think it was one of the yummiest dinners we had all week. (Not only does Jason think up cute things like the Hawaiian Trickster to leave us presents, but he can also BBQ a mean steak!)

We hiked along the Napali coast on the Kalalua trail to Kalapaki beach. A very pretty hike, but next time we need to bring more water.

Another fun thing we did was to go on a zipline tour.

Steph on the rope swing

Brook jumping from the rope swing.
Actually the funnest part of this was the rope swing and cliff jumping afterward. What we didn't know then was that the little swimming hole is open to the public, so you can go there for free. Next time we'll know, because really that was the best part.

We ate at this really yummy burger place that had outdoor seating above the restraunt with a beautiful view.

We had a great time snorkeling, body boarding and generally soaking up some rays on the beach.

The girls cute toenails (I know you can't see them very well, but trust me they were cute).

This is one of our favorite beaches, Hideaways beach. Not easy to get to, but that's why it's not crowded and one of our favorites.

Jeff and Kara found this awesome piece of ocean. It had great body boarding waves and we had a great time here. The beach was also very nice. It was the Marriott Hotel beach, so it was very nicely kept, and it had grass behind the sand with lots of shade trees. It's not private, because there's a law that no water area in Hawaii can be private.

This is my "Backcountry." We took a tubing trip down some of the manmade canals in Hawaii with a company called Backcountry Kauaii, and the sold these shorts in their gift shop. I couldn't resist.

Braden getting ready to go tubing

Brooklynn as the Canal Fairy with her magic Fairy Wand. One of our guides names was Brooklyn and she thought it was so cool that they had the same name. She had never met anyone with her same name before. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the two Brooklyn(n)'s. Tour Guide Brooklyn was even an ice skater when she was younger. Weird!

One of my mom's friends that she works with was in Kauai to get married at the same time we were there, so we stopped by to be the only guests at her wedding (they kind of eloped). It was a gorgeous setting!

Just a few other random pictures. We ate a Bubba Burger, and did some shopping, and visited the lighthouse. It was a fabulous trip!