Sunday, December 7, 2014

 I spent a few days in Southern Utah in October.  William was turning 25, so I needed to celebrate with him:)  It turned out that NaKya went on a trip with her mom and sisters and I was able to sit with Addie while William went to school.  It was a great trip...most of the pictures I took are on my phone.  Hopefully I'll get them transferred to the computer and then on the blog.  Christine and I met Papa at Grandma's grave.  It was a beautiful night and we had a nice visit.  Good times together.

 I had a couple of great reasons to head south to Austin in late September.  Brandon was in town with his girlfriend Christina and it was Dad's 72nd birthday!  I drove down, had a nice birthday lunch, took a few pictures and then headed back north.
It really was a great little trip!  I hadn't seen Brandon since his high school graduation in 2007.  Now that is sad! He's doing great!  I loved being with Dad for his birthday as well...I think I might make this a yearly tradition.
 Back in September, Jennie and I took a short 3-night cruise to the Bahamas...It was the 10 year mark of our annual September Girl's trips! We spent the night in Orlando and took off from Port Canaveral, FL.  This is a shot back at the port as we are leaving on a cloudy, balmy day.
 Not wanting to pay the high prices for soda on the ship, I packed my own:)
 I had been holding out for some carrot cake for months...literally.  This was my reward.
 A beautiful day in paradise. We were pulling into Nassau, The Bahamas.
 Off the ship and ready for some shopping...we just wanted to buy some post cards and mail them to our families...with local stamps.  We found post cards, but the stamps were never found...so we mailed them on the ship with US stamps.  Not as fun, but the best we could do.
 We loved talking and walking around the decks at night.  So very peaceful.
 Here we are on Coco Cay...Bahamas...this is Royal Caribbean's private island.  For the beach lover in me, it was perfect.  We were there early and enjoyed the sunshine, warm water and soft sand...a storm was moving in, so we headed back to the ship a little early.
There is no dock near the island, so the visitors are "tendered" in on small boats. The cruise line has this process down to a science.  It was an added bonus to take this little ride.
There is something about the deck of a ship that warms my heart! I love being on a big ship out in the middle of the sea! And this ship had a big outdoor TV screen.  The only bummer was, they played random sports like cricket or whatever...I was hoping for some movies under the stars...oh wait, this wasn't a Disney cruise....but it was a blast! Here's to another 10 years of traveling with my dearest friend!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I'm a bit of a neat freak.  Grant believes the counter is his space...as much of the counter as he needs.  During the school year, Grant's "stuff" is everywhere.  Garrett is now back at BYU-I and the house is very quiet.  I am realizing that I can live with a bit of clutter, because it means that there is still a child at home.  Before I know it, Grant will be gone too and then our house will be very quiet.  In the meantime, I will live with and be grateful for a little bit of clutter:)
Grant and Kenzie Eliason made quite the darling couple for Homecoming.  These two juniors were the best of friends when they were in preschool.  Grant used to call her "Bakenzie".  It was so cute.  The Eliasons moved away 8 years ago and just recently moved back.  We are so glad they came "home" and that Grant and Kenzie are still friends. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

 And so it begins...The Allen High School Escadrille has been practicing for a few weeks now.  This is the annual Watermelon Bust.  There are a ton of tubas...20-30 or so...lots.
 Grant threatens to quit band on a regular basis.  But as you can see from the pictures, he is surrounded by friends when he's there.  (Grant and Kyle Steele)
 More friends...Tony Baker, Kyle, and Jake Holloway.
 A Color Guard friend...Rachel Fulton. Yep.  Band is a total and complete drag:)
 The Steele Brothers...Austin and Kyle (not pictured, Collin:)
 The annual "band member/parent" photo.
This is a small sampling of the band and color guard. In years past, there have been 800+ members.  There was a fair amount of "fallout" when band directors changed last year, amidst some controversy.  Not sure of the numbers now...maybe 600ish?  Still a lot!

Monday, August 18, 2014

 This past weekend we spent a much anticipated few days in Vero Beach, Florida at Disney's resort with Jennie and James Jenkins.The sunrises were incredible each morning. Although it was vacation time, we were up early to get our runs in ... in order to offset some of the bad food choices we made.  And yes, it was all worth it:)
 We jet skied one day.  This picture of James and Bill really isn't a fair representation of the actual event.  We'd hoped for 4 jet skis, but the company only operated two.  So...to start, we doubled up. That was nothing short of nerve-wracking and ridiculous.  I lost my hat as soon as I gunned the engine...it was my favorite too.  It's a challenge to steady these little machines and we ended up dumping it once.  I was skeptical that I would be able to hoist my sorry rear end up onto the jet ski...surprisingly, it wasn't an issue.  When Bill started to climb on, he tipped us off...ugh! I knew for sure I'd never be able to get back on twice and he'd have to drag me into shore.  But, miracle of miracles, I stepped right back up.  Once we were both back on the dumb thing, we headed into shore so Bill and James could ride solo.  These little jet skis aren't built for 2 adult riders...duh.  We had lots of laughs and made memories that we'll remember for a long time.
 The storms rolled in every afternoon.  And we didn't even mind.  Vacation is vacation...nothing could rain on our parade.  Southern storms are the best!
 The water was perfect.  This was the calm before the storm.
 The resort we stayed at is in the background.  It wasn't big like other Disney resorts we've stayed at, but we liked it.  Vero Beach is a nice town.
 The storm to the north...you can see the sky changing in the picture below.  We were the last ones on the beach this day and the minute we stepped into the resort it started to pour! What perfect timing.
 We ate at some great local restaurants and saw a couple of movies during the afternoons when it was raining.  We laughed and reminisced and relaxed.  We played miniature golf and hung out poolside and went down the water slide and played canasta and listened to some great live music in a couple of restaurants...and I must say, we had dessert every. single. night.  That's something I haven't done in a very long time.  Heaven!
 We left Sunday morning but stopped by Church on the way out of town.  The Vero Beach Ward was small, but awesome.  They meet in a brand new building. (Check out that blue sky!)

We had a great time and hope to get another trip on the calendar soon.  We think we might start playing the lottery too so we can just be on a perpetual vacation. A great time with the best of friends.