Friday, December 21, 2007

New photo shoot up

Could this be any sweeter. Go here for the rest!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas joys

bizy bizy bizy. I don't even know where to begin. Every second of every day is filled with wonderful things. My life is full of so much goodness. I couldn't be more blessed. Starting with my family. Look at them. 6 people that love me unconditionally. That make me laugh so hard, and are what fill so much of my life with joy (and pain, ha). I am so thankful for the family I grew up in too. My siblings are my best friends. In fact my sister Kelly took this picture in Utah over Thanksgiving weekend. I am surrounded by people who love and support me. Yes, there are negative things in life. There are negative, difficult and even evil people who bring alot of pain. But the good is still there to be had. It makes me realize that as the famous Christmas song goes, "the wrong shall fail, and the right will prevail, with peace on earth good will toward men." I just think of my friends here and all that they do that is uplifting and good, and it fills my heart with joy. It takes work you know to be a good person. It doesn't just happen naturally. In fact as the scripture says...
"the natural man is an enemy to God, and will be forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all the things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
you know our society sadly doesn't really teach this. I have yet to see a TV show that describes a lifestyle like this. In fact Jacob just told me today that at school the teacher had them all write down what they thought was success. He said that everyone but him pretty much said making alot of money. Because his answer was so different from everyone else's, his teacher had him read it to the class. His said that success was happiness in your family. THat's my boy!!!!! I know why all the teachers are drawn to my kids. Because they are trying to keep God's commandments. Are they perfect? uh, that would be a big no! and neither is their mama. My go "all natural" side comes out way to often. But I am trying, and I am so much happier when I am trying to overcome my natural tendencies towards selfishness, laziness etc. etc. Why is it so easy to be those things? ha ha. Anyway I have learned for myself that happiness in life is most likely achieved when you are living the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the truth, plain and simple.
Tonight was so wonderful. A daughter of a woman in my ward is getting married this wed. night. at the church. Her fiance is taking the missionary lessons, and was told that he needs to be married to live with someone in order to be baptized. Hence, we have 3 days to plan a wedding. So I have a wedding dress in the back of my car (that another sister in the ward is loaning her that got married last January) to take to get steamed tomorrow at the dry cleaner. I get to go shopping and pick up the needed items for the reception etc. A sister in our ward offered her beautiful home for the reception, another catering items, another decorations and the list goes on. To say the least her mother was so overwhelmed with joy, and she kept saying over and over as she looked at her daughter trying on this incredibly beautiful dress tonight, "There is a fairy godmother, it is called the Relief Society." I am so thankful to be associated with an organization that are filled with women who on a moments notice are there for you to willingly help with a smile on their face. Jacob also said today that his teacher was reading to them out of the newspaper an article that named (when speaking of disaster relief) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the "Mormon church" as two of the most selfless organizations and people. Jacob raised his hand and let him know that they are one and the same. Isn't that funny, but so awesome. Anyway, all this to just say that I am happy and this is why.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I L-O-V-E love this picture. I could stare at it all day. I just love eyes. They really are the window to the soul. These girls are so pretty with their handsome green eyed Dad and a hawaiian mama. What a beautiful combination. Anyway, their photo shoot is up on my business website here. I think I will put on the black and white of this. which do you like better?

I love this guy

I miss dave this morning. Yesterday he took off a day to get some things around the house done. So we played backgammon in bed in the morning (he won 2 out of 3). Than we cleaned up the house a bit, read scriptures and prayed together, than went on a walk/run. We even held hands. Dave indulged me. smile. I was talking to him all morning like Will Ferrell in "Elf". "We can eat sugar plums, go ice-skating, and then snuggle." Dave is like Buddy's dad in Elf. It takes some doing to get the Christmas spirit out of him, but it's in there. I admit, I love Buddy the Elf. I would love to hang out with him all day. I love his cheerfulness, and that movie makes me laugh out loud no matter how often I watch it. So anyway, I miss Dave. Who am I going to excitedly do everything on my list of "to dos" today? Who is going to snuggle me? I hope he comes home for lunch. He is wondering how I got his cell phone number too. ha ha.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas came early this year.


1) I just decided to play the violin with the choir in church today. No time to stress about it. Ran through the song a couple of times. Wrote an obligato for the second verse real quick (and I was only 5 minutes late to church. now you know why. ha ha) I decided to just think I am playing in front of family relaxed at home. Not a performance. And you know it worked. THe coolest part being that I knew every single person in that whole chapel and alot about them and loved them all like family. How cool is that!!! I really felt that I was with my family. A very large one. and I loved it. The down side was I hadn't practiced with the choir, so it didn't go smooth that way. I asked Tasha (the great) to play an intro for me but than she stopped and I was all by my lonesome. Threw me off a bit, but what the heck. I was with family. It wasn't perfect, but I did it, and it was fun actually. Next week is more serious. I am playing just with a piano accompianment, "What child is this." It is so beautiful. I hope I can do it justice. I will need to practice this one. Prayers please. At the stake music christmas program I got so nervous that I just sat down and didn't even play after the intro. I had even invited my neighbor. I totally blanked. So crazy!!!

2) I snuggled with dave on the couch by the christmas tree and we both fell asleep while watching a christmas special from "Little House on the Prairie." You know the one when Laura gives up her beloved pony "bunny" to the evil Nellie Olsen to buy a stove for her mama. So cozy. I slobbered on Dave's shirt. ha ha

3)Got a late night call from my dear friend and former mission companion Nancy. We hadn't talked in so long!! Nancy we are so living by each other in Heaven. That way I will be sure to laugh every day!

4) Joanna was beaming at choir practice today because so many people were there. It sounded so beautiful. I was so happy for her!!! I got to hold her sweet baby. That makes me so happy.

4) Jamie Varley's talk today made me cry and love her all the more. The spirit was so strong as she told her conversion story that started as a 16 year old in Huntington beach. Her excitement to find the gospel was contagious. Plus, I just love southern californians!!! So there all you Arizonians that don't. So there. I said it! ha ha.

5) I played three games of backgammon with Jacob and won all three. He has much to learn my young padawon. My getting constant doubles helped though. ha

Hope your sunday was just as happy and restful!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


of course I can, it is a mother's perrogative. Jacob just wrapped up his flag football season at school. It will be a season he will never forget. It was made up of the stuff that little boys (and big boys) dream of. In fact he has been dreaming it for 13 years now. When he could only speak a few words as a little guy Jacob in his sleep would say, "ball." Total crack-up. I have caught him a few times since that too. I will wake him up in the morning and he will tell me of his great play he just made, the amazing catch etc. Well, to actually live out some of those dreams. Let me just say... it has been jacob's favorite year in school. Captain, and star of the football team, teacher's favorite student, getting all A's, and girls like him. I don't think I will tell him quite yet that life isn't always that way. ha ha. I think I will just let him live the dream for now. So here are a few pictures from one of his games. As I walked up this was happening above. He was running across the touchdown line after he intercepted it. I love how his teammate is celebrating with his arms up and his coach is doing the touchdown sign and celebrating as well. Ps. the coach is also his homeroom teacher. running it to the touchdown again.
giving his team the play as the coach looks on.knocking the ball so the opponents receiver can't catch it

Mr. make everyone feel good, and always pumping everyone up to do their best.
Coach congratualating Jake on another excellent game. Look at Jacob's happy face.

Jacob we will always be your biggest fans!!! We love you so much! Love, your sisters and your mama taking the pictures.
ps don't you love what lizzie wore to the game. Notice her shoes as well. He will definitely always have the cutest cheering section. OH, am I bragging again? smile

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pope family pictures are up!

Don't you love her socks and shoes. I want some!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Favorites from today

*Dave and I were both just laying on our bed after getting the kids tucked in. I turn and see that he is just laying there staring up. I did the typical woman question. What are you thinking about? Dave's answer...."Labeling Lidocaine syringes." That is oh so typical of him, but still makes me laugh. That's my emotional radiologist husband.

*I always love to grab my kids, nuzzle in their neck and just drink in all their yumminess. Especially right after they take a bath. They know to come down and let me eat them up. So it was so cute that Lizzie came up to me today while I am sitting on the computer editing pictures, gives me a hug, and says...."You smell delightful." Yep, she's mine. P.S. the picture above is of the family shoot I am working on right now. Such a cute family. Can't wait to share more when I am done.

*Rebecca taking care of me all day. She made me breakfast, and gave me multiple foot, hand, and head massages all day. I train my kids well.

*taking a walk with Jacob. Did you see me speed walk by your house in my pajamas?

*made the kids favorite dinner tonight and it turned out so good. I pressure cooked brown basmati rice, and poured over top chicken that has been cooked in the crock pot all day with the yummiest sauce. Heather Swainston was over for dinner and wanted the recipe. What 12 year old asks for a recipe? So cute. I also loved that Heather said, "I love being at your house, I feel so loved." She is mauled actually, by all the girls. They can't stop talking to her or giving her hugs. But anyway, she couldn't have given a better compliment! WE do LOve you Heather!!! and here is the recipe. Or how I cooked it today, it does vary.

4 chicken breasts with a 1/2 cup butter and a zesty italian seasoning pkg. cooked on high in the crockpot for four hours. A half hour before serving heat together on the stove 1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese (I use the light kind) and 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (You can use cream of chicken too) . Tonight I added some milk to thin it a bit. Pour into crockpot with chicken and let it mix together awhile. Serve over rice. Brown rice of course is so much better for you, and you know I am into the grains thing right now. It was fabulous! Oh yah, and I made white wheat mixed with buckwheat pancakes and I have eaten them almost for every meal since. They turned out so good. Will share that recipe next time.
Back to editing.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tis the season!

I finally got Dave to start putting up the lights today after work. He wasn't very excited about it after a long day of work. So he went and put on his BAhHumbug shirt and went to work grumpily. The kids are loving every minute of it though. It was the most beautiful day I have seen in a long time today. The lighting was so beautiful and the perfect temperature. The days you are so thankful that you live in Arizona. So here we are out on a December night in summer apparel playing and enjoying this beautiful holiday season. You can see neighbor Joe's Christmas handiwork in the background. His wife calls him Clark at this time of year.

Jacob being Mr. Cool with Joe's daughter. smile
Hope you are having fun decorating too. My house is looking particularly scrumptious. love it!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Black Family

The Black Family photo shoot is up for your viewing pleasure. Love em!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wellman photo shoot is up

I didn't have time to put them on before we left on vacation. Check them out!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

YEP! I am full of the Christmas Spirit!

I absolutely love the talk given by Elder Joseph Wirthlin in the last conference entitled "The Great Commandment". I can't read it enough. I have to share one quote at least.

"The most cherished and sacred moments of our lives are those filled with the spirit of love. The greater the measure of our love, the greater is our joy. In the end, the development of such love is the true measure of success in life.

Do you love the Lord?

Spend time with Him. Meditate on His words. Take His yoke upon you. Seek to understand and obey, because "this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments." When we love the Lord, obedience ceases to be a burden. Obedience becomes a delight. When we love the Lord, we seek less for things that benefit us and turn our hearts toward things that will bless and uplift others.

As our love for the Lord deepens, our minds and hearts become purified. We experience a "mighty change in... our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually."

The whole talk is amazing. So I am going to be busy this month following his counsel to spend more time with the Lord. I feel so much happier when I do. Because I am filled with love for others. For some reason it is so easy to feel love at Christmas time. I am going to try to keep the Christmas spirit all year! My goal for 2008! Want to join me? It is a way better goal than losing weight. Yuk, who wants to do that? ok, so I want to do that too, but it won't matter how thin I am if I don't have Charity.

I can't post without a picture. So here is one of Lizzie in Utah. It's not one bit hard for me to love this one. More thanksgiving pics later. We had a great time in Utah, but I sure am happy to be home.
p.s. Today was Rachel's real birthday. I gave her razors, shaving gel, mascara, and lip gloss. She has really been looking forward to twelve for those exact reasons. She was loving her smooth legs tonight. We all had to feel them. Jacob didn't understand the excitement of it all. Rachel explained it is becoming more like a woman. I told Jacob it is the same excitement you get when your muscles get bigger (he is becoming more concerned about such things). He understood then. I love this time in life. Alot don't, but I love teenagers. Jacob reminded me tonight of that as he recalled a funny story from the past. He came home from school one day a few years ago and said to me, "Mom, we have to have a talk about the "P" word." Apparently I was much too excited when I replied, "Puberty?!" He meant piano. He had a whole list of reasons why he wanted to stop taking lessons, but he still laughs to this day about how excited I get to talk about such things as puberty. I definitely am not the mom nervous or embarassed to talk about the facts of life. What can I say, it is all just so exciting. ha. (that was a long p.s.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mall madness!!

Here's the whole gang! They are so cute and all the nicest girls! They all got along great, and were kind to each other. Can you believe that for 11 and 12 year olds. A unique group for sure. First stop check out where the two must go to stores are Claire's and Hollister.

For some reason they felt buying something at Hollister meant they were finally teenagers. Rachel got the Blonde with Benefits shirt for $9. Deal.

This is in Buckle. They were so fun to just sit back and watch. Feeling so cute, and so old. They laughed and had such a great time. In the picture above they are all checking themselves out in the mirror!
Rachel feeling oh so cute!

WE were the last to leave the mall. Not a car in the parking lot but mine and April's. She came along to help drive and supervise. I don't think she realized what she had gotten herself into. Ha Ha. Thanks April. ps. Did you know that JCPenny is open until 11pm. ha ha.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What a weekend!

Didn't get much sleep at the sleepover, so my new bed is all the more inviting. Doesn't it look delish? Dave thinks it is too soft. But mama bear thinks it is just right. I don't even need to use a pillow. Anyway, I finally put up some more pictures from the Stone photo shoot. I finally got someone to do it at their house and let me follow them around doing what they do. It was really fun! Click here

Friday, November 16, 2007

Rachel turning 12!

here is my little woman. This has been the best day of her life! Well, first off she is wearing the cutest outfit ever. I may not knit kell, but you gotta admit this sweater for 6.98 on the clearance rack at target brings quite a bit of joy to look at too. smile. Anyway, today she got to go to Bronco Billy's pizza for a training conference all day on being a peer counselor at her school. She was chosen by her peers at school as a peacemaker and one they would go to to help resolve conflicts that they have. Then after school we always get the mail, and I let her drive from the mailbox to our house while sitting on my lap. All the kids favorite thing to beg for, except pizza which I am going to order right now. But wait it gets better. Tonight is her 12th birthday party and 9 of her girlfriends are coming over to go to the mall, and spend the night. Does it get any better than that? I ask you? So in commemoration of the best day ever I took her out in the backyard and documented the moment. My beautiful girl inside and out! Love you Rachie Roosie.

Her favorite Anne of GReen Gables pose.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

newest member of our ward!

is it already the weekend again? Man, how did that happen. I still haven't even told my favorite part about last weekend. It involves the man above, VJ chowdury. He was baptized on Saturday last, and it was so wonderful. He asked me to give the talk on baptism. It was such an honor. As always at a baptism, the spirit was so strong. There is no doubt in my mind when I go to a baptism that we do have a Father in Heaven, that he loves us, that there is a purpose to this life. that there is a plan for us to learn and progress, that He sent a Savior for us to overcome sin and death. That Jesus restored the fullness of his gospel through a prophet. That prophet being Joseph Smith. THat Jesus really did command us to repent and be baptized. Why? I will tell you the reasons that I listed in my talk.
1) for the remission of our sins (and yes we all have them)
2) to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ
3) We must be baptized before we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
4)To show obedience
5)to enter the celestial kingdom (live with our Heavenly Father again)

of course if we do, the Lord promises to
1) Forgive our sins
2)Pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon us.
3)give us daily guidance and the help of the Holy Ghost
4)Let us come forth in the First Resurrection.
5) Give us eternal life. ps. that is the best one!!!

But don't take my word for it, ask God!

thanks Chowdury for letting our family be a part of your baptism, and wow that Indian food afterwards was pretty incredible!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

THe package will arrive in the morning!

Ok so Kendra, I finally finished late tonight. I will deliver them tomorrow and post more on the blog but I am just too dang tired to do it right now. So here is just a sneak peek. I am dying to show them all!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

tonight's drama

Rebecca lost her second tooth of the week and was so excited! The tragedy occurred when she was washing it off, and it fell down the drain. Many many tears followed. Bless her sweet little heart. She finally calmed down after writing an explanation to the tooth fairy (below). Life would be so bland without children. Not nearly as magical and full of wonder and excitement.
the rest of my night involves tucking in my babies, doing laundry, finish editing the stone's pictures (so hopefully they will be done by tomorrow), making sure the tooth fairy does her thing, and absolutely no eating. I am being really good until thanksgiving. Unfortunately when i stop obsessing about one thing I move on to the next no no. That would be shopping. Luckily tis the season and I have reason to. THe best purchase of the day being a new mattress. ok so not all were for Christmas. I haven't been sleeping well and have been wanting one for a long time. My back is going to be so happy tomorrow night. I can't wait!!!


oK. sO I went to one of Chef Brad's events hosted by the lovely miss darla. It was so great!!! I highly reccommend attending her next one in january if you can. It is very informative. I learned about how important fiber is in our lives number one. ha. I learned how many other grains there are other than wheat. They all have unique flavors and uses. I bought the sampler packet to try them all, and an electric pressure cooker that is incredible. As easy as a crockpot, but so so fast! I learned how to incorporate the different grains into your normal cooking, and how to make them so tasty all by themselves. We learned recipes for fruit salads, pizza, even bread pudding in the pressure cooker. To die for. I have all the recipes if you want a quick class by Chef Heather. the first thing I pressure cooked was the 9 grain combo, and it is ready fast and kept warm in the pressure cooker. I set out half and half, blueberries, brown sugar, and unrefined coconut oil. The kids could add what they wanted. We ate so much we all had stomach aches. Even grain needs to be taken in moderation apparently. ha ha. I especially like a little brown sugar and a little of the coconut oil. You can get it at sprouts. Popcorn popped in the coconut oil is heavenly too. Anyway, WE are well on our way to being a very "regular" family. You can go to his web page at
He is still getting his homepage up and running. But he does have a store down in Mesa. I know he has taught at Dottie's too. I am really determined to get in gear with this, and also start using all of my recipes that are in each month's magazine Everyday Food by Martha Stewart. If you haven't discovered this magazine you are in for a treat. They are incredible!!!
the recipe are very doable. Not over the top martha like you would think. I will keep you posted on my experimentation with grains. I know you can't wait. I know my kids can't either. ha ha.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Me and Michael.

The Office was really good last night. Don't you agree? I have to admit that sometimes Michael reminds me of myself. A loveable idiot that grows on you. Now that takes humility to admit. ha. that is why I liked how they showed in last night's show that we all have different talents and contribute to life in different ways. All are important and all are appreciated. See, I can get deep and worthwhile meaning out of watching that show. smile. finally I am justified and a weight is lifted. ha ha. I wanted to find a picture of him in the woods with his suit all taped up on him, but I couldn't. I even love to sing funny when I sing happy birthday. A kindred spirit? I wouldn't go that far. I just love to laugh and boy does Michael make me laugh.
ps. I havvveee hemorrhoidsssssssss!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Welcome to HaLLOWEEN Town

I never gave the full report of how our neighborhood rocked Halloween. It really was incredible. Better than when I was little. Let me show you.ok well first here is miss rebecca. Can you tell there is something different about her. It is called she has been surrounded by houseful of pre-teens. They did her up like Ashley Simpson. Rebecca is much cuter, and much more modest i might add. There has been alot of bra stuffing ever since that night. In fact Lizzie wore a bra to church without our knowing and during sacrament meeting she pulled some candy out of it. It is going to be a fun ride with a houseful of girls all loving the idea of becoming a woman. yikes. so anyway, we decided to take a look at Joe's last minute preparation which entailed bringing out all the scary manekins from inside his house. So Grant these pictures are for you since you love horror movies. Parental discretion is advised.

look how the butler guy is watching them. ooh spooky.

What a sweet little skeleton mom with her baby. What? They are just doing their grocery shopping!

her head spins and her arms light up at night. fabulous. ha

such beautiful green eyes. smile.

maybe this is his dad.

some finger food?

top of the morning to you. don't you like my jokes. They are the scariest part of this post.

she is my favorite. I have pictures of her at night. Her official name is Dawn of the dead.

His head has turned now. You only see the back of Leah and Lizzie and you can feel their anxiety.

But Lizzie's face lets you know for sure if you had any doubt.
Better go get some pizza to calm the nerves. I always love how my house feels on Halloween. So perfect. Has the right colors. Here are some of my favorite views.

Getting dark, this is what I see from my front row seat in front of my house. Can you feel the excitement?!

I didn't buy costumes this year, the girls just dug through the costume box and changed outfits about ten times. I like how Lizzie ended up with a dog costume that is probably a size three. She would not take it off though. too funny.

Dave took the littles and I headed out with RAchel and Rebecca and their three friends
Ran into Ashley, I just love this girl and her costume. Under the drama queen it says. I broke my toenail. Too funny.

there she is good ol' dawn.

ARen't you so jealous now Grant?!!! Our neighbor drives around in his batmobile in full costume. So fun. I love how even all of the adults dress up and totally get into it, like my neighbor wonderwoman. Only in Arizona can you dress like this at night in October and be tan. ha.

even the dogs joined in the funWe even had a bunch of haunted houses in the neighborhood. All for free and running all night.

Adults and children alike waited for their chance to enter. Including me. Everyone whether scared or not went through because afterwards they handed you a full size candy bar. What kid can pass that up? Even with this scary doll flying down at you as you are waiting in line.

yes we screamed alot! By the way that isn't Jacob in the picture.The girls got so tired they had to plop right down on the sidewalk for a break.
Again you gotta love arizona where you wear flip flops with your costume.

Let the Sorting and trading BEGIN!!!! This could possibly be the best part.

So until next year, this has been the best halloween ever. Mine was spent with a gaggle of girls. I love girls. I could never have too many. So if you have a girl that needs some serious girl time, send her on over. Just remember to bring a bra. ha ha.

Now what are we going to do with all of this candy?