Monday, February 21, 2011

Our busy week

I don't know if I mentioned that last weekend was the Stake Sweetheart ball? It was Saturday the 12th. Garry had a campout with the scouts the night before. Two of the scouts stayed at our house after the campout to play with Taz. It was Hansen Holland and his nonmember friend. They stayed until about 5:30 and the dance started at 7. Bishop came to pick up Hansen and his friend and asked Garry if the stake had talked to him yet. Garry said no, he hadn't even got a call from them. Bishop said they'd talk after he finished talking to them. We didn't think much about it. then about 6:00, we got a call from the stake executive secretary asking if Garry and I could meet with the stake president on Tuesday at 8:45pm. We said yes. THEN we started speculating. Garry and both thought he might be getting called into the Stake YM presidency. Our President has been in there at least three years and so we thought it was a good guess and Garry was fine with that as long as he was going to be a counselor, not the president. We went to the dance and worked in the kitchen for the first hour and 15 min. We were busy refilling dinner entrees and desserts as they ran out and we were having a good time. Finally, our shift was over and we went into the YW room where they had set up extra tables. Our friends the Thatchers, Sawyers and Shafers were in there and we all sat together and ate and visited. At one point Brian began speculating on who the new counselor in the bishopric was going to be. Our first counselor was moving to a different stake in our valley. It was at that point that I kicked Garry under the table and we just looked at each other. We finally left the dance around 10:3o and all the way home we were assuring ourselves that it was just a coincedence. We were sure that couldn't be what he wanted to talk to US about. Flash forward to Tuesday...It was New Beginnings at YW. We had a bee theme going on and Toni had prepared a very cute and fun slide show as she told us the history of YW. The dessert table turned out so cute.

Toni had Karen and MaryAnne make beehive cupcakes and she'd made little bees that she attached to wire to come out of the cupcakes. It was all just so cute!!
After New Beginnings, we met with President Davie. We walked in and he asked us if we knew why we were here. By that point we'd had enough time to think that maybe we weren't going to be in the stake YM pres. and maybe he WAS going to be called into the bishopric. We said we had our guess, but we'd wait to hear officially from him. Then he extended the call. It was surreal. Not in our wildest dreams had we even thought this before Saturday night. He said that Garry's name was the only one the bishop submitted and them minute Pres. Davie heard it he had no doubts that it was right. That was weird to us, but reassuring. We left completly in shock. Needless to say, we slept very little that night. We probably stayed up till 12:30 talking and were restless thoughtout the night and up by 6:00 amd still talking. President Davie had told us to be prepared to share our testimonies that Sunday, so I wrote mine out. My whole objective was not to cry uncontrollably. By doing that and memorizing my "testimony" I avoided a big crying session. I only shed a few controlled tears!! I was proud of myself. And I might add that was the only crying I did the whole day!! We chose to keep it a secret from the kids so they would be surprised Sunday morning. After he was sustained and took the stand, Cynjyn asked if he knew that was going to happen, I told her yes and she said good, because that would really be a surprise if he didn't know!! Taz leaned over and said there goes out paintball plans for scouts, darn it! It's over now and Garry is eager and excited to start his new calling! Thursday night we went to a YM recognition dinner for all the YM in the stake who had earned their Duty to God or Eagle in 2010. Tanner had done both, his eagle and his Teacher's DtoG. Olive Garden catered and it was yummy. We sat with our ward and two other YM who had accomplished this also (there was 4 total, but one wasn't there).

Then onto Friday. Tanner has asked Rachel Mainor to The Event. Rachel turned 16 in January. Here parents were going to throw her a surprise Masquerade Ball. Tanner was involved from the start. He handed out invitation's to our ward (the parents made and sent 240 invitations!) Everyone got a mask they had to decorate for the night. Tanner was in charge of decorating the lights and ceiling. He enlisted Bryant, Preston and Garry to help. They started Friday at 2:00, the dance was at 7:00.

It went pretty well until a few of the balloon arch balloons escaped. Then Tanner and Preston tried to get them down by climbing the ladder with the vacuum and sucking them down. They were able to get the silver one down.

They had the lights all strung and then Sarah (Rachels mom ) came with viscane that she wanted up by the lights and draping down the side. So Garry and Tanner managed to figure out how to do that without having to re do all their lights. So this is the view of the gym through the arch, you can see the black and white viscane with the light from the stings of light coming through. Tanner also had to get Rachel there without her knowing why and Garry was to be paprazzi and take pictures throughout the night. He ended up takin 129 photos. Tanner told Rachel that his dad wanted to do a pre photo shoot with him and Rachel before the Event to send to our relatives in Oregon who were dying to see them. She went along with it (I'm sure she was suspicious. ) Her mom wanted me in the car with them because she didn't think they should be alone. So I tagged along! We were supposed to have her at the church by 7:30. The mom called and told us to stall, she wasn't ready, so we took Rachel to our house telling her we needed to pick something up for Garry who was meeting us at the church. Then I sat there for about 15 min. waiting for Sarah to call and give us the o.k. I was in the bedroom. Finally she called and I came out and said that my mom had called at the last minute and I was sorry and I was trying to hurry up her call.

Anyway, we got her to the church and it was dark and we told her we had to go in up through the back stage door. Tanner escorted her up there and everyone turned on the lights and yelled SURPRISE!!! I think she was!

Sarah had asked three couples to chaperone from her ward. The three men were all dressed in black suits with black shades and they were the secret service. They were "checking" the kids as they came in. (all in fun, all in fun). At one point during the dance, they had a daddy daughter dance and all three men and Rachel's dad were to dance with their daughters (they all had daughters Rachel's age and were her best friends). So they stared dancing and then all of sudden Tanner came over and grabbed me and made me dance with his since he had a mother there! So sweet!!! We all danced to Josh Grobin's "You Lift Me Up"

But Tanner mostly danced with Rachel. They had so much fun.

And, don't they look cute together!!

Here they are with Rachel' best friends.

Garry made a sign in sheet kinda like a guest book to match the person with their picture.

These are just some of the masks. They had a contest and gave ITunes gift cards for 1-4th place.

Here is Tanner with his mask. Tanner sure worked hard to make that evening good for her. And she was very appreciative. He helped clean up and the dance was over at 10 and he got home by 11:30, we left at 8:30. Good job Tanner!

Saturday, we went to Olive Garden for my bday dinner. Tanner had to babysit at 6:15, so he and Talon left right after they ate while we waited for the boxes and check and all that.

It was a nice, fun dinner.

After dinner, we stopped at Wal-Mart to get some stuff for Garry and while we were there, they announced that all Valentines stuff was now 75% off, so we hit the aisle and got stuff ridiculously cheap. I'm always looking for cheap candy for my piano candy bowl.

Sunday, Garry didn't have to stay and do anything, so we took advantage of our last "free" Sunday for awhile. We watched the movie RED and I had Razzleberry pie and ice cream.

I had wanted new dishes for my bday and Garry had me pick them out and then he ordered them. I got three sets, so enough for 12 and they are square Corelle plates. I love them!

Thanks to all who made my day so special, I got phone calls from my two sisters and my mom and LOTS of Facebook Happy Birthday wishes.

It's nice to know people think of you on your special day. I love you all!!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Digital pages

I am taking a digital scrapbooking class on line and it is my 3rd or 4th class and it is an advanced class. I cannot tell you how much I am loving it. It is pushing my capabilities and I am having so much fun. We basically have a lesson every day. We have to design a template the first day and then make the layout from it the second day, then we get a new layout to create...this goes on for 6 days. We get Sundays off!! We are going to cover 4 styles. The first style was grungy and here are the three layouts I created with that style.

Seriously, this is the MOST fun I've had scrapbooking!!

This is our first lesson in the freestyle style. Today is only the second day of that, so I'll have more layouts to come and I will post them...cuz...I'm proud of them!!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will you be my V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E?

It seems like we celebrated Valentines Day all weekend. Tanner's school handed out Val-O-Grams on Friday and he got a balloon and note from his "secret admirerer". We received a box of homemade valentines and $2.00 bills from Grandma!

Cynjyn made all of hers and her brother's Valentines to hand out (35 for her 25 for Tanner and 20 for Taz).

I made Valentines for my YW.

These are the finished Valentines for the kids. It says "I like you, you make me snicker!" Their friends loved them and they got quite the reactions of glee from them when they saw them.

I had a display set up for them all as they got home from school/work.

Taz came home with a stash from his "secret admirerer".

Cynjyn made us all notes that she left around the house for us to find when we woke up that morning.

And lastly, Garry came home with flowers for me and Cynj. I got the roses, she got the carnations, and the boys got a vase full of peanut M&M's.

LOVE to you all!!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Cruise 2011

It's been a week and I figured it was time I blogged our cruise. Yes, it took me that long to recoupe, plus, with blogger I can only upload three pictures at a time and so it takes forever to put up a long post. But, the time has come since I woke up at 5 am this morning and couldn't go back to sleep, I decided to blog!! Your lucky day and be prepared, it is a long it was a long, fun filled week!! We went on the cruise with renewed excitement this year because we were going with Talon and Tiffany. It would be their first cruise, so everyone had fun telling them what to expect and seeing them experience it for the first time. Talon was really afraid of open water and wasn't too excited about going, I snapped this picture of them boarding and he is looking scared! He just wanted to get on the ship and not look at the ocean again. But, by the end of the cruise, they both enjoyed it and said they would go again and Talon said he even ended up an top looking out into the ocean and liking it!! We get on board and then we have to go to a mandatory safety briefing where they tell us how to use the life jackets and board the life boats and so here we are at that.

The ship set sail at 5:30 and it was so cold and windy that we quickly took a picture and then promptly went to the dining room to eat.

We went to family karaoke the first night here in the queen mary lounge and Cynjyn sang "Don't Stop Believin". She went second and did great. I can't believe she was so brave. There were a lot of families in there and one bunch was three sisters, their husbands and kids from...UTAH...yes, they were mormons! So we kinda bonded with them.

We were so excited to go into Catalina Island. We love renting the golf carts, here we are riding the tenders into the island.

We had to rent two carts because they could only hold six people and we had seven, plus you had to be 25 or older to drive, so Garry and I each drove one around he island. We love stoppin on top here to take pictures.

It really is a beautiful island. On the very top right is the Wrigley mansion, they are the owners of the island, and the brown house on the top left is the Swanson mansion.

Cynjyn's big purchase was this chinese umbrella and a snow globe to add to her collection.

We spent a lot of time on board rather than doing excursions, so we went to a lot of the ships activities. One of them was watching this man do an ice carving. He went from this...

To this...

To this indian head. It was cool to watch, it was on display later that night for the midnight mexican buffet (sadly, only Garry, Talon, Tiffany and I were up for it and yes, we pigged out on the food at 11:15 when it actually started.)

Our waitress in the dining hall made these hats out of napkins for Taz and Cynjyn, Cynjyn decided to keep hers and so you will see various people wearing it throughout the next few pictures. Here, her dad stole it from her for the evening.

We went tot he little mercado in Ensanada and the best part was where they were trying to raise money to build and wildlife refuge and so you could donate $25.00 to the building fund and get your picture taken with these cute little lion cubs that they had. They had two and let you hold one for the pictures. (I guess they took turns so the babies wouldn't get too tired.) The kids LOVED this so much. Talon and Tiffany had already gone on their excursion to La Bufadora, so they weren't there plus they only let three people in the picture.

He really was so adorable.

We played a lot of cards during down times. We spent a lot of time in the library/game room, the had a shelf of games and we played the new version of Clue a couple of times. We also played a lot of the game 5 Crowns. Here they are playing 7-up as we wait to disembark on the last day.

Tanner, much to his "glee" got pulled on stage during one of the shows to dance with the showgirls. This time, we snapped a picture. Of course he looked like a pro up there doing the macarena.

Awe, the formal dining room. We had so much fun here. It is by far, our favorite part of cruising. The first night was kinda bad because we set sail at 5:30 and then go eat at 6:00. Talon and Tiffany were so sea sick that first night they could barely be at the table. So, during dinner they went and promptly took a scopace tablet. You could see when it kicked in half way through dinner, because Talon got his coloring back and they could both start eating. Here they are though on formal night, sea sickness cured by the pills and everyone having a good time.

My kids looked so good and cute and they all were having a blast!

We are the luckiest parents to have such great kids!

Now, I have to tell you about our dining companions. Here are Pete and Jessica. They are from Canada.

They are friends with Lois and Tony who are from LA. They are cruising together.

We hit it off with both of them right away. They were very talkative and we had nice conversations. Lois and Tony are in their late 50's an have a grown son. We aren't sure if Jessica and Pete are a couple. They acted like it, but Lois at one point said that Jessica lived with them. They are probably in their early 50's. Jessica has two grown sons. After our first meal together, they all commented on how "good" our family was and that they were so glad that they got seated with us. We said the same about them. L & T had been cruisin before and so had J. We all commented on how we could have got stuck with a family with babies, or toddlers and how that can sometimes be disatrous. We chalked their gratefulness up to that. So, every single night from them on during dinner all 4 of them always complimented us on our great family and how nice and well behaved our kids were and how glad they were that they were seated by us. They did this 3 or 4 times during each meal. They always came and talked to us when we passed one another at other times on the ship and they came to family karoke night to support Cynjyn, plus J and L were singers and they wanted to do it too (but they also had an adult karoke session they could have done.) Garry and I would often comment to one another that they seemed pretty obsessed with our little family. Now, I don't tell this story to brag, but to make a point. Finally on the last night, Garry was wearing his BYU t-shirt at dinner and Lois saw it and asked "are you guys mormon?" We said yes and that was about it, but it was like a lightbulb went off in her head and it looked like it kinda clicked, I'm assuming, as to why our family was the way it was. I have been thinking about this so much since the cruise. We really are a "peculiar people" and our lights do shine just by being ourselves. We can be an example for good in many ways and we don't have to do anything other than live the gospel. I don't know what her impression of mormons was, or what kind of previous contact she'd had with them, but hopefully, we left them with a good impression and maybe, just maybe, something good will come out of it for them at some point down the road. Anyway, we had a great time with them all week and at most of our dining experiences.Taz and Cynjyn went around the dining room with our waiters Russel and Lisa and did the conga line with them.

They loved their hats.
Taz danced with Lisa on formal night while our waiters sang "That's Amore" to all the couples.

We went to a towel folding class and learned to fold an elephant and a monkey.

Speaking of towels, the following are pictures of our towels. Two rooms and no one got the same towel any night. Swan.


Our favorite, the alligator. Our towel teacher didn't believe us that we'd gotten an alligator, she said she's never heard of anyone getting that before.

A dog.

A heart.

Tanner with all theirs for the week, an iguana, frog, cobra and the swan.

We went to two different comedians the last night and they were so funny, especially the second one. We were all laughing soooo hard.

We went to two back to back "competitions" that they had periodically, one was cartoon trivia where they played a cartoon theme song and you had to guess the cartoon, and the other was a "say what you see" where they give you a picture and you guess the phrase it says. We won both of those and were awared this little golden cruise ship!!

I'd like to thank the academy, especially Garry Goon for being so dang smart!!
After we got off the ship, we went and toured the Queen Mary which is an old cruise ship that stays docked right next to where we got off. Talon and Tiffany had really wanted to go because they heard it was rumored to be haunted. So, we finally talked Garry into letting us go. We loved the paranormal room where they told of all the ghost sightings and storied from the ship. We even got to go on a little haunted tour where they take you to three areas of the ship where they've had paranormal activity. Here is Taz reading about some of the hauntings.

This is an area where you can see all the way down the ship and it was a cabins room. It sways in the middle and "sightings" have been reported there.

During I believe WWII, it was used as a battle ship, so on top it had some of the war guns still around.

It was at it's heyday in the 20's and 30's I believe, so they had pictures of a lot of old celebrities and royalty that had been regular visitors and it was very enjoyable to tour it.

It's anchor.

A room at the bottom of the ship. An intersting fact: It took a gallon of oil for every 13 miles it went!!!

There were old fashioned telephone booths out side the Queen Mary, so we took the opportunity to do some Superman poses!!

Such a fun week together!

Thanks for making it to the end of this long post;)

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