Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

May 2012.  Ryan, Becca, Andy, Dave, and me in our backyard.  We love living in California.  Next year I hope Alaina will be with us...she is doing some hard work right now and couldn't be here.  I am grateful for my beautiful family and thankful I am a mom!
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ward Conferences 2012

This is my first year of Ward Conferences as the Oakland Stake Young Women's President.  I have the best counselors and secretary ever and we are having so much fun planning for our meetings.

We decided to meet with the just the YW so we would have more time and could address any concerns they had.   We put some great quotes up on the board and talked about them with the girls.  Since we met with each Ward individually, we made about 9 sets of breakfast muffins and fruit trays.  I was afraid I was making life difficult for my Presidency and said I would make all of the food myself because I didn't want it to be store-bought, but they were all happy to jump in and helped make things every week.  They are the best!

We played a personal progress game, made by the lovely Kelley.  The girls seemed to really enjoy it and did a great job discussing the questions.

We made our own poster-sized version of "MormonAds" with my favorite inspirational quotes and amazing photographs taken by the brilliant Marianna! We also had them made into 4x6 prints so the Young Women could take them home if they wanted to and a leader reported to me later that some of the girls had put them on the covers of their school binders to remind themselves of what is most important.

"If this isn't your castle, you're not my prince."

"If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?"

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

"Dream big!  Don't give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW."

I love these Oakland Stake Young Women!
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Priest/Laurel Formal: Mormon Prom

Priest/Laurel Formal March 17, 2012

Marianna, Kelley, me, Julie

Awesome Oakland Stake Young Women's Presidency!  I love these ladies :)

Our Stake was in charge of the food for the Priest/Laurel Formal (Mormon Prom) and spend the entire evening in the kitchen and cleaning up but it was worth it!  The Young Men's Presidency was great too and built a two-tiered structure so the food would be on two levels and they built a tubing structure over the food and hung twinkling lights from it to add to the ambiance.

BBQ meatballs


Shamrock ravioli (it was St. Patricks Day, after all)

Chocolate Fountain!

I didn't take pictures of the rest of the food or the dancers, but the kids ate almost everything. I made over 500 parmesan prosciutto puff pasty sticks, and we had cheesy bread, veggie trays, and more.   It was great to see over 400 kids, 16-18 year old boys and girls, in modest prom attire and dancing appropriately.  I am thankful I have the opportunity to work with such great youth!
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finally!: Part 1, The Pantry


After years of not making time for it, February was clean out the pantry month for me...sad it actually took me two weeks to do it!  

Kind of embarrassing to see what is in my FOOD pantry...art supplies, miscellaneous holiday crafts, every shape cookie cutter ever made...what a mess!


Now lets see how long I can keep it clean, with the help of my kids :)
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Candyland Dance January 2012

Marianna, Kelley, me and Julie

The Oakland Stake was in charge of the January youth dance and we chose Candyland for the theme.  I borrowed some decorations from a great friend and we set up the church gym like the Candyland game. 

This is the awesome photo backdrop Mica painted. The pictures all turned out so cute.

Gumdrop Mountains

The candy buffet was a hit!  

Giant lollipops and gumdrop trees

Candy Cane Lane

We decorated the walls like the game board.  We had a great Queen Frostine corner, but the picture didn't turn out.
The dance was a great success and all the kids had a great time.
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Friday, January 6, 2012

Skiing in the Desert December 27-30, 2011

December 27, 2011.  Dave and I took the kids and Andy's friend Morgan skiing at South Lake Tahoe.  We stayed at The Ridge at Tahoe and skied at Heavenly for the first time.  It was beautiful but felt a bit like we were skiing in the desert because there was barely any snow.  They did a great job of making snow for the runs, but under the lifts it was completely bare ground with rocks and bushes.

Taking a break, waiting for the shuttle to take us back to other side of the mountain because there  wasn't enough snow to traverse back so we had to take the bus.  Ryan said next time he wants to bring  friend, maybe that will help him like skiing a little more...he did great though.  

Becca and I did a cross-fit class at the gym and it was hard because of the altitude.  At least that's what I'm saying...Then I had an hour of "Becca time" and we went shopping while Dave took the boys into the arcade.  Andy won big time!  We met them there and played a few games, then walked back to our place.
Dave and I went to a cooking class and learned how to make puff pastry with cream.
We had a great family vacation and everyone really had fun.  We missed Alaina a lot, but maybe she can come next time.
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Morning 2011

Cabo loves to help open presents.  He can tell the ones that are for him, but he helps everyone with theirs, too.  Becca finally joined the ranks of teenage cell phone owners...we are looking for another 4,000 text phone bill.  Luckily we have unlimited texting!  Andy got the camera he'd been wanting and Ryan is back into Legos.  We had a beautiful day relaxing together and being grateful for family.

Christmas 2011
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Christmas Traditions 2011

Dave and I took the kids for our annual Christmas trek to San Francisco. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and went to see the Macy's windows and Union Square tree.  It is such a beautiful time of year in the city.  

This year we continued our tradition of passing out dinner, scarves, and gloves to homeless people.  We gave out 30 bags of food and Dave and I enjoyed seeing the kids experience bringing happiness and a little joy to those in need.  I always wish we could do more, but at least it's something.

We went to the visitors center in Oakland and saw the nativity story and walked around the Temple grounds.  They do such a great job with the lights every year.  It was so peaceful.  And I had my 16th annual cookie swap and white elephant auction.  Yum.

I love traditions!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Mexican Thanksgiving 2011

I have wanted to go the Yuccatan Penninsula and the Mayan ruins forever.  We went to Cancun for the Thanksgiving break and got to see lots of amazing things.  The weather was perfect and Ryan even got us all to play beach soccer.  After last years terrible Thanksgiving dinner at the top of the Palm Springs Tram, this year we played it safe and went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.  It was terrific!

We explored Chichen Itza and had a fantastic guide.  He was easy to understand and had a lot of his own insights that he told us about.  He showed us pictures of the things we couldn't see on his iPad and had pictures of himself with Jennifer Lopez when she filmed a video there.  We had perfect weather for walking around.

I loved looking at all the handpainted pottery and stalls of authentic Mexican things.  We tried to go to Ek Balam afterwards but got there just as they were closing.  Maybe next trip!
I wanted to experience some real Mexican culture so we found a little roadside restaurant.  It was just a husband, wife, and their young daughter with a tiny kitchen and 4 little tables.  We were the only ones there (the man had flagged us down on the street!)  It was fun to be adventurous and the food was really delicious.

We were serenaded at the restaurant by our hotel and the singers put the huge sombrero on Becca and Ryan.  We had great food the whole trip, and that says alot coming from no-spice eating, picky kids.
We played tennis on the rooftop courts, and only lost a few balls over the edge.

On the last day, Dave and Ryan were on a different flight so they dropped Becca and I off at Playa del Carmen to do some much needed shopping.  The pottery was beautiful.  "Tropical" was the best restaurant in the world (Becca wants to go back to Cancun just to eat there again and I have already tried to recreate our meals since we've been home.)  We missed Alaina but will definitely come again with her.  Fun family times.
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