Thursday, May 31, 2012


We had a really nice Easter this year. The kids got to inspect their baskets in the morning before we headed out to church. The Easter bunny gave each of them an adorable outfit, along with some candy. Since we have to leave our house at 8:00 to get to our building for 8:30 church, the Easter egg hunt had to wait until we got back, but the kids were certainly scoping out the hidden eggs before we left.
I like to take a picture of the kids on Easter Sunday, but the above picture wasn't so fabulous. We tried again when we got home, but the results weren't much better.
And then the hunt was on.
In addition to the regular eggs, they each got to find two special golden eggs that had a dollar in it.
There were quite a few eggs hidden!
Then we colored Easter eggs.
Everybody had lots of fun making their eggs special.
Lexi, of course, made some eggs as well before she had to head of to her late church.
Cute kids!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sareny's Special Day

Sareny got baptized the day after she turned eight, on March 24th. What an absolutely perfect day! She looked so beautiful and wore the same dress that I wore when I got baptized, which Grammy Jo made. I sometimes stress over the details of events, but I truly felt like this day could not have been better. Most of our family was unable to attend, but we had so many good friends that came that the room was filled.
We all look a little crazy in this picture because the sun was so bright in our eyes! All of the family that came got to participate--Lexi led the music, Bampa gave the opening prayer, Grammy Jo gave the talk on the Holy Ghost, and Bampa was also one of the witnesses. Sareny shared her special day with her good friend Sammie, and the witnesses were definitely needed for her baptism, since Sammie had to be dunked three times to get it right.
Both girls looked so pretty in their white dresses, and they were so excited for this day. One thing Sareny had been very concerned with was that she wanted to be baptized first, because she is older. (Sammie turned eight on the 24th.) We all thought this was a bit ridiculous, but it worked out that she got her wish. My dear friend Debra G came and played the piano, and the music was lovely. I got to pick the songs for the program, and we sang "When Jesus Christ was Baptized," and "Baptism," which starts out, "Jesus came to John, the baptist..." Those are two of my favorite songs and they really brought the spirit to the meeting. Sareny's friend Grace gave her these beautiful flowers.
Grandma Nancy was sad to miss this special event, and she sent this gorgeous dress that Sareny wore after she was baptized.
Me with my baby girl. Is my baby girl really this grown up??
A couple more photos of Sareny, because she just looked so beautiful in her white dress.
Our family. How I love these guys!
After the baptism, we had a luncheon at our house. We had so much food, and it was very delicious and fun to share it with some friends and family. On the menu: pulled pork sandwiches, fruit tray with dip, veggie tray with dip, chips and homemade salsa, and rootbeer floats. (I remember having rootbeer floats after my baptism, so I thought that would be fun to have them at our children's as well.) I am so glad that Sareny's special day was so wonderful. The next day Sareny said, "I wish I could get baptized again, because that was so fun!" So typical. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

They Say It's Your Birthday!

At least it was a month and a half ago! Sareny's birthday fell on "Fashion Friday," which means Lexi does her hair and/or nails all fancy. On this day, Sareny even got to wear makeup. She also had picked out the special birthday badge that she wore all day, which if you look closely, it says, "Kiss me, it's my birthday." I tried to talk her into getting the one that said something about a special birthday, since she did turn eight and all, but she insisted on that one. We're not sure who exactly she wanted to kiss her, but she must have been sending a message to someone. Grammy and Bampa came down that evening, because Sareny was getting baptized the next morning. We got some cupcakes and sang to her.
You can tell from that huge grin on her face that this is a girl who likes being the center of attention. This was her special day!
A couple of weeks later we celebrated with a friend's party. Lexi and I made a strawberry cake and Sareny invited four friends over. We had lasagna and breadsticks, cake and ice cream, and then I loaded the girls up and took them to a nail salon where they each got a pedicure and their nails painted. The girls had so much fun being pampered!
The girls: Sammie, Emily D., Sareny, Emily J., and Bobbie Jo.
What a milestone birthday for Sareny! We are so proud of the smart, kind, beautiful young lady she is growing into.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Aloha Festival

Just a few weeks after we got back from Hawaii, Tempe was having their annual Aloha Festival, and we finally decided to check it out. Our good friends the Gardner's perform here every year, and I always have wanted to go. Onstage above are Hallie and Hannah. They all did so great! We are planning to join Auntie Claire's group next year--I think the girls would love it!
After enjoying some kalua pig and shave ice, we headed over to the kid's area to make some flower lei's.
Sareny and Finley had fun making them. Isaac didn't want to make one, and I was okay with that. Here they are looking rather cute in their lei's, or in Isaac's case, their Pat's Run finery. Speaking of Pat's Run, I hope you're all gearing up for next year, because it is on!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Peered Ears

Sareny has wanted "peered ears" for a long time, but she has always been too scared to actually get them pierced. Probably because I have regaled the kids on several occasions with the horror story of getting my ears pierced when I was five. It was so tramatic, I still remember every detail. 
She finally decided she was ready to get them pierced, so we headed to the mall one Friday evening in late February. She was pretty nervous, but everytime I went to take her picture, she would put on a huge grin like she didn't have a care in the world. 
As I have been known to do occassionally, I left my wallet home so we were fortunate that Lexi was there to pick up the tab. Right before it was time, Sareny said she changed her mind and tried to back out of getting her ears pierced. Lexi said, "I just paid for somebody to get there ears pierced, and since I already have mine piereced, that somebody is going to be you." I had told her before we left our house that if we were driving that far, there would be no changing her mind once we got there, so we made her go through with it.
I love this picture. (Am I a horrible person?) The look on Sareny's face is one of pure terror.
Right after getting them pierced. She was pleasantly surprised that it didn't hurt at all, at least according to her. (I know I have a low pain tolerance level, but come on! I remember it hurting pretty darn bad.)
She was so proud of her new earrings and how brave she was.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hawaii, day nine

For our last morning in Hawaii, Cassidy dropped us off at the international marketplace. We had a nice time browsing the shops and looking for souvenirs. We purchased a really cool Hawaiian nativity at one of the shops. After shopping, we decided to try to find Duke's restaurant to have lunch. We knew it was somewhere along Waikiki, so we crossed the street to the beach and walked along it looking for Duke's. Basically we walked the whole length of Waikiki without coming across Duke's, so we turned around and finally found it just steps from where we came in to the beach, but in the opposite direction than the way we started walking. After eating lunch, we finished our meal off with a piece of hula pie.
The lighting is terrible in this picture, but the beach is right behind us. The first time we ate here, we were down even closer to the beach.
After lunch, Cassidy picked us up and dropped us off at the airport. It was sad to see our vacation come to an end, but we were both pretty excited to get home and see our kids again too. We were both so grateful to the Larsen's for hosting us and showing us around, and to Lexi for taking care of our kids while we were gone. We had such a great time!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hawaii, day eight

For our last full day in Hawaii, we decided to hike Manoa Falls, and I'm so glad we did! It was so beautiful and otherwordly. This was Keith's other pick as his favorite thing we did in Hawaii. It was a little muddy and slick, and I had visions of myself slipping and emerging from the hike covered in mud, but thankfully, that did not happen. Cassidy dropped us off at the base of the hike and then took Truman to the library while we hiked. In the above picture, there is a cool natural arch that grew over the pathway.
I just could not believe how green and tropical everything was. Completely different from our desert hike of the day before! Everywhere you looked there were gorgeous vines draping across the trees and pretty flowers. The vines behind Keith remind me of an elephant.
There was lots of bamboo growing along the path.
The falls are just visible behind us in this photo.
We made it to the top!
It was so pretty at the top. We sat for a while and ate lunch before we started back down.
On the way back down. Seriously, I felt like I was in a different world.
So pretty!
Cassidy picked us up from the hike, then dropped us off in downtown Honolulu where we toured the Iolani palace. It was a really cool building with an audio tour. The story of Hawaii's royal family was a little sad, although I noticed they certainly left out any negative information about the royals and how they came to power.
Same building from the other side, with a cool tree in front of it. This building is now completely surrounded by concrete and large office buildings, but apparently back in it's hayday, it had a beautiful ocean front view.
Across the street was this government building with a statue of king Kamehameha. Hawaii is the only state with former royalty and to have a palace.
It was our last night in Hawaii, so I took this picture off of Cassidy and Jame's lanai so I could remember. This was the view we enjoyed every night.