Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New York City - day one

Times Square!

Top of the Rockefeller Center

Avenue of the Americas

Classic Central Park carriage ride

Times Square after "Wicked" on
Broadway - it was totally Wicked!
Our first day in the city we were commuters
on the train from New Jersey into the city.
Good thing Carla had done it before - whew!
We probably would have been lost! It took
about 1 1/2 hours to get to Times Square.
We were starved - so we found lunch and
then headed to the Top of the Rock for
amazing views of the city. After that a walk
to Central Park, the classic horse carriage ride,
a stop at the Museum of Natural History (where
Night at the Museum was filmed) dinner at
a great Italian place and then Wicked on Broadway!
Carla had already been so Rustin Reidhead met us
in Times Square and used his student ID to buy
her a ticket for Shrek - thanks Rustin! It was
great to see him - I can't believe we forgot to get
a pic with him! After a full day, back to New
Jersey and into bed at 1:30am - back up at 6:30!

Niagara Falls

Simply breathtaking!

Ready for the Maid of the Mist boat ride

The boat gets very close to the falls - you get wet!

Read for the "Cave of the Winds" tour - cool
sandals that they give you to wear!

The walk way on the cave of the winds - check
out the rainbow! You could see both ends!
This part of the trip followed the Palmyra Temple.
It is about 2 hours from Palmyra to the falls.
Following the day there, we had to drive
6 1/2 hours back to New Jersey and Ray had to
be to work the next morning!

Palmyra New York

At the airport excited to go!

The house my Mom grew up in - Port Byron NY

Hill Cumorah

In the sacred grove

Palmyra Temple
The day after our Holladay Reunion, Chris and
I boarded a plane for New York. We have never
been and we took the opportunity while Ray
and Carla are in nearby New Jersey on temporary work
assignment for Ray. Bridget flew in from Kentucky
and we began our journey. We arrived on Monday
night. After dinner at a local NJ hangout, we bedded
down for the night and got up early the next morning
to head out. We drove first to Port Byron New York
where my Mom was raised. We saw the house she
lived in and the town. It was great for me to see as
I had never been there and I was able to connect
stories from her childhood to the actual location.
We ate lunch at the little local diner which was classic
and had the daily special menu handwritten on a
piece of notebook paper - classic! After lunch we
drove on to Palmyra. We first stopped at the Hill
Cumorah. There is a beautiful visitor's center there
and we walked up to the monument on top. Following
that we went to the Smith Family farm and took
the tour with the sisters there and saw a replica
of the original log cabin home and the actual frame
home that the family lived in. Then on into the sacred
grove - such a peaceful spirit there. We stayed at
a lovely new motel in Palmyra and enjoyed "hot
tubbing" that night and visiting with other folks
touring the area. The next morning up early again
for a session at the Palmyra Temple. Another
wonderful experience. We changed clothes and hit
the road for the next part of the adventure - Niagara

Holladay Reunion 2009

From whence it all stems!

Ummm those nachos are yummy!

Swimming buddies
The boys minus missionary baby
Gorgeous daughters
Kaitlyn cannonballs!
Best buds!
Papa and Mackey
The whole group (I know tiny pic!)

Jet skis on Canyon Lake
We had a little family reunion a few weeks ago in the valley.
In the past we have gone to Mexico (7 years running!) Due to
a lot of different factors we decided to change it up this year.
I rented a huge house in Gilbert where we all stayed together.
Every family had their own room and some privacy and we had
alot of large common spaces to share - it also had a pool, pinball
and other games - lots of fun!
The first day we rented jet skis and spent the day on Canyon Lake.
I had never been there - it is a beautiful little lake and the weather
was perfect and the water refreshing - it was amazing! We had
a super fun time and B engineered a ghetto knee board out of a
boogie board and Kenny got up for the first time ever! It was
a fun day all together. I forgot my camera that day and I imported
pics that B took but I am not so competent so I only posted two as
they are tiny - I have to work on that skill!
The next day we went to a live production of "Jack and the Beanstalk"
for the grandkids - it was a fun time. The afternoon we spent enjoying
the pool and hanging out. Sunday morning we were up and out to
the boy's ward at 9am - lunch following at Tim and Cara's completed
our little get together.
I am so grateful for the wonderful family that I have - such amazing sons,
daughters and grandbabies - thanks to all of you for the success of our

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Birthday #52!

German babies and orange julius made by
Kenny & Leslie

Billy & Mommy

Beautiful flowers from Donna
So birthday #52 is under the belt! Where does
time fly to? It seems like yesterday that I
was 19 and had just been married less than a
month. Now, five boys, four daughter-in-laws
and five grandbabies later, I am wondering
where it all went. I had a great birthday. Tammy
Brewer took me lunch on Thursday as part
of our tradition and a gift certificate
for a pedicure! Friday night Julie and Bob
had us over for dinner and cooked a delicious
meal of steak, potatoes, salad and a completely
from scratch german chocolate cake - yummy!
Also they gave me a wonderful book on tape.
Saturday was the actual day and that morning
Kenny and Leslie made German Babies and orange
julius for breakfast - mmmmm! I was just
home from the gym and standing outside saying
goodbye to Bridget and Ben when I got a call
from Sean. He sang in Spanish and then said
he wished he could be there to give me a kiss
on my birthday - I said I did too - and next
thing I knew he drove up! He came all the way
from Mesa to give me a kiss on my birthday
and could only stay a little over an hour.
Definitely reduced me to tears! Bryan, Jenn
and Colby called with wishes as did Tim and
family. I received beautiful flowers from
Donna and a necklace from Kenny and Leslie.
My missionary even managed to send something
in the mail that arrived on Thursday along
with a wonderful letter - it was a great celebration!
Thanks to all of you for making me feel special!

Live in Maid/Cook

Look at this beautiful dinner that Kenny &
Leslie made last week. Raspberry Jalapeno
Chicken. It is like being at a gourmet
restaurant! It is great having them live with
us and we enjoy the delicious meals and the
help with the house and especially all the kisses
from Bentley!

Ellie Jo is Blessed

Grandpa Ben blessed Ellie

Kenny, Leslie and Bentley waiting to begin

Mommy and not so happy Ellie Jo
My niece Lynsi and her husband Joey blessed
their little girl Ellie Jo last week at their home.
It was a beautiful blessing performed by her
Grandpa Ben. We were glad to be a part!

House Painted!

So all the vines are down and the house is freshly
painted! The places where the vines used to be
look great - now we just need to redo all of the
front cement :) Never ends! One step at a time
I guess.