Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Belated Balentines...

We celebrated Valentines on Friday. It was the first date we actually went out and did something that requires a purchase for a while... though we lucked out and didn't have to pay for it ourselves. We ate at The California Pizza Kitchen, and finally used our gift certificates we received for Christmas. I always appreciate getting Gift Cards, because it allows us a fun night out, with no regrets. We both loved our food and Wes loved that he got to watch the basketball game he was missing at home. :)

Afterwards we walked over to the Borders across the street. We have a gift card there, but neither of us could pick something we wanted, and agreed to come back when we had a specific book in mind. However, while we were there we spent about 45 minutes sitting in comfy chairs in the back reading. Earlier that day at work I had started a book I wasn't able to finish, that I had to leave in the classroom. So I found it there and finished it off, while Wes read the Bourne Identity.


We finished off the night by scrounging up some change and getting some McDonald's Ice cream cones... the only thing worth getting at McDonald's. It was such a fun night!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Hero Within: To Eternity and Beyond...

Was the theme to our stake's 2008 Youth Conference, which we were lucky to be part of. Wes and I had our first experience being host parents this year. We had 6 boys stay the weekend with us. I have to admit I was much happier with boys than girls, i find them so much easier to manage.

We were actually supposed to be parents to a group of 4, but had 2 more added to our group. They wouldn't stay with any other family, but agreed to come if they could be part of our group. Basically, we had an x-box 360... need i say more???

The funny part was that 5 out of the 6 boys were from our ward. In fact Wes is their teacher for young mens. They all love playing video games, and did that anytime they could. One boy stayed up all night playing, getting only 4.5 hours of sleep in 2 days.

The weekend went something like this...

THURSDAY:
Meeting the fam. We picked up our young men, and met the girl side of the family. We went to their house and played games til about 11. Then we went back to our house played video games, and snacked. Wes and I went to bed at about 1, and slept through the night. :)

FRIDAY:
Woke up at 7. One of our boys was up making pancakes and sausage for everyone, refusing any help... thank you Joseph. Then we headed to the Lake Perris grounds for some superhero activities (see the theme). We did a lot of fun group cooperation activities. They were things that required everyone to work together and trust one another. One in particular that Wes and I took part in was called the "Trust Fall." For this activity 1 person had to stand on a platform that was literally 6 feet tall. They had their heals hanging off the end, and their back to the rest of the group. The people on the bottom put their arms out with their fore-arms up, creating a kind of zipper. The person on the platform would then fall and hopefully be caught by the entire group. It was scary especially since we had some bigger boys that had to be caught. (IE: 6 ft 240 Ibs). Wes and I as leaders had to go first. Talk about scary, especially since we had heard stories from when our ward had done this, and 2 people got dropped. The day continued with a few speakers and later that night a "Family Values Award Dinner." Here we recognized non-members from the community who have done outstanding things to increase family values. One lady we recognized for example started the student of the award month in the community. We presented 2 individuals with the award, and part of it we gave them a beautifully framed proclamation to the family. After the dinner we had a huge carnival at the stake center. Wes and I were in charge of the Guitar Hero station. It was a fun idea, because the youth were presented with tickets initially. At some stations they would pay tickets, and at different areas they could earn them. So they were able to play (lazer tag, darts, etc. and buy food like funnel cake, cotton candy, popcorn, etc.) But they also had spiritual activities, like meeting Cpt. Moroni, reading and studying certain scriptures, making good decisions, etc. It was a fun, long night, and we didn't get home til almost 11:30.

SATURDAY:
Service projects. We started by going to a senior citizens home and doing any misc work they needed. Our group washed their windows, weeded, picked up doggie poo, trimmed rose bushed, raked, etc. The people were so happy and insisted on paying us. We of course didn't allow them to, but gave them the church address and told them that if they wanted to write or take in a thank you note they could. They said they would take one on Sunday... though we don't know if they did. Following that activity was a doosie!!! We headed to Temecula to go to an abused children's home. The entire fron area was basically a forrest they decided to cut down, and it was up to the entire stake youth to take all the branches, logs, and sticks and put them in the big dumpster bins. It was hard work, only maded harder by the fact that there were literally millions of fire ants crawling all over everything. I think everyone got bit at least once. One kids arm I saw was a big red welt from all the bites he got. It was pretty comical watching everyone, including the adults, freak out every so ofen. It took about 5 hours but we filled up about 9 dumpsters to the brim! After that we headed home to clean up, pack and get ready for dinner and the dance.

Funny story happened as we were all getting showered and ready. Wes had just fixed out shower door early that week. As I was finishing my shower, Wes was about to get in, only I couldn't open the door. I called to him and he came over to help me. He grabbed the door in both hands and tried to move it over. As he did that the shower completely busted into a million pieces all over, shattering in his hands. We were both standing there (in our birthday suits) completely in shock, bleeding all over, and laughing. It was the craziest looking thing! What a perfect end. So we have 1 shower now... again.

We had such a good time, and had such nice fun boys. I feel really lucky to be part of such a wonderful gospel that does so much for the strength of the youth. It is so reassuring to have these opportunities, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that the church is true. Especially when I see how wonderful the next generation of the church is!



Our fun group of boys from left to right: (Top) Wes, and Joseph. (Middle) Evan, Michael, Eric, Josue, and (bottom) Brandon.... Michael in particular cracked me up with his Shmeagle/Golum inpersonation.

See video below.

video


Our shower pictures, blood and glass. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I am not kidding when I say how much these kids played games. All of our batteries were in constant use. I had to take some from the controllers to even take these ones. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wes is going to kill me

I am so not supposed to be blogging right now. We are youth conference parents and it begins today... yes valentines day, and i am supposed to be cleaning while he is running a few errands, but i just can't help myself.

I don't have anything that must be said now, but i wanted to remember to write down our Tuesday activity.

I am a DJ at the schools radio show, (I earn credits for doing it for my mass communications degree, but it is alot of fun). I did this 2 quarters ago and I was constantly nagging Wes to come do it with me. Finally on Tuesday he took my advice.

It was a BLAST!!!

We talked and laughed, made jokes, basically we had a whole lotta fun. I have to say however, the best part is when our friend Paul Duncan called in to win the Quiznos give away we were doing. He was so stinkin funny. He cheered, whooped, holla'd, and screamed how much he loved Coyote Radio, and how excited he was to win. No one knew he was our friend, which made it so much funnier, and I had to act like he was a normal caller.

After he won, he called our other friend Ryan McCook who decided he wanted a shout out. He called Wes and insisted we give him a "shoutout". So, we did. We said his name, where he was calling from, then agreed to play his favorite artist, which we followed up with a Kelly Clarkson song. I'm so grateful to have a fun loving husband, who is truly my best friend.

Love you Wessy!!! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! :)
-1-2-3-

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fun with the Fam...

Wes and I are lucky to live so close to our family... both sides. Not to mention that through the neices and nephews we are vicarious parents. We always wonder what we ever did without the kids to watch, as they always seem to be the main source of all family entertainment.
Superbowl Sunday for instance... the game was great, but we spent most of the time laughing at Ryan and Ella. Eating and dressing up funny. When Carter joined them, it turned into a big family dance party... though you'll have to forgive the poor camera quality, as my video component does not catch light well, or at all it seems.
And, it is always fun going down to Chino, Wednesdays and Thursdays, to watch Wes play softball and basketball. All of his family comes, especially for Thursday basketball, and we have the funnest cheering section you'll ever hear.

We are always excited for Sunday dinners at the parental units, and count our blessings having family so near and so dear!!! Cheesy I know, but it is so true! There is really never ever a dull moment at either house. :)

Here are a few photos and videos of the kids just being funny.

The rockin' outfit Ryan picked out for Ella.


Ryan Pushing Ella in the Hippo... its a tight squeeze and he typically runs her into things, but they do it almost every time they're together.


The kids playing Nick Jr' or Disney games on the Computer... Sweet lil' Claire Bear... and,



Tyler, lookin like the monster he is... j/k.
He's a clever funny kid!



Saturday-Night Dance Fever.

Tyler and Brinley, "helping" out with the laundry.


Brinley who truly can't go a day without getting hurt it seems, managing to get her head stuck in between the stair rails..

video

Ryan who will typically perform on command; he loves the attention! video

There are so many fun memories with the whole fam!

Monday, February 4, 2008

New First Presidency Announced

Thomas S. Monson is the new president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it was announced today at a news conference in the Church Office Building. President Monson, 80, succeeds President Gordon B. Hinckley, who died 27 January.The new world leader of the Church has called to serve with him in the First Presidency, the top governing body of the 13-million-member faith, President Henry B. Eyring, 74, first counselor, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 67, second counselor.