Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Ellers' in Kansas City ( and an awesome story to boot)

OK. I need to fill you in on the background how this day came to be. Two years ago we took a trip to UT for Haylie's baptism. We decided to attend church with my sister in Eagle Mountain. It happened to be the missionary farewell of a young man in her ward named Ryan Ellers. He stood up to the podium and said that he was called to the Independence MO mission. I turned to my sister and said he's going to end up in our ward! Fast forward a couple of months and low and behold Elder Ellers comes to church. I introduced myself, told him that Jessica was my niece that he has grown up with and that we had attended his missionary farewell just as a fluke. He was so new and out of his element he didn't have much to say. I had signed up to feed the Elders a couple of times but unfortunately he was never one of the ones that came over. However, our good friends the Whites had invited us to dinner at their home with the missionaries and he was there so I took a picture and FB'd it to his mom. Now his mom, Kristy Ellers and I have been chatting back and forth these past two years and she has also been my sisters' Visiting Teaching companion for about 9 years. What a small world it is in the church. So now we are at the end of his two year service and their family is coming out here to pick him up. We opened our home to them and they stayed overnight with us for one night. We met them for lunch at Oklahoma Joes (our favorite bbq). Brought them back to our home to get settled and then we all went to the Royals/Indians game Saturday night. They came to church with us on Sunday so he was able to see some people he knew in the ward. They stayed with some friends in St Jo that night and flew back home on Tuesday.

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Fundraising

It has started again. The fundraising for next years drill team. Savannah went out selling the pastry puffins and cookie dough again. Didn't get as many takers as last year but she worked hard.
One of our local Applebee's also opened up their restaurant for the girls to do a AYCE pancake breakfast. They had pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee, milk, and soft drinks. The girls were to serve and wait on tables. We were there first thing so were seated right away but Savannah said toward the end some people had been waiting an hour to get breakfast. Would like to know how many tickets they actually sold!

 
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Kansas City Temple Open House

We had our tour of the Kansas City Temple. It was magnificent. Hubby's half sister Connie came up from southwest MO to see it with us and stay overnight. It took about 90 minutes from start to finish. Since we were so close we decided to show her Liberty Jail. Dinner at Olive Garden afterwards. It was a fun evening. Mike has several volunteer oportunities as a medical person in the First Aid room.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

I figured this has been our 9th Easter in Kansas and the 6th in our home. The Legends had a big Easter activity that we went to. It was a little chilly for my taste. They had some inflatables, a small petting zoo, a balloon artist, and of course the Easter Bunny (though he did look kind of creepy). We colored eggs Friday night because Mike had his first of three volunteer shifts as a First Aid person at the Kansas City Temple Open House. Our block of church time is 9-12 so we got a quick look at what the Easter Bunny dropped off and searched outside in the yard after church for all the eggs he hid. What a BEAUTIFUL day! Our friends the Whites came over that afternoon for Easter dinner and games. We had a great time!

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Anyone Want S'mores?

Girls each had a friend sleep over a week ago and it was such a gorgeous day/evening that we decided to get out the fire pit and make some s'mores. I particularly don't like them but they had a great time and I just enjoy sitting by the fire.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break Day 1 (Thursday)

Today started our 2012 Spring Break. Several months ago my sister invited Mike and I to go on a Carnival cruise down to Cabo for a week. I jumped at the chance for my vacation from being Mom! One of my SIL suggested our girls come to UT to spend the week with their cousins. We had originally thought my MIL would come here to stay with the girls.

So the four of us hopped on a plane and flew into PVU tonight. Talk about a small airport! Only Frontier Airlines flies in and out of it and you walk onto the tarmac to get on and off the plane. That brought back memories of childhood!
My MIL picked us up and we went to dinner at The Training Table. I fasted all day so I could consume all my 1400 calories all in one meal. It was SO worth it until later that night. It kind of put my body into shock. I haven't had that much fat, grease, sodium, calories all in one sitting for over a year!
Stayed the night at my mothers and then headed for SLC airport the next morning. California here we come!!

Spring Break Day 2 (Friday)

Today Mike and I flew into LGB. I have flown into it before a long time ago (in another lifetime) and it just cracks me up. It is a little bit bigger than the PVU airport and we have to walk off the plane onto the tarmac. I remember doing that ages ago when I was a kid! We got to the DoubleTree Hotel about 11a. Grabbed a quick lunch across the street at Wendys and took the free shuttle over to Disneyland for day 1. I think I may have slightly been more excited to do this because we have done cruises without our girls but we have NEVER been to Disneyland without them. It. Was. Awesome! Got our favorite spot (front row) on Tower of Terror and did the redneck thing......took a picture of a picture. Got to love Capt Jack! My sister and BIL were leaving UT about Noon this day after she got off work and were meeting us at the hotel. I didn't expect them to get there until after midnight. They made great time though. When we texted them the picture of us in front of Pirates of the Caribbean, they were gasing up in Vegas. We got back to the hotel about 10:30 that night and hit the elevator button to go up to our room on the 6th floor. Low and behold when the elevator doors opened there were Eric and Lisa on their way back from the hot tub! I thought it was funny running into them there.

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Spring Break Day 3 (Saturday)

Today we spent day 2 at Disneyland with Lisa & Eric. Notice we have jackets? Still cold. However, we did an awesome job with Fast Passes and getting to ride everything we wanted to (sometimes several times). Was disappointed that we got the back row on Tower of Terror; I like the very front row. I think the longest we had to wait in line was 30 minutes for Indiana Jones. So even though it was Spring Break the crowds weren't all that bad ~ I was quite surprised. Eric/Lisa stayed on site while we took our favorite bus up to In and Out Burger. You know we've been to the ones in Utah and Nevada and for some reason they just don't taste as good. I think since they originated in California then that is the only state where they taste really good. We got there about 7p and it was STILL hoppin' busy! I got my I/O meal and then we walked across the parking lot to Chick Fil A for Mike to get his dinner and actually have a place to sit down. What a fun, PERFECT day!

 
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Spring Break Day 4 Cruise Day!!! (Sunday)

Today we got up and drove to the Port of San Diego to get on the Carnival Spirit. Stopped by a couple of stores on our way out of Anaheim to get sunglasses and such then we were on our way. My 2nd favorite city in the whole wide world is San Diego! Took a detour over to the temple to take some pictures. Mike and I have had the opportunity to do a session in this temple and even though we were married in the Salt Lake Temple; I think San Diego by far is the prettiest. Took a few pictures around the ship before we ate lunch and took off. I was hoping that we would go under the Coronado Bay Bridge but we didn't.

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Spring Break Day 5 (Monday)

Today was another "cruise" day. These are mostly pictures that we took yesterday when we got on the boat, but oh well. Loved our cabin! First time we have ever had a balcony. And the room seemed so much bigger with just the two of us.

 
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Spring Break Day 6 (Tuesday)

This was my favorite day of all time. We had never done zip-lining before and decided it would be a blast. And boy was it!!! It was through Wild Canyon and was an absolute rush. There were 8 lines to go through and a few of them we went tandom. One line all four of us were able to go at the same time but they didn't get a picture of that. I was so disappointed!! We are definately going to do this again. In fact their is a huge canopy tour in NW Arkansas that we want to do sometime but in the meantime we have decided to go to Meramec Caverns and do all these outdoor activities over Memorial Day weekend. We are going to do this Caveman Zipline with the girls.

Flying high and loving it! I just LOVE palm trees and had to get my picture by this darling baby one.
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Spring Break Day 7 (Wednesday)

Today was snorkeling shore excursion day. We took a boat ride out around Cabo. Did you know that this outcropping of rocks is actually the top of a mountain? There is a massive canyon underneath the harbor of Cabo San Lucas which makes these "rocks" mountain tops. I would love to just fly down here and spend a week bumming around. Had to get a picture even though we did not go to Senor Frogs. Lots of pelicans around the bay too. We had to turn at the lighthouse to go to Del Sol and Hard Rock Cafe.

When we got to our snorkeling spot, Chileno Bay I decided not to get in. They said the water was only 60*! Last October when we were here it was much warmer at 80*. So I was the picture taker. Even though we were not looking at our best I am really digging this picture of me in the swimsuit. I can't tell you the last time I saw my collar bones! And I also want this yacht called Legacy. Would really like to know who owns it. The boat had a small luncheon for us and unlimited soda and drinks. Mike had probably near 20 virgin margaritas! Too sour for me; I'll take a sweet daquiri any day.
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Spring Break Day 8 (Thursday)

Today was a "cruising day". These are some random pictures of stuff we did around the ship. It may or may not have been on this particular day, but I didn't want to skip any photos. One of the lady photographers that took our formal pictures was totally ticked off at us. She had no idea about proper posing and the "do's and don'ts" of taking pictures. My sister and my big issues are gaps between people and phantom hands. You know, those pictures where your loved one has their arm around your back and all you see is their hand on your shoulder. THAT is a phantom hand and it looks REALLY STUPID. It looks like you have an appendage just growing out of your shoulder. So we finally posed ourselves the way we wanted to for the pictures to look decent. Our balcony offered quiet time for a quick nap with the complementary bathrobes (did I mention it was cold?). The indian ice carving was done in 15 minutes from a solid block of ice. And you can't miss the sunsets.

 
We participated in a digital scavenger hunt and got 3rd place. One of the requirements was to get a group to do the monkey "hear no evil...." thing. My sister and I particularly liked the hunky guy on the right. We played cards a lot in the game room. The water was pretty choppy at some points and I had to get a shot out the game room window of the waves coming from barreling through them. Don't know why we have a picture in the elevator.  :-)
 
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Spring Break Day 9 (Friday)

This was our third and last day at Disneyland. I had been feeling a bit queasy since dinner last night. Don't know if it was the prime rib that I ate, becuase I had eaten it once before earlier on in the week. My sister and BIL were kind enough to drive us back up to our hotel from San Diego before heading on back to UT. I know it was a bit out of their way but we were grateful. It was actually colder here in CA than it was back home in KS....by 20 degrees! The park was way crowded, I was feeling sick and I was cold. We spent all of 4 hours at Disneyland, took our favorite 20 minute bus ride up to The Old Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton for dinner, came back to shop at World of Disney and then was back at the hotel by 7pm.

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Spring Break Day 10

We flew home on Saturday Mar 17. After 10 days being away from home I was ready. Ended up vomiting (I know; TMI) all night last night so needless to say our flight home was crappy. And going through 3 time zones did not help. We flew back into SLC this morning and met back up with our girls. Had lunch with my MIL and Dad at Hires Big H downtown. I just ordered a strawberry milkshake and didn't even finish that. We had a short layover in Denver and then arrived home at 10:00p. Mike had Bishopric meetings the next day but the girls and I stayed home from church to recoup. The trip was fabulous except for the part of getting sick. Hope to do it again!

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THE Big Day

After waiting patiently for two weeks the big day finally arrived. We had 11 (count them, 11) girls at the huge sleepover birthday. We decorated cupcakes, ate ice cream, chips, soda pop, candy; all sorts of bad for you things. They played games, danced to wii and told scary stories. I had to finally put the kaibosh on the festivities when they started the popcorn food fight in the great room. And bedtime was midnight after someone told a particularly scary story and someone was upset.

 
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Valentines Day Party

I signed up to volunteer at Haylie's school valentines day party. The kids had a great time. They decorated their boxes if needed, played games which included Pin the Lips on Ms Dougan. It was pretty hilarious. Cupcakes, and punch for treats. Daddy got off in time to come join us.

 
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Haylie turns 10!

Our little Haylie Bug turned 10 years old in February. Her first double digit birthday! Since it fell during parent teacher conferences we decided to hold off on the big party and just invite her really good friend Rylee to dinner. Unfortunately Rylee is moving to Florida after school gets out. We will miss her! Haylie wanted to go to T-Rex Cafe in this awesome shopping complex. She got a BUNCH of Justin Bieber stuff. For dessert we ordered the Chocolate Extinction complete with fog. It was delish!

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Girls Choir

The middle school choir had their winter show I believe. I had forgotten our good camera and so was limited to the camera on my iPhone. They turned out ok. I SO LOVED choir!

 
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Haylie: Unique You

In the past, the elementary has had Student of the Week. This year they have entitled it Unique You. Haylie's week was in January I believe. This is a picture of her in front of her board in her 4th grade classroom. She posted pictures of some of our trips and wrote a whole page telling about herself. I can't believe she has one more year and then off to middle school!

 
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2012 Kansas Spectacular Dance Competition

Ok, I can't believe it has been 3 months since I have posted anything. Does that tell you how busy we have been? We will start with Savannah and drill team.

She, along with other schools and dance team across the midwest participated in the 2012 Kansas Spectacular. They were awarded several prizes which included a big huge trophy to display at the school. The girls and team did an awesome job!

 
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