Sunday, December 20, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

I spent the better part of my Saturday evening putting the top Christmas tree lights on and ornaments and then the following Saturday finished. Dad did all the outside lights and decided this year to put white lights on the two cactus outside but not the huge saguaro cactus. Mom's wreath turned out really nice, she opted for bows this year instead of plastic ornaments.

I don't remember how many light strands Mom had to buy but we went through a ton of lights. This tree I thought was pretty hard to get lights on, the branches were so intertwined that it was annoying to make sure every strand got lights.

Here is the completed picture, I think it turned out really well personally.

This is a picture of our family room, Dad still has the Nordic track out, but I love seeing the fireplace with boughs on top and the stocking hung up. Sorry Kylene, but your stocking is technically the dogs stocking now even though it still has your name on it. You can see Behr on the couch, that is pretty typical of him, that's where Dad sits so whenver he isn't there the dogs are there waiting.

This is just outside our front door where we keep the family Christmas cards we are given and where we keep candy for carolers.

The outside lights, you can see the front of my new car too, but it is dirty from the rain we have had lately. The cactus turned out really nice I think, it all goes together well with the wreath, the cactus, and the house lights.

Here is the dining room, on the table is the Christmas table cloth Kylene made Mom a couple of years ago. I know Kylene wanted pictures of the new dining set so here is the dining room table and the next picture is of the china hutch.

It all looks very pretty, but I just cannot help think that in a month we will be taking it all down and how much more work that will be. But it is worth it.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Tree Chopping 2009

Today was a great day! Per tradition, the day after Thanksgiving we went to chop down our Christmas tree up past Payson, AZ in the few forests that are still giving out permits. Dad bought an awesome Polaris Ranger ATV, it helps so much, it means less hiking, and carrying logs and trees. Last year Dad rented one, and so this year he found a good deal and bought one brand new. On the way up Behr was so funny about where he would sit, the below picture is one of the places Behr choice to be. He looked so goofy I took a picture.

We had a hard time finding trees we liked this year, usually we have to make ourselves look at more because we love the first one we see. This time it took over an hour before we saw one we kind of liked. Dad bought 2 permits this year, so we have 2 trees which meant twice as much time looking, chopping it, loading it, etc. . .

It was such a fun time though, the weather was amazing - no snow this year which made me kind of sad but it was still beautiful. It even got a little chilly toward the end of the day. We didn't leave until 5:30 p.m. which got us home before 8 p.m. which was nice.

These are some pictures of us in the Ranger. The top one while up in the mountains and the bottom one is when we got home taking it for a last spin.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

So the pictures turned out pretty bad, Mom's camera battery was practically dead. But basically Brian was Harry Potter again, but I was a fairy princess - I wore an old prom dress with a tiara and wings. Oh, and there was TONS of glitter or as I liked to call it, fairy dust or pixie dust.

Brian did end of going trick or treating with one of his young men leaders and his kids - then they came back and played with some toys mom got out of the attic. Dad and the dogs had gone hiking so beyond that the house was pretty quiet.

I worked that day, but Bashas was participating in a trick or treat and so the bank got to be a part of it too. We had kids coming all day, it was a ton of fun. Plus at home we had an okay turn out - mostly I spent the night watching the World Series game though.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Need Some Motivation

So right now I am in serious need of motivation, there are TONS of things I can be doing that I just don't do. For instance, I am looking to go to graduate school and have been off and on studying for my GRE exam and the whole process. Also, I have had a hard time finding a new full-time job which has been an added stressor. I need some serious motivation, I am in a little rut right now.

But on the positive side things have been great besides that, my calling at church is amazing and I am loving life. I have made a personal commitment to read the whole bible and to read everyday - that has been a hard goal but so far I am over three weeks strong and am in Deuteronomy now which is the farthest I have made it to. General Conference is this weekend and I am major excited about it, I will even be able to catch most of it, will just miss Saturday morning session because of work. My institute class is going well, we learned about John Taylor this week and if I knew my prophets better I could tell who is next - but I can't. Well by next Wednesday I will be able to.

Just want to give a shout out to Kylene, I hope she has her baby soon and that everyone is healthy. I am so excited to be an aunt all over again, I love my neice and nephews.

Hopefully I will have some pictures next time, probably Halloween will be the best bet.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Owl

This is for Michael, Grandma had talked to him about an owl that was sitting on our house. Well here are some pictures of him sitting on the house, and up in a tree in our backyard - our trees are kind of different from yours but I guess owls aren't picky.

First two pictures are the owl in the palm tree in our backyard, this was about a month ago and Brian thought it was so amazing that we had an owl.

These last three pictures show the owl right outside mine and Mom's balcony, Dad came upstairs to tell me there was an owl and when I went out I couldn't see him. Mom came too and had to show me, he was pretty cool, just sat there and would occassionally glance at us.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dogs Haircut

So, this actually happened in May over Memorial Day - which was a weekend when Mom and Brian were in Maryland and Dad and I were home together. He decides that it is a great time to give the dogs haircuts. I will not dispute that they needed it, but I did not want to spend my day off to do it.

Behr has a ton of hair! I wish I took pictures of the hair we buzzed off, it was layers and layers of hair in our backyard. Here are some pictures I found of the dogs before their trimming.

This one is my personal favorite of Behr - it was taken in the winter so he does have a winter coat - but still - this dog has lots of fur!

Here is the after photos - this is actually 2 trims after. Dad and I took off an inch the first time, but then 2 weeks later Mom, and I took off another 1/2 inch. They look pretty goofy in the pictures, but the hair has darkened to a nice red again.

The hair has also evened quite a bit too.

Brenlie was a little coward when it came down to the cut, she had way less hair than Behr and took a fraction of the time to do.

I really love my dogs, because that was definitely a labor of love.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mom's 50th Birthday

Mom celebrated her 50th Birthday on Thursday, unfortunately she had to work that day and so only in the evening could we head to Olive Garden for a nice family dinner. MaryJo took her to breakfast on Wednesday morning and made her chicken salad complete with croissant rolls and Nicole made her a home-made cheesecake with fresh raspberries.

I took Mom out to get her first pedicure ever! The only reason she agreed was because we went to a patient of Dad's and so Mom decided that she could maybe handle Tuyen Kim touching her feet. Well she claims that she liked it and admits that they are not as terrible as she thought they would be. Below are pictures of mom's and mine pedicure.

Grandma Banks had a dozen pink roses delivered to the house, and it was such a special suprise for Mom to get on Friday.

Dad got mom a printer/copier/fax machine, and I am also grateful because now she doesn't have to rely on mine. I didn't take a picture of that, but it is nice, it is a wireless printer - Dad wouldn't help try and figure out the "wireless" portion of it so as of right now that feature is not working.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Church Calling

I am very excited right now, I have been in my Singles Branch for a little over 6 months and I finally got my call. I am the Branch Service Committee Member! There are maybe 3 people in the committee including the chairman and there is also one honorary member. Our first service will be feeding the homeless in some shelter in Phoenix - sometime next month I believe. It is going to be amazing, I love my singles Branch.

Beyond that there is nothing super new right now, I am working at the bank as a teller still and posting out for full-time job at least once a day now. Mom and Brian are going to Utah tomorrow for the Fourth of July and should come back with some fun pictures, and I still have to post their pictures from Maryland. I did get my diploma in the mail yesterday and it looks pretty plain - but how can you really make a paper look that exciting?

So no pictures this time, sorry.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Graduation Pictures

Brian is not the only one who had a photoshoot. I wanted to get some nice photos in my cap gown wearing gold ballet flats - I couldn't find any so I ended up wearing the ones I wore to my cousin Whitney's wedding.

I also wanted some pictures with my glasses - I hoped they would make me look smarter or sophisticated.

But I also got some pictures with the contacts. This is at Red Mountain Park with the itchy grass and people walking their dogs that we had to avoid in our shots.

This one is my favorite - the pose of relief!

The next two pictures were taken at Las Sendas, there was a pretty rainfall and I think these two turned out amazing. Sister Smith did such a wonderful job.

Mine and Brian's were one of the last free photoshoots she did, beginning June she officially starts. It was a lot of fun, I had done a previous shoot with her at Tempe Town Lake that I loved, and the pictures were great.

Brian's Photoshoot

Brian had photoshoots done by a lady in our ward who is starting a photography business. Mom wanted some different pictures pictures of Brian smiling. Most of the shots were taken at Red Mountain Park which gave a great background of Red Mountain and by the river.

Brian had a hard time smiling naturally on cue, sometimes he looked pretty silly but they turned out really nice. He doesn't like to smile with his teeth, Mom told Sister Smith to be sure to get a toothy smile no matter how unnatural it looked.

She wanted Brian to be doing something other than just smiling, a more "natural" pose for him. So Brian whips out his DS and starts playing it, and I'm pretty sure this is the photo Brian liked the best.

Great Job Sister Smith, they look great. MUCH better than Brian's yearbook pictures.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

ASU 2009 Graduation

I am officially done with school for at least a year! Today I attended my convocation at the Wells Fargo Arena at 1 p.m. and I had an okay time. My parents had to rearrange their work schedule in order to come to the ceremony and support me. I am thankful that the ceremony took place in doors because it was warm today, at least 103 degrees, and in the cap and gown I was dieing trying to find them outside.

This is me walking to my seat, I am the short one, I was so angry that the girl behind me was some amazon woman - plus the seats were tiny and she was all over my space.

This is a photo mom took of me, I guess they saw me instantly when I walked in - I was the fifth person and sat down close to where they were sitting. So although they were high up I had a pretty clear view of them, I think you can see my hand waving at them in the photo below. I sat by a friend of mine, it was so nice to know someone there and could keep each other company.

We wanted to take a picture behind something that said ASU but for as many people as there were, and for how hot it was I figured the palm was good enough. This is me right after I found mom and dad in the outside lobby - they made all the graduates exit which made finding everyone difficult.

Brian was kind enough to take a picture of mom and dad and me, he had to come with me in my car to save seats for them. So he was there over an hour early too - thankfully convocation did not take as long as I thought it would and lasted from 1p.m. to a little before 3 p.m. Mom was really excited that I decided to walk, I was really against it, but like she said - it only happens once so here we are.

This one is my favorite, I am so glad that my family came and supported me for this step in my life. After this picture we went to a late lunch, watched the Diamondbacks win a game and then later in the evening went to Nielson's for frozen custard. It was a great time.

I should get my diploma in 10 to 12 weeks, it is kind of sad to think that my school career is almost over - now I have to work for the rest of my life. Awesome. Seriously though, I am excited, college has been a great experience and I have a year to think about going on to a masters program.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Easter Sunday

We did not have our traditional Easter Sunday with finding our Easter baskets in the morning and our special treats. Mom and Brian's church starts at 8:00 a.m. whereas my Singles ward does not start until 10:30 a.m. so I opted to sleep in and enjoy my Easter morning in my bed. I always love Easter Church, the choir numbers are especially my favorite, and the Easter message is also very special.

This is me right after church coming home to my basket, it was a lot of fun, felt like a kid again.

Brian actually did get an egg hunt on Friday with the Valora and Levie cousins at Usery Pass. He did really well.

Mom wanted to see my reaction with a movie she got me, You've Got Mail, I've wanted it for a while but never found it locally. I love it!

Kylene, tell Michael this is the best I could do as far as pretty dresses go. I only wear that dress for Easter.

Happy Easter!