Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rock this test!

My sister in law Jenn, teaches at Kirk Admas Elementary School here is Vegas. She was in charge of a school assembly on Friday. It was to get the kids geared up for the big state wide testing the next week. The theme of the assembly was "Rock this Test." So all the teachers dressed up as rock stars and some of the teachers sand some rock songs. Las Vegas High School had their drum band and cheerleaders there to cheer them on. Jenn asked Mitchell to play the guitar for the 2nd grade teachers song. They were the "Plain White T's" and sang "Hey There Kirk Adams"... Like "Hey There Delila." Mitch did a great job! Channel 5 was there filming it and it was on the news, but you couldn't see Mitch. Jenn made the news though!

I was very impressed with Jenn. She was in charge of the whole thing and she was great talking to the kids and getting them pumped up! She is an amazing teacher. I asked her what her school was doing for their in service training tomorrow and Scott told us that they had filmed Jenn teaching last week and they are going to show it to the other teachers for their training! She is awesome!

Jenn being interviewed!

Scott brought the kids. It was freezing outside. It was so windy and cold!

The Plain White T's!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Presidents Day

We had an amazing presidents day!! We went up to some great friends cabin at Brian Head. There is something so calming about being up there! You forget everything going on at home and just relax! We got there Friday night and got all settled in.

Saturday morning we woke up to lots of snow! It was snowing hard and it was very windy! It was our only day to ski, so we decided to brave the storm. (against John's better judgment! he wanted to wait till Monday...) It was Ashley's first time snowboarding! Scotty was very patient with her! I was impressed with both of them. Every time we passed them, she was still smiling and they were having fun! She spent a good amount of time on the ground trying to get up! And it was freezing cold and snowing hard... not the best circumstances for learning to snowboard! She was a trooper! I kept offering to go rent her ski's but she didn't want to give up. She was doing pretty good by the end of the day!

At the end of the day we needed to return Tanner's ski's to the lodge and we didn't want to drive the car since it doesn't have 4 wheel drive. So, the last ride up the lift that goes past the cabin was at 4:30, so we figured we could ski tot he cabin at 4:00 and drop Tanner off and then John and I would carry his ski's and boot's down to the lodge and then hop on the chair before it closed and get back to the cabin just fine.... it was a good idea if the timing would have gone right! We got tanner dropped off too late... so we were at the bottom of the hill at about 4:23 , so John told me to wait at the chair and if it was going to close I should get on and not walk up the hill with him. So at 4:30, John was still returning ski's and so I got on the lift. The minute I did, I knew I shouldn't have... I got to the cabin and began to worry about him. He doesn't have the best sense of direction and that made me nervous! I knew his phone was about dead, so he had it off. After an hour of pacing the cabin and going out to look down the hill for him I got my snow clothes back on and went searching for him. I walked down to the bridge so I could see up and down the slope he should have been hiking and there was no sign of him. I tired to call a dozen times with no answer... FINALLY he turned his phone on and I found out where he was. He sounded a bit disoriented and exhausted! Just then a jeep drove by. He waved and I flagged him down and told him my husband was stuck at the bottom of the hill. He drove down and picked him up and brought us back to the cabin. He was an answer to prayer! John had tried a few ways to get back and none worked, the snow was too deep!. He had finally skied back to the bottom and headed up the road. But hiking with his ski's in hand and snow boots on and 10,000 feet in altitude about killed him. I was very grateful to get him back to the cabin!

We spent the evening playing games, watching a movie and doing a puzzle!

The rest of the weekend was very relaxing! I had no idea that my kids liked to play Scrabble! We played all weekend long!

We had a blast sledding! We made a fun run out front of the cabin and then we graduated to the ski slope! Oh my gosh, it is SO FUN! The roads were clear so, John and I took turns driving the van down to the bottom to pick everyone up. We started at the bridge and went to the bottom of the lift. It is so steep! I screamed the whole way down! We went about 6 or 7 times!

The best thing about the whole weekend was that the TV was only turned on for a couple good family movies. No ESPN and No Nickelodeon! It was Heaven! (of course the sun was shining on Sunday and Monday!)


Mitchell got asked to Sadies last week by Michelle DeLaVega. She left this fun poster on the garage and there was a cute little basket of carrots with a clue as to where he was to go next... (I sent Tanner along with him with my good camera to take pictures... as they drove away i got really nervous for my camera... but he took pretty good pictures and it came back in one piece! I won't post all the pictures that Tanner took, like cars in the other lane and the dashboard and other Tanner pictures... haha)

The first stop was his favorite pizza place... (I see more debits on his bank card for this place than any other place in town...)

Ashley's work, The Lakes Cleaners...

The park...

Cute Michelle was dressed like a bunny inside this box!

I hope they have a great time at the dance!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy 100th! Birthday!

Today would be my Grandma Verhaaren's 100th birthday! My grandma was an amazing lady! Talk about great heritage, I have it. She was born in Australia, not long after her mother moved there from South Africa. Her father had been in South Africa working and he boarded at their home and fell in love and asked my great grandma to marry him and go back to Australia with him. So, my grandma was raised in Australia and they were one of the first converts to the church in Melbourne. When my grandma was I think 17, she and her brother Harry got on a ship and sailed to America to live with the saints in Salt Lake City. The rest of the family followed them as they got visa's to come. I can't imagine getting on a ship at that age without my parents to travel half way around the world to a new country! She was a true pioneer! She and my grandpa we getting quite serious when my grandma was called on a mission to Montreal Canada. She went and grandpa waited for her! My grandparents ended up raising their family in Palo Alto California. My grandma taught kindergarten at a private school and my grandpa was a German professor at San Jose State. (he was from Germany)

(this is my mom and aunt Norma)

I loved our family trips to see Grandma and Grandpa in California ! We always had so much fun. It was especially fun when our cousins joined us there. My moms family was spread out, so we didn't see them very often. But we had a great time together when we did. A few memories of my Grandma: her Australian accent, her love for nature, her hummingbird feeders and all the flowers in the backyard, her homemade lemonade, her house on Channing street, she was a kindergarten teacher for years so she always taught us how to make things out of paper, like hats and little puppets. There was a cool park by her house that we always went too. It had the best slide! We always made a trip to San Fransisco when we were there and ALWAYS a trip to the ocean. I know my love for the ocean comes from my grandparents! We made lots of trips to the Redwoods with her. And my grandpa did a lot of studying and work at Stanford. So we went there a lot too. Great memories! My grandparents made a lot of trips to Seattle to see us. We always went up to Mt. Rainier when she came! She LOVED it! It is so beautiful!

She never missed a birthday! She always sent a check from Wells Fargo bank. I remember the little wagon on the checks! I don't know why I remember that, except when our bank was bought by them, I felt safe that my grandparents had banked there... strange I know. My grandma was her stake girls camp director for like 20 years! That's where I get my love for camp! The men always joke when we all get together that there are too many camp directors in the house!

My grandma was an amazing lady! Strong and faithful in the gospel! I love that she traveled the world. She and my grandpa traveled to some amazing places. I hope to do that with my husband some day! They served a mission in Hungary before it was open to missionaries and when the government asked them to leave, they finished their mission in Mauritius, off of the coast of Africa. SO cool. She was a great example and I love her lots!!

This is my last picture with her...

This is my aunt Norma, Uncle Bruce, Aunt Lois, and my mom after her burial, we went to the redwoods and the ocean.

Here are some really old pictures of her! I love them!

Christina Johanna Truter Ochse, Julia Achse Dix-Peek Woodbine, Anita Dix-Peek Chittock, Nita Anne Chittock (grandma)

My grandma and her mom in South Africa when she was about 3.


Grandma in Ontario Canada on her mission 1935

She would probably hate this for me, but I love it! See, she loved the ocean!

This is my grandparents in San Francisco in 1945

Monday, February 14, 2011

I LOVE my Valentine!

I have the best valentine in the world! I am so lucky! I woke up and found 11 notes scattered around the house with chocolates on them. Each note was like a whole page explaining one thing he loved about me. He is so thoughtful and romantic!

We had a great day. John's boss took the guys and their wives out for lunch. We went to Brio at Town Square. It was delicious! And it's always so fun to get together with the office wives! (and guys!)

We decided to stay home and make a nice romantic dinner here. John bought some fillet mignon and we made a nice salad and yummy sweet potato fries! We paid the kids money to go out to Chili's so we could have a nice romantic dinner. It was great! We didn't have to deal with a crowded restaurant. (Tanner arranged the candles in a heart! )

I found this recipe online for lava cake... it was so good!!!! I wish i would have taken a picture of the chocolate gooying out of it! yum!!

I will never forget our first valentines day together! We had only been dating a few weeks and John's roommate and fiance were driving to San Francisco for something so John and I hitched a ride. John's parents were living in the bay area at the time and we stayed with them for the weekend. It was so fun! We played lots of games with the fam! I got to know Debbie and Edie and just loved them! They were still in high school or ( jr. high??) and so cute! I got lucky with great sister in laws! I knew from that very first valentines day that i had found the perfect valentine!! I love him!!! (this pic is from that trip! look how young we are!!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I will miss...

I will miss the Sampson's! Our next door neighbors moved to the north side of town last week. I am so sad. The Sampson's were the best neighbors ever! They were so quick to welcome us when we moved in. They brought brownies over the day we arrived and invited us over on New Years Eve a few days after we got here. Every time I have pulled out of my garage this week i have looked over to see if she is outside... then I remember she is gone : (

I am pretty sure I owe them about $50 in groceries! I am one of those neighbors that borrows stuff and then forgets to replace it. I can't tell you how many onions and eggs I have borrowed! If I needed something and they weren't home I just helped myself...

A few memories with the Samspons... ( i can't beleive i went through all my pictures and I don't have one of the 2 of us! I will have to look through my girls camp files and see if I can find one!)

We went camping with them in Carlsbad our first Nevada Day. That was lots of fun!
Tiffany and her sister

I will miss our 4th of July celebrations!

Dave loved buying fireworks! He always had the best! He is the one that introduced Tanner to fireworks!

I'm not sure I can write our camp years without shedding a tear... I knew Tiffany was one of those wonder woman ladies from the day I met her... but when she was called to be the 3rd year camp leader and I was the assistant stake camp director I realized that she was truly and amazing lady. She is probably one of the most "in-tune" people I know. She had genuine love and concern for those Young Women that she served. I think we went on 3 4th year hikes together, 4 years at girls camp. She was my stake camp director for 2 1/2 girls camps with me as ST. YW president. I got release right before last years camp... we had pretty much planned the whole thing together. I can't tell you how many meetings we had out front by the mailbox or out back talking over the wall. We could read each others minds at camp! it was a little freaky! I have learned so much from her! She has an amazing testimony and she isn't afraid to share it. I miss serving with her.

I will miss waking up to the girls playing in the backyard! They have amazing imaginations and played so well together. I will miss hearing "Hi Sister Barnes" when I walk out back! I will miss having the girls feed our turtles while we are away. I will miss their cute puppies. I will miss our carpools. I will miss her bringing my garbage can up for me. I will miss jogging with her. I will miss borrowing their pressure washer to clean out my pool filters : ) I miss the girls singing at church. I will miss Dave being Mitchell's seminary teacher and he was Tanners 11 year old scout leader. I miss lunches at Bajio and Cafe Rio. I will miss her watching out for our neighbor Dee. I need to step up and take care of her now. There are so many things! They never complained about noisy teenagers in our pool late at night! I could go on and on... I know they aren't far away, but I will miss the little things that only happen when friends live next door. Thanks for being such great neighbors!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Tanner earned his Star rank in boy scouts last night. Good job Tanner!!

We are working on trying to get Tanner a little excited about scouting. He's not a big fan... not sure why?? If you have any tips let me know!

Tanner, Parker, Christian, Craig and Jonah