Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winning Things

I posted earlier this week about awesome things I've won from work... well as of today I have won the single most amazing thing anyone could ever possibly win.
Are you jealous? Because if you're not... you should be.

Tie die + Bon Jovi = Most amazing T-Shirt ever.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

knit together

While reading scriptures last night I came across this verse:

"And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with
one eye
, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another. " (
Mosiah 18:21)

What better way to live is there than that?

There is beauty all around...

it's this time of year that makes the summer months so worth it!
We have tomatoes coming already!
Pretty sky amidst the crazy storms of last week
Yes, this is what our garden looks like in January!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

People who inspire

Remember that post I wrote a few weeks back about the adorable little baby Gavin who was having medical problems? Sadly that sweet little one didn't make it through
(I promise I am not trying to depress you - just keep reading...)

While as I am sure you can imagine his family is devestated by his loss, his mother Natalie has continued to inspire through her blog - spiritually this time rather than artistically.

Her incredible faith and testimony leaves me in awe and can bring the saddest of souls some happiness.

Visit her blog, be uplifted, and send her some love.
(click on the picture and be taken to her blog)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The perks of a boring office job....

Free stuff. Seriously. I get it all the time. It is honestly the best part of my job.
Contests, giveaways, lunch meetings... they're always going on and they're always fun to win.

You may remember last year when we got to go Whitewater Rafting for an HP contest I won at work... well this year the contest was an "extreme" Hummer tour through the desert and we got to go again!

We met for the trip at a 19th century cowboy town in Pioneer, AZ (I highly recommend it for any large event - it was awesome!)

We played "cowboy" games: the hatchet toss, lassoing, quick draw and of course archery where Benson gained the nickname "Robin Hood" for the day. They then fed us lunch and we headed out in the hummers!


It was a pretty intense four hour ride through the desert... think the Disneyland Indiana Jones ride for 4 hours straight - but it was SO much fun.

You can't really tell but in this picture we're headed almost straight down this hill...


They stopped a few times along the way to tell us the history of the location - this was a really neat spot where the chief of the indian tribe lived - there are still rock walls standing from when they inhabited the area


After the tour we went back to the "ranch" for dinner, cowboy singers,


and Native American dancers




all of which were very entertaining.

The night ended with s'mores by the bonfire and getting to see the Orion Nebula and Jupiter through a fancy schmancy telescope.

We're crossing our fingers that next year's trip is skydiving! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Great to be 8

My niece Liberty is getting baptized this weekend so last Friday I took her out in her pretty white dress to take pictures at the temple. They turned out SO pretty - it helps that she's such a cute little girl! I can't believe how big she is getting!




Mesa Arizona Kids Photographer
Gilbert Arizona Kids Photographer
Queen Creek Arizona Kids Photographer

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I remember times in my life when family members would comment on how big I was getting and how that made them feel "so old".... well now I know what they mean.

Pretty much overnight this little beaker on the right....


has turned into this....


It's one thing when your little brother gets taller than you and graduates high school... but your nephew? That should be illegal.

I might as well buy myself a walker and start stocking up on depends now, I'll need them soon enough.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The story of the cleaning elf

There has been a cleaning elf around my house lately. It's pretty amazing. Thanks to this elf I have:

- A clean front yard (no more ghetto rock/dirt pile!! woo hoo)
- A clean back porch
- A finished kitchen
- An organized office (seriously first time since we've owned this house)
- ALL of my laundry clean
- Bills paid
- My Christmas tree put away
- New flowers planted
- A re-organized bedroom including a new vanity for me to get ready in the morning (since I am blind and have to be THIS CLOSE to the mirror to get ready without my glasses on)
- A clean back yard (bye bye 4 foot weeds!)
- Some new decorations hung
- and The bedskirt I got a year ago put on my bed for the first time

Thanks little elf - I don't know how I'd even start to re-pay you for this!


(Dear ASU: Please don't start classes tomorrow. I like having Benson home all day to take care of our house. kthnxbye)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

then what is it?

Have you ever been to Hobby Lobby?
If you just answered no, step away from the computer and go right now.
It's amazing. They have everything you could ever imagine. Benson calls it the Home Depot for women. Heck, he even enjoys going there now and again.

Well, Hobby Lobby can be expensive, but lucky for cheap people like me they have 50% off sales every week. So the trick is if you want something that's not on sale, wait till next week and it will be.
Well the day after Christmas I was shopping with Benson's mom and sisters and of course we had to stop at Hobby Lobby.
Well Hobby Lobby has an entire section of birdhouses. We're talking a whole shelf top to bottom, side to side, full of birdhouses.
I found one that I really liked and lucky for me it was 50% off that day - Benson's sister also volunteered to buy it for me (since I had promised myself I wouldn't buy anything that day and was going to pass it up).
We picked out another birdhouse for his other sister, finished our shopping and headed up to the register. The nice woman at the register starting ringing us up but stopped when she got to my birdhouse...
"This isn't considered a birdhouse" she said, "it's part of our painted wood line..."

"Oh..." I said disappointedly.
But Brittany didn't give up so easily. "Are you sure? It was with all of the other birdhouses..."
"Well, I'll check with my manager"
She proceeded to check us out while we waited for the manager to arrive.

"Is this a birdhouse?" she asked him when he got there,
"Oh no, definitely not. If it was a birdhouse it would say it on the tag"
"Well, this one is definitely a birdhouse and it doesn't say birdhouse on the tag... and they said it is on the aisle with all the other birdhouses."
"Oh, no, it says it on the BACK of the tag..." he grabs the real birdhouse from her and turns the tag over. He then turns red realizing no where does it say birdhouse.
"Well it's still not a birdhouse!" You can tell he's getting irritated now...
I can't help it anymore, I blurt out "Well then what is it then if it's not a birdhouse?" partially sarcastic and partially serious because I really want to know what exactly he thinks it is if it's not a birdhouse... "a squirrel house?"

Then Brittany chimes in "What squirrel houses aren't on sale this week?"
Then Tara "Oh come on it will just be 50% off next week anyway..."

By now he's red and obviously not having it anymore
"Fine! You can give it to them for 50% off," he tells the cashier "but it's not returnable!"
Now satisfied, we let the poor man alone and discussed on the way back to the car how miserable it must be for a man to work as a manager at a craft store that mostly women looking for a sale shop at.

I love my new squirrel house, however, I am still unsatisfied.
I really want to know what else this is if it's not a birdhouse...
Maybe you can tell me what it is.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Henkel Family

These four innocent looking kids were some of the hardest to shoot.
But that's okay - because they're definitely some of the best looking and I love them most...


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ringin in 2010!

We decided to celebrate the new year in lakeside this year at Nate & Heidi's new house!
Most of our family came along as well and we had lots of fun staying up late and playing in the snow!
New Years Eve!
Reagan was offered a ride in the sled but insisted on walking...
then he got snow on his gloves and was quite upset.
Jake is apparently way too cool for sledding. He prefers being half buried in snow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

done, Done, DONE!

That's right people... the kitchen re-model is officially DONE!
(If you don't remember the previous hideousness you can check out the before pictures here)
So after months of this
and this
and this
this horrible thing...
We're so proud.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We wish you a merry Christmas...

This is one of three pictures I took at Christmas... all of which were on this couch of the same kids. It was too much fun having all the family around! We had three "first Christmas" babies around, Tanner and Shelly staying with us from Utah, Nate and Heidi down from Lakeside and lots of fun!


Friday, January 8, 2010

San Diego

Benson and I took advantage of the $25 Southwest flights and our (finally) free schedules right after school ended and took a fun trip to San Diego and then to St. George! Unfortunately I didn't take one picture in Utah, but here's a few from California!

Plane ride there...


Birch Aquarium

Seaport Village


Balboa Park

Tidepools & Lighthouse in Point Loma



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baby Gavin

So, there's this sweet little lady whose blog I happen to read, her name is Natalie Norton.
You see, she takes the most beautiful photographs and I go to her blog quite often to drool over them.

Well she just had the sweetest little boy not too long ago and that little baby Gavin is having some trouble and needs nothing short of a miracle.

Please pray for this little boy and his sweet family.

You can keep up with the story on here blog here :

Or send her some love on twitter here:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new (year)

2009 was a good year...

January - A new niece


February - Our first garden


March - Finding out what Benson would look like at 300 lbs.


April - Whitewater Rafting!



May - Little Brother & Little sister #2 Graduate


June - Trip to San Diego and LA to get Passports


July - Mexico!


August - Baby Niece #2 and Nacho Party!



September - Starting our Kitchen Re-Model & Baby Niece #3



October - U2!!!


November - Still working on the re-model


December - California & St. George


Other things to note in 2009:
I was licensed as a CNA
We FINISHED the kitchen (finally, I'll post pictures soon)
Benson finished another semester with all A's
We served in the Temple
We were able to take lots of trips with friends and family

Here's to hoping 2010 is even better!