Saturday, December 5, 2009

50 mm Baby!

I purchased a new lens for my camera today and I was so giddy I drove home and begged the girls to get ready and let me take a few pictures of them in Down Town Mesa. Andelyn was the only sweet child (therefore my "favorite child") to offer up her smiles. I love the technique I get with this lens. Soft out of focus back ground.I had a little learning curve since the lens does not have any zoom (I am the zoom I decided) and what fun I had.
Andelyn: "Mom, you said it would only take 30 minutes".
Mom: "I lied, lets take pictures till I run out of space and battery K".

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Thursday, December 3, 2009


This is our sweet little Ruby Roo. A.K.A......Roobs, Roobaloobs, Rubeee Rubee Roooo, Woobee, Boobie, Scruffy, Sugar Butt, Puppy, Puppy Wuupy, Baby, Widdel Wooby Girwl, Fur Face, Fluffy Wuffy. You get the picture I'm sure.
She is a mixed bread of Bichone Frise, Shih Tzu and a tiny bit of something called a Griffon. She only weighs 7.5 lbs so obviously a serious lap dog. She can fix just about anything going wrong in your life with one little snuggle and lick. She acts like we have been gone for days at a time each and every time we come home, even if it's only been a few moments. She has learned to sit, shake, beg, stand, walk on two feet (for a long time) dances, plays dead and stays. She is a fabulous watch dog as she likes to stare out the front window for goings on outside and sounds her bark/howl alarm if anyone gets close to our house. Of course all she would do is lick a robber to death if they ever made their way in our house, so she needs a little work in that area. She has some quirky habits like chewing on a tiny spot of her toys for hours at a time, she thinks she needs to get praised for every single time she goes outside to go potty (which is left over from her potty training days) and sometimes she just goes burzurk running around the house like a greyhound all excited over who knows what??
Ruby's Favorite Things: VISITORS! Sun Spots on the floor, peanut butter, Mommy's lap, sleeping on top of Amelia's bed pillows, open windowed car rides, New toys, water bottles, her bears, tummy rubbings, chicken and lunch meat and the groomers..ha ha.. just kidding.


It's tradition! Every year the girls and I attend a free concert given by the professional Arizona Ballet Co. They perform at several outside venues including Peoria, Tempe, Phoenix and Mesa. We always attend the Tempe Town Lake concert. We pack a lunch or pick up Subway and lay out our blankets and chairs. The dancers all come on stage in various styles of dance clothing and warm up for their performance. We are always amazed at their strength, flexibility
and grace. The show only last for 1 hour but it's packed with pieces from the Company performances from the past year and sometimes a sneak peak of what is coming up for the new season.

It's a "green stick" fracture!

Just a few days after school started Amelia was doing a back bend in dance class and landed wrong on her left hand. She went totally white and started crying. We did the usual, some ibuprofen and ice, we bought her a brace for her wrist but 5 days ( includign two school days) later the wrist was swollen and still very sore. Dr. Braun said it was a "green stick fracture" which means, like a thick green branch that has been broken but the outside green bark is still attached. She had to wear the cast for just shy of 8 weeks, which should have been a little less but Dr. Braun was deer hunting the last week and so Amelia had to wear it an extra week. When she finally went back to have the cast removed and checked, it wasn't completely healed and she had a terrible rash. Because the rash was so bad Dr. Braun said he wouldn't recast it but that she needed to wear her brace for the next month and after that when ever she does things that could lend itself to a fall. The rash took about 6 weeks to clear up and the swelling is finally all gone. Whew! We hope to never deal with that again, but are grateful that it wasn't worse. For those of you who have never had a broken bone. Let's just say showering for 8 weeks with your arm in a cast is very interesting!


Of course we always do the traditional first day back to school picture. New clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes, $ 60 in pens, pencils, paper, erasers, folders, binders, glue, crayons, protractors, tissues, hand sanitizer and a few more odds n ends. Times have sure changed from the days when mom just bought a couple packs of lined paper and a box of pencils. Taking Amelia shopping for clothing this year was quite interesting. She kept saying to herself "is this what Salena Gomez would wear?" If the answer was yes...she wanted it.
Daddy : "Ammah, here are the keys to your new car, now go outside and see which car you can unlock and that's your car".
Ammah: 'Screaming' "I have a car? I have a car? I have a CAR!"

Amelia later said of the 1st ride around the neighborhood that Ammah screamed for the whole ride.
Ammah was so excited to start Jr. College this year and get her very first car! It's a 2003 Chevy Malabu with not a single "power" anything in it. Yes Ammah, you have to roll the windows up and down with a crank, unlock and lock all the doors by hand and watch out for that tricky gas meter.

Kenzie Jones - The Newest Edition to the Jones Clan

Randy and Krissy added number 5 to their growing brewd. After 4 boys Kenzie is a very welcomed little ball of soft, pink, fluff! Of course I had to have a little photo shoot with her. She looks so serious....wonder what she is thinking about.


Last call for a summer sleepover. Sleeping bags, vides games, walkie talkies, pizza and pancakes. What else could anyone ask for on your last weekend before school starts. Brynly and Madelynn are some of Amelia's bestest friends and they had a fantastic last hooray to summer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I can't believe that I am even old enough to have had a friendship that has lasted more than 30 years. 33 to be exact. Rebecca and I met in Mrs. Hearring Kindergarten class in St. Johns AZ. I remember playing on the swings and playing dress up with Rebecca but we didn't become best friends till around 3rd grade. We were even baptised together! We sang a song from My Turn on Earth called 'Bright Little Light' which I have had all three of my own children sing at their baptisms. Rebecca and I spent our time playing at each others houses, jumping on her trampoline, dressing up for Halloween, going to Merry Miss and mutual together,attending choir, baking and just being very silly. During the summer we rode our bikes down town to the public pool and walked to the drugstore for hot dogs and cokes from the soda fountain, we slept under the stars on her trampoline or on our rollaway bed. We ate tons of Popsicles and even had several food fights, peanuts in my room during a tea party and rotten tomatoes from her family garden. We made a lot of memories in a short amount of time.

This is a picture of our kindergarten class, the year we met. Check out that cheesy grin 2nd from the top left and Rebecca is the 4th one from the top left.

This is a picture my mother took of Rebecca and I when my mom was starting to get into photography. It was taken in the photo studio out back of my house. Check out my humongous glasses. I think we were in 5th grade here.
This picture was taken on a trip to the valley for Legislature. We had never been to a mall together before and went crazy in a photo booth.
I know this picture is tiny... I actually got it off of facebook. One of my friends posted it and I just had to have it. It was taken on our 8th grade graduation commencement evening. That's me in the purple dress. Yes the one that has bare arms and shoulders while all the other girls are right out of the pioneer era LOL. Rebecca is next to me in blue and white. I still have this dress and my girls have played dress ups in it for years.
After 8th grade graduation I moved to Phoenix and only saw Rebecca a few times over the next few summers. This picture was taken during one of those trips.. I think we were around 14 and had been doing chores at Rebecca's house. I had the bright idea to look like maids for some reason. Thus the apron and bandannas.. Check out that vacuum cleaner in the back ground. Somehow we managed to see each other when she came to the valley and we were able to do batisms for the dead, attend girls conference at NAU and even hung out at Sun Splash once. We also wrote a lot of letters to each other. I'm amazed at how we were able to keep our friendship going even though we lived 4 hours away from each other.

After High School Rebecca moved to Safford AZ and met her husband Scott Evans. They married in 89 and started their family. All along the way Rebecca and I have stayed in touch with phone calls on each others birthdays and Christmas cards every year. About 10 years ago we decided to visit Rebecca in Safford and had a wonderful time getting to really know each other again. We have since made 4 trips to stay with them and always have a great time. We have children that are all around the same ages and Rebecca's oldest son and Ammah seemed to have hit it off and have even dated a few times. Rebecca and I have had little (imagine if) conversations about the two of them.. We could be in-laws someday... How cool would that be! No pressure Ammah and Dallin. Wink Wink. Anyway, this picture was taken at our most recent visit over the 4th of July. What an amazing journey in friendship we have had. A little older, a little more filled out (ha ha) but somehow still those same little silly girls from all those years ago. We haven't really changed all that much.

Over the 4th of July weekend I packed up the girls and drove to Safford to spend some time with my dear friend Rebecca Evans and her Family. We had a great time. Here is as short of a tell all as I can do. Explanation of the picture above. Rebecca and Scott were married 20 years ago. I was only 18 and her wedding was the first of all my friends that I attended. I drove to Safford for her reception. I remember feeling so grown up driving that far and getting my own hotel. I had purchased a salad bowl set for her wedding gift. Forward 19 years later...I visited Rebecca and stayed with her last summer and she got out this old ratty bowl and said, "do you remember this bowl?", I asked if it was from the salad bowl set I had given her for her wedding and she said it was. She said all the other smaller bowls had long since passed away but this one was left and barely hanging on. She didn't want to throw it away because it had sentimental value. my head I was thinking..... ooooh what a great 20 anniversary gift for me to get Rebecca. Forward to our annual visit to Rebecca's house this year. I handed Rebecca and Scott the gift all wrapped in pretty wedding paper. Rebecca was perplexed but started to open the card and gift. all the while chatting about the wedding present I had given her 20 years ago. She was so surprised and started laughing when she finally got the paper off the box. It was such a fun present to give.
Andelyn, Amelia, Lilly, Ammah and Polly hanging out in the Evans' pool. They have a beautiful back yard the kids love to hang out in.
Andelyn showing off her flexibility toe touch dive.
Look at Amelia with her awesome form during her 1st lessons turning flips off a diving board.
We went for a flag ceremony on 4th of July and witnessed the retiring of an old flag. I had never seen a flag retired before and I can honestly say that I felt extremely patriotic.
Dallin is Rebecca oldest son. Here he is saluting the old flag.
The burning of the flag. You can't see the flames in the picture but it was burning.
Ammah, Allison (Rebecca's Oldest daughter) and Dallin at the pancake breakfast after the flag ceremony. Dallin took Ammah on a fun date while we were there. Candelight dinner of cereal and milk on the EAC football feild, ice blocking and then to a friends for games.
The kids decorated their bikes and scooters for a little parade around the church grounds. This is Lillian and Andelyn on a two seater. They had a great time.
Rebecca and I later took the bike for a ride about town and felt like teenagers again. We rode all the way to her parents house to say hi. I felt like a little girl back in St. Johns again saying "hi" to Brother and Sister Biggs.
We had the pleasure of having a back yard BBQ with an awesome band called Savannah Jack. The band performed at the annual fireworks show later that night. They were soooo good. What talented performers and I felt honored to have met them and cook and serve food for them.

Ammah, Andelyn and Amelia waiting for the concert to start.
They had a huge flag displayed on the end of two cranes. It was so majestic looking. blowing in the wind.

Before the concert started there was a wonderful dedication ceremony to all of the armed forces and service positions in the community that serve our country everyday.

Ammah showing some of her 4th of July spirit with her red,white and blue headband.
Savannah Jack performing for the Safford audience. It was such a great show!

mmmm kettle corn to go around.
Myself and Savannah Jack Band. I felt like a total groupie.
Rebecca and Shannon and all our kids.
As we were on our way out of town that day we took a picture of the new Temple being built in Thatcher.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Church Girls Camp "Lo Mia" Style

This is the conversation between Shannon and Brother Decker back in December of 2008.
Brother Decker: "Shannon, we would like to call you to serve as Ward Camp Director for Girls Camp this year. It's just 1 week out of the year. Can you accept the calling?".
Shannon: "Ha Ha Ha Ha.....1 week out of the year! Oh, you were serious, Yes, I can accept that calling". (Shannon under her breath)"one week out of the year my tushy".
About 10 meetings later and countless hours planning,selling See's Candy, sewing, purchasing, texting, calling, painting, delivering, photographing and praying, we were ready for our "one week" in the woods.
All packed onto our Greyhound bus and off we go.
Tiffany and Andelyn were so excited to go together this year.

Home Sweet Home. This was our cabin, not seen in this picture... our little roommate friends including, bugs, spiders, beetles and skunks. Camp songs lead by our 6th year YCL's and Ammah and Madi teaching 1st aide to all the 2nd year campers.

How lucky to get to attend girls camp with my two oldest girls this year. It was such a wonderful and spiritual experience. We had a great time and I don't think I embarrassed either of them even once.

CPR.. Andelyn practices how to resuscitate Edward if the opportunity ever arises.. Sarah Porter and her terrible flesh wound. Good thing we listened to our first aid teachers well enough to fix Sarah up. Last in the row of pics.. Our cabin girls, minus me taking the picture.

Skit night. Nough said. You just had to be there.

This activity was set up for the 6th years and leaders only. It's called 'The Flying Squirrel', we were attached at the waist to our harnesses, the ropes went up and over (through a pulley system) one rope and connected to an ATV on the other end. The "flyer" takes off running in one direction while the ATV takes off in the other direction. This pulls the "flyer" out and up to the top of the high rope.. It was exhilarating. So fun. Ammah and I both had a turn.

2nd year activities included archery and a zip line. Andelyn hit her target almost every time. She says this was her favorite activity at camp this year.

Amazing Race day. We ran around to all these different countries and had to complete interesting and crazy activities for points. We came in 3rd. Blowing bubble gum after chomping down on a package of crackers, tied up and getting to a destination, leading a blind partner down an obstacle course. The girls had a great time.

Water fight and more camp songs on the last night.

Sitting in the sacred grove getting ready to head home.
We were all sad to leave. I wanted to stay and enjoy a few more days with all the youth and especially my two girls. I feel so blessed to have been able to be a part of their camp experience. They are both such amazing girls. I was so proud of them for being leaders and friends. It's not an easy thing to take over in a leadership position when you are only 17 but Ammah arose to the occasion. I also became closer to several women in our ward and had so much fun making fun of everything and ourselves. What a hoot Sister Tuckett, Deanna Denton and Nicole Eagleston are.