Thursday, October 30, 2008

Too Cute To Spook!

Our ward had the Trunk or Treat on Tuesday this year instead of on Halloween. This worked out perfectly for me because I got to spend a "Halloween"evening with the girls here in Fallon. (They will spend the real Halloween with Jason.) I didn't pick out the costumes, Grandma Smith did a fine job. I wanted the girls to be football players - they wanted the princess costumes. Oh well, they sure did turn out absolutely beautiful. They are my little princesses....and sometimes witches!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lattin Farms

The girls and I took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch at Lattin Farms. It is interesting to watch the girls grow every year as I scrapbook the pumpkin patch. (They are such hams; always posing and smiling BIG for the camera.) The evening was just perfect. We loved the corn maze. I thought the girls would get bored - but they were "amazed" with this path in the corn field. However, we did cheat at the end - I was the one getting irritated. I finally led the girls out the side - knocking down several thousand corn stalks as we went. I didn't care. It was fun. Addison had been to the pumpkin patch already with her preschool class - so she was the tour guide. We didn't miss a thing; the cow train, hayride, goats, chickens, rabbits, and pumpkins - we were busy running from one end of the farm to the other. It was loads of fun! In the end, Payton picked out a perfect pumpkin to sit along side Addison's. We were dirty and happy as we pulled away - until next year!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Addison's Preschool Adventure Begins!

Wow! It has been awhile since I have been here! We have been so busy since school started in August. I have to admit, I have been a little overwhelmed too. This is hard work - to raise children and work. But I love it when they are with me and get very blue when they are with Jason. When Addison and Payton are home, we are running, running, running! The time flies by and before I know it we are headed back to Reno to drop the girls off to visit Jason. Time!! SLOW DOWN! Just to add more! I never thought I would see the day when Addison went to preschool. Here we are! Addison is going to preschool. She is attending a small, but VERY respected preschool here in Fallon. She goes on Monday and Wednesday from 1:00 - 3:00. I am lucky enough to dash over on my lunch break, pick her up, and drop her off. My dear, sweet, wonderful, outstanding, friend, Katherine Jensen (watches the girls while I am at work) picks her up after school. Addison LOVES preschool! Her teacher's name is Mrs. Stark. Addison is blooming. She is learning her letters, writing, and starting math. The artwork she brings home is out of this world! It is so fun to watch her learn, socialize, and make new friends. How blessed she is to have a teacher like Mrs. Stark. (I know Mrs. Stark, I coached her girls and was able to coach with her husband. They are a GREAT family!) She absolutely loves her students and it shows. Addison adores Mrs. Stark and can't wait to see her when we get to school. It will be a lot of fun to watch Addison grow throughout this year!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Off We Go To Bear Lake!

Addison, Payton, and I had the opportunity of spending a few days at Bear Lake. Oh, can I just say.....Wonderful? Wonderful! It was wonderful. Holly Rands, a very good friend of Aunt Stephanie and mine, invited us to spend a few days at her family beach house. The Ritchie family, Aunt Stephanie, Holly, Carson (a very patient, loving, kind dog), Addison, Payton, and I shared an awesome four days of pure relaxation. Wonderful!

The girls and I left on Monday and stayed in Sandy at the Utley's house. On Tuesday, after many long years, I was able to meet up with my good friend, Tricia. The girls fell in love with Maggie and Tucker (Tricia's poodles; I lived with them when I first started teaching in Fallon.) We went to Tricia's house in Highland. It was so good to see Tricia. After all these years, it seemed we just picked up where we left off. I really enjoyed seeing her and being able to talk and share our lives with each other again. Addison and Payton loved her house. She has lots of "Auntie" toys and candy. Thanks to Maggie and Tucker, we now play dogs on a regular basis and they fight over who gets to be Maggie and Tucker. Ha! It's "ruff!" ~We drove to meet Tricia's sister, Tarrin, and her three kids at a playground called Kangaroo Zoo. Kangaroo Zoo is an industrial sized building with big blow-up slides inside. The girls had a ball. Tricia and I even broke the rules and went down a few slides with the kids. It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday morning the girls and I left for Bear Lake. We had no idea what we were about to experience. The beach house sits right on the lake, overlooking the beach. It was so fun to arrive and have the girls so excited to get to the water. They couldn't wait for me to unload and get our room organized. ~So, Who else would rescue these poor little girls? Da-da-da-duh....."HAVE NO FEAR....Aunt Stephanie's here!" That's right... Aunt Stephanie loaded them up on the 4-wheeler (w/grins attached) and took them down to the water's edge. ~With the understanding that they were just to "look!" -Wading in the water?....ummmm....yeah, right! This is Addison and Payton here...two little girls that live in water and have special gills built into the back of their neck. After a while, the sound of the four wheeler rolled back with two little girls that were soaking wet from their head down to their toes. Aunt Stephanie just couldn't stop them. She was absolutely helpless! Those girls needed to touch that water!!! ~~That's what started the fun! ~Later, the Ritchie family, Dan, Nona, Jennie, Alli, and a family friend, Shelby, arrived. Everyday after that was spent at the beach. We loaded up jet skis, canopies, food, drinks, books, beach toys, tubes, knee boards, chairs, towels, golf clubs, sunscreen, dog toys, ipods, tanning lotion, and headed down to the water's edge. There we stayed. The girls had a BLAST! I just can't get over how much they enjoyed themselves; playing in the sand, on the tubes, jet skies, swimming, and running with Carson. The water was absolutely perfect. They had a smile on their faces the entire time.

All the fun is included, but is not limited to, the smallest parade in the world with the most candy ever; trying to get up on the knee board...just one more time, sinking on the tube, the jet ski tipping over, building sand castles with the army men, looking for shells and finding junk, throwing the ball for Carson, Carson panicking that his mother was gone, trying to distract Carson, golf tournament-sand bunker to the Frisbee, the wind that destroyed the new canopy, thunder and lightening, Baywatch Babe to the rescue, watching that light for what seemed like hours, rain, rain, rain, gathering in the purple room to watch the Olympics, early morning walks, early morning gas runs, combing hair with the sand rake, flowers from the victim to Pamela Anderson, falling asleep on the jet ski, looking for "my doggie", relaxing, and sun, sun, sun!

Aunt Stephanie, you are the best AUNT ever! Thanks for all the fun. Thanks to the Ritchie Family for playing with Addison and Payton - they talked about you for days. Thanks also to Dan and Nona for the jet ski, shopping for food, and Dan...thanks for waiting on us "hand and foot!" (Need I remind you? You were a lucky man to be among such great women!) We can't thank Holly enough for this BIG little heavenly vacation. We love you, Holly! THANKS!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today, while attending a school district meeting, the speaker asked us to write down a unknown fact on a piece of paper and share it with the class. I wrote down, "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, JET NOISE." I realized how lucky I am to have jet noise in my life. I heard a lot of jet noise this summer.

  1. I live directly across the street from the Top Gun Naval Base in Fallon, NV. I hear jet noise six days a week. LOUD jet noise. It is a stop-talking-on-the-phone-because-I-can't-hear- you jet noise.
  2. video
    I realize that you don't see the jet - I just wanted you to hear the jet. This video really doesn't do the sound justice.

  3. I am blessed to have a brother, Todd, who flies F-16's for the Air Force. This summer while I visiting my parents, it worked out that Todd was able to fly over Oakley. He told us ahead of time to wait at the end of the airport runway. He did a mock touchdown; which meant that he flew directly over the top of our heads. It was absolutely breathtaking! I will admit, that I began to cry like a baby. It is one thing to hear the jet noise everyday in Fallon, it is another to hear it, see it, feel it, and know the pilot is your older brother!

  4. Also, while in Oakley, the Twin Falls Airport had an Air Show. The Navy Blue Angels were the main attraction. We loaded up our chairs, treats, sunscreen, and children and headed over to the tarmac. Todd just happened to be down with his squadron so he was able to save us a shady spot under the wing of an F-16. It was a great show. The jet noise was awesome.

  5. Once again, before I left Oakley, Todd was able to fly his F-16 over the little town of Oakley. Yes, once again, there I was at the end of the runway, crying like a little baby. It will always be an unforgettable experience in my life!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to Oakley!

We left for Oakley on July 8. We were very excited about arriving. Catherine and Lauren arrived earlier in the week. We were so excited to see how much Lauren had grown. Russon, Melanie, Mitchell, Jared, and Dallin were going to be there. We haven't seen the family for a year. We were excited to reunite. Jeff, Renee', Larissa, and Olivia arrived later in the week. We love to play horses and dogs with LaLa and Livy. Stephanie came that week as well. Stephanie is plain fun! We could hardly wait to dig into her. We were very much missing Todd, Mary, Isaac, Tessa, AND Jason Brown; wishing we could spend time with them, too.

There was so much activity. Addison and Payton were in heaven. So many cousins to play much to do at Grammy and Papa's. Everyday we could expect our "cold one" and Oreo cookies with Papa out in the backyard in the shade, jumping on the trampoline, playing in the wading pool, swatting flies with the DIRTY flyswatters, taking four-wheeler rides, playing Skip-bo games, watering flowers, playing on the hammock, and enjoying lots of laughter and lots of fun. We also had the opportunity to go to the open house for the Twin Falls Temple. It was beautiful! I was so happy to share it with Addison and Payton. I don't think they enjoyed it as much as I. We also went to the City of Rocks, found our rock house, climbed the rocks, had a rock throwing contest with Uncle Jeff....(Jared beat everyone!) And, of course...had a little treat. Addison, Payton, and I went to the Oakley Swimming Pool almost everyday. The girls loved the water and all the friends they played with. We would go for a little ice cream cone after the swim at the Hornet's Nest. Then, we'd toodle home on the four-wheeler.

We were also in Oakley over the 24th of July. Addison, Larrissa, and Olivia braved all the elements, put on their game faces, their jeans, their riding number, and climbed the chutes to meet....their lamb/steer. They participated in the "Kids Rodeo - Muttin Bustin." It was classic!

I didn't think Addie would do it!

She cried.....She got on..... She fell off...She cried...She lived to tell. She was awesome! So was Olivia and LaLa. They were the cutest cowgirls around! Yeah! What an experience for them to remember! Jeff, Renee', and I won't forget "on deck," either! A BIG thanks to Nick Robinson for helping Addison down onto the BIG sheep. Addison was scared to death and Nick was so kind and helpful. (Can't believe I used to babysit him!!) It was a very long night but very exciting to watch Addison try something crazy and fun!

Thanks again to Grammy and Papa for letting us stay for so long and literally....vacation! We love you!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Grand Month of July!

Wow!! July flew by in a flurry of vacations! I have a lot to catch up on. The girls and I had such a wonderful month of July! The celebrations started over the 4th of July. I was able to spend the 4th with my good friends, Mont and Elaine Adams, Garrett (son) and friend, Alex, Miles (son) and friend Hadley, and Verl and Martha Hendrix. We stayed at the Hendrix Cabin in Twin Lakes, California. It was absolutely beautiful! (Addison and Payton spent the holiday with Jason. They were desperately missed by their mother!)
Twin Lakes, California

Elaine, Miles, Hadley, and I went up on Thursday to get the cabin ready for the rest of the crew. Miles and Hadley fished - that is what the Hendrix family does - fish! Elaine and I.....sat. I sat at the table scrapbooking and Elaine sat on the couch reading. Friday, the rest of the crew arrived. The cabin was busting at the seams - but I was so thankful for the diversion; I was missing the girls so badly.

Friday morning I participated in the Twin Lakes Fun Run. However, I didn't run, I walked. It was a 5K walk. I really enjoyed myself. There was over a 100 runners/walkers. The morning was breathtaking. The mountain air was crisp and the scenery was picturesque. I wished I had someone to share it with so I made friends with another walker. We visited most of the way until he left to use the restroom. Rats. I finished the race with my ipod. Later that day, Mont, Elaine, Verl and I went on the fishing boat around the lake. Mont told Elaine and I we were just in the way. Which was very true - we were there purely for the sunbathing. But it was fun to antagonize Mont and relax in the sun.

Verl Hendrix - fishing

Mont Adams - notice the shirt.....BOISE STATE!! (He says he is not a fan...uh-huh)

Elaine Adams - bathing beauty!

Me - laughing, I am sure over something Mont said.

Elaine and I also went kayaking. We didn't go too far - but it was a blast! The rest of the gang fished, kayaked, and biked too.
Saturday started early with a short hike with Garrett, Alex, Miles, Hadley, and another good friend, Kevin. Well, it was supposed to be a short hike but seven hours later we finally made it back to the car. I just wanted to see what was around the next bend and I convinced these young adults to follow along. They complained an awful lot, but I secretly think they really enjoyed themselves. We hiked up into some of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen. We slid down snow banks, swam in high mountain lakes, and rock jumped. It was a pleasure to spend my Saturday with these young adults. I can not say enough good things about them. They were good sports and teased me relentlessly about dragging them up the mountain. And MILES!! He hiked with a cast on his foot - he didn't know what he was getting himself into when we started that morning! We came home tired, thirsty and hungry! It was awesome!!!

The crew - Hadley, Alex, Garrett, Miles, and Kevin


Garrett - I told him NOT to do this...but if you are not going to listen to me - wait a second and let me get the camera ready....he waited.

It was sad to leave on Sunday. But, I was so excited to see Addison and Payton. I love the Adams/Hendrix Family. They have been a solid support for me during this divorce. I am so grateful for them and for their "adopting" the three of us. AND I am grateful for the invite to the cabin! I can't wait to return!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Splish Splash!!

The girls have been taking private swimming lessons at the indoor pool. Their teacher is amazingly patient. I have seen great swimming improvements in both Addison and Payton. It has been such a treat to watch them every week get braver and better. Addison can now float on her back, retrieve rings from the bottom of the pool, jump off the edge of the pool, and do a pretty good front crawl swimming stroke. Although, she doesn't really go anywhere while attempting the front crawl. Payton just loves the water. She will put her entire head under water, jump off the edge of the pool, and retrieve the rings in the shallow end of the pool. They are adorable.

Since starting swimming lessons, we try to go the outdoor pool once a week too. They love the outdoor pool because of the slide. Down they go - over and over and over again. They love to swim under the rope and jump off the edge. We also went to Lake Lahonton last weekend with the Schenk Family. The lake doesn't have very much water so instead of sand they played in mud - but they still had a great time. Also, yesterday, we went to the Wild Island Waterpark in Reno. It was very expensive but VERY worth it. The girls had so much fun. The kiddie pool had five slides and many other play areas. They were in heaven. There was also a wave pool - which they enjoyed as well. I received so many comments from other mothers about their ability to go down the slides by themselves - especially Payton. She would slide down head first and wouldn't let me touch her! I was pretty proud of them both. They are my fish! We are looking forward to the Oakley Pool when we visit Grammy and Papa in July!!

These Pictures were taken at Lake Lahonton.