Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter!

Our Christmas Card – Better Lazy Than Never

As you can see, we’re taking the easy way out on sending Christmas cards this year, but we thought this would be a mild improvement over doing nothing. For those really gung-ho readers, we’ve included several hypertext links for extra enjoyment, which actually makes this better than a real Christmas card—well, not really, but it is cool.

Sadie is now 8 and runs as fast as a cheetah. She does exceptionally well running the mile, though Dad can still keep up with her for now. She continues to play soccer and she enjoys her myriads of stuffed animals. Our highlight for Sadie this year was her red flamingo Halloween costume—one of the coolest costumes ever!

Ashley is almost 11. This summer Ashley attended a week of Girl Scout camp in the mountains, where she learned archery and lots of camp songs, which she still sings. She also got to participate in a music camp with the Chandler Children’s Choir. Ashley loves watching the Amazing Race, so she had her own amazing race birthday party this year—her team got second. Ashley’s interests and activities include soccer, dancing, baking cookies, sewing, playing with little kids, and posing for photographs.

Girl Scouts has kept both Sadie and Ashley busy. In the Spring, they competed in the Powderpuff Derby – the girl version of the Pinewood Derby – with great success (Ashley; Sadie). Last month, they marched in the Tempe Veterans’ Day parade. And earlier this month, they sang Christmas songs to help raise money for the Salvation Army. Their fundraising efforts got them on TV.

Patrick is 14 and a freshman in high school. He loves to scooter, make scooter videos, edit scooter videos, surf scooter websites and talk about scootering. When he’s not doing those things, he enjoys watching scooter videos. Patrick saved his money and recently bought his own video camera so that he doesn’t have to borrow ours anymore to film himself scootering. Patrick runs the mile in track in the springtime and is soon to start training again. We are also very happy that Patrick completed his Boy Scout Eagle project in October and hopefully will be receiving his Eagle Scout award in the coming months. One special note for Patrick: in the Spring he received an award for 1st in Arizona and 7th in the nation for his age group for his essay in a stock market game contest.

Cindy continues to sew for our kids and the Chandler Children’s Choir. This past winter, she also sewed the dresses for the middle school Show Choir. Her business, Cindy’s Custom Creations, keeps her busy when she’s not volunteering at the girls’ elementary school, leading two Girl Scout troops or taking care of the rest of us. Right now Cindy is in charge of the school’s spring carnival. Cindy also gets the credit for updating our family blog.

Casey has now worked for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office with specific responsibility for the Arizona Department of Agriculture for over four years. So now you may be wondering what’s the largest crop in Arizona—that would be lettuce. In fact, if you have lettuce in your house right now, there’s a very good chance it came from Yuma, Arizona, the winter lettuce capitol of the world. Casey enjoyed coaching Sadie’s soccer team this Fall and currently assists with the 16-18 year old boys in his ward’s Priest Quorum.

Our Orthodontist had a great year too. Ashley got her braces off just in time for Patrick to get his braces on. We had about a two-week window in between, which we used to get our family picture taken. (We have copies to mail out to anyone who would like one.) A few days ago, Sadie started the process for some braces too. Thank goodness for flexible spending accounts.

Finally, our family had a memorable summer vacation driving to Cascade, Idaho and back for a family reunion. Along the way, we enjoyed the Hoover Dam, the Las Vegas Strip, the Circus Circus midway (to win more stuffed animals for Sadie), Stadium of Fire starring Carrie Underwood, a midnight run to Krispy Kreme, BYU, and Uncle Matt and Aunt Sarah’s farm. In Cascade, we enjoyed family, the lake, and river rafting.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas, with special thoughts on the birth of Him we celebrate.

Casey, Cindy, Patrick, Ashley & Sadie

Friday, June 25, 2010

Looks like summer

Lots going on here now that it's summer:

Photographing all the animals:

Participating in the Chandler Children's Choir summer day camp. (She learned songs from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat)

Game Days:

Getting Braces:
Making Fruit and cheese kabobs:

Playing lots of games:

Getting in lots of scooter time:

Playing in the tent indoors because it's too dang hot to play outside.

Going to swim lessons (and Sadie finally learning how to swim with her face in the water)

Designing and embroidering new scooter tshirts:

And finally, going on an airplane to Idaho to visit family. (Insert photo of Patrick getting on Southwest airplane. The photo I forgot to take.)

One more week until we'll get a respite from the heat too!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My Crafty Blog

Every time I finish a project, I wish I had a place to show other people what I've done. I love reading similar blogs from my other crafty friends. So I finally got my own sewing blog up and running. I hope to update it regularly, so if it iinterests you I hope you'll check it out!

Cindy's Custom Creations

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wildlife World Zoo

I know, one of those Zoo posts. Full of animal photos, right? But I just had to post about this because the Wildlife World Zoo is different than most other zoos I've been to. It's way out in the far west valley so we'd never been. However, Sadie's girl scout troop voted to spend their cookie money to go there and I'm glad they did.

One of the first things we did was go on a train ride:

The train went right through the African animals habitat, so we got to see Ostriches, and big game animals up close.

Then it was off to feed the giraffes. What slobbery fun!

Sadie got a hold of my camera and took lots of photos like this one:
(see the little meerkat on the rock?)

This is an adult white tiger. There were two young white tigers in another area of the zoo that were so playful and cute.

Speaking of baby animals, a stop in the nursery, was very exciting. Have you ever wondered what a baby porcupine looks like?

Or a baby warthog?

They were much cuter in person!

This zoo also has an aquarium where you can pet stingrays and two baby sharks that according to the worker manning the tank, have no teeth. No photos of that, but Ashley did get this beauty with her camera:

No trip to the zoo is complete without stopping by the petting zoo. These were by far the most aggressive little animals that I've ever seen in a petting zoo. One of them had a parent's shirts halfway in it's mouth, ready to have dessert I guess. As you can imagine, this terrified some of the girls, so our stay there was short.

After the petting zoo, we tried another animal encounter. This time we fed some Lorakeets. If we held out a piece of apple, they would land on our hands or arms and enjoy the treat.

One of the last animals we saw at the zoo was this:

Which may not mean anything to anyone else, but to Troop 121, this is practically our mascot. Why? Because at the beginning of this year, I taught them the Kookabura song and they ask to sing it every. single. meeting. TheyAlign Center especially like this verse:

Kookaburra sits on an electric wire,
jumpin' up and down with his pants on fire.
Ouch, kookaburra, Ouch, kookaburra,
how hot your pants must be.

We MUST get a picture in front of the Kookaburra!

Such a FUN day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Powder Puff Derby

Several weeks ago, Ashley and Sadie got to participate in the Girl Scout version of the Pinewood Derby. They had so much fun painting their cars and watching them race.

Casey worked very hard to help them put them together and breathed a huge sigh of relief when they went down the first time without falling apart. In fact, they lasted the entire time and Sadie's came in first place in her group, and Ashley's came in 3rd place for all of the Juniors. Very exciting!

Sadie's "Minnie Mouse" car. It did have little Minnie ears and a bow on top, but we removed them because they were thought by Dad, to cause too much wind resistance.

Some of Ashley's troop after the races ended.

Here are some of the other creative cars.

(The "Girl in the pool" car did amazingly well!)