Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Amazing Race

On Saturday night we were invited to participate in The Amazing Race, put on by the Carruth's, some friends in our ward.

There were about 25-30 people that were divided into five teams. We were lucky enough to be put with Stacey and Drew, and Brad and Julianne.
Our first clue led us to the Nugget grocery store parking lot where we had to search the entire lot for a car with a specific license plate number. Once found, we were given our first task.
I got to dance on the corner of Pleasant Grove and Fairway Dr (a major intersection) dressed in a Mr. Pickles costume for 2 whole songs on a portable radio. If you don't believe me, watch this video. This can go on my list of most embarassing moments. It wasn't really that bad but I wouldn't have volunteered if I hadn't lost rock, paper, scissors.
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Drew, Stacey, me aka Mr Pickles, Julianne, and Brad
After the first task, we had a mandatory 15 minute minimum eating break at U-Food grill.

Once we finished we got our next clue which led us to Big Spoon Yogurt. We had to get 20 oz of yogurt and 4 oz of toppings and together, eat it all as fast as we could before getting the next clue.
We then went back to where we started at the Carruth's house and had to successfully play through one song on Rock Band. Our team rocked it!

Our next clue led us to another home where we had to complete a 200 piece puzzle of a map of the world. We only took 12 minutes!
After finishing the puzzle, our final clue led us to the last task at another home. One member of the team had to jump in the deep end of the pool and locate the canadian penny among 19 other american pennies.
Brad took one for the team with no hesitation. He found the penny quickly and we were in and out within 5 minutes.

When we finished the last leg of the race we returned to the Carruth's house.

We got there first and we were so excited!!!! However, we soon found out that there was a bonus challenge. We were given a soundtrack at the beginning of the race and our last challenge was to write down as many songs as we could remember within 90 seconds. Unfortunately we could only think of 5. Each song was worth a one minute time bonus, taken off our total time. The next team got there about 15 minutes later but they were able to write down 16 songs. They came in ahead of us by 2 minutes with the time bonus.
We still took pride in the fact that we finished first and look forward to the next Amazing Race.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Brad's Mission Call

Well, I guess no one really wanted to guess at where Brad is going so I'll just tell you.
Brad has been called to serve in the AUSTRALIA ADELAIDE MISSION! He reports to the MTC on March 4th, 2009.
We are so incredibly excited for him and think it's awesome that he's going to Australia. He will be English speaking.
Adelaide is the capital of Southern Australia and is on the south coast.

It looks like a beautiful place!


And there is even a temple in Adelaide!

We are so excited for the opportunity Brad has to serve the Lord in Australia. We love you Brad!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Guess where?

Brad's mission call came today but he hasn't opened it yet. He will be opening it at 6:30 tonight, CA time. Where do you think he will be going?
I'm feeling Europe, maybe a Scandinavian country, or stateside.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don's Home!

Don got home last Wednesday night and we were able to go to Alamo Thursday night and spend the weekend with him. Unfortunately we didn't get to go to the airport but here are some pictures my mom took.


Sister and Brother

My family used to play Settlers of Catan all the time before Don left on the mission. The whole 2 years he was gone we didn't play at all so of course we had to play when he got home.




We are so glad Don is home. It was so good to hang out with him for a few days. He is now in Utah, starting school tomorrow, so we won't see him again til Thanksgiving. It was a short and sweet weekend.
Here are two cute videos I took this weekend. The first is Lyndsey chasing Caitlin. Listen for her laugh. It is adorable.
The second is Tommy roaring. It's one of his favorite games to roar and "startle" us. He would laugh so hard every time Don acted scared.
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Home Makeover

Ever since we've been married we have rented and have not been allowed to paint in our apartment. We're still not allowed to paint but since I'm the manager, I'm doing what I want.
Before our apartment was all white

We painted one accent wall and our dining room. I know it's not a huge change but to us it is.

What do you think?

26

Last weekend I celebrated my 26th birthday. We were down in Alamo since Anna and Kayden were in town so we were able to celebrate with my family.
My mom made the most delicious, decadent chocolate cake which we had with gelato.


Tommy is telling us the letters. He's so smart!

Tommy helped blow out the candles and blew out all but one when he thought the song was over, even though it wasn't. I wish we caught it on video.
Here is a video of Tommy singing Happy Birthday
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Opening presents-this one is a tote bag I wanted from Vera Bradley that Aaron got for me

Isn't it cute!?


Tommy hanging out with Aunt Emily and Uncle Aaron
It was a great, relaxing day. Here's to another year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

After the soccer game and McDonald's we went out to Livermore to a corn maze and pumpkin patch. We had such a fun time winding our way through the maze.

The Family entering the maze

Aaron and I

On top of the bridge

When we were at McDonald's Tommy got this car and carried it with him through the maze. He loved driving it on the corn stalks.

Here Tommy is telling Aunt Emily not to take a picture. I think he got annoyed with me after I kept begging him to look at me and smile. I just think he is so cute I can't get enough pictures of him!

Tommy's favorite game was to have someone hide behind the corn at a turn and scare him when he came around the corner. Here's his reaction to Grandpa surprising him.

Tommy pulling the wagon full of pumpkins

Us

Tommy choses his pumpkin

Caitlin and Kayden were so cute riding in the wagon

We couldn't pass up this opportunity!

Alyssa's Soccer Game

Last weekend we went down to my parents house to hang out with the family and see Anna more before she went back to Utah. We had a weekend full of fun. Saturday afternoon we all were able to go to Alyssa's soccer game. Meaning, we ALL went. All 11 of us. I can't imagine what the other girls on the team were thinking, as well as their families. I think we out numbered them all, but it was fun to be there to support Alyssa and she did so well!

GO #42!



Tommy entertained himself by running up and down the dirt hill

Cute Caitlin

Grammy and Kayden, playing with string

Making the tunnel for the team to run through. They tied 1-1. Way to go Alyssa! After the game we all went to McDonald's for lunch before hitting up the corn maze and pumpkin patch. More pictures to come!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Visitors

Last week Anna and Kayden came from Utah to visit. We were able to convince them to come to Roseville to spend one night with us and we had so much fun. Here are a few pictures from that night.




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Here Anna is chasing Kayden and tickling him. His laugh is contagious.
Kayden has grown so much since the last time we saw him and is such a cute little boy. He had a minor surgery while he was in town and he handled it so well. When most babies would be grumpy, he continued to be the happy boy that he is. We wish they would move back to California!

Friday, October 10, 2008

NieNie

Like so many of you, I have become enthralled in the story of Christian and Stephanie Nielson after finding the link on Krista's blog. They are a darling young LDS family living in Arizona. Stephanie, or NieNie, became well known through her blogging and has become a great example of love and faith as she documents her life with her children and her husband. Over the last month I have read each of her posts and have found myself feeling an increased desire to love more and to live life to the fullest. Stephanie's ability to inspire is incredible.
On August 16th Stephanie and Christian were in a private plane crash and sustained severe injuries. Stephanie is in a medically-induced coma and is being treated for burns over 80% of her body. Christian is no longer in a medically-induced coma but he has a long road of therapy ahead of him. There are many opportunities to donate to the recovery of Christian and Stephanie through auctions and fundraisers. I have put a link on the side of my blog so that you can check out what you can do to help.
To learn more about Stephanie and Christian you can also visit their blog http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com or visit Stephanie's sister, Courtney's, blog for updates http://blog.cjanerun.com Courtney is currently taking care of three of their four children.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

11 days

For the past two years my brother, Don, has been serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Portugal. He is coming home in just 11 days on the 15th of October and I can't describe how excited we are to see him. So much has happened in the last 2 years and it has been incredible to see Don change and grow. He has had some incredible experiences that I know he will never forget and have helped shape him into the man he is.
The following story is just one example of the type of experiences he has been having and what his focus has been for the past 2 years. Don has set such a great example for us as his family and friends. I was so touched by this story and am grateful for the reminder to remember my Savior, Jesus Christ, and to let Him shape me.

"I've been doing SO much walking looking for all sorts of random objects, but that's not the story. While I was out on madeira I left my pair of brown shoes on the continent and so now that I'm back I've really been trying to get good use out of them. Not to mention...my black pair aren't usable at the moment. So I haven't been doing to good at shining the brown ones, I'm out of polish and a brush and everything, but that's not the story. While I was walking a ton today in the city of porto- in the corner of my eye I saw one of those old guys with a little stool set up shinning shoes!!! I thought, "Now's my chance!" So I approached the man and asked how much it would be, two euros---I jumped on it! The man did the best job I've ever seen! I think he spent about twenty minutes straight being sure not to miss a spot. One coat he applied with a rag...the second coat, after a dry and polish, he applied with his old worn out fingers. I can't express how impressed I was. The expertise he had in a job he'd been doing more than 40 years...I asked. This man would brush one side of my shoe and then transition sides, and hands, with out missing a beat. "How could a man so good at his job ask so little a price?", I wondered. It was because of how humble he was, and then it hit me. I remembered another story I heard a while back. Another missionary getting his shoes shinned by a humble man when he remembered a humble man named Jesus Christ using His fingers to carefully bring something worn out and tired, back to life asking almost nothing in return. I had to fight back tears thinking about our Savior and the price He asks and the job He'll do if we'll let Him. When I stood up I shaked the mans hands and felt how worn out they were. I was SO grateful for the job he had done. I then began to think, "If I felt that good about my shoe shinning, how much better I'm I going to feel if I can reach the presence of my Heavenly father and Savior Jesus Christ who'll make my "shine" if I take the time to stop my "busy" life and pay the more than fair price...."

I'm grateful for the eternal perspective and reminders every week in emails from Don about what our focus should be in this life: Jesus Christ and sharing the message of His restored Gospel.

Here are just a few pictures of Don on the mission.





We love you Don and can't wait to see you!