Monday, January 24, 2011


We flew out a few days after Holly left to go home from Christmas, to go see Holly in Arizona. (We were really missing her after a few days) We thought it would be great to spend her birthday with her! We flew out in a bad snowstorm and projected very low temperatures for Salt Lake and thought how fun it would be to be warm in Arizona. Guess what . . . IT WAS UNSEASONABLY COLD IN ARIZONA! They even had snow (a few flakes) and freeze warnings while we were there! We still had a lot of fun, even though it was coat weather there too. Holly took us to some of her favorite eating places and shopping centers. We saw fireworks from her living room window at midnight on New Year's Eve. (I think they were at the ASU stadium) We were able to go to church with her in her single's ward and see how she fixed up her apartment. She has really adjusted to being so far away. WE ARE SO PROUD OF HER!

John, waiting outside a yummy Italian restaurant.
Notice how cold he looks! But it was worth the
wait for him, because he claims he had the best
dessert ever here! It was a half baked peanut butter
and chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top.
Seeing the Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple!
We did this on New Years Eve!

They have a missionary choir that sang every night for an hour.
They sang Christmas songs and songs about the Savior. There
were missionaries everywhere talking to the people. It was really
neat to experience this!

I know this isn't the best or most flattering picture of me -
but it shows I was there and that they put lights up in the
palm trees.

Holly pointing out that they put lights in the orange trees!
We wanted to pick oranges off the trees, but felt it might be like stealing.
I wonder what the temple does with all the citrus fruit off the trees
on the temple grounds.

Holly and her Dad with the Mesa temple in the background.

After the temple lights, we went to eat at the Native New Yorker.
They have the best bbq wings ever! (We ate there with Steve when we
took some of Holly's stuff down the 1st time and had to return.)
They have lots of good food there! After that we went back to
Holly's apartment to play games. At midnight we watched the fireworks!


For Holly's birthday, we went to the Botanical Garden and spent some time walking around. It was a very large area. Then we went to eat at an Asian food place. We then went back to Holly's for her birthday cheesecake that we picked up at the Cheesecake Factory the night before.

A picture of all of us at the Botanical Garden.
We took lots of pictures here (too many to post)
and had a really good time.

A Christmas tree made out of poinsettias.
You can tell that it was unseasonably cold, because
all the poinsettias are starting to shrivel from the cold.
I am sure it was beautiful in it's prime.
These 3 trees are a glass sculpture done by the same artist that did
the sculpture for the Symphony Hall here.

Holly's Birthday Cheesecake.

We did a lot of other things. Holly showed us the sights of the area she lives. We shopped for her birthday and enjoyed our time spent with her. As her dad always says, "SHE'S A GREAT KID!" (He says that about his other daughter also.) We are blessed with the BEST!!


It was so fun to have my children together for Christmas this year. I have really been missing spending time with the girls. This past year was one of change for our family. Heather got married in January and Holly moved to Arizona in August. John and I have adjusted to being empty nesters, but we really like it when we can all be together. Holly flew in on the Wednesday night before Christmas. On Thursday, we went to see the Lights on Temple Square, the play SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, and then to dinner. Heather and Brian got stuck in traffic and just barely made it in time for the play. We were so HAPPY they made it in time for the play and for dinner after. We missed them while looking at the lights.

Holly and Mom

Heather and Brian stayed over for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. It was so fun all being under the same roof again. John and I truly feel blessed to have such wonderful children that we enjoy spending time with!

Heather's creative wrap job on her father's present.
(Who can guess what it was?)

Holly opening one of her gifts.

Brian with his surprise gift from Santa!

We had a GREAT Christmas this year! We are so grateful for our wonderful children and the good time that we had together.


TRADITIONS! Where would we be without them, right!! For as long as I can remember, Christmas Eve has always been as fun, and in some cases, funner than Christmas day. My mom started the tradition when we were younger for family to gather, EAT, have a special family home evening (that always included the Christmas story), and then EAT some more. I remember my grandparents coming and as the older siblings got married, they would come with their cute families. The excitement in the air of the anticipated arrival of Santa amongst the children and just spending time with the people you love most, makes for a very exciting evening. Some of my very best memories with my family comes from this tradition! My memories of Christmas's at my parent's home where the presents under the tree came clear out to the middle of the living room floor, because of the number of people celebrating Christmas there, will always be special ones. The last one that Mary Jane was with us, where her and Barry spent hours putting stickers on a doll house, with all of us laughing and joking will always be dear to me. I could go on and on - but back to the present!

I still love the tradition of gathering family for Christmas Eve. We feel fortunate that some of my siblings and their families don't mind joining our family for this special evening. The more the MERRIER!! This year we had lots of appetizers. So many, in fact, that no one was hungry for the soup I made. So it was decided we will just stick to appetizers next year and forget the soup. Of course we will always have all the yummy goodies to eat for dessert. We played the dice game for the adults and children. We read the Christmas story. (Is this sounding familiar?) Barry (our Santa look-a-like) read TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS to all the children. But mostly, we just had a lot of fun spending time together! (thanks Mom & Dad for starting such an awesome tradition) Thanks to my family who came for helping to make this Christmas Eve so enjoyable! Maybe we will have more of you next year!

The kids playing the dice game!