Saturday, October 23, 2010


This weekend we had a fun outing with Rick's brothers and sisters. For the last 21 years Rick and I have been hosting a Halloween Party in late October. This year we changed it up a bit. We spent 2 nights up at Brighton Ski Resort (if anyone is wondering why we have gone there so much it is because Superior did the parking lot of the Brighton Chalets and so we have some trade on their condos up there:) Thursday evening we took a stroll around Silver Lake. On our way to dinner we saw a cow moose and her baby. COOL STUFF! Later that night we sat around visiting, playing games, and telling funny stories. I was laughing so hard I could hardly breathe! You know how it gets when it's late and your tired....that's how it was!
Larry, Darla, Kathy, Trent, Rick and I.
(DeeAnn was taking the picture:)

Here's a picture of Rick with a belated b-day gift from Kathy....

The movie "How to Train Your Dragon".

A group shot in the parking lot....Ruth, Brad, DeeDee, Darrell, Dennis, Karen, Larry, (Darla's taking the pic) Hal, Janis, Kathy, Trent, me, and Rick.
Missing in the picture is Robin and Ken, & Brent and Lar.

We took another walk around the lake.....Here are some of the girls.

And most of the guys!

That night we came into town and had dinner at the Braza Grill. Not a decent picture but there you have it. It was a memorable time and we sure love being with family. We are glad to be part of such a wonderful one!!


Last Monday night for family night we headed out to the
pumpkin patch!
Kendra has been waiting for this for a couple of weeks now. It's kinda becoming tradition for us. The patch was NOT very good this year but we still found some decent pumpkins. What cute kids!! It's so cute to see how much they love each other. They get along really well!
Yes, through all the weeds we did find some good ones!
Here's my winner!

Afterwards we came home to make caramel apples. Here's Kendra's beauty! She crushed up heath bar to top it with. The rest of us just dipped our slices and ate them that way! After that fun activity we sat down to watch the infamous "THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN". Don Knotts is soooo funny! It was a great night!

Rick's 46th Birthday

Last Sunday night we celebrated Rick's FORTY-SIXTH birthday!! It was on a Sunday so that kind of limits us on the festivities but I made a special dinner for him and then afterwards The Allens came over for some ice cream cake.
He opened up his presents to find....a new shirt from Kenni, an i-pad cover from the Gare Bear, the movie "The Karate Kid" from Leesh, and from me 2 two new sets of matching tie pins and cuff links (as per request). He also recieved some new skull candy earphones (one for me as well:) a picture for his office, and some new garments...WOOOHOOOO!!
Happy Birthday Hunney!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Click Your Heels

Dorothy did have it right.....There IS no place like home!!

Friday, October 15, 2010



Alrighty comes part two! Tuesday we enjoyed the morning at a mercado about 30 minutes away from our hotel.
Gary had fun shopping for a belt. Mi familia leaving the market with their shopping bags!

That evening we got to go to the Mexico City temple to do baptisms. So exciting! We almost weren't able to because the only way we could do it was in coming with a group. We timed it so that we would be there at 6 PM to meet the group that was scheduled. Well, they didn't show up which meant there were not enough priesthood holders to help officiate. Come to find out there were 6 groups scheduled for the day and not a one showed up. Can you even imagine? It just so happened that while we were waiting a few brethren showed up to go through a session and the temple counselor asked them if they would help us with the baptisms. They were very gracious and instead of going through a session as they had planned they worked in the baptistry with us. What a wonderful, unforgettable experience for us!


On Wednesday our driver took us to Chapultepec Park. It is a HUGE park located in the center of the city. Here is a pic of Rick and Kenni feeding the squirrels!

A family picture. Notice that Gary is missing. He was invited by the boys of the ward to play basketball for their YM's activity that morning. Wasn't that cute of them? You might ask why the boys weren't in school. Well there are so many children in the city that they have to have 2 different sessions of school. These boys go to school from about 2 in the afternoon to about 9 at night.
Interesting, huh?

Kendra and I in front of the Chapultepec castle. It was very magnificent! A lot of the rooms were decorated just like it was back in the 1860's when Maximillion (Mexico's last king) and his wife Carlota lived there. They lived high on the hog while the people lived in poverty.

There is also a zoo in the park. Here is Rick trying to make friends with a Japanese monkey! After our day at the zoo we enjoyed a relaxing evening back at our hotel. We all crammed in our bed and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark on Rick's i-pad. It was a tight fit:)


Thursday morning we drove out to the edge of the city (about an 1 1/2 drive) to a place called Xochimilco. (pronounced so-shee-mill-ko) It is a neat place where you can take boat rides on canal built through the city....(kinda like Venice in Italy...except not really:) Here we are getting on our boat. In the back is Alvero. He was our driver for the week. I am soooo glad he was driving and not Rick. Way less stressful for all of us!

As we got into the main canal there were boats that would come up to us and try to sell us stuff. We listened to some guys play the xylophone. They were actually quite good. Rick and Kendra had to try the cooked corn like on Nacho Libre!

I bought some flowers from this lady.......

.....they're for Narciso's wife Ruth.

Gary being our captain.

On our way back in!

Before we left we stopped at the fruit market. You should see how they sell their chicken here....pretty gross! I do not know how these people do not get salmonella poisoning!

We took a bike taxi back to the car. Another memory:)
That night the Castenedas came to visit and say goodbye. Narciso brought some old mission pictures and it was fun to see them laugh and reminisce about the good ole' days.


Friday was another day of leisure for us. We strolled around our hotel's neighborhood. Here the boys are eating Tres Leches. They love that!

The monument by our hotel.

A fun flower stand!

What a wonderful vacation this has been. After months of wondering if we should even come (because of the bad things happening here) I am very glad that we did. It has been a spectacular place to see and what made it especially great was spending time with Narciso and his family. Now it is time to gear up for the long traveling day tomorrow! I can't wait to get back home!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Holy Cow! We have been in Mexico City for 3 days now and have been going like crazy! I'm going to write about this trip in 2 posts since there is so much to tell. We traveled all day on Friday (with a long layover in LA) and were happy to arrive at the Marriott Reforma about 9 in the PM. We ate dinner at one of the hotel restaurants and thoroughly enjoyed our first mexican meal. The kids were going crazy over the pico de gallo and the green chili sauce! SATURDAY
On Saturday we met up with the Casteneda family for some sightseeing. (Narcisso Casteneda was Rick's first comp in the missionfield.) These good people are the reason we are in Mexico in the first place. Narciso has been to our home in Grantsville and a few years ago we told him we would try to get to Mexico to meet his family. Here we are in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral...Gary, Kendra, me, Ruth, Narciso, and Ricardo (one of their sons). An interesting side note. Ricardo turns 18 in a couple of weeks and he has recieved his mission call to the Merida, Mexico mission. He leaves next month. YM in mexico can serve missions when they're 18! I did not know that.
Here's a shot of Kenni in front of the National Palace.

Right in the middle of downtown they have unearthed an old Incan ruin.
It is called the Templo Mayor. An electric company found this artifact back in 1978 when they were digging and that was when they discovered this huge place underneath the ground.
Cool Stuff!

After visiting the ruins we went through the Cathedral. It was very ornate inside. We got to climb the bell tower.
Here we are up on the roof of the Cathedral.

On our way to find some lunch (I think we walked 5 miles) we came upon this street mime. Here is having some fun with me:)

After lunch we drove over to the Coyoacan area of town. I swear this town is so huge that it takes FORever to get anywhere. After stopping for an ice cream cone we headed over to the market. We all found some fun stuff. Hats, headbands, crocheted slippers etc... Here's Kendra buying Brach a new wallet. She had fun buying stuff for his family.

After shopping we stopped for dinner. It was a fun place but it felt like we had been eating all day. After dinner we thought we would take a taxi home so Narciso would not have to drive us all the way back to the hotel. After trying to flag down a taxi for 25 minutes (not we had been going all day and were sooo tired) this VW taxi drove up and what could you do? We needed to get back and this was our only option. The passenger seat was not there so Gare, Ken and I sat in the backseat and Rick sat on the floor where the seat was supposed to be. We had a good time and made a fun memory. Have you ever been IN the backseat of a VW bug. Here we are crammed like sardines! (Gary's taking the pic:)

Sunday was a wonderful day as well. After getting home late Saturday night we dragged ourselves out of bed at 6:30 to get ready to catch our ride at 7:30 to get to church that started at 8:00. I will say this that sitting through 3 hours of meeting where you can't understand anything is pretty challenging. It gave me a new appreciation for missionaries and what they have to go through as they learn a new language. I will say that the RS sisters were so sweet to Ken and I. They were trying hard to include us in the lesson and kept saying things to us which totally made me more uncomfortable. I could NOT understand what they were trying to say to me and they just kept trying. Finally at the end they asked me to say the prayer (cute, huh?) I tried to go slow so they would know that I was ending but after I said, "Amen" Kendra was the only one who lifted her I said Ahmen (like they do) and they all got the message:)
We enjoyed the afternoon back at the hotel (napping) and then we got to go to Narciso and Ruth's home for dinner. Here is Gare with the Casteneda's dog, Casey. He took a liking to Gary:)
Ruth made us a feast! She had been listening to the kids the day before talk about the different foods they liked and she wanted to treat us well. We started out with Corn Chowder as an appetizer (with chips, pico, and red and green salsa's) then she brought out tacos, tostadas, Nopales (cactus), quesadillas, potatoes, and flan for dessert. Plus she made fresh limonada for all of us! WOW! That meal was amazing!

Here we are doing dishes!

Rick and Narciso

So Monday we headed out of the city to the famous Teotihacan ruins. We spent about 31/2 hours there seeing the sights. Here are Gary and Kendra ready to walk down the Avenue of the Dead. It is a 2 KM walk to get to the Pyramid of the Moon which you can barely see at the very back of this picture.

We stopped at the Pyramid of the Sun. It is the biggest pyramid in the world (that is unearthed anyway). Rick counted 243 steps to the top. It was hard but man, what a view!

At the top there were a LOT of butterflies. We got one in this picture.

On our way back down. Ruth was smart and brought her umbrella. It was a very hot day!

We stopped for lunch in San Juan and got back to the hotel about 5:00 where we swam and had a relaxing evening. What a wonderful 3 days! and we have 4 more full days to go. WooHoo!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Kendra had Friday morning off of work so we went to Shear Pleasure and painted her room. She's wanted to do it for a while but we have never taken the time.
We chose a lovely green paint from Wal-world and got to work.
She was quite the artist and painted our names on the wall...... Isn't it cute? Between coats we had lunch at Costa Vida. We each had the pork salad. I have to say that I like Bajio better. She thinks I'm wierd. It was fun being with my Kenni girl! We gave her room a good cleaning too. It needed it!

Saturday night while the men were at Priesthood Meeting Alyssia and I took off to SL. We drove by this new place by the mall and thought we would give it a try. It's called NYPD pizza. As we got seated on the patio our waitress came and told us it was VIP night and that they were offering garlic bread, salads, pizza (an 18 incher) and dessert FOR FREE!

Here we are hangin' out on the patio chillin' to Frank Sinatra.

I ordered a cheese pizza and at first they brought out this completely white pizza. (they call it the Blanco). It was NOT what I was expecting. You see I love pizza (especially the Margharita Pizza in Italy) and I have to have red sauce on my pizza. It's really not right to have it any other yes, I had the nerve to ask for a new pizza even though I wasn't paying for this one. (I know I'm shameless) They were very kind and brought out the right kind. They even offered for us to take home the blanco....which I did. Hey, my kids might like it! Anyway, I loved the thin crust. It wasn't THE best pizza but hey, it was free.

After dinner we headed over to the mall and just hung out for a while. It was nice to be with my Leeshy just having some fun:)