Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ok, bear with me, I am posting some old things and trying to catch up. I did a trip to the Grand Canyon back in June and it really was an amazing thing. The scenery was gorgeous and the company was perfect! We hiked the Bright Angel Trail...we meaning, me, my sister Natalie, my daughter Jessica, my sister Becky's sister-in-law Jenny, and my friend Michelle. It was an incredible "Girl's" trip!

Here's Michelle and I we finished the trail together!! Natalie, Jessica and Jenny finished a "little" ahead of us but Michelle and I stuck out the end together, Thank you Michelle! We still made fairly good time though. Altogether it was a 9 mile hike (and in no way an easy one ) It took us about 3hrs going down, we had to move aside alot for the donkey riders. Then we rested down at Indian Springs for a couple hours cause we didn't want to be hiking out in full sun. But I think we still made it back up in about 4 hours, Most important...WE DID IT!

Here is just some of the beautiful scenery. It was amazing to look across the canyon, it almost seemed unreal!!

Here's a couple pics of our group The 1st one is at the beginning(Michelle is taking the picture) then the second one is all of us at the end of the trail!

Here is one of the mad attack chipmunks there. Those things went after anything that they thought had food in it! Then we also saw deer on the way out of the canyon!

Another group picture and then one of me hiking on the way out. I believe Jessica took this picture becaue I remember her shouting at me "C'mon Mom you can do it, faster, faster, faster!!!"

One pic of me, yes I'm still smiling :) Then here are our aching feet getting a break in the water at Indian Springs.

More beautiful Scenery!

It was a lot of fun being able to do this with my daughter! I want to challenge my other kids to do this trail with me now!

Here's Natalie being a Smart Alec!! Yes the sign really said no diving and there was maybe barely a foot of water! :)

What an Awesome Experience this was!! Thanks girls!
Here is Geoffrey's Senior Picture (I don't think I
ever posted it, nice hair, right?)
Well if you remember his graduation pictures
His hair got quite long, in fact we teased him that
his hair got longer than his mom's!

See the nice long wet rained on hair!

Now watch Aunt Elaine get a hold of Geoff... Hair is cut and it didn't even hurt!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Ok I am finally posting my wonderful trip to Orlando Florida. For our 21st Anniversary Ted flew me out to Orlando where he is working and I was able to go First class(free cause we used some of his flight fund miles!), and no Kids!!! This was the first time I had ever flown first class and it was really nice. But I can tell you I almost felt guilty every time they would come by and ask me if I needed a drink or a snack or a pillow (they even brought me a warm wash rag to clean my hands after I had eaten...The flight attendant was handing them to everyone with tongs and so I thought it was some kind of fish or something like that so I politely declined, hee hee). I kept thinking of all the poor non first class people sitting in the rest of the plane, did they not deserve some of these amenities...?
All in all though It was a beautiful stress free vacation!

We were able to go to Disney World free thanks to a woman that Ted works with in Orlando (her husband works at Disney world full time) We did the hopper pass for one day. Between Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios... all in one day! Never try this with kids!? We were only able to hit 2-3 things in each kingdom.

The lady Ted works with also works in Disney World part time and she works in Epcot where they do "meet the characters" We got to hop right up in line with all the little kids to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald! Goofy was actually kind of a flirt... I didn't quite know what to think of him :)

And of course we had to see the Orlando Temple, I think it was prettiest lit up at night.

One of my favorite things at Disney World was at the Animal kingdom.. It is the Tree of Life. (You know... Lion King?) It was huge and had all these animals carved into the trunk and everything! Pretty cool :)

Here we were able to visit a wildlife preserve on Merrit Island
That is where NASA is. We weren't able to watch a shuttle launch but we did see the launch pads and it looked like they had one with a tank set up with it like they were getting it ready to launch. We wanted to go on a wild life trail to see gators but there had been too much water so the trail was closed because the gators were able to get a little too close to the road! Scary!

However we still found this little bay area that had manatee watching and we actually saw quite a few manatees. We even saw a mama and baby manatee swimming together, of course that was right about the time we had put away the camera!

It was also really wonderful to just walk the beach with Ted in the evening! This beach was out in Tampa (less than an hour from Orlando). The scenery was beautiful and there was a warm breeze and the water in the ocean was warm, it was perfect!

I have really done a lot of reflecting since Ted has taken on this project in Florida. (So I'm warning you I'm going to get a little sentimental for a moment.) Spending time without him makes me appreciate my family more and it also helps me have a better perspective on what's important. Just recently a good friend of mine from high school was in an accident with her husband and 5 children. Unfortunately their 13 year old daughter did not survive the accident. My heart goes out to her and her family, no one should have to lose a child it's a pain I don't know if I could bear. But it's always amazing what you can survive. I do feel like I have learned a few lessons in life and recently I came across a quote by Pres. Howard W. Hunter that I think sums up what I have learned in my life over the past 6-8 months and it inspires me too. I have printed it out and hung it up in my kitchen to help me remember, he says...

"If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right."

This is a great gage of what's really important... I have decided that there is a lot in the world that isn't permanent, life is ever changing. Our job situation changes, economy changes, housing market changes, our interests change... but the important things really are permanent like our families, and our faith. Anyway, I will leave you with that thought and hope it inspires you too.
This is just fun and random. Geoffrey created this pyramid out of smarties...?! Is there some kind of job out there that he can use his skills for?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Here are the pics of Jacob w/Mom & Dad at his baptism.

Okay I'm back in the blogging world again! May was a very busy month for us. We started out with Jacob's baptism the second saturday of May. It was a really nice program. Thank you to the friends and family who made it there.
If you weren't there you missed out
on Jacob singing a solo! During the baptism
our family sang the song "The Family is of God"
and Jacob sang one of the verses by himself. It was
very sweet and I was so proud of him!


Yeah Geoff graduated!! The stinker kept us on the edge of our seats until the week of graduation! He had flunked English the semester before and was making it up with an online class.
But then the second semester of school he was once again flunking English!!
We kept in touch with his teacher via email and
received the final word from her on Monday the 18th
that he had made up enough work and done extra credit
to ensure that he would actually pass! Graduation was Thursday, the 21st!

After all that he managed to even graduate with honors!

Grandpa Phillips made it to see the miracle of Geoff

Such a fun night! It rained pretty much the whole time. We had fun sitting with Ted's cousin Kristi and her husband David. And Kathy Lopez from our ward joined us too. Thanks to Kristi and David we had towels and blankets to sit on during graduation, cause those bleachers were soaked! This is the second year in a row that Westwood has graduated in the rain. Jessica's graduation last year got rained out. But I think they were better prepare for it this year. Who would have thought that we would have to consider rain in the equation for planning graduation here in Mesa AZ!!! Where it's usually so Dry!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yo Yos are dangerous

Jacob learned a fun lesson a few weeks ago. I am now finally posting it, sorry. Trying to catch up! During our April break the 3rd week in April Jacob had a new yo yo he was playing with and I was trying to teach him how to work it. So I sent him outside to try it (I didn't want him hitting anybody with it! Isn't that ironic!) Well about that time a little neighbor boy came over wanting to play with Jacob and so I sent him outside too. Half an hour later I hear someone screaming their head off and I realize it's Jacob. He was holding his hand up to his face and just screaming and the little neighbor friend,Isaaac is telling me "I'm sorry, he told me to hit it with the bat and I didn't know it was going to hit him..." So I'm thinking Jacob got hit in the head or nose with a baseball bat? Then they explained to me a little better that he got hit with the yo yo!? In the meantime Jacob is still screaming and burying his head in my chest, but I finally get the story out of the both of them. Jacob was swinging the yo yo out and he told Isaac "I'm going to swing the yo yo out like this and you hit it with the bat..." And you can put the pieces together! You know the saying what goes up must come down, well we also learned that what goes out must come back (especially when it is a yo yo!!!) Well I finally am trying to assess how bad the injuries are and so I get Jacob to look up at me and I realize there is blood all over me and his face, so I use my Mom skills to keep him calm and clean him off and right away I realize that he has a nice deep gash above his eye and it's not going to be good enough to just apply pressure of use a band aid. So we made a trip to Urgent Care. They were actually very fast and efficient. They ended up using a skin glue, not stitches. But they also said we needed to treat it like a head injury and watch him, make sure he didn't throw up or get dizzy, etc. The picture above is one I took that evening before he went to bed. The next day his eye was swollen shut. I felt bad for him because he was asking me why he couldn't see out of that eye.

He was a great trooper about it. We survived and he went back to school on Monday. At school he has to do a writers workshop every day, so that day he wrote about how yo yos are dangerous, funny enough his teacher told him that when yo yos were invented they were originally invented as a weapn! Jacob can attest to that! Anyway here are also pictures of our easter festivities, mainly dieing easter eggs. Lilly's favorite color to die hers was purple!