Hannahs Graduations...

Hannah graduated from both High School and Trade School this past week!  She had her EVIT (East Valley Institute of Technology) graduation on Tuesday...here are some picture of that...

And then on Thursday she graduated from Apache Junction High School!

Logan knows how to say 'CHEESE!'

It was a really pretty view!

That's her on the stage!  She was one of the last few to get her diploma!

For some reason she just kept licking my face!  EWWW

We had a graduation party for her yesterday...but I failed to get any pictures from it!  I took some lovely pain meds for my leg right before the party...so I felt good...but didn't remember to take pictures unfortunately.  It was nice though, all of Darons family came and then some friends from our former ward, and also the Frampton family came by (my boss, but long time friends of Darons family)

It was a good week and a good party last night, but I am READY for this weekend...this LONG WEEKEND!  I don't have to be back to work till WEDNESDAY!


Our weekend getaway...

Friday afternoon Daron calls and tells me he wants to go out of town for the weekend...so I raced home and we packed a bag and started driving north!   We stayed in Payson at the Majestic Mountain Inn!  We got cleaned up and decided to go to dinner and then to the Mazatzal Casino for just a little bit, since there wasn't a whole lot else to do at night.  I know I know, gambling is a no no, but we thought we'd just spend an hour and leave.  We started of playing a game called Keno.  You picked anywhere from 1 to 10 numbers and depending on how many numbers you picked and how many you matched, you would win anywhere from $3 to $50,000.  Well, on my very first game, I won $240! On my second I won $20!  We decided to go and play some of the other games, and so Daron played a poker game and I sat at the machine next to him and once again played Keno, where I won $190!  At the end of the night, we ended up winning $1,100!!!  It was crazy!  I can totally see how you can become addicted to gambling, and how easily it can take over your life! Thankfully we had our heads on straight and walked out while we were up! 

The next morning we got breakfast and ended up driving further north on the Mogian Rim in the Coconino National Forrest.  It was beautiful!  We got out and walked around a big...and ended up spending like 4 hours up there!  It was so nice to be away and not worry about anything with no cell phone reception!  It was in the mid-60's and BEAUTIFUL!  Here are some pictures:

Daron explaining to me how we would get down the hill and hike to the middle if we were skinnier!

A view from one of the forrest service roads we were driving on!

We had a great day.  We were thinking of staying another night up there, but ended up coming back home thinking we'd go to a nice fancy restaurant in the valley on Saturday night.  But...we were so tired we just ended up going to a Chinese buffet right by our house and coming home and crashing!   It was a much needed break!!!



I've been a big Survivor fan since Season 2, and I have to admit I was REALLY disappointed in this years season.  I liked the Redemption Island twist, but overall it was a very predictable season!  I mean, the first few episodes were ok, but once Russells team threw the immunity challenge to get rid of him (which I was THRILLED with because Russell bugs me)...nothing was ever as surprise after that!  Right down to handing Rob the million dollars! 

I'm not ready to call it quits yet, I'll probably keep watching it till they stop showing it in reality.  I just wanted to get my opinion out there...and mainly just to update my blog a little!


Dear parents...

Just so you know I am not a day late on my Mothers Day thoughts.  I called my mom yesterday and got my gift to her in the mail and what not, but it wasn't until this morning that I had a little epiphany of 'mothers'...maybe just parents in general.

I truly believe no one can appreciate their parents to the full extent until they are out of the house and living in the real world and dealing with other people; bosses, co-workers, friends, husbands, families, other church goers, random people at Wal-Mart, people in cars next to you on the freeway...  (To be honest I am sure we never appreciate our parents enough in this life, but to the extent that we are able to now, I don't think we appreciate them enough until we have experienced real life for a little while) 

That being said, I wanted to take this time to publicly (if you count my small handful of blog readers as 'public') thank my parents for a few key values they taught me.  Values, as I have come to learn over the past few years, not everyone was taught or if they were taught they didn't esteem them to be important enough to hold on to!  I assure you, these lessons are vital to being a decent person, a person that other people enjoy being around and a person that can function well in society.

I am thankful I was taught the value of work.  I got to go to work with my dad every once in a while when I was pretty young and Iwould like to think I started learning the importance of this way back then.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to work at my moms store.  I know that was part of the reason she bought it, so that her kids could have a place to work (at least that's what I've heard her say).  I know I have hated it there at times and been really rude about it, but again, I am so glad that I learned you have to work to get the things you need, that we are entitled to nothing.  Even if it's not working for money, doing things around the house and helping out was just what you had to do.

I am thankful that my parents instilled in me the the importance of the Gospel.  The things I have learned in my life and the blessings I have received because of my relationship with my Heavenly Father are beyond measure.  I am thankful they taught me to stand up for what I believe in and for what I knew to be true, no matter where I was or who I was with or how 'uncool' it may of seemed.  I am in no way saying you have to be 'a Morman' in order to be "a decent person, a person that other people enjoy being around and a person that can function well in society", like I mentioned above.  But I do think you have to stand for something.  You have to believe in something and be willing to take a stand for it and defend it no matter what comes along. 

I am thankful I learned the lesson of cleanliness.  Was my room always clean and tidy and never messy?  NO, but I was required to clean in once a week or so and not let it get out of control.  I am thankful I learned the importance of being physically clean and to shower and take care of my body.  I am glad, only in retrospect of course, that I had chores around the house and I was expected to do my part.  When my parents told me to clean the bathroom, it wasn't the beginning of World War 3 because it was my bathroom, and my chore, and chores were something kids had to do!  This lesson has been invaluable as I have lived with roommates and friends, and I am thankful that I was (hopefully) the kind of roommate that people enjoyed living with!

Probably the most important thing I am most thankful for is that my parents taught me to be respectful to others.  To be a nice person.  Not someone who is selfish, entitled, and disrespectful to everyone around them!  I am thankful I was taught to say please, thank you, excuse me, I'm sorry.  I was taught to look around and see who could use a hand or some help or just a smile!   Instead of just walking around life with blinders on only caring about what effects you directly, without any regard for others.  What a horrible thing it must be, to go through life being a selfish, rude, hypocritical person and never getting to know what it's like to have people truly like you and want to be around you.   I wrote a blog a while back about people who you run across once in your life, and the lasting impression that they can leave, whether it be negative or positive.  I am thankful my parents taught me the importance of making sure that I leave a positive experience for everyone that I come in contact with! 

I hope this hasn't come off as prideful or that I am saying that I am better than everyone else.  If it makes anyone feel better I could write an eternally long blog about the life lessons my parents tried to teach me that I HAVEN'T appreciated and held on to!  My faults for sure outweigh my strengths, but I guess that is what this life is all about.  Making mistakes, acknowledging that we are wrong, and correcting the behavior.  I just hope that I can pass on these lessons to my children, step and not step children, and that they will be able to turn around and help make this world just that much better of a place to be for the people they get to live with, deal with, work with, and come in contact with!  


The saga continues...

We went over to Darons moms house for dinner on Saturday night and when we got home we realized our back sliding door got left open, and the side gate to our house was open as well.  And after a few minutes of searching, we realized that...once again...we had lost Bell!  That little brat really just hated our new house!!  Thankfully, on Monday night, Daron happened to look out the back door and there she was!  We coaxed her in...her and Peppers kept hissing at each other and fighting, like they didn't even know each other!  Tuesday morning I picked her up and we cuddled on the couch for a few minutes, and I explained that we loved her and didn't want her to run away anymore and she needed to be nice to Peppers and not be so scared of everyone around her.  I petted her and loved her, and then I got up and went about my day.  Well...Bell would not leave my side after that!  If I was on the computer, she was on the desk next to me.  While I unpacked my closet, she took a nap on the floor right by me.  When I was organizing the pantry, she was right there...you get the point I'm sure. 

I laid down that night getting ready to go to bed, and along came Bell...and she plopped right down in the crook of my arm, on her back with all fours in the air...and she took another little nap!  What a crazy girl!  (it's not the best picture cause it's just from Darons phone, but hopefully you get the idea!)


The story of Bell...

Once upon a time the Wilson family was looking for a new cat to join their family.  They found the cutest little grey kitty at the animal shelter that looked like she would be a good companion for their current cat, Peppers.  They got her home and after a few hours they decided they would call her Bell, so they could just yell out BELL PEPPERS whenever they were looking for the cats!

She grew over the next few months and she came out of her shell a little, but she was still a pretty skittish kitty and didn't like to be around when there was company or strangers at her house.

One day the family decided they were going to move and eventually the day came when the movers arrived to load up the trucks.  They knew both of the cats would be scarred to death to have all these men at their house, so they decided to shut them up in the laundry room for the day.  Peppers went in ok, but Bell got really scared and she ran up the stairs and hid somewhere.  That was fine until the second time of filling the truck, when all of the movers went upstairs to get the stuff from up there,  and all of the sudden a grey blur came darting down the stairs.  Bryan tried to follow her, and he looked a couple places but decided it was better to leave her where she was and just get her after everyone was gone.

Well, long story short, the Wilson family got everything moved over, and after searching high and low in the empty house, they couldn't find Bell ANYWHERE!  She must of ran out the door when no one was looking because she was so scared!  Everyone was so sad and worried about the helpless little kitty, and they hoped that someone somewhere had found her and would take care of her.

They got back to their new house for the night and got to looking around for Peppers, who also was no where to be found, but since they had carried him over in the cage they knew he was somewhere.  One of the family members went out to the garage to look for something and out of the the corner of their eye they saw something dash under one of the shelves!  "How did Peppers get out here?" she thought.  The Wilson kids got the flashlight, and went looking in the garage for the kitten.  And they did find the kitten.  They found Bell!!  When she got scarred upstairs she ran downstairs and went to one of her favorite hiding places; behind the couch!  And when the movers started moving the couch, she ran up inside of it to hide from them!

So, little Bell, scarred out of her mind, did make it safely to her new house in the couch!