Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter 2011 (and one hundred billion pictures)

The Saturday morning before Easter Trent was still on a campout, but our ward had a breakfast and egg hunt at the park. My brother Adam and his kids joined us and it was tons of fun. They spent most of the day with us too and the kids enjoyed playing with their cousins. Easter morning was gorgeous and we enjoyed church. I have to say that I think Easter is the most wonderful celebration. Jesus Christ lives! What could be more glorious? My kids are hard to capture all being cute at once, but I did try.

 Trent- after finding the coveted "Golden Egg".

 Trent counting out his winnings. Trent's parent like to entice the adults to get involved.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Anniversary Trip

So we want to travel somewhere beautiful this fall to celebrate our ten years of married bliss! Since we will be leaving our four children to be watched by family members, we will limit our trip to 5 or 6 nights. This means we will not be going somewhere crazy far like Japan or Thailand or Australia (although I hope to visit all those places in my lifetime).
I want to go to the Caribbean. Specifically, I think St. Lucia is my first choice. Although I would be happy going to Aruba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, or probably any of the other islands in the area as well. Some major pros for the Caribbean are:
There are many adult only resorts
Almost all of the resorts are beachfront
scuba diving and snorkeling possibilites are endless
some of the islands have rainforests as well as gorgeous beaches (st. lucia)
travel time is a little longer
flights through Delta (which we have skymiles for) are not very frequent and usually have a lengthy layover in Atlanta

Another option we are considering: Hawaii
Trying to research a trip to Hawaii is overwhelming, I don't know where to start.
I guess it's similar to the Caribbean in the fact that there are many different islands and I'm not sure which one best suits our needs/wants for the trip. With such a short trip, I don't think it would be wise to try to see everything we'd like to see in Hawaii. I am sure we could take a day trip to another island than the one we stay on. Any lodging that is luxurious and romantic in Hawaii is very expensive. There are expensive places in the Caribbean as well, but there seems to be more inexpensive options. Since this is a romantic celebration trip I do want to stay at a nice clean place with a large pool and good views and modern rooms, so maybe I am just expecting too much. I am trying to find places under $300 a night for something nice and not too crowded. I would love any insights from those of you who have been to Hawaii. Send me an email-please!

Another option- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The thing I like about this option is that it is the closest, but still has supposedly beautiful beaches along with rainforest as well. It just seems less exotic and exciting to me.

I want to go somewhere with lovely beaches, a nice rainforesty area to hike in (ideally with some waterfalls), snorkeling, delicious food, beautiful sunsets, and some sightseeing. I don't care much about shopping or golfing or casinos or nightlife.
I still have (about) 5 months to plan. I would love to hear anyone's input!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I love food

Eating out is pretty much my favorite thing to do. I love to try new places and things. I try to stay away from large chain restaurants if I can help it. The Mesa/Gilbert area is not as full of variety and options as Scottsdale or Phoenix, but there is still plenty of places that I haven't tried around here that I would like to. some of the places I go are chains and that's okay too.
I recently tried Culinary Dropout in Scottsdale (where my gorgeous little sister works) and the dishes I tried were wonderful.

 Mmm. Food.
I'm pretty sure my kids are such "good eaters" because of my good example :)

Every time we go out, I always have the hardest time trying to decide where to go. Trent doesn't really care, except he prefers that we don't go Italian since he hasn't found a place he likes. I am always wanting to make the perfect restaurant choice and then the perfect menu item choice. I am that person that takes forever to decide. Trent says I pick like it is my last meal. So, I decided to make a list to refer to for my future ventures eating out locally. I would love to hear any of your additions, local or otherwise. Where is your favorite place to eat and why?

Some places I like to go near here are:
Pei Wei
Ichi Ban
Crackers (breakfast and lunch)
Waldo's BBQ
Pita Jungle
Costa Vida
California Pizza Kitchen
Liberty Market
Kona Grill

Some places that I am hoping to try soon in my area:
Tum Nak Thai
Sushi Avenue
Pita di VITA
Salsa Cabana
Croshaw's Gourmet Pies
Romeo's Euro Cafe
Blue Adobe Grill
Giant Hamburgers
Streets of New York

P.S. Abbie, you need to start doing Foodie Fridays again or some variation of it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Kittens

I didn't get our cat spayed in time. Last night we added four tiny kittens to our household. Actually, they have their very own house made of plastic right on our back patio. Maybe with the encroaching heat the kids won't mind giving up their playhouse for a while. 

You can't really see the kittens in these pictures. I'll have to get some of them later.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

GNO April 2011

Had our monthly girl's night on Thursday. Sushi and a movie. It was so great. Better turnout than usual (12 people at dinner, 6 stayed for a movie). We took our time at dinner and had some really tasty stuff. I tried baked mussels. I didn't hate them but the texture was weird. Four Seasons had an Ace Roll as a special and it was probably the tastiest sushi I have tried thus far. All the rolls were good and the fried rice looked great too.

 Lauren, Abbie, Mel, Karen
 Me, Karen (my sister), Amber (will be my SIL next month), Lauren (my SIL)
 Abbie, Mel, Katie, Kim, Me, Cassi, Kristen, Janay, Stephanie

After dinner we ran to QT to grab some soda and snacks, then we went to see The Source Code, which was good entertainment. I'm no movie critic, but I enjoyed it. And after that, 5 of us hung out in Cassi's car chatting for another hour or so. I loved the whole night!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Charlotte's field trip

Thursday Charlotte and I headed off on a school bus to the Children's Museum of Phoenix. Thankfully Kathi took Henry and Terrie took Paisley for me to get to spend some quality time with Charlotte. It was awesome! I was possibly more excited than Charlotte. She had never been on a bus before and told me it was weird that it had no seat belts. She had a blast waving to all her classmates all over the bus.

There were so many fun things for kids there: The noodle forest, the climbing maze tree thing, the grocery store, the kitchen, the art room, tricycles, fort room, and more. We will have to go back soon with Henry!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma!

We had a blast celebrating Grandma Terrie's birthday with the P family yesterday afternoon. First of all, Troy and Jen make the most mouthwatering shrimp, chicken, steak, and veggie kabobs in the whole wide world! I almost can't stop myself from eating them until I am going to explode.

Secondly, Grandpa Wes full on entertains all the grandkids and engages each of them, while I sit back and chat with the ladies. Always good times!