Adventure in Arizona

First I would like to say Phoenix is hot!!!!!! Second I would like to say, I was tremendously thankful for the hotel having a pool!!!!!! With that being said, we did have a great time in Phoenix. It was fun having absolutely no responsibilities for a while.

Middle Bit was born in this great city, so he had fun seeing the old house we lived in, hospital he was born in and the church he was baptized in. We took him to the church he was baptized at, and one of the priests is still there almost 13 years later! I have a picture of her holding him as a baby, and now of them standing next to each other 13 years later. Time does fly!

Other highlights were visiting Tombstone and Bisbee. If I had the chance to live in Bisbee, I would. The town is so eclectic and much cooler in temperature. Love it!

We had a great time, but like all good things, we had to come back home. We were all grateful for the time away and time spent together!

What were some of the trips you have been on this summer?




In February, I celebrated my 40th birthday!  I did not want any birthday parties or events that make others feel like they needed to get me things and I feel really uncomfortable when I am the center of attention.  I really did not want to be surprised by any of that either.  But I did not know what I wanted to do.  Mr. Bits asked me, but I just could not decide.  The weather where we live had been horrible for a month straight, and the inversion that happens because of the constant snow cover became really depressing.  So getting out of town sounded like a good option, but I honestly had no clue where I wanted to go.

Some friends of ours suggested we try to go in on a cabin together since his birthday was around the same time.  We could celebrate mine, my daughters and his all at once.  So my husband began planning, and we decided on Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.  Warm (warmer but still chilly), clear skies and beautiful scenery.  Our families cooked meals together, sat out on the balcony in the warm sun and drank beers (grownups only of course), and drove into the national park for a day of hiking and looking around.

It was truly a great birthday and a much needed dose of sunshine!  Another special thing about my birthday is that I share it with my grandpa.  He died when I was young, but I remember sharing my birthday with him.  We were both born on Feb 13, and on a Friday!  Every birthday, I have a toast towards heaven and wish him a special day, and this birthday, I felt as though he were wishing me one right back.  Nature does that.  It brings us closer to those we miss.



Our Night in Vegas

I told you all yesterday of the impromptu trip to Fresno.  I told you how I picked my husband up from the airport, and then we just kept driving.  I also said we spent the night in Vegas, and that was a story all on its own.  So today, I will tell you the fun and crazy story of our night as the top one percent of the tax bracket.

My husband travels quite a bit, and when he stays at hotels, he gets points that earn us free nights.  Because of this, not only does the hotel offer points to stay overnight, but they do offer a stay without using any points, for free at ANY of their hotels.  This could be at the most basic to the most ritzy, depending on where you are at.  So on our way south to Vegas, my husband called the booking service, and asked where we could stay with our one absolute free night.  No, we did not want the basic.  I mean if you are going to use this opportunity, you better use it well, right?

The person on the other end, booking our night, said, “Sure, we have a $500 suite at the Palazzo available.  it is only a king size bed thought, would that be suitable.”  Yes our family of five can figure it out!  I mean if we have to rough it, we have to rough it.  We were a little excited, and then realized how ragamuffin we all looked.  Hair standing on end, ketchup stains from the fast food.  But hey, this could be a one time thing.  So we sucked it up, and walked through the high end hotel.  Mixed matched luggage in tow, ketchup stains and bed heads.

We were standing in line, when a woman approached us and asked if we were members.  We said with great pomp, “Why of course we are!”  She then escorted us to the “elite check in”.  Keep in mind, we did not look elite by any means, and all the people looking us up and down, were now looking at us wondering who the hell we were.

The gentleman checking us in was tremendously sweet.  I think he could tell we were not the normal clientele, and decided to help us out.  He said that he noticed we had the king bed suite and would it be okay to change us to the two queen bed sweet.  Of course we said yes.  Then he said that he wanted to check on a few things, and would we mind if he excused himself for a minute to make a few phone calls.  Uh oh, this is it, they saw the ketchup stains.  He came back and said, he rearranged our booking to make sure we were on the strip side so we could have a view.  He also said he arranged it to be on the 26th floor, and to please enjoy our stay.

We had to walk back through the hotel with fancy people, with our ketchup stains and bed heads, to the elevator.  We arrived on the 26th floor, and headed to our suite.  We opened the door to this:


Ummm, super nice right?  There were three televisions.  One over the bathtub.  Middle Bit took a bath and exclaimed, “I watched television while taking a bath!”


This is an awful shot of the bathroom.  It was much bigger, and the size of a normal hotel room.


This is the area where one would lounge.  The curtains were controlled by a remote, which the kids used constantly.  Oh, it had a television.

The sleeping area had another television.

Our family will never be the same again.


Hope you are all having adventures!




Where to Begin

It has truly been a whirlwind of events the past few months, and I can honestly say some of the busiest weeks I have experienced as a wife, mother and grown up.  Teaching full time at home, going back to school, trips, running major events, and all the miscellany in between…I have seen that I can do it, but it does wear the body out.

This week is the first time in months that I have a “normal” week.  I have missed blogging, I have missed my business and have realized that these spaces are part of who I am.  With the events of the past week around the world, I have missed connecting with family far away and see blogging as a way to connect to family, friends, the world.  How important it is to do this in love, unity and peace.  I am so grateful for all of you and I look forward to connecting and seeing what is happening in your lives as well.

I could not figure out how to start this post, because there has been so many things happening, and last night, I sorted through about 300 photos from the past few months.  Where do I even begin!

So I will lead in words my month of September through mid October, then show you some very cool pics of an impromptu trip to Fresno California.  September began the craziness.  I put together a women’s retreat for the northern region of our state.  It was called, “That’s How the Light Gets In”, and approximately 30 women from 3 different congregations came together to learn about service and prayer.  I heard it went really well!  I say this because even though I organized the event, I was unable to make it.  I had class all weekend long!  Wonderful women banded together to help ensure all went well.  This was my first lesson:  how to learn to allow others to help.  I have always had a difficult time with this control issue, but honestly, I cannot do it all.  These wonderful women stepped up and did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be more grateful!  Class went well, and I am drinking through a fire hose of information.  Getting back into the school routine and writing papers on theology is mind boggling, but somehow, by grace, I am getting it done.

Another major thing I am working on with another woman is starting up a soup kitchen, opening in January.  There will be more info to come.  But in the midst of preparing for this, going to school and planning for our church bazaar, we have had co-op and home school!  I have enjoyed school this year.  The program for the kids is amazing, and this virtual school incredible.  The kids attend class online, and meet with their fellow classmates.  The curriculum is great, and I feel like I am running from kid to kid, but they are all having a great time.  The co-op has been a lot of work, but so worth it, and I am grateful for the ladies I work with.

Now to the Fresno trip.  This was an impromptu trip.  My husbands aunt and uncle live in Fresno, and one week called us to invite us to the wests largest civil war re-enactment.  Apparently, Fresno has the largest one in the west, who knew?  They know that my son is a huge civil war buff, and did not want us to miss this opportunity.  However, when they called, we only had a week!  My husband was gone, so we had to work out how we would do it.  So, on a Thursday, my husbands flight got in at 1pm.  Since he was already packed, the kids and I picked him up from the airport and just kept driving.  We spent the night in Vegas, which is a story all its own for tomorrow and got there Friday night.  All day Saturday, we attended the event, and it was pretty cool.  Here are the highlights.

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The morning started with a battle, and which one, I cannot remember.  I was not expecting it to be so cool.  The horses were so well behaved with all the black powder noise, and the characters were amazing!


In between battles, we walked around the camps, both union and confederate.

The above horse was the most friendly horse I have ever met.  I couldn’t stop petting her.  Really, literally, she would not leave my daughter and I alone.  Which was sad for my daughter, because she absolutely loves horses, but unfortunately this is what happens.


Yup, she is allergic.  So Benadryl to the rescue and the rest of the day continued.

The men and women participating stayed in character at all times, and answered all questions.  We all learned much about the history, and had fun learning some new crafts.



The doctor was by far the most informative.  We are so lucky for the advances in medicine.  I will spare you the details.

An old distillery, for medicinal and moonshine purposes!  Of course it was just for show.


And then of course the day ended as it began, with a battle.


We truly had such  an amazing time, and I am so happy we did not wimp out.  It was great to see family, learn new things and watch the kids have a wonderful time.

Thanks Bruce and Cheryl!  We had so much fun!


Vegas Baby


Mr. Bits recently had a trip to Las Vegas for work.  Since it is summer, and we are free, I decided to pack up the kids and go with him.  I am so glad we did, as we needed a break from the normal day routine.  It was fun because, the hotel we stayed at had five different pools for the kids to choose from.  We honestly did not leave the hotel area for most of the trip!  The kids played in the pool all day long!  There were a couple of days when we ventured out and went to some museums, but for the most part, the kids and I just wanted to stay next to the pool.

I grew up in Las Vegas, and every time I go back I am reminded of how happy I am I do not live there anymore.  The heat is so oppressive!  I have heard people say things like, “At least it is a dry heat!”  But come on, once it gets to 110 degrees, who cares if it is dry, all I know is it was dang hot, and I sweated buckets!

We all had a good time together, and now we are back home, getting ready for the upcoming school year, and doing lots and lots of laundry!

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer vacation!



My Favorite Movie

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Since High School, my favorite movie has been “So I Married an Axe Murderer”.  It is funny, quirky and totally quotable. The movie is not for everyone, and many of you may not even think it is funny at all, but Mike Myers used to be the man I wanted to marry!  He is so very funny and I guess in a way, I married a man with very similar personality.  Makes me laugh every day!

The whole movie is set in San Francisco, and every time we go, which is not very often, I am on the hunt for businesses that were in the movie.  Unfortunately, many of them have shut down, but I did get to visit some of these places 10 years ago.  After a long day in China Town and Pier 39, My husband and only two of the kids piled in the car.  Oldest Bit wanted to go with His aunt.  As we turned the corner, Fog City Diner came into view and I had flashbacks to the movie.  If you have ever seen it, then you will get this next part.  “No, no, no, no, no infinity.”  I may have screamed “Stop!” and scared my husband a little, but when he saw what I screamed about, he quickly understood.  He pulled over, and said, we are going in!

The place was wonderful, and has the best virgin drinks for the kids and the best non virgin drinks for the grown ups!  The staff was so friendly, and it did not disappoint, except Mike Myers was not there.

I am so happy we got to visit this restaurant, and relive my quirkiness from High School, and college, and lets face my every day life.

Hope you are all having a great day!  Wish you a great week of exploring!



Glimpses of San Francisco

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We are back from our lovely trip to San Francisco.  It was extremely busy, and packed full of stuff to do, but oh so much fun.  It has been years since I have been there.  I think 9 to be exact.  I was last there for the birth of my first niece.  Now she is so grown, and I have another niece who is equally as grown.  It seriously had been way too long and overdue for a visit.  My parents flew to our home town, and then we drove to California, all of us packed in for a twelve hour drive.  We had a wonderful time, and memories were definitely made.

We made it back early Saturday morning (around 130), slept in and then all of us went to Easter Vigil that evening.  Sadly on Easter Sunday, we drove my parents to the airport and said goodbye to our trip.  Since then it seems as though we have been trying to find our footing once again.

I will share more pictures throughout the week, I just wanted to drop in and say hello to you all!  I have been having fun catching up on your blogs and seeing how you all are doing.

I hope you all are doing well!



Leiria, Portugal


This trip has been a whirlwind so far, but over the past 24 hours, I have had time to settle and get my bearings.  It started with a long drive to Oklahoma in freezing temperatures. These temperatures were in the negative digits, with wind chills of negative 20.  It was very, very cold.  My husband and I dropped the kids off at grandma and grandpa’s and off we went.  We landed in Madrid and drove 7 hours to Leiria, Portugal. We could have chosen to land in Lisbon and then drive only 2 hours, but where is the adventure in that?  Besides, we may never make it to this part of the world again, so we wanted to see as much land as possible.  We will be spending a couple of days in Madrid on our way home, so I am excited to show you some of Spain as well.

But right now, we are in Portugal, and let me tell you, the drive was the most beautiful!  I have no pictures, because I spent most of it fighting motion sickness.  But the towns are so amazing, and there was one on the slope of a mountain that was the most incredible town!  I hate to say it, but it even outdid some of the towns in Italy.  I was so grateful that we chose to drive, as I would never have seen these towns otherwise.  To find out some more history of Leiria, please click here.  My husband is here on business, so I am by myself during most of this trip, but we will be driving to Fatima, Nazarre, and Port.

Today, I decided to walk along the river Liz, which basically flows down the middle of Leiria.  I wanted to get my bearings and get a sense of the layout of the town.  SO the pictures today are of the river, as well as the view from the rooftop of our hotel at night.  I love the old homes that line the river.  I also love the amount of people that walk.  I get a sense that not much is urgent.  Work will be there, but enjoy where you are now.  The people are so friendly, and willing to help you learn some of their language.  The architecture so amazing, the churches are beautiful.

Tomorrow, I plan to venture to the castle and see some more churches along the way (Danny that is for you!).  Looing forward to showing you more of this amazing country!



Good old Country Pond Swimming


Oh summer!  I love you!  You are the only time of year when I feel brave.  When I feel like I can jump in creeks and ponds and not be afraid of what is lurking underneath.  Water beckons us all in the summer to come and jump in, feel refreshed and renewed. To do belly flops and accidental back flops when trying to do a front flip.  To swing on ropes and feel like kids again.  We are filling our kids with these good memories of summer as well, with trips, ponds, staying up until the sun goes down.  Just I like do now, my kids will one day look back on their summers and think about how wonderful they were.  These feelings make me feel brave to experience every single part of this summer with them, even when it means grabbing onto a rope and swinging into a pond.

Here is wishing you days that seem to go on forever!



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