Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mama C and Daddy-o

The title of this post lets you know what Jeff and I were called by our "family" on our Stake's Pioneer Trek this year.
We were surprised to be invited into that position because it would be a bit of work to find places for our boys to go while we were gone, but all of that planning and work was totally worth it!
We had an amazing time with such strong youth that our faith in the rising generation was encouraged.

This was our awesome family:

The second day, we had stick pull competitions, and ax throwing contests, etc.
It was the youths' favorite day for sure.

 The ladies in our group were so tough.  By the end of day one almost all of them had blisters on their feet.
This next picture was pretty much just a joke because in reality, there was no way any size of moleskin or corn pads were going to help their feet.
We're talking silver dollar sized blisters on the bottom of their feet.
So sad.

But they kept walking.  We figured out by the second day that if they weren't holding on to the end of the cart, they would fall behind.  When the need came to push, they were ready and willing but for much of the time they just held on for dear life.

 Our guys were so strong.  They never, EVER complained and were always so willing to jump in and take over for someone looking tired and worn out.  Even if it wasn't our cart.

 I wish I could remember the exact mileage -- 20 miles in 3 days maybe?
(I'll edit that once I find out for sure)
This was at the very end.  We had unloaded and disassembled our cart and were heading home.

It was a priceless experience that we, along with the youth, will never regret nor forget. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Griffin's Birthday and Baptism

My first born is EIGHT!!

Griffin Jeff Gardner turned eight on July 20, 2012.

He chose to have a play party at Makutu's Island.  I love that we live close to almost ALL the cousins and that my boys just LOVE having all of them at their parties.  

 Then on August 4, 2012, Griffin was baptized.
We were blessed enough to be given permission to have it be a solo baptism and all the talks, etc. were done by family.  It was such a special day!


After the baptism, we had lunch, cake and presents.

I love that cousin Sadie is holding her hand over her brother's mouth while Griffin blows out the candles.

His cake this year was yet another Ben 10 cake.
I made it to look like one of the toys he was going to be getting from Grammy.

Shown here:
The top of the "Omnitrix" pops up and you can spin the top to pick which alien you are wanting to become at that particular moment.
Thank goodness Grammy (my mom) knows the boys so well and was willing to buy three of these so there wouldn't be any fighting.
They played with these things nonstop for the first week or two after the party.

There was enough Ben 10 to make his jaw drop lower and lower until it was ultimately stuck in this position:
 His mouth was stuck in this position for the next 4 hours.  I had to chew his cake for him and feed it to him like a baby bird!  -- Okay that's gross.  I took it too far.  Sorry.

Even though I think he's done this before, now that he is 8 yrs old, the city of Mesa will allow him to legally jump off the high dive.
Since I am posting this during Sunday "rest time", I will try to get Griffin's thoughts on his baptism day posted here to we have it documented.
Check back.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It is true... I'm Thirty-Two!

On June 30th of this year, I turned 32.
I am almost in my mid-thirties.
How is that possible?!

It was a really good day.
I woke up to a wonderful green smoothie made by Jeff.
I hadn't requested a big "breakfast in bed" this year because I wanted to try out Joe's Farm Grill breakfast menu since we have only ever had their lunch/dinner selections.
(You get ten dollars worth of food on your birthday)
I ordered some kind of Mexican spiced meat and egg mixture that was served with mini tostada disks.
It was delicious!

When I returned from Joe's Farm Grill (yes, I went by myself), Jeff had a huge surprise for me:

This was my "Wall Of Love"

He had emailed and asked  friends and family to write just a small note to me for my birthday.
It was probably one of my very favorite gifts ever.
I have such amazing people in my life and felt honored they would take the time to be part of my birthday.
Thank you Jeff for putting it all together!

Next activity was a movie with the family.  I had been wanting to take the boys to see Brave and movies are one of my all-time favorite things to do.  
On the way home we picked up my free donut from Krispy Kreme.

Next up -- Shopping!
You can't really see in the photo but on Jeff's note, in the center of the mirror, he had put an image of a $100 dollar bill.  He let me know that he had wanted to get real money for me to spend but was confident that I knew how to use a debit card just as well as cash.

On my way out shopping (by myself of course :-) -- I picked up a free sub from Firehouse Subs.

Now I'm not EXACTLY sure on the time, but for some reason 4 hours sounds about right.
Four hours!
I took four hours to wander, try on, window shop, spend and just "relax" in a woman's sense of the word.

Later that night, we met up with some family for dinner at Cheesecake Factory.
Like I said, it was a fantastic birthday and I felt very special.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


                             The many faces of an AMAZING wife, mother, daughter and friend.                        

We are the lucky ones on this special day to have you as a GIFT.

LOVE YOU and have a Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Belly Flop Meant To Be A Dive

I can't stop laughing at this video!
It just gets better and better.

YouTube Video

Friday, June 1, 2012

Too Cool For Pool

Anyone out there think fun and fabulous floppy hats are only for girls?

Not I.

Especially not if you can whip out a subtle sassy pose like this:

Sunday, May 27, 2012


A Sunday sunset in Snowflake on a summer's day, while listening to Summer Again by The Afters.

If you don't feel serene while experiencing that combo, something is seriously wrong.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kindergarten Celebrations

I think most schools call it kindergarten graduation. But it was labeled as a celebration for Kai's class, probably to make it sound different and exciting!!

I have loved Kai's teacher this year: Mrs. Dinet. Such a sweet lady and perfect for my middle child.

Kai was awarded the "All Around Boy" award and he couldn't be happier with his tittle.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Finally Four

Treyson had been asking for MONTHS now:
"Mom, how many minutes til my birthday?"
(I am not a calculator, so therefore I answer him in days)
" 48 more days Bud!"
" 32 days left now!"
" 19 more days to go!"
"8 days", "3 days",

Well it finally came.

Trey was the happiest little boy just having us sing to him and eat a donut for breakfast. 
Plans kinda fell through for all the other celebrating we wanted to do, so we ended up just having cousins over for pizza and swimming.

Treyson is the funnest!  He cracks us up every single day and we are lucky to have him.

All the boys are still borderline obsessed with Ben10, so of course that was the cake he chose.
My sister, Katie, came over to help the night before and we had a BLAST making it like we always do.

Needless to say there were lots of jokes about "balls" as we had to make so many of them.
Such a funny, late night.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Easter 2012

 Thanks to Jimmy, a best best cousin to the boys, we are now a Ben10 obsessed household.
Our table and family room floor most days look like this:
Printed Ben10 images from the computer, colored and cut out for playtime.  On the right is Griffin's list of the show's aliens.

So for Easter this year, I knew this obsession had to be part of the mix.
I searched high and low, in stores and online, for Ben10 shirts.
The only ones I found would ship from Great Britain and would have taken too long for my last minute shopping.
So I made them.
I found a heat transfer manufacturer that sold these images and ironed them on myself.

 The boys were so excited.

After a quick change, we went out back for the egg hunt.

 Kai was so funny.  Each time I called his name for a picture, he would stop mid-walk and pose like this:

Instead of candy in the eggs this year, we filled them with Chuck E Cheese tokens, with a promised trip to the favorite pizza place later in the week.

I was so sad to not capture the DeWitt Egg Bash on camera this year.
I had just enough battery life to get some photos of a few of the games my parents had set up for us to play.
This one was a duel visual battle.
You started at the items table side by side with your opponent.  When the word was given, you ran to the visual table, tried to memorize the 8 objects in their proper order, then ran back to grab the items and put them on the placement table correctly.
It was harder than you think.

This game was a simple bean bag toss game.
I say simple, but my parents made this entire structure with their bare hands!!
They're amazing!!  

Ever held a half-PVC pipe, side by side, with 3 other teammates, and try to roll a ball through them to the other side of the room?
We have.

Another use for PVC pipe games:
One player holds the "tower" while the other adds a new section of pipe to the bottom.
The goal was to keep the water container on top for as high as possible.

 A fun marble "Bowling for Bunnies" game for the boys:

This one had 8 players, each trying to stay on the game board for as long as possible.
With each new square you stepped on, you had to turn over the one you just left.
Last man standing wins.

And the end of this blog will reveal my sadness once again about not capturing the Egg Bash 2012.
It was such a rushed tournament this year because of the time we finally ended up starting it.
Allan won yet again.
Is this his third year taking home the coveted title?
He must be cheating somehow.

I can't believe I didn't even take a picture of our dyed eggs.

I also failed to document the annual Gardner Family Auction.
Jeff won the big prize again this year.
An air compressor.

It was a great Easter yet again, despite the missing photographic documentation.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Congrats Sis!!!

My sweet, gorgeous sister, Jillian, graduated from BYU Hawaii today.

We're so proud of her and can't wait for her and her family to live close.

That way we can ALL be privileged to receive side-cheek-hugs from Jill's lovely face.
As of now, Vin and Jonathan are hogging them all!!

Love you Jill!