Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Maggie (20) and Timothy (14)

This year has been for us - just like it has been for everyone else - a year of changes, of highs and lows, of laughter and tears. We have all gotten older, hopefully wiser and certainly we have learned from our triumphs and from our mistakes. For those who are new visitors on this page - that what this blog is about - simply documenting all of our family stuff! At the end of each year I make a book (yearbook style) from this blog for each of my kids. It's our family journal. Probably not interesting to anyone but us - but that's ok - read it if you want and get a glimpse (boring as it may be) into our lives!


This year Tommy left his partnership of 15 years and started another new company - Trio Fire Systems. He took his time deciding what he wanted to do - start over or just go work for someone else. In the end, after several job offers and opportunities, he decided on Trio. It was strange at first, having him home all summer, but by the time he opened his new office, I had grown accustomed to him being around all day and I missed him! Iv'e never had him home that much in 22 years!
Tommy teaches Sunday school to a bunch of teenagers including Tim. He loves it and he loves those kids! He bakes them fresh chocolate chip cookies every week and makes them each a giant cookie - which he expertly decorates - on their birthdays.
Tommy was finally able to get a hold of what we believe to be his maw-maw's famous roll recipe and he has perfected it! When he makes rolls - which is about once a week, he has a list of people who want him to share!

I am still going strong with my Big Shots Photography. We were able to get some big clients (sports associations and school districts) as well as increasing our number of High school senior clients (which is my forte). My partner Stef and I have kind of made a natural progression into a division of sorts - she handles most of the action/sports clients and works with the school yearbook staff and I do mostly portrait work. We used to be just on location photographers, but now we do studio work too. We made the decision to NOT work weddings - which is a huge weight off of our shoulders! 
We sent out another casting call this year for spokes models and ended up with over 30 models - which is a stupid big number! I love all of them though, and am having fun with them! We set a few financial goals this year and Im happy to say we met those goals! Needless to say - this little hobby business has turned into a full time, all consuming job - finally! It only took five long years to get here!
I still run my produce co-op (Too Many Onions) and after all these years, it runs very smoothly!  Every body loves co-op day - they say it's like veggie Christmas! We are up to about 35 members this rotation!
I am still a teacher in the Relief Society at church - but that is only a once per month responsibility.
Of course - any free time that I have is spent just being a mom.

Maggie has had a terrific 2014! She has been at Southern Virginia University, where she has made amazing grades and has grown up so much! She was asked to be the Institute Council Vice President - a job she loved - and she ran for and was elected as the Sophomore Class Senator! She learned so much being on senate, and she was even approached about being an intern for Senator Lee in D.C. over the summer! Im not sure that is a viable option, as she has decided to leave SVU behind and further pursue her major ( Hospitality and Tourism Management) at BYU Hawaii. She leaves next monday and I will admit, I have mixed emotions about her going so far away. On one hand, although she was already far from us in Virginia, now we will have a big ocean separating us! On the other hand - how could I be sad about her living on the beach?! I am so pleased that she is following her dreams and taking chances with her life - taking opportunities she has for adventure - even though she is terrified and would rather stay home with us!

Tim has finally made it to high school! He ended his middle school career with the lead role in the school musical - a role he worked really hard for - and he did a great job! He has taught himself to play the piano and I'd say he has a real talent for it. In fact, he is definitely the most talented of us all. His singing voice is beautiful and his natural musical ability has all of us jealous. He is hoping to learn how to play violin this coming year.
Tim still plays soccer. He is the starting goal keeper for  Legacy FC. We absolutely love watching him play. We have recently gotten him a keeper coach, and he is looking forward to getting stronger in his sport.
Just like most 14 year old boys, Tim loves his phone and social media. He is mildly addicted to video games and he is very easily distracted by pretty girls!

We have four pets - Charlie (Pomapoo), Shae (Manx), Sprout (long haired beauty) and Ruby (Turtle).

We have made some great memories this year and have met some great people along the way. We love our family so much and although the kids are getting older, we are so lucky to still be close. 
Tommy and I are grateful every day that Tim and Maggie truly are best friends. 
We are blessed beyond measure to have the gospel in our lives - to know it and the truthfulness of it, and to enjoy the blessing that come from living gospel standards is our greatest gift.
Our goals for 2015 are to remain close as a foursome - to be kind and positive always - to focus on our Savior - to appreciate all that we have been given and to serve others when we see an opportunity.

Here's to a wonderful 2015!

The Big C - again

Sadly, Tim's little Sprout got cancer for a third time. This time it was on her eyelid (the same spot as the second time). After several vet visits and consultations with our vets colleagues, we realized that we had two options.
One being to euthanize her - which wasn't ever really an option just yet -
or two, to take her eye. 
You see, because she actually had several mass cell tumors all along her lid, the whole lower lid would need to be removed. That would leave her with no ability to blink, which would invite infection and dry out her eye to the point of losing it.
The next few photos were taken the night before her surgery. 

In this next shot, you can see a bit of a tumor peaking out on her left eye (right on the photo) - she has a small patch of hair loss there.

Tim and this cat are so in love - she is absolutely his baby and she adores him.
It was really hard for him to make this choice, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to help her beat this disease at this point. We are praying that it works and this drastic measure has bought her many more years of a good life.

Sprout on the day after her surgery.
We are told that she will look much better after her hair and whiskers grow back. The vet expects her to go on as usual and adjust to her new way of seeing the world. She said that she may not be a master hunter like she was before - but that she will be able to go outside like normal whenever she wants.

She is doing very well - she is in some pain and was very agitated at first, but she has settled in and is back to continuous purring. She is having a little trouble sleeping - but that just gives her more time to hang out with Tim - playing video games in the middle of the night! She is a loyal girl!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Maggie's laugh

After dinner tonight - Tim provoked Tommy and Tommy chased after him - at full speed! I tried to get it on video, but they were much too fast. 
Tim took off across the parking lot and attempted to jump the hedges into the next parking lot with Tommy hot on his heels - Tim almost ate it as he jumped the hedge - Maggie laughed pretty hard - I did get that on video! It makes me laugh every time I hear it!


December in a nut shell

Random and totally out of order photos from our December ---

Maggie and her first boss, Joni (from when she worked at Quatro Tasti back in high school)

that ended up being a direct hit!

Because evidently, having an actual piano downstairs isn't enough - he needed a keyboard in his bedroom too

Charlie loving his new Christmas toy!

Mat Richards, me and Santa taking a break at Forney's Christmas on Main event!

Christmas on Main - Santa photos all wrapped up - heading to the light parade!

Stef and I did a quick rep shoot and got to kiss some sweet … donkeys
with Hannah and Jack

The models took this photo of us photographing them - I was being held up on the fence by Stef (she was pressed against me to keep me on) when one of the donkeys decided she should ride him! You can't tell here, but Stefs right leg is in between my legs. We realized that when you laugh really hard, you tend to lose strength - it was tough staying steady!

Maggie and Scotty making snowflakes!

She just wanted to play with glitter

Christmas Eve Tamales!

by the grandchildren wall at Gran and Papa's house - she really hasn't changed much!

Tim has!!

Some of the cousins - Tim, Railey, Dylan, Maggie, Kyndal, Rebecca

at Nana's house - we were playing Bingo and she started laughing so hard that we had to delay the game while she pulled herself together!

salt in his soda was payback for throwing jello at her - thats him in the background after being sent on a fake "hey, could you grab me a lemon" run

maggie's cat, Shae is so chubby that we actually found a lucky charm marshmallow stuck to his belly

homemade fried pies

it just isn't Christmas without Christmas balls from Nana

They are always filled with little trinkets. The kids normally have them to open on Christmas Eve, but this year we drove to Nana and Pa's house just after

Nana got this inappropriate shirt for T - it says "Im SO gonna four-score tonight".
This of'course is the same Nana who wears a smokey the bear shirt all of the time that says "I put out"
totally worth the drive to get a chopped beef sandwich!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


As a Disney Family, we know that WDW is the happiest place on earth - but as Texans, we have to say that Stars games are a very close second!!

My Bunch

This is the first time that all of them have been together since Ethan was born - and I was pretty excited to take photos! However - it was cold and Ethan was getting hungry, fussy and barfy - so, this is all that I was able to get. 
I love this first one - we can just ignore the barf on Ethan's shirt!

I seriously can not get enough of these people! I love that they are best friends and I love that Ethan has been born into  such a fun bunch - he is a lucky kid!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Maggie and Ethan

Terrible quality cell phone pics and video - but cute anyway! 
He is such a happy guy!

Condo Tacos

Steph, Matt and Ethan have arrived! 
Steph's request for dinner?
Everyone's favorite - Condo Tacos!

They are really just tacos eaten with a super greasy corn tortillas, but they are called condo tacos around here because they are a quick and easy meal when everyone is at the condo - starving from a day of lounging on the beach, but no desire to cook or get dressed for a meal at a restaurant! 

the girls ate until they were actually feeling sick! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Goodbye Southern Virginia University and all of your snow - Hello Brigham Young University!
Look out beach, pineapples and hunky fire dancers, here she comes!

2014 Official

These two don't love taking photos - but I did get a few good shots out of them on this day. 
So I will use them as our Christmas card photos and call them the Official pics of 2014.
Williamsburg, Virginia

ok - so they weren't ALL good shots!