Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Christmas' in one !!!

How much fun is one Christmas!??!
Well, times that by two, because we had twice the fun this year!!!
Before going to California we spent Christmas (about a week early)
with Chris and Jen!!!
We had dinner, opened gifts, played games and watched Chris play
with his new toy helicopter!!!

They thoughtfully gave me really cute "Brighten" earrings
(my favorite brand)
and this really cute star to go with my starless Nativity!!!
Now it looks complete!!!

Then after flying to California to see Jennifer, Tyson,
Berkleigh and Merrick, we spent Christmas with them.
Berkleigh got a kitchen set which she apparently loved because after
seeing it we had a hard time getting her attention back on opening presents.
Uncle Chris and Aunt Jen got the twins this tent set which they also loved.
After we set it up for them they played in it for hours!!

Jennifer painted this watercolor picture for me of Seacliff beach in Aptos
where I grew up. Past the pier is a cement boat which has been there
since 1919. It use to be a restaurant and dance hall until
the depression when it was left empty.
Now it is a home for seagulls and pelicans.
Because we will not be going back every year to visit my parents,
(my Dad just moved to Washington to live with my sister and her family)
Jennifer knew how much I would miss this beach.
I love this picture and hung it up in a special place as soon as
we arrived home.
I have such thoughtful children!!!!

We also did a four way call on Christmas day with Matthew, Chris,
Jennifer and Mom and Dad.
Matthew is doing great and is loving his mission.
He was just transferred from
Mazitlan to Culiacan which is were the mission home is.
He is having trouble emailing pictures home but hopefully
we will have more pictures to share soon.

We feel so blessed at this time of year to share this wonderful
Christmas season of Christ's birth with our family and friends.
We hope all of you have had a

Saturday, November 22, 2008

20 years ago today.......

Happy 20th Birthday Matthew!!!

We love you and we are
so proud of you and the
great work you are doing!!!

Hope you have a terrific day today!!!!

Love from the Fam!!!
Mom, Dad, Jennifer, Tyson,
Merrick, Berkleigh,
Chris, Jen and Thunder!!!

Thanks to everyone who sent Birthday cards to Matthew!!!
I am sure that he will love them and all of you for thinking of him!!

Monday, October 20, 2008


It has been a year today since my Mom passed away.
She was always such a great Mom to my sister and I and wife to my Dad. She was dedicated to us which was obvious by the way she was always involved in our lives.
She taught us to sew when we were young. Both Mary Jane and I completed 10 years in the 4-H program where we won many awards for our clothing and sheep projects.

Mom came with us each year as we attended 4-H summer camp.
Because the bathrooms were so far away from where we camped,
she would get up early each morning
and bring us water so we could freshen up and brush our teeth.
(Looking back, I think she just wanted to hurry us along,
but we thought it was because we were special!!!)

Mom was also my room mother every year at school until I grew out of having room mothers.
She always made special yummy treats for each of the holidays.
We were always the envy of the other classes.
She did all of this at the same time my Dad working as a carpenter.
She was always right there with him getting him supplies, painting
and helping with whatever he needed.

By her actions she taught me to be a kind and caring person.
They were always helping others, and actively, attended church.

We love this picture of Mom holding Berkleigh for the first time.

Mom loved to sew, crochet and knit. She always had a project that she was working on and many completed so she was ready to give anyone
who needed one a baby blanket or a hand made towel.

Mom loved flowers and hummingbirds. She had a collection of vases. And she loved to pick up and collect rocks from different placed they had visited.

Her favorite President was Ronald Reagan. When he was governer of California, he visited the Santa Cruz county fair. She crossed the barrier to shake his hand and get his picture. She might have had more pictures of Ronald Reagan than most of the rest of the family!

More recently, when we went to visit, Mom didn't usually
feel well enough to go out.
But this summer, we talked them into going to the beach for a barbeque.
Dad loved helping Tyson cook the hamburgers.
It was a great day.
(We always got a kick out of Mom's sunglasses!!!)

That same summer we also talked them into going to see the 10:00 pm showing of the
"Pirates of the Carribean".
We thought they would like it--- but not so much!!
Movies have changed a lot since they had seen their last one
20 years ago!!!

Mom was always really proud of her 5 Grandchildren and 7 Great Grand Children.
We love you Mom!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's a contest!!!

Matthew's birthday will soon be here on November 22nd.
So join in the fun to see how many birthday cards Matthew
can receive by his birthday!!!
It takes 3 weeks for him to get his mail,
(plus the wait in the mission home)
so if you send him a card sometime this week he should
receive it before his birthday!!!

Here is his address:
Elder Matthew Sorensen
Mexico Culiacan Mission
Rio Choix 888
Colonia Rosales
Culiacan, Sinaloa 80230

This is not pouch mail. Cards are not allowed in the pouch mail.
So the cost of the card will be 72 cents.

Thanks for joining in on the fun!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We were so happy to finally receive pictures from Matthew.
He has had problems with his camera so he bought a disposable camera,
took some pictures and gave the camera to Elder Webb
who was on his way home from his mission.
Elder Webb was also serving in the Culiacan, Mexico Mission.
They met but did not serve together.
Meanwhile, Elder Webb's parents moved to Huntsville, TX.
so I was worried how we would get the pictures.
But Sister Webb called this last week and sent them to us.
So here are our first pictures of Elder Sorensen serving in
Los Cabos, Mexico.

Matthew's companion (Elder Thebault from Canada)
and the other two Elders who they room with.

The Elders in Black (EIB).......

And in white!!!

I had to add this picture because ...
1. It is my favorite and he looks very cute in this picture.
2. He is wearing the WALL-E watch that I sent him just for fun.
It turns out that he and his roommate lost their watches
about the same time my package arrived.
They were their favorite item in the package!!!
Go figure!!!
If you were not one of the lucky few who went to see the
movie "Wall-e" the first few days it was out,
then you may not have received a "Wall-e" watch.
Don't feel like you missed out.
It was just a plastic wrist band with a little watch
embedded in the plastic. I may need to send him a real watch
but for now he seems happy with Wall-e!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

'Tis the season!!

not for Christmas lights decorating our windows....
but for plywood panels!!!!

Chris helped us put these up Saturday morning before we
left because of the mandatory evacuation of
hurricane Gustav.
Even though we have experienced a hurricane before,
it is still very stressful. We appreciated Chris' help so we could be ready
for another adventure!!!

We were lucky enough to have fun cousins in Houston to invite us to
stay with them for a few days. Herb and Mary Hyatt and
the youngest 3 of their
8 children welcomed us into their home even though
we didn't arrive until
1:30 am on Sunday morning.
(It took us 7 hours to get to Houston)

After spending a couple of restful days with them we continued on to
Austin. But who knew that the evacuation would be lifted so soon
and Wayne would be
required to return to work the next morning.
So on the way home on Tuesday we decided to stop
at one of our favorite places!!!
It was well worth the drive!!!
(I should own stock!!!)
We took a tour and saw first hand how they make
the worlds best ice cream!!!

After the tour they gave us dishes of ice cream!!
Wayne and I both tried two of their newest flavors.
I had "Cantaloupe and Cream" which is now my new favorite flavor,
and Wayne had "Snickerdoodle". Which was interesting but I
am not a huge fan of cinnamon in my ice cream.
But it did have pieces of snickerdoodle cookies inside!!

We are glad that we returned home safely and to electricity
and trees still standing tall and straight!!!
We hope all of our friends and family were also safe and out of danger.

We thought of leaving our plywood panels up until the next three
hurricanes pass by. But we are pretty good at getting
them up and down quickly so we have taken them down.
(leaving Christmas lights up all year round is
also one of my pet peeves!!!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

"California here we come..."

We have been spending the last two weeks in California
with Jennifer, Tyson, Merrick and Berkleigh.
Chris and Jen were also able to come with us and spend a week
seeing the sights of sunny California.

The highlight of the trip was going to see the play "Wicked" at the
Pantages Theater in Hollywood. How many times have you seen the
"Wizard of Oz"? Well you do not know the complete story until you have seen the play.

The theater is beautifully decorated inside and is
really quite amazing!!!

And it is very close to the corner of ....

And of course we saw some of our favorite stars
on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

Some of our other favorite activities of the week were....
Walking barefoot in the sand at Newport Beach...

missing Matthew...

building sandcastles....

and just enjoying each others company.

We also watched "Monsters Inc." with our new monster jamas!!!

Wayne and I stayed for another week up the coast with my Dad.
So we went to Carmel beach....

and found Hermit crabs......

and lots of seagulls!!!

We also want to Disneyland and played fun games together and
had a great family vacation!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Time for a change!!!

Just an update on Elder Matthew.
He has been transferred to Mazatlan this week.
His companion is from Mexico and knows little English.
He is feeling the challenge of having all Spanish speaking Elders to talk to,
but he is excited and happy to be serving the Lord.

Do you just want to jump on a plane and go visit!!!

18 months!!! I am going to be there!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

6 months in........18 to go!!!

Elder Sorensen has completed his first 6 months of his two year mission
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
He is in the Culiacan, Mexico mission and loving every minute of it!!!
Well, he is not complaining anyway!!!
Here are a few pros and cons to serving a mission....
They didn't have any water at their apartment for a few days
so they had to shower with a bucket and a cup!!!

Watching out for dogs in the area is important since Matthew has
been nearly bitten a couple of times.

He and his companion walk everywhere they go but they were just given
cell phones to make life easier!!!

He is serving in a beautiful location in Los Cabos on the
Baja peninsula.

He is not a "greenie" any more, because he is serving with his
second companion who is from Canada.

Most important he is serving the Lord and teaching the
people of Mexico about the Savior and the restored gospel.

They have had two baptisms and many contacts.

We are very proud of him and happy that he has taken the
opportunity to serve a mission. Our whole family is blessed for the
service that he is giving to the people in Mexico.
Good job Elder Sorensen!!!!

The above picture is of the other Elders who he arrived with and
his Mission President, Pres. Johnston from Rexburg, Idaho.
Hopefully more pictures will come soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last week we took a trip to Branson, Missouri.
It was fun to get away for awhile and rest and relax
in the Ozark mountains!!
Our first stop was Silver Dollar City!!

There is an amazing underground cave included in the amusement park.
We walked down into the cave thousands of feet as you can see from this picture
of us looking up at the hole of last remaining sunlight!!!!

This "room"in the cave was huge!!!
It is bigger than a football field and taller
than a 20 story building!!!
We also saw waterfalls and stalactites.
But we missed out on seeing any bats!!!

Our favorite ride was the flooded mine because...

...we could shoot targets and try to get the highest score.
I creamed Wayne once but he says that was because his gun was broken!!!
Don't we just sound like kids at heart!!!

One of the kids favorite rides (when we were in Branson 20 years ago)
was "Fire in the Hole".
We got wet so we were happy and cool.
--Chris was actually too small to ride and Matthew wasn't born yet--
So I guess it was Jen's favorite ride!!

We took about 10 of these pictures before we were able get a good one.
I am surprised we got the water wheel in the back ground!!!

Our last night we went to see "Broadway".
Great performers singing great songs from all of my favorite Broadway plays!!!
What more could you want?
(A trip to NY!!)

The morning we left we drove to Lake Taneycomo.
The fog had settled on the water and looked amazing.

We had a great time and can't wait to go back again!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nifty Fifty...

I thought I was going out to dinner last night with just my family
but was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at Olive Garden
to see a table full of some of our best friends to share my birthday with me!!!
Julie managed to get us all together and still have it be a surprise!!!

I don't feel like I am fifty
but if I have to be then sharing it with some of my best friends
(who have been my friends for the last 25 years and are still my friends)
and family makes it all worth while.

I saved the great candle but let the waitress and staff share the rest
of the huge, yummy, chocolate cake that Julie brought.
(I just didn't want to take it home and gain 50 pounds)
Thanks again to all of my great friends and family who we have shared
so much with me through out the years!!!
I am so blessed!!!
Thanks for making my day fun!!!
Love you all!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Girl's Camp 2008!!!

I went to Girl's Camp last week and had a really great time!!!
The theme was:

I wish my camera worked because then I would have some
pictures of the the girls from the Lake Charles ward and
also from the Orange, Texas Stake.
But instead here are some of my favorite activities from camp!!!

We went swimming, canoeing and water sliding!!
We had great classes and certification!!!

We made fun craft projects, like this cool photo album.

We made some red, sparkly flip flops, so we could all look like Dorothy
for the last nights program and testimony meeting.
And all of the leaders were given this great plaque to remind us
of our Eternal home that we are working towards.
We were very spoiled by having air conditioned cabins,
nice showers and great cooks to feed us for each meal.
(It was great not having to cook!!)
Thanks Vicki, Gwen, Kristen and Samantha!!!
And of course we hung out with the girls and some of my best friends,
Julie and Lynn.
It was an all round great time!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day mom! We love you. You are the best mom, mother in law, and grandma. Thanks for being so amazing. It gives me something to work towards!

I love you!


Friday, May 2, 2008

Our trip to Washington DC!!!

Wayne had a business trip to Washington DC this last week
so I was lucky enough to go with him and
see all of the magnificent sights
of our American heritage!!!The white house is one of the smaller buildings, believe it of not!!!
I have never seen so many huge buildings that take up entire blocks!!!
President Bush waved to us from the White House!! (believe it or not!!)
Climbing to the top of the Washington Monument
was another awesome experience.
We were in the presence of greatness as we rode to the top
of the monument
with a boy scout troop from North Carolina!!
The Lincoln Memorial was the one monument that
I was the most excited to see!!!
And it was even grander than I imagined!!!
Sitting on his lap was very cool too!!! (believe it or not!!)
The Iwo Jima memorial was the first monument that we saw after
arriving in Washington DC.
It was in walking distance to our hotel.
We walked there just before dark and my first thought was "It's Huge"!!!
Pictures do not do it justice.
The same thought went through my mind all week upon seeing Washington DC.
It is amazing how such a small area of land can hold so much history!!!
There was a few times that I was drawn to tears
because of the magnitude
of where and what I was looking at.
The Iwo Jima monument was the first time,
a couple of days later the Vietnam memorial took my breath away
as I thought about my POW bracelet that I wore all during high school,
and the third time I was standing in the rotunda of the capitol
looking up at the immense hand painted ceiling.
Seeing over 200 years of history in one week is beyond words.