Surf and Turf




 Can I just say how fun this weekend was?  The preparations went on for a year (okay, actually MORE than a year.  I'm crazy like that.)

I love working on the decor.  And taking over two rooms this year in order to store all the paraphernalia.  My husband loves when I do that.
In the jungle - the mighty jungle.

 Sharla and I had just been to Thailand, so all the girls got elephant pants.
Me, Cheri, Carly, Laura, Kami, Michelle, Sharla

And elephant purses.
 We missed Stephanie because she had JUST moved to Maui.  (I know, poor thing.)  At least she got to see all the decor before she left.

 No such thing as a party without candy.

 Seriously, every spot in the house was decorated.
 Oh yum.  And the cheesy bread didn't get in the picture.  FAIL!  (We ate ourselves silly all weekend)
 For our field trip safari, we hiked to the Hollywood sign and checked out the Griffith Observatory. 
Such a fun weekend.   So much laughing and visiting and eating.  I love these women!

Next year's theme:




In January we went to Arkansas to visit the Wirthlin family.  The first day there, we toured the Bachman-Wilson House at Crystal Bridges.  Frank Lloyd Wright built it back in the day and then it was disassembled and rebuilt here.  There was some caveat that it would always have to be by running water.  (There is a creek right next to it.)  The house itself is odd.  Super tiny dorm-like bedrooms and very narrow halls.  But he did that on purpose:  so that the family would WANT to be in the common areas together.  That reasoning is pretty cool.
When the kids got home from school, it was time to play on the trampoline with Papa.
Tanner and I played "baseball" in the house every day.  Usually a FEW times a day.  I would toss ping pong balls to him and he would hit them and then run around the homemade bases.
And while we were there, they had some snow flurries.  Actually, it was very cold the whole week.  No problem.

And then we found this shop in Rogers.  Wouldn't that be so fun to have a franchise??
Cheri, Sadie, David and I went to lunch one day at The Wooden Spoon.  It's run by the Mennonites and the place fills up very quickly.  Wonderful food and great desserts as evidenced by Sadie.
And then all too soon it was time to say goodbye.  That's the part I hate.  Oh the tears . . .
And when we got home, the Byram's came to visit!
While the rest of his family went to Lego-Land, Joshua got to stay with David and I for the day.  We had fun and he didn't miss his family at all.
 At the park where his mommy played as a baby,
And then he had his first oreo cookie.  I think he likes it.
Watching the BYU basketball game with Papa.

On my birthday, we decided to do some exploring.  We've lived here in LA for 33 years and had never been to the Griffith Observatory or hiked to the Hollywood sign.  It was time.
We walked around the observatory first and got first-rate views of all of Los Angeles.  Because it had rained the day before, it was perfectly clear.  We really do live in a beautiful place.
This picture was taken on the trail to the Hollywood sign.  The observatory on the hill with downtown LA in the background.
The hike was 7 miles round trip.
This is as close as you can get.  Good enough.
 And then a throw-back to December:   Little Lincoln was blessed in our ward.  He wore the same tuxedo that his dad wore for his blessing.
And here is Lincoln at 3 months.  Growing like a weed.
Two more months until we see our Rexburg grandkids.  Too long!


An update (finally)

On November 2nd, we added lucky #13 to our quiver of grandchildren.
Lincoln Adam Hales was born.
Our baby had a baby.
And all is right with the world.
And then it was time for the Christmas decorations.  The Manhattan Beach pier is always festive and makes our exercising on the Strand that much more fun.
Christmas cookies for the Hales and Winder Christmas parties.
And then we FINALLY got to meet little 7 week old Lincoln.

(below) At the Winder family Christmas party.
All my brothers and sisters (and most spouses).  We had SO much fun.  I have been blessed with the greatest family.
Joshua and Matthew (and their family) came for Christmas.
Matthew and Kate decorated this little tree in the front yard.
Papa and Lincoln
David at the youth New Years Eve party.  French theme.  "No, honey, I won't include this picture in the blog."    Happy New Year!