Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Centro America

Hello from Jaco, Costa Rica! We are here for the week with our friends, Lisa and Ward, enjoying the most beautiful country on this Earth. Adam served his mission here 15 years ago, and we're back to enjoy some of the adventures of the jungle.

Day 1: River Rafting on the Pacuare River. It was outrageously awesome.

Please enjoy this little montage of one of our most exciting moments on the river:

A river run down Paquara River through the Costa Rican jungle. Class III - IV rapids. We loved every second of it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I almost forgot!

...we also got a replacement pet.

Her name is Lettuce. Lizzie is so happy. And so far, I only had to spend one afternoon catching her. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Repentant Blogger Signing In

I've been busy! Sorry it's been so long! You know when you think back on your day and you realize that what felt like last month was actually something that happened yesterday morning? That's been me every day this month.

All I know is what my camera tells me:

Let's see, yes, it looks like we finally won the battle of Stewarts vs. Arizona "soil" and got our flower gardens planted. I've never missed Connecticut so much as I did on the day I was planting. Did you know I pulled out all kinds of strange things from deep within our dirt? I honestly thought about photographing and cataloging it all to share with you, but I was too dirty to hold the camera. Not to menion I was just plain mad. I mean, I literally extracted thousands of rocks from the dirt. You try to dig a little hole and all you can hear is "clink clink clink from the shovel hitting rocks!!" It was maddening. But I prevailed. And I must say, our flowers look pretty great.

St. Patty's Day came and went. This year, instead of just throwing on a green tee and calling it good, we actually celebrated the holiday - Irish Princess Style. Do you like my "shamrocks" and "Gold"? Aha! I'm so very clevah! (clever enough to find this stuff online, that is)

Also this month, I tried and failed to defend a photo speeding ticket. They are NOT messing around. Just hand over all your money, there's just no point. Give it. All. Now. Thank you.

We went to Matt's farewell address, going away party, and all went to the temple together as a family. All up in Salt Lake City. We drove 12 hours on Friday, then did it back again on Sunday. We even got stuck in blizzard-related traffic on Sunday night and were forced to park in Page, AZ for 2 hours. But every minute we travelled was worth it to be there! So proud of my little bro.

Adam spent an unhealthy number of hours creating and editing a fantabulous video for the Teacher's Quorum. It was absolutely hilarious, and when I have a chance, we'll get that bad boy up on YouTube. All I can say is, "Do you like Waffles? Yeah, I like Waffles!"

Humm.. Well,, yes, okay, it's true. The rumors you've heard are correct. I did in fact get trapped in my kitchen without my pants on when Eli answered the door and invited a well-respected male into our home. just a little bit awkward. No pictures for that one except the scar in my mind.

Adam had Honeywell Basketball games and Eli had his first Little League game. Ivy started Dance lessons. Adam and I got shots to prepare for our upcoming travels. :)
Oh! And Adam's brother James and Jenny got ENGAGED!!! We are so happy for them!!! Yeah! Jenny's in the fam!

Well, that's about all the catch-up time I have now! I will be starting fresh tomorrow, ladies and gents!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Break Creations

Before: After:
It's now the Polka-Dot-Playhouse! Thanks for the green paint, Whitney! This was leftover from your bedroom! :)
And Ivy was feeling creative today too. I had given her some play dough to play with while I was teaching, and I turned around, and look what treats I found behind me:
Ice Cream, anyone?

Why Lizzie wants to stay in Utah...

Lizzie and Grandma Vickie, who are Birthday Twins, spent their birthdays together this year!

Happy Birthday to both of you! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Little Girl is growing up!!

Lizzie turned nine today. I can't believe it.
We had a birthday dinner for her on Sunday:

And yesterday, she took her very first unaccompanied flight to spend a week in Utah with her grandmas! The airline people were so impressed that she handled it so well. I told them, yep, she's pretty independant.
I was thinking to myself as she walked down the rampway - 9 years ago she was born, now she's flying on a plane alone, and in just 9 more years she'll be going off to college!!!!!! It was a scary thought.
We sure love our Lizzie! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ostrich Festival Parade!

Here in Chandler, we are proud of our annual Ostrich Festival. Supposedly, this area was formerly used as ostrich farms, and this event celebrates that! The Chandler Children's Choir was part of the Ostrich Festival Parade this morning!

Ivy got to ride with us as the CCC Princess!

The only complication came when we finally started moving into the parade route. It turns out we had a flat tire on the back of the trailer! Well, one of my resourseful moms ran ahead and found a Big O Tire on the parade route, and gave them the heads up that we were coming. We went along on the parade, and then a little ways up pulled over to the Big O Tire place, where they had a team of guys waiting to change our tire for us, Nascar-style! It was awesome. The kids cheered them on the whole time, and then off we went! They were the heroes of the day! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Motto for '09

Last year, the Stewart Family motto was taken from a trusted source, Guitar Hero.

The motto for 2008 was: "Less Talk, More Rock." It directed our year as we tried to do less talking about how we were going to live, and more doing. To me, it's the 21st century's "Just Do It."

This year, I have struggled to finally come up with a Family motto. Until Sunday. On Sunday, I was in Primary, listening to the scripture of the month. I've heard it many times before, but it hit me with a lot of force last week. Later that day, Lizzie mentioned that she wanted to highlight that scripture and asked for help to find it. We ended up talking about it.

The scripture is this:
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house,
even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house
of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God."

I've always read that scripture thinking, "Wow, wouldn't that be nice, to have a home like that? I wonder how you do that."

But it finally hit me - the prescription is right in there!! "Prepare Every Needful Thing!" I've mostly lived my life shooting from the hip. But this year, the Stewart Family motto will be: Prepare Every Needful Thing.

Now if we can just set that to some catchy rock music, we'll be all set.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Allowance just isn't enough anymore...

I was walking down the hallway...

When I saw something new...

I looked a little closer...

To see what I should do...

Looks like Eli's diversifying his portfolio (the huge Hershey's syrup container is a big, almost empty piggy bank). I suppose he has surmised that during this economic crisis, it's wise not to depend solely on allowance these days.

That's probably a good idea!