Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tree house

We went out to G-ville on Sunday for Father's Day. We are always excited to go there because we get to see our family especially our grandchildren. My mother-in-law has a friend who has been working on a tree house in her backyard for the grandchildren. Years ago there was, well as my children put it, a pathetic tree house in the same place as the new on that is being built. Well this new treehouse is ginormous. It is still a work in progress, but as you can see it is every child's dream of what a tree house should be. The roof is still under construction and the barn red paint needs to applied. We all had fun exploring it.

Landon enjoying the slide. You gotta love that his shoes are on the wrong feet.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Life, Lately

My life lately has been really busy and somewhat stressful. After we returned from our wonderful trip, I had to start studying for my National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). This is the licensure test that officially confirms that you are ready to begin practicing as a registered nurse. I have to admit I was so tired of studying, but the fear of failing the NCLEX was enough to keep me motivated. I also had some good friends from school who wanted to study together which helped keep us all motivated. You need to understand that all during nursing school you are being prepped for this exam. The instructors are drilling into your minds ways to study for it and they are constantly giving insightful hints to help you answer questions that you may have no earthly idea of what the answer might be. There are practice questions that are similiar to the real questions, 3,500-4,000 to be exact, that you are encouraged to work on, that will help you with the exam. It is highly suggested that you do all of the practice questions before you take the test because it will further your knowledge. Alot of weight is put on this exam, not only the fact that you have to pass to work as an RN, but also the nursing school you attend is judged on how well their students do on the exam. Now you can fail this test and retake it, but come on who wants to at $200 a pop. So needless to say, this test is a big deal!

In between study sessions I have tried to get my flowers and vegetable garden planted. We had are sweet grandchildren for a weekend. So much fun and so much work!

Isn't he adorable! He is showing off his Batman pjs.

Addy loves wearing her hat. She gets cuter by the day.
Then the dreaded day of the exam arrived. I felt prepared because I did about 10-12 hours of studying a week, but it is one of those tests that you just really do not know how well you did. You feel comfortable half of the time that you know the answers, but the other half of the time you are thinking that you have no earthly idea what the answer is and you take an educated guess.
Well the good news is that I passed the test and I can finally start to enjoy my summer. I do need to find a job eventually, but for now, I am going to enjoy summer as much as I can. However, we do have a daughter getting married at the end of August that we need to finish planning. So who actually has time to find a job with all of the other things happening in one's life. By the way, I do love my life!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I can't believe my little bubba is 4!

I can't believe that our Landon is 4 years-old. He is the cutest and smartest little boy. He wanted a skateboard for his birthday and despite my begging and pleading to his parents, they got him one.

Ever since Landon taught himself to ride his bicycle, I have been stressing to him to wear a helmet. I bought him a helmet and I constantly remind him to wear it. So when I was talking to him and trying to help him understand that a skateboard was not a good idea because it is dangerous, his reply was, "But Mimi I will wear my helmet". I wasn't goimg to win this battle.

Here Landon is poising by the pinata. It is almost as big as he is.

What a swing that little guy has. He was doing some serious damage.

Go Bubba go!

Opening presents

Addie enjoying the candy from the pinata. Unfortuantely she lllllloooovvvveeeesss candy.

Happy birthday to our sweet little boy. We love you!


This is our last day in London. We took in some more sights and we did a little browsing in Harrods. There is actually a designated time set a side for those who want to browse and not buy. I had the crazy idea that I could actully purchase some scarves for my daughters. It was crazy how expensive things were in that store. I saw some beautiful scarves which were priced at around $700. I DON'T THINK SO! Needless to say we got the heck out of there, but before we left I did take some pictures of the inside.

Inside Harrods on the floor that expensive scarves and purses are sold.

Here I am standing outside of Harrods.

To top off our wonderful time in London went to the broadway show "Wicked". Bret and I both agreed that it was fabulous. The theatre that the show was performed in had some fabulous architecture. It was a great night. (Please excuse the horrible picture of myself. The sun was so bright I could not help but squint. I did not take very many good pictures while on our trip).

We really packed in alot of sightseeing and activities while we were in London. But I think the greatest part of my vacation was spending every minute with my sweetheart. Thank you sweetie you planned a great trip. I love you!


Today we decided to take a trip outside of London. We took a tour that visited Leeds Castle near Maidstone, Kent, England, the quaint town of Canterbury where Canterbury Cathedral is located, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

The castle is built on an island. It was originally built by Henry VIII for his wife Catherine of Aragon. It was purchased in 1926 by Lady Baillie who redecorated and donated it to the Leeds Castle foundation when she died.

One of the rooms inside the castle.

A sweets shop in the middle of the shopping square in Canterbury. There were some amazing candies found here. Some I recognized and some I did not.

The Canterbury Catherdral

Inside the Catherdral, it was amazing and this picture does not do it justice.

The White Cliffs of Dover which face the Strait of Dover and France. They are symbolic to Britain because they face towards Continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard. They are white in color because are calcium carbonate with streaks of black flint.

A resort on the beach near the cliffs.

Here I am about to touch the Atlantic Ocean and you can see the pebble beach. There is not any sand found on this beach!

At the end of our tour we boarded a boat that took us on a scenic drive along the Thames River for several miles. We drove under the Tower Brige (below). It was a fun day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Yes, I am finally sometime to complete our London experience. Today is Sunday, so we are going to take it easy. We went to church. The church is located on a street that is mostly office buildings. Across the street from the church is the Natural history and a Science museum. If you are not careful you could pass the church without knowing it was there.

The ward that we attended was the Hyde Park Ward. The members were really friendly and the membership in the ward consists of many different nationalities. There were many visitors in attendance along with students from BYU and their professors who are studying in London for about 6 weeks. There are several American families who are working there and going to school. There was a special spirit there. I loved it. I tried to convince Bret to find a job here in London for a couple of years so that we could travel Europe and be in the mission field again. He wouldn't have it.

After church we went to Hyde Park because we wanted to witness Speakers' Corner. Speakers' Corner is where people get on stepladders and speak their mind on religion. See the photo below. President Hinckley mentions this corner in his book and some experiences he had when he was on his church mission here in London. It was quite entertaining. There were a lot of people in the park. The park is close to a lot of nice shopping like Harrods. It was Sunday so we didn't do any of the shopping though. We plan on shopping a little on Tuesday.

After a much needed nap we were hoping to take in a concert at Westminster Abbey. We thought that there was a concert around 5 pm, but no such luck. So we walked around the grounds of the Abbey and walked around St. James Park where there is a memorial walk dedicated to Princess Diana. It was nice relaxing day which included a much needed nap.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Today we ventured out of London and visited Wimbledon Lawn, Tennis, and Croquet club.  Yes, that is the correct name as we were told today during our tour.  If you are not familiar with Wimbledon, it is where one of the major professional tennis tournaments of the year is played. This was a must see due to the fact that Bret loves to play and watch the game of tennis.  We took a tour of the grounds and saw court one and other side courts, as well as the every famous center court.  The center court stadium is not that big and while we were seated in there we didn't think that there would be a bad seat. Too bad that tickets are so hard to get. We also toured the media room where all of the players are brought for interviews.  Bret is sitting in that seat below.  Doesn't he make a great tennis star!

Here we are at center court.

While we were out in the country, we also went to see Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace.  All of the palaces have tapestries, paintings and architecture that are outstanding.  Sorry for the nudity in the pictures.  I am not up on the history of art around this time, but you see a lot of art with bare chests and scantily clad women.  The gardens are really pretty and very spectacular.  They put my flower garden to shame.  Below are pictures of an outside front view of the palace and one of the murals that is painted on the ceiling and wall of one of the stairways. 

They have the best soft serve ice cream here.  It is a lot thicker and almost like a custard in a cone.  They top it off with a stick of chocolate. It is so good!

Both of these sites were out near the town of Richmond which was a neat area.  It is in the country, but it had a lot of shopping available and many cafe's and pubs.  We traveled by Tube and bus and were surprised how easy it was to get there, that is after Bret did a lot of research.