Thanksgiving Memories

What a way to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday! Jake's preschool performance was the cutest. It was about 5 -7 minutes long with a "Thanksgiving Feast" afterwards. Jake just beamed and was thrilled to sing for his Mom. He is such a sweet boy. He just LOVES going to preschool! He's cheesing with Riley & Ed--two of his best buddies!

Ever since BJ called up my Grandma V. (let's see...probably in 2002-03) to plan a "family night" video taping her teaching me how to make her famous Banana Cream Pies I have made them ever since! My Grandma made these for BJ's birthday & holidays & now I'm the woman in his life making his cream pies. I have to admit I crave and love them just as much as he does. But it IS an act of love. It is a process...a long process but the end result is worth it. I really have loved learning to make homemade pies. Everytime I do it, I get a little better at it and I think of my Grandma. In fact, while I was making them this time around I called my Grandma & she had just finished making 4 pies herself! A great tradition that has passed down. I'd post the recipe but you really have to watch & learn so if any of you are interrested I'd be happy to share! :) But you've got to come over. These pies are HUGE...made in 10 inch pans. I made banana cream and chocolate cream (both Grandma's recipes) the day before Thanksgiving. It wasn't too bad transporting them up to N. California! YUMMY!

Pretty isn't it? :)

We arrived at 2 AM Thanksgiving morning to the Bay area (Way too late! But couldn't be helped!) and after recovering a bit we headed over to BJ's sister Shelley's home for the festivities. Here are some of the family that were there: BJ's brother Daren & his wife Veronica are on the left with their newest addition, Joseph, in BJ's sister Shannon's arms on the far right, and BJ's sister Shelley in the center with her two boys, Matthew & Michael. It was a TASTY Thanksgiving as always & more great family memories complete with lot's of laughs & ping pong tournaments---Bj & I won the couple play-offs--best out of 5 (because of BJ of course!). We are all such competitors! :)

Let's get a closer look at that baby! Sweet Joseph is only 7 weeks...he slept through most of Thanksgiving I think! Shannon has been the designer & painter of the show "Fresh Coat" on the DIY network (redoing a room using only paint). She just launched a book describing some of her simple tips using examples from episodes on her show. You can check out her book here. BJ's other sister Shelley just "ghost" wrote a book that is selling on Amazon called "The Million Dollar Idea in Everyone". You can see her book here. Yeah, my sister in laws are authors, on t.v., you name it! So proud of them all. The are all SO talented.

Our silly boys! Cousin Michael, cousin Matthew, Jake & cousin Adam, Thanksgiving Day. BJ's sister Shelley's backyard is always a hit, especially with the tramp & bike ramps. Each visit these cousins get bigger & become better buddies. Cousins are the greatest!

Lindsey, Loren & cousin Ally. These girls were inseparable! They had their first ever sleepover at cousin Ally's house--without Mom & Dad staying too! We stayed at Grandma's. They had a blast of course!
I'm not sure how many times Loren & Ally got Lindsey all done up to get "married " to cousin Matthew (which was several times over the 2 days) and happens every time we visit. So cute! You can't see it very well here but the girls were loving the blue eye shadow! :)

Our last stop was at BJ's Dad's home in Tracy. Allison went to Grandpa with BIG smiles...a big deal! She is VERY attached to her Mommy! We spent the afternoon there and had a great time as always! There is lot's of fun at Grandpa's house: animals to see (but not touch--oh the allergies! Thank goodness for Benadryl!), TONS of toys, bikes, snacks, and visits to the "music room" & "hobby room". Jake wants a guitar for Christmas now --Thank you to Grandpa & Tammy :). Grandpa was in a vocal band in highschool...he is AMAZING!

All the gang at Grandpa's house! Grandpa & Tammy are holding our kids and then their children are to the right: Catherine, Rachel, Allan & David. Such cute kids!!

Then we headed back home! Probably the fastest drive home in the history of drives home from N. Cali. We opted to drive home Sat. instead of facing the traffic Sunday...which we have been stuck in before! It's not fun being in a "parking lot" on the 5 South and adding 2-3 hours to the normal 4-5 hour drive! We made it home in 4hours! So great. It was another wonderful Thanksgiving to share with our family & friends (we ran into BJ's best buddy from highschool & his wife at a random ward "Turkey Bowl" and got to catch up with eachother--better send me that picture Michelle! ) :)

I just love Thanksgiving time and the opportunity that it gives me to reflect on all I'm thankful for. I have been blessed with so much. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the direction & peace it gives me. I am grateful for my husband & children, who bring such joy to my life, and I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful family members & friends to share life with. I love them all!

I should have blogged about this days ago but I swear that ever since we got back our lives got MUCH busier and hectic and stressful! Oh, I should have gotten more done in November! Lot's going on, lot's to do, projects to start, Christmas errands & preparations...I'm sure you are all in the same boat..but probably much more ahead of it all than I am! I love this time of year though!! I just need it to slow down a bit so I can get everything done! Well, hope you all are wonderful! Christmas season...here we come! :)



We had a wonderful trip to Hawaii! It was just a little too short! We flew out Tues, Oct.30 and returned Tues, Nov. 6. Not enough time but so worth it! My entire family was there together. I am the oldest of 5 siblings and we were all able to come out with our spouses & families. My parents currently live in Laie (a few minutes from BYU Hawaii) on "The Point". My Dad has been building a twin house that they own one side of. It was beautiful and so spacious! This picture of BJ & I is on their backyard patio overlooking the ocean. I know! Gorgeous! It was actually a pretty rainy week! But we didn't care really...there was sun when we needed it and the best part of the whole trip was spending time with everyone & being there for my sisters baby!
The day after we got there was Halloween! My Dad (Elvis) is in the middle! My sister in law, Amara, is on the right holding cousin Aiden (17 months or so). We got to go trick or treating for about 30-45 min before an amazing down pour of rain! We luckily had one umbrella to squeeze under while my brother ran to get the car! We were soaked! But we still had fun!

Here is Lindsey & cousin Aiden chillin' at the beach!

This was hilarious! We went to "Bathtub Beach" where there is a nice waveless area--which the kids loved--and put Allie on a board. She didn't move a muscle! She didn't cry either! She is another little dare devil like Lindsey and can balance better than any of our kids when they were her age. She didn't know what to do or whether she liked it or not...but...

we couldn't stop laughing when we saw her big toes gripping!

All the kids on my parents back patio overlooking the ocean! So beautiful!

Our family...on our last night.

We actually managed to get a Doxey family picture with everyone! We wanted to wait until the newest member of the family would be born--little Ellie. My sister Natalie delived Sunday, Nov. 4th and came home the next night so we could all be together on the last night before we were heading home....and hopefully get in that family shot!!! We did! Doesn't she look amazing for having a baby the day before?! Being there for her baby was the highlight of the trip for me. We were all there at the hospital welcoming baby Ellie into the world! In the picture, from left to right is my sister Natalie holding Ellie and her husband Michael is behind her, then my sister Jessica (holding Jake) with her husband Tim behind her, then me & Allie with BJ behind, my Mom (with Lindsey in front) with my Dad behind her, my sister in law Amy (with Loren standing in front) and my brother Aaron behind, and my sister in law Amara (holding Aiden) with my brother Connor behind. Our family is growing!! The greatest blessing in my life is family. I love them all so much. What a blessing it was to be all together for Ellie's birth and to be in Hawaii!!!!

Look at this little peanut! I just had to get this picture of Allison from behind! So cute. It took her a little bit to get used to the feeling of sand on her feet. She wouldn't even put her feet down at first. It wasn't long before she didn't want to be anywhere BUT in the sand and jumping the waves!

Grandpa Doxey & Allison. I have the best parents! They love every minute and enjoy every discovery with my kids. I feel so blessed to have them in my life and in the life of my kids. Our last day my parents volunteered to watch the kids for the day and let BJ & I take some time. It was so wondeful! We went down to campus & strolled around the bookstore (BJ & I met at BYU Hawaii) and then went to Pipeline & Waimea Beaches (where we happened to find my sister Jess & Tim as well) and just watched the waves and relaxed! That was vacation!

Here is my sister Natalie, her husband Michael & little Ellie. Such a cute little family! Good job guys!!! :)
Me & Allie playing around! Look at that sunset!

Oh Lindsey! :) We have no clue where this flexiblity came from!
Well, this is only a snapshot of our trip but it was SO great...except the the airport & plane rides! Oh it is hard to travel with little ones! Jake had a melt-down at the airport & Allie didn't like having to stay on my lap for 5 hours! Whoever sat behind and in front of me I'm afraid didn't have a very relaxing flight! I ended up standing in the aisle several times bracing the bumps and trying to rock her to sleep. I'm sure I was a sight! :) After getting back to our car and then finding the rush hour afternoon traffic on the freeway I looked to BJ, who was as exhausted as I was and said..."It was worth it". And it was! We were quickly thrown back into routine & I am happy to say the laundry is actually done....phew! Fun times!! :)


Fun Halloween Craft (no it's not too late!) & Hawaii Preview!!

When school & activities were canceled during the fires last week I desperately looked for something fun to do with the kids. They were going nuts not being able to go outside. So, after talking to a dear friend (thank you Jane!) who had just done these crafts with her kids we got on the site http://www.familyfun.com/ & got crafty! These were fun & EASY Halloween crafts made from things I already had around the house. A definite success. My kids LOVED making these! The kids were able to mold their own ghosts (with salt dough) from this easy recipe :

***This dough was so great & so easy--it would be fun anytime to let the kids mold shapes for any occasion! Besides ghosts, Loren made a swan & a witch. Jake also made a car for his ghost! Lindsey made an entire family, with twin baby ghosts of course!
Then, we used brown paper bags and made the spooky paper bag trees by following these simple instructions:

It has been way too long since I've visited their site. What great ideas! I know that I'm super late blogging about these and that it's almost Halloween already but oh well!!! :) Check out the pictures of these ghosts & spooky trees on this site as well as other great ideas at http://www.familyfun.com/ .

Ok...next...we're heading to HAWAII tomorrow to see my parents & finally be together with all my immediate family!!! YAY!!!!! Loren gave us a little preview & got us in the aloha spirit today at her Hawaiin Dance Class recital! SO CUTE to see those little hips swayin'! She's getting pretty good!

This is Loren & her teacher.

Swayin' to "Over the Rainbow". Go Loren!!

So cute!

Would any of you guess that I have performed a hula dance for an audience at the PCC in Hawaii? :) It was our "recital" for the hula p.e. class I took at BYUH! The funnest p.e. class I ever had (okay...except my surfing P.E. class!). No, I was not a dancer for the PCC . White, blonde girls can't find many jobs at the PCC--Polynesian Cultural Center--but, I happened to luck out and got a job my freshman year to sell "Pineapple Delights" at the night show...Moo Moo and all! Want me to bring you back to my BYUH single days? Why not. Fun times! Next time I get back on here! :)
Oh, I can feel the tropical breeze & the sand in my feet already! I'm so ready to get to fresh, clean air & tropical paradise....not to mention seeing my family!!! & hopefully being there for my sisters 1st baby to be born! (So sorry Whit that I can't pack you up in my suitcase! We had some good times didn't we?). ALOHA!!


Surrounded-- By Fire & My Little Treasures

I don't have any pictures of the blood-red sun & the blackened sky of yesterday or the neverending images of canyons & homes up in flames or threatened that filled the news stations today--I just didn't think to capture it! I have been just amazed & shocked & it just hasn't felt real--that this was happening in our valley! It still doesn't quite feel real. But, I know that to many it is VERY real since they had to quickly gather their families & precious belongings/valuables & evacuate from their homes --or were evacuated at some point today because of these amazing wild fires. We have been in "hibernation" mode all day & have felt very safe & "far" away from danger--while all around us fires were burning! Surrounded!Today, the kids were restless, wanting desperately to play outside while we kept tuning into the news off & on & trying to find things for them to do. Two of our children have asthma & so we stayed in with all windows & doors shut tight. I was on edge, watching them every second, looking for the signs of an attack. They were affected, but thankfully not as bad as I was expecting. We had quite a few melt-downs today & needless to say mom was tired & not as patient as she could have been! It's been a long day! Why am I awake!? At one point we didn't know if friends were going to be camping out at our house last night due to a pending evacuation order or that if family from San Diego (who had a mandatory evacuation) would be coming to stay with us today.Things were just up in the air! As we checked in with friends or were called by friends today we realized how close the fires actually were & that it was affecting many of their lives. They had gone through the experience of gathering what they could & evacuating with their families. I imagined what they must have been going through & was hit hard with the reality & possibility that we too could at some point be foreced to leave our home & many of the comforts & "things" we have (if not this week maybe next year or in 5 or 10 years). To have to leave, not knowing if your possessions would be there when you returned would be overwhelming. However, at times such as these it is amazing how quickly priorities are put into perspective. Things are just things, a house is just a house...but our families and friends are the real treasures, the real happiness. How quickly we can become focused on the "things" around us, including all the really good things we are involved in...that in an emergency situation is all canceled & not of real importance...the focus is turned back to those things that can never be replaced...our loved ones. I'm grateful we're safe & that all my kids are sound asleep in their own beds (& that two of them are breathing & not suffering from asthma attacks!). Tomorrow is a new day to treasure. I'm so grateful for my little family & I hope & pray that all our loved ones are sleeping soundly tonight as well.


Admitted Confession

I know...I know...I'll confess and admit that one of my "faults" is to stew & then stew some more on things (ok...lot's of things!) & change my mind MANY times while I'm at it. Usually, once I do this a handful of times I finally get things to where I really like it! In this case--my little banner at the top of my blog--I needed more color!! Oh, I love photoshop! I'll change my mind again probably, just be prepared! I've been known to "just need a change" & quick! When I have my mind set to it I won't wait around for help. Probably my worst example of this is back when we lived in Draper, UT. I just HAD to move the piano to another wall because I needed a change & thought it would look better--BJ was at work--oh well, can't wait! It's got to happen NOW!! Not the smartest idea considering I was 8 months pregnant (with Lindsey). Put me into a nice set of contractions (not new since I have contractions for months & always have babies a few weeks early!). Well, I had Lindsey about a week later. Yup! I'm nuts. The piano had wheels though!! :) BJ just laughs & knows that things may just change around when he get's home-- pictures changed around on walls, kids entire rooms changed around (& then sometimes moved right back), something painted a new color, another "little" project started--need I go on?! I'm a nut case! But, I have fun doing it all. I love to see things in a new way, make something old look newer & be a little creative once in a while. It's not a fault, right?! It's my outlet! :) ok...here's the lovely piano that has moved around I don't know how many times!


Check out our new website business!!

We finally have launched our new website business: http://www.myplace2sell.com/. Go check it out and post something you want/need to sell or get free advertising for! This can be anything...your home, car, clothing, shoes, home decor, appliances or your homemade product, service, or business. We have been working on this forever it seems and it has finally reached launched status! Yeah! We have many more features that are coming to the site as well! This is a video classifieds site where sellers can either list items they have for sale with pictures, or take it a step further and use video as well. It is so much more interesting to see how a product looks from all angles, or the sounds or functions it has. It is also much more captivivating to see a video of someone describing their resume, or taking someone on a tour of your home, rental, service, business, etc. from the comfort of their own computer! If you are overwhelmed at the video option just take some pictures. For examples of what others are doing visit our site!


I have finally entered the blogging world! I have been viewing several of my friends blogs for months getting great ideas & loving their pictures & updates----So! After much coaxing & reminding & then more coaxing I finally have done it! (Thanks to Mique & Lindsay!). I decided to name our page-- A New Day to PLAY--because it's a new goal of mine and I need a daily reminder! Every day is a new day to set aside time to just play with my kids--either spontaneously or planned, for 5 minutes at home or an afternoon at the park or somewhere... but just PLAY...with my undivided attention! Sometimes my days are SO busy filled with the typical stuff mom's do like carting kids to their activities they are involved in, homework, lot's of reminding :), laundry, dishes, running errands, projects, making meals, more cleaning up and...oh the list goes on! Sometimes, we get through a day and got lot's done...or NOT, but we didn't just PLAY! So, there you go! Who is joining me?!

We had a great time playing at the pumpkin patch last week during fall break. All the kids & I went with Jake's preschool class...they had a blast!!! A major highlight was counting what seamed like 100 scarecrows in the corn field during the "train ride". Allison was amazingly entertained in her stroller for almost the entire tour! At the end she was released and loved "organizing" the little pumpkins she found. Aren't these kids cute?!