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!! :)