Wednesday, April 27, 2011

~Easter Sunday~

1st order of business:
Open Easter Baskets
{Yes those toesies at the bottom of the picture taste even better than the chocolate pictured.}

2nd order of business:
Off to Church to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior
After Church we headed over to Grandma & Grandpa McCleve's House where he had a wonderful Dinner that everyone contributed to.
Is this backyard heavenly or what?
...And in the AZ valley of the Sun nonetheless.
After eating we hung out, the kids played on the tree & hammock swings, the boys played a little softball, the girls performed shows for us & Tiffany went to the E.R. because of a severe allergic reaction...Yup~sounds like a typical McCleve get together.

Monday, April 25, 2011

~Easter Fun with Family~

Grandkids Egg Hunt @ the Curtis'
Pure Excitement!...
Grandma Kathy & clan set up a fun egg hunt for the kids complete with their own special eggs to find. It  is always fun to watch them run around and get so excited. Jax got so into this year-it was SO FUN to watch him. My Grandparents were in town from Utah & they got to enjoy as well.
(I think Grandma Curtis spies an egg & is telling Granddad where it is.)

We had a yummy BBQ & enjoyed the nice weather outside.
Granddad Curtis taught Jax the art of winning the game Rummikub.
We dyed eggs too...Aunt Sara, the artist gets a little into it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Fun Begins..

*Making Easter Rice Krispie Treats for Family Night!*

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Left Shoe Bandit...

This is no joke. 
When looking for shoes for Jax to put on the other day, I found this assortment. ~Only ALL "RIGHT FOOTERS"...
Anyone else think it's cool that Jaxson's middle name is on his shoe?
Just a WILD guess but....
 I think this guy might be the Left Shoe Bandit:
{I ended up finding 3 of the 5 left matches but 2 are still missing which is kinda sad cuz they are hand-me-downs from brothers/cousins with fond memories attached to them.}

Friday, April 15, 2011

Story of the Year....

*There is the cutest little African man in our ward. He is a husband & daddy of 4 children that had not seen his family in 6 years. Every Fast/Testimony meeting he would get up bearing his testimony (in the greatest accent ever) of the Gospel giving me goosebumps every time. He'd usually sing a Hymn which brought in such an instant, sweet spirit. One time he sang "Count Your Many Blessings" & I had to leave the chapel because I was crying so much. Click on the link to read his amazing story & see him reunited with his family at the Airport. 

{Photo by: trevordayleyphotography}
The youngest daughter on the left is in Kaylea's school & church class. 

*Grab a box of really -a whole box. 
Read:  Roy's Story

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tulips, Chocolate & Naps in the Park

...Does it get any better than that?

*DAY 8* Continued....
~The 3rd area we went to was more city-like with tall buildings & a huge park.
The last part of this day we just went off away from the tour group by ourselves & enjoyed a few of my favorite things....
Tulips-my fave

We bought trinkets & chocolate for family & friends who watched our kids...& Ate DELECTABLE European chocolate...♨
like Nutella Crepes! ...Mmmmm

And found a great place in the park to just lay down in the cool grass & relax.
*Is there any better way to finish off a Trip? We rested and talked about what to name our son. Tim agreed on RYLER although now just to annoy he is saying otherwise. That's what I put up with...the good, and the annoying...but never boring. 

The Last Evening...

Here we are on the steps on the final evening of the cruise. This old man insisted he take a picture of us & he did. His wife posed us & then they got our email and emailed it to us when they arrived home. How cute is that? 

It's awfully grainy but it captured a moment of serenity. The weather was beautiful out, the sun beginning to set, & we were all dressed up ready to have our last delicious meal. 

Tim & I are gazing at this darling older couple thinking about how cute they are and how we want to be like them someday. And more than likely they are doing the same with us, reminiscing about the day they were at our stage in life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where's Snow White?

*DAY 8*
The bus took us to 3 different areas this day & we got a good taste of France. We went along the Alsatian Wine Route into the French Alsace Region. 

This area was my favorite of the 3 we went into because of the architecture. It actually felt like we were at Disneyland!
As we walked into & out of the town we saw a tall structure with a huge stork & her nest resting on top.  I was expecting to see Dumbo at any minute. 

As we drove into the town of Colmar we saw out our window this miniature, but still large replica of the Statue of Liberty, and discovered that the actual man who sculpted it, named Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was born there. His old home is now a museum which we didn't go to, but it was neat to know the origin of this gift from France to America.
Colmar had the best shopping & restaurants. Here we sat with some new friends & shared the best Pizza I've ever eaten. Even BETTER than Pizza I ate in Italy! We had a hard time explaining to our waitress what we wanted since they don't call it Pizza- "tarte-something" we figured out. 

My new favorite color:
I have a new fondness for the color Yellow!
It seems like it was everywhere~perfect for Spring Time. Hope it always will remind me of the Quaint Towns in France.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Black Forest

*DAY 7*
Ever taste one of these?
"Black Forest Cake"?'s naughty but yummy.
And this is where it originated.
~A Place Called The Black Forest in Germany.~
Pretty huh?
We walked through a primitive town in The Black Forest and saw how life was lived back in the 1600's. We discovered how they ground their wheat (pic-bottom middle), made everything they had including things like brooms from twigs they collected (pic-bottom left). Below you can see the dense forest of trees, thus leading to the name Black Forest since it was so dark. My favorite part was seeing the baby beds next to the master beds. (Ironically, I'm setting mine up beside my bed today.) Tim even tried out the teeter totter-a game for kids back then. One thing I found interesting was that in the big homes they would keep their animals INSIDE on the bottom floor & their bedrooms above that. Bad part=it must have stunk, Good part= between animal heat & hay it insulated home & kept them warm.

So what's with the red ball hats?...
It's the old custom of people in The Black Forest that the single women wear these funny RED ball hats & the married women wearing BLACK ball hats. The old lady tour guide joked that the black symbolized grief...haha. 
They didn't have any black-balled hats to wear so I'm wearing the Red. Don't think the Black ones sell as well. :)
This was the first picture Tim took the whole trip that was not Blurry!..~A Round of Applause Please.~

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rainy Germersheim

*DAY 6*
We spent most of the drizzly day in & outside the Speyer Technik Museum. Tim was in heaven as we saw the Transportation of the Ages. From Aircraft, to every type of Automobile, Fire trucks, Trains, Submarines; Even Space Shuttles & Nazi/American War Tanks & Planes. There was also authentic Nazi German boats & uniforms. Tim being the WWII buff that he is said that he had literal stirrings of anger just looking at these things and wanted to destroy the swastikas he saw knowing that they were the real deal. 

You can see below some of the inside pics of it. Most of the airplane was in it's skeleton form like this. In one photo you can see Tim at the back of the plane & another of him walking through what would be the aisles. With the plane elevated at a slant, it took all I could do just to stand where I was and take these pics!! It was freaky. Then to top it all off Tim & I slid down a HUGE slide from the bottom of the 747 to the ground. I thought would wet my pants out of fright but all worked out okay. :) The pics do it no justice. It had grown men with no teeth pacing at the top before they went down. Pictured is another plane that also had a slide.

Tim & I got back to the boat, grabbed an umbrella & took a little walk in the cool rain
After a bit, I got tired & chilly and walked back alone while Tim went exploring. With just minutes before the boat was to leave the dock he was nowhere to be found!! I watched from the balcony for him & finally saw this dark speck running towards me. I knew it wasn't one of the old men on the boat & breathed a sigh of relief. The craziness I put up with....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I began to see my kids all over Europe...

Here are just a few of the names I took pictures of as they reminded me of loved ones back home. I'm a sentimentl person as it is, but figure in the emotional state of a ½ months pregnant lady being across the other side of the World

Rudesheim & Castles out our Window

*DAY 5*
(probably my favorite...i think)
See how I'm jumping for joy?
We walked into the town of Rudesheim, Germany & saw some adorable, quaint structures:
...and some large, magnificent ones.
Then we took a Tram Ride over a beautiful vineyard. It was a cloudy day but it was perfect.
Afterwards we enjoyed some classic European Gelato- (chocolate & banana) as we people-watched.
~As we walked around there was a little boy, maybe 7 years old, who began walking with us. He stopped when we stopped, he walked when we walked. It was a lil' strange at first but then it melted my heart. He started reminding me of Daylan and I wanted to just take him home with really ask Tim. I was all emotional & teary eyed. (I have issues.)
Then close to where our ship was docked we sat & watched these kids play soccer for a while-reminding us once again of our little ones across the World.

~We enjoyed cruising along the River earlier that morning & throughout the rest of the day. All we had to do was look out our Balcony to see these sights of the Castles along the Rhine.