Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!  We had some great times with extended family and friends at Auntie Tamera’s (my sister-in-law’s) house. Thank you for hosting again, Tamera!  Some of our large crew walked to a nearby park for some football.


Everyone pitched in at least a little to create a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, but Grammy did most of the work… as usual.  Thank you, Grammy!

Later in the evening, Michael, one of the cousins, thought of an interesting way to play the game known as “Spoons.”

Traditionally, each player passes cards around, trying to accumulate all of a certain card (all of the 7’s or all of the jacks…).  As soon as someone has them all in his/her hand, that person picks up one of the spoons on the table.  Everyone else then scrambles to grab a spoon before they are gone. (There is always one fewer spoons than the number of players.)  If you don’t get a spoon, you’re out!  The person who manages to get a spoon every time wins.

Michael’s idea was to have only one spoon on the table. The first person to acquire all of the cards he/she was trying for still grabs the first spoon. Then, the other players hurry out of their chairs to find the rest of the spoons that were hidden in other rooms. Again, one player will wind up with no spoon and will be out.

Below, Auntie Becky gathers the spoons so she can hide them. She’s got a talent for hiding them!  Though they’d be in plain sight, they’d be hard to find.

And now, Christmas is nearly here. Hooray!  Have a fabulous month!


Angelina – Paris

From the age of two til the age of nine, Sydney’s stuffed Angelina mouse went with us on every trip.  At nine, Sydney decided to clear out all unnecessary things from her room.  She went way beyond her goal of neat to literally bare.  Old toys were given away to younger children.  Angelina remained, but was ousted from Sydney’s bed to a shelf in the closet.  But the sweet mouse was very soon invited back, and she still shares a bunk with the now ten-year-old Sydney and some other stuffed friends.  Angelina will always have a place in our home.

So, as we happened upon this delightful Parisian shop with the same name as Sydney’s sidekick, we had to pause for a few photos.  I’d love to be back there right now, with time to indulge in their pastries and hot chocolate!

Have a sweet day!


Blue Belt & Baseball

Tanner starts baseball!

Exciting things in the sports world this month!  Tanner started playing on his first baseball team.  Their premier practice began about two hours before Sydney earned her blue belt in karate.

Sydney earns her blue belt in karate!

Tanner’s coach pitches to him.  Chandler has a variety of beautiful parks at which the team gets to practice.

The park that Tanner’s team played at today has huge baseball sculptures.

Have a powerfully great day!



La Defense

La Grande Arche de la Defense.

Paris, France has some funny surprises.  One is Le Pouce de Cesar (The Thumb of Cesar). It’s a sculpture created by Cesar Baldaccini, located in La Defense business district.  We had fun running around this area and gave it a thumbs up.

Les Quatre Temps is a huge shopping center at La Defense.

Photo by Kerry.

Seeing l’Arc de Triomphe in the distance gives some perspective of where La Defense is located.

Have a thumbs up kind of day!


Engagement Photos

Last year, when I saw wedding photos taken by a friend of mine, my favorite was a shot of the groom whispering something to the bride.  So, when I took engagement photos for this really cute couple last week, I suggested for him to do a little whispering.  It turned out to be my favorite of these photos as well.  If you’re looking for ideas, I highly recommend this type of shot!

The couple also came prepared with several fun ideas for poses, such as the one below.

And sometimes I would simply keep taking shots as they laughed and smiled at each other naturally.

I love the sky reflected in the water.

And what a sunset we had!

The photos were taken at the Arizona State University Research Park in Tempe, AZ.

Have a beautiful day!


Soccer Game Birthday Cake

Tanner said he wanted me to make him a “fabulous cake.”  Soon afterwards, the little soccer ball candle holders he happened to see at a grocery store inspired the theme.

My husband created the soccer goal boxes with wire hangers, mesh, and duct tape.

A little green food coloring in the white frosting and green sprinkles on top gave what I declared was an artistic interpretation of grass.  My brother Dan (a masterful chef) added the much-needed herbaceous trim around the bottom of the cake.

Using thin white card stock, I printed off 4″ photos of Tanner that I’d taken at his recent soccer games, cut them out, and taped a wooden skewer to the back of each one.

While Tanner knew, of course, that soccer would be the theme of his cake, he hadn’t a clue that several tiny Tanners would be playing the sport on top of it.

I made a companion cake for a few reasons:

1. I wanted to have enough cake for all of our guests!

2. I wanted a birthday message, and the soccer field didn’t have much room for one.  (If you decide to make something similar, you might add a speech bubble to at least one of the cut-out people.  Perhaps it would instead say “Congratulations for winning the championship!”)

3. Tanner was happy to get to place the other soccer ball candle holders wherever he wanted them.

4. Even the guests that we knew would arrive late got to see the soccer game cake.  We cut into the other one early on in the party.

Just below, you’ll see the “fabulous cake” a minute before much of it was eaten with some of our best friends.

Have a fabulous day!