Saturday, February 25, 2017

Spotlight 2017: Andrea

basking in the last bit of glory of her 30's

Something in 2016 that...

*you saw or did that was awesome:  Hiking Stewart Falls with some our UT family.

*you'll remember:  Going to the temple with Brandon and Whitney to do baptisms for our ancestors.

*you want to forget:  My entire first month of playing the organ in sacrament meeting at church and all of the tears that were shed over that. Ugh.

*scared you:  Getting called out of the congregation to share my testimony at the adult session of stake conference in the fall.

*you're good at:  Smiling. It's my favorite.

*you're proud of:  Going 7-3 in my Gate City tennis league.

*made you happy:  Spending both Caroline's and Andrew's birthdays at the beach.

*you learned: How to make apple pie from scratch. It's not as hard as I thought it would be!

*made you laugh: When the kids kept wanting to order "assorted cookies" from our dessert menu on the cruise and they would practice saying it in the most sophisticated British accent possible.

*was silly:  Jim Gaffigan. Went to see one of his shows at an amphitheater here in town.

*was exciting:  Going down a ten story slide at City Museum in St. Louis!

*you earned, won, or accomplished: Our tennis team won the sportsmanship award. AND.... I WON MY FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE!!! Yes! I didn't have the best team in the league, but the playoff bracket lined up just right for me to pull off the win.

Any other notable changes/events for 2016:  Resigned from PTA VP. Got released from teaching gospel doctrine Sunday school at church. Got called to teach early morning seminary. Got called to play the organ in sacrament meeting. Started volunteering with Church World Services, preparing apartments for newly-arriving refugees. Got bumped from a 3.0 to a 3.5 in USTA--NOT a good thing for me. (I'm going to get my bootie kicked in my new league!) Our nephew, Wyatt, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in February, so he and his family have been on our minds a lot this year.

Hopes for 2017:
That Wyatt's treatments are effective in keeping him cancer free.
Go on the annual summer road trip.
Paint the downstairs of our house.
Buy a new van.
Continue studying Spanish. (Duolingo says I'm 53% fluent now!)
Renew my AZ dental hygiene license.
Win at least two of my USTA matches. (That's lofty.)

Follow-up from last year's hopes:
Go on a cruise with the kids for Spring Break. Yes, and we loved it!
Spend Memorial Day weekend with both sets of grandparents. Yes, a wonderful long weekend in the sun and surf.
Watch Caroline get baptized. Yes, so proud of her.
See Brandon participate in his first church youth conference: a pioneer trek! Yes, he did it and made some friendships that have lasted.
Send Whitney off to her first week at Girl's Camp. Yes, she loved it and is SO sad that she will probably miss it this year because of the road trip.
Make the annual road trip and have a reunion with Andrew's side of the family at Bear Lake. Yes, we made the road trip. No, we weren't able to have thee family reunion because Wyatt was still in the undergoing chemo.
Continue to find joy in teaching my gospel doctrine class at church. Yes, for the first half of the year that I taught. I loved that calling and am grateful for all that I learned each week, some from my study and a lot from my class members' comments.

Hobbies:  Tennis, board games, geocaching, Trivia Crack, Words with Friends, traveling, fantasy football.

Something you like about your job:  Getting to spend the majority of my time serving my family and others.

Something you don't like about your job:  Doing the dishes.

A job you might want when you're older:  Cruise ship performer. :)


Restaurant:  Panera, Mad Greek Grill, Panda Express

Sport:  Football to watch, tennis to play

Recent reads:  The War that Saved My Life, Echo, The Disappearing Spoon, The Rent Collector, Heartless

Candy or other treat:  Peanut M&Ms, Cheesecake from cheesecake factory, Smarties

Color:  Purple, black, red

Animal: Baby monkeys!

Snack:  Pistachios, popcorn, sugar snap peas

TV show:  Survivor

Place:  The beach and the temple

Season:  Spring

Meal:  Chicken and rice and beans with homemade tortillas

Song:  Wicked, ABBA, Anything Whitney sings while I'm playing the piano for her

Game:  Code Names is a new favorite.  Andrew and I play Pandemic a couple of times a week during his lunch break. So fun.

RANDOM FACT:  I've become fascinated with family history and spend a few hours every week researching it. I mostly work on Andrew's side of the family because they've been in the US a long time, so it's easier to find records on them. I've added over 100 names to his family tree. Exciting!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spotlight 2017: Andrew

Forty-something Andrew,
still looking good

Something in 2016 that...

*you saw or did that was awesome:  Watching the Carolina Panthers with the NFC championship game, then play in the Super Bowl...even though they lost

*you'll remember:  Baptizing Caroline

*you want to forget:  Being asked to lead the HR piece globally for a major restructuring across our entire division.

*scared you:  Realizing that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would be our next president.

*you're good at:  Fantasy basketball

*you're proud of:  Watching Andrea and the kids succeed at things

*made you happy:  Going on our family cruise over spring break

*was exciting:  Playing doubles tennis with Andrea and finishing second in one of our tournaments

*you earned, won, or accomplished:  Going 9-2 in my USTA tennis league

Any other notable changes/events for 2016:  I started working from home.

Follow-up from last year's hopes:
Win my fantasy basketball league:  Nope
Finally enjoy BYU football again: For the most part
Get comfortable in my new role at work:  Yes
Let the Lakers get the #1 pick:  No
To see significantly improved home teaching across the High Point stake: Priesthood leaders are having more discussions and conversations with home teachers to help them fulfill their responsibilities, so the quality has improved.

Hopes for 2017:
Hold my own in tennis after getting bumped to a 3.5.
Have the Panthers return to the playoffs.
Win my fantasy basketball league.

Something you like about your job:  The amount of autonomy and decision-making ability that I have.

Something you don't like about your job:  The constant organizational changes at Avery-Dennison, especially when it results in eliminating positions.

A job you might want when you're older:  Sports writer


Restaurant:  PF Chang's

Sport:  Football

Recent reads:  The Swarm by Orson Scott Card, The Leviathans of Jupiter, and The Only Pirate at the Party

Candy or other treat:  Chocolate covered almonds

Color:  Blue

Movie:  Napoleon Dynamite

Animal:  Cheetah

Snack:  Pistachios

TV show:  Survivor

Place:  A cruise ship in the Caribbean

Season:  Fall

Meal:  Crab legs

Game:  Pandemic

RANDOM FACT:  A big part of my calling is overseeing financial audits in the stake. Most church members have no idea how much that involves.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What January Looked Like

Spent some time at a Ninja gym in Charlotte that we like.

They got rid of their aerial silks, 
which disappointed Caroline.

Getting ready for snow days!
You can't see it, but the flakes are just barely
starting to fall.

And, wow, did they keep coming!

We ended up with church canceled
and three snow days from school.

Snow cream!

When the roads cleared up,
I took Caroline up the street to go sledding.

And by the end of the week, it was back up to
spring-like temperatures.
I love Carolina winters.

W working on her arabesque at dance.

Caroline won her class spelling bee and got to 
participate in the school one, against fourth and fifth graders.
She took 5th place! I was so proud of her.
She ended up getting out on "marionette"

We celebrated with fro yo.

Church basketball season is upon us.

The kids are playing well!
Andrew and I love watching them.

B got adventurous one Sunday night
and made us Sushi.
So good!

Daffodils are so fun!
They make me feel like spring is just around the corner!

Andrew and I are hunting for a new sofa/sectional.
I took him to Furnitureland South and 
introduced him to the amazing massage chairs there.
He's going to start saving up his fun money to buy one.
Fun, free date night!! 

And, lastly, here's a little clip of Andrew and Whit
playing the guitar together.
They have a great duet of Canon in D.
 I love listening to them play.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Spotlight 2017: Brandon

Brandon, 15 years

Something in 2016 that...

*you saw or did that was awesome:  I did the salmon ladder. That was cool.

*you'll remember:  Getting my driver's permit.

*scared you:  Honestly, I don't know.

*you're good at:  The thing I'm best at right now is honestly video games.

*you're proud of:  Making the climbing team.

*made you happy:  Going on our cruise.

*you learned:  How to be able to do things for myself, be independent.

*made you laugh:  Politics.

*was silly:  Band.

*was exciting:  Doing 60. [A hard wall at his climbing gym.]

*you earned, won, or accomplished:  All-county band.

Something in 2017 that...

*you wish you were better at:  School.

*you wish you could buy:  (n)umber nine Mickey hoodie

Hobbies:  Video games, rock climbing, and fashion.

Something you like about school:  Friends--Tony, Haley, Emani, and Brooke

Something you don't like about school:  Teachers

A job you might want when you're older:  Information systems for a really big cloud company or web-page design for a coding company or something.

A pet you wish your mom would let you have:  None.

The most important thing you do:  I literally do nothing.


Restaurant:  Chick-fil-a

Sport:  Rock climbing

Recent reads:  Uglies series, Earth Unaware

Candy or other treat:  Cake

Color:  Black

Movie:  Interstellar

Animal:  Elephant

Snack:  Goldfish

TV show:  I don't watch TV

Place:  A cruise ship or Disneyworld

Season:  Summer

Meal:  Spaghetti

Song:  I don't have a favorite song.

Game:  Overwatch

RANDOM FACT:  I can whistle three different ways. [And ]he is OFTEN whistling around the house!