Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Season

Ana Elisa loves everything about the Christmas season--the lights, the music, Christmas trees, all the decorations, candy canes (especially the ones on our tree!), and getting a piece of chocolate every day from her Santa Clause advent calendar.

Christmas this year is so fun because we get to see it through the eyes of a 2 year old!! And to add to the fun, we have the gift of a new baby coming to join our family in June!! This little one is my excuse for slacking off on the blog. Hopefully this morning sickness will be over soon, since I am 12 weeks along now...

I'll try to post some pictures of some of the things I've missed sometime soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Our Trip to Brasil

In September, we went to Brasil to visit our family. We got to spend a lot of time with them and loved every minute of it.

We spent some time at the beach the first week we were there. Cida's (Emerson's mom) boss let us use her beach house which was in a beautiful, quiet area where there are hardly any tourists. There weren't a lot of people there, so it was really peaceful and quiet.

There's a mall near Cida's house where they had a play area, Ana Elisa had a blast there.

Ana Elisa loved playing at her Vo's (grandma's) house.

We had a barbecue at Emerson's uncle Marcos house. It was so fun to see everyone.

Four Generations!

We got to go see Emerson's dad, it was a fun afternoon.

Cida put a birthday party together for Ana Elisa. It was so fun, they went all out for it. It was a Shrek theme. Cida bought her a princess dress and made Emerson and I a Shrek and Fiona costumes for it.

We had a cake to celebrate Marco's birthday, he was a great sport and dressed up in Emerson's Shrek costume.

We're so glad to have been able to go. We miss everyone so much and hope to see them again really soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Breanna and Brooklyn's Visit

Here are some pictures of when Breanna and Brooklyn came to visit last month. The pictures aren't in order, they are actually backwards chronologically. We had a blast!
Here we are at Mesquite Groves pool. This was their last day here, so we decided to spend the morning playing in the water before their afternoon flight.

On Saturday, we took them to the Science Museum in downtown Phoenix. This was at their Lego exhibit. Ana Elisa liked this dragon because it reminds her of the dragon on Shrek.

This was also at the Science Museum.
That same Saturday morning, our ward had a back to school breakfast. They made paper apples with a pencil and a gummy worm in them.

They were so fun to have around. Ana Elisa wouldn't leave their side. I can't wait to have them come visit again. Next time I hope they can stay longer. We miss having them here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 14 2009--CITIZENSHIP DAY

Emerson was sworn in as a US Citizen last friday (August 14). I can't believe it's finally all done! It was an exciting day, the only sad thing was that Ana Elisa didn't get to be there because they told us to plan on three hours and we didn't feel she would enjoy herself very much.

We went to the courthouse in downtown Phoenix for the Oath Ceremony. They showed a video and then had them raise their right hand and swear in as US Citizens. After that they showed a video of President Obama welcoming them and then they did the Pledge of Allegience.

Before the ceremony started they had asked for some people to share their experiences about what brougth them to the United States and the opportunities they've had while here. I asked Emerson to get up and share his story, so after the Pledge of Allegience, they called him and two other people up. Emerson did such a wonderful job, it was very emotional and we both got teary eyed. He talked about how he grew up in the projects of Sao Paulo and how his mom worked so hard to provide for them. She worked and went to school so he and his sister stayed with his grandma for several years and only saw their mom on the weekends. He talked about how he dreamed of getting an education and finding a way to provide a better life for his future family. Then he talked about the opportunities he's had here in the States to go to school, find a good job, and provide a home and stability for his family. He talked about his gratitude for those opportunities and his love for this country.

At the end of the ceremony they had everyone stand up and sing "I'm Proud to be An American" while the newly sworn in citizens waved their little American flags. This was definitely a day to remember. I'm so glad that Emerson agreed to speak, it made the day so much more memorable and special. We are so blessed, I thank the Lord every day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer Vacation--MONTANA

Every other year my grandpa's family has a big family reunion up in Hamilton and Corvallis, Montana. We started going up in 1984 and didn't miss one until 1995. We've tried to go up as much as possible since then, and have done pretty good. Emerson's even been up a few times. The reunions used to be several days long, but now they last only one day. Our whole purpose in going to Utah was so that we could make a family trip up to Montana all together. My dad seems to feel like this may have been the last reunion there since my grandpa and most of his siblings have passed away (there were 12 of them and now there are only 3 left).

I'm so glad we went. It was great to get all of us together on a family vacation (my parents, Lizsett and her family, Sherrie and her family, and us). We drove up half way on Wednesday and stayed in Idaho Falls where we went swimming and just enjoyed being together.

When we got to Montana, we went to visit our great aunt Marge and great uncle Bob. They live on Arley Lane, a private road where they and a few other great aunts and uncles built their homes and farms. This is where we spent most of our reunions when I was a kid. Being there brought back so many memories. Like, when Uncle Arley tied a barrel to two trees and let us kids spend hours riding the "bull", and the time when we got one of our distant cousings to take us out into Uncle Arley's barn where we played in the hay until someone told us there were mice in there, so we ran out into the pasture where the bulls were grazing (we were obviousley not raised on a farm!)

We took this picture in front of Aunt Marge and Uncle Bob's house.

For several years, we stayed in the basement of Aunt Larue's and Uncle Arley's house every time we went up for a reunion. Aunt Larue passed away about a year and a half ago, so it was sad to go up and not see her there. She seemed to be such a part of the whole reunion experience for us. These next three pictures are of Aunt Larue's house--front and back yard as well as the old barn and cow pasture (the barn and pasture used to be really well taken care of, but once Uncle Arley died, more than 20 years ago, there wasn't anyone who really looked after it. So this definitely isn't how it looked when I was a kid).

The reunion was held in the back yard of the church there in Corvallis. They had a bunch of water games for the kids, baseball and golf competitions for the adults, a raffle, country store for the kids, and a really nice dinner.
I've always loved Montana and how green and beautiful it is, but for some reason, I felt like I really took it in this time (maybe it's the contrast between living in the desert now and then going there and being surrounded by so much green and such beautiful mountains. It was so relaxing!

This picture was taken behind our hotel there in Hamilton.

I'm so glad we made the trip up to Montana this year. I'm glad my dad was so adement about going, even when the rest of us started re-thinking it. It was so much fun, so relaxing, and so good to spend time with family--immediate as well as extended. I was grateful that we were able to take Ana Elisa to a place where I have such fond childhood memories.

I hope we were able to make some fond memories for Ana Elisa and her cousins.

Thank you again, Dad for knowing that we all needed to make this trip, and for making it happen.