Go Devils! Go Coyotes! We cheered for quite a few football games this season both for ASU Sun Devils and Campo Verde Coyotes, where two of our nephews play on the Varsity team. The boys have grown quite a fond love of "pop ball" games as Charlie calls them, and probably because of all the family and yummy food that accompanies each game!
New York, New York!
August is a pretty big month around here, with Marc and Alex's birthdays only 4 days apart and a wedding anniversary right in the middle! So we celebrated Alex turning 25 and Marc's big 3-0 with a get away to New York!
It was a full four days, with time at the Manhatton temple, biking through Central Park, walking the Brooklyn bridge, the 9/11 memorial museum, and three Broadway shows including Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked! Marc had always wanted to see Wicked on Broadway, and it did not disappoint! What awesome shows!
LDS Gift Planning Conference
Marc was invited to attend the annual LDS Philanthropies Gift Planning conference (read about it here, a conference for financial advisors, CPAs, and attorneys, and Alex jumped on the opportunity to accompany him. It was wonderful to see the fall colors of the Utah mountains, and to spend some time on Temple Square up in Salt Lake City!
Marc checked off a bucket list item on this trip- listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live in the tabernacle! It was such an incredible experience. We also were able to meet a young 96 year old man named Rodney, who took time in his evening to tell us of his dedication to family history work. He has found more than 100,000 ancestors! You can start working on your family tree here!
New Year and Stake Conference
Happy New Year! I still can't believe it's already 2016. We just had our January Stake Conference, and had the wonderful opportunity to host Elder and Sister Corbridge from Salt Lake.
As we spent the weekend with them, we were inspired by their incredible examples of Christ-like service and love to all.
Snowflake & Charlie is 3!!
On our way up to Snowflake, we made a quick detour to Camp LoMia where the girls in our church group were gathered for girls camp. We joined them on their hikes and the boys had a great time playing in the stream!
We then finished our trek to Snowflake and enjoyed a weekend full of family and fun. Our 24th of July always consists of rodeos, parades, programs, fireworks, and a special fireside from Grandpa Taylor.
The town of Snowflake always puts on a firework show following the town rodeo, but this year we held the second annual Taylor family firework show. Many thanks to Costco's firework kit, Grandpa's cul-de-sac, and brave teenaged boys for the show!
A few days later we celebrated Charlie's third birthday with the family that was still in town.
The Ludlow Dance Parties
The Ludlow family (Alex's family) held two great dance parties this year, ( by dance parties, we obviously mean wedding receptions) for Christopher and Sara (Alex's brother), and for Kara and Andrew (Alex's cousin). This meant all those reliable Ludlow dancing genes could be put to excellent use alllllll night long. And trust us, the party did not stop just because the newly weds left the building!
Christopher and Sara were married in up in the newly dedicated Provo Tabernacle Temple in Utah. Marc and Alex had a great time exploring Marc's college stomping grounds in between festivities.
In May, Marc joined his brothers Ken and Doug for a brothers backpacking trip in Yosemite. They spent hours preparing- divvying up food rations, prepping gear and supplies, and weighing their fully loaded bags.
They spent 4 days out in Yosemite National Park, on and off marked trails. They even found a cabin that is not on any map but open to anyone who happens upon it. There were fresh bear markings and prints, rain and lightening storms, snow, and waterfalls.
The men came back with lightened backpacks and spirits.
If you were wondering what Alex stayed busy with in Marc's absence, well, she got right to work cleaning and re-sealing the grout throughout the house.
We spent Thanksgiving at home with Alex's family this year. It was our first year cooking the whole meal- even the turkey! Marc had a great time preparing the smoked turkey from start to finish, while the rest of us prepared the sides. We made way too much food for our small crowd, but our hearts and tummies were full when the day was through.
We had a wonderful time together reflecting on the many blessings we enjoy.
James turns 2!
James, ever our adventurer, is two years old!
He loves just about everything his big brother loves. His favorite words are "excavator", "Skid steer", and "quadcopter", which are impressively big words for a little person! I think a lady from church said it best, "He has a little sparkle in his eyes that seem to say, 'What's next?'"
We sure do love our James!
Christmas & New Years 2017
Our Christmas was spent celebrating with the Johnson clan. We enjoyed a lovely nativity by the grandkids and ate good food all weekend long.
For New Years we trekked our family up to the Bay Area to be with Alex's grandparents. We enjoyed the typical haunts such as the Oakland temple lights, Ghirardeli square, and Fisherman's Wharf, and the rest of our time was relaxing and eating (way too many) Grandma's cinnamon rolls. New Years Eve we went bowling with the greater Christensen family, and then we drove back home on New Years Day.