Thursday, April 29, 2010


Today in Julee's English class, they had a grammar activity where they had to complete a packet of questions about commonly confused words (i.e accept and except, there and their and they're, etc).  The first person to complete the packet correctly would win a prize.  In this class, the prizes usually consist of honey buns, brownies, nutty bars, and chips.  Today, however, was a different story.....
check out the winner with her winnings!

And the winner's speech: "Mom, can you believe I won 5 bucks just for being smarticles?!?"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

$6 - Gone With the Wind

The other night we made an impromptu trip to the mall just because we could.  We came across the latest in gimmicks to take your money $2 bucks at a time.  It's called a Hurricane Machine.  You deposit your $2, stand inside, close the door and the wind starts blowing gradually going from 0 to 79 miles/hour and then back to 0 again.  By the time it was all said and done we had blown not just $2, but $6! standing in the middle of the mall taking cell phone pictures of the wind blow.  Really?!? 

If you look in the background you can see how fast the wind is blowing.
Alexis thought this was the most hilarious thing ever.
A little windy Lekkis?
Julee's turn - she was a little less enthusiastic but ended up being a good sport about the whole thing. 
Please let this be over...please let this be over.....
Rick ended up wanting to try and Alexis just HAD to go again.
They all tried to get me to go next but I was all out of dollars. Darn!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

General Conference/Easter Weekend

This past weekend was so wonderful!  We had the opportunity to watch General Conference and celebrate Easter just the 4 of us.  It was nice to hang out at home eating our conference snacks and listen to the awesome messages from our leaders.  I usually come away from General Conference with 1 or 2 favorite talks; but I am still undecided as I loved so many of them and felt they were directly applicable to me.  I'm so glad that we can already access these words on the internet so that we can be buoyed by the Spirit again and again as we take these messages to heart!  After the last session on Sunday, we had a yummy dinner of ham, cheesy potatoes, and homemade rolls.  MMMMM......Here are a few snapshots of our great weekend:

Lots of sugar cookies to share with friends! A flower garden....
...a basket of eggs.....
...and bunnies and chicks running around everywhere!
A new tradition - a puzzle to work on while watching conference.
I didn't realize that something to keep their hands busy would help the girls stay so attentive. They were even commenting on what the speakers were saying.  I should have tried this years ago!
Some of the "girls" in the ward got together to color eggs while the "boys" attended the Priesthood session.
It makes for a fun late night party since the session is from 8-10pm local time.
Alexis' creations....Julee preferred to watch a movie with the other teens and I made the 3rd one on the top row for Rick.  It says "I luv U" around the egg.
The Easter bunny visited and even left a note on our fridge!
Thanks Grandma for supplying the egg hunt!  It was a fun surprise for the girls!  They were thrilled to see that Grandma had come through for them with money in the eggs!
Opening the eggs....and showing off the spoils.
As you can see, the Easter bunny is too busy too leave a pretty basket.  He just unloads his bag on our dining room table.  It looks like he went a little overboard again this year!
We hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as we did ours!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Awesome Brother-in-Law

Congratulations to my awesome brother-in-law Jay who was voted employee of the month at the urgent care where he works!  Good job Jay!!  Here is a copy of the letter they sent out to all the employees:

Please join us in congratulating Jay McKinlay, Patient Access Representative for Urgent Care Network Employee of the Month.
Jay was selected from among his peers in the following categories:

Humanity: His calm yet friendly demeanor puts people at ease. He consistently provides both patients and their families with comfort measures and assistance as though he were caring for his own family.

Safety: He ensures everyone s safety with his quick and thorough assessment of his surroundings. Patients are assisted and provided with masks, tissues and wheel chairs. He is always aware of the condition of the lobby and keeps it clean and free of hazards.

Teamwork and Excellence: He demonstrates both teamwork and excellence in all he does. This communication to team members and willingness to do whatever it takes to provide our patients with the best care is evidenced by the many favorable comments offered by them. They frequently compliment Jay s friendliness and willingness to assist them in anything they need to make their stay at La Paloma more pleasant and efficient. Each and every patient appreciates his direct and honest answers to their questions and the consideration given to their family.

Integrity and Service: Jay receives may calls at La Paloma and his phone skills are impeccable. He always listens to the customer and provides assistance and direction to their needs. He takes the time needed and never ends the conversation without making every effort to satisfy the caller. If further assistance is necessary, Jay will always put the caller in contact with the appropriate person who can immediately deal with their particular issue. AIDET is always Jay's primary concern.

Overall comments: Jay is often the first contact a customer has with La Paloma Urgent Care. I can think of on one more representable of NMC pillar of values. He is an asset to our organization in every way!

Jay was presented a plaque, $50.00 gift certificate, and 2 passes for a movie of his choice. There will be a perpetual plaque placed at each Urgent Care with his name and picture to be displayed.

Urgent Care Network Management

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Food Court"

On the same day that Julee was playing basketball at the church, Alexis was across town participating in the 2010 Odyssey of the Mind competition with her school team.  This is a great program that Alexis has been fortunate to participate in for 2 years now.  This year the "problem" was called Food Court.  The team had to create an 8 minute skit with an accused and an accuser who would be judged if a certain type of food would be helpful or harmful to our bodies.  All of the characters had to be food or related to food.  The true challenge is that the kids have to come up with the ideas, the skit, the plan, the props, and the costumes with very little or no help from any adults.  It is quite impressive what they come up with.  Alexis' team actually did a skit of a courtroom setting in which the tomato (Alexis) accused the pepperoni of being unhealthy.  All the other pizza toppings were the jury.  The judge ultimately determined that pepperoni was not unhealthy and the tomato lost.  Thankfully, the tomato and the pepperoni were able to get past their differences and remain friends.  The team gave a great performance and then spent the afternoon watching other teams perform while waiting to perform their spontaneous problem.

The best looking tomato we've ever seen
Alexis peeking through her coach and team
A grand performance
The team takes their bow
Isn't she so cute?
 We were so glad that the parents are not allowed to watch the spontaneous performance since we needed to get to the church to watch Julee play basketball.  On the way from Odyssey of the Mind to basketball, we stopped so Rick could help a sister in our ward with her computer.  When basketball was over it was back to the school to pick up Alexis.  We think life was easier when they were little and not running in all directions.  But we have to admit, we wouldn't change this for the world!  We are so proud of our great girls and all their accomplishments!

Church Ball!

A few weeks ago it was time for the Stake YM/YW Basketball Tournament.  The initial games are all played half-court so that 2 teams can play at once.  Boys on one side; girls on the other.  With 2 courts and 2 games starting every 30 minutes, there is a lot of basketball played in one day.  It is the ultimate social scene for the youth and 5 bucks will buy you nachos, soda, and more candy bars than you should consider eating in one day (or probably a week).  In all honesty, Julee DID NOT want to go, much less play.  But being the mean parents that we are, we vetoed her lack of participation and off to the church we went.  Well, for somebody who had only played basketball once in gym class at school, Julee really went out there and went for it.  We were rather surprised at the true athleticism that emerged from our quiet, laid back daughter.  We were glad to see that Julee figured that if she HAD to play, she might as well go for it.  Our girls' team ended up winning 3 out of 5 which was enough to get to the semi-finals.  A good job considering most of the girls on the team could have told you there was someplace they would rather be that day.
Julee's open ready to take the ball
She gets it and goes in for the shot
She takes the shot
Julee going for a rebound
Another shot for the basket
And yet another....
Julee with some of her teammates and their coach (the YW President)
Julee and her team in action