Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Birthday

Just wanted to give a big thanks to my wonderful husband who treated me to a wonderful dinner at Macaroni Grill and gave me a beautiful sweater and a gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants - P.F. Chang's for my birthday. Thanks for making my birthday such a great day. He is an awesome guy and treats me with so much love and respect. I am so lucky to be married to such an awesome guy. Love you tons!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! We hope that it will be one filled with many wonderful memories of good times spent with family and friends. We are so grateful to all of you for the many wonderful memories we created in 2008 and look forward to many more in 2009 with all of you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ring in the Bells
Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
December 13, 2008
We had the wonderful opportunity to go hear the Tabernacle Choir's annual Christmas concert with Mark's mom and dad. It was a wonderful evening. Before we headed to the concert we decided to meet for dinner. We went to the Little America Coffee Shop which is always a nice meal. While Mark & I were sanding in line to be seated the most awesome thing happened. President and Sister Monson came out of the restaurant. What a wonderful experience to see the Prophet so close and to feel his love for all of us. He greeted everyone with a friendly smile and even joked with some of the people. You could see the love radiate from him for each one of us. I must say that was the best part of the whole evening. I never would think that I would ever be that close to the Prophet of the Church. He is truly a man of God sent to direct the church for our days.

The concert was a very special treat. Brian Stokes Mitchell was the featured guest singer along with Edward Hermann who read an thoughtful story about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and how the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" came to be written. I never knew that he lost his wife to a house fire and later his son to a war injury. It was a touching story of despair and hope. It brought such a wonderful message of peace during these troubling times. It helped me to reflect on all that our Heavenly Father has given us and the peace of coming to know our Savior and his atonement can bring about joy we all are seeking for. I also enjoyed the wonderful songs that were sung by Brian Stokes Mitchel about being grateful and the joy of the Christmas Season. As always the choir is so awesome to listen to. It was a very wonderful evening and we were so glad that we were able to share this time with Mark's parents.

May we all reflect on the Birth of the Savior at this Christmas season. He is why we celebrate this beautiful time of year. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Val & Benda's 50th Aniversary

On September 8, 2008 Val & Benda celebrated their 50Th wedding anniversary. What a great honor is was to be able to celebrate such an occasion with them. Mark & I along with John, Tracy, Aaron, Aidan, Addison, Paul, Catherine, Hallie and Phil took them out to dinner and then had cake and ice cream at the home with some of the extended family.
They are a wonderful example to all of us. Their testimony of the Gospel is such a strength to each of us and I so enjoy learning from them as we share so many wonderful experiences with them. They have been such a great support to me with the passing of my parents and I am truly grateful that I have them in my life. They have been such great parents two 5 wonderful sons and one beautiful daughter. I have been truly blessed to have married into such an awesome family.

Our fun did not end there, a couple of weeks later we went on a cruise. We sure missed having Phil and Emily along but hope that next time they can join in the fun. Those of us from Utah took a midnight flight out to Miami were we met up with Dave & Kelly and Nate & Nancy. Our first day was spent on the ship cruising to our first stop. We spent the day eating, relaxing by the pool and enjoying time together.

Our first stop was the Grand Caymans where we swam with the sting rays and did a little snorkeling. The ocean was so clear and beautiful. It was so awesome being out in the middle of the ocean being surrounded by such incredible fish. Some of us were a little leary of doing it but loved every minute of it. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

Our next stop was the beautiful island of Roatan, Honduras where we took a van tour of the island and once again did some awesome beach time in the Caribbean Ocean.

Then it was on to Belize City, Belize. We spent the day doing a lot of awesome shopping. I loved bargaining with the locals and getting a taste of the wonderful culture there.
From Belize we headed to the beautiful resort island of Cozumel, Mexico. There we spent the day a a great beach resort where we snorkeled, ate yummy food, did a little sun tanning and swimming in the pool. After spending most of our day at the beach we headed into town to do some more shopping. What a great time we all had at the beach enjoying the last of the swimming in the Caribbean Ocean.

Our last day on the ship we celebrated the anniversary with a little cake at dinner. It was an honor to be able to spend the week with Mark's sibling and spouses but most of all to be able to honor to of the most amazing people I know - Val & Benda Neuenswander. Congratulations on some many wonderful years together and many more to come.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I wanted to pay tribute to my wonderful parents who are no longer with us here on earth
but will never leave out hearts!

They lived by example to all who knew them. They never shy'd away from service and was always willing to lend a helping had to those around them. They were true believers that when you were serving others you were in the service of God. I can not remember a time when someone was in need that they were not there to lend helping hand. They served faithfully in the church and touched many lives because of it.

They always made sure that they had time for their 5 daughters and supported us in all that we did. They made sure to be at all of our school and church activities and always put us first in thier lives. They made great sacrifices so that we could go on many wonderful vacations together and have lasting memories that bonded our family together.

They had a deep love for the temple and showed it by attending often and my dad was a faithful temple worker for over 13 years. It was such an honor for him to be able to serve every Tuesday night and always came home with a special spirit about him. Because of their great love of the temple and their willingness to teach us of its importance each of their daughters were married there. What a great tribute it was to them to know that we loved them and wanted to follow in their footsteps.

Their tesimony of Our Savior and His infinite atonement was unwavering. They not only beleived it but they applied it to there everyday lives. The had a deep rooted tetimony of the Book of Mormon and I can still seeing them reading and studyibng from that most sacred and true book. They followed the living prophet in all that they did in there lives. I am so grateful for their love of the gospel, their example of faith, hope and charity. I will always be grateful for the many things that they taught me.

I love them and miss them but know that I can live with them again because we are an eternal family. Iam grateful for my sisteres- Michele, Kristene, Cynthia, and Annette and for thier constent love and example to me. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family.

It's official
The Utes beat the Cougars 48-24.
A special thanks goes out to Max Hall for all the Pre-Christmas presents he sent the Utes way. BCS bound again!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hope you all enjoy!! Mark racing off to do a little snorkeling in the Carribean Ocean.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UTAH 11-0 VS BYU 10-1
NOVEMBER 22, 2008
4:00 MST

Well it is that time of year again where the rival in the Neuenswander household heats up. The big game is this Saturday against the BYU Cougars and Utah Utes. As many of you know we are a house divided when it comes to who we cheer for.

Mark is a big Cougar fan. He has season tickets to all of the football games and enjoys attending with his parents and bothers and nephews. He thinks that the Cougars will win this year but I on the other hand have a different idea.

My loyalties lie with the Utah Utes and this year they are once again undefeated and in the running for a BCS bowl game. I am lucky to have season tickets there and am able to attend the games with three of my sisters and spouses. The best part about each of us having season tickets is that we are always have tickets to the big game. I am sure it is the Utes year and that they will win and once again head to a BCS bowl game.

We still get along and are still speaking by the end o the week. The winner has to treat the loser to dinner so as to soften the defeat just a little. We have alot of fun with it and both enjoy being at the game together even if we are cheering for the opposit team.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Journey for the summer did not end in Mexico, upon returning we headed of to Washington D.C. for Mark's company sales conference. We stayed in the world famous Willard Hotel which is located two blocks from the White House. I am so proud of mark who worked hard to earn such a remarkable trip. It was especially nice because Mark's parents, Val & Benda were also there. It is fun to be able to travel with them often.
Our first night there we were able to hear from on our our Senators, Orrin Hatch. Later that night we were able to go to the top of the Washington Monument and see the view of the city at night. Tuesday afternoon we did some sight seeing and later that night we headed off to the Nationals-Phillies baseball game. It was a lot of fun to see the new stadium and as always relaxing to be at the ball park.
Above myself, Val & Benda.
Mark, Val & Benda enjoying a beautiful night out at the ball game.

Mark loves baseball and usually makes one of his trips around seeing a baseball game and on this trip to Washington he was able to see the Nationals/Phillies game and the weekend before I flew out he was able to go with his brother Paul and John to the Orioles game. He had another conference in DC and had to go to DC four days earlier than me.
The next day we had the opportunity to tour our nations capital. It is a hard ticket to get unless you make arrangements prior to coming. Thanks to Mark's work we were all able to enjoy the beauty of the capital. We also were able to see the Supreme Court building and the Library of Congress. After our tour on the Capital Mark and I went to the Smithsonian Institute of Native Americans then to a great
restaurant for some yummy Italian food.

The next day we went to some of the monuments around the town. We went to Franklin Roosevelt's, the Korean, Vietnam and World War II war memorials and then walked by the White House on our way back to the hotel. That night they had the closing banquet at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum where we got to spend the evening enjoying all the museum had to offer. I even was able to fly and F-16 in the simulator - it was awesome. On the final day Mark and I went to Arlington Cemetery to see the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldiers. It is my most favorite monument of all. It is such a quiet and surreal place and reminds me of the great sacrifice that our service men and women make so that I can have so many wonderful freedoms. It is such an honor to be a citizen of the United States of America and I thank all those who are willing to lay their lives on the line for me.

We had such a great time spending time together and being able to enjoy the wonderful sights of our nations capital.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Full Count

Our Full Count
Mark & I at the beach at Tulum.

What an great summer we were able to enjoy. In July we spent 15 days traveling through the Mexican Yucatan with my sister, brother-in-laws and some of my nieces and nephews . It was a amazing trip which we are so grateful to my Brother-in-law Shawn who made this wonderful opportunity happen. He made all the arrangements and did a ton of research so that we would have a splendid time together. We went to 23 Mayan Ruins, spent time at the beach, swimming in cenota's(spelling) and enjoying each others company. Mark and I spent the 15 days in a van with my four of my nephews, Spencer, Jarom, Greg & Phil and boy did we have a great time. We are so lucky that they enjoy spending time with there Aunt and Uncle.

With my sisters - Cynthia, Kristene, Annette, Michele & Myself.

Mark with our brother-in-laws, Doug, mark, Shawn, John & DeWayne

We were able to see may wonderful ruins. Some of them are El Balam, Coba, Tulum. Kohunlich, Xpujil, Calakmul, Balamku, Edzna, Uxmul, Mayapan, Chichen Itza and many more. We learned a great deal about the Mayan cultlural and how it relates to the Book of Mormon. It helped to strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the sacrifices that were made for the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus christ.

We also had some time to enjoy the beautiful beaches and cenote's. However, the first experience at the beasch was not the most favorite for me as I stepped on a sea urchin and had to have a little surgery preformed by my brother-in- law Shawn and my neice Rachel. They had to dig the sharp needles out of my foot. However, it did not spoil the trip or my ability to enjoy the Carribean Sea.

What a great experience it was to be able to enjoy the time with my family. It is truly a tribute to my parents to be able to spend time together as a family and to remember all that the taught us about making sure we stay close and to continue to make lasting memories together. I am grateful to them and the legacy they let. I am grateful to be an eternal family.