Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Christmas Lights - 2010

Here are our outside Christmas lights this year. Just documenting our decorations; click on the photos to see the exceptional detail. One of these years we are really going to show up the neighborhood...

The cat has decided that she likes relaxing on the couch closest to the tree. It hasn't been cold enough for her to grow a winter coat, so she is staying inside most of the time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Grinch!

In an effort to keep the Gardners culturally well-rounded, we went to see the
Broadway musical; "The Grinch who Stole Christmas" at Gammage. It was great! The music was fun, the actors were incredible. The guy who played the Grinch is the actor who was "Robbie Rotten" in the show "Lazy Town." (A TV reference for those of us with young children). Everyone had a great time, and it put us in the mood for Christmas!

Scuba for All !!!!!

We got a great deal on SCUBA lessons, so we had our kids get certified. They aced the written part (which was the tough part for some of us) and had a great time in the pool. The instructors said Ryan could pretty much be a dive master at this point; it was all very easy for him. Megan had a persistent head cold and couldn't clear her ears properly during the weekend training, and Cameron had some challenges clearing her mask underwater, so the girls went back for extra pool sessions. The bad thing is, now it is too cold to do their checkout dive in Lake Pleasant, so we'll have to do that when it warms up, or take a trip somewhere warmer. Then, we can start planning family dive trips! We are super proud of our kids, especially since we didn't even ask them if they wanted to get scuba certified.... we just told them they were going to do it.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Hello everybody! Its Ryan here and I am going to tell you about my recent volleyball tournament. On the 6th of November our YMCA volleyball team, the Attack Pack, went to the semi-finals championship game. Our first game started out kinda scary. We were down 18 to 5 and I was sitting out. We were missing easy points that we should have gotten and I wasn't sure if we were going to win. When I was put back in we got more aggressive. We came back and won that game and the next one, too. YEAH! On to the Finals!

Our game for the championship was one hour after the semis, against a team we hadn't played before. We had some downtime to watch the team we were going to play. They had excellent servers and one kid had a great spike! We were kind of scared but we had a better record than them, so we were kind of confident - maybe too much so. In the first game of the finals we were surprised to see how well they played. We lost a bunch of points in a row to their serving. At the end of that game we lost, the score was 25 to 18. Our confidence fell and we were scared that we would have made it this far but then lose it right at the end.

When we got back to playing our serving took over; one girl on our team would always bounce the ball off of the ground for a really long time before serving. At one point, I looked to the referee and saw him roll his eyes because of her bounces. We got many good volleys and it was quite fun. We won the second game, but just barely. The final score was 25 to 23, too close. For the third game we played to 15 points. It was now or never. We got really pumped and just took over the game. Next thing you know it was 14 to 6, game point for us. I was up to serve and was really nervous that I would mess it up. I got a good serve that barely went over the net. They jumped at it but couldn't return it. We were the champions!! Afterwards we got doughnuts and had a great time. My dad, our coach, thinks this was the greatest comeback in YMCA Volleyball history. We thought about changing our name to the Heart Attack Pack because the games were so close.

A Christmas Story

Once upon a time, in the far away land of Ahawatukee, Megan started a new show. OK so the first part is a little dramatic, but I really am in a new show. Well... not really new. It is "A Christmas Story." This is the classic story of Ralphie Parker and his persuasive techniques to get a new BB gun for Christmas. Its a cast of 10 people, and I play his Mom. I really do get to put soap in his mouth, we really do have a leg lamp, and it really will be amazing. I am the only teenager in the entire show, but it is so much fun! There are three adults, the Dad, the Narrator, and Ralphie's teacher Mrs. Sheilds. Then me. There are also two little girls, who are so cute. They are playing added characters to help keep the show moving nicely. The rest of the cast are four little boys. All energetic. The shows go up on the same weekend as my 17th birthday, December 3, 4, 5. Friday at 7:00, Saturday at 2:00 and 7:00, and Sunday at 2:00. Tickets are $15.00. I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday than doing what I love, performing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Hello, this is Cameron. So a couple of months ago we got a new car. Our driveway was too small we decided to add more to it. On Veterans Day weekend my whole family dug out all of the dirt and rocks. The next day Megan and Ryan had to go to school (I think they just wanted to get out of some work) so me, my mom, and my dad built the driveway. While my mom and dad were laying the bricks I was “Brick Girl.” I got to unload all of the bricks from two of our cars and bring them to my parents. It was hard because, we had two different size bricks and the cars were far from where I was carrying them. I also carried big bags of sand that weighed 60 pounds a piece. It was quite a workout! We had to go to Home Depot about 6 times. Like my dad always says “you can’t ever complete a project without going to Home Depot more than once.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vroom Vroom!

We dragged the kids out to NASCAR at PIR again. It was supposed to be chilly, but it was really HOT. I think we all got sunburned. Carl Edwards won, so Trish was happy. Here is a little video of the gang at the race.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sign of the Times

The family went to watch Cameron at a Gymnastics performance, and while we were waiting for it to start, we realized that each person was busy with their own personal communication device.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Desert Vista High School Football Rocks!

Gotta love high school football! (And the fact that our kids will still sit with us at a game!)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hawaii 2010

We climbed Diamond head... sometimes it was raining on us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Byodyo temple. Mike, Megan and Cameron got shot by an airsoft sniper in the bushes.

Mike ate his first Loco Moco ever. He said it " broke da mout. "

All the kids bought new shades at the Swap Meet at the Aloha Stadium; along with a bunch of other priceless souveniers!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Begins

With Megan and Ryan in Summer School, Cameron has been "bored." She hasn't even had Kreston and Conner to bug, with Kreston's baseball schedule, and Conner being with his Snowflake cousins most of the time so far. So, yesterday we had "Plant Washing Day" at our house. It was an excuse to get out and play in the water, and I got the silk plants dusted.

The Cat enjoyed having the ladder available to climb, and took the opportunity to check out the top of the bookcase. I wonder what I can get Cameron to clean today??

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ryan is on to High School!

Ryan graduated from 8th grade this week and is on to High School at Desert Vista. He starts next week, taking his first class during summer school. He got to lead the graduation in the pledge of allegiance, and also put together a slide show of artwork his classmates had created for the big finale.

Right after Ryan's graduation, we drove over to Kreston's graduation from 8th grade. It's hard to believe everyone is growing up so quickly. I will attach photos from the exciting evening. As usual, you can click on a photo to see it larger.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gila Valley Visit

We finally made it down to Thatcher, to see the new temple for ourselves. It is as lovely as everyone says it is. We got to see my Uncle Kent, who is in the Temple presidency, and also President Crockett, while on our tour. I didn't expect to see very many people we knew, but bumped into so many; folks from Thatcher, Pima, Holbrook, and even from our last ward in Tempe. It was a beautiful day, and Grandma and Grandpa Woods took us out for Casa Manana afterward. (Delicious icing on the cake!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

The sun is getting up earlier these days in our neighborhood.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Megan is heading to FL with her showchoir. We will miss her!

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Aloha! Another fun year at the Arizona Aloha Festival!

Cameron loves her Zhu Zhu pet...the rest of us don't understand it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pinkwood Derby

While her mom and dad were in Vegas watching the big racecars, Cameron was racing her own car in the Pinkwood Derby. She won a few and lost a few, but had a great time.

Beauty and the Beast

Ryan played "Cogsworth" the clock in Akimel's production of Beauty and the Beast in February. He was so cute, and did a great job. As always, you can click on the photos to view them larger.

We were so happy that Grandma and Grandpa Woods could come watch the play as well as Susie, Kreston and Conner. Kreston is pretty happy that he's as tall as Trish now, and still growing.

Megan's Showchoir

Megan is getting ready to go to Florida this weekend with her showchoir. They will be at Disney World, and get to do a workshop with the cast members while there. They had a parent preview show last weekend. I'll post part of a video (the camera quit halfway through) so you can see them in action. Click on the still photos to see Megan up close.

Nascar in Vegas

Trish got NASCAR tickets for Christmas, so she and Mike went last weekend. It rained and was freezing cold the whole day we were there. You could hardly see the Vegas strip because of the rain. At one point we went and sat in the car and listened to a book on CD, because we had to thaw out. Still, NASCAR is fun! We plan to go when it's in Phoenix in April and take the kids.

Catching up

Megan did get her drivers license the first week of February. She's turning into a great little driver.