Sunday, December 13, 2015


As part of our celebration of my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, some of us when on a Western Caribbean cruise.  My mom and dad, my brother Darin, my sister Melanie and her husband J.D., my cousin Janelle and her husband Heath, my cousin Devin and the four of us all set out on May 24 from Galveston, Texas.  We had one day of cruising before reaching our first port, Cozumel, Mexico.  It was difficult trying to find activities to do in the ports that would be suitable for the variety of ages we had in our group (ranging from 7-78). Because of this, we ended up on different excursions at a couple of the ports.  In Cozumel, Dave and the kids and I, along with my parents, went on a dolphin adventure that allowed you to be in the water with the dolphins.  They pulled each of us with their fins and then pushed us on the foot from behind while we were on a boogie board.  This was Haylie's dream come true!  She was the the first one to go in the group we were in and even though she had no idea what to do, she had a huge smile on her face and followed directions perfectly.  I hope she will always remember that.  Zander was a little worried about it so he only let the dolphin kiss his cheek.  They wouldn't allow cameras, and charged hundreds of dollars for the photos they took professionally so this is memory we will have to keep in our minds!  The others in our group went on a introduction to scuba excursion during our day in Cozumel.

We cruised overnight and when we woke up the next day we were in Belize City, Belize.  The others in our group went on a cave tubing expedition, but Zander was too small to go on it so we took the kids on a tour of the city which included an air boat tour of a fresh water marsh.  It was pretty low key, but it was interesting to learn some of the history of Belize and to realize how different it was from Mexico or other countries in Central and South America because it was under British rule instead of Spanish rule.  There was definitely a lot of poverty there.  The air boat was fun and the kids got to see an alligator up close and personal as it swam right next to our boat!

Another overnight cruise, and we wake up to find ourselves in Roatan, Honduras.  For this port, we all stuck together and went to a privately owned island.  The island, called Little French Key, was beautiful and included paddle boards, kayaks, snorkeling, plenty of beach chairs and hammocks, and a delicious local lunch. We all enjoyed our time here and wished that we had had some more time to spend there.  Haylie loved the snorkeling portion.  Zander loved playing in the sand and finally having some time to just do what he wanted!

We had two more days and three more nights of cruising to get back to Galveston on the morning of May 31st. During that time we ate...and ate some more.  Then we ate again!  We also found some time to try out the Flowrider (wave simulator), win the ship volleyball tournament, play mini golf, take in some great shows, ice skate, swim, and enjoy one another company. We also ate some more while we weren't busy with the other activities!  The kids spent some time in the kids deck where they have activities and supervision set up just for kids by age group.

Overall, it was a fabulous vacation.  Not many people get to say they visited 3 different countries during the summer!  It was a wonderful experience.  I am grateful I had the opportunity to go and to be able to take the kids too.  Going with my extended family was also tons of fun!  We will have to start saving to go again soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

50th Wedding Anniversary

This year, on April 23rd, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  We commemorated the event with a reception held in their honor.  All of my brothers and sisters took part in planning and carrying out the festivities, including a small family reunion with some of the Oberholtzer side of the family.  It was a wonderful experience to work with my siblings on this project.  I love them each so much and kind of miss the weekly group hangouts via internet that we had as the plans started coming together.  The event itself turned out to be fantastic. Lots of friends and family traveled to be there for the special night.  We also surprised my parents with a handmade quilt with the handprints of each of the children, spouses, and grandchildren.  I am grateful to be part of this family.  They have always been a strength to me in so many ways.  One of my favorite things to do is to get together with them all. I am also grateful for the wonderful examples I have in my parents.  I wish I knew their secret to raising a family that all gets along as adults!  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Presenting the quilt to Mom and Dad

Some of the Oberholtzer side of the family, including my dad's brother and sister, and some of my cousins.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Zander turns 7

I have no idea where the past 7 years have gone!  It is amazing how time just keeps marching on.  We celebrated Zander's birthday with a family celebration and then invited friends to the park for a party.  I put my cake decorating skills to the test and made a pretty sweet R2D2 cake.  I love my Z-man so much!  I can't believe how much spunk is in his little body!  He loves Legos, Star Wars, Video Games, and math.  He came to Earth with an extremely strong will that helps me hone my parenting skills.  It makes me wonder what kind of trials he will face in his life to have been blessed with such a strong will. I am sure he will do anything he puts his mind to.  I just hope he uses his powers for good and not evil!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Look at My Little Readers!!

I love that both of my kids love to read and this a common scene around the house.  I don't even have to ask them to read!  Sometimes I have to make them stop to do other things!  Love these two little nerds!

Zander's Hospital Stay

In January, Zander came down with a stomach flu.  He would be sick all night and then by the next afternoon feel better so I kept thinking he was getting better.  Then the next night he would be sick again.  This went on for a few days. Haylie got sick during that time and got over it in a day so when Zander still wasn't better we took him into the doctor.  The doctor told us that some stomach flus that were going around were lasting for 6 or more days.  We were on day 4 so we figured we had a couple more days to tough it out.  Finally, after a week, I took him back into the doctor because he wasn't keeping anything down and was becoming dehydrated.  The doctor told us that he didn't like what he was seeing and wanted to admit him to the hospital right away.  I went into a bit of a panic.  I was supposed to be to work to teach school in about 30 minutes and I was worried about what was wrong with Zander.  Thankfully, I worked with a wonderful team teacher who rounded up a sub and made up some lesson plans, and Dave met us at the doctor's office and calmed me down a little.  Usually in cases like these, it is a matter of  rehydrating for a day and then things start to turn around.  He ended up in the hospital for 5 nights.  Even after having the IV and getting rehydrated, he still was having diarrhea and throwing up.  We had blood tests, xrays, and ultrasounds and on paper he was the picture of good health.  The only thing that we didn't have back were some of the stool culture tests.  Finally, things started to look up and he started eating more and keeping it inside and we finally got to go home.  We found out later that the culture that tested rotavirus came back positive.  Rotavirus is a pretty common virus that many people get.  We figure that it hit him hard because he had recently been on antibiotics so there was no bacteria in his stomach to help fight off the bug.  I am so thankful for good health!  I am also thankful for modern medicine that is available to us.
Zander feeling better finally!

He was one sick little guy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Christmas 2014

We spent Christmas at home this year and had a great time.  The kids are at fun ages and I enjoy making these fun memories with them.  The main gift they got this year was stuff for Dave to build a playset in the backyard this spring.
Zander with Santa at the ward party

Haylie with Santa at the ward party

Getting these guys to pose for a good picture is impossible!!