Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Like the song says, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas. I love to decorate my home, I love the good food, the lights, the music (I start playing Christmas music in November) the parties, and most of all the family time. Holli and John and Lexi were the first to get here on Friday, December 19th. And of course, John, Lexi, and Jeff had to go to the Las Vegas Bowl and watch the BYU vs U of A game on Sat. We're not sure who John cheered for, but Lexi's cheering for the cougs was all to no avail. But they had a good time.

Holli was sick, so she stayed home with Rhys, while I took Donna Noto with me to The Forgotten Carols in St. George. I had purchased the tickets to this back in late October thinking Jeff and Lexi would go with me. Can you believe they chose the football game in the end??? But Donna and I had fun. I just felt bad leaving Holli at home.
Hill and Keith arrived next with their crew on Sunday, and then Jake and Liz and Joshie got here on Christmas Eve at about noon.
Here we are preparing the feast for Christmas Eve. We are making our family's Swedish tradition of "Crook Cracks" (don't know where the name came from, but they are even called that in the Scipio cookbook, so I know Rod didn't make this one up) which are meat dumplings.
Then we decorated cookies with the Grankids, which Sareny had been patiently waiting for all day.
Cassidy and James were the only ones unable to be here, and we missed them so much! We called them lots, and guess what they were doing on Christmas Day? Yeah, going to the beach. We were jealous, as we had one of the coldest spells ever during that time. We still managed to have fun though.
Rhys was adorable in his Santa suit.
Bampa and Grammy Jo enjoyed all the Grandkids. Here's Bampa with Finley (one of the rare moments when she wasn't smiling) and Rhys. They are so sweet!

Sareny to Primary Teacher: My friend Lexi goes to college and blah blah blah (who knows what all she said)
Primary Teacher: Isn't Lexi your Aunt?
Sareny: No, she's my friend.
Lexi is the best Auntie ever to all the kiddos. But Sareny is especially lucky to have an Aunt who lets her follow her EVERYWHERE, and lets her sleep with her (sideways, kicking her in the back or face all night) and gives her baths and does her hair. And Sareny does love her Lexi!
Here are all the kiddos acting out the Nativity. Notice the Star of Bethlehem above the little angel (Joshie). Isaac was the shepherd, Sareny was Mary, Finley was baby Jesus, Rhys was the Wise Man, and Lexi was Joseph, but I think she was taking this picture. One might wonder why Rhys didn't play the part of baby Jesus, and the answer is that he is a little chunkier than Finley and Bampa deemed the manger not sturdy enough for a sturdy boy. Oh, and Keith, also not pictured, was the little donkey Mary rode on. Very cute performance on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning came too early! Sareny looks like she's about to say, "It's just kinda hard." (Family joke. That's what she said to me last Christmas about opening so many presents!)

Isaac loves his new bike.

Joshie on his cute new trike.

Later on Christmas Day we blessed Rhys Christopher Ronquillo, while all the family was here.
We were all holding our breath that Rhys wouldn't fuss during the blessing. He was very good, and John gave him a beautiful blessing.

The whole gang. Family friends, the Noto's were there also, but somehow I didn't end up with a picture including them. Sorry Noto's.

Two cuties!
A few pics from our one outing at the park when the weather was semi-decent.
Cute little Finny Lynn.

Grammy Jo swinging with Finley.

Holli Jo with the Air Hog tangled in her hair. (John, stop laughing!)
Hillari and Finley.
Bampa helping Joshie ride his trike.
Isaac coming down the slide.
Rhys bundled on Mom's shoulder.
Sareny riding her big girl bike.

Even though I got really sick for part of the time, I still had a wonderful time with my family, and I hope they did too. I love them all so much. We missed Cassidy and James and hope they too enjoyed the season.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Mom's Birthday

I never got a chance to post a blog about the special birthday weekend that my sister and I planned for Mom's birthday the end of October, so I am playing catch up here. It was such a fun and wonderful weekend that I can't just let it go without a few pictures and comments. Mom turned 79 this year (don't tell her I told everyone her age!) and she is still so fun to be around! Her and my sister came to my house on Thursday, Oct. 23. I took the next day off from work and we spent the day having fun scrapbooking together, eating, and just talking. That evening we rented "27 Dresses" and ate treats while we watched the movie. Saturday morning we went to Las Vegas and went shopping for most of the day, then went to Cheesecake Factory and had the best fish tacos ever! Jeff was a trooper and took us to every store we wanted to go to and patiently waited for us.
Here we are scrapping.
This is us on Saturday morning before we headed out.

The highlight of the day was taking Mom to see "Phantom of the Opera" at the Venetian.

Jeff and I had actually seen it before, but we were happy to see it again with Mom and my Sis. I was a little worried that Mom wouldn't really like it, but she loved it! It made me so happy that she enjoyed it so much. She still talks about that weekend and how much fun she had with us, and especially how much she enjoyed Phantom. My Sister and I decided we need to do something like this every year at least once, if not twice. Mom doesn't get out and do things like this often, so we want to do fun things with her for as long as we can.

Sunday morning we took this picture before we left for Church. The next morning we had to say goodbye as they headed back home. What a fun time we had together! I love my Mom and Sister so much and am so glad they got to come down for such a memorable weekend. Hopefully we will get to have many more, but I don't know if we can ever top this one in Mom's eyes!

Monday, November 24, 2008

We're State Champs!!! (Back to Back!!)

Last Saturday in Las Vegas we played the Truckee Wolverines for the Nevada 3A State Championship, and we won, 35 to 16!!! We kicked their trash! This is the second year in a row that the Pirates of Moapa Valley have won State in football, a feat that has not been done by our football team for 40 years! As you can imagine, we're pretty excited! Truckee High School happens to be a California school, so it is very disheartening for us if they happen to win a Nevada State Championship. (It's happened before.) Don't even ask how come a California team is playing for our State Championships, it is a long story. But needless to say, they didn't win it this year!

There was lots of hugging and celebrating after the game

I'm pretty proud of Coach Keel!

As is tradition when a team from Moapa Valley wins a State Championship, we had a big, long parade of cars, ambulances, busses, police cars, and fire trucks all with lights flashing, sirens and horns blaring, winding down the Valley from the top of the freeway at 11:30 at night. It's really quite a sight. Anyone who wasn't in the parade with their car was standing in their yard cheering and waving, or standing there flashing their porch light! It's small town at its best! I have been known to blow the fuse in my car from honking all the way down the Valley! (I think that was the year Cassidy won State in Volleyball.)

After we turned around in the store parking lot, everyone headed up to the high school so we could ring the victory bell, and I mean everyone! The crowd was huge. The head coach and Jeff got up on the bell and said a few words as well. After that, the coaches all went over to the head coach's house and I made "chicken hinders" for everyone, which is also kind of a tradition. It's just bread with the center cut out and an egg fried in the middle, but everyone loves them. We partied until 2:00 a.m.!
This is Jeff ringing the victory bell.

Jeff coaches with four guys that he taught and coached when they were in high school. They've all said it is a little intimidating to now be coaching with their coach! But they all love each other like brothers. And he is having the time of his life and still loving coaching.

This morning in the assembly the head coach, Brent Lewis, (the one holding the trophy) paid the greatest tribute to Jeff, and the entire school gave him a standing ovation. It had us both in tears. It's been quite a ride for the last 35 years, and it looks like it aint over yet! He says he still has a few more years of coaching and teaching left in him!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Mania

Yes, I will admit that I too am a fan of the "vampire" books, and tonight I went to the movie with some of my girlfriends, although Jeff probably would have gone to it with me. But he was off at a football game with the guys, so he's a happy camper. While I didn't go all out like some and wear a special shirt that said something really dumb like, "My Husband Has My Heart, But Edward Has My Neck," (Sorry if I just offended anyone out there who actually does have such a shirt) I did totally enjoy the movie!!! At least one of my children, or perhaps two counting Jake, (who I'm sure would never go to the movie or read the books,) thinks these books are ridiculous and doesn't like them. I won't mention any names, but she and I had quite a fun time laughing about the time her and her husband accidentally happened upon the book opening at a book store and women in prom dresses with fake bite marks on their necks were lined up for miles to get to it. Really. Fake bite marks. I am laughing out loud as I write this. I really wish I would have thought to suggest to my girlfriends that we all do that for the movie tonight. (Supposing any of us could find a prom dress to fit us. And just how do you make fake bite marks on your neck?)We would have laughed all the way there just thinking about that! But the thing is, we all totally enjoyed the movie, and I highly recommend it. You don't have to love the fact that Cedric Diggory is Edward. I didn't, particularly. But he grew on me............All in all, it was a lot of fun. Maybe I can do the fake bite mark thing if Jeff and I go later on............hehehe!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


No, not in O-Town. But a few weeks ago we drove to the cool country to see the beautiful fall leaves, and got there on the day they had the first snow storm of the season! It was a little cold and we were unprepared. But we had a fun day and saw some beautiful scenery. Here are a few pictures.
Of course Jeff always wears shorts, but still, I think he was feeling the cold a little!

This pic doesn't do this scene justice! It was soooo beautiful. You can't see the snow, but it was coming down like crazy.
The leaves were almost gone, but it was still gorgeous, and a wonderful day.

This last picture has nothing to do with our little day trip, but I wanted to share with you this cute Thanksgiving centerpiece I made tonight. I thought it was adorable. I can't take credit for the idea.......I saw it on the internet. But it literally took less than five minutes to put together with stuff I already had.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm A Little Behind . . .

I haven't had much time to update recently, but I didn't want to pass over Jeff's Mom's 80th birthday party, which we were in charge of planning. I was quite stressed out about the whole thing, but now that it is over I think I can say that it all went over very well.

The two things that I really stressed over were a slide show that I put together of pictures from her life, which in the end turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself; the second thing was a scrap book that I made, and asked all the guests to bring a favorite memory of her to the party, and then I put them all together in the book for her. I spent hours on it, and I just barely finished putting all the memories and pictures in it this weekend. I love how it turned out, and I hope she will realize all the time and love (not to mention money) that went in to the making of it. Sometimes people who don't scrap book don't realize how much of yourself you put in to something like that! Anyway, everything was fabulous, and I am definitely glad it is over.

Here we are working in the kitchen.

Lexi has always looked a lot like her Grandma with her dark hair and brown eyes. Dawnetta was also a very pretty girl at Lexi's age.

It was really a nice day, and it was fun to see everyone and visit with people we hardly ever see. Hillari and Keith aren't in this picture because they had to get on the road to Washington.

After the party and inevitable clean up afterward, Jeff, me, and Lexi headed to Salt Lake where we spent the night at my sister's house, then got up early the next morning to go to the first session of the Sunday session of General Conference.

Lexi and I with our umbrellas. It was rainy and cold!

After the session, in front of the conference Center.

I love going to Conference and being right there in the same room with the Prophet. And I have to say that Mo-Tab sounds way better in person! After the session we went to see Jake and Liz's new house that is under construction, and have dinner. We took Lexi to her apartment, said goodbye to her, then we headed to Scipio to spend Sunday night at Mom and Dad's and visit with them Monday. I don't get to see my parents often enough, and nothing makes me happier than to be with them in Scipio. Dad came in from working and suggested we go up to the Lake to check on some cows, so we piled in his truck and went to the Lake. But he kept on driving and ended up at Maple Grove, one of my favorite places in the Fall. I wonder if he knew how much I would love to do something like that? We were only sorry we didn't stop to pack a picnic. Here are a few pics of the beautiful fall leaves.
This is my Mom and Dad, Don and Phyllis.

Me and my honey.

We had a great time and a fun weekend, but we were pretty tired and glad to get home Monday night.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Was Tagged

Recently Gina tagged me and I was supposed to post the 4th picture in my 4th folder, so here goes:

Well look at this. It turned out to be this darling photo of little Finley Lynn. She was only a couple of weeks old in this picture, and I love this little strawberry outfit that I gave her, and which Lexi makes fun of! I think she looks cute as heck.

The other thing I was supposed to do is tell 6 quirky things about myself: (This is hard!)

1. I am a germ freak. I don't like to share drinks, and I refuse to touch anything in a public restroom, including but not limited to: the door knob (I use a paper towel or wait for someone else to open it. I have stood pretending I was primping in front of the mirror so I could wait for the lady washing her hands next to me to open the door, then I make a run for the door!), the faucet, (again, paper towel. And get enough so you can dry your hands after washing.), the toilet seat (hover), and the toilet flusher (I use my foot, or tissue.) I would NEVER set my purse on the floor or counter. Needless to say, the touch free faucets and self flushing toilets are my friends.

2. I am afraid of the dark and always have been. I hate to be alone at night. If Jeff is away I have to leave a light on all night, and I never sleep good. If I am home alone at night, I almost can't force myself to go downstairs in my basement. It always amazed me that my kids could stand to sleep down there ALL BY THEMSELVES, and were never scared. P.S. I don't think they know this about me. Guess they do now.

3. Fall is my favorite season and I love the changing of the leaves. Unfortunately where we live we don't get much color, so we make an annual trek up to Cedar City for my birthday if we can, where I get to see the beautiful reds, golds, browns etc. I love it!

4. I collect Nativity Scenes. I have some really unique ones. I have a beautiful one Holli brought home from China; Jake brought me one from Chile. Hillari gave me a Hawiian one, and one year Keith made me a chocolate one! I have bought them on trips we have taken, and I have several that I made myself. I treasure each one. Even though it is a lot of work to get them all out each Christmas, I still love to display them.

5. I love potato chips, especially flavored ones like BBQ or Chili Cheese. My all time favorites are the really thick ones that are salt and vinegar falvored. Mmmmmmm! But I almost never buy them. I can't have them in the house or I eat them!

6. I have to keep my toenails and fingernails painted at all times. I do them myself, and I am religious about it. I do my fingernails once a week, and my toenails about once a month, depending on how long the previous job lasts. Sometimes it is longer than that. I especially love shades of pink polish.

Okay, that's it. As if everyone didn't think I was pretty weird already...................Now you know all my quirks. I am tagging Lexi, Holli, Cass, and Hillari (even though Gina already tagged her and she hasn't done it yet.) Get on it girls!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Busy Times

For any of you who think that once you are our age, things slow down and you get to enjoy life more, think again. We have been so busy this is the first I have had to share a few pictures with you. First of all, Jake, Liz, and Josh came to visit a few weeks ago.
I love this picture of Joshie. He was so fun this weekend. Of course, like all the grandkids, he loves his Bampa best, but he did warm up to me a little too!

This was a couple of weeks ago when it was still pretty hot, so in the early evening we took Josh outside to play for a bit. I thought this was a pretty cool picture of Jake and Liz, if not for our neighbors lovely dumpster in the background..........But even still.

Joshie and Bampa playing football. Josh loves, and I mean loves, footballs and basketballs. As long as he has one in each hand, he is happy and needs no other toys. Also when you ask him something and he doesn't know what you're talking about, or even if he does, he says "basketball." He's so darn cute!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Dare He?

The above title must be read in a thick Scottish brogue, as said by Harrison Ford in one of the Indiana Jones movies......I can't remember which one. But anyway, a week or so ago Jeff and I went to a movie in Mesquite. As we were standing at the counter ready to pay, Jeff, apparently seeing a sign indicating senior citizens get a discount, asked the young kid at the register what the senior age was. The kid glanced at both of us and casually said, "you qualify" and rang up the amount. As I was just about to say, "Now wait just a darn minute here!" I noticed that it was quite a substantial savings, sooooooo .................I kept my mouth shut. But really. He didn't even think about it. He could have acted like he wasn't quite sure, since we look so young! And I am sure we are no where near the "senior cit" age! Next I guess we'll have to start eating at Denny's, since I know for a fact that they give a senior discount................

Friday, September 19, 2008

They Never Learn

Okay, what is it about grown men who do things like this? This is Jeff at the Back to School Bash acting like he is still young enough for this not to hurt. After the slip and slide he entered the cannon ball and belly flop contests and is probably quite proud that he won the cannon ball one. I got there late, so he had already hurt himself on the slip and slide (we think he cracked a rib) so my question to him was, "Then why did you do the cannon ball and belly flop contests AFTER that?" His response: "The kids wanted me to." So he basically caved in to 18 year old peer pressure. There is something about him that will not admit that he is now 56, and possibly too old to be doing these kinds of things! All I know is that I know my limitations! I would not have done any of those things when I was 18, let alone now. Of course the fact that the Quarnbergs are not good swimmers may have had something to do with that, but still. Maybe that is why he didn't bat an eye when he turned fifty..........I cried for months prior to my 50th birthday, but not him. Now I know it is because he still thinks he's 20!
It does kind of look fun, but yet not.

Jeff and fellow coach Shane Hickman (also a former student, AND 2 decades younger than him. But just for the record, Shane got hurt too!)

The belly Flop. Ouch!

The thing is, he did have a great time, and the kids love him, but he is still paying the price with the aches and pains. As we were hobbling off to head home, and all the kids were high fiving him, I quietly told him to totally act like he wasn't in mortal pain until we got to the car!