Tuesday, January 2, 2018

In the blink of an eye... Alyssa Jo Phippen is Alyssa Jo McDonald

 This picture makes me so very 
It truly expresses every moment that day and the day before.
 Over the years, I have had many days filled with anxiety over this day.
Will she choose the right person?  Will he have a good family?  Will he be kind to her?
 I am pleased to say YES to every question.  
She married into an amazing family.  They love her as is she was their own.
Jake is so good to her and so patient.  
They are so happy together and it makes my heart so happy 
for them both to have found one another.

 Jake is so sweet to Miss Ashlynn.  I first knew I loved 
Jake for Alyssa by how sweet he was to Ashlynn.
He always makes sure to acknowledge her and make her feel special.
He knows Ashlynn has had a hard time with her sister getting married and leaving home and he goes out of his way to make it so she is happy about this step in her sister's life.
It's adorable.
 I love how happy everyone is for them in this picture.
It brought overwhelming joy to all of us how many people showed 
up to support this beautiful new couple.
 What a PERFECT way to start a new life together, knowing so many are cheering for you.

 I love how in so many pictures Jake is
 just staring at Alyssa with so much admiration.
How adorable are all these little boys checking out the new bride:).
The handsome groomsmen.

 I think JD became emotional more times this 
weekend than he has in the last 22 years of marriage.
I love how in this picture everything is being done to
 keep the bride warm and dry.
That is thanks mostly to Alyssa's new mother in law.
She is amazing and took care of every detail--including heaters to keep the bride warm.

Right before we thought we would all freeze, Elder Phippen called in to say hello to the new Bride and  Groom.  I am so happy Riley received permission to call.
This was such a fabulous moment.  
It made a perfect day that much more perfect!!

  July 21st 1995 JD and I were married in the Idaho Falls Temple.
The years went so fast, it feels like it was yesterday.
How are we bringing our daughter to be married at the same temple???
I am not sure what I thought my first daughters
wedding day would feel like, but it was a very JOYFUL day.
I absolutely love the new addition you have brought to our family.
 I love the family Alyssa was blessed to become part of. 
They joined her name with his and call her JaLyssa.
  I felt blessed as a mom from day one by how wonderful Jakes family was to Alyssa.
I fell in LOVE with  Jakes family
when I went over to visit right before the wedding.
They had all the stocking hanging on the wall.
One had Alyssas name in it and it matched all the others:).
They had it specially crouched to match the rest of the families.
 That sealed the deal...I LOVE THIS FAMILY!!!

You are perfect together.
May you always 
Have Courage, Be Kind
Live Happily ever after!!!

Happy 4th of July

Daxon and Alyssa were in Idaho for the fourth with family this year.
Yes, that means they got to hold Trishas 
perfect baby before I did.
The rest of us in Iowa went to Adventure land
Some of our friends were also at Adventure land.
The boys Graydon and Pen are some of Ashlynns favorite people.
As I talked to Nichole(the mom) I found out
they came because Ashlynn really wanted them to.
That is true friends:).

You can see that Britton is really loving this ride:).

Actually, I think it is picture taking that he really loves. 

This little girl could smile for pictures all day!!

We had such a fun day

I can't remember the name of this ride
 but it was the only one they waited in too long.
Nichole and Brooke got them Dippin dots
They loved it.

Loved this day.
Happy fourth of July

Friday, November 17, 2017

Trek 2017

 JD and I had the privilege of being the MA and PA for Pioneer
Handcart Trek this year.
 This is an exciting, kinda weird event that LDS 
people do to remember and commemorate their pioneers ancestors. A 20 miles (or so) route is mapped out and you get to take whatever will fit in a 5 gallon bucket.  The youth are grouped into "families" and you start walking:).
 JD and I had the greatest bunch of kids ever.  
They were nice to each other, helpful and a lot of fun to be around.

 Lunch was usually eaten by the side of the rode in the dirt.  
Today, it is summer sausage, cheese and crackers:)
 Until you have been on a handcart trek, you will never realize 
how many hills Iowa ACTUALLY has.  I always thought it was flat. 
It definitely isn't.

 Afternoons were spent playing  pioneer games

 and chillin' with friends:)
Daxon and Britton are such cute pioneers:).  

 Dinner was made from scratch in dutch ovens. 
(except for the night we had tornado warnings and were 
evacuated from our campground to the basement lodge.

 That night it was cooked over a stove in the kitchen:).
 I think my favorite meal was cooking pancakes on a skillet using coals.  
I did not even know this was possible.  The pancakes were delicious.
 I loved that the girls in our family were all so tough.  
They pushed/pulled as much as the boys.

It was a fabulous opportunity. I feel privileged to have been apart of this adventure.  Sleeping on a very uncomfortable ground, and pushing a handcart a few miles a day I know did not even compare to the life of a pioneer.  As fun as it was to experience, I am thankful I was not a pioneer:).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Backyard Adventures

 This Summer I bought a Backyard Adventure on Groupon.  I wasn't sure what it was when I purchased it, but it sounded like something fun to do.
   It took us to all these sculptures and monuments up around the State Capitol building.  We were amazed at all the interesting sites we had never been to or known about. 

 We were also surprised that we have lived here this long and we had never been to most of these memorials before.

 The ones we had been to before, we had never cared to investigate further.
The Backyard Adventures does the work for you, so that was fun. 
We enjoyed finding out how much history is tied to this area.

 The greatest part about this was being able to go on a treasure hunt as an adult. 
And someone else took the time to put it together:).

 It was a fabulous way to spend the afternoon.