Thursday, December 27, 2012

All Roads Lead to ....where ?

     This was our off year for Thanksgiving. All but one of our kids go to their in-laws. So we decided to have Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We were sad that Joey couldn't make it because he had class on Monday. Dinner was delicious. Everyone contributed which made it really easy. Kelsey flew in just in time to join us for dinner. Then Warren and I left on the following Wednesday to go to Italy. We were totally pampered in first class seating the entire way there and back, which was such a treat. When we landed in Rome Thursday morning we hopped on a train that took us to the main train terminal and then we took another  train to Florence. It was very crowded but very clean and super fast. It was so fun to travel through the rolling hills of Tuscany. We took a cab directly to our hotel. It was a Hilton Garden Inn which was very modern and in a nice area. We spent two days in Florence. We used buses to get around which worked out perfectly and was very inexpensive. On the second day we went to see Michelangelo's statue of David. It was something I had always dreamed of seeing. It is truly magnificent perfection in art. If that is all I got to see on this trip then it was worth it. That and his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome are spiritual experiences. We visited the Vatican the last time we were in Italy. We were not allowed to take pictures which was my only regret. We loved walking the streets of Florence and had some amazing gelato there.
     Saturday we took the train back to Rome. We sat with a couple from Turkey. The husband spoke perfect English but the wife didn't' speak any. He had gone to school in the states and was a Coke a Cola  rep. It was really fun to talk to them. We all have the same concerns about our  children and life no matter where we are from or what religion we are. We got to our hotel after dark so our day was pretty much done. We stayed at the Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria which is in a very quiet part of Rome. It sits up on a hill and you can see all of Rome from your balcony. We were in heaven. Thank goodness for Hilton Honors points which Warren earns all year from being out of town so much. I think it cost us $18 to stay there. What a deal. We discovered a local restaurant near the hotel which was so great. They were so nice and made excellent food. It was called Luciano's.
     Sunday we went to church. It was so fun. We attended the same ward the last time we were there. They had head sets for us to wear and the missionaries translated for us. After church we met one of the sister missionary's who was leaving to go home. Her parents were there to pick her up and they were from Mesa. They flew back on the same plane as us. Two of the other missionary's went part way with us to help us find the site for the temple that is being built there. They took pity on us when I told them I needed very detailed directions for us to be able to find it. Once they got us started it was pretty easy. We took two metros and 3 buses to get there. We had to look at it from the roof of a mall that is across the freeway from it. It took us several hours to get there and we spent all of 5 minutes looking at it and taking pictures. Then we hopped back on the bus and started back. We got back so much faster than we did going. We went back to the hotel and hung out until 8pm for our favorite restaurant to open. Italian's eat dinner really late so most nights we ate desert before dinner because we were so starving, either gelato or some great deserts at the hotel lounge.
     Monday we spent exploring Rome. We went to the Pantheon, the Jewish Ghetto and the Trevi Fountain. These were all places that we didn't get to see the last time we were there.  We had a great day and only got lost a couple times.
     Tuesday we flew home. We left Rome at 11:00 am and landed in Phoenix at 9:45pm the same day. It was a total of almost 16 hours flying. By the time we got on the plane in Philadelphia we were so done with flying. The last 5 hours our the hardest part of the trip.
     We had such a great trip but it is always so nice to come home. Sorry for the long travel log but everyday brought us new adventures of which we will never forget.

Loving first class.

Duomo di Firenze

Dates back to 1296. 
I expected the Volturi to come out at any minute.
Not the best picture but a beautiful sunset from an amazing bridge with buildings on it in Florence.
Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria in Rome..
Our beautiful room.
 A room with a view of Rome.
A delicious pool side breakfast every morning. Doesn't he look so happy?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple under construction in Rome. 
The Pantheon built around 126 A.D.
The dome inside the Pantheon. They used to sacrifice animals inside this cathedral which is why there is a hole in the top for the smoke to escape. 

I love the cobblestone streets.

The restaurant we ate lunch at in the Jewish ghetto.

This was built around 23 B.C.

The Trevi Fountain. There is a tomb under this fountain where they bury all of the internal organs of all of the dead popes. There bodies are on display in St. Peters Basilica in glass tombs.
 The next morning we flew home. This is our second time to Rome but we still have places there that we didn't get a chance to see. Rome is an amazing city with so much history and things to do. We had such a great time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

God Bless America

I am sitting at home tonight by myself watching the election results on TV. It is hard for me to watch it. I have never cared so much about an election as I do this one. So I am working on my blog to keep me busy plus I am long over due in posting something new.
I have been out of town more in the last month than I have been at home. So I thought I would share pictures from our different travels since September.

The farmer's market in Lincoln.

The Lincoln Trail.

Winter Quarter's Temple.
Omaha, NE

General Conference

The Bay Bridge.
San Francisco, CA
Beautiful San Diego Temple.
So much yummy food.
PF Chang's
LaJolla, CA
Roughing it while waiting for Kris to finish Kokoro Camp.
Carlsbad, CA
We were so proud of Kris. He had just finished a 50 hour straight boot camp, called Kokoro Camp, which was extremely challenging and based on actual Navy Seal training.
We were so happy to see him finish it all in one piece. 
A beautful foggy morning run in Lincoln.
A very cold 11 mile run  on the Lincoln Trail
Frozen to the bone. 
A beautiful sunrise run for our last day in Lincoln.

I love running on this trail with my favorite running partner. 
President Barack Obama is announcing he has won his second term in the 2012 Presidential election. This is not a happy day. Forgive me if you voted for him. I am grateful to live in a country where we are free to choose who we want to lead us. I will pray daily for President Obama to lead our country with wisdom and correct judgment because our country has never needed a strong leader who will make righteous decisions more than it does now.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

I recently made these tasty bites.  They are really good to keep in the refrigerator for when you need a quick healthy snack.  I found the recipe on the blog How Sweet It Is  which is one of the ones I follow and is linked to mine on the right of the screen.  She has more pictures showing how they are made if you want to check it out.


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup sliced almonds chopped or slivered almonds chopped
2 T.  chia seeds
1/8 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup + 2 T. creamy peanut butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 cup + 1 T. honey
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T. mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup ground almonds, to roll the balls in

Combine oats, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir.

Melt peanut butter and allow it to cool slightly (I melted mine in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stirred), then stir in honey and vanilla until combined. Once penut butter has cooled a bit, pour it over the oat mixture and mix well with a spoon then bring together with your hands. Once mixture is sticking together, fold in chocolate chips.

Roll into one inch balls or I used a medium cookie scoop then roll in ground almonds or ground peanuts work too.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Absolute Adorableness

The youngest member of the LeSueur family. Jim and Meghan's little sweetie. She was 4 1/2 months old in this picture.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grandparents Day

We had so much fun with our sweet granddaughter today. It was grandparents day at her school so we got to go have lunch with her. She lucked out because her grandma Arlene from St. George was here for a visit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Memories

July is over. It was such a fun month. The best part about it was being with family and getting out of the Arizona heat. Kelsey and Joey returned back from China on June 21st and have been staying with us until they leave for law school. It has been great to spend time with them. Joey didn't cut his hair while they were in China so he had Marianne cut it as soon as he could.

We had a welcome home party for the world travelers. It was so fun to have everyone together. JT was the only one not there. He had to leave before they got home because his summer school class at BYU started before they got back. They finally got to see him while we were in Solana Beach. We had JT fly to San Diego for the 4th of July week so they could see each other because they will be gone to school before JT gets home in August.

Cute cousins.

Aunt Kelsey.

We spent the 4th of July week in Solana Beach. We love just relaxing and going to the beach. Solana is a very layed back beach town in the middle of the very busy San Diego area. It is close enough for Warren to be able to stay there while he is working in Cali every week. The condo we stayed at was way to small for all of us but it was still fun. The condo we have rented in the past has been sold and is no longer available for us to rent. We are so sad. Now we will be on the hunt to find another great place to escape to in the summer. 
Happy girl.
Fun in Solana Beach.
Yummy sand.

Staying warm.
Uncle Joey digs fun holes.
Just chillen
4th of July cuties
Anxiously awaiting the fireworks to begin.
Happy Birthday America!

Our sweet granddaughter's first birthday was July 21st. She is always so happy and full of energy. She is pure joy.
She loved the blanket I made her.
Her first birthday.
Her very own cupcake.
The next week we flew to Oregon to stay with Kris and Tiersa in a house they rented in Cannon Beach. It had been a few years since we had been there. It is my favorite place on earth. I love the Oregon coast. We had so much fun. There is nothing better than wearing sweatshirts to stay warm in the middle of summer. I love it. 

Our favorite fruit stand on the way to Cannon Beach.
So good !!!!!

Tillamook Cheese Factory.
Manzanita Beach.
Looking for starfish.
Love it !

Down town Cannon Beach.

Pizza Feta.

It is always so hard to say good bye.

We got home late on a Monday night from Oregon and early Wednesday morning I had to leave for Young Women's Camp. We went to Parker, AZ and stayed in a very nice home on the Colorado River. It was my kind of camping a comfortable bed, running water, & air conditioning. It was the best camp ever. The girls and the leaders had a great time.

The best young women in the world !