Super Surprising Valentine

Valentine’s Day around our house isn’t a super-romantic holiday, but Manina usually does fun things for our kids to let them know we love them.

This year started with a yummy breakfast of homemade waffles, strawberries, and buttermilk syrup. And it wouldn’t only get better.

That evening we had the sister missionaries over for heart-shaped pizzas and salad. After they left, Manina handed out a little treat bag with a pretty big surprise inside. You see, we stumbled across a smoking deal on airline tickets to Maui (only $320 round trip!) and decided to take our entire family on a trip! We had been keeping it a secret for a few weeks and Manina could hardly wait to tell the kids. She couldn’t sleep the night before Valentine’s Day because she was so excited.

Here is what the gift looked like:

And here is the reaction from the kids:

We are so excited to go back to the Aloha state and bring our kids with us this time. Obviously, they’re pretty excited too. Maui, here we come!


Drew Turns Ten

Drew is a pretty easy-going kid. We had to celebrate his birthday a couple days early due to some big celebrations with his Grandpa Mike’s 70th birthday planned. But Drew didn’t mind at all. He’s all chill.

We lucked into some Jazz tickets, so Drew and I went up to downtown Salt Lake City to the game as a birthday activity. The Jazz didn’t play well and ended up losing but it was fun time together.

We took Drew out of school on Friday to take him to lunch wherever he wanted. He chose Chick-Fil-A, but he couldn’t stay long because he needed to get back to class to get his math homework — he’s a great student too!

While we were at lunch, I took the opportunity to interview Drew to find out what his life is like as a ten-year-old. Here is what I learned:

What are your favorite things?

  • Subject at school: Computers. Definitely.
  • Breakfast cereal: Cocoa Puffs
  • Musical artist: Maroon 5
  • Homemade meal: macaroni and cheese
  • Restaurant and meal: Chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A
  • Soda: Sprite
  • Candy bar: Twix
  • Game on iPod: Roblox

If I gave you $1000 to spend, and you can’t save it, what would you buy? A laptop.

What is something you want to accomplish at 10? Get my Faith in God award.

What book you most recently enjoyed? Diary of a Wimpy Kid:Getaway

Who are your close friends: Rigby, Mason, Micah, Smith, Miles, Andrew, Brandon, Sam.

What is your shoe size? 5.5

How tall are you? 4’5”

How much do you weigh? 65 lbs

Who is you favorite soccer player? Ronaldo

What is your dream car? Lamborghini

Do you have a crush? No! (Followed by blushes and denials.)

We stayed home that night and played games as a family, which was what Drew wanted to do in lieu of a friend party. We had some Dairy Queen ice cream cake and he opened a couple presents — a couple soccer posters, scout stuff, a soccer ball, and some wireless headphones. Happy birthday Drew!

Sharing Christmas 2017

The last few years my parents have gifted us cash and asked us to go do something good with it. They only ask that we write it up to share with them. Here is our report for 2017.

Like a lot of other families these days, most of our Christmas shopping is done online and the good people of UPS, USPS, FedEx, and other delivery companies bring the packages right to our doorstep. No matter the weather, these guys and gals are hustling and working hard.

This year we decided to buy a bunch of drinks, snacks, candy bars, and other treats and put it out on our porch for these good delivery folks.

We got lots of good feedback from neighbors, friends, and delivery guys too. One FedEx guy came by two days in a row, taking a bunch of goodies. The second day he made a point to ring the doorbell, thank Manina, and then chat for a few minutes about how to save money on expedited shipping during the holidays (spoiler: don’t pay for overnight, just do second day air, everything is processed like overnight service during the last week leading up to Christmas).

Word got out and we had some drivers make stops at our house even though they weren’t delivering packages.

We had a lot of fun seeing their reactions. We have a security camera and caught some of the best moments and compiled a quick video.

We hope the goodies gave them a little more energy to get through their routes and long days of work. A little Christmas boost.

Manina’s 41st Birthday

Manina had quite the jam-packed day for her 41st birthday. It started out with her girlfriends Hannah Stayner, Penny Bergeron, and Emily Hunter taking her out for breakfast.

When Manina came home, we had a quick birthday song and gave her a new bike: a 2016 Trek FX 7.2 WSD. I was pretty proud of this gift — she’s been wanting a bike like this for a while.

In keeping with tradition, Manina wanted to take the family on a little outing. We went ice skating at Seven Peaks ice arena. Unfortunately, that was pretty much a flop. Drew barely left the wall, Megan lasted for all of 10 minutes, before stating how stupid this all was, then Jake left to go stare at his phone along with her, but at least nobody was seriously injured.

We left after only an hour and pretty much swore never to do it again. Then we went out to dinner at El Gallo Giro in Provo and ordered one too many entrees.

It was a pretty darn good 41st birthday for Manina!

Katelyn’s 14th Birthday

Our Katelyn is fourteen years old!  Manina and I took Katelyn out for lunch at Chick-Fil-A and I took some time to interview her. Here is what I learned:

What is your favorite class at school? Foods right now. Usually student council but I have to do announcements this month which is difficult.

What is your favorite breakfast cereal? Captain Crunchberries.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Camilla Cabello.

What is your favorite homemade meal? Macaroni and cheese.

What is your favorite restaurant and meal at that restaurant? Cafe Rio, single pork enchilada.

What is your favorite soda? Sprite.

What is your favorite candy bar? KitKat.

What is your favorite game on iPod? Sims, liking HayDay

If I gave you $1000 to spend, and you can’t save it, what would you buy? Another dog

What is something you want to accomplish at 14? See the northern lights.

What book you most recently enjoyed? Divergent.

Who are your close friends? Kate Rowberry, Sophie Lee, Halle Garn, Brooklyn Lindman

What does a dream vacation look like? Tropical jungle-y place with monkeys and a zip line and beach

What is your shoe size? 8

What is your height? About 1cm taller than Mom

Katelyn got an escape room game as her gift this year, and she chose to have a fun friend party at our house where they made chocolate pretzels, bath salts, played Just Dance, and applied face masks and acted goofy. We sure love our Katelyn!