Monday, October 31, 2011

A Happy Halloween at the Holt Orthodontic office!

 Halloween is a really big deal at the Holt Orthodontic office.
Dad's staff love to dress up and they all love Disneyland,
so dressing up as Disney characters just seemed like the perfect plan.
Because as many of the patients have claimed, 
the Holt Orthodontic office is just about "the happiest place on Earth."
The office went to lunch at Cheesecake Factory, afterwards
they headed over to the Disney store to take a few photos by the castle.
The princesses in front of the castle.
Some of the girls made their own costumes.  Clever!
I wish you could see the detail of TinkerBell and her friend, Rosetta.
It was fun to see the reactions of all the little kids,
 as the staff walked through the mall.
 Here is Snow White and one of the dwarfs...
and Dad creeping in the background...
notice Mickey peering out of the castle.
Good to know that Dad is still a kid at heart!
 This little Belle was so excited to see all the Disney Princesses.
She just stood there in awe with so many Disney characters surrounding her,
so we just had to take a picture of her with our own Belle.
Here is all the gang in front of the castle in the Disney store.
And here is Mickey at the church Trunk or Treat party with the cutest little Minnie Mouse!
Little Kendall is seriously one of my favorite little friends and the most adorable Minnie!
I mean look at that sweet smile and check out those fabulous Minnie Mouse shoes!
Awwwwww! I missing having a little girl to dress up for Halloween!
I guess dressing Dad up as Mickey will have to do for now:)!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

GB gals bike riding the Tahoe trails

We have enjoyed the most pleasant Fall days here in Northern California,
 with gorgeous warm weather and the leaves just starting to change colors.
Jennifer, our biking buddy, graciously invited the gals to her cabin in Tahoe.
 We decided that before it turns cold, that we should load up our bikes 
and take a trip together and enjoy the beauty of the California Sierras.
  So on Tuesday afternoon, with our bags packed and bikes on the rack, 
we headed up to the mountains for a couple of days of fun. 
 When we left Granite Bay, the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the 70s,
 but we hadn't gone very far up the hill before the clouds appeared and the sky turned dark. 
 Before we knew it, it started lightning, thundering, and raining, which quickly turned to hail.
 By the next morning, the temperature had dropped dramatically 
and was a whopping 30 degrees outside.  So much for our warm Fall ride.
 But we are a tough group of gals and we weren't going to let a little cold weather 
or a flat tire (see below) get in the way of our bike ride. 
 We bundled up and put on as many layers of work out clothing as we could find in our suitcases. 
(Hence the black tights under my bicycle skort sporting attire... lovely, I know!)
 We climbed on our bikes and rode from Jenn's cabin on the lake, all the way to Squaw Valley. 
Round trip, it was a 13 mile ride.
 It was crisp and cold... really cold! But totally worth it! 
 The ride along the Truckee river was absolutely gorgeous!
Liz Skinner, Jennifer Files, Karen Duffey, Sue Jack, me and Mary White,
all bundled up and ready for our bike ride.
The trail from Lake Tahoe to the Truckee River.
Before we knew it, we found ourselves at the River Ranch.
We were feeling so good, even though we were freezing,
 that we decided to continue on to Squaw Valley.
Did I mention that we are really tough?
Right as we got to the entrance of Squaw, Sue got a flat tire.
Not to worry!  We got busy and worked as a team and changed the back tire.
I mention that it was a back tire 
because it's a lot more difficult to change than the front tire.
Note that we have already conquered the front tire technique.
Remember this post?! 
While Liz and I took pictures and documented the tire changing situation,
Sue, Karen, Mary and Jenn actually worked on changing the tire.
There were light-hearted moments of laughter and fun...
and serious moments of intense concentration, 
but mostly a lot of collaboration and cooperation, 
working together to get the job done.
I love this photo of the girls, working on the tire, 
with Liz, taking pictures in the background!
Karen and Sue, two of my favorite friends 
and best tire changing gals that I know.
Posing in front of the Squaw Valley Olympic sign.
Without any snow on the ground, Dad was completely confused 
and didn't even recognize this landmark.
He was like, "Hmmm, where was this taken?"
What?!  It's the entrance of Squaw Valley! 
Dad's favorite ski resort in Northern California.  
That made me laugh!
Riding along the Truckee river, as we head back to the cabin.
I loved all the fall leaves on the trail.
And the gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe, 
 looking out my bedroom window, back at Jennifer's cabin.
Wow!  What a wonderful way to end a fabulous Fall day!
Oh wait!  It got even more exciting before the night was done!
Just before midnight the cabin started rattling and shaking.
Those who had retired early to bed came running down the stairs,
as we realized that we had just experienced an earthquake!
For a moment, we thought it was "The Big One!" but no, just a 4.3. 
 That's nothing for us California girls.
But, what a great exclamation point to an exciting outing with the GB bike riding gals!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

75th Welfare Anniversary Celebration

I've never been one that really enjoys organizing big events or throwing big parties,
but somehow it seems as if that has been my life lately (actually as long as I can remember.)
The week right after Allie and Justin's wedding, 
I was asked to serve as the Rocklin Stake Public Relations, Event Chairperson.
My first assignment was to organize a service project for our community
to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Church Welfare Plan.
I've always been impressed with the program, which teaches self-reliance and service,
but the more that I studied, read and learned about the many inspired aspects of this program,
the more I wanted to share with others what I had learned
and help them feel what I felt when I watched these videos on the LDS church website.
So along with planning "Cans for the Community", a canned food drive for our community,
I also organized an open house, where people could come learn more about the Church Welfare program.
We had different stations covering programs such as the Employment Services, 
Humanitarian Services, Bishop's Storehouse, Canning and Self-reliance, and Mormon Helping Hands.
There were specialists that made presentations about the principles that are taught 
and the programs that are available through the Church Welfare program.
We also had some of the church videos running throughout the day.
So when people came to drop off their donated cans at the Stake Center,
they could take a tour around the cultural hall (which is basically a mormon gymnasium)
and see all the displays and presentations about the church welfare program
and learn how it has blessed the lives of so many.
Many of the local community leaders came,
 which included our State senator Ted Gaines and his wife, Assemblywoman, Beth Gaines,
Rocklin Fire Chief, Bill Mikesell and Rocklin Police Chief, Ron Lawrence.
And we gathered LOTS of cans, which we donated to the Loomis Basin Food Pantry,
Rocklin and Granite Bay Rotary clubs and the Granite Bay Kiwanis club.
Stake President Sean Murphy and his counselor, President Dan Clift in front of the donated cans
with State Senator Ted Gaines and his wife, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, 
and the Rocklin Fire Chief, Bill Mikesell and Rocklin Chief of Police, Ron Lawrence.
The view as you enter our building, a beautiful picture of Christ 
and the poster entitled, "Catching the Vision of Self-Reliance." 
 My dear friend and walking partner, Karen and her husband, Brad are serving a humanitarian mission in Rwanda. 
 Karen's daughter-in-law, Jenny put together this wonderful display of pictures
 and video of Elder and Sister Wilkes.  It was definitely one of the most popular stations. 
 Everyone wanted to see pictures of the Wilkes and read about all the good they are doing in Africa.
 The list of all the service projects that the Rocklin Stake Humanitarian group
have accomplished this year, which have benefitted so many.  Pretty impressive!
 Here are some of those cute ladies and their display of quilts, school kits, hygiene kits and much much more.
 The youth gathered a lot of cans.  They looked so cute in their Mormon Helping Hands vests!
Then there was a cute group of boys that came in with a bunch of cans.
 More pictures of the cute kids and more cans!
 I just love this little girl's smile.  So adorable!
 Some of Karen and Brad's good friends, Michael and Ann Marie Mullen and Lee Cooley,
are enjoying reading about Elder and Sister Wilkes.
Another picture of some of the VIPs with all the cans that we collected that day.
And here are a list of some of my favorite videos about the Church Welfare Program:
(Just click on the links below.  I promise, you will enjoy them!)
Boy's Home
Michelle's Story
Labor of his Hands
A Thousand Days
A Desolate land
Response to Chile Earthquake
 I love to watch all the videos.  I mean, I really love to watch those videos.
It warms my heart and makes me smile to see what members of the church are doing to serve
 and take care of needs of others and bless the lives of so many.  
When I watch Clean Water is Happiness, I think of my dear friends, Elder and Sister Wilkes, 
who are serving a humanitarian mission in Rwanda for 18 months.
I am in awe of their unselfish dedication and love for the people of Africa.
If you want to read more about all the good they are doing in Rwanda
you can follow their blog at
It was a wonderful celebration of the Church Welfare Program, and now that it is over,
 I am left feeling like I want to get out and "do some thing good in the world today" 
and hopefully after watching those videos you will feel the same way.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jeff and Caitlin's California Reception

We had a fun weekend, celebrating Jeff and Caitlin's marriage.
 We loved spending time with two of our favorite people
 and their wonderful family and friends.
Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Howell, the happy couple!
Caitlin with her darling neice.  So adorable!
It wouldn't be a Holt party without a candy bar!
The beverage table.
The table centerpieces.
The happy couple with Kevin Hansen.
Our dear friend, Annie Segale.  I sure love that girl!
Another view of the candy bar.  
 You can never have too many pictures of chocolate in a blogpost, right?!!
Liz Skinner and Beth Bryant, sweet friends and the Howell's former neighbors.
The greatest GB track friends ever, the Segale family with Caitlin!
Katie and I are dp friends for life!
Beth Bryant and Lorry, the lovely mother of the bride.
Jason and Lindsay, taking a break during the reception.
GB moms with the gorgeous bride!
  Don't you love how we are all color coordinated?!

It was a lovely occasion. 
 A wonderful weekend, spent with wonderful friends!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mitt Romney Luncheon

 We flew home early Friday morning so that we could go to the Mitt Romney luncheon.
I was so looking forward to shaking his hand, getting another picture with him and hearing him speak.
I have gone to Romney fundraisers, when he ran for president 4 years ago, 
and thought he was bright, intelligent, charismatic and the most qualified candidate.
Once again, after hearing Mitt speak, I was so impressed.
Not only is he a great speaker, able to articulate how he would lead our country forward 
but he was able to answer difficult questions, inspiring patriotism and energizing the audience.
Plus, he has such a remarkable gift of engaging in a meaningful conversation,
 making you feel really important while he's busy greeting a roomful of people.
As we were in line, waiting to take a formal picture before the luncheon, 
I watched him greet each person, as if he was truly excited to meet them,
making small talk and chatting it up, like they were the only person in the room.
So when Dad and I walked up to get our picture taken with him,
Dad had to mention that we had attended the "visitor's ward"
 in Park City with him on a number of occasions.
Mitt acted like he was thrilled to hear about it, in fact,
 you would have thought that he actually remembered us.  
It was obvious that being informed that we had worshiped together a couple of times 
was almost as exciting as finding out that Chris Christie was going to endorse him.
At least, that's how he made you feel, and he said something like,
"Oh, Park City is such a beautiful place!  We love spending time there."
And with that, Dad got so excited, he wasn't going to let the conversation stop there.
He quickly responded, "Yeah, we love it in Park City!  We just got back from there! 
The leaves are changing and there is snow on the tops of the mountain!!"
Again, Mitt acted absolutely thrilled.  I'm sure he was glad to get the "Snow Report."
Well, anyone that acts that excited about the snow conditions in Park City
definitely won Mark over and gets his vote.
We support Mitt not only because he's brilliant, has the experience and loves Park City,
but because he is the most qualified candidate to take on the challenges of the economy
 and turn our country around.  As Allie says, "Mitt is legit!"
 My friends, Michael and Donna Garton sat at our table and 
are excited to hear Mitt speak.
 I got to visit with my cousin, Constance Wyatt at the luncheon.
After Mitt spoke, Michael and Donna stood in line and shook his hand, 
but they didn't bother to snap a photo with him.
When I found out, even though they were a little embarrassed, 
I made them get back in line to get a picture with Mitt.
When he saw them again, he greeted them with a smile and said, 
"That's great! You are coming back for more!"
I think he won them over and will get Michael and Donna's vote too!