Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Adopted Grandparents

Last night we went over to Andrew & Diana's house. They are our adopted grandparents. We had a great night eating pizza and dessert, and talking. We used to live across the street from them for many years, and we just try to refrain from bringing up that we don't live there anymore, because we all get choked up.
Andrew and Diana are the kind of people you instantly fall in love with. They have warm and welcoming arms, as well as a rich religious and Italian heritage. We can talk to them for hours and still not be out of things to say. : )

Here's a picture of Tyson & the Ferrante's dog, Bella. Bella is so cute. She's fun-loving & eats as well as any of us. She used to bark every morning that my dad or brothers would leave the house. She's our adopted dog. : )
At any rate, we had a lovely evening last night visiting and exchanging gifts. I feel at peace in their home. They have a beautiful atmosphere of love and kindness. When Mitch & I grow up, we want to be like Andrew and Diana. We love them so much!


I think we finally got around to decorating our Christmas tree last week on the 16th or 17th of December. About time, right? It was amazing to me that Tyson actually understood what to do. He was whinning at my feet while I was decorating, and it's because he wanted to help. I was in awe as I let him decorate the Christmas tree, and as he helped me set up all of my nativities (he likes to point to Jesus and say, "Baby"). How exciting that at 17 months, he can already feel the Spirit of Christmas, and he wants to participate. This also reminds me of a Sunday night a about a week ago, when we went in the car with my mother-in-law to secretly drop off something to a family in their ward for the 12 days of Christmas. Tyson had never done that before, but he totally understood what was going on. He knew we were doing something nice for someone, and he got all excited as we drove off. It's amazing to me what he can understand, and I'm grateful that he's developing at an early age, an appreciation, in his own, small, little way for the things that we cherish at Christmas time.

You Can't Catch Me, I'm the Gingerbread Man

According to Tyson, the best seat in the house is under the cookie table. : ) Grandma Fern had another annual Christmas party, and we had a great time. Tyson was quite content playing underneath the table while he watched everyone talk & play. He cracks me up!

Oh Christmas Tree!

We went to Dane & Haleigh's house about a week ago for a Christmas get together. We had a lot of delicious food and played several games. Mitch & I were on a team with the Rich's and he obviously got selected to be decorated as The Christmas Tree. Our team didn't win, but we were the best because we swiped the Christmas lights, and Mitch was still shinning in the dark. : ) The other game that CRACKED ME UP was when Dane was trying to open the gift in the middle with the circle while using oven mitts and a spoon--he decided that the most effective way to get to the prize was by whacking the present with the spoon. I almost died laughing; it was probably one of the funniest moments I've seen in a LONG time. At the end of the game, he didn't get the prize, but the person who did opened it up & the CD inside had a cracked case, and a chunk broken out of the CD because of the intense efforts everyone used to get to the middle. It was hilarious. Haleigh and Dane threw a great party.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lins is Coming Home!!!!!!!!!

My best friend is graduating college today. She's getting her Bachelor's degree in Accounting. She picked such a hard major, and it's been such a long road. Today's commencemnt ceremony is an amazing accomplishment for her to experience. I'm am so happy for her and I'm a bit jealous Jenny got to go to the graduation. : ) I wish so much that I could be there. But, of course, the graduation isn't nearby...it's half way across the world in an exotic place called Laie, Hawaii. If I were rich, I'd be there again right now to give Lindsay a hug. I'm so proud of her, and incredibly happy that she's finally coming home.
Lindsay is the type of person who can talk to anybody about anything.

She knows how to laugh, and live life to its fullest. She never gives up, even when it's really hard. I still can't believe she likes Accounting.... She had to take the hardest classes...one of which we took together & would stay up all hours of the night studying together just trying to finish the STUPID math homework, and we'd pray we would remember how to do the work on the tests.

Lindsay is always generous to others and shows gratitude. She loves to shop, and has done an amazing job of staying frugal while she's in Hawaii...in fact she paid for her school all on her own, and she doesn't have any debt.

Lindsay calls me every time there's something important happening in my life. She couldn't see Tyson until last year Christmas, because she was in the middle of the Pacific, but she sent me flowers, and Tyson a huge teddy bear while I was having the worst hospital stay of my life waiting to birth my first son, and she was on the phone in the middle of the night ready to hear the news when he was born.

Lins is unpredictable.

Lindsay has an open heart and an open mind. She can be friends with anyone, and will support her friends to the best of her ability by being there for them.

Lins can tell me the honest truth straight to my face, and I'll actually listen. I'm so lucky she's my friend. I know I can tell her anything. Just thinking about all of the things we've been through together makes me laugh and cry. I'm so glad she went to Hawaii, because her experiences will benefit her for the rest of her life, but I can't wait until she's home for good. I'm ready to have my best friend back. : )
Congratulations, Lins! Mitch, Tyson, & I, as well as my parents & siblings are so proud of you!!!! We love you, and are so happy you've achieved what you set out to do! You've worked so hard & never gave up. You deserve all the rights and honors that go with your college degree. It's so much more than just a paper--it's years of experiences you can look back on, and remember with happiness because if you can make it through all of the experiences that made you want to scream with college, you can seriously make it through anything! Hope you have a FABULOUS GRADUATION!

What Happens at the Lovell's Stays at the Lovell's

Last weekend we went to Dallas & Jami's Christmas party. It was so much fun. We hung out outside huddled next to the fire pit, because of the freezing weather, while we drank hot chocolate, had snacks, and opened white elephant gifts. We just won't talk about what Crystal and Spencer decided to bring...it'll be safe enough to say that "What happens at the Lovell's stays at the Lovell's". Haha! Mitchell & I left with snowmen mugs & a painting especially by Dallas of a toilet with the words "Best Seat in the House". It's now hanging in our Master Bathroom. : ) Good times!

Putting up Christmas Lights

Tyson was cracking me up this morning. We were finally getting around to putting up our Christmas lights this morning & it was chilly outside. Tyson was wearing warm clothes & shoes, including his Cars jacket. Mitch put the hood on him, and once Tyson saw what he looked like in the mirror, he kept pointing to the bathroom so we could hold him up & show him what he looked like with the hood on, and he'd smile & snicker. He thought it was so funny. He's so cute! I love him. He happens to have the Christmas spirit of joy ALL THE TIME. I've got to be more like that! Mitch did an excellent job, by the way, of making our house look like we celebrate Christmas. Mitch is the bomb.

Twilight Rehab Needed!

The night before Thanksgiving, my Aunt Sue & my cousins wanted to go do a girls thing, so we went to see the best love story of all time on the big screen...Twilight. I try to convince myself that I'm not obsessed with the story or anything, but I really am. I try to think of myself as a well rounded, non-fanatical, unobsessed person who has the self control to not read the books a MILLION times, but the truth of the matter is, that night was the 3rd time I'd seen the movie. The truth is I listen to the soundtrack all the time, the truth is I'm addicted just like everyone else. I happen to enjoy the love triangle story line, I have a Team Edward picture on the wall of my classroom, I let my students work on projects while they listen to Muse in the background, and I think the Cullens are dreamy. It looks like my former anti-trend self is out the window. The truth is I want to see the movie again, and I think it's about time I admit that I need Twilight Rehab, too.
Anyway, it was fun to spend time with my mom & sister, Aunt Sue, Nicole, Mariah, Shelly, & Marnie. It was fun to see them again, and we had fun catching up. I love holidays because of the time we get to spend with family. The pity is that the year goes by so quickly before we see each other again.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jilliam Rocks!

This picture was taken on Monday night by Jilliam's camera phone. : ) We went over to visit him in his new house. There's a group home in Mesa that he lives at, and we're so excited that he moved there, because now he's really close & we can see him more easily now. We used to have to drive to Prescott, which was fun, but down the road is a little faster than up the mountain. We all had a great time on Monday night, just talking, reading Christmas stories, and listening to my dad make Jilliam laugh. Jilliam informed my dad that he's a "crazy man in this world". Well, you spoke the truth, cousin! Jilliam is my favorite cousin & I love him. I took a picture with my camera, too, but this copy of our pose means more to me, because this is a copy from Jilliam's camera phone that he promptly emailed over to me on Monday night after our visit. I appreciated that, because I know it takes Jilliam more time and effort because of his cerebral palsy, & he is very thoughtful. I should be more like him. He's the best. If you're reading this, Jilliam, I love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tyson's First Prayer

At dinner tonight, Tyson put his little arms up to his chin like always for the blessing (he can't really fold his arms, but he'll put his little fists up together under his chin), and for the first time, he was repeating words to the prayer to bless the food. : ) It was so sweet. It must make God so happy to see little children trying to do the right thing. They are so pure and innocent. We spend our childhood trying to grow up, but sadly by the time we're grown up we have to spend the rest of our lives trying to gain back the qualities we had as children. If only we could all be like little children--trusting, full of faith & hope, believing, & full of love for everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Perfect Date : )

It all started Friday afternoon (11/14). I was tired, emotional, & exhausted from Science Camp...and that's when I got a phone call. Mitch asked me out on a date. : ) He acted like we had never met before, and he asked me out like it was our first date. We set a time, and I didn't know anything about where he was taking me. I just knew I needed to be hungry, wear a light jacket, and have shoes with socks.

Come 6pm, he had a boquet of flowers for me, and had even arranged a babysitter already. (I love him so much!) Next, he took me out for NYPD Pizza. He let me talk like there was no tomorrow, and we left. When he started driving east, at first I thought we were going bowling, b/c you need socks for that. The ony ice skating rink I knew of was in Ahwatuke, so when he headed east, I had no idea where he was taking me.

Apparently, there is a new Polar Ice in Gilbert! I was so excited when he pulled in the parking lot. We got our skates, and held hands as we skated around on the ice. He's so romantic. : )

These shots are decieving, because it was so crowded that night. I've never seen so many people in the same skating rink before & the ice was extremely rough. They even pulled out the zambonie for a while. As you can tell by the pictures, Mitch is a pro, and I'm definitely a beginner.

When we were done, we got some delicious Cold Stone ice cream for free (had a gift card). We kissed at every red light, just like we did when we were dating, and Mitch even let me have David Archuleta music on. : ) He knows I'm such a ham for love songs. Haha.

The only reason you see me crawling on the ice is because it happened once & Mitch begged me to pose for a picture again, because he thought it was so hilarious. Well, whatever...it's a small price to pay to have had THE PERFECT DATE. Thanks Mitchell Jay Borden--I love you & I think we should get married. : )

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lunch with Sarah

You know, I've had friends join the Church before, but for whatever reason, some of them have chosen not to stick with it--usually they didn't have a lot of family support, so they started not going to church. I met Sarah Kreycik at Steve Madden a few years ago, and I really feel like it was a moment in time that was guided by fate. I was in a really bad place with work--my family had just had a crash and burn experience, and I HAD to get another type of job. So I applied at the mall, and in my head I had a bottom-dollar price that I had to at least get paid or else there would be no way I'd work there. When I got the call from Sarah, that was the exact price I was offered, and so though it wasn't fabulous, I took the job & quit looking. I was the only LDS person working there, and while I wasn't judging my friends for their actions, because they grew up with different backgrounds, it'll suffice to say that I became less naive just by listening to their stories. They always respected me and made efforts to not cuss around me, and they would tone down the details of their night-life & parties as they talked to me about what they'd been up to. For a while I stalked shelves & so I was in the back a lot opening up boxes of shoes, and while it was lonely & not a beautiful place to be confined in, sometimes my co-workers would come back there & ask me questions about why I live the way I do. I had quite a few miniature discussions about the Church & the teachings of the gospel with my friends at work, and it was very apparent that Sarah was on her own time table and she made comments insinuating that she'd never join the Church. Sarah was at a point in her life that had led her to not believe in God. I don't know how she changed her mind, but she did. She called me one day after she randomly went to a nearby non-denominational church, and I'll never forget the message she left on my phone telling me that God was exactly what she needed. As time went by, she came over & started asking me more questions. She ended up meeting a boyfriend named Jared at a bar, who was actually a less-active member, and they started going to church with his family, and out of the blue about a year ago I got a call from her telling me that she got baptized. A while after that she called and told me about getting her patriarchal blessing, and her husband getting the Melchezidec priesthood. Now she's expecting a baby, and she and Jared are planning to get sealed in the temple hopefully in February. I am so happy for them. We went to lunch on Veteran's Day, and had a great talk. She talked about the impact one positive person can have on someones life and the lasting effect of the way they treat you. She has no idea how much joy her actions have brought to me, too, though. It's amazing to me the way that she and her husband have turned thier lives around, they are influencing others for the better, and they are finding happiness in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I think about them I burst with happiness that they are headed towards a temple sealing and that their choices will affect generations to come, because they will raise their children in the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. How great is my joy.

Sopping Wet

We have a security screen door, so the door can be open for the nice weather, but my kid is still inside the house. Well, Mitch was outside watering plants & Tyson was mesmorized by watching. Next thing I know, Mitch sprays off the screen door. Brilliant, right?

About 10 minutes later, I'm noticing what happened, and Tyson's clothes needed to be changed. So here's our dialogue:
Djo--"Mitch, are you going to change Tyson's clothes?"
Mitch--"No, he's fine."
D-Jo--"What do you mean he's fine? He's sopping wet."
Mitch--"Do you even know what sopping wet means?"
Tyson--(pointing to his shirt)"Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

We were dying laughing. He was right on cue!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby Einstein & Cantaloupe

Tonight I was cutting up cantaloupe & Tyson was pulling on my legs because he could hardly wait to eat it. I said, "Just a minute and we can eat this while we watch 'Baby Einstein'." What did he do? He ran to the T.V. & turned it on. : )

After we were situated on the rug with some paper towels, a plate, and the movie going, he took his first bite-sized piece. As he was munching, I put a paper towel on his lap, and he gingerly picked it up to wipe his lips. It was so adorable! When did he learn how to use a napkin? I don't know, but it was a moment in time that I wish I could save & replay forever.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tyson's 1st Hair Cut (Bittersweet)

He wasn't sad, but I was sad to loose his baby curls. It was time, though. He's was getting scraggly! He's so cute walking around like a little boy now!

How many adults does it take to give a 16 month old boy a hair cut?

Just 2 and a sucker. : )

The last time the baby curl will ever be on his head. : ( I'm so sad he's growing up!

It's Too Bad AZ Isn't a Tropical Island

I wanted to finish my Hawaii post, so I didn't forget our fabulous trip. This was at the airport when Lins dropped us off. Thanks, Lins, for a great vacation & for letting us use your car & for driving us everywhere, and finding us a place to stay. You are the BEST! We love you!
Hukilau Cafe was the cheapest restaurant, with the BEST food, and HUGE portion sizes, not to mention, it was withing walking distance of our house!

This is what you see when you drive in Hawaii. It never stopped amazing me that we were driving from town to town and Kamehameha Hwy was on the shorline.

A big, fat, scary, sleeping pig, named Wilbur.

This ostrich, Buster, has famous legs, b/c he starred in Jurassic Park.

Me & Buster

Me & Mitch at the top of the Jungle Tour.

Our tour guide was nicknamed "Turtle." She did such a great job that everyone tipped her at the end.

We had some very determined ants come in the kitchen. They hauled the chip UP the wall. Talk about team work!

Thurs afternoon we swung by the Dole Plantation. I LOVED IT!

Pinapple Deej

Pinapple Mitch

Did you know that pinapples grow ON TOP of the plant's leaves? Niether did I!

We conquered the world's largest maze. We found ALL of the 8 secret stations, and were running b/c we were trying to get a good time. It took us 50 min! Haha, but we had so much fun.

Punchbowl Cemetery

Mitch next to a Borden tombstone. (A Myrna Borden married to a Edward Borden, whose child was Jane Dale Borden).

D-Jo next to Sandy Tenney's tombstone. I felt really emotional at the cemetery once we found tombstones that are connected to our family names. It made it more personal, and I have a deeper gratitude for those who gave their lives fighting for our country in the Pacific. We found a tombstone that read, "Unknown." It was so sad, but it is a gorgeous national monument.

Diamondhead Lighthouse

The Diamond head tunnel leading to the top.

The Diamond head staircase from Hades at the very end of the hike.

The Diamondhead crater view w/Ocean background.

This is the mountain we hiked & we took a picture of it from Punchbowl Cemetery.

Hanuama Bay snorkeling was FANTASTIC! We saw 5 sea turtles!

Blow hole & sunrise Thurs. AM

Hukilau Beach stormy night swim!


Haiku Gardens & pond