Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm sure any fan of the Twilight books have seen the movie by now. So, what did you think?

A few months ago, when I was reading Twilight, Jason would sit next to me on the couch each night with his laptop and work or shop while I read. He listened to me laugh out loud and was patient when I "needed" to finish just a few more pages before we went to bed, and he indulged me when I wanted to read to him a funny or mushy part. So, I'm sure he assumed I would drag him along to the midnight showing. I'm not sure if he was relieved or disappointed when we realized we would be in Disneyland and there were already plans for a girls trip to see the movie the next day.
I think because I loved the books so much, I liked the movie, but I didn't love it. I think my memories from the book carried me through the movie. I tried to think about what Jason would have thought if he saw it without having read the book. I think he would have missed out on so much! I don't think the characters were developed well enough and it sort of felt like they were on a limited budget or maybe it was some one's first movie. I didn't love the guy who played Edward either. There was one scene as he is walking into the school, that I thought he was hot, but it fizzled for me after that.

I enjoyed the physical tension between Bella and Edward in the books! It was fun! I didn't really feel it in the movie.

What did you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A few years ago, we decided to go to Disneyland the week before Thanksgiving. Research showed it was the least crowded time of the year. We had such a good time we decided to try to make it a tradition. We didn't go last year, so we were really excited to go this year.

After using the RV for the last four weeks in a row, we got a little smarter and the trip down to LA went much more smoothly. Here are a few pictures...

Jessica enjoying the top bed all to herself

Lauren sound asleep

Austin playing football on the Xbox

Ashlyn happy in her car seat

My hunky hubby driving

Me trying to study

Okay, so the pictures are from the first part of the trip. About half way there, Ashlyn was done with her car seat and let everyone know about it! I tried to give her snacks, play on the back bed, watch a movie, and read her stories, but all she really wanted to do was walk around. I finally pulled the cushions off the table and lined the hallway so she couldn't get hurt! She was so happy just walking back and forth!

I was so glad when we finally got there and the "how much longer"s finally came to an end! Thank you Rachel for getting us this amazing time share for such a great price!!!!

It had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. This was the first night we had a good nights sleep while on vacation for along time! It was so nice! The rest of my family, stayed in a three bedroom just upstairs.

The next morning, we all piled into the RV to drive over to Disneyland. Peter and Nathan Ehat, and my dad, Bill

Jason and Ashlyn waiting for the tram Tara, Ashlyn, Jason, Jessica, Lauren and Austin

Lauren and Maddie on the Rockets

Austin and Jessica

Tara and Maddie on the Teacups

Grandma and Grandpa Huntington

Jason and Ashlyn

Austin and Jessica

Ashlyn and Jason

We really had a great time! Lauren (She's 6) loved going on all of the "big" rides! She was fearless! She came out of Space Mountain grinning ear to ear! "That was awesome! That was the best ride ever!" She wanted to go on everything that anyone went on. We headed over to the Indiana Jones ride and she said she wanted to come too. It was closed the last time we were there and I couldn't really remember it. I knew it wasn't faster than any anything else she had been on, so I agreed. She sat between me and Jason. I couldn't help but laugh when she let out her first scream! She grabbed my arm and buried her head. I forgot about all the scary props! Snakes, spiders on the walls, skeletons... I felt terrible! Jessica was sitting right in front of us with a few of the other cousins. They both got off of the ride very upset. Lauren was crying and Jessica crossed her arms and stopped her foot saying, "Mom! That was stupidest ride in the whole world! Why would they let kids on it that are this big?! Duh! Don't they know it would scare us? I can't believe it!" I should have been more understanding, but it was such a great example of their different personalities that I pulled out the video camera to record it. They are both so funny!

Austin on the other hand, is my cautious one. He really didn't want to go on any of the roller coasters. When I asked him about it, he said that he didn't like anything that he couldn't control the speed and that he didn't know where he was going. I have always loved roller coasters so it was hard for me to not push him. I didn't want him to miss out. I had to remind myself that not everyone thinks the same things are fun and it is definitely not fun to be scared. I almost had him convinced to go on Thunder Mountain Rail Road even after Peter didn't realize he was standing there and reminded Jason that is was the only roller coaster that had derailed!

He could see most of it and watched it a few times. I went on it with my hands in the air the whole time to show him how much fun it was. He finally agreed and out of nowhere there was a HUGE line! We hadn't had any lines all day! We basically walked on to most rides. I few had a five minute wait. We decided to come back later, but never made it. Maybe next time!

Jason, Austin and Tara

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sam's Homecoming

Today we went to the Bay Area to listen to Sam give his homecoming talk. We decided it would be easier to take the RV so I could help the kids get ready on the way and we wouldn't have to wake everybody up quite as early. Every time we pile in, I feel like we are a scene of out of a Chevy Chase movie! It's awful, but I'm sure it's one of those things we will look back at and laugh about someday. I'll let you know when someday comes.

It was a three hour balancing act! If you've ever taken an RV anywhere with kids, you know what I mean! Between blow drying the girls hair, getting breakfast for the kids (cereal and milk), cleaning up, snacks for Ashlyn, putting on my makeup between bumps in the road and a quick stop for gas, starting a movie, helping my mom with her new hair style (yes, she came too! So did my dad!), and trying to keep Ashlyn entertained all without falling down, was definitely a great ab workout!!! I was exhausted by the time we got there! :-)

We climbed out and my mom snapped a quick family picture. It was the first one in a long time that had all of us in it! (Yes, I changed my hair again...)

It was great to see the rest of the family and hear Sam give his talk. He has grown so much and we are so proud of him.

We spent some time visiting after Sacrament meeting and then headed home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Linda's Baptism

On Saturday, we went to Sacramento to see Aunt Linda get baptized. The spirit was so strong as she was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I think we all felt Ronna's presence there, watching over her sister. We are so proud of Linda and are so grateful we were able to be part of the occasion.
After the baptism, we went over to Linda's house to celebrate! As always, it was so fun to get together with everyone! Kim and Linda

Linda, Grandma Bates and Ashlyn

I even got to meet Heidi! I met her once before at Ronna's funeral, but I'm not sure if that counts. The day was sort of fuzzy. We have been blogging friends for a few months and it was so fun to see her in real life! Heidi

Grandma, Ashlyn and Jason

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fresno State Football

Friday night, we went to another Fresno State football game. This time, we brought Austin. It was so much fun to have him there! He was really excited about how close we were to the field! He loved watching the game and I loved watching him get excited about the plays!

Some of his friends were there. They had a good time dancing around when the music would come on during time outs! It was cute! He has some moves!
They felt really grown up when we let them walk down to be closer to the field. They even helped a guy get the wave started! It was pretty funny.
I think next year we will get season tickets. We have really enjoyed going to the games this year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Uncle Sam

Sam came down to visit on Thursday. It was so good to see him, but seriously, it was one of our busiest days in weeks! I felt so bad, but he didn't seem to mind at all.

Here is what the schedule looked like for the day:

8:10am- Lauren's Parent Teacher Conference. We are so proud of Lauren for doing so well in school! She received straight A's for the first quarter!

8:40am- School Awards Assembly for Lauren.

Lauren accepting her Academic All Star Award

9:30am- School Awards Assembly for Jessica

Jessica Accepting her Academic All Star Award for Reading. She was also awarded a certificate for High Honor Roll (all A's and one B)

2:15pm- School Awards Assembly for Austin- My camera stopped working!!! Luckily my sister, Jen, was there and took the picture for me. I'll post it once she emails it to me. Austin also received a certificate for High Honor Roll.

3:15pm- Pick up the kids from school

4:15pm-5:30pm Lauren's soccer practice

6:15 to 7:30 Jessica's soccer practice

It was SO busy! My assistant had the day off, but I was so lucky Jason had taken half the day off work so he could hang out with Sam. I was making lasagna and realized I didn't have an onion and there was no time to load everyone up to run to the store. I called Jason who was out running around with Sam and they brought one home for me! Yeah! Later, Ashlyn was taking a nap when it was time for Lauren's soccer practice. Once again, it was Jason and Sam to the rescue! They were happy to go, but I felt bad having them run around for me. Sam said it was nice to feel like he had a purpose for the day. Sigh. I love him! Thanks Sam!

Ashlyn wasn't sure what to think of Sam at first. I think she was nervous because he is so big!! He's like 6'5" or something! Seriously, how tall is he? He was really cute with her though. I got this cute picture of him trying to win her over by reading a book to her. (She loves books!)

Jason, Ashlyn, and Sam

We were glad she got to spend some time getting to know her uncle Sam! We are so glad to have Sam back home. Jason missed him so much while he was gone.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Football Highlights

Austin's football season has come to an end. I will miss seeing him all decked out in his uniform! He looks so grown up! Here are a few pictures from the seasonAustin

Going for the tackle


Me (Tara) , Grandpa (Bill), Grandma (DaNae), and Ashlyn

Tara and Ashlyn


Austin all tired out after the game

It was a great season! We are looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Halloween was so much fun this year! Jessica, Austin and Lauren Lauren and Jessica

We went to my parent's house for dinner and then went trick or treating in their neighborhood with them and my sister, Jen, and her family.

Ashlyn loves her uncle Jeff! Ashlyn, Jeff, Jen and Brynne

Ashlyn, Jason and Tara Rickards
Ashlyn and Brynne
Ashlyn trying to get into her candy

Garrett, Jessica and Lauren with their loot of candy

After that, we went over to the McCauley's for a Halloween party! The kids went out trick or treating again and loved spending part of Halloween together!

Haley made a bunch of very creative and yummy Halloween treats!
Haley McCauley (Isn't she beautiful?!)

Haley, Peyton and Aaron McCauley

Our favorite rock star for the night, Jason Smith

Jason with costume envy!