Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Tradition. . . .

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, or as it's better known as, 'Black Friday,' we head downtown 2 Temple Square 2 see the lights. I love love love Temple Square & especially around the holiday season when they turn on the lights. It's so BEAUTIFUL there & definitely is a GREAT way 2 kick off the holiday season. :D We had a blast. :D

We drove into town & parked @ Eagle Gate College's parking garage. That's where my dad works. :D Then we crossed the street 2 catch the Trax since we were in the FREE zone. :D As we were waiting. . . .my mom said that it would be nice if we just walked & @ the same time enjoyed/experienced the festivities of downtown. :D We were all GAME. :D So we started walking. . . . .we were only one block up when we saw the next Trax station & my dad was like, let's catch it 4rom here. Lol. Not that he was tired or anything. . . .he just spoils the grandkids too much. They weren't even complaining, either. He just felt bad 4 them. Lol. So we crossed the street & waited 4 the Trax.

Didn't take long @ all 4 the next train 2 arrive & we hopped on & were @ our destination in minutes. :D We LOVE riding the Trax & being able 2 take the kids on it. They were so EXCITED & it was great 2 just watch them. :D We met up w/Fine & her family as well as Nick & Sheena & their family. :D It was WONDERFUL. :D Here's our pics 4rom our outing last night. So much FUN!! :D Enjoy. . . .

Friday, November 27, 2009

School Pictures Are Here. . . . :D

School pictures have finally arrived. :D Actually, they've been in my office 4 about 3 weeks now. Lol. These are our 3 oldest of the bunch. They are our only ones that are currently in school. We have 3 more that are home right now. Where has the time gone?? Seems like just yesterday that Hoko & I were taking Aaliyah 2 her 1st day of school. She started @ the age of 3 in pre-school. She's been the only one out of all our kids that actually went 2 pre-school. It was GREAT & the result of it has been WONDERFUL. :D We decided 2 keep the rest of them home until they turn 5 yrs old & enter kindergarten. Probably due 2 the fact that Aaliyah seems like she was born & in a blink of an eye. . . .she's now going 2 be 9 yrs old in about 2 months time. And she's our most mature child & keeps maturing @ what seems like the speed of light. I love it @ times & then find myself wondering where my little girl has gone. Lol.

I'm so proud of my 3 ACHIEVERS. They are very well manored & I find myself always looking @ their citizenship grades before their academics. :D Manorism has always been an important thing 2 me. I feel like you can be the SMARTEST person in the world academically, but if you have no manors or common sense. . . .none of your book smarts matter. Anyways, we love our 3 girls that are growing up wayyy too fast & love when picture day comes around so I can pamper them & get them ready 4 the day. :D Here they are. . . . :D

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Nat'l Holiday 2 Give Thanks. . . . . :D

I came across this article 2day & I loved it so much. :D With 2day being Thanksgiving & all. . . .it has definitely been such a GREAT & RELAXING day. We've been able 2 enjoy our 2nd Thanksgiving dinner 2day with my parents. And I wouldn't have it any other way. :D We've been OVERWHELMED with the company of our FAMILY, but nevertheless THANKFUL that they are all so close in distance 2 us. :D Even though we have several families that live out of state & out of the country, as well, it's definitely a blessing 2 have our IMMEDIATE families right here in Salt Lake City. :D

I am TRULY grateful 4 such a WONDERFUL & hard working husband, who knew that he'd be getting up early 2 play football w/his brother & cousins, set his alarm @ 6 am & had the turkey cooking away in the oven so all I had 2 worry about were the sides. :D Our Thanksgiving menu consisted of:

Baked Mac 'N Cheese
Green Bean Casserole
Cajun Ham & Cheese Biscuits

Dessert was English Trifle out of the Lion's House Bakery Cook Book :D

It was WONDERFUL!! :D We ate 'til we couldn't eat anymore & then we were able 2 just relax & enjoy each other's company. :D It's been such an AMAZING week & I'm so THANKFUL 4 all that I have been blessed with in my life. :D Here are some pics 4rom our day 2day & @ the end is a copy of the article I read. Title being:

'Say 'thank you' - it's for your health'
But to feel better you have to show gratitude more than just once a year

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla - Bill Golden survived more than just 20 years in the Army & another 30 in law enforcement. He fell sick with colon cancer, & at 86, he has an artificial hip & arthritis in his knees.

Golden still gives thanks, though, & researchers say that appreciative attitude & can be good for you, too.

Academics have long theorized that expressions of thanks promote health & happiness & give optimism & energy to the downtrodden. Now, the study of gratitude has become a surprisingly burgeoning field, & research indicates being thankful might help people actually feel better. There's a catch, however: You have to say thanks more than just once a year.

"If you don't do it regularly you're not going to get the benefits," said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside. "It's kind of like if you went to the gym once a year. What would be the good of that?"

In recent years, researchers have tried to measure the benefits of gratitude. In a National Science Foundation-funded study, Northeastern University psychologist David DeSteno had participants complete an arduous data entry task only to have it lost by computer malfunction. Then, a lab assistant, seemingly unconnected to the study & claiming to be in a hurry for their own experiment, restores the lost work.

The participant is dismissed, & bumps into the lab assistant, who asks for help. DeSteno found those who had been helped by the assistant, & were grateful for it, were more likely to return the favor, & did so for longer than those in a group not helped.

"Gratitude leads people to act in virtuous or more selfless ways," said DeSteno, whose research was published earlier this year in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. "And it builds social support, which we know is tied to both physical & psychological well being."

Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, said those who offer gratitude are less envious & resentful. They sleep longer, exercise more & report a drop in blood pressure, said Emmons, who wrote "Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier."

Brenda Shoshanna, a New York psychologist, agreed.

"You can't be depressed & grateful at the same time," said Shoshanna, the author of "365 Ways To Give Thanks: One For Every Day Of The Year." "It makes a person physically, mentally, in every way healthier."

As for Golden, he doesn't pay much attention to the academics. He simply acknowledges he's "one lucky dude," grateful for his two children, two grandchildren, & his 89-year-old girlfriend.

So on Thursday, he & his family will gather around the table, hold hands & say thank you.

"It's surprising what those two little words do for a person," he said. "It's easy to say & it does a lot of good."