Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wildlife World Zoo

Amy and I got to go with Mandi, Benjamin, and Brooklyn Allen to the Wildlife World Zoo this week. I wasn't sure how great this smaller zoo was going to be, but it was great! We had a lot of fun and spent hours and still didn't see everything. The kids were pretty great until the end when they got tired. I had so much fun that I got a membership for me (Amy gets in free still) so we can go back for a whole year! If you haven't checked it out yet, I recommend it.

Amy checking out the monkeys. We loved that you could get so close to the animals at this zoo!

Amy at the petting zoo.

Amy and Benjamin

Amy and Brooklyn. All 3 kids rode around in the Allen's stroller so that they didn't get too tired too quickly.

Amy and the flamingos

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Ben and Jon, Mike's brothers, and Jon's fiance, Carrie, came in town from Utah to visit for the long weekend. They got here late Friday night and came out quadding (four-wheeling for those of you who are confused by that word) with us early Saturday morning. My dad found a great place and took me, Mike, Amy, Lisa (my sister), TJ (Lisa's husband), Summer (my sister), Richard and Lindsey Owen (our friends), Jon, Carrie, Ben, and of course my Dad! We had a great time! It was a little cold from the rain the night before, but that made it fun for the mud puddles! Thanks for a great time Dad!
Mike and Amy on the Quad

Some of the group (clockwise from the middle front): Richard Owen, Lindsey Owen, TJ Grier, Carrie soon-to-be Laudie, Jon Laudie, Summer Lewis, Ben Laudie

Amy hanging out by me.

Amy needed a nap, so she found a soft spot and conked out on my Dad.

Amy checking out the sights with Dad.

Melting Pot

My Dad is the kindest, most generous man ever. He has always been so good to my and my sisters and my mom, but sometimes he just blows us away... like this year for Valentine's Day. He called me up and said he wanted to take all of the married couples who live in AZ (Dad and Mom, Lisa and TJ, me and Mike) to the Melting Pot for Valentine's Day! Wow! That's a fantastic gift! For those of you who haven't been able to go (and it's a great way to spend your Valentine's Day if you're looking for ideas), here's how it went...

First we had our cheese course. We had bread and apples and vegetables dipped in two types of cheese. The first was a cheddar cheese, the second was a swiss with salmon. Both were very good, but the swiss was my favorite.

Next we had a fantastic salad. I know what you're thinking... a salad? fantastic? But yes, it was. It had fresh strawberries and candied pecans and this delicious vinegarette dressing on it. Yum yum.

Then we had our main course. Because they can, the Melting Pot require that you only order from their special Valentine's Day menu on V-day, which is nice in a sense because they force you to eat some of their nicer foods. The plates consisted of raspberry chicken, some type of marinated steak, shrimp, another type of steak, and then your choice of lobster tail or prime rib (I think... it was a nice steak, that's all I remember). Because my dad and I LOVE lobster and Mike and my mom not as much, my parents ordered the plate with the lobster option and Mike and I ordered the plate with the steak option, then my mom and I switched our meats. Anyway, we had two really well-seasoned oils to cook those in and they were DELICIOUS!

And finally, the best part of any meal... the dessert! We had a dark chocolate and a milk chocolate with strawberries, cheesecake, brownies, marshmallows, rice krispie treats, bananas, and pound cake. So good! Not only do you get great food, but they also give each couple a great gift... a $25 gift certificate to the Melting Pot, two pretty nice champagne glasses, a Melting Pot picture frame, and a bar of Melting Pot fondue chocolate (mom, I'll give you my dark chocolate and take your white chocolate since you don't like white chocolate. I asked Mike and he said he'd rather have the white). All and all, it was a fantastic night. You can see a couple more pics on my sister's blog ( Thanks SO MUCH Mom and Dad! We had such a great night talking and laughing and just being with you guys and Lisa and TJ. Love you so much!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's Day! It's such a happy holiday. Today I will spend the day with Amy and then tonight Mike and I will meet up with my parents and my sister and her husband at the Melting Pot (yum yum! Thanks Dad!). But the dinner aside, I want to take today to think about the people I love, especially my husband and daughter.

My little Amy bug is the most perfect thing in my life. She is usually incredibly happy and smiling and laughing. She loves to play with mom and dad, as well as other family and friends. We were so incredibly blessed to have a mild baby, although she's quickly becoming a rambunctious toddler. While I'll miss her quiet baby years, I look forward to seeing her learn and grow and discover life! She's my little angel.

Mike is my rock. He is my constant. He is the love of my life (and longer). I don't know what I did to get such an amazingly great husband, but I'm certainly not complaining. Mike and I have been married for 3 1/2 years now (4 years this June), and while we have our miscommunications, I have never been happier. I look forward to him coming home from work and spending time with our family. He is such a happy person (which is probably where Amy gets it) and is a constant reminder to me of why eternal families are so important. What good would eternity be without my Mike?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quadding Locations

Does anyone know a good place to go quadding at in the valley? The place my family normally goes is closed, so we're looking for new ideas!