Sunday, June 26, 2016

Grandma & Grandpa Shields entered the MTC this week. They only stay for a few days before flying to Canada! I guess it's official now, they had badges and everything. They will fly to Canada on Tuesday. We are sad to see them go, but they will be wonderful serving the people of Toronto. 

Joey & Tank, our cute pets hanging out in the backyard. 

Lizzie had fun at a little neighborhood summer camp this week. She played hard with all her friends. 

We spent a couple of afternoons at the pool, it's out favorite way to spend a hot day. Lizzie is the best little swimmer! I love how confident she is in the water. 

Friday afternoon Danny got off work early and we headed to Rockport Reservoir to spend the afternoon boating. It was super fun and we all love being on the boat. It was pretty windy and the water got choppy in the evening but everyone had a good time. 

We LOVE summer! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June is busy

The last week or so have been really busy with lots of family events. Grandma and grandpa Shields are leaving to get ready to go on a mission to Toronto Canada. So we've had tons and tons of family fun.

The extended Shields family reunion was at Timp Lodge this year. We spent days enjoying the beautiful mountains hiking, playing games, and spending time with family.

The reunion started with a fun afternoon at flow rider. It's an indoor surf pool. Everyone loved spending time there, it was such a fun place! 

The weekend before we had a fun day of boating, it was a beautiful day to be outside, and we always love boating.

Then Friday was family pictures taken by a friend Brandon, at the Bonneville Glenn. All the kids did really well and were very cooperative. It was fun to have everyone together and get some family pictures for grandma and grandpa leave. 

Friday afternoon, grandma and grandpa were set apart to be mission president in the Toronto,  Canada Misdion. 
M. Russell Ballard was the apostle that set them apart. It was a really neat experience, and we all enjoyed spending time there together. 

With all the cousins and family in town, we had a fun day at the splash pad. It's  always  fun to get outside and spend time together.

Earlier in the week we had a fun day down at grandpa's office. He was celebrating working at that law firm for 38 years.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

We love summer!!

Summer is in full swing- sleeping in, relaxing days, afternoons at the pool, endless popsicles, BBQ's, swimming lessons, tennis, playing at the park, night games, fun with friends & cousins are our favorite things about summer! 
Love this girl! Emily is growing up too fast, she's so cute, helpful & sweet. 
She's the best! 

We had a fun afternoons with cousins at a great pool in South Jordan! It had a few water slides and we all had a blast! Lizzie even did the hard swim test to be able to go in the slides alone. She's really turning into a great swimmer for a 5 year old.

Cute little James, he's such a happy baby! He loves the water. 

I love his little smile, and his chubby face. 

Isaac is a lot of fun to be around! He is so helpful with Lizzie and really a hard worker. He's got a great sense of humor too. He's really into earning money right now and will do anything for $1.00. I love 8 year olds! 

Emily and her cute friends opened a lemonade/sweet stand in our neighborhood. They sale drinks, cookies, pretzels, homemade suckers, cupcakes, popcorn etc.... They have hatching g shirts, aprons etc... This was a lot if work, but they did it and had a great day. They earned quite a bit of money too. She was thrilled!! 

Lizzie has been so tired after all her playing & swimming etc... She is exhausted by 7:00 pm. So I've been trying to get her to bed earlier, so she's not too tired. Poor girl is just wiped out!! 

These two being goofy at bedtime.
They're both growing up too fast, I wish I could freeze time right now. Their ages are a lot of fun! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Italy Trip 2016

Danny and I decided to take a big trip to Italy to celebrate his 40th birthday! It was a trip that took lots of planning, saving money and lots of coordination for grandparents to watch our kids. We were gone for 11 days and the time just flew by.

We left on a Saturday and flew to Detroit and then to Rome. We rented a car and headed to a small town south of Rome called Capua. It was a sleepy little town and we enjoyed exploring and seeing the sites. 

There is a really cool old Coliseum, it was built in 800 BC and there are lots of cool ancient remains from when it was being used. We walked around, got a gelato, saw the rest of the city and then had amazing pizza for dinner. 

We slept so good that night from being tired from missing a night of sleep. The next day we slept in, had a yummy delicious breakfast buffet from our hotel and then headed south again to another city called Maratea. This town was so scenic and beautiful!
Our hotel was an old convent that has been converted into a pretty hotel. We checked in and then went and explored the city. The town was really tiny and sleepy. Hardly any tourists or anybody around. We walked a lot, shopped a bit, ate gelato and then had a good dinner at our hotel.  I tried octopus for the first time, it was chewy but good. 

Danny was really in his element speaking Italian to everyone. He was doing great remembering the language. It was hard to not understand anything. But I could understand a little bit if I knew what the topic was about. Otherwise It was hard. Danny was so Patient and good to translate everything for me. 

The next day we headed up to the huge redeemer statue. The views from up on that mounting were stunning and so gorgeous! We had fun seeing the gorgeous coastline and had great day.

Maratea was a city full of tons of stairs. We had a long walk to town all stairs every time we went to town. It was good way to keep us moving. The food was so good in this town. We had a nice little patio where we had dinner one night, and we could sit and hear the chimes at the several nearby churches going off every 15 minutes all day long (and night) 

The gelato, brioche etc.. was so yummy!
The next morning we headed in the car all the way to the tip of Italy. It was so beautiful and such a fun way to see the country. We stopped for a yummy lunch along the way. The drive was about 5-6 hours and then we arrived at the ferry. We loaded on the boat and headed to Sicily. It's a fun thing to go on the boat and see the ocean etc.. 

Once in Sicily we headed straight to Taormina, it's a stunning city built right on the hillside and overlooking the ocean. It's an amazing city that was SO fun!!!!

We checked into a cute little B & B, with really nice owners. They were so helpful made the best breakfast every morning! We relaxed in our room for a bit and then headed out on foot to explore the city. We walked SO much in this city. It was fun to walk the streets and see all the little shops, grab a gelato, brioche, Arancino, or a slice of pizza. We had a blast in this city. 

We found a restaurant ( for the owners of the B& B) with the most  delicious pizza!! We ate there both nights that we were in Taormina because we loved it so much! 

The next morning we went to an ancient amphitheater , it was built by the Greeks and then restored by the Romans. It's an amazing place that is still used and there are concerts held there all the time.
This city was more crowded and touristy than all the other cities we spent time in. It was hard to have crowds and stuff but the city was so much fun!!! 

Ater another night in Taormina we said goodbye too this spectacular city and drove about an hour south to Catania. This is where Danny spent most of his mission. He has a lot of friends and people from his mission that we spent time with. 

Danny and I spent quite a bit of time with Padide, Beatrice, Simone, Michael, and Davide. They are the best! So friendly, kind, helpful and we loved spending time with them! They fed us and helped us plan and incredible weekend in Catania. 

Again the food was terrific!!! Pizza, Pasta, bread, cheese, salad, fruit, brioche, granita, croissants filled with nutella, amazing baked good, gelato etc... It was all so yummy! 

Danny spent several hours going from house to house seeing all the people he baptized and catching up with them. After 8 hours or so the first day I would have him drop me off at the hotel so I could relax and he wouldn't have to translate for me anymore. It was the best arrangement. He was busy with his friends all four nights that we stayed in Catania. He really loved catching up with all the people from his mission, it's been 20 years!!

We explored a local strawberry farm, got the best gelato in Italy, saw the live volcano, Mt. Etna, and spent a perfect day in Catania. 

Our hotel in Catania was at a really old castle type of place. The grounds were so stunning and beautiful! The locals had never even heard about this hotel so it was fun for them to come and see it. They thought it was hidden gem in their city. 

We had a big Birthday party for Danny. We had dinner, drinks and a delicious cake covered in mini local strawberries for dessert. Danny was so pleased and it was a lot of fun! Several families from the ward came with their kids etc... It was wonderful to see them all take pictures and enjoy a fun party with them.

We had such a great night celebrating Danny's 40th birthday! Happy Bday Danny! 

This whole trip was so fabulous! It was so wonderful spending time in such a gorgeous place with Danny for 11 days.
Thanks to everyone who helped us with kids etc.. .
We hope to visit in another 5 years or so.
We love Italy!