I planned a surprise party for Eric for his fortieth.
I guess you can tell we had a great time as this was the only picture I seemed to be able to find from the night...the surprise was going perfectly...then the Hunters showed up late and walked in about 20 seconds ahead of us and 'wasted the good surprise!' HAHAHA! It was all in good fun and Eric got a few seconds to prepare for the real surprise! There was an abundance of food, friends, laughter and fun memories made...I could not have asked for a better night! A Happy birthday to the best husband! 40 and hotter than ever!
This was a fun fact sheet about the year Eric was born that I had a good friend of mine make a custom frame for that greeted guest at the entrance of the party.
This year for Chinese New Year, we helped roll in the Year of the Monkey by visiting family in California and eating some Monkey (well, Monkey bread...and lobster noodles and CHICKEN FEET!!!) What's a dim sum meal without Chicken feet...Max is upset in this picture because he had just dropped the chicken foot on the ground and was told to only pose for the picture and not to eat it.
We walked around a park by my parents' house with all off these birds...the kids were amazing in their unending energy to keep chasing them for hours.
Showing off their New Years' Spoils at the mah jong tables!
When I was working on campus at UC Davis they had an opportunity for employees to submit their recipes and if they decided to incorporate one of your recipes, you got to name it and help expand the recipe to be made on a massive scale...so, my Chinese Eggplant was chosen and I named it 'A kiss from Aimei.' when asked why I chose that name...I had several explanations; food is eaten with the mouth and is a little sign of love from the chef...also that's what I would name a restaurant/Bakery if I ever owned one (which I never would) but honestly, I chose that name because every time someone ordered it, I thought it would be so wonderful to hear them say either,
"I want a big kiss from Aimei,"
"I want a small kiss from Aimei."
Either way it would make my heart happy!
I know a lot of people don't, but I love the smells of food cooking in a
...it's hard to really allow the kids to help when it comes to
chopping and cooking with raw meats and knives, though my kids love to try!
...but baking is a different story entirely...these were part of the dark dark chocolate cookies in the care package we sent my mom for her birthday.
Here is Kiri showing off our extra long Key lime cheesecake filled banana bread! MMMM
Everyone got their own aprons...even baby d...it's sad that Max isn't pictured here (he was at school) because he has become my best little sous chef and taste tester!!! One day your spouses will be thankful you are all such good little cooks!
We had a birthday party for Max at the civic center on the climbing wall. Max chose a Green Lantern theme which I jumped on since I still had green forks, spoons, knives, black napkins and a gallon on green fondant from last years Ben 10 themed party!
Here is the pistachio cake that Max chose
Here are the Green Lantern cookies we had made for the party...they were almost too perfect to eat!
Max after opening Mom and Dad's gifts to him...a giant Green Lantern and Superman! They still sleep under his bed to protect him at night!
Off to school!
They had a scheduling error and lucky us, we got to be the only party to also get to rock climb on their black light special
Lia took to rock climbing like she takes to everything else physical...she was AWESOME!
The best part of having a friends party is lots of gifts & Friends to share them with.
The festival of lights parade...four years in a row.
Max was adopted into our Bishops family...why, Max, why?!!
...you can tell baby d is turning 6 months as he is rolling, eating and has clear stranger Danger issues...look at that cute face!!
Lucky the elf came and visited us for the third year and the girls loved
getting his lucky candy in the advent calendar and reading the books he
brought us each night
...night 11 the girls go their very own Book of Mormons!
We wish Lucky had brought more luck to the Cougars in their final game...but, we know who Baby D was rooting for!
Speaking of Stranger Danger, Lia is still very wary of Santa Claus and refused to sit on his lap...so, Eric sat instead!
We were interested to realize Lia has no issue with Mrs. Claus as we were shocked to see Lia let Mrs. Claus kiss her on the cheek!
Waiting for a horse drawn sleigh ride with Santa
On Santa's lap at the ward Breakfast...This was a great year for us and we could not have asked for more...presents were not super abundant this year as it seemed like a year for much more giving rather than receiving...and those are the best years indeed.
We had Thanksgiving at Snowbird in Park City, Utah this year...and what a way to begin the overeating indulgences with an all you can eat buffet of a Snowbird scale...it was amazing!!!
We told max that he could eat whatever he chose and that we would not limit him, this one day of the year...and I don't think he ate all that much more than I would have served him...too many choices!!
Gotta love this adorable picture of the Phillips men three generations strong...baby D looks particularly cute in this picture!!
Grandpa holding baby D...it looks like he is flying in his little superhero pajamas!
Adam posing for his, 'ode to Disneyland' picture...
a view out the window from our table
the view from the other side of the table...
There was a server there who would offer 'special' customers the wish bone and the girls were lucky enough to make the cut...here they are posing right before they made their wishes and broke the bone...which split perfectly in half by the way...it's a charmed life for my two twin girls!
Relaxing (recovering) from our massive Thanksgiving brunch! So much to be Thankful for this year!
Wonderful children, family, friends, health, and time spent together enjoying the best blessings in life.
For my birthday week...the kids chose to go to that Yogurt shop and we all ate mango FroYo! Well, everybody but Baby D.
My friends took me to Chopsticks where we had Chinese food and Sushi...hence my Unagi tongue!
Eric gave me the best present and we all flew to California to visit my family...here we are at the final trip to Coney's before it closed in late November! We went on one of our first dates to Coney's...so many fun memories...so sad to never have Cherry cheesecake Amaretto Custard again!
Baby D was a spectacular traveler...he had all of the flight attendants eating out of his chubby dimpled hands!
Picture from my parents' house
long awaited Dim Sum with Chicken feet for one of my birthday meals!!!! MMM MMM Good!!
Peter, Kristina & the kids all came over and brought this jumper for Damian which he LOVED!!!!
I had to mock Eric for his love of energy drinks that in his desperation for on, he purchased this 'Go, girl' at target!
After the quick trip to celebrate my birthday with my family we came back to see Mary Poppins with the kids, it's always fun to see friends at community events, Kiri didn't make it past the opening scene
But Max and Lia had a great time...Eric and the kids taking a selfie at intermission
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others
courtesy of Amy Harrison
Families are forever
courtesy of Amy Harrison
courtesy of Amy Harrison
Courtesy of Amy Harrison
Courtesy of Kara Hagberg
The King of the Wild Things...at least the king of our house!
Eric was born and raised in Wyoming and served a mission in Taipei, Taiwan. Eric did his undergraduate at BYU Utah. Aimei studied International Relations and Economics at UC Davis in California where she was born and raised. Through a series of events, we met when we were set up by Eric's Brother Adam...(and, no, much to people's disappointment, I was not some village girl he picked up on his mission)...and the rest is history!