Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This year we opted against sending out Christmas cards but hope that next year we return to this tradition.

Our Year in Review

We bought a house! 
We feel very, very blessed that we've had this opportunity to invest in our first home.  We absolutely love our neighborhood, our town, and our ward.  If you are ever in the vicinity, we would love to play host!  There's a guest room waiting for any of our family and friends!

My brother got married! 
We were very excited to welcome Cat into our family in May.  It was a beautiful wedding and we had a blast having most of the family stay in our new home.

Buhler Family Reunion in Nauvoo!  
Or as some of my nieces and nephew say, Naboo!  We really enjoyed the vacation not only learning about church history but being able to play with all the nieces and nephews!

Madsen Family Reunion at Lake Powell! 
What a relaxing and beautiful vacation.  Last family vacation before Sean's little brother went off to college.  Next will be the mission!

Our work!
Sean is still working at Warner Bros. and enjoys the job.  He works on the studio lot which means he's seen famous people out and about.  Some of his celebrity sightings include Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Nolan, Ellen DeGeneres and some of the cast from Big Bang Theory.  I am going two years working at the Southwest Museum on a large scale preservation project.  I don't see celebrities but I did make page 2 in the Los Angeles Times when they did an article on the museum.

Our callings!
Sean was called as the assistant ward mission leader and it has him very involved with both missionaries serving from our ward and missionaries serving in our ward.  He's been readily available to cart missionaries to transfers and other appointments and heads up a monthly newsletter highlighting our own missionaries in the far off fields.  I was placed back into Young Women's as the Mia Maid Personal Progress leader.  I also am a part of our ward choir. 

Life has been wonderful for us and we feel deeply blessed.  Over the past year, Sean and I have tried to jump in and serve whenever an opportunity arose.  Ending a year of service at Christmas time is poignant when we can reflect on the greatest service done to mankind, the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  How grateful I am for a season that we can constantly think of Him and the love He shares for all.  Merry Christmas and we'll see you in the new year!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


 We were excited for Halloween in our home this year.  We were able to decorate a lot more and we especially loved putting something on our porch.  We are not into the scary ghoulish stuff so it was a very fall festive look.  Sean carved his pumpkin the Saturday before Halloween.  He printed off a template online.  It was a complicated dragon but it turned out quite nice.  Many kids complimented it when they were trick or treating.

That Saturday was also our ward's trunk or treat.  This year I didn't want to put much effort into my costume.  As a lady bug I didn't have to buy anything for my costume.  Inspired by the wig, Sean went as Slash.  We only had to buy the top hat and the inflatable guitar (Party City is AMAZING!).  Many people didn't recognize that it was Sean.  I think he really enjoyed dressing up.  It was a pretty good costume though.  We enjoyed handing out candy at the end of the night.  We couldn't believe how many kids were there!  There had to be over a hundred kids!  We actually ran out of candy before our neighboring cars.  Note for next year, bring twice as much candy!

My coworkers at work were asking me if I was going to dress up at work.  They said they had high expectations since I dressed up as Quorra last year (she's from Tron: Legacy).  If you forgot, this was me:

I felt pressure that I had to live up to last year.  I felt my Lady Bug outfit would be a let down.  As I was putting away the costumes from the trunk or treat, I decided to try on the curly wig and I had an inspiration.  I thought to myself that this hairstyle looks a lot like Inigo Montoya's look.  So that is what I dressed up as.  You probably cant see but I even put a scar on my cheek.  Of course everyone loved it.  Gosh, what will I do next year?!

Unfortunately the night of Halloween Sean had to work.  He was super bummed out that he couldn't be there to hand out candy.  It was fun to see all the different costumes.  The very first family was all dressed up as Mario Bros.  The dad was Luigi, the little boy Mario, the little girl Princess Peach and I could see Mom and Grandma on the street dressed as a Mushroom and Turtle.  It was pretty cute.  We're now looking forward to Christmas which the decorations in Santa Clarita are epic!  We're excited!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sean's Birthday

I was looking to do something fun for Sean's birthday but couldn't think of anything.  Of course I wanted a creative spin on the birthday bash too.  A couple of weeks before his birthday we were talking with friends about Goosebumps and how the only Goosebumps book I read was a choose your own adventure.  Then it hit me, this was what I was going to do for Sean's Birthday.  I would create a Choose Your Own Adventure book that he could pick exactly what he wanted to do. 

I showed him the book the night before because he thought I was going to do something lame for his birthday.  I just showed him the front (not letting him flip through) and told him he had to choose carefully because what he chose in the beginning of the day may affect the rest of the day. 

In the morning I gave him his book which had the first adventure of choosing what to eat for breakfast.  His choices were having omelets at home, getting donuts (he had been wanting to do that) or going to IHOP (which he has been wanting to do also).  He choose IHOP.  We had a very tasty breakfast. 

Then he had to choose his next adventure.  He had to choose between going to an Angles game or going to Santa Monica and biking the Strand.  There really wasnt any competition with that, he chose the Angels game.  Because he chose that, the rest of our day was spent in the OC.  He got to choose between exploring Newport or hanging at Downtown Disney and he chose the latter.

Downtown Disney was fun because we went into all the shops and even headed to the resorts and walked through the lobby.  We ate our dinner at hte Jazz Kitchen Take Out and even had Beignets for dessert.  If you have not had Beignets then you are missing out on the tastiest dessert!  Hanging out at the Jazz Kitchen and eating the southern food really made me want to go to New Orleans.  It's near hte top of our to see cities.  AFter that we went to the stadium to enjoy some batting practice which Sean was able to get TWO balls.  He always acts like a little kid at Christmas when we go to the games.  We enjoyed a great game with great seats and to top it all off, the Angels won!

The next day Sean's parents came out to visit us for his birthday (they are now empty nesters).  His last two cakes were baseball themed so I thought I had to do something along those lines so I put one of his MLB baseballs that he caught in the middle of my bundt cake, wrapped in saran wrap of course!  I would have to say, it was a success birthday for my best friend!

It's a Bird! It's a plane! It's a SPACE SHUTTLE!

 Endeavor made headlines a couple of weeks back and I was lucky enough to get some great shots of it.  I work at the Southwest Museum which is situated in a valley north of downtown making it an ideal location to see the shuttle as it headed through downtown.   

All I knew was the shuttle was suppose to be in LA around 11:30.  I didn't know exactly where.  A couple of coworkers and I went to the roof of our museum and stood in the blazing sun waiting.  We waited for about 20 minutes when two of my coworkers left.  They were done standing in the heat.  I was determined to see this thing.  I had called my brother in Burbank to see if he had seen it yet.  He said he was watching it on the TV and when it got close enough he would go outside.  Since I was not privy to a TV I asked him where they said it was.  He said it just left Santa Monica.  Literally when he said that I could see something through the haze downtown.  I got off the phone with him so I could get some good pictures with my camera.  It was really cool to see this big blob coming through the haze and circling downtown.  Then it headed towards us which I was not expecting and we got some great shots of it before it headed across the hills towards Burbank and Universal. 

Lake Powell

In August Sean and I traveled to Lake Powell with his family for a Madsen Family Reunion.  His youngest brother Mark was going off to college so it might have been the last time we got together as a family because he'll be going on his mission next year. 

The drive to Powell was very long but we stayed in a nice house (I've totally been converted to renting houses as opposed to booking hotels) and had a great time on the lake.  Sean was excited to try out the wake skate which is now all the rage and I was excited to have a relaxing vaca on the lake.  Sean's brother Daniel has a GoPro so we took tons of footage and both Sean and Mark made their own videos using the same footage.  Each has a different feel.  You can watch them here and here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Local Activities

We've slowly been doing and seeing some of our locale attractions.  Here is what we've done lately.

Family Fun center has some decent mini golf

Some of the course was quite challenging-see that curve?!

Sean's favorite outing was the batting cages.
My helmet was way too big.  It kept falling down over my eyes, not a good idea when the ball is heading right towards you!

Up one of our local canyons is the site of the old St. Francis Dam.

Here's a map of where the dam broke and carried debris all the way to the ocean.

Here is what the dam looked like. 

This shows a portion of the broken dam

Here's what the dam is like now. There is still a pool of water, hence the green trees.  If you look closely, you can see rebar sticking out of those "rocks."
This is one of the water plants in the canyon.  During the '20s this plant was one of the only plants that watered LA.

We had to walk on this old road to get to the dam sight.  Sean thought this would be the perfect location to film a post apocalyptic movie.

More of the deserted road.

Vasquez Rocks are very famous.  They were named for a bandit that hid among the nooks and crannies, evading the law. 

If you saw Star Trek, Flintstones and a whole lot of old westerns or sci-fi shows then this place will probably look familiar.

The other no-so-famous parts of Vasquez Rocks.
To check out some movies that have been featured at Vasquez Rocks, you can go here and here.

We've enjoyed getting to know our neighborhood and cant wait to explore more!