Friday, September 17, 2010

Most everyone left from our Family Reunion by Tuesday. My parents, my brother Steven and his family and my family stayed until Wednesday. Steven and his family went to Pocatello for the morning. We hung around and went swimming. Then we all went tubing and Wednesday morning, checked out and went to Salt Lake before heading our separate ways.

Still trying to figure out how to switch photos over from my old blog.

Tag You're it!

I'm still in Oxnard, so Tagging I'm used to. I got tagged by my friend CHERIE (love that girl) which means it's my turn to share:

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?

Near Family and Friends. Preferably not too city and not too country. Somewhere in between.

2. What's your favorite article of clothing?

anything comfortable.

3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex?

Personality. Ok. I'm lying. I'm a butt woman.

4. What's the last CD that you bought?

I think the last time I bought a CD, they were actually called tapes. hee hee. Probably Toby Keith. I really can't remember.

5. Where's your favorite place to be?

with my hubby and kids.

6. Where is your least favorite place to be?

in the house, alone, overnight.

7. What's your favorite place to be massaged?

Feet. Shoulders. Hands. Who can pick just one?

8. Strong in mind or strong in body?

I'd love either. However, I'm neither.

9. What time do you wake up in the morning?

6:45 to get the kids up and ready for school.

10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

Pampered Chef food chopper.

11. What makes you really angry?


12. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?
I'd like to play the piano well. Still trying.

13. Favorite color?
Autumn Colors.

14. Which do you prefer...sports car or SUV?

How about a truck. I SOOO badly want a truck someday. Raised. Roll Rack. Chrome bumpers.

15. Do you believe in an afterlife?

Most Positively.

16. Favorite children's book?

Dr. Seuss "What was I scared of?" "I said, 'I do not fear those pants With nobody inside them.' I said, and said, and said those words. I said them. But I lied them." hee hee!

17. What is your favorite season?

I grew up in California. What are seasons?

18. What is your least favorite household chore?

Cleaning. Laundry. Vacuuming. Dusting. Pretty much everything.

19. If you could have one super power, what would it be?

Levitation powers. I could just levitate the cars on the freeway that can't seem to drive normal. Someone cuts me off....LEVITATE!!

20. If you have a tattoo, what is it?

No tattoos thank you.

21. Can you juggle?

Not even close. Charlie can. I leave it to him.

22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to?

My Uncle Graig. He died just after I was born. I've heard he was a pretty cool person.

23. What's your favorite day?

Whatever Day Charlie doesn't have to work.

24. What's in the trunk of your car?

A stroller.

25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?

HAMBURGER! Don't like sushi

Maybe I will tag Melanie Johnson since she just sent me a link to her blog.

Father in Laws Wedding

Charlie's Father, Arthur, was married this week and we were able to attend. I think I have learned more about the Temples, the gospel and Jesus Christ while attending sealings in the Temple. How amazing! It brings such great joy, peace, and love to my soul. I'm grateful for all the sealings I've been able to attend.

Arthur Brooks married Linda Hanson on Tuesday, August 8, 2006 in the San Diego Temple. They were beaming with happiness and watching them, you couldn't help but smile. I can't wait to get to know Linda and her family more. I met two of her good friends who were in attendance. Amazing people. It wasn't exactly a traditional wedding (meaning, no white gown, veil, and all that jazz). It was simple and beautiful.





Family Reunion

Family Reunion in Lava Hot Springs!

Lloyd craziness!


We're Off!

As my dad used to say,

1. "We are off like a dirty shirt!" OR

2. "We are off like a Terd of Hurtles!"

You pick which one you like better. Either way, we are hitting the road. Off to Utah, Idaho, with various cities as our destination in each of the states. First REAL family vacation EVER. (If you read my blog, you'll conclude that it's been 10 years). First trip for Joylyn. (A little nervous to find out if she is a good traveler or not). First time out of California for most of our girls. First time having to pack for a family of 6, into a small mini van. SERIOUSLY need a trailor to haul all this junk.

When I get back, I will work on posting pictures, stories, and all the updates on our fabuloso trip. (Look at me being optomistic already...hee hee). out because here we come!

Foote Wedding

I haven't gotten through all the pictures, but here is a sneak peak at what is to come. The wedding was beautiful.



My new logo

I came up with a logo that I think that I like. What do ya'll think? You can post your comments below by clicking on the purple "comments" link.


Bailey Session

This time I got to work with more than the twins. I love when I get to work with a family more than once. Especially this one. Still working on getting dad involved, but this time I got mom, the twins and their older brothers. Love these boys. Too much fun.




Next time, maybe we can get Mark (daddy)involved too.

First Place

Pretty stoked!

Last month, I entered a photo contest on a website ( It was on "Best Dads in the World". I entered this photo of Charlie and the Girls.


Just found out that I won First Place. Didn't win much, but pretty happy just the same!

I have also entered another photo contest. A little bit bigger spectrum than this one. Voting starts in August. Winner recieves a video iPod and a spot on TV, 2nd and 3rd place win the video iPod. I'd be extremely happy with 2nd or 3rd.

10 Years Today!

Wedding_1 Ten Years ago today, in the LDS San Diego, California Temple, Charlie and I were married and sealed for time and all eternity

We were both young and had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. Even with all of our challenges and struggles, if I had it to do over, I would a million times over.

He is my one true love. My knight in shining armor. My companion. My best friend. My lover. My eternal mate. I love him with all my heart and am happier and more in love today than on our wedding day. (And anyone there would tell you, that I was pretty giddy).


Charlie surprised me yesterday with my Anniversary Gift. This was a surprise for 2 reasons. 1) It was the day before our anniversary. A package came and I supposed it to be computer parts and so never even considered it for me. 2) We hadn't even discussed getting anything for each other, other than the cruise we took a couple months ago to celebrate our anniversary. So this was done all on his own. This was his idea, after me having only mentioned that I should have traded in my new pink razer phone for the itunes phone. But above and beyond the gift alone (which was enough for me), the kicker, is.... He had it engraved! "Happy 10th, I love you more than words can say". I almost cried when I saw the engraving. I love the gift, but more, I love that he did this on his own. I love that he had it engraved. I love that I didn't coach him to do it. I love him....more than words can say!

Happy 10th Anniversary honey. Here's to the rest of eternity together. I love you!

July Family BBQ

We had our Annual July Family BBQ this weekend. Since every year, the 4th lands on a different day, we have our family BBQ the Saturday before the 4th. It's always fun to get together with the family. We eat, we play, we joke, we tease....we even have a visit from the "Crocodile Hunter" ('s my nephew using the little kids as "crocs" with his funny accent and's a hoot!).


Gotta LOVE Jessica's Shirt! Talk about supporting her Aunt Tara! Thanks Jess!


Our group was smaller this year, but it was still good times.

Steven Davis

Steven Davis passed away this morning. He was in hospice care for terminal cancer. The doctors had given him six months to live, however, pneumonia complicated his condition and he passed away.

I've known Bishop Davis my whole life. We've lived on the same street since I was 5. He was my Bishop as a teenager. He was a teacher at one of the local High Schools. He was very smart. He loved to talk and share his knowledge.


Brother Davis will be missed by all including, wife, sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren and his friends as well.

Goucho Pants

So, I can't stand these kind of pants. I'm sure they are the most comfortable thing on the planet and are great if you don't mind looking overweight and frumpy! Just my opinion.

However, there is an exception. I think these pants look absolutely adorable on children. So when I saw this outfit, I just couldn't resist it for my little one. She is so spoiled.


Joylyn has also been learning some new tricks (hence the bruise and scratches on her forehead).

Family Fun!

Charlie got home at a decent hour tonight, so the girls played a little basketball and we hung out in the front yard. Then we headed up to Ventura and got us some "Dipping Dots". Plus I couldn't pass up on some seriously cute picture of Joylyn at lunch.




I was browsing some blogs today looking for something to inspire me. This caught my eye, thought I would share.

I AM: a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and among other things, an aspiring photographer

I WANT: to be a well known photographer

I HAVE: a beautiful family with four girls

I WISH: I could spend more time with my over worked hubby

I HATE: Liars. Be bold. Be honest.

I MISS: My uncle. He passed away this past November. Last few years we spent 4th of July as a family. This 4th of July will be our first family gathering without him.

I HEAR: The whirring of my computer. (it's late, my kids are in bed)

I WONDER: If things will work out smoothly and my family can really move to Texas this winter.

I REGRET: not realizing my passion for photography sooner.

I AM NOT: a morning person

I DANCE: When I am goofing off with my girls.

I SING: my baby to sleep, when I'm driving along in the car, and at church (not well, I might add)

I AM NOT ALWAYS: as eloquent as I would like to be.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: scrapbooks and crafts

I WRITE: lists. I am a list freak (finding out that my oldest daughter has inherited my psycho habit too)

I CONFUSE: peoples names. I am SO bad with names.

I NEED: Time to recover from illness.

I SHOULD: go to bed to recover from illness.

I START: the car, laundry, dinner, the dishwasher, the bathtub.....

I FINISH: when I am done.

Devin's Birthday

My nephews birthday party was yesterday.


Sweet Girls

Not only are they "sweet", their last name is "Sweet". My girls just adore these girls and I think they are pretty awesome too. This weekend they hung out at our house, so I thought I would take a few pics and see if I could get anything worth keeping. This is what I got!



Have You Ever?

Have you ever been going about your every day things and had a sudden flash of revelation, inspiration, understanding (whatever you want to call it)? That very thing happened to me today.

I had a sudden image of what hell is going to be like!

It was a large room, filled with PILES and PILES of dirty laundry....and I had to do it all! There were stains, dirt, caked in grime, molding, disgusting, unclean clothes! And it wouldn't stop, the piles went on forever. I could feel my heart sinking as I waded through the devastating scene that was before me. I felt sadness, dread, depression, and desperation as I had to begin the tedious task before me.

Then I came back to reality, looked around my laundry room and realized ...........................



Texas Bound???

Our Texas bound plans have been put on pause for the time being. A little disappointing, but we also see it as a blessing. Charlie got word from work that we may move to Texas, just not yet. (Yes, it's like playing "Mother May I?"). They need to finish up a couple big projects and make sure that there will be no hissy-fits over having no one here in California "on-site" from the company they do the work for. So we are looking to make our big move by the end of this year. Maybe sooner, but hopefully not later. We will be joining the Texan's soon. Yippee!! I can't wait!!!

Laura's Photo Shoot

Did a photo shoot with Boni, Laura and Austin. It got dark a little too quick, but still got some decent shots. Hope you like them.





Some Favorites

I was feeling a little colorless today but then came across these pictures. They are a few months old, but just wanted to share some color today. Have a very colorful day!





7 months old

Joylyn4 Just last week she turned 7 months old. She is one of the cutest little things.

For the past while she has been rolling over and over to get to where she wants to be. She would roll onto her tummy, turn in the right direction, then roll and roll and roll until she got to her destination. She is now crawling. (Sigh).

She is also picking up anything she can find and putting it in her mouth. The cleanest of homes is in danger of this little one. We vacuum constantly, pick up constantly, and yet I am still constantly sweeping her mouth to find papers and objects that she has eaten.

She is a whopping 16 1/2 lbs. and an even bigger 28in. long. (She is measuring off the charts for her height). She is so much fun. A pure bundle of joy.

Here are some more pictures of her and a few of her sisters.

Baileys Photos

A good friend of mine just had twins. A boy (Cole) and a girl (Christine). This is my first infant photo shoot. I had heard that infants can be more of a challenge to photograph, especially as they get older. It definitely was more of a challenge, then times it by two. But twice as fun. Thanks Marguerite.


One of "THOSE" Years!

We are headed into June. Almost half way through the year. It has been one of "those" years. The ones where you just keep having trial after trial and you aren't quite sure when it will stop? That is the kind of year that I am having. I think that it's just being 29. However, I am grateful for the challenges and the growing that I have done and am still doing.


I started my 29th year being very, "large with child". I was very uncomfortable and anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby #4. It was sure a difficult pregnancy and I was just happy that it would soon be at an end.


Joylyn Ruth Brooks arrived a few weeks later, on October 26th, 2005. Just before Halloween. It was a slow recovery, but well worth the effort.


In December, my Uncle David passed away. A very sad time. Even though I know with all my heart that we will see him again, it's hard to know that it won't be in this life. We love him dearly and he is missed greatly.


In January, I rolled my ankle off of a curb and tore ligaments in my ankle. Three weeks on crutches. Another 8 weeks in a walking boot. Then slowly using my foot, then physical therapy, it finally started to heal. Just in time for our anniversary cruise. Thank goodness.

Just before our cruise, Charlie was given "Notified Redeployment". Basically it meant that he was going to be "let go" due to financial cuts on the account he was working on. They were giving him 30-90 days to find a job either with IBM or with another company. So after our cruise, we started working on finding another job. (Not a pleasant experience).

A few weeks later, he was to meet with his boss about his job searching. Instead of the conversation we were expecting, Charlie's boss notified him that he was no longer on the Redeployment List and that he got to keep his job. So we have decided to ask permission to work from home and move to Texas. We are planning this move just after our vacation to Idaho in July/August. We are very excited and are looking forward to the new challenge before us.

However, I think my body had an over load. I threw out my back (doing who knows what), went to a chiropractor, got it fixed. Thought I had contracted Poison Oak somehow, but found out today that it is actually "Shingles". Shingles is a Chicken Pox virus, that is linked to being brought on by stress. Basically it is a virus that starts in your spine and travels out your nerves and leaves a rash (comparable to Poison Oak) on one side of your body. If caught early, it can be treated with anti-biotics. However, I didn't catch it early enough and now there is nothing to do but deal with the pain and wait it out.
I'm not sure what the next challenge is, but I expect one to come soon. I feel this year will be full of them. I'm anxiously awaiting 30 and hoping my 30th year will be much less eventful.

Swim Lessons

There is a new water park in the area. We decided to sign the kids up for Swim Lessons. They've only had three lessons and are making amazing progress. Not to mention all the fun they are having too. They've been so excited about all the "swimming" they are doing that they invited Grandpa along. So Grandpa and I watched as they swam. It was a fun day.


I LOVE that they both puff out their cheeks to hold their breath. It's too cute!

Strawberry Festival

Last weekend was the Oxnard Strawberry Festival. Basically it is Oxnards Tourist Trap. You spend tons of money to go and walk around and spend more money. We didn't stay very long, spent lots of money, but had fun just hanging with the family.

What matters is that the girls seemed to enjoy it. I can only handle it once every few years (few being 5-10 years).






Happy Birthday Christa!

For Christa's birthday I gave her a photo shoot with the boys.




Happy Mother's Day

It truly was a "Happy" Mothers day. Charlie woke up with the baby all night, so I was able to get some real sleep. I woke up to breakfast in bed. Charlie and the girls made me french toast with jam and powdered sugar and then some oranges and Chocolate milk. The girls gave me the gifts they made. All of them gave me at least 2 cards each that they made on the computer or at school. Resa bought me some gum and Jillian had made a ceramic tile at school of fish and seaweed. Then we got ready for church, had a wonderful day at church and then came home for dinner at mom and dads and then over to Charlie's mom's house to give her a card and then back to mom and dad's for dessert to celebrate Christa's birthday. What I nice relaxing day. A truly wonderful Mothers Day. Thank you!

What were you thinking?

For all you American Idol voters...I've got a beef to pick with you!

Ya'll realize that in American Idol (as opposed to other reality shows), we are voting for who we want to STAY on the show. NOT who we want kicked off! This is the only explanation I can think of when it comes to Chris Daughtry getting the boot last night and Elliott being in the top two. I can understand, if he had a REALLY bad night, but he didn't. He lost out to Miss Can't remember the lyrics to an ELVIS song for goodness sakes. He lost out to Mr. Goofy looking guy too!

Don't get me wrong. They are all good and talented. But when it comes to the final four, when you have to step it up..(like Taylor Hicks did in my opinion...GO TAYLOR), you can't go doing the same ol' thing or forgetting the lyrics. The universe has been altered. My world is not right anymore. Ok. Maybe I'm not that dramatic about it, but I still say, ROCK ON CHRIS!!! When's the album coming out? I'll buy it!!!!


My Grandpa is cooler than your grandpa

Reasons why my Grandpa is cooler than yours:

1. He makes the best scones and potato soup.

2. He sings "Cow Patty" on his guitar.

3. He takes us on walks in the wagon.

4. He takes us to "Low tide" to check out all the cool sea animals.

5. He came out and jumped with us on the trampoline!


Who says 60 something is too old to jump on the trampoline?

Wanna Talk About Me

"I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number one, oh my me my. What I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see. I like talkin about you, you, you, you, usually. But occassionally, I wanna talk about me!" -Tobey Keith

Ok. So normally, I would love to hear more about someone else than about myself, but I'm in an odd mood tonight.

To know me, to really know to know the following:

1. I LOVE country music. Love Tobey Keith. I also love rocking out and jazz (especially Harry Connick Jr.). Really I just love music.

2. I LOVE to laugh. I love laughing with my girls, with my husband, at a good comedian, anything that tickles my fancy. However, I passionately disklike being tickled. Especially my feet. Watch out, you may get kicked upside the head if you do. (some know this from experience).

3. I am a LIST-aholic. I make lists of my lists. Not necessarily "to do" lists, where I check things off. But writing a list helps me organize my thoughts...which leads to number 4.

4. I am extremely organized when it comes to my thoughts and my work. My home, however, is "lived in" and "not-so-organized" (it's hard to have it any other way with 4 girls). But I love being organized. I love when I have it all together and planned and ready for anything.

5. I am a worry wart. This is something that I am working on...not worrying so much. But if there is something to worry about, I will. I'm extremely cautious when it comes to safety. (Mine or my families). I constantly think about the "worst case scenario". Because of this, I hate to be left in a house alone after dark, go out alone after dark, or have strangers come up to me unexpectedly! FREAKS ME OUT!!!

6. I LOVE my camera! I LOVE capturing the personalities of others. I LOVE the challenge. I LOVE the creative outlet. I LOVE capturing those moments in time forever. And when someone else loves the pictures I take for them, I love it even more!

7. I love eating. Not just anything. I love eating really good food. I'll eat fast food, home made food, etc. But I can do without it too. I CRAVE delicious food. The kind that you take a bite and just want to savor it forever. The kind where you walk away thinking, "OH! YUM!" Favorite restaurants: Cheesecake Factory and Maddey's Tavern. OH! YUM!

8. Love my "pickies". Ever since I was a baby, I had a yarn tied blanket (not always the same one). I "pick" at the little yarn bows and always have. It's a habit. One that I have never been able to break. One that I've never had a real desire to break. So to this day, I have a blanket with "pickies".

9. Most importantly, I love my family and friends. I love spending "family time", playing games, talking, watching a movie. I love hanging out with friends, eating, chatting, just being me. I love being around people that just let me be me.


Charlie took this photo of me in Catalina. I like it!