Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just A New Car!

Last week was an interesting week that started out kinda fun. Ike had been studying cars for weeks if not months trying to decide exactly the car he was to get next. He wanted a smaller car to drive back and forth from the office.  It is 25 miles one way.  His big diesel truck was just using too much gas and putting too many miles on it.

Ike finally came to the conclusion that he was going to get a black 2 door coupe convertible Mercedes.  He had found the most awesome deal on this particular one.  It had everything he wanted plus more.  He was so excited.  He got to pick it up on Tuesday afternoon.  He was having a great time and enjoying his new car.

Fast forward 3 days to Friday.  Ike and I had just attended a funeral of some dear friends of ours who had lost their precious grandson days before.  The funeral was in Queen Creek. I had rode to the funeral with my friend Marilyn and met Ike there at the church.  After the funeral we left and were going to go meet Marilyn and Mike at YC's which happens to be one of our favorite restaurants.  We decided to go a different way home and took Power road.  We had just stopped at the stop light that had turned red at the intersection of Rittenhouse, Power and Pecos Rd.  Ike stopped a little hard because the light turned quickly.  As I watched in my side view mirror a white AC van come barreling out of no where slamming into the back of our car.  It hit us so hard it sent us about 25 feet out in to this huge intersection.

We found out later the AC van was going about 50 miles an hour when he hit us.  The airbags behind our head deployed and the seat belts sucked us in like a sardine.  As we sat there contemplating what just happen and if we both were really still on earth I quickly began trying to get this seatbelt unlatched because it was so tight I couldn't even breath.  I unlatched it and opened my door to get out so I could stand up to breath again.  My chest and head were in immense pain. Airbag deployed caused the head pain and the seatbelt caused the chest pain.  Not too mention the incredible jolt tweaking my whole body.

Several people came running to help us get out of the road and to safety.  Ike lingered in the car a few more minutes trying to decide if he should move out of the intersection or not.  He chose to do so and brought the car to rest on the side of the road where he was safe.  Paramedics and police were called and quickly responded to our accident. I was checked out by the paramedics.  They tried to get me to go in the ambulance to the hospital to get checked out but we decided that we would head over to the hospital to get checked out afterwards.  Ike had so much adrenaline that I don't think he felt the pain he had until a while later.  Marilyn and Mike came and sat with us and then drove us to our home after.

We got home and then headed over to Banner Gateway Hospital to both get looked at and evaluated.  My sternum was really hurting.  It was determined that I had a severely bruised sternum and that we both suffered terrible whiplashes.  Both vehicles were towed away.  Oh by the way did I mention it was my first real ride in the new car? We both were very sad to see the car go but at the same time so very grateful we were in that car.  The safety features are what saved our life.

The damage to the car seems minimal but trust me it was like that van hit a tank.  It will be interesting to see what damage was caused under the car due to the incredible impact of the other vehicle.  Mercedes's are one of the strongest and safest cars made.  I feel very grateful that Ike and I walked away with such minor injuries compared to what we could have had.  I did have to return to see an orthopedic doctor today and found out I have two fractured ribs.  Nothing I can do but at least I know where the pain is coming from now.  Ike's back continues to be sore as does mine but again we are both so grateful we survived a very scary ordeal.

Another funny twist to this crazy accident is just a few days before this accident Ike had been asked to speak in church. Guess what his topic was?  Adversity!  He had a great real life experience to tell.  Ike did a fantastic job on his talk!  Here are just a few pictures of the accident.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Last Eagle Has Landed!

We had a very special event occur this last week.  Cameron received his Eagle Scout Award.  With Cameron only being 13 years old that was quite the feat.  Last summer right after Cameron turned 13 he was bound and determined to get his project done.  After looking over many possible projects Cameron selected a really great one.  He chose to help a homeless shelter in Phoenix called the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Because of the intense heat during the summer water seems to be by far their greatest need.  So Cameron made a goal of collecting 10,000 bottles of water for this shelter.  He began by securing several cooperate donations and ended up with about $800.  He was able to purchase 7 pallets of water from Costco with that money.  He then passed out over 500 flyers to our neighborhood as well as the surrounding ones.

On the designated Saturday him and about 30 scouts, friends and family collected the remaining cases of water from the neighborhoods.  By the end Cameron had 6 vehicles with trailers carrying over 22,000 bottles of water.  He more than doubled his goal of 10,000.  Here are a few pictures from that day.

This last Wednesday Cameron received his award and became an official Eagle Scout!  We are so proud of you Cameron.  Way to go!  

So I now am the proud mother of 3 sons that are all Eagle Scouts.  Not to mention the great example of their dad which is also an Eagle Scout.  

Cameron 2012

My other two Eagle Scout sons:  Spencer & Dallin

Spencer got his in 2010

Dallin got his in 2002

Monday, January 16, 2012

Long Over Due Family Gathering

I come from a very small family.  Growing up it was just my mother, brother and I.  My father died when I was 7 years old.  I have an aunt Judee who has been like a 2nd mother to me.  I have uncle Nate & Phyllis and their 2 daughters Jennie & Laurie.  Jennie is married to Ron and they have two kids, Summer & Adam.  Laurie is married to Bud and they have two kids, Desi & Jaela.  My brother David had came for a visit this weekend.  He lives in Sacremento, California. 

Well I decided we needed a family get together while he was here so I planned a dinner at my house.  They all were able to make it but Laurie and her family.  We had not all been together in over 5 or 6 years so it was a very long over due gathering.  I can not tell you how wonderful it was to have us all under the same roof.  I have missed them all so much. 

It is times like this that really make you appreciate your family be it big or small. We had a wonderful dinner and then shared some pictures, stories and even some musical talents. It was a fun evening for all of us.  I sure hope it does not take another 6 years to get us all together again.  So to my small but every so precious family I love you! Thank you for being part of life. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Wish Came True!

I have been waiting for years for my very favorite restaurant Cafe Zupas to come to Arizona. Every time we have gone to Utah for the last 3 years we have eaten at Cafe Zupas. I would always ask them when are you going to build one in Arizona. They could never tell me when.

 Well thanks to Facebook I recently discovered that a Cafe Zupas was opening up in Phoenix and the Grand Opening was this last Saturday. Ike, Cameron and I went to the grand opening and thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. Then on Sunday I was talking about it to a few of my friends and before I knew it we had a whole group wanting to go for lunch today.

 So yes I have died and gone to heaven. Zupas is a short 25 miles now instead of 648 miles. The next best thing will be when they build one in the east valley where I live. So for now I will travel for my Zupas. Yes I do love my Cafe Zupas!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Trip to Asia November 2011

I really wanted to keep my blog post of things that happen in the year 2012 but I just have to share a trip that Ike and I took with our good friends Sarah and Hunt Udall last month. We went on a ten day trip to Thailand, Cambodia and Hong Kong. It was an adventure of a lifetime. We saw, did, ate, and rode everything imaginable. We had a wonderful time! Here is just a few of the pictures I want to share from the trip. Enjoy!

Here is a day to day schedule of all the stuff we did while in Asia:

Trip to Thailand, Cambodia & Hong Kong 2011

Day One: (Friday)
  ·     Left Phoenix for LAX
·        Thought we would have a 5-hour layover but was asked if we wanted to take the earlier flight and we jumped at it. 
·         Left LAX for Hong Kong
Day Two: (Saturday)
·       Arrived in Hong Kong and had a two hour layover
·       Experienced our first not so desirable Chinese noodle soup
·       Soon Left for Thailand (very long and uncomfortable flight)

Day Three: (Sunday)
·       Arrived in Thailand as scheduled
·       Went through immigration and headed for baggage to retrieve our bags
·       Was anxious to see if Onanong & Sanit were there to pick us up.
·       After a long wait for luggage and getting through immigration we were finally were
     reunited with Ononang & Sanit.  They were waiting just like they said they would.
·       It was a joyful reunion after 18 years.  They both looked exactly the same.  We were so
     excited to see them.
·       We gathered up all our stuff and headed out to their car.  They then took us to their home about 20 minutes away in Bangkok.
·      We visited for a while and then Onanong fixed us a traditional Thai lunch.
·       Their home was nice.  They lived in a gated community with a large gate at their home. 
·       After a few hours of visiting we left their home to head to our hotel we were staying at that evening.
·       We first stopped at the Bangnaa Branch. It was just as I remembered it.  I even recognized a few of the members.  We had a short but sweet visit.  Onanong had her little choir group sing for Ike & I.  They sang Christmas Songs.
·        From Bangnaa we headed to the Westin Hotel in downtown Bangkok.
·       We checked into our room and brought all our belongings up to our room.
·       Onanong and Sanit walked with us for a few minutes outside the hotel as we looked for some souvenirs.  We only had one night in Bangkok so we needed to shop.
·       Onanong & Sanit had to leave quickly unexpected because their son had lost his house key and could not get in their home.
·       We were sad to say goodbye so soon and so quickly but we understood.
·       Ike & I continued shopping for a few hours before heading back to our hotel.
·       We met up with Sarah & Hunt when we returned.

Day Four: (Monday)
·       We had to leave the hotel very early to catch our flight to Cambodia.
·       We arrived at the airport and got checked in for our flight
·       We flew Bangkok Air to Cambodia
·       Upon arriving we were met by a local tour guide and a driver.
·       We gathered our stuff and our adventure in Cambodia began.
·      We first went and checked in at the Le Meridian Cambodia.
·      Our room was not ready so we put our luggage in Sarah & Hunt’s room
·      We then all met in the lobby and we were off to Angkor Wat.
·      Angkor Wat has many temples adjacent to the main temple so we went and saw then first.  Each temple had its uniqueness to them.
·      We spent several hours exploring each of the temples.  We went to 3 of the other temples before spending the rest of our day at the main temple in Angkor Wat.
·       Our visit to Angkor Wat took the entire day.  The temples were beyond amazing.  The detail and history was so incredibly fascinating.
·       We then returned to our hotel that evening.  Hunt was not feeling well so him and Sarah stayed in while Ike and I set out to explore the nightlife of Siem Reap.
·       We took a fun ride through the town on a motorcycle style coach.
·       We went to a very nice and very authentic cambodian restaurant.  Several people waited us on because for a good while we were the only guests in the restaurant.  It was a very nice dinner.
·       We then continued the night by shopping.  We were in a night shopping area full of fun and authentic Cambodia souvenirs. 
·       We bought many things.  We finished the evening at a jewelry stand purchasing many small priced silver and birthstone items.
·       Our ride back to the hotel was fun.  Nightlife in Siem Reap was a wonderful experience.
·       We then turned in for the night.  Jet lag had started to really kick in so we slept well that night.

Day Five: (Tuesday)
·       We woke up very early to go to the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
·       Our tour guide Chow and our driver picked us up and off we went.
·       We arrived at the temple at about 5:30am.  We found our way through the temple and sat on the wall of the library in the temple as the sunset rose.  We took many incredible pictures.
·       We then ate breakfast at a little restaurant just outside the temple.
·       We then headed back to our hotel to check out and retrieve our luggage.
·       We then continued with our tour guide to the floating village of Vietnamese and Cambodians.
·       We board a barge type boat that took us way out on a very large fresh water lake.
·       Going through the floating village of these people was absolutely humbling.  The pictures we took are simply national geographic quality.
·        Many little boats drove along our bigger boat trying to sell us things.  One boat even came by us with a little girl about 4 years old with a bowcontrictor snake around her neck.
·        Seeing how these people lived was just amazing.
·        We then ended our time in Siem Reap traveling to the airport to fly back to Thailand.
·        Just the drive through the town was an adventure seeing all the pople and how they lived.
·        We arrived at the airport and got our luggage checked on.  We had about a two-hour wait.
·      We flew to Bangkok and waited for about another two hours before we boarded our next flight to Phuket, Thailand.
·        Our flight to Phuket was the most memorable flight out of all our flights.
·        We knew it was raining in Phuket but did not know the severity until our pilot tried to land.  He aborted the first landing and continues out into the ocean to turn around.  He then made a second attempt only to quickly abort that attempt.  After flying for what seemed forever back to the ocean our pilot made a third attempt.  This time aborting it and taking us clear back to Bangkok to refuel and wait out the storm.
·        We waited on the tarmac for about two hours before heading back to Phuket.
·        Our fourth attempt was successful and we landed without incident.  We were told it was quite the rainstorm but when we landed we could not see any evidence of it. 
·        We then took a shuttle to our hotel called The Westin Bay & Resort Hotel.  It was a beautiful hotel that overlooked the ocean.  We checked in and called it a night.

Day Six: (Wednesday)
·        We woke up and went and had a wonderful breakfast buffet there at our resort. 
·        We then boarded a tour to Phanga Na Island.  We were on a really nice large speedboat with about 25 others.  It took us to quite a few different islands around the main island of Phanga Na Island.
·        We got to take chaffered canoes into little caves that opened up into the islands.  We saw lots of monkeys.  The scenery was beautiful. 
·        We ate lunch on the main island and then went sightseeing to some more islands before heading back to Phuket.  It was a really fun day on the ocean.
·        We returned to our hotel and went swimming in the resort pool.  It was a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean.
·        We then decided to head into town to eat dinner.  We had a really hard time finding a place to eat.  We ended up eating
·        We then decided to go get massages.  I went and shopped for a bit and then went and got a foot massage.  The others got full body thai massages.
·        We then headed back to our hotel and called it a night.

Day Seven: (Thursday)

·        We once again got up and went to the hotel breakfast buffet.  It was wonderful.  By far our favorite of the trip.
·        We then boarded another tour bus and headed to Phi Phi Island.  The speedboat this time was a bit smaller.  The waters were very choppy so it made for quite the ride.
·        We had to go a lot farther to get to Phi Phi Island.  We saw some beautiful scenery.
·        A few of the islands we got to snorkel.  There were beautiful fish in one of the areas.
     The beaches were white and the water was blue. 
·       The last island we went to was called Bamboo Island.  We all were so tired we just laid on our towels and relaxed.  I went up and down the shoreline and collected a few fun shells. 
·       We then headed back to Phuket.  Again the water was very choppy.  It even rained on us as we were traveling back.
·       We made it back to Phuket and headed back to our hotel.
·       We had dinner there at the resort and man was it wonderful.  Probably one of the best meals we had all week.
·       After dinner Ike and I decided to go back into town for some shopping and we both went and got full body massages. It was an interesting massage. It was good but a little different from what I was used too.
·       We then headed back to the resort.

Day Eight: (Friday)
·        Happy Birthday to Me!  Yes it was my birthday.  With us being in Thailand and the fact that we were a day ahead I got to celebrate my birthday for two days.  Kind of fun.
·       We woke up and went to the wonderful breakfast buffet before we packed up and headed to the airport.
·       We flew back to Bangkok without incident.  Definitely a better flight then the one we came on to Phuket.
·       We had a two-hour layover before we headed to Hong Kong.
·       We ate lunch there at the airport and I finally got to eat my som thom and khawnio Mamuang .   
·       We had a good flight to Hong Kong and arrived at 8pm Friday night.
·       We took a taxi to our hotel the Le Meridian Cyperport. 
·       We checked in and decided to go to the restaurant there at the hotel.
·       We ate French fries and ice cream cups.  The waitress put a candle in my ice cream cup to celebrate my birthday.
·       We then headed back to our rooms and called it a night.

Day Nine: (Saturday)
·       We woke up early and headed to Victoria Peak.  We were told to get there early before the crowds.  We were glad we did.
·       We ate breakfast at a little café.  Not the best breakfast we had but it was ok.
·       We then went to the lookouts and took lots of pictures.  It is one of the highest peaks on the island.
·       We then took the tram down the steep mountainside.
·       We saw some impressive views for sure.
·       We then board a Big Red Double Decker Tour bus to see the island.   We stayed on it for several hours seeing and learning all about Hong Kong. 
·       We then went to the Central station to ride the ferry over to the Kowloon side.  We ate hamburgers there on the pier before taking the ferry to Kowloon. 
·       We took a taxi and went and saw the Hong Kong Temple.  We took lots of pictures and then headed to a night shopping place called Temple Street shopping. We bought some fun souvenirs.
·       We then took the underground train back to the main island and headed back to our hotel.

Day Ten: (Sunday)
·       We woke up and headed out for the day.  Ike and I decided to go off on our own for the day.  We had different things we wanted to do then Sarah and Hunt. 
·       We took the ferry over to Kowloon and continued our Big Red Bus Double Decker tour over there.  We then got off in a shopping district called Moncock.  We shopped for watches and found some really nice ones.
·        We then headed back to Temple Street to meet up with a vendor guy for another present we needed. 
·        We then met up with Sarah and Hunt and went to dinner.  We went to a really fancy place but got lousy service.  It was not our favorite meal at all.  We were happy to be done.
·        We then headed back to Temple Street Night Shopping for our last minute shopping needs. 
·        We headed back to the hotel and called it a night. 
·        Ike and I were hungry so we ordered room service. 

Day Eleven: (Monday)
·        Our last and final day.
·        Ike and I woke up and got all packed and ready to go.  Sarah and Hunt decided to stay back but Ike and I were ready to do one last adventure.
·        We took a shuttle into the main airport sub station to drop our luggage off and get our boarding passes.
·        We then took the train or should I say a few trains to find the ICC (International Commerce Center) on the Kowloon side.  It is the 4th tallest building in the world.
·        We first found a little café and had lunch.
·       We then took the elevator to the 100th floor.  There was a 360-degree view of the whole island.  It was very spectacular.
·       We then boarded our last train and headed for the airport.
·      We arrived in plenty of time and enjoyed Starbucks as we waited for our flight to LA
·       Our flight from Hong Kong was 12 hours.
·        It was long and boring but uneventful which was fine with me.

  Day Twelve: (Monday)
·       We arrived in LA around noon home time.
·       We then went through customs.  All went well.
·       We picked our luggage up and headed in a shuttle to our next gate.
·       We had about a two-hour wait till our final flight home.
·       We boarded and flew to Phoenix.
·      We picked up our luggage and headed to the pick up area.
·      Marilyn, Spencer & Taylor arrived with roses in hand.
·      We all got in Marilyn’s van and headed home
·      Arrived about 6:30pm safe and sound after a very long 11 days!
·       Happy to be home!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's Official "Tonya Has A Blog"

Well it is official.  Tonya Tippetts has started a blog.  I am so excited.  I spent the morning with my dear friend Tami as she helped me set it all up.  I am sure there will be many questions and lots of errors so please be patient with me as I learn the ropes of the blogging world.  Watch out world Tonya has a blog!