Penelope Lake, 2nd grade, loves to make cards, got an artist table for Christmas, loves to eat, graduated Suzuki piano book one in December, sweetest little girl we know.

January 2005

Grandma & Grandpa Lake Home from their fifth mission
in Hawaii/Christmas Island

This year opened with a big welcome home party for Boyd and Dale Lake. As Brace says, "The name Christmas island is ironic because it is the only place in the world Santa absolutely refuses to go." We almost lost Dale on that little island but the doctors fixed her up and she seems to be doing great now!

My Sister Diane sings the Lead in a Christmas Opera

We had a great trip going to Riverside to see my sister Diane as the mother in "Amahl and the Night Visitors". She has a beautiful voice and it was fun time for all. It was this performance that lead Savannah to declare she wants to be an opera singer! With all the pictures, I took NO pictures of Diane! Oops. We went with lots of our friends pictured here.

Friendship Dinner at our House
We had a Ward friendship dinner and had a great time. Brace carved the turkey, surrounded by many friends.

Our First Trip to Lego Land
Karen and the girls went with Bonnie Nakamoto (a missionary on Brace's mission) and her beautiful family to Lego Land. We had a great time with all the creations and lego art master creations.

My Sister Lynda Was Here
My sister Lynda visited from up North and Savannah and I had a great time visiting with her in Laguna Beach.

Karstin's Art Show at the High School
In 8th grade Karstin attended the Orange County High School for the Arts in Santa Ana. Here she is pictured with some of her visual art buddies; Emily, Adrienne, Sasha and a teacher, Mrs. Easton.

Brace looking sexy at the Sacred Pools!

Albert & Jerry Paulus traveling in 1997. We miss you Mom!

February 2005

My Dad: Albert Paulus Turns 78
We had a great party and you'll see some great d and Dale kissing. We also have shots of my brother smiling. This is noteworthy. Such pictures of him are rare.

Brace and Don Meet Governor Huntsman of Utah
Only Brace would crack a joke in a formal meeting with the Governor of Utah. As you can see from the picture, he got it away with it as he does with almost everything.

Welcome to Hawaii
This year's company trip was to Hawaii. Who said garage doors aren't sexy! We even saw some old friends, Nate and Nellie Pugsley at the opening party. One of our first adventures was to the Blowhole. Karen was quite cautious but Brace was able to convince Shauna Moffitt to take a look. And then of course the whole gang took a picture before leaving…

Art & the Luau
We try to find a nice art piece for these trips every year. We found our piece in Lahaina. It goes nicely on our green wall on the stairs. We spent a lot of time with our friends Dave and Shauna. That night we had a traditional luau with the Lake's, Haslam's, Moffit's and the Mehr's. Brace insisted that I include this picture of this "man" that danced in the show. He was as as a three dollar bill. If Michael Jackson were there, even he would have pointed and laughed.

The Road to Hana
A fun day of the trip was driving up the crazy, winding road to Hana. The Mehr's started with us but decided it was too much to continue. We arrived at the sacred pools and took pictures. Dares were made to dive by Dave Haslam, Dave Moffit and Brace. We took a different way back. We wanted to take some scenic shots, but of course the boys couldn't be serious. Beware these pictures are not G-rated. And then the craziest stop of all - the Mono Café. This place is virtually inaccessible with out multiple hours of driving commitment. To say the owner-couple were hippies would be an understatement. I don't think the owners of this store had showered in weeks. And then of course Diana, Shauna and I had to have a little fun with whip cream before we left.

Memorial to my Mom
On Valentine's day we had our traditional memorial dinner for Mom. This year we did it in Moreno Valley at the Green Dragon. Sensational food and company. Brace wanted to take Karate lessons from the waiter.

Geneil's Performs in Pirates of Penzance
My niece Geneil Perkins was in Pirates of Penzance and we all trucked down to Moreno Valley to see her in it!

Meet Flat Stanley. He traveled to Hawaii thanks to Grandma
and Grandpa Lake, to the Ukraine thanks to Elder Worth
Dayley and to England thanks to Pat & John Fletcher.
Notice his pin that he received while in Canterbury, England.

March 2005

Lion King
We took a trip with our friends the Carroll's, Warner's and the Wells to see Lion King at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The kids loved it. Brace hated it.

Flat Stanley Goes to England
Our dear friends, Pat & John Fletcher, from England helped Penelope become the winner for her 1st grade Flat Stanley contest! They wrote an entire story and took Flat Stanley (a paper doll) to various tourist spots in England. They started at their beautiful home covered with Wisteria and ended up in Canterbury to see the cathedral. As you can imagine Penelope was overjoyed and Karen cried when she received the incredible package! Compared to the other kids in class, this Stanley's trip was second only to the family who sent theirs to Bakersfield.

Leslie & Ben Have a New Addition
On March 29, 2005 Ethan Ashby is born to Leslie and Ben (Leslie is Don Lake's daughter). You can see cute pictures of him with his brother Curtis.

Back to School Penelope
This year for 1st grade, Penelope's teachers are Mrs. Warren & Mrs. Tescher.

Certificate of Merit and Penelope's Piano Recital
This year Karstin participated and passed her level for Certificate of Merit for piano. I have also included a picture of Penelope at her piano recital.

Savannah just found her basket underneath the
dining room chairs.
April 2005

Easter at the Perkins
We celebrated Easter at the Perkins because of their backyard is perfect for hiding eggs.

Last Day of Disneyland Passes
Karstin took her friends Adrienne, Emily and Sasha to Disneyland before our passes expired. I LOVE Karstin's friends. They even played hand games with Penelope while they waited in line. And Penelope got a picture with Elastigirl. Brace joined us around noon and lasted about 15 minutes. I don't think we'll ever get him to return to the magic kingdom.

Karstin Officially Receives Her Young Women Recognition
Even though Karstin finished last July she received her official YW recognition in April. She had a display and got to be right next to her friend IdaMay. We are so proud of her!

Spring Break this year was UTAH
We visited with Newell Dayley at BYU and went to the BYU museum. We visited my favorite professor, Gus Clark. We received a guided tour through his home and saw more antiques than Oprah eats sandwiches. We attended General Conference at the new conference center in Salt Lake. We stayed several days with our dear friends in St George, Steve and Janice Swann. Sadly, I didn't take a picture of beautiful Janice. You'll have to trust us that she was there. We went with the girls and Jeff & Susan Frazier to the St. George temple and did temple baptisms.

May 2005

Penelope's Seussical Birthday
This year we had Penelope's birthday part AT the musical "Suessical" at Tesoro High School. They let us have our party in the lobby; the entire cast sang happy birthday to Penelope AND Penelope got to lead the orchestra alongside Cat in the Hat. I know we can never top that one.

Motorcycle Ride with Lori
Brace and I went on a day ride with my cousin Lori Knoefler for the day and had a great time. The girls wanted pictures on the bike before we left. Mom is a mean one and won't let the kids ride the motorcycle until they are 18 years old.

Karstin Lake, 9th grade, 4.0 GPA, gifted classical pianist
budding seamstress, talented artist, over-achiever, wants
to be an Interior Designer.

June 2005

June Mancation
Well the mancation was a resounding success again. I think they went to the Grand Canyon (St George, Bryce Canyon, & Zion) but of course they never tell me anything so I really can't be sure. I even think they let one woman attend. Sue Ellen Hall would be the brave woman that cooked and cleaned for them.

Penelope's Midsummer Night's Dream
Penelope was a mustard-seed fairy in a purple costume. There were no orange or yellow costumes left and we all know mom hates orange anyway. She was great with her TWO big lines.

Karstin's Eighth Grade Graduation Party
Sasha, Adrienne, and Emily were there and ready to party. I chaperoned the party and it was really quite a neat event. Emily's parents did most of the work and Karstin was the one to spear-head the committee in the first place. Mrs. Browne gave awards and Karstin was voted by her schoolmates "Most Likely to Succeed".

Penelope's Last Day of School
They had a great big tea party at the park. Karstin went and took great pictures with an especially nice picture of Penelope and Mrs. Tescher.

Last Tap Performance at OCHSA
Karstin had her final tap performance right before school ended. The Arts High School has no sports, so for PE you can choose among many dance classes or a fitness class (for boys that don't want to dance, although most of the boys at this school would have no problem with any type of dance class).

Savannah scaring Miss. Hannigan with a rat.

Brace as "Drake" with Miss Hannigan in "Annie".

July 2005

Savannah and Brace in "Annie"
Savannah's spirit soared after hearing she landed the part of 'Kate' in Annie. She was the cutest orphan and loved the whole experience. Savannah made lots of new "orphan" friends too. Brace played the part of "Drake" the butler and learned what life is like having rehearsal 4 or 5 days a week. Grandma Mains and Aunt Debby came all the way from Colorado to see the show on the same night that my Grandpa Silly came. The Swann's and the Moffit's were in town and came to see the show too! Word got out that Brace was singing, dancing and wearing makeup. These friends had to come see for themselves (Brace refused the makeup).

Houseboat Trip
We were lucky enough to be invited for a return trip to the houseboat on Lake Mead. Jerry toured us on his ski boat while Sue Ellen held on to our precious Penelope. All the girls except Penelope enjoyed the wake board. Jerry is quite the hot-dogger. and Karstin even caught a picture of mom taking a ride. For the benefit of Penelope they took a lot of rides on the banana. Carin and Karstin had a great time together but we really missed Brace & Savannah. They had performances for "Annie" and couldn't join us.

Fourth of July
This year the church's celebration was the local park down the street. They had a flag-retirement or burning ceremony (you would have to be a boy scout to understand) and Penelope thought she could pull Dad in the children's parade.

Karstin Turns 14
At the beginning of summer, Karstin swore off desserts and junk-food, so coming up with a birthday cake was tricky. We settled on a watermelon filled with fruit. We found birthday candles that were on toothpicks perfect for the fruit! Here is the whole gang before we left for the beach.

Savannah's Obsession
Savannah dreams of being an Egyptologist. She wants to major in Anthropology with an archaeology emphasis. In preparation, she attended the King Tut exhibit, she attends local Egyptian lectures, studies Latin and plans to study Arabic next year in 9th grade. When she is motivated by something - watch out!

Newport Beach Temple Dedicated 8/2005

Karen with Joanne Vargas at the beach.
August 2005

Newport Beach Temple
In August we had the Newport Beach Temple Open House. We took several trips to see the temple with friends including the Starks, Crandall's, Pedersen's, Danny Jambone, Kyle Peterson, and many of Karstin's friends, but only seemed to have the camera once. Savannah and Karstin were blessed to be able to participate and dance in the Temple Celebration at the Anaheim Pond with 4000 other youth. As Sasha said, "It was better than Broadway". You could only understand if you were there. It was quite the sight to behold. We attended with friends such as Danny, Sasha, Kyle, Beti, Amy, and my Dad.

Penelope Performs in the Wizard of Oz
Thanks to encouragement and carpooling help from my dear friend, Lauri Meredith, Penelope participated in her first musical. She performed as a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz at Musical Theater Village in Irvine. Penelope made a new friend Sarah, "Glenda, the good witch." Penelope's first grade teacher, the Wilsons, the Kings, and my Dad attended. Aunt Doreen was here for Don's wedding, so she came to the show too.

A Day at the Beach with the Moffitt's
The Moffit's were in Newport Beach for their annual trip with their family and invited us to visit. Mom & the girls went to join them and we had a great time. We love the Moffitt family.

Jean Freeman and Albert Paulus as children

Albert Paulus (my Dad) and Jerry Holmes the "Big Mormon" from North Carolina

September 2005

A Visit to See My Aunt Jean Freeman
My Dad and I flew to North Carolina to see Jean Freeman, his only sister. We had a great trip and it was fun to see Jean. She was in bad shape but happy as always. Larry and Teresa take such nice care of Jean and we were so impressed with their three amazing and wholesome children, Jason, Tyler, and Sara. What is so beautiful about this trip is that we had no idea that in December she would pass to the other side. We felt so blessed to visit her during her last months on earth.

Duke University
Dad insisted that I see the university that "cigarettes built". Well I wasn't ready for this. It was such a beautiful campus, built as a copy of Yale. We just happened to arrive during choir practice at the cathedral. As Dad would say, "The choir director was a dictator, but what a great choir." Before practice ended they left the choir loft and surrounded the chairs and the director stood on a pew right behind us, which gave us the illusion that they were singing right to us. The music was SO beautiful with such amazing acoustics that my father and I just wept.

Jerry & Kim Holmes
The fun thing about Dad is that wherever you go, he knows someone at a university nearby. This time he knew the "big Mormons", as he would say, at North Carolina State University. I think Jerry Holmes was one of his grad students. They seemed to have an understanding, so I didn't feel the need to translate or apologize for the crazy things Dad would say. We went to dinner with Jerry and his wife, and then joined them for church the next day. They are a delightful family and seemed to really like my dad. And right across the street is the North Carolina Temple, which we visited on Saturday. Dad had a long talk about the war with the guy running the temple front desk. As you know, Dad can, and will talk to anyone.

Penelope's First Day of School
Mrs. Schulthess is Penelope's teacher for 2nd grade and we couldn't be happier. Savannah had her for 2nd grade and just loved her!

The Bike Toys

Karstin ready for her first church dance at 14 years old.

October 2005

October Mancation
Yes we have had to start naming them by the month because they have gone way over this annual thing. The boys have a great time. And yes that wasn't a typo, boys is what I meant to write. Bob Schiller got a great picture of Brace out in the field.

Halloween Party
This year Brace dressed up as Napoleon Dynamite and sang in the Ward Band. What a ringer! You can catch our Bishop sporting his Clark Kent/Superman costume. Savannah and Penelope decided to be twin-witches this year and they looked as gorgeous as ever. Savannah has such beautiful features, especially with a little eyeliner and eyebrow pencil. Karstin decided to be Medusa, complete with snakes on her head and a real snake in her hand. For those of you that don't know, Karstin has a Ball-Python for a pet while Savannah has a Leopard Gecko in her room. We tell them that they can have any pet they want, as long as we can leave it for a week without trouble.

Karstin's Divine Design
Karstin planned from beginning to end, an elaborate Young Women activity with two guest speakers, Ken Brown and Jenni Whitesides, with a surprise visit from Jimmy her husband. She sang her first Young Women duet with her buddy Carley Wells and she beautifully decorated seven tables to make everything complete. Her theme was based on the idea that decorating a house is like planning your life. Without a plan, you're not going to like what you get. Her speakers talked about the importance of using the scriptures in planning your life.

The Movieland Wax Museum
My friend suggested we go to the closing day of Movieland Wax Museum on Halloween Day because there was no school. Savannah and Penelope brought their friends Lauryn Carroll and Emily Sauders. We had fun because the girls we had were so darling but to tell you the truth, it was pretty lame. We can now say we saw it on its closing day! We tried to get Brace to go, but he said it was a lame place thirty years ago and probably hasn't changed. He was right.

Penelope Loses Her First Tooth
Somehow, Brace has convinced the kids that the best way to loose a tooth is to tie a string to the loose tooth and to a door knob, then slam it shut. Penelope lost her first tooth this way. Brace also debunked the tooth-fairy idea by telling the girls that he stepped on her and squashed her. So he takes the bloody tooth from them and gives them a couple bucks.

Savannah Lake, 8th grade, "A" student, lovely classical voice,
Egypt expert, loves to play with children, great sitter, wants to
be an archaelogist.

November 2005

What Do you Do with Pumpkins after Halloween?
Well if you're Brace, you use them for target practice. Here is Brace with his pellet gun shooting out the window Lee Harvey Oswald style. He actually does this to help him adjust the sights on his scope. Rabbits fear him.

Savannah's 13th Birthday
The Harry Potter movie came out right on Savannah's birthday this year. They've come out around her birthday every time except for last year. This was our third Harry Potter birthday. We had our party in line at the theatre on opening night. We had treats, games and presents on folding chairs Brace wheeled in. The kids loved the movie. Brace thought it sucked. Penelope decided she wasn't brave enough to watch it and mom took her home before the movie started.

Savannah: Wonder-Woman

Savannah watched all the attention Karstin got for finishing her Personal Progress way early and she made a goal to finish by her 13th birthday! (Most girls finish when they are 16 or 17 years old.) It involves at least 22 small 20-30 minute projects and then 7 big 10-hour projects. She did it and finished everything at 11:45PM on the night of her birthday. Hurrah! Mom made out like a bandit because most of her final projects were in the kitchen. She organized the pantry, organized mom's recipe book, organized the drawers and alphabetized the spice cupboard.

Tyler Family Reunion Thanksgiving
I met all the pretty Tyler women (she calls them pretty because of the contrast of their husbands. Our reunions look like a giant feature of Beauty and the Beast.-Brace). Most of them couldn't attend last year when it was at my house. And my Dad even joined in the fun. Bryan and Heather Lake were there with their two charming boys.

Kristi Burdg and Karen Lake in Sing Noel.

Aleli Tibay and Penelope Lake at her graduation recital.

December 2005

Sing Noel
December means Sing Noel in our Stake. This year Brace took a break, Penelope sang in the children's choir and Karstin and Savannah sang under Mom's direction in the Young Women Choir. Karen's dear friend, Kristi Burdg, helped her with administrative affairs and music, which made this year such an enjoyable experience! Kathy Fawley helped with sectionals and Kathleen Tobler was the amazing pianist. Jenny Hess came and helped play during sectionals. With over 82 girls this year, we need that many adults!

Welcome Home to the College Girls
Our nieces were home from college. Valerie was home from BYU Provo and Dominique was home from BYU Idaho, so we had a dinner party to celebrate. My brother, my dad, Aunt Alice and Uncle Walt, Lori, Cheri and CJ were in attendance. Savannah had make-up (she's 13 now) and a newly styled haircut that accentuates her beautiful curls. Savannah and Karstin sang a duet of "Soft and Pure" in church. Many ward members told us our girls were the highlight of the whole Sacrament meeting. (thank you to Sharon Dayley for arranging the duet). As a side note, Savannah decided to start piano again this year and is doing great with Cathy Tibbits. I am trying to stay out of her way this time, so she likes piano and me in the process!

Christmas at Mr. Martin Garage Door

This year Dana Lake again took a great picture of our family at the annual work party in the huge warehouse. Karstin scored a sewing machine for her sister Savannah so now they both have machines for sewing lessons this spring. As you can see on the bottom there is a Christmas caricature from my dear friend Gogue from Spain. He has a great picture of John Lenin on his site.

Piano Graduation
Penelope graduated from Suzuki, Book 1 after two long years. We are sooo proud of her! Here is a beautiful picture of her and her teacher, Aleli Tibay.

Our Traditional Singing Christmas Eve
This year we had our Christmas Eve caroling party at noon. It was quite odd to carol to the neighbors with the sun out, but they didn't seem to mind. The highlight of our Christmas program was the Perkins singing "Baby, What Ya Gonna Be?" Dave, my darling brother, was in charge of the poem dedicated to mom. His less-than enthusiastic reading will probably be his last.

We truly are blessed to be a family and are blessed to count you among our friends.
May the Lord bless you and yours in 2006.

All our love,

Brace Lake: Garage Door Expert, Home Depot "celebrity"
Karen Lake Full time mom, Voice Teacher, home schooling teacher for Savannah
Karstin Lake ("Sharesteen") 14 years old, Eagle's Peak Virtual Academy, 9th grade
Savannah Lake 13 years old; Dehesa Charter School, 8th grade
Penelope Lake 7 years old, Portola Hills Elementary, 2nd grade

Our whole family will appear in a musical
February 3rd and 4th

"Praise the Man" is a musical about Joseph Smith. Karstin and Savannah have a solo and Brace IS Joseph Smith.
Penelope has a small role and Karen even arranged the first song that the preachers sing.
You can visit the site that is soon
to be up or email me and I can put you on my ticket email list.

The performance is free but does require tickets.

Friday Feb 3rd 7:30PM
Saturday Feb 4th 2:00PM
Saturday Feb 4th 7:30PM