Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moving Week!!!

In BYU-Idaho they have 3 semesters: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Ben and I were both off for the Fall and decided it was time to investigate the world and seek for new jobs. With out lease ending in August we prayed about where to go next and got directed back to Nebraska for Aug-December! I have been tickled pink about the idea to be close to family again for a couple months and couldn't hardly WAIT to make the pilgrimage out to the O-town. Unfortunately the first part of moving is the packing and cleaning out the old space.

I some how got landed with packing up the kitchen- we have toooooo much kitchen stuff! It came in handy that I'm such a magazine lover when I need packing materials. I'll let you know if it was a good idea or not next January when we unpack everything.

Yeah, try to photoshop those wrinkles out...ladies.

Ben hard at work packing up our living room! We try to keep most of the boxes that things originally come in.

After the first long day I was already sick of packing and cleaning. HELP ME HELP ME!!

The second day was spent making trips to the storage unit. Thank goodness Ben's brother Matt helped us. He's strong and comes with a truck! We put the picture of Christ right in front so if someone breaks in they know whose watching them. That and prayer are our best security measures.

And on the third day we scrubbed....the entire apt...I didn't think it would take the entire day but it did. Oh well in hind sight we got finished and got approved by the land lady who said she'll miss us. The one thing we completely forgot to clean was the oven- oops! They charged us $30 for them to flip a switch and clean up the ashes, lame.

I wish the drive back to Nebraska was uneventful, but it wasn't. We had just made it over the steep Teton pass when our break in both our cars started smoking. Stopping in Jackson Hole to regroup, (and hopefully catch a glimpse of Harrison Ford, no luck though) we decided to turn our journey south towards Rock Springs and stay there for the night instead of trying to cross anymore mountains. Rock Springs is, well, a small gross city with a lot of out of business buildings. At least the next morning we were headed to a better destination: Torrington Wyoming aka Grandma's house! My grandma Gregory lives in the cutest home right on top curve of main street. The best part of grandma's house is the food. We got fresh veggies from her garden, homemade bread sticks (that are to die for), mash potatoes, and homemade fried chicken- I'm getting hungry all over again just thinking about it! She is always the perfect hostess and I can't wait to get back there and see her again!

The last leg of the journey was one that I was very familiar with: I-80 across Nebraska. I've traveled that stretch of interstate so many times I think I have story about every pit stop along the way. Mostly the stories end in one of two ways: we stopped here to go to the bathroom OR we stopped here because it was storming. Ahhh, I-80, so many memories.

The problem with taking the road most traveled is that makes you homesick that much quicker! I seem to go the normal speed until I get to Kearney and want to speed all the way home! Luck for Ben and I (and our 2 cars) we got home safe and sound. Back to the wonderfully over-powering humidity and thunderstorms. Back to the good friends and delicious places to eat. Back to familiar church house and family homes. I couldn't help but keep singing, in my head and out load, 'Oh there ain't no place like Nebraska!'.

The temporary exodus signifies the next chapter in our families life has begun or at least its showing the end of previous one. I'll keep you posted on what happens next. It'll all start (again) at home.

Fun Times at the Arcade

It can be difficult to find things to do in Rexburg, but on Wednesdays at the local arcade have deals that you can't pass up! Unlimited putt putt and laser tag?! Score!!!! Ben and I got a group of Andrew and Emily Ferris and our niece Mara to go with us. This is Mara and I right after the first round of laser tag- its hard work trying to hunt down teenagers! Plus its set up with two levels that you can run around on so its a good sweaty work out. Each round is about 15mins and I think we did around 7 different rounds. Our favorite round was when a big family came and played and they had about 10 kids between the ages of 9-6. The 6 year old, who was on our team, was really into it and kept running around gleefully shooting everyone! Aw, to be young and fearless. We took breaks from the lightening killing sprees for some arcade action.
Look at all the pretty gold tokens!!!

Best 'slot machine' ever- you're always a winner!!!

Last year we took Katie and Jonathon's family here and those two ROCKED at the jump rope game. I tried it out again, that skill obviously wasn't passed on to me! I tried this game twice and failed horribly both times! Haha, oh well.

This game you had to keep waking the button to launch balls into the dog's mouth- its a great game to relieve any stress in your system!

Mara was the arcade champion for the night- she got almost double the tickets Ben and I won. I think I'll take her to Vegas next time we go!

These where the prizes that Ben and I ended up with: a green ring pop, star glasses, and a plastic heart bracelet. I'm pretty sure that adds up to be around 50 cents in prizes. If only we got prizes for our laser tag skills instead!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mary's Bachelorette Party!

When you lived in a house of 9 girls every once in a while the weddings a bachelorette parties will gang up on you! At the end of this semester we had a party for Alyssa, Erin, and Mary all in one week! These pictures are from Mary's party, the last one we had. I didn't mind, if I must party again again and again I'll make the sacrifice!
Our favorite part is the DANCING!!!!!! This me, Haylee (blonde curly), Hysen (singing along) and Mary, the Bachelorette, in front.
I don't think Alyssa (back left) was drunk, but this picture suggests otherwise. Hysen and I are wedding planners for bride Alyssa whose getting married in September. Also pictured is the fabulous Joy!

With so many of us getting married, moving out, or moving away we took the time to take pictures as one big group! Vogue baby, Vogue. Back left - right: Brittany, Hysen, Mary, Erin, Joy and Alyssa. Front: Haylee and ME!

I love these girls SOOO much! They were some of my favorite roommates I've ever had. They all have such cheerful and loving spirits. There were dance parties, late night cookies, well prepared dinners, and just sheer bliss in the house we shared. I wish them all the best life has to offer! Love you Club Hemming Sister!

A Smokey Day in Rexburg!

Ever wondered what 2500 acres on fire looked like? It looks like a cloudy purple day! The fields outside of Rexburg burst into flame and then because of blazing winds it spread like, well, wild fire!
My niece Kianna and I were packing up and I noticed the sky looked extra dark, but figured it was just an incoming storm. Then Ben texted me and said that there was a huge fire outside of town! We grabbed the camera, high tailed it up to temple point (the highest part of Rexburg), and started documenting. Remember it was a crystal clear day so the only clouds in the sky is just the smoke!
I love this picture of the lone camera man and the incoming smoke.
Here's what things looked like up on temple point.

All the purple smoke covering Rexburg down below.

And finally how everything looked right outside my apartment. It got to be so thick that it blocked out the sun! What a good day to keep my inhaler close! :P

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ok family and friends! I have found my new FAVORITE dessert to make and they were an absolute HIT at the party I took them too. They're called 'Cupcake-Pops' and they're super easy to make!
I've been obsessed with the idea of making these since I tried them at my sis-in-law's Martha's wedding reception.

Prep: I bought a box cake (you can use ANY box cake you would like) White cake is my fav so thats what I made. You cook the cake as the instructions say. After its baked and cooled you mix in one can of cream cheese frosting until its an all over gooey consistency. Take the mixture and wrap them around lollypop sticks that you can pick up at any cooking store. Then pop them in the fridge for a couple hours OR overnight like I did. Here are the my 'naked' pops the next morning.

Make sure you have all your ingredients on hand. You'll need melting CANDY chocolate. You can't use anything soft for the outer coating or else they'll just end up tasting mooshy, yuck.

The best way to melt chocolate down for candy is called double boiling. Since I don't have another pot or bowl so I just used a small frying pan that actually worked out great! Melt down the chocolate. Then roll each pop into the chocolate and try to get it as even as possible

It was HOT in our Idaho kitchen so I brought in the fan to help cool them off. Also it helped to keep the pops I hadn't dipped in chocolate yet in the freezer. This way they stayed firm while being dipped.

Half way done!!

This is what happens when you let the un-covered pops get room temp. They get weighed down and fall off the stick! I only had on die on me. It was delicious death :)

AND FINISHED!!!! Originally I planned to melt down the mint chips to decorate the other pops with BUT I ran out of time before the party. I decided to just scatter them onto the cookie sheet to spice up the presentation.
This weekend I plan to make a carrot cake with a white chocolate coating. Hope you all enjoy!!! Love you!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New York Trip part 1

Start Spreading the News!

It was a long trip just to get to NY. First we drove to Layton Utah and spent the night with a family whose son-in-law I taught on my mission named Chris Carty. It was wonderful to go up to that familiar old door and have brother Winager answer with a "It's my adopted daughter!"
We really wished we could have stayed longer with them, especially since Chris and his wife Mallory were getting sealed in the temple the next day,but our plane left at 7 the next morning and we had to be on it!

This is a picture of us up in there air. We were too excited to try and sleep our way there! These are my favorite sunglasses - and there were only $4!

I'm a little obsessed with taking pictures of the clouds. I just this angle of the world that we don't see that often.
After a 3 hour car trip, a 6 hour plane ride, and another 2 hour car trip (I've got to stop being cheap and buy plane tickets closer to our destinations!) we made it to Greene New York. This is the house that Ben grew up in and its pack full of stories. They've added on so many different rooms that it reminded me of the Weasly home from Harry Potter.
It was a blast to have a detailed tour of the home and see places he's talked about before. Perhaps the best part was ALLLL those baby / growing up pictures that I'd never seen before of Ben - we are going to have GORGEOUS kids. haha
We'd only been in Greene for a couple minutes when we were greeted by two familiar faces bounding towards us - Ben's nieces (who are more like sisters) Mara and Kiana. Their mom Laurie brought them over along with Mara's boyfriend Logan. If you've ever seen Modern Family they are very similar to those sisters. They are a hoot.
To truly make Ben feel at home they gathered up the sticks from the near by forest (most of which had blown into Nancy's yard by now) and start a bonfire. Everyone got at least one smore until a thunderstorm set in, which eventually knocked out the power to the house!
Please note: no one in this picture is wearing shoes! Ben kicked his off right with the girls got there. New Yorkers must have hobbit feet - my shoes stayed on.
The next day we spent time seeing, and documenting with picture, everything Greene had to offer. We wanted to get a record of everything Ben remembered while it still looked the same. This is the creek down by his house. NY creeks are NE's rivers!
Greene is such a picture-esc town tucked into the rolling hills of upstate NY. Almost all the homes in the inside of the town are all built in the colonial and Victorian styles. I was in real estate heaven. Here is the house that used to be the church house for the Branch. They now have a standard building just how Blair's used to look. Their boundaries hold the historical sites of where Joseph Smith and Emma were married and where the first congregation was assembled!
We had to stop at a local candy store - fantastic chocolates!
The next day we went to visit Ben's dad, Doug. Doug now lives in an Old Folks home were he can me monitored because he has alsthmrys and dementia. Both Ben and Doug started to cry when they saw each other and even though Doug hasn't really spoken for over a month we got a lot of words out of him that day! We felt so blessed that this visit was so positive. Ben was able to show pictures of our life together, but he didn't really understand. He knows Ben, but sees him still as a young boy. We asked doug how old he (doug) is and he replied, "I'm 35". It was really fun to see that Ben and his dad still had some of the same mannerisms. Doug is still in there, he just gets lost every now and then. We even got Doug to laugh. I said that I had eaten all of Nancy's cookies and he really smiled then. He asked when we'd be back to see him and we said as soon as possible.
I feel so blessed knowing the plan of salvation and knowing that someday Doug will be completely of all this and we'll have eternity to get to know one another. That all of our families with be together forever. With out that knowledge how do people carry on?

Monday, March 29, 2010

An update, I guess!

I haven't written in a while because I haven't really had much to write about! Its our last full week of the semester and I can't be more excited to get my classes done with. Then its off for a week and a half to NY to see Ben's family and most especially his ailing father, whom I've never met.

This past weekend was nice because Ben's brother Brad came up to visit and brought his wife Karla and their 3 kids: Ashton, Page, and Logan. They stayed with Matt and his family in Rigby and we dropped by every night they were here.

Its still hard for me to get used to the age differences. Every night that they called the kids together to go to bed a tinsy part of me would want to jump up, go brush my teeth and say goodnight. Its not that I feel so young, but more of I'm not used to being in the adult half. I was grateful for their helpful child tips and even more grateful that they didn't ask, "when are you having kids." (My new favorite answer to that query is 'never' because it genrally stops the questions in their tracks)

They brought out the game Tribond and asked if I'd played. I laughed and said yes then dominated the game. I knew I would do well when Matt said, "wow, this one is hard! A stock spread sheet, mountians, and a cheater in hide-and-seek" everyone paused as I yelled "Things that peek!" There was another pause after my exclamation, aparently their games are not as rodeo-esc as ours. Poor them.