Saturday, November 2, 2013

....In the Middle of the Street

Finding out that you are actually finally approved to buy a house is like Christmas morning.

But before that, you have to go through a lot of work. 

We searched for 6 months, with multiple offers, multiple fall-throughs, and a lot of disappointment. The first time we saw this house, though, we got a very good feeling about the home and the neighborhood. So we decided to offer on yet another house, hoping that this would be the one. 

We put in our paperwork...and found out our offer had been accepted! We were a excited, but since we'd had offers go through before we tried not to get too attached. 

I mean, seriously you guys, you have no idea how many random, "this never happens" situations we went through. 

But things continued to go well with this house. It was a newer house, had been redone with new carpet, new paint, and brand-spankin-new appliances, and it had a front porch. As more paperwork was pushed through, it came to the point where we were only waiting on the rural housing committee to approve our loan before everything was finalized. And that took 28 business days, to be exact.

Which is the equivalent of forrrrrrrrrever.

I believe we waited 29 business days before finally finding out.....we were approved! 

Which was a small miracle. 

Remember that one time the government shut down? Well rural housing is a government committee....which means it also shut down. And magically, miraculously, our approval was stamped and signed literally the MORNING BEFORE the shutdown. 

Skin of our teeth, right there. 

And I can tell you now, that I firmly believe this is the place we are meant to be. Because we were blatantly stopped too many other times, and this house came with too many small miracles to believe otherwise. 

First order of business? Painting the door of course.


And I love our house.

Our great, big, beautiful house.

Halloween 2013

Does it make me nerdy because I like the fact that "Halloween 2013" is a rhyme?

Let me tell you, we had sooooo much fun this Halloween! It wasn't hard to beat last year though, with Chris working and me not doing anything. 

We sure turned that around this year!


We decided to dress up about two days before this. That's kinda how I roll though, I'm not excited, not excited, not excited, then suddenly within 2-5 days before Halloween I suddenly catch the bug and go all "LET'S DO THIS!" 

But, I think our costumes came together pretty dang well for such short notice. 

We started off the night with a minor candy crisis. You have to understand, since we've been married, we've never had trick-or-treaters. First we lived in a college town, in a basement: no trick-or-treaters. Then, we moved up north, again into a basement: no trick-or-treaters. So obviously, once we moved into our house, what reason had we to expect any different?


children overrun the ENTIRE neighborhood here. ESPECIALLY on Halloween. 

There are over 150 kids JUST in our ward.

So 5:30pm rolls around, and I can't figure out why our doorbell keeps ringing.

When it finally clicked, Chris & I shared a mutual look of horror. We had zero candy. We frantically dug through boxes, kitchen drawers, and backpacks to finally come up with a half-bag of airheads. Chris used those while I ran to the store and picked up 3 more bags. We were only going to be home for about 45 minutes, or as long as it took us to get our costumes on, and then we were going to Chris's mom's for some homemade chili. Mmmm. So of course I figured that 3 bags would be more than enough. 

{Do you like the skeleton photo-bomber?}

Well, in the short half-hour it took us to get ready, we ran through ALL. THREE. BAGS.

Holy trick-or-treaters batman.

At Susan's house we enjoyed some delicious food, and tried to avoid getting detention from Professor Snape.

Next in line for the night was a dance at the U of U. We met up with a couple friends and their friends, and danced and shouted and put our hands up like the ceiling couldn't hold us. 

{see what I did there?}

But really, it was so much fun. 

After a few hours of music madness we hopped over to visit my brother who happens to be attending school there. And then finally, at about 1am, a very tired mad hatter and her king of hearts crawled into bed and called it quits.

It was a great Halloween!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Rainy Day Recipe for Creamy Celery Soup

We have seriously been having the best kind of weather these past weeks. And yes, I am talking about thunderstorm weather. The days start out bright and sunshiney with a wind that makes it seem like summer is blowing away. And then out of nowhere you hear a rumble of thunder, and the next thing you know its pouring. The earth is literally being pounded with big, fat, raindrops.

I love it!

And I love to have soup when it rains. A comfort food for staying in and wearing pjs and watching Bones.


6 strips bacon
1 tablespoon butter
5 cups chopped celery (stalks and tops) (approx. 1 big bunch)
1 medium onion, chopped
2- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon thyme
1 medium potato, cubed
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups milk
salt and pepper

Cook your bacon in a frying pan until its nice and crispy and easily crumbled. Pour some of the grease into the bottom of a large soup pot, and add butter, celery, onion, thyme, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft (15 minutes or so).

Add the potato, stock, and milk to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potato is very soft. 

Puree the soup in a blender until thick and creamy. Serve with crumbled bacon on top.

Mmmmm. Now go put on some pjs.

Journalings of a Primary Teacher {8-25-13}

The kids in my class are totally, completely, 100% the CUTEST kids in the whole universe. 

When asking them how they would feel if Jesus put his hands on their heads to bless them, we got mostly answers like, "Happy, I guess," and "Um, good?"
Except for one boy. Who bluntly stated, "Honestly, I think I might faint."


Later on, we were discussing whether anyone in the class had ever felt a peaceful feeling after they prayed. One girl shared this fantastic story:

"Sooooo once upon a time we had to take one of my friends home at night after it was dark. We were so nervous, and scared, actually really scared, so we said a prayer, and then we like felt something inside, like this peaceful feeling....And we felt like we'd be safe. But we took a baseball bat just in case. And then everything was fine."

And in my husband's class, he was sharing the story of Joseph Smith rebuking the men for their language while he was in prison. After listening to hours of filthy language and even filthier deeds, Joseph Smith stood up and said, "Silence ye fiends of the infernal pit!....I will not live another minute and hear such language..."

Later on, Chris was sharing a story about how sometimes the people around him at work also use bad language and swear. One girl raised her hand and asked, "Well why don't you just say to them what Joseph Smith said? I'm sure that would shut them up."

Its good to have such pragmatism in the world. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Journalings of a Primary Teacher {8-11-13}

Journaling has always been hard for me. Which is weird, because I'm an English major, which basically means I was writing ALL THE TIME. But for some reason, I never liked keeping a journal. 

When I was called as a primary teacher, I was very specifically advised to keep a journal. That's part of the reason I started blogging about my experiences in primary. And I'm glad I did, because I love going back and reading the hilarious antics of 7-year-olds, and one day, maybe when I'm trying to teach my own kids, I'll go back and remember all the things I learned. 

This week was just me and 7 kids. Was I a little nervous? Yes. Phew. More like A LOT nervous.

Like, nervous enough that I had a terrifying dream the night before that I showed up to a room full of 12 kids all throwing pens at each other and wildly screaming like jungle children. 

Thankfully.....real life was much, much better. 

I got to meet one of our students who had never come to church before. He's this sweet, quiet kid who looks like he has no idea what to do, and he has absolutely heart-melting blue eyes. At the end of class, each child got a 'faith rock,' on which they wrote the word 'faith' and then got to decorate with markers. This adorable boy wrote 'faith' on one side, and then came up to show me what he had written on the other side. It was 'giraffe.'

I have no idea how he got from 'faith' to 'giraffe, but I had to chuckle. He was just so proud that he knew how to spell 'giraffe.' I  get jumps like that all the time. I'll be teaching about the Holy Ghost, and one boy will raise his hand and say, "Did you know that killer whales EAT dolphins???!"

And I'm like, " Oh, how nice. So back to the lesson...."

And then a girl will pop up out of her seat and come right up to me in the middle of my next sentence, and say, "Um, did you know that, um, I have 4 cousins that are girls?"

There's a lot of pressure here to keep the lessons entertaining--- you can see why.

The other rocks were pretty great too. One girl wrote 'faith' in teeny-tiny letter on one little corner, and then furiously began scribbling with a blue marker all over the entire rock. Another boy wrote 'faith' on one side and then drew a snake on the other side {which I quickly learned was an asp-- like in the scriptures} {at least he's remembering something, right?}. But there was one especially that tugged on my heartstrings: One little girl came up to me to show me her rock, and pointed out to me that she'd even written 'faith' in brown! When I asked her why, she said, "Because faith is like a seed, and seeds are brown. See--- I even drew flowers growing out of the faith!"

The reason I brought 'faith rocks' was to help them internalize the story of the brother of Jared, who took clear stones to the Lord, and when the Lord touched them, they gave off light. The point I was trying to ingrain was that in the story, the brother of Jared had so much faith that he knew the Lord would make the rocks give off light. So you can kinda see how rocks and faith come together here. So after 50 minutes of teaching, telling stories, drawing pictures, and coloring rocks, I felt pretty confident that they'd absorbed at least the basic idea. 

Until we were out in the hallway, and a member of the bishopric happens to stop to visit. 
"So, what'd you guys learn about today?"

And I'm all like, come on kids....come onnnnn......

And one pipes up, "Faith!" And I'm secretly fist-pumping the air, thinking, they learned!

Then he asks, "So what do your rocks have to do with faith?"

And all 7 kids are staring at him, dead quiet, at least 4 of them with their mouths hanging open.


At least it wasn't as bad as the time the kids all came out of the classroom throwing paper airplanes at each other.

 I can't even remember how that happened. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Journalings of a Primary Teacher {7/14/13}

Did you know that, contrary to popular belief, the golden Moroni statue on top of the temples is not holding a trumpet, he's actually holding a tuba. 

{this fun fact is courtesy of an 8-year-old in my husband's class}
{instead of correcting her, he encouraged the idea of "Moroni and the tuba"}
{he cracks me up}

When you are trying to think of ways to serve, remember these three nice things you can do for people: {courtesy of the 7-year-olds in my class}

1. Give them an apple.
2. Help them collect rocks.
3. Turn on the light.

When guessing how old I am {my birthday's coming!}, remember that "eighty-ten" is a legitimate answer.

And lastly, if you are looking for ways to strengthen your family, remember this pragmatic answer from a 5-year-old:


Friday, June 28, 2013

Simply Living {And Rambling}

Sometimes I swear I could just live in my bathrobe. 

Making a shirt from scratch is more time-consuming than I thought. But I am persevering. Maybe you will get to see it one day.

I made the MOST. COMFORTABLE. PENCIL SKIRT. EVER. {tutorial soon!}

My little bro graduated high school.

How is he even that old??!

At primary last week a little 5-year-old very seriously stated as he shook his head, 'Man, I hate dying."

{seriously. dying is just the pits, isn't it?}
It was just about the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. 

Despite only needing one house out of all that are being sold, it is impossibly hard to find that one. House-hunting for 4 months now and I say ugh. 

How does life go by so fast? June is over! But that means my birthday month is almost here. {Yippee!!!}

I want an awesome one-piece swimsuit. Suggestions?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

{Deliciously Soft} Funfetti Cookies

These are my husband's favorite cookies. And they are quite possibly my favorite cookies. 

In fact, they may be the instant favorite cookie of anyone who tries them. 

They are soft, and yummy, and MADE OF FUNFETTI. So here you go: 


1 funfetti cake mix 
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Just under 1/4 cup flour

Before you start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, put all your ingredients into a bowl and mix them up with a fork. 

Roll up your funfetti dough into balls and place them on a cookie sheet.

Cook them for 8-10 minutes. 8 minutes if you love soft cookies like I do.

Let them cool a little, then place them on cooling racks. 

Lastly, eat them. 
{but not too many.}
{which is not easy to do.}

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bright & Sunshiney

Happy Anniversary to us! 

Our official anniversary is on May 29th, but because it fell in the middle of the week this year, we decided to celebrate the weekend before by taking a much-needed vacation to California. And it was fantastic!

We started off with the San Diego Safari Park.. 

They have this awesome train that takes you around a 100-acre preserve full of animals! Besides that, you can walk around the rest of the park and see a ton of other exhibits. 

My feet were incredibly tired after that day.

That was about as adventurous as we got. The next few days we planned to do nothing but beach.

Corona del Mar is gorgeous.

That was our first beach. After chilling there all day, that night we headed over to a cousin's wedding.

Sorry, we we were too busy dancing to take any pictures. {true story.}

The next day, we decided to try Laguna Beach. We spent the first half of the day walking around the hundreds of little shops that surround the beach, eating eclairs and cream horns from a sweet little bakery.

And then it was just beach and more beach.

With the occasional pause....... enjoy the water.

And then we found this awesome lookout point and wanted to get a picture. But since the only people to ask were a homeless man and a hippie doing a drug deal, we decided to improvise.

Not bad. 

All in all, we got sunburned, ate too much food, drank too much ginger ale, got to play with my aunt's two crazy dogs, and had a great vacation.


Three years, and we're still pretty much in love {pretty much}. 

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