November Morning

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December Fun

We have had a lot of fun so far in December.  I have been fairly persistent insisting that we do fun Christmas activities, even though they might seem better suited for children.  Last weekend we decided to go for a drive to see the Christmas lights.  We went to the Festival of Lights in Spanish Fork right by my school.  This was our first time going there and we really enjoyed it.  There are just tons of fun light displays everywhere! You basically drive around in a big circle and enjoy the different lighted animations.

These were some of our favorites:

Santa and his reindeer

Carraige ride

Afterwards, we drove to the Salem Pond to look at the lights there.  I used to work at a school really close to the pond, and my favorite thing in December was seeing the lights at the pond on my way home from work.  The lights are much more simple than the ones in Spanish Fork, but they are really beautiful because they reflect in the water of the pond (and they are free).

This weekend Dave and I celebrated Christmas a week early.  Because we are flying to Colorado for Christmas, we decided to do our own Christmas with all our gifts before we left.  We had a fun time opening our presents even though we bought them all together so nothing was a suprise.  We just figure we would rather get exactly what we want than gamble on suprises.  We both loved what we got.  Dave got hooked up with XBOX live and plenty of XBOX games to last him into the new year.  I got lots of new clothes which I am excited to wear.  I also got a new addition to my Halloween Village from my mother-in-law: the Haunted Rails Passenger Car!  Later we dressed up and went to have a nice dinner and see a play.  We ate dinner at Ruby River which was delicious.  Then we went to see A Christmas Carol at the Hale Center Theater in Orem.  I love this place because it is a small, intimate, theater in the round where everyone has a great seat!  The play was really well done with beautiful singing that really invited the Christmas spirit.

On a side note, we finally hung up the lovely curtains I scored on Black Friday.  It started out a little rocky when we realized that we needed two rods instead of one because we had to hang panels and valances, but after we got additional rods the process went smoothly.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

The Thanksgiving Break was greatly appreciated!  Sometimes we plan activities at school that are almost more work and effort than they are worth.  A Thanksgiving Feast made by first graders is a lot of fun, but creates a huge mess!  I was exhausted after work on Tuesday, so the extra days off really helped to lift my spirits.  I spent the majority of Wednesday cleaning the house and doing laundry.  That evening we discovered the greatness that is Spanish 8 movie theater.  The tickets are only $3 and all the concessions are $3 or less.  The movies aren't current but they aren't as old as the ones in the Provo dollar theater.  We saw Contagion and really liked it.  Although, afterwards I was grossed out by my surroundings and tried not to touch anything :) 

On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving by going to Tucano's with our friends, Dan and Alexa Larsen.  We had 2:00pm reservations which seemed like the perfect time (right between lunch and dinner) but it was hard to wait that long to eat.  Next year, we are definitely making earlier reservations!  Some people felt sorry for us that we weren't having a traditional Thanksgiving with family, but we had a great time and really enjoyed doing our own thing.  I wish we could have switched this past Thanksgiving though with the year before because last year we drove to Colorado in the worst weather conditions ever and this year was beautiful, dry, and sunny.  Tucano's had all their great regular food plus the Thanksgiving classics so it was a double win!  We spent the rest of the day simply relaxing at home.

Dave and I outside of Tucano's.

Dan and Alexa Larsen

That is, until we started our Black Friday madness!  We went to K-mart Thursday evening to buy a few blu-rays that were on sale.  Then we headed to Wal-Mart around 9:30pm.  Wal-Mart was out of control! There were tons of people there!  Dave managed to get a blu-ray movie we wanted and a video game while I headed for the blu-ray player.  Luckily we ended up with everything we wanted even though we waited in line for about an hour to pay for our items.  I originally planned on continuing to hit up other stores, but Wal-Mart knocked all of the energy out of me.  We were there from 9:30pm to after 1:00am.  So we both got some rest and Dave got up to go to work and I headed out to shop.  I made a few other Black Friday scores, but my most exciting purchase was curtains for the family room!  I have seriously been looking for curtains since we moved into our house and have never been able to find the right color and style until this past weekend.  Luckily the curtains were on sale, but they still were quite expensive considering the fact that you have to buy each panel and valance separately (which makes absolutely no sense).  However, I am excited to finally make my family room look more complete!

Saturday we did more shopping as we tried to finish our Christmas shopping for each other and our families.  We also had fun experiencing the magic of blu-ray at home.  On Sunday I gave a talk in our ward.  We had a gratitude Sacrament meeing and my talk was on confessing the Lord's hand in all things.  I really enjoyed preparing for this talk because I learned a lot and it helped me feel the spirit of Thanksgiving throughout the week.  There are wonderful blessings promised to those who recieve everything with heartfelt gratitude and remember and thank the Lord in all things.  I was pretty nervous Sunday morning, but I am glad to have it behind me and be the better for it from the things I learned in my study and preparation.

Thanksgiving is a lovely time of year that reminds me how blessed I am.  I have so much to be thankful for and I have truly felt that over this holiday weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Weekend Work

Well, we had a pretty busy weekend.  We decided to tackle our downstairs bathroom!  It was in need of some major color and warmth. 

This picture makes it look like the walls are yellow, but they are really a stark white.

I have been thinking for a while now that I wanted to paint it a burnt orange color.  That may sound kind of wierd/gross, but Dave found a really cool color called Crisp Autumn Leaves that was just what I had invisioned.  The good thing about the bathroom is that it is only a half bathroom so the taping didn't take too long.  Taping is the worst!  Before we could begin painting though, we needed to get the mirror off the wall.  I really wanted a mirror with a cool frame, so the genaric one had to go.  The mirror was glued on to the wall with something really powerful.  We weren't exactly sure how to take it off so we Googled it which pretty much just made us scared because most people seemed to have their mirrors shatter when trying to take them off!  We read that you should tape the mirror with maksing tape so that if the mirror does shatter, the pieces will stick to the tape.  So, we taped up the mirror and Dave began trying to pry it off with a kitchen knife.  Well, that didn't work so he got out his pry bar.  I couldn't watch, so I just left Dave to work his magic.  Luckily he was able to pry it from the wall in one piece!  He's such a man. 

Not too much of the wall came off either, so we decided to just paint right over it since we are just going to hang another mirror in the same spot. The painting was kind of on the difficult side though because it was really awkward to get behind the sink and toilet.  Dave said I had to do that part because he is too big- lucky me. Well, it took two coats of paint, but it looks fabulous!  We really love it!

This picture makes it look red, but it's really a shade of orange. :)

Right now we just need to hang up our new mirror, put up these cool pictures I found at Ross, and add a few more decorations.  We also bought a small can of white paint to touch up the ceiling.  I swear no matter how well you tape, the paint always works it way onto the ceiling!

Saturday night we went out with some friends and had a good time going to dinner and watching a movie.  However, the good times were short lived as we came home to a mess of toilet paper all over our house!  Words can't even begin to describe how angry I was about this.  We still have no idea who did this to our house and I don't really want to know because I don't think I'll be able to get over it.  Not only did we get tpd, but whoever did it also smashed my pumpkin that was on the front porch.  To me, that's crossing the line between doing something funny (even though it's not) and doing something viscious.  Needless to say, I took the event really personally so I'm still trying to work through it.  Oh well, life goes on.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I am looking forward to a break from work plus a lot of fun.  We are having our big Thanksgiving meal at Tucanos with our really good friends, Dan and Alexa Larsen.  I can't wait to get stuffed.  Plus, I'm totally hitting up Black Friday (starting at midnight this year), with or without Dave. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011

We had a fun Halloween this year!  The night before, my sister and I made Halloween mini cupcakes to take to some of the neighbors and the ladies I visit teach.  Dave and I dropped off all the treats and had a nice time visiting with our neighbors.  The more I get to know our neighbors, the more thankful I am to live in such a nice nieghborhood with great people.  I look forward to many years of happiness in the place we have chosen to call home.  Monday morning (Halloween) I got up extra early to make sure I would have plenty of time to get ready in my costume.  I decided to be a Christmas elf this year and it turned out great!  Halloween is seriously my favorite day of the whole school year.  Everyone is in a good mood and it's just plain fun!  While I was a little disappointed that some of my students didn't know what I was (I mean come on, have they ever heard of Christmas???) I still had a great day!  My costume was fun, but it was also slightly annoying because of the number of jingle bells I was wearing.  You could seriously hear me coming from a mile away.  I guess it was pretty fitting then for me to lead the school costume parade.  The evening was also fun because it was our first time getting to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters.  We ordered a pizza, put on the TV, and took tons of delight in answering every doorbell ring (even though the majority of the trick-or-treaters came before it was ever dark- I thought that was some kind of rule, but apparently not).

A big thank you to my mom and dad for helping me make this costume!

My cute class!

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Dave because he did not dress up. :(  I told him he should be Santa Claus so we could match, but he wasn't too keen on the idea.  Dave was a good sport though about handing out candy and we had a fun night spending our first Halloween together in our very own house!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall Break

I recently spent Fall Break with my family in Colorado.  It was fun to have the chance to go home and spend quality time with my family since I don't get to see them too often.  It was especially nice to spend time with my brothers because sometimes I feel like I don't really know them since I left home when they were both so little.  It is exciting to see the young men they have grown into and the personalities they have developed.  My parents also both took time off of work so that we could have some fun time as a family.  It's always fun to go home because I get to eat at restaurants I've missed.  We also did a lot of shopping and took the guys in my family to the new Ikea in Denver because they had never been.  My mom and dad were also kind enough to help me make my Halloween costume.  You'd like to think that once your child is 24 years old you wouldn't have to concern yourself with making a costume for her, but I guess that's what you get when your child teaches elementary school.  My costume is a Christmas elf and it turned out really cute.  I can't wait to put it all together tomorrow and have so much fun at school on Halloween!  Halloween is seriously my very favorite day at school!  While I was home, I was also able to catch up with a couple of old friends which was fun.  I had a great time with my family and I was sad to leave them, but it was good to come home to my wonderful husband whom I missed while I was away.  Unfortunately Dave could not come because he was working, but he did have plenty of time to catch up on uninterrupted video game time. :)

My brother Jeremy carved his Halloween pumpkin which turned out great!

My brother Jason spent lots of time playing video games.  He also took me for a ride in the FJ that he drives.  It was fun, but also a little wierd because I will forever think of him as too young to drive.

My parents were kind enough to cook a meal that I love!  My mom made mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.  I encouraged her to use Halloween marshmallows and, as you can see, they expanded quite a bit.  My dad grilled salmon which was delicious, especially since I haven't had it in forever.

After I came back from my Fall Break visit to Colorado, I was headed back to work.  It was a busy week for me because I spent a lot of time preparing for SEP Conferences.  Thursday night was especially long having to conference with parents all evening.  When I got home, I saw a vase of beautiful roses waiting for me.  Dave knew that I had a long day and so he wanted to do something nice for me.  It made me feel so loved and thankful for the kind person Dave is.  That was a good reminder to me to always be looking for ways to make your partner happy and brighten his/her day in any simple way you can.  Like I said, it was so good to spend time with my family over Fall Break, but it was also so good to get back to my new family with a husband who loves me and always makes me smile.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Fun!

This past weekend was all about pumpkins for us.  On Saturday we went to the pumpkin patch just down the street from our house.  Dave and I both picked out two perfect pumpkins for carving.  That evening we went over to the Larsen's house to carve pumpkins together.  We had a fun night making our pumpkin masterpieces and watching The Others.

Dave was reluctant to carve a pumpkin because he wasn't so successful last year.  I assured him that he could do the scared face pumpkin page from our book.  His pumpkin turned out great!  If you are wondering what is up with Dave's face, he said he was trying to match his pumpkin's expression. :)

I carved a scary vampire bat which took a rediculous amount of time, but I loved the way it turned out!

Daniel carved a scary face which supposedly frightened Dave's pumpkin.

It's kind of hard to tell in this picture, but Alexa carved a cool spider with a witch's hat.

This weekend I also decided to make pumpkin pie, using an actual pumpkin!  I was nervous about how it would turn out, but it was delicious!  I also tried cooking the pumpkin seeds, but they burned.  Oh well, better luck next year.

The first step to making a pumpkin pie is to cut off the stem, scoop out the seeds and guts, cut the pumpkin in half, and then lay the halves face down on a cookie sheet.  Then bake the pumpkin for an hour and a half.

Once the pumpkin has baked, you scoop out all the good stuff from the shells.  The pumpkin has the consistency of mashed potatoes at this point and comes easily away from the shells.

The next step is to mix the pumpkin with all of the remaining ingredients.

The last step is to fill your pie shell with the pumpkin mixture.  Next year I think I will attempt a homemade pie shell, but for this year I just went with a frozen one.

Ta-Dah!  I was so proud of myself.

All in all, we had a great weekend being creative with our pumpkins!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Welcome to our Blog!

Welcome to our very first blog post!  We're excited to have a fun way to share our life with our friends and family!

This weekend we had the fun experience of buying our first car together as a couple.  Dave's car has been giving us trouble and costing us too much money.  We decided it would be best to trade it in while we can still get some money out of it.  It was an emotional experience for Dave because he has had a lot of fun doing projects to his car to make it cooler and faster.  In a way it was like saying goodbye to a younger Dave and saying hello to a more grown up Dave.  We both wanted a car that is more reliable and family friendly.  Dave spent a lot of time researching online and we decided to buy a Mazda CX-7.  We love this car because it is beautiful, spacious, and much bigger than anything we've had.  Now it won't be so inconvenient to buy furniture!  We are looking forward to many fun years and road trips with our new car! :)

Dave saying one last goodbye to his precious baby. :(

Our beautiful new car!

We've had fun driving it around.  I have to admit that I'm still kind of uncomfortable driving it just because I'm so worried about something happening to it.  That feeling will probably wear off, but for now I'm driving extra cautiously because we all know that in Utah your driving ability only counts for a small percentage of the safety of your vehicle. :)

This weekend we've also had some fun Halloween oriented adventures.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!  I wanted to make sure we did fun Halloween things every weekend in the month of October.  We started out by seeing Dream House on Friday night.  I was hoping to see a really great scary movie, but that was not the case.  While the movie was decent, it was not so much of a scary movie as it was just a thriller so I was pretty disappointed. 

On Saturday night we went on the Halloween River Cruise.  I got a Groupon to do it half price, so we thought we'd give it a try.  You basically get on a boat with about 30 other people and go up and down a section of the Provo River looking at lit up jack-o-lanterns while being told Halloween jokes and stories.  It is kind of underwhelming, but it was still fun to do something different.

While its kind of hard to tell, this is a picture taken from the boat of the dock, Halloween lights, and jack-o-lanterns.

We also made caramel apples for the first time. :)

My sister, Jennifer, is heating the caramel.

This is me dipping the apples in caramel.

Enjoying the caramel apples!

I have also decided to start a collection.  I've always wanted to collect something, but nothing has appealed to me enough until now.  I am starting a Department 56 Halloween Village collection.  This is similar to the Christmas Villages that people collect and display, only it is Halloween themed which is so much more fun!  I got my very first piece this weekend which is the Haunted Tree House. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts and Halloween adventures!