Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was simply beautiful
beautifully simple

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bitter Sweet . . .

. . . this phrase will always sum up the feelings when you are released from a church calling. We've been the Activities Chair for the last year. I've loved it. Actually, I love it just as much as when we were the Activities Chair in the North Las Vegas Stake. I love spending hours on the little details on posters, hand outs, and sign ups. Then there was shopping! Who doesn't like to shop for a party? Then setting things up and making sure they were in the right spot. When people started arriving we would be running around making sure food was stocked, drinks were filled, trash was tossed, and things were running smoothly. I'm not sure anyone even saw all the behind the scenes.

Which is why there is that "sweet" feeling. No more last minute (literally) runs to the store. No more phone calls and emails to the committee and not getting a response. No more putting together and running Christmas Programs and dinners by ourselves. No more early correlation meetings. Oh I could go on!

After every activity Jake and I would get in the car to leave and say, "well, that was a success". We talked about the "next time" and what to do differently. Although I never really sat and ate at one function the food must have been good because it was always gone. People always stayed way passed the expected end time so they must have enjoyed themselves. Best of all we had zero injuries. That just itself is a success.

After a couple years of this it's still hard to list my favorite activity. Pioneer Day would be at the top. Even though we didn't have the funding that the North Las Vegas Stake had, we still had a killer party up here. It was a combined ward activity and we were amazed at the turnout, the food, the games, and the weather! Success. Movie Night is definitely up on the list. Success. Easy and super fun! For my third choice I would have to say the Taco Bar with Broom Hockey after. Everyone ate and so many people played. Loved it!

Last night was our last activity, Christmas dinner. A bitter sweet.

So even though the Activities Committee is no more I will still keep my binder of activities and wait for our next church calling.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favorite Things

Although I do love cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
these are some of my favorite things . . .

The story of the Three Trees

The Nativity

Different nick-nacks that remind the reason of Christmas!

Our simple little Christmas tree.
We've had this for years and set it up in a corner even when we have a real one.

And most of all friends and family!
(I'll have to find a good picture for here)

Friday, December 3, 2010

2010 Thankful Tree

Our tree looks rather squarish this year. We missed about five days and I think that would have "rounded" it out.
(in no particular order)
We are thankful for:
Remote start on the car
Friends & Family
Vicks Vapo Rub and grapefruit juice
The new WalMart
Jason & Andrea
Massages every week
Missionary moments
Homemade PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps
The weather (experiencing 4 seasons)
Taste buds
Our home
Good appropriate humor
Home and visiting teachers
All the many birthday gifts and wishes
Good neighbors
Buster, Belle, and Sage
Jesus Christ
Jacob's laugh
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
A happy marriage
Puppy breath
A new car
The Thankful Tree!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Testosterone Day

When men get together with A LOT of guns . . .

This is a 50. cal sniper rifle. Apparently it has a loud bang and a big kickback.

Jake's friend, Jake, holding a tactical shotgun brand new just out of the box.

Jake's favorite gun.
Too many guns not enough shooters!

Click here to see video

. . . they come home happy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wow it has been awhile.

It's been too long. Here's a quick update of our lives.

I'm working graveyard this rotation at work. It's not as bad as I thought it would be but not something I could do more then 4 months out of the year. It's a busier time of year during grave because of the football games and Halloween. Come January the only adjustment I'll have to make is sharing the bed! Right now when I come home from work Jake is getting up. I jump in bed and when he gets home from school I get up. We spend the day together and then I'll head off to work and he heads for bed. The sun hits our window at all hours of sunlight. I woke up a couple of times with the biggest headache. I felt like my eyes were staring straight into a light for 7 hours. The solution: an eye mask. I never thought I would be able to sleep wearing it. Surprisingly when you're so tired you really don't care and your eyes love you when you wake up. Apparently Jake doesn't have a problem wearing it either. I came home from a Dr. appointment to find him wearing the eye mask napping.

We went to the only WSU football game they won. We ended up nabbing some great seats away from the Student Section. We were under the press box with older Alumni, which was nice because in the Student Section you end up standing the entire time! It was fun but probably because they won. We haven't gone to another game since and they haven't won since.
The day was perfect and there was only a slight breeze!
It's very rare that WSU has the ball this close to their end zone!
It's a Kodak moment when the score looks like this!
Showing school support!

We planted tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, and herbs. We had plenty of tomatoes. Because of the chilly weather we had to pick them red or not. We have a box of green tomatoes that slowly change to red. It will probably hold us over until Spring. We planted the bell peppers and the jalapenos in the same bucket. We think they cross bread! Ha! Our bell peppers were spicy. We didn't get very many bell peppers but we made out like a bandit with jalapenos. The herbs grew well too. Our spices are well stocked. We had a frog family living in our pepper plants. They had cute babies.

As the Activities Leaders for our ward this is our "busy" season. We had a great Halloween Party but now begins the adventure of Christmas. We didn't carve anything fancy in the pumpkins this year.

Fall is officially here and we love it! I love finding the perfect leaf.

Our newest addition came in the color of red. As an early birthday present we finally gave up on the Honda and bought a new car. I feel a little more comfortable driving on the two lane highway to Spokane, Lewiston/Clarkston, or the Tri-cities with functioning airbags.
We have a lot to look forward to in November. The Thankful Tree, Harry Potter, snow, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

july is gone and august is here!

And again I post with no pictures because 1) our computer had a major malfunction and the more recent pictures are gone 2) I’ve just been too lazy to take pictures.

I’m not so sad that I lost the few pictures I had on that computer. There weren’t a lot and most of them were random. What I’m more sad about is losing all my iTunes. My music is gone. Lots of money gone. The classics: Wilson Phillips, Amy Grant, Tears for Fears, Johnny Cash . The later: Match Box 20/Rob Thomas, Ben Folds, Goo Goo Dolls, Good Charlotte, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill. The latest: Kris Allen, Michael Buble, Plain White T’s, John Mayer. Oh I could go on. Sadness. The lesson learned. Use Time Machine today, not tomorrow.

On a happy note:

We have community BBQs all the time. The invitation is pretty much to anyone and everyone. We provide the grill they provide their own meat. We’ll sit around and chat for hours and eat until we’re about to explode. It’s nice to live in an area where you actually get to know your neighbors.

We had a great Pioneer Day on the 24th! Surprisingly the wards up here don’t participate in the traditional get together celebration. Being the Activity Leaders and have helped with the best Pioneer Day celebration in Las Vegas (North Las Vegas Stake has the best celebration in Las Vegas – hands down) we couldn’t pass this chance up. We had homemade stews, rolls, side salads, dutch oven potatoes and desserts, more desserts, lemon aid, and homemade root beer. We had people playing their guitars, kids on the playground, sack races, kick ball, and a cupcake walk. Some families even did a small “trek” in the wooded area. The turnout was amazing and everyone had a great time.

Jacob is a year older. We celebrated in style . . . presents, dinner with the folks, cobbler for dessert, ice cream cake for dessert! He played golf with his buddies and relaxed at home. That following weekend we had a birthday BBQ which was no different than any other except there was cake!

Jake’s parents brought up some peaches! Yahoo! We managed to get them all peeled and frozen before they went bad. We’ve already had some yummy peach enchiladas and a smoothie every morning. We are going through them quick! They also brought zucchini but that was gone within a couple of days! Our tomato plants are getting HUGE. There are tons of tomatoes but they’re still green. Ugh. I’m a very impatient farmer. We do have three bell peppers growing too! Our herbs have been harvested this year and we should be stocked up until next.

Well, I think that’s all I can think of. Maybe next time I’ll post a picture or ten.

Friday, July 16, 2010

~duck face~

I support this website 100%.
I wish this pandemic would stop!
Yes, it's a pandemic.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hiking Kamiak Butte

Two weekends in a row we hiked Kamiak Butte. It a very pretty hike. One weekend Jake and I just went by ourselves. The next weekend we went with a group of friends.
heading to the top

a view of the wheat fields

almost there
jake, garret, valerie, jaimie, nayt, and bronx the dog
the trail runs along side of the mountain so there is a nice panoramic view along the way

jake at the top of the main hike. there is a summit where you can go to the very top.

at the top of the summit.
nayt, bronx, jaimie, valerie, garret, and jake

2010 and 1/2

2010 is pretty much half way done. I was looking back at some of my goals for this year and I've done fairly well.  For my traditional goals: I work out more, eat healthier, and spend less. I haven't saved all too much but there is still six more months to start that.

As far as the other realistically fun ones:

We've found a couple of recipes we really enjoyed. We've tried new things (well new to us) like Spaghetti Squash, homemade Sweet and Sour Chicken, Italian Rolls, and homemade tortillas. All in all I've kept up with a new recipe monthly.

I have not finished the blanket that I've been working on for years. I did get passed the halfway mark. It's going to be the biggest blanket in our house.

I started printing out my pictures that are stored in my computer. I'm even scrapbooking them as I go. The pictures I don't use I'll store in a photo album.

This next weekend will be our official first camping trip. The weather up here comes and goes. Just yesterday Jake said to me, "who would of thought we would still be wearing sweaters in June". It's been pretty cold the last couple of days and on the nice days we've already had stuff planned.

We've been reading a lot more. I've read about 7 or 8 books. That's a little more then one a month. Not too shabby.

And finally I finished the journal that I had for two years. I've started another one that will probably take just as long!

So far 2010 and 1/2 has turned out pretty good. I feel half accomplished.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a mush pot of our lives

Where have we been? Sometimes I wonder that too but we really have accomplished a great deal in the last two months.

Like everyone else another semester is over. That's a great relief. Jacob's feet still haven't hit the ground since he found out he got a 100% on his final. Not curved. I guess I would be up there too. He keeps talking about framing it. I'm not sure we'll go that far.
This is at Spokane Falls.

My schedule changed from days to swing. I love not getting up to an alarm clock. We seem to do more before I head out to work. We manage to run, take the dogs to the dog park, and run errands all before lunch. That always seems nice to get out of the way first thing.

We went to the doctors AGAIN. In April the news went from "you can have kids" to "Jacob might have a tumor in his brain". He has low testosterone and high prolactin which is an indicator of a tumor in the brain. After a MRI it was determined the only thing odd up there is a small cyst in his sinus area. That was a big relief. We were referred to an Endocrinologist in Spokane and now Jacob is back to giving more blood. After they balance all of his hormones out we'll be parents in no time (or at least heading in that direction).

We visited the Brashear family last weekend. We had a few fierce games of Lasso Golf, ate scrumptious food, and laughed a bunch. It was well worth the drive!

We drove to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho after a doctor's visit in Spokane, WA. It is a very pretty town. We stopped at Lake Coeur d'Alene and enjoyed the great outdoors. We always fall in love with places in the spring and summer. Maybe we should vacation more in the fall and winter.

I like moose.

I officially learned how to use my Embroidery Module on my Bernina. It's amazing. I'm in love. Although I have found something just as tedious as weeding vinyl. It's removing the drag (or string) between the letters or pictures on embroidery. Ugh it can get nerve racking. Jacob was afraid I was going to embroider every towel and shirt in the house. I didn't.

Now that the weather is nice we can start marking things off of our check list.
  • We're going to extend our running route.
  • We're going to bike to Idaho and back and not turn around half way. (it's only 8 miles one way)
  • We'll be camping/hiking Hells Canyon and hopefully master the area.
  • We're getting ready to plant our veggies!
  • We're looking forward to harvesting peaches!
  • We'll be going to many Saturday's Markets too!

I think that sums it all up. Hopefully I'll have more to update in May and June!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Campus on the Run

Campus on the Run is a race that WSU puts on every year and the proceeds go to local charities. This year Jake participated in this gruling 5k. I opted out. He and his buddies have been preparing for it. For this being his first 5k he didn't do so bad, especially considering there were quite a few avid runners in the race. We were pretty impressed he placed 221st out of 459.
I was in charge of cheering and photos. I did pretty well at the cheering but not so well on the photos. I actually forgot I had the camera until it was almost too late. Of the 4 pictures I took these two were the best.
Next year the goal is to place closer to a friend of ours name Brian. He placed 20th.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

addictions . . .

We really shouldn't be addicted to things.
But not all addictions are bad, right?
The Amazing Race. It really is amazing.
Cadbury Eggs.
Vegetable Quesadillas. I can't stop thinking about them.
Homemade dehydrated fruit.
Reading the obituaries. I don't even know anyone here!?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Busy weekend!

Sometimes it's nice to have a busy weekend. A fun weekend. Our adventures started on Friday.

After class, Jake and I ran around and did some errands and then I was off to Spokane with some friends. We did some much needed Costco shopping and canning. At Costco we manage to lose our driver, fill up on free samples and polish dogs, fill the cart, and fill up the car with gas all in a record time. At the cannery I managed to "fling" sugar everywhere. Not on purpose! I thought the lid was on the can when I went to seal it. It wasn't. The can spun at what seemed like Mach three, full with sugar. Everyone just stopped and looked at me. Then we took a small time out of our smooth running assembly line to clean. Overall we had a blast and the hour and 15 minute drive up went so fast. We even had a good scare on our way home as we watched two vehicles directly in front of us nearly hit each other head on at 65 mph! That always wakes everyone up!

Late Friday evenings our house is the hot spot for movie night. Jake's coworker always has the latest and greatest hits available. Sometimes they are not so great and everyone starts adding their own commentary. We watched 2012. I'm not sure what I was expecting but I thought it was rather lame.

Saturday morning we met up with some friends to go for a run. Jake has been running this 5K for a couple of weeks and so I thought I would give it a try. I thought "this should be cake". Until I realized we live in a valley of hills. I'm not talking about gradual incline. I'm talking about a straight up run and then straight down and then up, down, up, down. I think there are two stretches of flatness. They total 0.2 miles. I did well but not as well as I could. I might be ready to run this beast perfectly by race day.

Saturday afternoon we went to the baseball game. WSU was playing Utah Utes. WSU might totally suck at football, can hold their own at basketball, but ROCKS in baseball. I know it's early in the season but they are 9-0. They didn't slaughter the Utes but made quite the dent in the score board (10-4).


Saturday evening was the main event. We car pooled over to the Beasley Event Center and watched a once in a life time event. WWE Smack Down: Road to Wrestlemania. It was so stinkin' funny to watch! It was the most pathetic acting ever. I have to admit it was fun to yell and boo the wrestlers. There is this one wrestler that did some cool flips and swings and jumps. At one point I was told I had to put my camera away because they thought I was recording the show. Seriously? Why would I record WWE? During a break Jake talked to the ushers about the camera. I was then given the okay. I didn't think I took a lot of pictures but when we got home I had taken 66! hahaha there were just a lot of good action shots! What am I going to do with 66 WWE pictures!

And today starts Sunday . . . hmm what to do . . .

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Here's the scoop . . .

I went to the doctor last Tuesday and received the results for my Upper Endoscope. This is what the doctor said:
  1. I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis (say that three times fast)
  2. I have a very thin esophagus
  3. As a result if I ever need to be tubed they should never "expand" my throat more than 15 mm. (or it will tear)
  4. I will be on Fluticasone FOREVER

So here's a medical lesson. Eosinophils are white blood cells that help promote inflammation, mainly in allergic reactions. They like to hang out in my throat. That is why they are called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. They decrease the ability of my esophagus to stretch so my food would get stuck. If I remember right the doctor said the normal cell count that should be there is about 15-20. I have 50. So my throat is trashed. It swells up pretty regularly.

As for treatment, some people get this balloon thing stuffed down their throat to try and stretch it. As for me, I can't do this because 1) it won't do much good and 2) my throat is very thin and more prone to tear. I have to take 4 drops of Fluticasone every day for the rest of my life. This is normally a nasal spray but I drink it! It tastes like a regular asthma inhaler. Sometimes I gag. The only real side effect is thrush.

I guess it could be worse.

Friday, January 29, 2010

What a month . . .

January has turned out to be quite eventful for us. It started out slow and mundane. Work was super slow because all of the college kids were home for the break. Now they are back and it's back to business as usual.

We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by going out to eat and exploring the Snake River. I'll have to post those pictures later because I forgot to download them. It was very pretty and we're excited visit during the summer.

We ended up having to put the truck in the shop to get the ball joints fixed on both sides. That was a pretty penny and always a damper.

Then I had my doctors appointment for my throat. I've been having trouble for the last couple of years swallowing my food. I usually just force it down with water. I couldn't stand it any longer and went and saw my Gastroenterologist. The results could have been one of four.
  1. Cancer
  2. A narrowed esophagus
  3. Scar tissue from my multiple anaphylactic shock moments
  4. Or an inflamed esophagus that creates rings in your throat

The visit was quick and painless. More painless for me then for Jake. I was sedated. Jake had the fun job of repeating himself a million times. A good time had by all I guess! The results were immediate. I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis (or #4). The doctor also said that I was allergic to more then just nuts and shellfish and the biopsy would give us the answer to that. So here are the pictures of my esophagus.
Top Left: Your esophagus should not have rings in it.
Top Right: Your esophagus should not have stretch marks or blood vessels showing. This is a result from my many times of eating nuts.
Bottom Left: a closer picture of my esophagus while swallowing and the stretch marks/blood vessels.
Bottom Right: A look from my stomach up my throat. The black tube thing is the camera.

My esophagus was so narrow that they had to give me a steroid shot to open it to get the camera in.

The good news is this can all be fixed. I will be taking a drug that will be opening my airway. It is called Fluticasone Propionate it is the same steroid like drug used for those with asthma. I will drink it instead of inhale it.

So there you have it. I'll take it over cancer any day.

And last but not least. You may all be jealous for this reason and this reason alone.
What else is there to do in a small town!