Saturday, November 14, 2009

Family Photo 2009

Shem and I went out today to take some family photos!  It was fun trying to set up the shot and then run to be in the shot, but I think we got some good ones.  I definitely want to go out again and take some more sometime!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I am not feelilng like working tomorrow...

Even though I did some major shopping for my classroom and I have great students I just wish that now that I'm in the mood to majorly update the blog that I could just stay up late and do all of the finishing touches that I would like to do...too bad I have to work tomorrow though.

Our Last Week of Vacation (July 28th-August 3rd)

The crappiest sunrise picture I have and will never get to take again. (refer below for details)

Shem hanging out. Even though the light from the window over exposed part of the picture I like the drama it adds.

Shem and Nathan built a tall tower!

Tonya and Audrey.

Lauren with TJ.
I have to go to bed, but I wanted to write a little about our last week of vacation. We went to Carolina Beach, NC and we had a lot of fun just relaxing, camping, surfing (well, trying to surf), getting burnt, getting locked into our camp ground so that we couldn't leave with the car to get a picture of the sunrise, running in the most hot and humid place on earth, and then finally going to the movies for some relief.
My favorite part was visiting with my friends Lauren and Tonya...this part needs more detail, but suffice it to say that it was just like we had never been apart for nearly 7 years. We seemed to pick up right where we left off and it felt like we were back at the student living center in Lansing again. more later. TTFN.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Fountain in front of the Library

The cupcake.

Me on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial.

Our Capitol.

Jefferson Memorial.

Inside the National Library.

Lincoln Memorial.


The White House.

We spent our entire fourth week with Aunt Barbra in Annapolis and Washington, D.C. It was so nice to stay some place for more than a couple of days and we enjoyed being able to rest. Aunt Barbara and Martin were so accommodating and fun to talk with, they really made us feel very much at home.

Our first day there (Thursday, July 23rd) we just took it easy and relaxed most of the day. Shem had fun swimming around in the pool and I was completely exhausted so I slept for most of the day. I’m really not sure why I was that tired, but my body just didn’t want to be a wake, so I gave in and napped. In the late afternoon we went for a bike ride to the capitol building in Annapolis, MD and apparently the building served as our nation’s capitol until D.C was completed. It was a short bike ride through the historic area downtown to get to the capitol and it was so different to see all the buildings built so close together and to ride on the narrow cobble stone or brick streets. Around the capitol building is a traffic circle that allows cars to go one way around the building with all of these arterial streets that look like spokes coming out of the capitol circle. Well when we decided to leave we got our bikes and I took off first and Shem got stuck behind some cars. When he passed then he couldn’t see me anymore so he guessed which street I went down, but he couldn’t find me and I couldn’t see him anymore either when I stopped around the corner to wait for him. I rode down one street to look for him, but I still couldn’t find him so I decided to wait for him at the capitol building since I didn’t really know the way back and I just assumed that he would come back to look for me. Well every time he came back up to the capitol he didn’t see me so he decided to go down the hill and wait for me…I never showed up so he biked back home thinking I left without him. I was still up on the hill waiting for him and feeling really lost and upset because he left me (remember I had been completely tired all day long, well it made me kind of crabby as well and very sensitive to everything!).

Eventually I saw him drive by with the car and he finally noticed me and he expressed how worried he was about me. I was just upset. I was left alone on the hill for 45 minutes, but still glad that he came and got me.

Later that evening we went out on the dingy with Aunt Barbara and Martin to see some live music in the bay and while Aunt Barbara was pulling the cord to start the dingy her hand came back and slapped me right in the face! I was so shocked I thought that she had broken my nose and then I started to cry because I had already been traumatized by being left alone at the capitol…I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had a puffy lip for about 5 days and I discovered that Neosporin works not only to heal wounds, but it’s a great lip gloss as well.

On Friday we decided to tour D.C. on our bikes. We saw the whole mall in one day while riding our bikes around and it was just incredible! It was so hot, but once we got back on our bikes we rode with the wind flying through our hair and it worked well to cool us off. We saw all of the major monuments, Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington Monument, the White House, Franklin D Roosevelt, the National Archives, the Capitol Building, and the National Library. The library was my favorite and I loved the lighting around the Jefferson Memorial later in the afternoon. Shem had a lot of fun reading about the monuments and I really enjoyed taking some pictures. Later that evening we ate dinner at Aroma, an Indian restaurant which was very much enjoyable.

We pretty much chilled over the weekend and spent Saturday with Aunt Barbara and Martin at the house. We had planned to take her massive boat out, but it was out of commission for 24 hours, however we did get to go sailing on the neighbor’s sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay! Gus took us and a whole bunch of teenage girls out in the bay along with Aunt Barbara and her friend Barbara and it was a blast learning how to sail out there! Unfortunately I forgot the camera so we didn’t get any pictures.

In the evening we went to this crab shack and ate a ton of blue crab. That was quite the experience beating your food with a wooden mallet and then picking out the crab meat in this little restaurant on the bay while the governor of Maryland sat at the table next to us. He too was beating his food like it was still alive and then using all of his fingers to pull what little crab meat was in there out. We’ve learned that Blue crab has nothing up on our west coast Dungeness and King crab.

Sunday we laid low at the house and went to church and then checked out the Navy campus and Monday we spent some more time in the museums. We went to the National Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Art Gallery. We also went to a bakery called “Red Velvet”, they sell $3.75 cupcakes made from the best European ingredients, but it really wasn’t worth it. Yogurt land would have been much better. All in all our stay in D.C. was amazing and we really enjoyed ourselves the whole time.

NYC Baby!!

Memorial at Battery Park for 911. This monument survived the disaster.

The Bull.

Tree in Elis Island with the origen of common words we use everyday.

ground zero.

Lady Liberty.

New York City Library. I just couldn't help but think of Ghostbusters when we walked through this library. :)

Radio City. We toured NBC Studios too.

Shem on Staten Island with Elis Island and Manhanten in the background.

Stock Exchange.

The Subway. We took it everywhere.

Time Square. Sensory overload even in the mid-afternoon.

Yankee's game with Cheryl! :) They won with a walk-off home run.

After staying at the Finger Lakes we checked out church sites, said our good byes to the McLenans and then headed down to New York City. There we stayed with Cheryl, a friend of Ruth’s from high school. In New York City we did your typical touristy things including visiting, the Statue of Liberty , Elis Island, Wall street, ground zero, Rockefeller center, NBC studios, time square, New York Library, and China town.

I’ll just hit the highlights of some of our favorite Parts about our stay in New York, aside from just being able to spend time with Cheryl and Rob. First and My personal favorite was going to a Yankees game. I am not a huge sport fan myself but I really enjoyed this game. First, we had amazing seats so the players weren’t just little dots. Secondly, the crowd was really into the game. They all cheered and screamed, and if something cool was about to happen they all stood up in anticipation which means you would have to stand just to see what was going to happen. I have determined that East coast games are way more fun because the people really get into the game. My next favorite thing was china town. I love good food and that’s the first good Chinese cuisine I have ever had outside of Seattle.

One of Ruth’s favorite things was shopping at Century 21 where they sell designer clothes and accessories for realistic prices Ruth would call them AMAZINZG prices because she bought $450 worth of merchandise for only $60. I only call it reasonable because a purse should never be $200 regardless of who makes it. In the end we were both happy. Ruth got the styles that she likes and I liked that we didn’t have to mortgage a home we didn’t own to buy the items. Hooray! (Ruth speaking: and might I add that I love the purses too! I can’t stop talking about how much I like them! Aunt Barbara thought that they were amazing too.)

I have saved reporting the best thing about our New York trip for last. Did you know they sell soft served frozen yogurt that is laced with cocaine? No Really! We didn’t know this either until Cheryl introduced us to Yogurt Land. How do I know they lace their yogurt with cocaine? I have been able to conclude this after a careful analysis of the following facts. First Yogurt Land sounds very Hippieish and we all know Hippies lace their frozen yogurt with cocaine. Second, Ruth ate at Yogurt Land at least twice a day while in New York ( not really, but Shem won’t let me convince him that I only ate there once a day.). Now that we left New York she keeps talking about the Holy Land of Yogurt frequently followed by sudden muscle twitches. In fact, she has even discussed opening her own Yogurt Land in Seattle (no joke), and we all know that those who can’t afford to buy drugs end up selling the drugs to support the habit. All sarcasm aside it really was good yogurt. It’s a self served place where you can make your own cup of frozen yogurt with all kinds of toppings and then you just pay by the ounce. It’s a fun concept.

Niagra and New York with the family

Niagara Falls, Canada

Tree of Life

Angels in the beginning of the performance

Building the ship.

Warriors. My brother James was one of these warriors.


This week has been a lot of fun! On Thursday we drove with the family through Canada, over to New York State. Along the way we got to see Niagara Falls, which was a first for me. On the American side of the falls we met up with Rochelle and her family (who coincidently were doing the same trip as us except they left a week earlier and went the opposite way as us) and went on a short walk to the bottom of one of the falls. Now when I say the bottom of the falls I mean we were practically standing in the falls. The water pours down and then splashes off some rocks. We would stand in the torrent of water coming off the rocks. They give you cheap ponchos which were shredded to pieces by the water. It was very intense. I could feel the intensity of the water coming down and couldn’t help but scream as if I was on the thrill ride of my life!

After seeing Niagara we zipped on over to Palmayra, New York to see the Hill Cumorah pageant. James, Ruth’s brother, was in the Pageant and we got to see him running around in a loin cloth. This is not something I would normally condone but as he was playing the part of a Nephite warrior, I let it slide. Probably the neatest thing about the pageant was the special effects. They are performing this pageant on a stage on a hill outside, and they have Waterfalls, lightning, windstorms, earthquakes, volcanoes, and men descending from the heavens. It was amazing how creative they got to with their resources to make it all work.

We also went camping near Ithica, NY at a place called Treemon state park. It was awesome and full of hikes and a very cool swimming area where we swam in 62 degree water just to sit under a waterfall. Ruth Loved jumping from the diving board while I wadded in because of my ankle... Eventually you became numb so the water wasn't all that bad.

Michigan with Ruth's Family

Mackinaw Bridge.

Shem and Lehi playing Carcasone. They both love boardgames!

Vacation life hasn’t stood out as much during our second week. Although a certain theme has seemed to enshroud our life out here in Michigan: Meat! We have eaten lots, and lots of meat. Thursday we had Chicken for lunch, and steak for dinner. On Sunday we had Steak, chicken, Brawts, and hot dogs (There were more varieties of meat that night then variety of side dishes, oh and the steaks were so insanely tender that you almost didn’t need to chew!) One Monday we had left over braughts, chicken, steak and hot dogs.

For the most part we have just been visiting Ruth’s family near Detroit Michigan. We have done lots of fun things like going on bike rides, watching Harry Potter 6, bowling, playing laser tag, board games, Guitar hero (a video game where you play the guitar), and of course... eating lots of meat!

Over the weekend we went down to near Cleveland Ohio, to visit one of my friends Nick Strange. On the way back I got a speeding ticket for $137. When we got back to Michigan and were trying to pay the ticket we found out that the county we got the ticket from has made headline news for the amount of revenue they make by traffic tickets. I can see why too because they only post the speed limit every 5 to 8 miles. Shem was just saying that he wished he knew what the speed limit was when we saw the cop car and got pulled over. I guess we are just one of the many people who pay the workers in that county. It’s nice to know that we are doing our civil duty.

Friday, July 10, 2009

More pics from Marquette, MI from Amy

We biked around Presque Isle.

Here is a freighter loading up with coal from the ore dock.

At the top of Sugar Loaf.

The "bear" cave that really was a hobo hut.

Hiking around Lake Superior.

We hiked around the water to get to this cove and then we signed out initials.

Walking in the water.

Hiking with Shem after he sprained his ankle.