Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Floor 14 & The MTC

In our preparations to head South, we went to Salt Lake last week – all 4 of us.  We flew out of Pasco early early Wednesday morning & took a straight through flight to Salt Lake.  It was a miracle…flying to Salt Lake in literally 1 hour & 10 minutes as opposed to what would have been a 12-13 hour drive.  I know, I’m old fashioned, but I don’t care.

We spent most of that day on Temple Square, in particularly Floor 14 of the Church Office Building. The girls loved getting their fingerprints taken.  I wish I had a picture of that, but I was too wiped out to think straight. 




The next morning was spent at the MTC.  Our main purpose in going there was to meet with the Argentine Consulate.  This was an amazing experience.  Security was extremely tight.  We spent our morning with all the missionaries departing to Argentina next week.  The Spirit was overwhelming.  We were so happy to be a part of the MTC that day.  We met some exceptional missionaries & even had the chance to see Elder Holland for a moment.




On a much different note, during the night before we went to the MTC, our fire alarm went off at 4 AM & again at 6 AM.  Apparently, our room was the only one “on fire.”  Nothing was wrong, but it made for an exhausting day.  My 6 AM phone conversation with the front desk went something like this – they called me.

Front Desk: Ma’am, what is going on?!

Me: What?! I was just about to ask you the same thing!  We are trying to sleep here, but it’s impossible. I have two little girls &…

Front Desk:  Ma’am, your personal safety is my concern, & I have….siblings, okay?! I completely understand.  This is not my fault!

Me: Look, this is not about you. I’m not attacking you.  I’m just a little confused as to why…

Front Desk:  I really appreciate that.  I’m doing the best I can. I will take care of this. I’ve done this before…

(By that point, I just figured the guy was delusional.  Luckily, my husband is good at laughing about crazy things.  If you can laugh later, you might as well laugh now I guess). 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Tiki Hut

This girl is the epitome of optimism.

Last March my cousin Mandy & her family moved to Plymouth, Washington, just 30 minutes away from me.

This girl inspires me.

has lived in Brazil for 2 years,
is battling cancer,
is raising an autistic son,
has opened a Tiki Hut selling Gourmet Shaved Ice in Hermiston, Oregon...all with a smile on her face!!

So, as our Great Great Great Great Uncle Mark Twain said,
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pre-School Board

Now, I'm not an overly crafty person, but every now & then I muster up the ambition to attack a project. It all started a few months ago when I joined a little pre-school co-op for my 3 year old. One of the moms had built a pre-school board that I took one look at & thought, "I HAVE to build one of those!" So, I did what any desperate wife would do, & I put my husband to work! Okay, not totally, but it did turn out to be a great team project that we had fun building together. It was definitely a learning experience if anything else.

3 - 1/2" Wood Boards (2 w/dimensions 2' X 11 3/4", & 1 w/dimensions 3' X 1')
Sand Paper
6 Sheets of Sheet Metal (4 w/dimensions 2' X 11 3/4", & 2 w/dimensions 3' X 1')
Liquid Nails
Spray Paint
Staple Gun
4 Medium-Sized Hinges

* I purchased the sheet metal from a sheet metal fabrication warehouse in town. It was way cheaper than going to Home Depot or Lowe's.

1. Sand down both sides of your boards.
2. Glue the sheet metal to both sides of each board using liquid nails.
3. Wipe down the sheet metal with white vinegar.
* Do not spray paint the sheet metal until you have wiped it down completely with white vinegar. Let it air dry for at least 30 minutes.
4. Spray paint the sheet metal using any colors you'd like! Don't be surprised if the paint slightly bubbles or cracks. Just let it dry, sand it down, & spray paint it again. We had to spray paint ours 3 times - a pain, I know.
5. Cut the U-trim to fit the edges of each board, then staple it on using your staple gun.
6. Hinge the boards together! Placement varies depending on hinge size, but be creative. We screwed ours onto the front surface of the boards. We had to re-place our hinges several times, but we finally got it. Screw it through the U-trim to make it most secure.

I ordered a really inexpensive Pre-K set from www.teacherstorehouse.com. I had to laminate everything using contact paper which took some time, but it was well worth it.

I made my little bright fuzzy ball magnets using bright fuzzy balls, magnets, & a hot glue gun! Those were a huge hit (& super easy to make)!

It certainly isn't perfect, & if you look too close, you'll find flaws, but the key is, we got brave & did it! AND it has been so useful for more than just pre-school (FHE, piano lessons, you name it). Go craftiness!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grand Coulee Dam

Last weekend, we attempted our first family camp out. Jared has been awaiting a camping trip for years, & we finally felt like our girls were old enough to handle the roughage (& beauty, of course) of nature ;). So off we went to Northeastern Washington to visit the Grand Coulee Dam. We enjoyed the company of great friends, & even though everyone had a camping trailer but us, we stayed surprisingly warm in our cozy little tent. We only had to shew away two snakes before we went to bed. What is it with snakes lately? I may very well be manhandling them before this year is over.

Anyway, we stayed at the Spring Canyon Campground which was lovely & completely well equipped with the essentials - a firepit, a spicket, an outhouse, some toilet paper, AND a nearby beach which both girls embraced.

We (the girls) made duct tape purses. Funny. The boys naturally made duct tape swords & guns.

The actual dam was spectacular!

We enjoyed a great laser light show on the dam that night, but by that time, we were all a little loopy, & it hypnotized the girls to sleep. I think we'll try it again soon...living in Argentina may or may not constitute camping.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Baby's Two

Little Carlie is still little, but she turned 2 last Saturday. I love birthdays...I love parties...so yes, we had a birthday party! Lots of friends, cupcakes, & zuzu pets. My girls love zuzu pets (& cupcakes), so it was a wonderful day.

Despite her mere 22.5 lbs., that beautiful mane of hers is still growing...and growing...