Wednesday, December 17, 2008

basketball, jobs, and puppies

I know, I know, it's winter in the Volunteer State now. We've had a mixture of really nice days in the 60s and very cold days where it snows but rarely sticks.

I know I've been slacking on updating the blog, but every time I log in to start a new post I just don't feel like writing anything and my mind glazes over. That could be due to the fact that I have nothing to write about because our days have been like this:

Jeff goes to school/studies for tests, does well on tests and school stuff (yay Jeff!).

Lynn tries to look for a job anywhere from Target to medical transcription to whatever the heck you want to give her (okay, maybe not whatever), applies for jobs, doesn't hear anything about jobs, resumes sitting on couch watching Ellen and Oprah (the "man" who has woman parts is having another baby. What is this world coming to?). We blame the economy (for me not getting job, not for the man/woman having a baby)...or my lack of experience, but isn't the economy a better excuse?

Jeff and Lynn occassionally take trips to the animal shelter where Lynn tries to make sad faces at Jeff so he will let her get a puppy. These attempts are in vain because Jeff is the practical one and what is that you say? Puppies cost money? Dang. But they're so cute.

Here's how things are shaping up for next semester:

Jeff got a graduate assistantship (school paid for PLUS a stipend. hooray!) with the....wait for it....WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM. That's right, I said women. I think that is what one would call karma. Jeff is already working hard lining up promotional things for said team even though he doesn't get paid until next semester.

After going into the HR department of the hospital system here and being told she didn't get the last medical transcription job she applied for (in SEPTEMBER), Lynn got a call this morning telling her they want to interview her for the job she didn't get. Weird. She will be working on her interview skills and hoping they called the right person. [Insert prayers here]

The jury is still out on the puppy situation. [Insert sad looks here]

p.s. How is Christmas next week? When did that happen? That's right, Ellen is doing 12 days of giveaways and Oprah already had her favorite things show (they were economy friendly this year...because she has to worry about how she spends her billions). Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fall in the Volunteer State





It's true, fall in Tennessee is beautiful. The reds, oranges, and yellows cover the rolling landscape, and when the sun shines through the leaves the colors are even more awesome.
Jeff took these pictures right outside our apartment. Doesn't the orange tree look like it's on fire? I love it.
p.s. It's been in the 70s here. Don't be too jealous.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Til we meet again

She was a fiesty woman with a lot of love and a lot of faith.
She had a curiosity towards angels, and now she is one of them.
When I feel sad about not seeing her again on earth, I think about the many family members that greeted her as she entered the spirit world--her husband, son, brothers and sister, parents--and the happiness she would have felt at seeing all of them. I am grateful that she never has to be alone again.
She was very particular about how things were done. This used to really frustrate me, but as I got older I learned to laugh along with her idiosyncrasies and I loved her for them.
This past Christmas was special as our whole family was together. When she grumbled about the salad dressing or something of the sort, Jeff and I would just look at each other and we would start to laugh, and she would start to chuckle too with her characteristic half smile. I think she realized she was being silly at times.
We're grateful that she had a sharp mind her whole life, as well as good health.
I look forward to seeing her again one day and telling my children about their great-grandma Vera.

Monday, September 29, 2008

happenings

"Miss Lynn, are you married?"
"Yup, I am."
"Do you wanna have kids?"
"Sure I do."
"Well, maybe after this week you won't want to have kids anymore!"

Jeff and I were asked by a family in our ward (our congregation at church) to take care of their kids (ages 5 and 8) for most of the week while they were both out of town. Jeff has class most nights of the week so it was basically me and the kiddos running around from one place to the next. Days go by pretty fast when you're doing homework, getting snacks, practicing piano, practicing spelling words, going to karate, and gymnastics, and scouts, fitting dinner in there somewhere, getting ready for bed, and still trying to get some fun time in. Holy cow.

We had a fun time though and both kids were great aside from the occasional bickering (that's what brothers and sisters are for after all) and one pee incident where Shelby was peed on by a neighbor's dog (weird, I know). I love hearing the things that come out of kids' mouths (most of the time). Where do they come up with some of these things? Shelby is dying to have a pink mini van when she gets older--she's going to buy it at a place that only sells pink mini vans (duh)--and Matt was talking about how he's got a date for the school dance (he's in second grade) and all the cheerleaders already have dates so it's just too bad for the guys who are still looking for dates. It's amazing to me how perceptive kids are and how much they really catch on when you don't think they're listening or you don't think they'll understand what you're talking about in the first place (see conversation above--he had to have gotten that from something an adult said).

On another note, as you can probably tell I've had a little bit of blogger's block recently. We haven't really done too much that has been blog worthy. It's kind of hard to find something to write on a daily basis when you do the same things every day, unless you have kids cause they're a constant source of entertainment and stories. I'll do my best to keep the blog interesting.

We did go to see some of the Dragon Boat Races a few weeks ago which is a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital. It was blazing hot that day with 90% humidity so we didn't stay too long, but at least you have some pictures to look at right?





Thursday, September 4, 2008

parents weekend


My parents decided to bring the mini van, the bikes, and some of my stuff (hallelujah we have a microwave) down to Johnson City for a visit. So my parents, Lance, Ariel, Jeff, and I all piled into Lance's truck, strapped the bikes into the back, and headed up to the Virginia Creeper Trail which is a biking/hiking/horse trail that goes from Whitetop, VA to Abingdon, VA. It hooks up with the Appalachian Trail (which goes from Maine to Georgia) at one point too. We cheated a little bit and took a shuttle up to Whitetop and rode mostly downhill to Damascus (about 20 miles) instead of biking round trip or going all the way to Abingdon. We had one flat tire along the way but actually ended up making great time even with Lance and Jeff biking back and forth from a restaurant that had a pump to get it fixed (my mom is one fast speed walker).
I stole this one from your blog Ariel (thanks!)

Later on in the weekend Jeff and Lance took on my parents in tennis. I'm still trying to figure out the whole game, set, match thing. What kind of scoring goes 0, 15, 30, 40 (did someone forget how to count by fifteens)? And then they throw in the words love, all, deuce, and ad in/ad out. And it's definitely harder than it looks, but isn't that how it is with all sports? We also enjoyed some homemade pizza courtesy of the master chef Jeff. So as you can tell, we had a great weekend! We recently ordered some bikes, so stay tuned for more biking adventures.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

guaranteed to make you smile


Jeff and I both have some super cute (when talking about nieces and nephews it's completely appropriate/acceptable to use the words super cute) nieces and nephews. We were really lucky to live near Jeff's sister and my brother in Utah. Before we left I happened to get some cute pictures (please excuse the bad red eye reducer). If you don't smile when you look at these then there's something wrong with you.







The newest addition to the family

And I had to include a picture of my sister's little girl, Anika, cause she's super cute. They live all the way in Illinois, and we wish we got to see them more often.





Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We made it!

We are alive and in Tennessee! I know all of our avid readers were starting to get worried (hi mom!). We never want to move ever again. Moving all of our stuff in and out of trucks and garages and apartments over and over didn't help that feeling. Where did we get all of this stuff!? We seem to have added even more stuff since we arrived...ugh. We left Utah on Thursday the 14th and made it to Johnson City on Saturday just in time to move our junk from our cars into our apartment and settle down on Lance and Ariel's (our across the hall neighbors...hopefully they're not tired of us yet :)) couch to watch Michael Phelps win his eighth gold (we timed our arrival for this). Man that guy's ridiculous. Did you watch the Olympics? Did you watch Usain Bolt blow everyone away? I'm trying to get Jeff to agree to go to London in 2012.

Anyway, we've been really busy trying to get settled. Jeff started school yesterday and I've been trying to find a job (don't ask). So you know how Jeff's scholarship requires him to teach some activity courses? Well...

Yep, he's teaching a general conditioning class AND...bowling! So we like to joke that Jeff quit his job at the Health Department to bowl. We won't mention that he hasn't bowled for years, but I'm sure he's still great at it.

Photos of our adventure:


Goodbye basement apartment


Goodbye lab where Jeff and I met

Hello gas prices (this was more than 70 cents cheaper than Utah's gas prices when we left)!

This is the field where Jeff played summer ball in Nevada (pronounced nuh-vay-duh), Missouri

And this is the gym in Nevada with the crooked stairs

This is the road to get to Ammon and Marlene's house (his host family)

Here are Ammon and Marlene. They're hilarious. This is where we picked up the word dagum, and lucky for us they use it here in Tennessee too.


Jeff is pretty handy. This was our makeshift shower curtain--trash bags and packing tape.

I don't really have any pictures of the area yet, but it's beautiful and green out here with all the rolling hills and trees. It's going to take a little while to really know our way around since there's no grid system here like Utah. We're practicing our southern accents so we can understand people better. Well dagum, y'all come back now, y'hear.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

sa-wing batta batta

This past Thursday Jeff participated in a home run derby that the Owlz hosted. Out of 10 guys Jeff came in third, which is pretty dang good for not playing baseball for 2 years. The guy who won is a former Major Leaguer and I'm pretty sure they said the second place guy played in the minors. It's always fun to watch Jeff swing a bat whether he's playing softball or baseball.



I tried to do something new with our camera and it didn't work so well, but I like this last picture mostly because of the people in the background--the guy in the stands is pointing and everyone's looking at the ball fly over the fence.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The hills are on fire!

So we had a little bit of a panicked Friday night. (Keep in mind that Jeff and I moved into his parent's place in Payson last Wednesday.) During the afternoon we had noticed that there seemed to be a fire down at Spring Lake because there were plumes of smoke going up into the mountains by Jeff's parents house, but we didn't really think anything of it. Later on that evening I went into the garage and overheard the neighbor talking about having their bags packed and how they needed to leave ASAP. As I came outside to hear her better (because I'm a busybody like that) I saw the blaze of fire on the mountains that form Payson canyon, right in front of Jeff's parents house, moving ominously close to the orchards on the hillside. Let's just say the flames looked a little too close for comfort. Jeff's parents and I went outside to check out the situation and not too long after firemen were coming around the neighborhood to tell us to pack up our stuff, close our windows, and evacuate.

This picture doesn't really do the fire justice, but this was the view from our house.

I've been evacuated from two countries (Jordan during the Gulf War and Jakarta when riots were breaking out all over the city due to economic problems and we had to leave in the middle of the night) and neither time do I remember being really scared or panicked and that's because my parents were always so calm during the situation. Well, the same can be said for this situation. There were people that were obviously freaked out and some were acting a little like maniacs, but Jeff's parents were totally calm and reassuring during the whole ordeal and that made all the difference. I was a little worried because Jeff and I had just moved all of our stuff into his parent's garage and it could have possibly all be lost.



So anyway, we packed all of our valuables into our cars and decided to hang around to see where the fire was headed since it seemed that we were okay where we were and the firemen weren't forcing us to leave. By this time the fire had died down a little on the hillside (it was still going strong in some spots). When Jeff got home from the Owlz game he got on the roof with the hose and started watering down the house. We drove down the street at one point and watched the fire burn what seemed extremely close to a couple of houses. Luckily no structures were burnt down, but there were some houses that were extremely lucky (like the family that has the orchards). We were told that it was the orchards that saved our houses because apple trees hold about 40 gallons of water, unlike pine trees that burn very rapidly. The wind was also blowing in our favor. So that was our Friday night adventure. Helicopters are still flying over today to make sure the fires are all out. We're very lucky and relieved that it turned out the way it did!

Friday, July 25, 2008

yee haw


This past Monday we headed out to the Spanish Fork Rodeo with our good friends Blair and Sara who we always have a great time with. I can't believe those guys have the guts to ride bucking bulls or horses. Crazy. It cannot be good for your back...or the rest of your body for that matter. Unfortunately the zoom on our camera isn't so great and for some reason the picture quality isn't as good when uploaded to blogger, but I did take some video of the steer wrestling, mutton bustin' (little kids trying to ride sheep), and bull riding--you just have to look closely.

video

Thursday, July 24, 2008

camping

We've had the opportunity to go camping a couple times this summer--once in Payson Canyon and once in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. In Payson Canyon we hung out around the camp fire during the evening and went hiking during the day. We ventured off the trail a couple of times before we got to where we were supposed to be headed. And people wonder why so many hikers get lost out here, some better signage would have been nice. In Lava Hot Springs we soaked in the hot pools, played poker at night (not for money, don't worry), and tubed down the river. There were some minor injuries but we had a great time. We also spent some time just hangin out with friends in Provo Canyon having tin foil dinners and playing botchi ball. I can't believe how fast the summer is going. We've had a lot of fun spending time with great friends before we head out next month.

We wish we could've gone camping more this summer because it's one of the things we're going to miss about Utah. We love having the mountains right here so we can go camping and hiking whenever. We could find a great camping spot in the mountains just 20 minutes away if we wanted to. It's too bad that I've been out here for 4 years and have never experienced skiing in the Utah snow (the best snow on earth, so they say--i say keep it in the mountains and not on the roads because it makes the utah drivers that much worse, but that's a story for another day).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Optomap

So normally I wouldn't write about our optometry appointments, but I'm making an exception in this case. Jeff & I are taking advantage of our health insurance, which we're finding out isn't as great as we thought, by making appointments to get our eyes checked, getting new contacts, going to the dentist, going to the dermatologist for my regression into my teenage years (what the heck), etc. before our move.

Anyway, while at the optometrist office we were given the choice of getting our eyes dilated (blurry vision for the rest of the day, no thank you) or getting an Optomap, a high-tech picture of your eyes. Jeff, being his inquiring, informed, money-saving self, declined both after talking with the doctor who said we were young enough and our eyes were probably healthy enough that the procedures were basically unnecessary. I, on the other hand, being my suckered-into-anything self, when offered the choice, said (after inquiring about the price), "A picture of my eye! So cool! Let's do it!" Although if you know me you know I rarely talk in exclamations, except with people I know really well. So it was more like, "Oh, a picture? I'll do that I guess." But inside I was all about the exclamations. I was also concerned that I might have a tumor or something on my eye that would otherwise go undetected. I then felt guilty after Jeff didn't accept either the blurry vision or the cool picture. However, when Jeff saw the picture of my eye he said, "You should put it on the blog." We did meet in anatomy lab, afterall. So it wasn't such a bad choice in the end: I have the peace of mind that I have a healthy eye--we won't mention the fact that my eyes are almost twice as bad as they were 2 years ago--and I get to share my retina with all of you. So here in all its glory is my eyeball. Enjoy.

The yellow spot is my optic nerve and the dark spot to the right is my macula. You can also see my eyelashes at the bottom.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Owlz

Jeff has recently taken on a second job. He is now the Official Scorekeeper for the Orem Owlz who, for those of you who don’t know, is the short season single-A team affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels.

You might be saying to yourself, scorekeeper? What an easy job! Well, let me tell you, it’s a lot more difficult than you might think. He’s the one who decides hits, errors, earned runs, not earned runs, who the winning pitcher is, etc. Baseball has about a million rules so this is not as easy as it might seem. Jeff even has to look up rules at times and he’s been playing the game his whole life. He also has to write down what happens during each play of the game so he can call into minor league baseball every half inning so they can update their stuff, and he has to record everything in the scorebook (I think that’s what it’s called) as well.
During BYU's baseball season Jeff worked the score board while I put up the names of the batters with their averages. We figured since we'd probably be at all of the games anyway, why not make some money and be warm doing it (we got to be in the press box with a nice heater right under our feet).

This was our view from the press box

Why has he taken up this second job, you might be wondering? Well, mostly for some experience working for a professional team, and it never hurts to have some extra moolah, especially for our expensive trip across the country next month (dang gas prices).

Speaking of which, we’ve decided to forego the U-haul with the car trailer and save ourselves almost a grand in gas (crazy!). We’re now going with U-Pack where we load all of our stuff into a portion of a semi and they drive our junk out to Tennessee for us.

We’ll have to drive both of our cars out there but we would’ve had to drive separately anyway with the U-haul. This way we’ll actually be able to go the speed limit and we’ll save on not driving a gas-guzzling truck. If you would like to donate to our gas cause (the kind that goes in cars, we have enough of the other kind around here), we accept all major credit cards, checks, and cash. Just kidding...sort of.

We would've had to start way earlier, but we would've saved a TON if we had tried moving this way:
Maybe next time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

A good friend of Jeff’s family did the sound for The Stadium of Fire (I think his official title was Technical Director) so we were lucky enough to get hooked up with some backstage passes and tickets to the show. With our backstage passes we might have stalked Miley Cyrus just a little bit, even though I'm only familiar with one of her songs, but she is the who’s who among preteen girls and I could probably pass for a preteen girl (sad, I know), so it’s okay. We did happen to get this footage of her after she finished singing and was headed back to the motor home:

video



We were hoping to get something signed so we could make a boat-load off of it on eBay but she was surrounded by people the whole time and went pretty quickly from stage to motor home. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that this is a 15-year-old girl with more money than I could ever imagine having and when she goes anywhere she has to have an entourage because all the tweeners love her. When I was 15…well, we won’t get into it cause it’s not even a close comparison and I don’t wish to relive those days. What a strange life.

Anyway, we had a great 4th of July. We spent the day at Seven Peaks (which is a waterpark for all you non-Utah people) with friends and stalked Miley Cyrus at night (oh, and watched the show). I love the fourth because of what it celebrates and because it is to me the essence of summer in America—barbequing, being at the pool/lake/beach/camping/or some other family-friendly activity, and just hanging out with friends and family. I’m very grateful to be a citizen of a country that allows us so many freedoms and possibilities.




Parachuters


Glenn Beck wearing a BYU hat

Miley (sorta) and a guy's neck

Glenn Beck and his kids (I'm assuming)

And for your viewing pleasure, here's a clip of Miley Cyrus singing. We actually weren't super impressed, but we aren't preteen girls...thank goodness. (ignore the part where I try to go to the jumbotron cause it didn't work out so well and I don't know how to edit movies):

video