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!