Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family picture time

We finally did it! We actually got family pictures taken! The last time we did this, Teya was just a baby in my arms -- so it has been three years! Our good friend Liz Hall took them at Freestone Park. She had all these fun props there -- and I loved this one in the frame! I'm sure I will post more when we get the full CD sometime later, but I had asked her for a few of the family ones for a Christmas present, so she already sent us a few!
Our friend Mandy did Eden and Teya's hair all cute! Thanks so much! And, doesn't Dave look skinny! He has lost over 20 pounds on his 'biggest loser' competition through work. Wish I could lose weight like that -- well, I should rephrase -- wish I had will power to stick to a diet and exercise plan like he has.
We had a great Thanksgiving at John and Bev's house -- good food, good company, no stress, seconds on pie (see, I told you I had no will power) plenty of leftovers... just the way it should be. We also enjoyed going through the temple with my nephew Paul before he leaves on his mission to Latvia soon! So exciting!
Christmas is up and alive in our home this year -- we'd love to have you come by -- if you do -- make sure you take a candy cane from our buckets out front and marvel at our 12 foot tree :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


I had so much fun last friday going to see Twilight with some of my closest friends, and then about 150 of my friends from the ward. Some ladies rented out a theater, so we got to go to the 'private screening'. We didn't have to wait in line at all, and we had awesome seats!

They got a microphone from the theater people and had trivia questions. Janae, Mandy, and I hurried down to participate. I won the soundtrack, which I really wanted. Then, I went back and answered more questions for my friends that were too shy to go down and play -- more cds....

It was just so fun to be in that hyper, teenage-filled atmosphere, seeing everyone's fun t-shirts, etc. You should have heard the clapping erupt when Edward walked into the cafeteria!

About the movie... I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Some parts were incredibly cheesy -- like the sparkle in the sunlight, and the whole meadow part. And, what was with the scaling of the trees? But, overall, I thought the actors fit their parts and they will just grow into their roles even more. My favorite actors were all the 'real' high school kids -- they were so great -- just like actual high school kids. And, I loved the awkwardness of Charlie.

So, I'm trying to talk Dave into seeing it with me. If that doesn't work, there are several ladies in our ward would didn't make it... I'll go again with them! :) Here are some shots of the day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Nauvoo, IL. It was with my mom and 6 of my 8 sisters. We flew into St. Louis and got to see the famous arch. It was pretty amazing. We drove to Nauvoo, accidentally getting lost in Quincy, IL. But, that was fine by me. I've always wanted to go to Quincy, IL, not just because they were so nice to the Saints, but because I've always loved the name Quincy. If Dave hadn't vetoed the name, Eden or Teya would probably be named Quincy. (Big aside.... In fact, at BYU, at dances, occasionally some random guys would ask me to dance and want to know my name. Since a name was all you needed to get a phone number at BYU, if I didn't particulary like the guy, I would tell them my name was Quincy. I had this whole story about how we were descendants of John Quincy Adams.... But, back to the blog at hand...) We also stumbled upon some fabulous frozen custard, so our quick visit to Quincy was not in vain.

I just loved Nauvoo. It was my first time there, and I loved to see the senior missionary couples just having a great time, whether it were singing and dancing at the "Rendevous at Old Nauvoo" or giving us the tours of the various ancestral homes or shops, they just were happy and it was contagious. I think some of my favorites were the blacksmith shop and the shoe/cobbler place. Of course, it was a dream come true to also go to Joseph and Emma's homes, and to see their gravesite. I have always had a fascination with Church History, that was in no part diminished by two semesters of Church History with Susan Easton Black at BYU. I gained a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith before I gained a testimony of pretty much any other aspect of the gospel, so I have always had a special spot for all the he did for the church. It was amazing to see where he lived, and to visualize his Nauvoo. Oh, and it was FREEZING the whole time -- biting cold wind!
This is me in front of the Red Brick Store
This is the mansion home where they lived and housed boarders for the last year of his life.

We walked the trail of hope, the trail the Saints took to the river as they were leaving their homes. I looked back often to see the Temple standing on the hill. Here is a picture I took -- pretty much the same view that the early Saints had (minus the water tower) -- since the temple was in the same spot and built much to the same specs. It was inspiring.

Speaking of the temple, it was incredible. There was a unique spirit there that just added to the wonderful spirit of temples in general. We took a peak afterwards at Joseph Smith's sword, and the assembly hall that looks just like the one in the Kirkland temple. It was all just beautiful. We had someone take a picture of all 8 of us in front of the temple and she asked if we were a group of sister missionaries. One of my older sisters said later, "That was flattering if she thought we were all sister missionaries." Until, my younger sister said, "Unless she thought we were senior sister missionaries!" Ha!

Carthage Jail was also just amazing. The B&B we were staying at was actually Willard Richards' home -- the fourth man in the jail during the martyrdom. So, that added a touch of personality to our stay and to our visit. I'm SO deeply grateful to the Prophet Joseph Smith for the courage and strength it took to do all he did in his short life -- amidst persecution from foes and friends alike. My testimony was strengthened by our trip.

But, despite the wonderful experiences of Nauvoo and Carthage, the best part of the whole trip was just spending time with my sisters and mom. We had so much fun just visiting each night, playing games, having political discussions, spiritual discussions, reminiscing about our past, etc. We laughed so much and I just felt like I got to know everyone as good friends... I've never seen my mom laugh so much and just look so content to sit back and listen to her daughters all talk about so many things... but remember fellow trip-takers...

What happens in Nauvoo... stays in Nauvoo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

happy ramblings

It seems like we are always in need of some laughs, so I thought I'd share some funny things that have been going on around our house...

Eden came up to me and said, "Mom, Teya climbed up on the counter and got into the Halloween candy and unwrapped a snickers bar and shoved it in my mouth before I could stop her!" (This was at 7:30 a.m., so I think this is my newly-baptized daughter's way of confessing to something that she knew was wrong???) This whole story reminded me of a few years ago when Eden really wanted to wear some of my fancy lipstick. I had told her 'no'. Then, about 20 minutes later, she came down, obviously adorned with said lipstick. I looked at her questioningly and she said, "Teya was playing with your makeup and she threw the lipstick up in the air and it landed on my lips!"

Both times I laughed outloud, so the 'punishment' that followed was only done half-heartedly....

At dinner the other night, Josh said to Dave, "I know how you got that part of your head that doesn't have any hair" (his bald spot). "Oh, really? How did I get that, Josh?" "Well, you see, there are these bugs that get in your hair sometimes and they make you itch and then you scratch it and scratch it, and they your hair comes out in that spot!" So, basically, he was telling Dave he was going bald because of lice.... nice. After laughing outloud (I did, Dave was a little miffed), we explained that Daddy does NOT have lice....

I've been telling the kids the story of "The Princess Bride" (a fabulous book for those who don't realize it was a book first). They are loving it! They just LAUGHED and LAUGHED every time I would say, "Inconceivable". Now, Teya goes around the house saying, "Inconceivable!" all the time. So fun.

Well, hoped you laughed. I'll have to post all about Nauvoo soon. I had a great trip with my mom and sisters, despite the freezing wind!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


In honor of our next President, I thought I'd share a funny story with you. This is NOT a racist story, by ANY means. I promise.

So, in high school, Dave played football. He played in Texas and Virginia. Most of his teammates were black (or is it African American?). At any rate, in the locker room these guys would always be asking him for lotion to take care of their 'ash'. Ash, if you don't know, is what happens to black skin when it gets really dry -- it turns scaly and white and looks like 'ash'. So, the conversations would be something like this, "Yo, Blaser, pass me some lotion -- I got ash!" or "Shoo, brother, you got lotion? I's got ash". Dave: "Why would I have lotion?" ...

Okay, fast forward about 7-8 years, Dave and I are married, living in Provo. I'm expecting Eden, so by this time I'd heard his football stories more than once. At the time, I was getting my MBA at BYU. I worked part-time in the admissions office. One of my co-workers and colleagues, Sean, was black. We were good friends, but he also knew how "utah" and "white" I was.

So, I had left the office to run an errand, and he had some other students in there and was trying to explain what ash was, and that NO ONE in Utah had ever heard of it. Just then he saw me walking back down the hall and told his friends, "Okay, here comes Jennie. I'll prove my point. No one is more Utah or white than Jennie. Let's see if she's heard of ash". In I walk and he says, "Jennie, do you know what ash is?" Immediately I remember Dave's stories and my reply is likety-split, in my best southern accent:

"Shoo, brother! Pass me some lotion. I got ASH!"

Sean literally fell off his chair laughing. The other guys there were also laughing so hard they started crying! Pretty funny. So there, now you know what ash is!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

politically incorrect ramblings

I just wanted to blog a bit about politics, this week being an historic week and all. Arizona was one of three states (FL and CA being the others) where an ammendent to the state constitution protecting marriage was on the ballot. While we haven't got near the heat that CA has, it has been a big issue here. We had yard signs (until they got stolen), passed out flyers, and I even took a shift at the polls Tuesday (outside the 75 foot limit of course) to encourage people to vote.
About 30 people thanked me for what I was doing (holding up a sign and smiling), and only one person was negative. It was a Mom with her two little sons and she yelled at me that my sign was 'disgusting' and told her boys I represented "Hate". Oh well. If that's the worst -- bring it on.

I really feel for my sister Gayle in the Bay Area. Prop 8 passed -- YEAH! That is a huge victory, but now she still has to deal with the consequences of living in a specific area where Prop 8 was soundly defeated. No thanks. I will say to my Californian friends that while I was up late Tuesday refreshing my browser to see if Prop 8 was passing or not, I was reading some of the articles and one of them had the following comment, "I'm so glad that prop 8 looks like it is passing. This is thanks to all those Mormon volunteers. I hope now San Fransiscans realize the rest of California doesn't agree with them." There was more, and it obviously wasn't written by a Mormon, so all you CA members -- your efforts were noted and appreciated by those outside our faith. Hope that makes you feel better!

As far as the presidential election, while I was disappointed that McCain didn't win, I can appreciate the historic aspect of Obama's victory. I still hope that many of his proposals die in the process of enactment (i.e., capital gains tax hikes, tax hikes in general, healthcare). And, what is the deal with his non-US citizenship? I hope that gets addressed more fully, I mean, if he couldn't be approved to work for the FBI or the CIA, should he be allowed to be commander in chief? But, I don't think it is the end of the world (just the end of an era). To put a positive spin on things, I should be grateful that we are in a position where we will be adversely affected financially by the new president. Better than being on welfare, right?

So, on Sunday we had a state-wide regional conference -- the entire state of Arizona was addressed by Pres. Packer and others via satellite. He ended by directly encouraging us to prepare for perilous times ahead. But also reminded us that faith is the opposite of fear and that we are a people of faith, not fear. So, fear not...

peace out.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cutest kids on the block

So, I might be a little biased... but I think the kids looked adorable. Eden was an ASU cheerleader.

Josh was a vampire (although because of his glasses, and the fact that he didn't wear his teeth that long because he was worried people wouldn't understand his 'trick-or-treat' request, several people thought he was Harry Potter).

Teya was a cute little chicken. She'd say 'bawk bawk' if you asked her (this is her doing her chicken best) and just loved being a fat chicken! She was adorable!
We had a GREAT time as a family going around some of our neighborhood. We didn't even start passing out candy until we were done, and the kids were in the bath, and we still ran out of candy! Happy Halloween!
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