Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spring Has Finally Sprung!

Things are finally warming up here in good ol' Rexburg. Our lawn is now green instead of white, our trees are full of blossoms and newly sprouted leaves, animal life is abundant (at least in the bee, squirrel, and bird categories) and snow storms have finally been replaced with rain showers. Here are a few pics from in and around our house. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

The house

A delicous rainstorm
This tree/shrub of unknown type sists on the edge of our yard closest to the street and in the course of 1 or 2 days exploded with these bright pink blossoms.

This is the big tree in our front yard. I can't remember what it's called, but it looks like a cross between a weeping willow and a quaking aspen. We love it!

We have three apple trees in our back yard and all of them are blossoming!

The apple tree closest to the house has several hollowed out branches. A bird couple decided to move in to one and they are now the proud parents of 5 little chicks! It's been fun to watch them grow, since we took this picture, they've sprouted most of their feathers.

We put a couple of pots out on our front proch and filled them with Snap dragons, geraniums, pansies, daisies and these little white flowers whose name escapes me. The Eastern border of our property is lined with trees.

We have a total of 5 lilac trees/shrubs around the house. We can't wait for the little buds to open and wrap our house and yard in their cozy, sweet scent!

More rain clouds

On our windowsill in the kitchen, we've planted some forget-me-nots and clover.

Every gardener's nemesis... the dandelion.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Has Anyone Seen Evelyn?

I was sure I did it, I was sure I had officially lost a child. I was only inside for a minute to put something away, when I went back outside, Evelyn was no where to be found.

The lost child panic was just barely thinking about setting after I had looked everywhere... then I saw the top of her little pony tail in the passenger side of the car, parked in the garage.

The little turkey was hiding and feasting on some taffy we had bought for our Memorial day trip to Jackson Hole, WY.

I'm glad I found her and that she was safe, she might be sick here pretty soon, but at least she's safe!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Here's to the Birthday Girl

This blog goes out to my wonderful, amazing, brilliant and all-around wonder-woman-of-a-gal, Jessica. If you don't know Jessica very well, let me fill you on a few of the reasons why she's so spectacular:

1. She agreed to marry me! Talk about Christ-like charity!
2. She's a hottie (and I mean that in an appropriate and honoring-womanhoodly way)!
3. She finds a way to mix beans, corn or peas (or sometimes all three) into everything she cooks
4. She is an avid potato lover
5. She is an incredible mother
6. She is an incredible teacher (Evelyn, now 3 1/2, read her first words yesterday thanks to Jessica's able tutoring!)
7. She is hilarious! (ask her about the "dinner with a garden hose" story)
8. She is pretty sure she knows how to speak Chinese and enjoys practicing it around the house
9. She likes to bust some wicked moves on our tile floor...
10. She is the brains in the family and keeps things running smooth
11. Everyone at Church wants her to serve in their organization (up until last week she had 4 callings... people couldn't get enough of her!)
12. She makes everything she wears look good
13. She is one of the kindest and warmest people I know
14. She's not afraid of anything
15. Correction: she is afraid of spiders and the deep end of the pool, but not much else
16. She's an amazing, albeit insecure chef
17. She has a strong and burning testimony that she shares often with her children and others
18. She can beat me at arm-wrestling every single time
19. She likes to play the "what song am I dancing to" game
20. She is a returned missionary
21. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty
22. She gets angry when you try to tell her that "colonel" is pronounced "kernel"
23. She has a strong affinity for squeezing or otherwise playing with sponges
24. She is a great artist and is very crafty (meaning creative, not sneaky)
25. The last 24 reasons are only the tip of the iceberg... no, they are only the dust on the snowflake that is sitting on the tip of the iceberg!

Jess, the internet is simply too small to hold a blog that would fit in everything amazing and wonderful there is to say about you. I hope you know that I love, love, love you and I am so grateful for the last 4 1/2 years. Here's to eternity with you!

ps- the people singing in the video are a few of my students at BYU-I... thanks guys!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Birthday Tribute

It was Ben's mom's birthday on thursday. We made a video for her, if you would like to see it, go to
Thankyou everyone who participated for being so helpful!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Our Handsome Hardworking Intelligent Dedicated Loving Superb GRADUATE!

Our family drove to Cedar City on Thursday. On Friday Ben defended his Masters Internship before a committee of 4 professors from the Communication Department. I was able to watch. Ben was magnificent and impressive. They approved and passed him with flying colors. Ben now has under his belt a Masters of Arts in Professional Communication*.

Now, I'd like to delve a little in what Ben has had to go through to get this MPC from SUU. Here is a list:

-Ben has always worked while getting his degrees. At one time he had THREE jobs while going to school full-time earning his Masters. His jobs were:
+Teacher/Student Aid in a 2nd grade classroom
+Student Advisor for Undergraduates at SUU
+Intern at the Cedar City Economic Development Department
+Assistentship which involved teaching an Intro to Advertising
course at SUU
+Designing Logos "on the side" for a friend who owns a Graphic Design

-Ben tried his hardest to be home for dinner and I can't remember a week that we didn't have a date night.

-He has had a wife and 2 daughters through all of this, one of the daughters was BORN during his first finals week! Thanks to a wonderful Mother-in-Law who came to help that first week, we made it through, but Ben was there so much of the time and was able to spend much time with both of the girls, somehow writing paper after paper after paper in his spare moments.

-Anytime Ben was at home he was fully dedicated to us girls. He would take them out to the park while I finished dinner, or he would try to wash the dishes before he had to go to class etc, etc, etc.

-There was never a Sunday that Ben opened his textbooks or was on the computer typing a paper. He kept it the Lord's day and we have felt the blessings of that.

-Through all this, Ben received very high grades.

-The last three weeks Ben has left early in the morning, worked on his final projects, taught his classes, prepared lectures, helped students, come home for dinner and a few hours with us and at bedtime gone back to work on his paper until midnight. He did this for 3 weeks to finish up and he never complained.

-He knows he does not walk alone and relies constantly on the Lord's help and guidance.

I wrote in my journal "I feel grateful for Ben and for his hard work and willingness to provide. He has done so much over the last few years. He has done it quietly, unselfishly, painstakingly, sometimes sleeplessly and without Pomp and Circumstance. My heart celebrates in him, his hard work, faith, humility, talent, skill, love, support, gentleness, patience, beauty..."

What a giant of a being Ben is. Thank you Ben and congratulations!!

*For those of you interested, this is what his degree entails:
The Master of Arts in Professional Communication is an applied, professional degree. The degree is designed to focus on advanced applied research skills required for effectiveness in the communication industry. Survey findings and discussions with industry representatives indicate that for most enrollees this degree will be a terminal preparation for industry success. The program is available to candidates from, though not limited to, industrial settings where companies need research capabilities for advertising and public relations campaigns, internal organizational analysis, human resource development, and media production.

Ben is headed in the direction of Organizational Consulting. Which, for those of you interested entails this:
Customer Relations (internal and external)
High Performing Team Development
Executive Coaching
Employee Retention
Leadership Development
Establishing organizational cultures that facilitate sustained high performance
Conflict Management
Communications Systems and Skills Reward Systems & Performance Management
Executive & Virtual Team Development and Coaching
Strategic Planning
Organizational Needs Assessment
Facilitating meetings Mergers and other times of transition (e.g. changes in top management)
Creating new businesses and/or restructuring existing ones

It is possible that we will be headed for more schooling, Ben would like to pursue an MBA to give him more of the business side of things. That may be in the near future...we'll keep you posted on that!