Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Recipe Box is getting bigger...

I do not know how many know about my little recipe blog I created a few months ago. It has been a great source for me and some of my roommates, but I am now expanding it to my family. I am trying to set up an Internet family recipe box for any who want to participate... if you might be interested in joining up click here. Read the instructions and we'll see you in the kitchen! :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nativities

We have all heard rumors about the collection of nativities my mother has... no, I am not going to post about them... it would take way too long... But in the natural occurrence of things I have acquired a few different nativities myself! I greatly enjoyed the posts about the different nativities everyone has and decided I would put on a show myself! :)

For all the "Precious Moments" that we have through life... :) My mom gave this adorable little set to me for a bridal shower gift. Everyone got a letter of the alphabet to find a present that fit and somehow my mother got the letter "n". :) I absolutely love Precious Moments and was so excited to finally put them out!
(sorry the picture is a little blurry)Some might not count this one (ask my mother, I count ornaments) but its a full scene... well, minus the shepherds... If there was anything that I am guilty of collecting its ornaments... actually, our tree is made up of my random assortment of ornaments... :) This one got special treatment and has sat all month above our DVD player on our TV.

One of my all time favorites... the rubber duckie scene that is placed annually in a place of highest honor... on the porcelain throne. :) You wouldn't believe the comments I get about it all month long... :)

My favorite this year is a little... non-traditional... my mother gave me a little plastic finger puppet nativity last year. Oh the memories we have of Jesus smiting people as my roommate would throw them at people... This year I decided they should get a little more respect... especially baby Jesus... and thus...

ok... so the wise men didn't fare so well in this scenario... but hey, he's a curious little robot... :)

Now I know these have nothing to do with nativities but they do have to do with my Christmas decorations! So here's my last little picture for now...

Yes, our stockings were hung by the window with care... in hopes that we might get one a little bigger... ;)

Love you all! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ode to Christmas

Christmas time is a special time for me. I love everything about Christmas and December and...everything! What better reason to celebrate than our Savior, Jesus Christ?! As my husband has now discovered, I tend to get rather excited about the whole ordeal.

Thus, here is my ode to Christmas:
Things I love about Christmas...

Smell: peppermint, orange, pine, cinnamon, cocoa, hot apple cider, cooked ham, homemade cookies...

Tastes: see smells above :) (minus the pine) warm corn and potato chowder, Terry's chocolate orange, little Christmas treats...

Sight: twinkling and shining Christmas lights, decorated Christmas tree with gifts wrapped underneath, the nativity scene, stockings, ribbon, bows, snow sparkling in the sun and as it falls softly to the ground, the extra sparkle in everyone's eyes...

Hear: Christmas music, jingling bells, honest laughter, the crackle of a cozy fire, the stories of Christmas miracles, a joyful squeal that can come from a thoughtful gift...

Feel: the happiness of the holiday spirit, a cozy fire, warm cocoa warming me from the inside out, the citrus zing of an orange and the sheer pleasure of the smells coming from the spray in the air, the icy cold spot when a snowflake lands on your nose or cheek, my warm fuzzy scarf brushing and warming my neck, the joy I get from simple family time, and the love that seems to float through the air, the rush of finding that perfect gift, the excitement of the first glimpse of Christmas morning!...

Activities: decorating the tree, watching the Muppet Christmas Carol, Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Sipping hot cocoa, driving around to see the lights, setting up nativity scenes with my mom, the family Christmas party and talent show, Temple square's lights, the MoTab Christmas concert, 1st Presidency devotional, and reading Christmas stories. I love learning about Jesus and never tire of reading His story...

Isn't Christmas just the best!?!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Finals?!

This semester has been an interesting one for me. I was so busy at the beginning of school that I barely had time to breath. But after the wedding I found a whole boatload of time that I didn't quite know what to do with... Have no fear, I have been productive. :)

The load I took on hasn't been too bad in the finals department this semester and I am so grateful. There really is a lot to do, class schedules to plan for next semester, dinner to make, a house to clean, and Christmas traditions! Not to mention the secret project I have undertaken... ;) *shhhh*

All in all its been a wonderful semester and I have learned so much! I now have a lifetime skill of understanding flowers and how they work... and how to arrange them. :) Think of all the dance money saved for those future children... :) I have learned so much in the Old Testament... who knew Leviticus and Deuteronomy were so enlightening! And I have enjoyed my Marriage and Family class and all that has been brought to my attention there... I wish I could say I enjoyed Geography as much as the other classes... but lets face it, I made it through and don't have to go to class again! :)

On other news, I actually secured a job as a TA for my Marriage and Family professor and am so excited to work with him! He's a really nice guy! I already went through his schedule for next year to make sure all was correct and sensible... *girly squeal* I am happy. :)

Ben's surgery went well and all came out fine. Ben is happy that he will get to play in battle of the bands in January and mom is happy that the surgery is over. We began with a few nerves about the new doctor, but he proved that med school did teach him something. ;) Plus, Ben has this really festive cast... ;)

Sorry no pictures just now, we're in the process of transferring data to a different computer... but I send my love and best holiday wishes to y'all! xoxox Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Unique Holiday Humor

Ben and I now share more in common... My sympathy for him extents from my shoulder to my fingertips...

The experience started with an exciting snowboarding outing with his buddies. Fresh powder plus ice equals broken wrist. The broken wrist ends with a story of a surgery, a couple pins and...

Holiday Creativity and a little medical humor... :)

Merry Christmas and Good luck brother of mine! Love you!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Our first Christmas together means experimenting with traditions to figure out what works for us. We're only four days into it... but we are both rather excited about it! Our little tree looks fantastic! (even though the ornaments are mostly mine...) and we like to sit together at night and just stare at it glowing in the corner...

I love to have the wassail warming in the crock-pot. It adds the sweet and spicy scent of cinnamon and oranges in our home. I made a Christmas centerpiece in my floral design class this past Thursday with pine, cedar, and fir... it also smells so... Christmas-ey. :) Norah (the floral design professor) told us that as long as we keep water in the container it will last the month! So we can use it Christmas Eve! Yay!

We also purchased our first two Christmas CDs. Various classic artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, etc... and we listen to it fairly often... :)

My handy-man husband is experimenting with the outside lights today and has spent the morning at the home depot trying to solve the dilemmas that the vinyl siding is providing. Pictures of the final product will have to come later... :)

We have yet to catch Ferdinand (out little mouse). We actually haven't heard nor seen him since we put up the traps... I like to think that he got the hint and moved out... but I'm afraid he just moved next door...

As the cold sets in I'm crossing my fingers for a little snow... I don't know about you, but I'm dreaming of a white Christmas... :) We are hoping it will be good enough weather to continue to walk to school for the next couple of weeks, but you can't be too specific with the Utah weather... it's rather unpredictable...

Well, Merry Christmas all, until next time! ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am Grateful for...

'tis the season to remember what in life we are grateful for... I have been inspired and have taken special effort to write down some of the things I have found in a gratitude journal. Its amazing how much happier I am when I take the time to count my blessings instead of focusing on what I don't have or would like... the "i wish" statement happens less and less and the "i have so much" is becoming a common phrase...

I thought it would be appropriate for me to list those who have influenced me and for whom I am very grateful...
  • my husband. He is so kind, and loving. He provides for me and sets a wonderful example to me every day. I love his smile, the sparkle of life in his eyes, and his warm presence (especially in these colder days...). We talk about everything, worry about things together, and laugh about a lot every day. He kisses me good night and lets me warm my feet by him... When I have a low day, or am just not smiling, He will do anything and everything within his power to make me smile and laugh... My wonderful husband has a different face for me everyday that usually makes me laugh and he is full of random and off-the-wall voices that entertain. He is not afraid of what others think, just me, and he loves me with all he's got! I love him dearly and thank my Heavenly Father every day for sending him into my life. Thanks sweetheart! :) I love you!

  • Ica is definitely on my list of thankfuls... she is so kind to all around her and patient to boot! She will listen to me and take me places that I need to go... I don't think God could have put a better friend on this earth and I am the lucky one who gets to have her as my bestest bud! She always brings a smile with her wherever she goes and loves to spread it to anyone she meets! I love talking with her and I know that whatever I share with her is safe and secure... we can talk about anything... for hours... and we have even gotten to the point that we talk alike (really same voice fluctuations and everything... weird...) We can talk about "that one cute shirt I saw in the book store the other day" and know which one we are talking about... She really is my other half and I don't know what I would do without her! She keeps me sane... and helps me remember just how blessed I am. :) Luv you!

  • My family. I can call (or text) any of them at any time and usually get a response. We love to do things together and have a fun time of it when we do. But more specifically...

  • My mom. We have had some great times together and I cherish all the memories made with her. All of our crazy shopping trips after Christmas (there was that one time with those old ladies... you know what I'm talking about mom!), baking cookies together, trips to the zoo or the children's museum, those long nights you stayed up with me sick or heartbroken and you stayed with me until I had cried myself to sleep, more recently the Macey's cooking classes... nativity set-up days... planning a wedding... and sharing that special day with you... Sunday dinners! (now a two way deal!) they have always been delicious and fun to spend with you mom! I am so blessed to have the wonderful mother that I do... I don't know what I would do without her, and I love her with all my heart.

  • my dad. how many times did dad play with me in the back yard with a ball and bat? I got to spend a good portion of my childhood in the car with my dad. Even just the other weekend I spent the car ride to Kanab and back discussing everything from life, to politics, to old testament translation... He will always listen to me and doesn't judge me in my weaknesses. I have always been his little girl and know that he will take care of me if I need him. He has saved me from countless spiders, oil leaks and squeaks from the engine of the Jeep, and from making mistakes that I could potentially avoid. I love my Daddy and feel so privileged to have had him as a father.

  • Ben and I have always been good friends. We rarely fought... and when we did it didn't last very long at all. We share a lot of the same interests and can talk about almost anything (I don't follow the car lingo all that well...) I am so grateful I got to share my family experience with such a wonderful child of God. We were lucky to get such a good one! :) and I love him with all I got. Thanks for everything dude... you're "legit" ;)

  • Naturally, my new life includes a whole new family! And I am so blessed to have such wonderful in-laws. They immediately loved me and support us in our new life with encouragement and prayers. We joke and laugh, play and chat and feel the love every time we visit the lovely little town of Rosieville. :)
As my journal is proving to me, I could go on and on... so I believe I shall let you all know that I am so grateful for all of you! I get comments and encouragement all the time from those that read my random thoughts... I know that I am well loved and I thank you for all you have done for me in my life... well, time's run out and the holidays are busy... Thanks for reading!

Jess

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hungry anyone?

Many of my roommates and others have asked for recipes upon tasting varying delectables that I have experimented with. I have had the dilemma of keeping track of who wants what... and whether or not they get them... the answer? another blog! :)

If any of you are interested, this (Food for Thought) is for my cooking adventures as I experiment on my poor husband and other poor souls who happen to actually come to my parties... or ask me to bring something... :) Feel free to comment with helpful hints, tips for cooking, inputs or opinions on the recipe, anything... I am learning and would greatly appreciate any advice you've got!

Thanks for believing in me!

P.S. Cross your fingers that I can get my mom in on it with me! She has better recipes and is braver about trying new recipes than I am...

Lessons I learned from Richard Adams

My husband and I had another first as a married couple this weekend, and I will say I wish this particular "first" had happened many, many years from now. However, the time-clock of life doesn't work that way and when God needs one of his choice children for a more important work on the other side of the veil, he will take them.

The choice child he took last week was none other than Bryce's uncle, Richard Adams. A tragic automobile/ pedestrian accident was the method Heavenly Father chose... I really feel that it was for no other reason than that God needed Richard for something important. There were too many coincidences to be a coincidence... I did not know him too well, as I had only officially been with the family a couple of times... but it was Richard who welcomed me to the family first, who gave me encouragement that I would, indeed fit with the LeBaron clan, and Richard who, in the short time I knew him, taught me the importance of family.

Friday night was spent with the family and Saturday I had the opportunity to join with them in a beautiful service for a wonderful man. The service was a little different in that it was the children who spoke, sang, and bore powerful testimony of the plan of salvation. It was them that comforted us... not the other way around. From the stories and memories that were shared this weekend, I have learned some important lessons for life that I just wanted to briefly share with anyone who wants to read this...

Lessons I learned from Richard:
1. Choose to be happy, no matter your situation or circumstance you are in. There is always something to smile about.
2. Be passionate and follow those passions to wherever they take you.
3. Adore your family and do all you can to do things together.
4. Be romantic with your spouse- you don't have to grow up all the way. (the story that brought up this lesson is one of my favorites. His wife, Cindy, never had the chance to go to prom. When they were asked to chaperon their son's prom last year he saw the opportunity to "take" her. He asked her with a cheesy little bottle in the bathtub and they had their picture taken in front of the official backdrop... cute!)
5. Be thankful every day. And be grateful for the little things. (Richard kept a gratitude journal which he wrote in every day. He didn't just write one thing, he had multiple things each day. They shared some of it with us...)

Thank you Adams family for your testimonies... and Thank you Richard for your wonderful example to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Monthaversarie!!!

Yep that's right! Its been a whole month since Bryce and I tied the knot!!! i know... crazy huh?! In honor of such a momentous occasion and stepping stone our darling photographer finally posted those long-awaited pictures on her blog. :) Yay!!!! (Now here's the deal... She loves comments on her blog and has an ongoing "special" that if she can get over ten comments on her post about us, then we can get a free print of our wedding day for our home... I was kinda hoping that we could just blow her out of the water with the appreciation we have for her and her amazing work!) So if you would like to see the pictures, (and donate to our cause...) check out Crystal's blog here.We have already had some great times. I love being married to such a wonderful, handsome man... But what has happened in the past month you ask?

For starters, we went on an incredible honeymoon! A cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Cruise Line and a Brad Paisley concert finale. (yes, you may be jealous)

This is our first stop... Freeport island. I had to take a picture... so blue...
At Nassau we ventured into the shopping district (definitely an experience...) and took a few photos... This just made me laugh...
And here is my sexy husband in his new outfit...


One of our favorite events on our cruise was on the third day the cruise line stopped at their own private island. The event coordinator made a brief mention that there were two beaches and all it took was a little walk on a trail to get to the other one. When we got off the ferry the beach was full of sunbathers... so we decided "what the heck" we would try out our flip flops in the hiking tradition... the outcome? No one else had decided to venture forth... we had our own private beach! It was pretty much amazing... blue water, white sea-shell sand... *sigh* On our way back to the boat we came across a hermit crab... only this was not hobo-spider looking thing (Karen, I thought of you...) no... he was a monster. This one happened to be about the size of my fist... and he couldn't even fit into his shell.
See, this is him hiding...
And this is him venturing forth again after those crazy tourists left... :)

Brad Paisley drove his car up through the crowd as we tried to get into his concert... It was so close I could have slapped his driver side window (he was driving)... It was an awesome concert after you got passed the beer... (but it is a country concert...) He had a giant screen that played music videos and other things while he sang so there was really not a boring moment. I recorded a few songs with my camera...
This one, "Waitin' on a Woman" is a great one to watch the video... I especially like the beer bottle that jumps through the middle of my shot... but you know... Florida...



This one, I just love the song. I think it goes right on along with my whole "month-averserie"... Brad Paisley's new song, "Then":



We moved in and started organizing and decorating the house. We are still trying to figure out our closet plan... but it will work out in the end... But for those who haven't seen the place, I shall calm your curiosity... :) I have put my wonderful husband to work... it is amazing how exciting putting up a picture on the wall is... :)

So for our wedding we got these beauties to stick on the wall... the black ones are for writing on with chalk... and yes, the white ones use a white-board marker... :) They totally rock and don't look half bad if you ask me! :) PS. there is a hidden Mickey in honor of our dear friend Ica...

Here is my sexy husband one morning being handy... we got these hooks for the wedding... shower gift... something like that. I am already putting them to good use!
See?!


One of our first things hung up was, yes (i hate to admit it), the mudbugs poster. Bryce got it from his mission in Louisiana... it is a step-by-step description of how to eat a mudbug... in Cajun... it is pretty funny. :) And it did make a whole difference in our living room... on our TV is our little picture frame carousel, some candles and our "newly web" spiders... :) *giggle* I do like how everything seems to fit and match...


My sexy husband again... this time putting together our new bookshelf... what a handy guy to have around! :)


and here it is all decorated and such... It is just perfect and fits so well in our new little place.


The final (or final for now) look of our decor... :) Now you know.


All in all its been a great month in life. We are very happy, we were just approved for the FAFSA grant for my education next semester, and figuring life out as we go! Every day is a new adventure and I wouldn't have it any other way! Until next time! (which hopefully will be before the next month is over...) Love you all!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Red Marbles

So while doing a bit of research for a presentation of mine this week, I came across this story and just wanted to share it with ya'll. Its one of them 'warm feeling inside' stories... Its a little long, but well worth it!



RED MARBLES

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’


‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’

‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’

‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’

‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’

‘No, Sir . Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’

‘Would you like to take some home?’ asked Mr. Miller.

‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ‘em with.’

‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’

‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’

‘Is that right? Let me see it’ said Miller.

‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’

‘I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked.

‘Not zackley but almost..’

‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy.

‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they co me back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.

They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size….they came to pay their debt.’

“We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she confided, “but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho”.

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath..

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

If any of you know my mother, then you will understand my strange affinity for the halloween season... There is something about it that is fun and exciting... in a totally different way than any other holiday of the year! Who hasn't wanted to become something from our dreams... this is the one time a year we are allowed to let out the inner ballerina, astronaught, zombie... and let them run amok! :)

Also, when else do you get to create disgusting looking treats and food and actually have people eat it and not put you in the "totally insane" category? :) I had to throw a party this year and so I did... :) I got busy cooking and creating the night before... and I think it turned out not half bad!!! :)

First step: peanut butter balls => eyeballs... I rolled 80 balls... there are only 79 pictured here...


This was the plan. Dip the delicious peanut butter balls into white chocolate and use a chocolate chip to finish off the eyeball... unfortunately, the white chocolate would not cooperate... so these are the eyeballs that were made... The "spider eggs" we created afterward (by adding mini chocolate chips instead) were a "sweet" hit! :)
The swampy/ bloody punch was also a hit. I told the party goers that it was "not" the left over punch from the wedding... :) For that recipe you'll have to ask my mother...


The queso dip we called... queso dip. We couldn't "stomach" what it looked like to call it anything else... :) but this stuff goes first at a party, and can be used for oh so many occasions. A favorite proven time and time again!


And of course, Halloween cannot be complete without an edible brain!!! :) it lasted the longest... but was eventually devoured like the rest of the treats... I will say, it turned out rather nicely... :)







We then had our costume contest...

Kerry had the "oldest" award

Jessica receives "most innocent"

Amanda (Frank Sinatra) gets most suave.

Alyssa is our gansta gal!

Jessica (Ica), who spent all summer working for Disney chose to be a Disney tourist... Her cousin who also came told her that she was supposed to dress up for Halloween, not wear everyday wear... including the ears and crown... ;) We love you Ica! You get "heaviest in weight" award for the night... :)

Bryce and I are celebrating our first holiday as a married couple... :) We took inspiration from our little cake topper... What are we dressed as? It's hard to read our shirts... but mine says "newly" and his says "webs." So yes, we are the newly webs... :) Bryce was so proud of his idea... and yes we are using that spider as his "bow tie..."



I will say, our party was a blast! We had a better turn out than I originally thought would come! So thanks for your support! We even has some trick or treat-ers! Some older than others (mom and dad... ) But I'm not sure that the fun we had could match for the surprise waiting my parents the next day... I got this story from my parents today...

While they were party hopping in Provo last night, they had a visitor. He is one of Dad's kids from his singles ward. Quite the character. He was disappointed that he couldn't show the former bishop his costume, so he went to church in his costume and stopped by to show my parents on Sunday... so the best costume this year goes to him... who is he you ask? Well....




The inspiration? .... yup, Bishop Scribner...



Happy Halloween everyone! Until next time!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding Bliss

Here it is... the wedding post... or at least one of them... I know you've been waiting for it, so I am posting it now without pictures. As soon as I get them, I shall share... I promise... :) Honestly, I do not even know where to begin! There is so much to be thankful for, so many people to thank, so much to say about what I have been up to... there is not much time to say it... at least before people get bored and give up on reading this...

I was so pleased with the way the wedding turned out. Thanks to all who contributed their time, talents, and love to our special day! We appreciate it more than we know how to express it! :)

The temple was wonderful. Everyone was so helpful and kind... the spirit exploded in my heart when we walked into the celestial room and again when we walked into our sealing room. It was amazing to see my family there supporting me (my aunts all dabbing their eyes... ) ;) and my dear friends. His family was there, and Bryce's grandpa was able to seal us together for time and all eternity... what an amazing phrase.

Just before we came out of the temple Mom decided to go out first. It was pretty funny to hear our family cheer as mom went out. She got all embarrassed but we thought it was funny... :) It was indescribable to walk out of those doors with my new husband holding my hand and to hear the cheers that came up (a second time) for nothing but support and love from those who cared enough to be up there, waiting. It means so much to me to have had such a welcome... :) I really have tried to explain how I felt... but I struggle with the vocabulary to fully explain it...

With pictures on the stairs finished, we left our loved ones to follow our photographer around the grounds. We got some great shots and met up with everyone for lunch at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building... It was beautiful and the food was so good! I will admit, there is a little pride on my part to have my centerpieces there for others to enjoy and for them to look so good on those tables! :) They were hard work, but it was well worth it!

I was crazy enough to decided to sing a song as a parent tribute during our little program. Of course, I was last. Ica, Colby, Layne, and our Dads all gave short thoughts. Each was felt from the heart and touched us as a couple. (between glass tapping) I would go into greater detail, and i still might... but this is going to be long enough as it is... :) Thanks to those who gave such beautiful thoughts. Lindsay sang beautifully for our first dance to "I Melt" there and then, after our fathers got the water works crying, it was my turn to sing "Best Day" from Taylor Swift. Yes, I only got about 4 words into the song before I lost it... and Lindsay basically sang the entire song without my voice until the last 4 words... it was rather amusing that you could pick out the Barker table by the tears and eye-dabbing. Even Mark got "allergies" during my song. ;)

We made it to the reception with 15 minutes to spare. Bryce was determined to go through with his plan for hiding his car... and promised me that he would be back in a few minutes... *sigh* I told him not to try... but for those who were at the beginning of the reception know what excitement happened in the first 15 minutes of the reception. The line was forming and it was time to start, where was the line? I was there, and Mom had to finish a few things in the kitchen, but joined me shortly. The line started coming as they were really there to see my mom and I. ... Our neighbor and my dad's partner, Don McCandless (really, my second father) took pity on me and after going through the "line" himself he stood in as a proxy for my missing groom... Haha, Mom told me that a couple of her friends thought that I had married someone that seemed a little too old for me... :) Eventually my dad came and so did Bryce (much to my relief). By about 8:00 we had all 6 of us there... (our reception was supposed to start at 7:30) It was terribly funny and definitely makes for a great story! :)

The reception was wonderful! I honestly didn't get tired of sharing my happiness with those who had come to wish us well. I know mom almost finished her Dr. Pepper that her friends brought her... and Bryce told me the perma-smile was starting to hurt. Honestly, I had heard such stories and I worried about the line a little. But what I found was that I was so happy, I couldn't help smile and I didn't have any problem sharing it with anyone who was willing to share it with us! so thank you for all of you who came to see us.

I know I've said thank you a lot... but I just can't say it enough. I wish I could do better to explain the overwhelming joy and warmth that I felt (and still feel) what I experienced on that not-so-long-ago day. It is incredible that I have such a support system within my family, my extended family, and now an even farther extended family in the LeBaron and Grass families. I am so blessed to have such love surrounding me. I wanted to also extend a thank you to my dear friends that took time out of their busy weekends to spend some of it with me. I love you all and thanks again, from the bottom of my heart.

My Wedding day was perfect. More perfect than I could have dreamed up (which is saying something). I have never been so happy in my life. I have found the most incredible man to spend eternity with and I wouldn't want any shorter time than that. I am so excited for our life ahead and the experiences I will get to share with the love of my life! :) I love you Bryce! You make me so happy! Thank you for all the selfless support you have given me, and for making me laugh! :) You are my Superman! and I am so glad I get to be your Sunshine. :) XOXO

Thanks for reading everyone. It means a lot! more to come, Promise!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Alternate Reality

Apologies for such long gaps between posts... It has been increasingly busy and I predict a relatively long post today... So i guess that deserves another apology... :)

Life is wonderful right now! I am so happy and things are going so well that I have no reason to complain! :) I know the Lord is looking out for my sanity and I greatly appreciate it. :) I am so very blessed!

Being a bride is an interesting experience. I feel as though I am living in an alternate reality. Even this close to the wedding I feel as though the plans I have been making are not actually real... Everything for the last details of the wedding are underway... and I am getting very excited. I just don't feel as though it has hit me that it is actually going to change my life forever... :)

On the other hand, my life in school and with my dear friends is also an alternate reality. School work, tests, and classes have just come an gone (not that its going over my head, I'm loving school), its just going... I don't feel like I am actually physically participating... Not quite an out of body experience... but close to it...

I was certain that reality would start sinking in at the last week... I was sure it would start with the bridals. Let me tell you, I have the best photographer in the world! I had so much fun with Crystal and Ica running around This is the Place taking a bunch of pictures. I am pleased with the results and cannot wait to show them off to all ya'll.

I am crazy and have decided to make my own center pieces of the Luncheon up in Salt Lake. Honestly, I have no idea how I am going to get them up there... but *cross fingers* it will work out. ;)

My time is constantly taken over with Wedding preparation. I feel sorry for poor Ica and Bryce, and my parents who try to have a conversation with me and only end up talking about details for the wedding. Seriously, we can start talking about something totally opposite in relation... and just minutes after I open my mouth I can turn it back to the wedding. So sorry for my obsession...

I am excited about everything and cannot wait to show everyone what I have been so busy undertaking! I am so excited to be a bride, to be marrying the most wonderful man in the world, and to start a new life together with him. I truly am blessed to know Bryce and I love him so much! Well time is short... so I guess my post isn't as long as I was originally thinking... :) Good news for you!

Hopefully I'll be a little better after the wedding... :) We'll see!!! I sign off for the last time as Jessica Scribner!!! Love you all!!! Hope to see you on Saturday!!! :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A revamp!

If you hadn't noticed, I am revamping my blog. sometimes you just need something new... a little spice in life. :) So if it threw you off... I apologize.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BYU: ranked 9th (from 20) Oaklahoma: not in the top 10 anymore!


Can you believe that I am one month away from getting married?! I am having a hard time believing it myself! My check list is getting longer and more urgent... not because there's more to do, its just more specific now. We are moving past the general plans and focusing on (my favorite part) the details! Yay!!! Our announcements are in the process of the final edit, and will hopefully be ordered today or tomorrow, to be mailed out by next week... so *cross fingers* I hope you like them! :) (in case you wanted to see my engagements, check out Crystal's Blog.)

Life for me is crazy but I am enjoying it! How could I not be totally stoked to start my life with Bryce?! But its more than that, I just started school again and I am so excited for the semester ahead! Because of the nature of my life right now, I had a difficult time choosing a class load that I felt I could stay on top of, while planning a wedding, and missing a week in the middle of October. Ica and I had been planning on a couple of classes together that I wasn't sure I wanted to miss out on so I didn't want to defer... Finally, I have the best class schedule I could have come up with... but I admit, it wasn't all me... It just fits together so nicely that I know there was some divine help. Already, a week into the semester I have learned so much I can barely contain my excitement!

SFL100: Strengthening Marriage and Family.
This class focuses on and studies in depth The Family: a Proclamation to the World. I am absolutely loving this class so far and can't wait to dig in deeper. My professor's motto is "Get it off the wall and into your lives." And I fully intend to apply what I learn into my circumstances in life. Yesterday we discussed the great plan of happiness and how learning the stories of the Creation and the Fall, the Atonement really help us to better understand our divine potential. We talked about how important our bodies are and what a blessing we have. We should be grateful for the one we have and take care of it b/c we love Heavenly Father and want to show him that we are thankful. Worth and worthiness are not the same things... our worth never changes. God loves us no matter what. But our worthiness is dependent on our agency and how we use it.

RELA 312: Old Testament (GEN-2Samuel)
My favorite professor here at the Y is Sis. Strathern. This is the third class I have taken from her. I know I have posted about her before. Luckily I discovered that she is teaching one class of Old Testament this semester. Naturally, Ica and I signed up for this class first! Her classes are intensive in reading and recording. She expects us to think and reason intelligently in class and always pushes us to see if we can come up with something profound. Right now we are discussing the Creation and the Fall. Yesterday we discussed the great plan of happiness and how it was started, and moved along through the choice of Adam. Did you know that "Adam" in Hebrew means "Mankind"? there is no gender specific. So in other words, mankind made the choice to leave the garden and come into a mortal life. ... cool...
We also talked about how the Garden of Eden is a temple. In every temple, Egyptian, Hebrew, Muslim, Hindu, LDS there is one major purpose for it... That purpose is to be in the presence of God. Everything else is a means to get to that ultimate goal. In every temple there is a Tree of Life. The Garden of Eden had one but we compared it to the one in Lehi's dream... they are the same tree. Because we have both accounts we can better understand both a little better. Ica and I were giddy coming out of class discussing this fact. Cherubim was placed there to keep Adam and Eve from eating the fruit and becoming immortal in a fallen state. But Lehi and his family had proven their obedience by holding to the rod and making the journey to the tree... they were in a redeemed state and so were invited to partake of the fruit... wow... there's so much!!! I invite all to try reading both accounts (Gen. 3, Moses 4, 1Nephi 8, 11, and 15) then try to compare and contrast... you will be amazed!

Geography: need I say more?
Actually it was interesting to see. I have been so excited that my two above classes were tying in together so nicely. Both were giving me great insights from different perspectives. I admit I am not terribly excited about this class as I am about the others... but it is important that I take it. Last night however, we began to talk about (yes, you guessed it) the creation of the world. It was fascinating in the light of what I have been learning to get a whole new perspective on the "periods" of the creation. My professor read to us from a General Conference talk explaining an LDS standpoint on the scientific theories of the forming of life here on earth. God must really want me to get it... because I have now been hit with the same information three different ways in three of my classes... I guess I should really take it to heart!

PWS112: Floral Design
A general education requirement filler and possibly the best class ever! In this class we learn flower and plant names, how to design floral arrangements in a variety of different styles. We are going to learn confidence in our own style, and have a skill that we can use for the rest of our lives. Today she went through our ID quiz list and she showed us each flower that will be on it. I got to bring home a teddy bear sunflower... a special, dyed variety of sunflower that looks pretty cool. It makes me happy... :D


Our football team created a huge upset in the ranks this last weekend. Before playing the 3rd best team at the Dallas Cowboys stadium we were ranked 20. Now? We are ranked 9th! Oklahoma is no longer in the top ten... :) Thousands of BYU fans were partying at the Lavell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night... wish I had known... ;) My SFL 100 Professor missed class last week because he went to the game in Texas... and the ranking was announced in the middle of my floral design class... :) so... GO BYU!!!!!

Anyway, that's life for me so far... a new update soon!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

UP and away we go!

Life's pace starts picking up to, day as my last free day before school starts on Monday. I know I'm way behind everyone else already... but this semester is promising to be rather crazy. What with a wedding to plan (I have 6 weeks from today!), 13 credit hours, and a job hunt to hopefully end in a job... dinner groups, ward activities... and... oh yeah, homework...

As a last hurrah before school begins a bunch of us took advantage of the dollar theater last night and bought out two rows of Disney Pixar's newest adventure, UP. If you have not yet seen it, I am crying for you right now. Pixar has done it again and has made a new favorite for me! This movie has everything! Humor, a few tear jerking scenes, a 78 year old man, an 8 year old boy, A "more mature" man named Carl Fredrickson has spent his life dreaming of an adventure to Paradise Falls. One day he finally breaks free (literally) and finds himself in a hilarious adventure with a group of unlikely heros. My personal favorite is Doug. Doug is the oh-so-lovable talking golden retriever who accompanies Carl and Russle and Kevin on their journeys. Funny enough... he looks a lot like my little puppy, Max... and I imagine if Max had a collar like that, he would sound much like him too. The clip posted here introduces the whole crew rather nicely. (It is one of my favorite scenes...)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A large Check!

No, the title has nothing to do with my job... I wish... but it has everything to do with wedding plans! :) For months I have struggled to get my "To Do" list finished so I can stop stressing. However each time I check something off, two or three things are added! It just keeps getting longer.

There are certain items that I consider "major items." These items include: finding a photographer, choosing a decorator, ordering flowers, finding bridesmaid outfits, engagement photos taken, announcements, Bridals, and catering for the reception... to just name a few. (Smaller ones are more along the lines of: fittings for tuxes, colors, and accessories... things like that)

Crystal Sands has joined our wedding ranks as our fabulous photographer. She is so friendly and sweet. She sincerely wants the best for her clients and enjoys taking pictures. Bryce and I feel that her personality meshes perfectly with ours so being with her is not awkward. Its actually a lot of fun! :) It is because of her that I am able to shorten my list significantly...
  • Find a photographer: Check!
  • Schedule photo sessions: Check!
  • Engagement shoot: A VERY LARGE CHECK! :)
  • Announcements made: almost check. :)
Last night Bryce and I met up with Crystal to take our engagement pictures (I know, its a little late in the game, but boy are they worth it!) and I couldn't be happier! We ran around the Riverwoods in Provo for a good hour or so, and just as our light was diminishing, skipped over to the Lavell Edwards Stadium for a couple of BYU football pictures. (For Bryce) :) I absolutely love them! Crystal actually posted a little sneak peek on her blog here. We had so much fun and I can't wait to see the rest of them!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The many adventures...

This season has been a very successful one for the park. Sadly, all things must come to an end... and the season is winding down. But not without a few more posts about it from yours truly! ;) I have noticed that my entire life comes from my pioneer alter-ego... but I promise, I'll post on real life when I come back to reality... :)

This week I have been asked to be a "counselor" for a day camp. The ages of the kids run 6-11 years old. They come for four days (Mon-Thurs) from 9:00-12:00. We give them little burlap sacks with a little water bottle, a bandanna, and room to hold crafts and treats. They also get a cool neon green shirt with the logo on it... so we can tell our day campers apart from general public... There are three counselors this week. The one in charge is Larissa. She has been doing them all summer and is teaching me the ropes so I can run one next week... Amy is 15 and is volunteering up here for the summer because her aunt is up in management... and me... you already know too much about me... ;) We have 22 kids this week and they are easily the best behaved group I have ever been around. They are great. I have had a couple attach themselves to me... they won't go to the other counselors with things they need and they think I will answer all of their questions... of course it could be that I'm a pushover...

The last two days have been great! I love going around with the kids, having them learn some things about pioneer life. We make some fun crafts, do some fun activities, and see some of the sites around the park. Yesterday we had them push hand carts and we had an old fashioned picture taken of us. Today we visited the Marshal (who let one of the boys put him in a straight jacket so he could prove he could get out...), the cabinetry, the apothecary, the bank, had a lesson at the school and played some pioneer games for recess. We even made the button wizzer and "graces" with the kids as their craft today. It was a blast!

After we send the kids home with their parents, I am basically left to my own devises. I have spent the past two days trying to help where I am most needed. Monday I spent at Gardiner with poor McKenzie who was there all by her self... but today I decided I would check out the help situation at the pony rides and animals. They are always fairly busy and sometimes there are not enough people there... Plus, I've only ever worked there once... for an hour, last summer... It was fun to have the new experience. The ponies were well behaved today and Oreo (one of the baby pygmy goats) kept slipping out of the petting coral to wander the park...

Now if you can remember your favorite western movie. The stagecoach speeding along the trail afraid to stop for fear of attack? Take a moment to get a good picture of this scene in your movie... I was in the petting coral chatting with some guests about goats when I heard a metal clanking. I looked up just in time to see this very picture come to life... only it wasn't a stage coach... it was one of our covered wagons (without the cover). My heart skipped more than one beat as I watched them speed (draft horses can get up to about 40 mph.) down the street with our expert at the reins doing everything she could to slow them down to no avail... the 20 or so screaming children in the wagon didn't help the situation at all either... Luckily, no one was injured... our expert driver was a little shaken, and the pregnant mom fell off the back at the top... where they started (she is fine and so is the baby), but the kids all say it was the best ride they have ever had! Haha! So its all miraculously well. It is the first and only time I have seen them bolt this year. It was a combination of a child scream and a bee sting to the horse... my what an adventure...

Ever since I had my encounter with horses down at the ranch in Kanab (about 6 years old) I have not been on a horse, or any other equine-like animal. Today was a first for me, I got to ride a pony! :) Bareback too! It was rather exciting for me and Dale (the pony I rode) seemed to be in a good mood so he cooperated.

Until next time... Giddy up!

Monday, July 27, 2009

All in a Pioneer's Day!

In Utah July 24 is a big day... even bigger for us pioneers... But with the large crowds of the weekend we changes our scenery with some special events and activities.

We spent the week preparing our houses for large crowds of people. Anything we didn't want to explain, have touched, or chase, was put away. I roped off my garden so it wouldn't be trampled and prepared the laundry buckets for a big day... throughout the village the settlers also spent a great deal of thought and time into making "floats" for the parade we walked through the village. Each site got a hand cart and were told they could use their imaginations. We were supposed to represent our site on the float and children can't ride inside. They would then be put to vote as the guests were asked to vote for their favorite one for the "People's choice."

Our float was awesome. With the help of Darci and Steve our hand cart was ready to go! And for the first day, we won people's choice! We lost on Saturday to the Hospital because of their skeleton holding the laudanum bottle... but still... :)




We also had Native American dancers dance for us, the Mormon Battalion was there giving cannon demonstrations, there was a pie eating contest, a watermelon eating contest, and of course a village full of pioneers. :) It was actually a fun weekend despite the stress of misfiring cannons...

Surprisingly short post today... but more to come soon!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Life Continues

The funeral services for Annie were held this morning. It was a wonderful service of celebration of a wonderful life lived.

The first speaker was a President from BYU. He brought with him a message of love and sympathy from the leaders of our wonderful university. The flag on campus was lowered to half mass today in honor of Annie. He also read a letter sent from the Dean of her school...in it they explained that Annie was in her last semester of college before she would graduate. The Dean and his committee looked over her requirements and found, that with all of her advanced math classes (she really liked math) she had reached the graduation requirements. They want to present her family with her Bachelor's in Economics as well. It was really a nice start to a beautiful memorial.

In her life sketch her brothers (who happen to be twins) told a story of how she used to make them Macaroni and Cheese when they were kids. (One of the twins is about to be married, the other is on his last month on his mission and has flown home for a week to be here for this...) They remembered how it always tasted better when she made it and she told them that she had a secret ingredient. She would boil the noodles and when it was time to make the sauce, she would send them out and shut the door, knowing that they were listening through the door trying to decipher just what that ingredient was. Years later they were told that she was just following the instructions. :) She would move around and open random cupboards and things just to keep them guessing. She definitely had sass... :)

All in all it was a great service. It left me with a desire to be better, to love harder, and to live life to the fullest. Annie is on the other side with those pass along cards finding anyone she can who will listen to the message of the Gospel. Everyone in attendance today knows that. She loved the Lord more than anything. Her simple lifestyle, and desire to serve with that unfailing smile has served everyone around her, everyday that she spent here. I don't know that I ever saw her without that smile. :)

Thanks to all the love and support. Life continues on and because of this simple fact I pray to have the strength to be better. I love you, my family and friends and I love my Heavenly Father with this amazing plan he has for each of us. This is my testimony, that we are all meant to be happy. The church is true!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Life

Nothing can prepare you for the inevitable... rather ironic, but hey, that's life. But what really does it include? What is a life well lived? What are we doing with that "dash" between the years?

Life includes love. A family that loves you and supports you as you grow up and mature into adulthood (hopefully into and through adulthood as well... ;] ), Friends will come and go and yet they are so important to growth and identification as the teenage years come around. Then eventually you find that one who you would love nothing better than to spend eternity with them and life just seems to make sense. Of course, who can forget the comforting strength of a roommate when things get a little bumpy...

But how is one supposed to feel when news reaches your ear of a child, not yet two passes on into the next life? Sure, there is some comfort knowing they are exalted... (Thank goodness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ) but it doesn't make it easy. Or what about a grandmother who has watched her children grow up and move on... What sort of time is considered a life well lived?

Life should be lived, not imagined, not stressed about, and certainly not put off for "tomorrow". What you have is today, make it worth while. Who knows what tomorrow will hold for you...

Let me tell you about Annie Jones. The day she moved into our apartment, box in hand, smile on her face I could feel something very special about her. I could feel the love the Savior had for this particular daughter and reciprocated love she shares with Him. With Annie, what you saw is what you got. There was no hidden meaning, just true honesty. She always had a smile and would never really complain about anything... She was a great cook and made us chocolate chip cookies almost every single day. We have grown to love her perfected recipe... Her standards were being lived with everything she could bear. A perfect example of how to live the Gospel.Her boyfriend, Sam would come over and always make us laugh. She was as happy as any 23 year old could be.

She spent the weekend in Bryce Canyon with Sam and his family. The plan for their return trip back to us was to drive Friday night to be home by Saturday. Annie, wearing her seat belt, was in the back seat. Sam's nephew was driving early in the morning... he fell asleep at the wheel and ran the car into the barrier. He came out of the accident with a couple of bruises, Sam has no physical injuries (thank goodness), and Annie... well... she was killed on impact. She did not suffer... but Sam did attempt to do CPR for 20 minutes...My prayers are for her family. One of 11 children and on of the oldest, this has come to a sudden and difficult blow to handle. But most of all, my heart goes out to Sam... Annie's uncle told us that Sam bought her a ring and was planning a surprise proposal very soon...

The news has come as such a blow and shock to us.Her family came yesterday to tell us, and get her stuff... it was only hours after it had happened... One minute she was here and now... we are all still almost hoping she will walk through our door... but we all know in our hearts that she wont be... For as little time as I have known her, there is... a hole... something, and someone missing. It is a different experience to have someone so close in age, in proximity, in circumstance... at the prime of their life, be suddenly gone. The bishop told me to keep my chin up.

The interesting thing is, I have no sadness... I know it sounds a little heartless... but our apartment has been blanketed with a kind of quiet, comforted peace... it is difficult to explain but I know that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. I know that Annie was living the way she was supposed to and that she is in good hands. Those who are hurting are those left behind.
The trick? Keep on living life. If we halt, if we stop to worry and stress about the inevitable... then death will come and we wont be ready. Keep the perspective eternal and carry on. Life is beautiful, precious, and fragile... it would be a shame to waste it.



The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

© 1996 Linda Ellis

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun Filled Fourth

I doubt if there is any possible way to include any more activity into a weekend than what Bryce and I jam-packed for our 4th of July weekend.

Thursday the Third Bryce and I joined my family in Wallsburg for an awesome ATV ride. I did not end on the ground this time... so we count it as a success. Ben found all the puddles he could and ended up rather stinky and muddy... but we definitely looked like we had fun...

The 4th of July had us driving up to Park City for a little visit with the Le Baron family there. We couldn't stay long however, because we were performing in the Stadium of Fire as part of the flag ceremony. It was a lot of fun! We got to listen to all the girls scream as the Jonas Brothers came out... and after every song... and before every song... and during every song... it made the fireworks kinda hard to hear... but the fireworks were very much worth sitting through the performance. Toward the end of the night they retired the giant (football field sized) flag that they have used for quite a few years. You may have also seen it hanging on one of the buildings in Salt Lake during the Olympics ... It was a lot of fun. Our part in the program was actually pretty neat. We dressed in the Civil War era clothing. As they honored the flag the first group to walk out was the Revolutionary War representatives carrying the original US flag. We were next as the Civil War, then came World War 1 and World War 2. Lastly a modern color guard came and stood in the center carrying the current flag and we sang the Star Spangled Banner as an entire, fully-packed stadium. It was pretty moving. I realized just how much living in America means... freedom isn't free... and we often take our agency for granted...

We got home late, Bryce had to give a lesson in church so we attended like good members do and then drove back up to Park City. Monday the 5th we rented a boat and went on the lake for a few hours, hit the outlets and finished listening to "The Giver" as we drove back home to work on Tuesday.

Included here are some pictures of the cutest pioneer couple ever... and our friend Brother Brigham. :)



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bryce, Zion's, and Family galore!

It is the phenomena we know as irony... When I have time to write on my blog, I have nothing exciting to report, and when life is exciting... there is no time to write... Thus, long periods between posts and even longer posts when it does happen! (I apologize in advance... I'm not sure how long this is going to turn out...)


If you keep up with the Nelson Nine you will already be aware of the awesome adventures we as the Scribners were able to share with them. I had so much fun exploring the natural beauty of the southern state with so many that I love. An added bonus was
the handsome man that seemed to be around all the time... :)

Bryce claims that his namesake canyon was named after him... but its hard to believe as he has not (in remembered history) been to see the hoodoos. We offered to empty a couple of seats in the Nelson vehicle and enticed poor Devin and Ashely to ride with us. We had some great conversation, and stopped at Subway where Devin converted Bryce to chipotle ranch... When we reached the canyon, Bryce could barely contain himself. :) The remarkable thing about Bryce (the canyon) is that you can look at a hoodoo, turn the corner, look at the same view and it looks completely different! Awe-inspiring really. How could God not have a hand in this world? Needless to say, there were a lot of pictures taken. Ashley even found a good spot to do a little sketching.

We hiked for a good 5 hours, down 325 feet in elevation and then back out. The down part wasn't so bad... but the climbing out was more questionable. The arches along the trail were fun and a little short for poor Devin. But we had some fun spotting them in the distance. Every time I have been here we have hiked down in, to the "End of Trail" sign and then back out the same way. I have never been farther into the Navajo Loop to come out somewhere else... So we decided a new first was in order. You may recall my almost-trip to the Y... yeah... this time it was make it or stay stuck in the bottom of the canyon...

We made it back to camp a little tired and a lot hungry... had dinner and discussed dragon flies vs. mosquitoes with the Nelsons for some time. Mom's desserts really are the best (my roomies say "magical").

When it came time to go to Zion's the next morning, I questioned if I was really on vacation... But excitement for the river was thick in the camp as we ate some quick breakfast and packed for a day of water hiking! As we got to the trail head leading to the river entrance, the sun shone "uber hot" (as my brother described). We were all ready for some good cold water... the sun gods must have had it in for us, however. Just about the time we reached the river, grey clouds floated over us in the sky, blocking out some of the heat and sun. It got a little chilly as the wind blew straight up the little slot canyon we were hiking in. The water was as freezing cold as ever, and it was rather shallow. We had originally planned on hiking a good ways up and then ride the "rapid" parts, and deeper parts down with the current... I seriously questioned the idea... The cold didn't really slow us down... on the contrary, we played even harder and farther than we had in years past... :)Ben, Preston, and Devin found a large rock with water deep enough to jump into. They were frozen Popsicles by the time we showed up... but they wanted to show us what they found. We all took a couple of times jumping and then shivered our way back to the parents. To give you an idea of just how cold we were... I shall include a movie. (take note of how the camera shivers...and its sideways because there's no turning it when its recorded that way...)



All in all it was a successful day. I shivered a lot and ended up with some great bruises on my knees... but it was worth it. Later my dear mother pulled out a container of glow sticks with which we fashioned creative objects. Nikki make headphones, I twisted bracelets and necklaces for me and Abby, and Ben... well he's just kinda weird.... Bed time brought with it wonderful relief for achy muscles and I slept very soundly. A highlight of mine was the frequent roll of thunder while we were there. Usually at night, it was beautiful.

Breakfast burritos and packing awaited us in the morning. We were going up the state by way of the Freemont Indian park and Cove Fort. I believe the pictures explain the excitement of the Indian park...

Cove Fort is a favorite destination. They have really improved the places around it too! If you haven't seen it and are on your way down south, the trip is well worth it! There are metal hoops to chase around, a beautiful barn and blacksmith billows. The garden is beautiful (I'm inspired by gardens now...) and the spirit of the pioneer lifestyle is abundant... It really is quite amazing. This was another first for my dear fiance...


And here is proof that Mom cam with us... :D

The family reunion was lots of fun (Thanks Linda!) and it was great to see everyone and chat with most. I appreciate all the congratulations and well wishes. Bryce still wants to marry me even after experiencing the Barker side. ;) He says he had a great time and likes my family... so I guess he passed the test, or my family passed... I'm trying to figure that out... Success of the week proved itself once again in the wiped out posture of my brother at the end of Saturday...


Thanks again for all you do! And sorry for the long-winded post... until next time! -Jess *:P