Monday, August 25, 2008

Ticklin' the Ivories

Just after the 4th of July, my Mom called me one day and said that I had a piano! (Trust me I was just as surprised!)

Long story short, a lady in her ward was all but giving it away and so they jumped on it. Then called and told me to figure out a way for it to get to Salt Lake from Colorado. Well, after alot of trying and working at it, I wasn't getting very far in figure out a way to transport my great Dad (and great Mom for giving up her husband for a few days and for letting it be stored at her house till it could make the trip!) decided to drive it out here for me. It was suppose to be a surprise, but my sister, Lindsey spilled the beans and told me a few days I guess the surprise just happened a little sooner than Dad intended. :)

So, Thursday, my Dad drove over from Colorado by himself and we moved it in! Jar & I had cleared a spot in our living room and some good friends came to help with the man-power needed in moving it. It was so great to see my Dad and also wonderful to get my very own piano!!!

Thanks so much Dad for being so selfless! I know it was a long drive to bring the piano over just to turn around and have to drive home the next day. I can't tell you how grateful I am to finally have my own piano. You've always been so giving and wonderful and I am so lucky to have such an amazing Dad! Someday I hope I can be as giving and selfless as you! I LOVE YOU DAD!!!

My Daddy & Me- he's seriously the greatest Dad ever!!!

Our new (well, new to us!) piano!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hike #2- Rattlesnake Gulch

Yesterday, Jar and I went on another hike out of the handy guide we borrowed from our friends. It was so nice and relaxing and gave us a few hours to chat about everything from childhood stories to politics. We also decided that we should get our own hiking guide to the Wasatch after the hike, we hit up R.E.I. and got a sweet book about hiking in the area. We love hiking!

Our starting point...Grandeur Peak Trail. I'm excited to hike!

The trail was amazing and had spots where you could see up the canyon as well as spots where you could look out over the Salt Lake valley.

Our feet enjoying the view and a rest.

There were so many trails that connected along the way...we took Rattlesnake Gulch

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Movie in the Park

Friday night, Jarad & I went to a movie in the park. We packed up some treats, some blankets, our camping chairs and headed to Cottonwood Park. We got a great spot and set up and tried to contain our excitement..okay, well mostly I was excited! They were showing Grease...which is a great movie! It was such a fun experience and Jar & I plan to go to a few more movies in the park before it turns cold. So if anyone wants to join us, let us know!

The sweet & huge screen they projected the movie on.

Me & Jar ready & waiting!

Gotta love this's a classic!

Hello Dany Zuko & Sandra Dee...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Boise Adventure

This past weekend, Jar & I made the trek to Boise, ID with some of our pals to see our pal Stephanie. She just purchased a house and needed some help with some projects and she was also going through the Boise Temple. We were thrilled that she invited us to be there with her to share in the experience.

We drove up Friday night with Chrissy & Thayne and the rest of the gang game Saturday morning. The Rock fam was there Friday night as well. Saturday we painted and tried to help as much as possible with house stuff and that afternoon we went to the temple. We'd never been to the Boise Temple but it was beautiful, as they all are, and it was cool to experience another temple. After the temple, we went to dinner at a Thai place and it was scrumptious! While waiting for our food, we saw a fellow diner eating out of this weird bowl we asked the waitress what it was and it was a coconut. We decided to share one at our table...and good thing, because even with six of us we didn't finish. Lets just say the coconut juice had an interesting flavor and the "meat" or inside of the shell was like a funny slime. After dinner, we played a few hours of Knertz at the Rock parentals hotel and just laughed and laughed!

Sunday, Jar & I went to visit my Aunt Monica who also lives in Boise. It was fun to just chat with her for a while before we headed to church. After church, we chilled at Steph's, ate, and chatted all day long about everything under the sun! Early Monday morning, we arose, hit up Lowe's for a housewarming gift for Steph, and then hit the road home. All in all, it was a fantastic trip and we are glad we were able to be there with our good pal Steph! We are so proud of you! Way to go Steph- you are a real big-kid now!!! We love you!

And we look forward to trekking it to Boise again!

The Rock Familia- Poppa Rock, Momma Rock, Kyla, Stephie & Brian.

The Friend Gang- Mel, Chrissy & Thayne, Steph, Sarah and Me & Jar
(we missed the others that couldn't make it! love ya!)

The Girls (well some of us!...and yes, Sarah and I are brown/blue twins!)

Our feet at the Boise Temple

Jar sippin' on some coconut goodness. :P

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yes, I (Jarad) took the test too.

You Are Ariel!
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Headstrong and fiesty. You have a mind of your own that's full of romantic dreams about the world around you. Exploring exotic places is your ultimate dream, and although you can be a little naive you'll realize that there is something to be gained from your family's wisdom.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

How sad. I don't even have legs!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

W.O.W- Girls Camp

Last week I was able to go to Girls Camp with the 12-18yr old girls from my church. I had a blast! The theme was W.O.W.- Women of Worth. I was unbelievable exhausted when I got home but it was worth it. We left early Monday morning and drove to the camp which is called Heber Valley Camp. It is owned by the church and the whole camp is more than 8,000 acres and is gorgeous and dedicated for the use of the girls! It has all the perks of clean-camping...bathrooms, showers, cabins, pavillions, amphitheater, etc. with all the perks of real-camping...bugs, dirt, fires, hiking, etc. Here are some photos from our week and a recap of all the fun things we did.

We're ready! Off to camp we go! The girls rode a bus and as leaders we drove. My car was packed with crafts, supplies, my stuff for the week and tons of snacks and food.

Our lovely cabin....seriously posh up there! Bunks, tables & chairs and even electricity!

Josie & I getting ready for the rope course...aren't those harnesses hot?!
Monday we hiked a mile to and from a challenge course. The main part was a ropes course and I encouraged all the girls to participate and in the end that meant I had to do it too. Can we say super scared?!!!

Me half way across the I look scared poopless? 'Cause I was!

Rapelling down...this part was actually fun!

Tuesday was our morning to go use the lake. So we hiked the almost two miles there and here is a view of the lake on our way there.

The gang hiking to the lake...we're almost there!

Emily, Josie & I shared a canoe. And luckily no one from our ward tipped unlike some others. The lake was beautiful and we saw a deer laying next to the lake and tons of baby ducks too.

On our hike back from the lake we saw this deer just off the path. We saw quite a few deer and other animals while we were up there. We even saw a baby buck with mini-antlers.

Tuesday night, we had a fire outside our cabin. Some of the girls roasted mallows and I experienced my first roasted starbursts. We also had a campfire Wednesday and made banana boats.

Teresa & Tiffany showing off their "nub" talents. I don't know where they came up with this or how they handled their legs being tucked back like that, but I almost cried laughing at what they were doing.

Debi, our ward camp director, was a little freaked out by the "nubs."

Wednesday morning, we arose very early (5:30am!) to complete a 5 mile hike. Most of the way was up the mountain and after a few wrong turns the 5 miles turned into like 6-7 but we made it! My feet may never be the same and muscles hurt that I didn't know I had but...we made it! Here's the view along our 5+ mile hike.

Taking a rest on our 5+ mile hike. Good thing for rests...and water and snacks to push us through.

Comin' home from the 5+ mile hike to find rocks instead of our pillows. The older girls had gone on an overnighter Tuesday and returned before we got back from the hike. They planned this little prank and had a good laugh at our expense.

I took my shoes off after the ardgous hike and my toes somehow got dirty inside my socks and shoes!

The girls did a presentation about Rebakah- our wards Women of Worth. It was fun to learn more about her as we helped the girls prepare the presentation.

Thursday morning we had yet another hike! This time a sunrise hike and quiet reflection time. (The service missionaries that run the camp said we were the hiking-est bunch they'd had all summer! We hiked ALOT!)
The sun coming thruogh the tree on our sunrise hike.

The gang on our sunrise hike.

One of the best games ever...PIG MANIA!!! Seriously! I haven't played since my childhood but it all came back to me in a flash! Love it! We also enjoyed a few round of Scattergories.

Thursday night, our Bishop and his wife came up to join us for dinner, skits and even brought us cheesecake and fresh strawberries!mmmm...I may have eaten too much of this at 11pm at night...surprised?!

Also Thurs. night everyone put together a skit. Ours was about Faith (our assigned YW value for the week) and it followed a Wizard of Oz theme, complete with Dorothy, a Munchkin, Scarecrow, Tin-Man, Lioness, Wicked Witch, Glenda, the Wizard of W.O.W. and Auntie Em. They journeyed through the Land of W.O.W.!

At the end of our skit we danced and sang "Gotta Have Faith" by George Michael. I was Auntie Em as you can see from my lovely sign.

Friday morning came and we ll packed up and were ready to go was such a great week and I am so glad I was able to go.
Here we are...all the girls and leaders of the Millstream Ward.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Donut Falls

Although Jar already blogged about our hike in my absence, I wanted to add a few fun pictures.

Jar & I loved our little hike.

Donut Falls behind us.

Yeah baby, my first blog on our blog

Ashley in the sun

Ashley being a cheese-mo up at the falls.

Jarad staying dry on the rocks in the river.

Ashley's freezing feet in the water.

Both our feet, Jarad, smart, Ashley, freezing.

So, Just in an effort to show everyone that I actually can contribute to our blog, I am blogging. And this blog will probably be different from the way she posts, so everyone will know that it really is me blogging.

Ashley and I went home teaching to the Sullivans. Helen was kind enough to give us a little booklet that has a list and pages of a lot of the trails in the state. It is really cool and it's a great way for us to get out of the house this summer and get some exercise and not be fat couch potatoes. :) Ash and I decided to go to Doughnut falls. ( I can't spell, so sorry if I spelled that wrong )
Here are the photos that I took from the hike. Ashley took others that she will probably add later, so here are mine.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Refurbished -meh to Modern!

For a while, I've wanted a new kitchen table. However, the fundage has not been available to purchase a new one. So, following a friends lead, we decided to just refurbish the one we had. Plus we found $50 at IKEA on the floor! (don't worry we tried to be honest and asked all the people around us if they lost money and nobody claimed it!)

Our table...BEFORE

We didn't really know where to start or how to do it, so we took one leg off a chair and headed to Home Depot on Friday afternoon. Once there, we found a very nice, old man who assisted us. He explained the products we would need and the steps to take to re-do our table & chairs. We purchased the goods and headed home to begin!

First step was stripping! Wohoo... the old varnish and such that we took everything apart and set up shop in our carport so as to have sufficient ventilation. It took us a while and we got a few chemical burns in the process but a few hours later (at least 4!), the stripping was done. After stripping we "washed" the pieces with an after-wash suggested by the worker at Home Depot. By this time, it was dark and late and so we packed up shop and called it a night.

Jar taking stuff apart.

Jar working on strippin'

Me working on strippin' in the dark

Strippin' done!

Second step was we awoke Saturday morning, hit up the local Farmer's Market and then returned home to work on our project again (this time in our kitchen because it was about 100 degrees outside!). Jar decided to go golfing with a buddy so I started working solo and gave all the pieces a light sanding so they were smooth and ready to roll when Jar got home. While he was gone, I found one of Jar's old t-shirts and cut it up to make rags to varnish with. After he got home, we started in and Jar wasn't sure about the color. We had chosen Ebony as the color, which Jar originally thought was a dark brown but soon realized that it was an almost black color. coat done and time to wait 4-6 hours for coat #2.

Coat #1

All the pieces covering our kitchen floor! (don't worry, windows were open and the stink is pretty much gone now!)

While we were waiting for it to dry, we decided to hit up Jo-Ann's Fabric to get new fabric to re-upholster the cushions. The first Jo-Ann's didn't have much selection so we went to the biggest Jo-Ann's I knew of and we struck gold! A huge section of upholstery fabric! After looking at many swatches and comparing we decided on one and got it cut. Luckily I had a sweet coupon so we got off cheap!

The cushion before.

Time for coat #2. Sunday after returning from church, we applied coat #2 on one side of everything and it was looking very good! But when it came time to do the second side, we decided we better do it with everything put back together so we didn't get any funny patterns or marks on the other side from the plastic drop cloth it was sitting on. So we put it all together and finished coat #2 then had to wait overnight to continue.

Jar doing coat #2

The chairs after coat #2.

Third step- polyurethane! We didn't get this done until Tuesday but it also took two coats which pushed us into Wednesday. But we were doing it! Our project was turning out much better than anticipated! We only spilled about 1/3 of the can of polyurethane and ruined 5 foam brushes but we got it done! Table & chairs were done...and it looks amazing!!!

Fourth step- finishing the cushions. I cut the fabric, and Jar assisted with the staple gun. This was probably the easiest step and went very quickly. After all four cushions were complete we re-attached them to the chairs and....

Jar using his manliness to staple the cushions.

Can you tell I'm excited about the cushions!

re-attaching cushions...

VOILA!!! Our project was complete! Although not completely perfect, it looks rather good for a do-it-yourself home project!

The chair is done!

The table is complete!

And in the end...

Supplies from Home Depot: ~$70
Fabric from Jo-Ann's: ~$30
6 Days of our Lives...alot of time
10+ Chemical burns...alot of pain
A new table & chairs... PRICELESS!