Thursday, June 30, 2011


I don't think that gardening is our forte ...

Does this mean that we are giving up? Not a chance!!! We decided that it would be a lot of fun to try and experiment and start seeds in one container garden and seedlings that we grew inside for the other container garden. During our haste to get down to Utah for our run, our seedlings that we started inside dried up and died. No water, no sunlight, dead! It might be too late, but we thought there would be no harm if we tried to plant seeds in the other. About 3 1/2 weeks since we planted.

So, here are photos, courtesy of Faith Jolley. (She loves to 'tilt' the camera a little.)


Brandon celebrated birthday #35 yesterday. He is such an amazing father and husband!!! We couldn't wait to celebrate, but wanted to keep things low key this year.

So, knowing that he loves lasagna and apple pie, I set out to ask Megan how to make her lasagna and Sara how to make her apple pie.

Here are the end results:

I think that they turned out pretty good. Megan's recipe that I did ...

Megan's Lasagna
2 lbs. ground beef
2 can of spaghetti sauce
24 oz. cottage cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c. grated Parmesan and Romona cheese
Spices to taste, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, parsley, oregano, etc.
lasagna noodles

Brown hamburger. Mix in spaghetti sauce and 1/2 c. water.
In separate bowl, mix together all the cheeses and spices.
Layer in dish, hamburger mixture, cheese mixture, noodles. Repeat. End with hamburger mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Last 10 minutes, add more mozzarella on top.

Sara's Apple Pie

I don't have the recipe. However, I will tell you that she does a traditional apple pie with cinnamon in the filling and then tops it with a wonderful crumble from an apple crisp recipe. It is one of Brandon's favorite.

I haven't ever cooked any of these in 11 1/2 years of marriage, so I thought that that was pretty special. Faith colored 'happy birthday' with sidewalk chalk. We also bought him a nifty scouting shirt, as he was just called to be a wolf den leader. We are excited for him and his new calling!

Happy birthday honey!!! Hope that you had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


These pictures are 2 that hang on my fridge. They are getting old. This one was taken summer 1999.

Top row, Amy, Jerry, Kathy.
Bottom row, Justin, Brit, Grandma Morrill, and Brandon.

This one was taken at Justin's 2nd wedding, November 20, 1993.

Sean, his step brother, and Brandon, and some other guy that I'm sure he would be able to tell me who he was!

Happy birthday sweetie!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Call me a newbie, or a greenie, but I had NO idea that chicks could grow so fast. Really, I didn't know!!!

So, here are a few pictures of the kids 'picking up' their chicks. They are now 1 week old from when we received them.

Faith with "Shadow"

Dawson with "Fluffy"

Kate with "Goldalicious"

Monday, June 27, 2011


I made this for my sister Robyn, who is going visiting teaching and bringing Minute Maid Lemonade for a cute summer time treat. I thought that it would be something fun to do another month with the same concept. Hope you like it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


They say it's like a bandaid. If you rip it off fast, it won't hurt as bad.

Tonight, I said goodbye to one of the dearest friends in the world. Her name is Angela, but I call her Ang.

I have known her since the good 'ole days working in Kids' Klub at Gold's Gym preview center. She was faithfully working out for the 12 week challenge. Her kids were adorable. When we started talking, it was like ... "magic." We had so much in common ...

Our friendship continued to blossom and grow for the next 3 years.

I don't admit to knowing every secret, but I do know why St. Patrick's day is so special, that she loves her kids ... and gum, and that she does nothing half way. Her testimony in the gospel is strong and she gives unconditional love to everyone she meets. Her smile and laugh are contagious, and one of the things that I look forward to seeing often. She also uses any excuse to dress up and make the day anything but ordinary. SHE is anything but ordinary.

I have stopped believing in coincidences long ago. When I started working at Gold's Gym, I needed an out of the house and a reason to be needed. It was a difficult time for me, and meeting her was a breath of fresh air. Her friendship was one thing helped me through those rough and rocky days. You know, the ones that you would never want to relive.

So, tomorrow, a beautiful woman leaves with her family for Kansas, over the rainbow, to start another chapter of her life.

My dearest Ang, it will be amazing. You are amazing and anything but ordinary. Hold your head up and smile everyday. Rely on and trust in the Lord. Make friends and find the reasons to dance! Remember that this girl is thinking and praying for a Texas girl to do her thing, 'cause she does nothing half way!!! I hope I can be there for you through these rough and rocky days. "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good." Love you!!! Zoey :)

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun

Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

We will meet again in this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made from what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart

And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea

Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood

Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you

Because I knew you
I have been changed for good

Thursday, June 23, 2011


We were able to go and watch Annie at the Stephens Performing Arts Center at ISU. I got so excited when I saw this particular play there, because I knew the kids would love it.

Dawson is super excited!

The actors were mostly kids and did an excellent job. I also thought that it was funny that Miss Hannigan was played by a lady in our stake. She did a great job pretending to be 'drunk'.

My favorite song is and always will be 'Hard Knock Life."

Faith's favorite song is "Together at Last."

The boys did not have any favorites, but hopefully enjoyed them all. I am always in awe how every goes off without the audience knowing that there is a hitch! Our theatre also makes references to Pocatello and mentioned Idaho Potatoes. It just makes it extra fun and special.

The play went so well and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, even Dawson. I hope that moments like this will help my kids remember what a 'hard knock life' they really have.


Oops! Wow! I've never done that before!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Fall 2010, Dawson played soccer with the Arsenals. The week before spring soccer started, we finally got his team picture but never had time to post. Here it is!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Brandon got a phone call from the Post Office Tuesday about 3 in the afternoon to come pick up a package. It was an exciting phone call and one that we have been waiting for since the day after Easter.

The shipping box. They were VERY chirpy.

Their friend didn't make it.

Moving them to their temporary home.

Trying to get them to eat and drink.

The water and food set up.

There was one chick who was just hanging out, wobbling. No interest in food, no interest in water. We were worried about her, so Brandon tried to push her beak in the water to make her drink. She was not having it. SO, we tried to help 'Buddy' by getting a medicine dropper filled with water. We managed to help her drink and by the next day, we could not tell which one was Buddy, which we believe was a good thing.

We are so excited to raise chickens and to learn more everyday. Hopefully I will be able to post pictures of the kids holding them next week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Before our third run, we all had a little time to sleep

and stretch

and take pictures

Oh, and brush teeth!

By this point, I had come up with a better team name, which I might use if I ever do anything crazy like this again ... It's all fun ... 'till I run! Much more fun to cheer on your teammates, but it is amazing to accomplish something like this.

Brandon - runner #7 (leg #31)
My third leg was absolutely horrendous. I started out at 1:42 pm. By 1/2 mile out, I was cramping and having lots of pain. I tried to push threw it, but it felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife. Ang tried to motivate me by coming after me with a squirt bottle. But little did she know that she was going to get soaked by my water bottle! The run was really flat through residential neighborhoods. It was always nice to exchange off to Ang because she always had my chocolate milk waiting for me. I was very satisfied that I had finished Ragnar after so many people doubted that we couldn't do it!

We took a lot of pictures when Brandon was running. He was very disappointed!!!

Ang - runner #8 (leg #32)
The only sleep I can recall getting between Leg 2 and Leg 3 was in the van that was parked outside an elementry school which would be our last major exchange with van 1! The sleep was minimal and I still hadn't showered yet so I knew I was smellin a bit ripe! Thank goodness for pit stick and fresh clothing! Disposable toothbrushes were also a plus to helpi n scraping the fur off our teeth! I can only imagine the funk that aerated from our van! Leg 3 had to have been the worst run for me. At this point the lack of sleep, poor eating, and sore locked up muscles were beginning to take affect! It was 5.9 miles moderate in the worse heat of the day. I believe this part of the course had actually been changed last minute to 10 miles hard, cuz it just dragged on and on and on and on!!!! Did I mention it was hot, yeah it was like 90 degrees hot! I was grateful my leg had support because without the gallons of water poured over my head to help keep me cool I think I may have joined one of Zoey's decomposing deer buddies on the side of the road. I pressed forward and was able to complete my last leg; it was however at a sloooooooow pace! The last mile was brutle. Not only did it drag on, but it was also uphill. I did not envy Penny, April and Misty that had to conquer parts of Ragnar hill! When my 3rd leg was complete I couldn't help but be excited to be done! I had just completed my portion of a ridiculously crazy relay of 192 miles from Logan, Utah to Park City, Utah! What a huge accomplishment and defeat! As we got closer and closer to the finish line and more of us completed our legs the sentiment of accomplishing such an amazing feat begin to become apparent to many of us. The comradery and support we received from one another was uplifting. Having complete strangers cheering you on, offering you aid, and even sharing advice. I couldn't have asked for a more amazing group of people to have been cooped up in the same van for 3 days with. Being able to cross off Wasatch Ragnar Relay off my bucket list will always be a memorable moment for me! So proud, I wear my Ragnar medal every Sunday to church! Go team Bucket List Brigade! Its always fun until you run!

Penny - runner #9 (leg #33)
My third leg was a 1500 ft elevation change over 3 miles. It was tough and I really wanted to walk, but I had set a goal not to and I didn't. I probably could have walked way faster than I was running, but I accomplished my goal. I also was able to do my whole run with out getting passed (which was another goal). The run was very pretty but the best part was killing 3 people at once.

The proof!!!

April - runner #10 (leg #34)
My 3rd leg was very challanging and emotional. It was just 4 miles. However it was the leg called Ragnar. Which after reading the definition of my last leg it gave me anxiety, strength and the will to continue. The definition: in mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength,celebrated for his bold exploits and favored by the gods. As I started up my severe uphill climb through the Wasatch mountain I was able to think a lot. The view was beautiful and given the name I wanted to succeed. Most of it I had to walk like those fast old ladies you see moving so fast. There were so many people who supported me and gave me words of encouragement that I knew I could do it even with a sore knee. There was snow along the side of the road that was as tall as me and the temp was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better leg.

The beautiful views!

Getting to the exchange point. The higher we got, the more snow that was there. One team had members hiding behind a snow bank. They threw snowballs at each other. How fun!!!

Misty - runner #11 (leg #35)
My 3rd leg was the most challenging for me. I took the hand off from April after she completed her grueling 4 miler where she gained 1600 feet in elevation. Starting at 8800 feet, I still had a pretty good climb ahead for the first mile where I would summit this mountain dubbed Ragnar Hill by the Ragnar Officials. After the first mile the terrain changed to a steep decline for the next 6+ miles where I dropped nearly 1800 feet in elevation. The run was beautiful as I followed a windy road down into the Canyons Resort. I had many lookout opportunities off into the valley. There were secluded condos and private driveways along the way belonging to those fortunate enough to live or vacation in such a beautiful place. My foot was bothering me quite a bit with the steep downhill, so I had to take it quite slow. When I passed the "1 mile to go" mark, i was deep in a 'zone', with my headphones on as I tried to tune out the pain in my foot, concentrating on finishing. A runner passed me, as she did she called out "good job" to me. This startled me and I jumped in the air flailing my arms, screaming. She apologized while laughing. I was laughing so hard at my foolishness, that I was having trouble running. Somehow I gained my composure and finished the ascent to the finish line. Seeing Zoey there, ready to run with her headlamp on was such a relief. She was beginning our teams last leg of the entire relay!

Waiting for the exchange

Ang started crying and got all of us going! Her big last hur-rah before leaving to Kansas.

Zoey - runner #12 (leg #36)
I was so pumped to see Misty come in. The exchange went smoothly, and I took off on a little path. I was excited to know that after the first bit, there would be a mile of straight downhill. Little did I know that it would be trail running with a bunch of loose rocks. I wanted so bad to walk it, but the momentum kept you moving extremely fast. Once that finished, I was on trail the rest of the way. Flat on the first part and then very hilly on the next. I helped a newbie runner keep going as well. It was so exciting to come to a water station and have them announce to you "Welcome to your last water station!" Temperature was pretty good and I managed to make it to the finish line where I tried to leave my team in the dust! So much fun, but so sore I literally could not walk!

Riding to the finish line:

The finish line:

We did it!!!

No worries about eating real food now!!!