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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Brother Kyle to Elder Harrison

[May/June 2011]

So... Winter Semester for BYU ended in April. Kyle had about two months before his mission so he got permission to stay for one of those months and attend a TON of religion classes on campus and then went home to get ready for his mission and such for the last month. We LOVED having him up here because he lived with us and we got to see him all the time. He spent a lot of time up on campus - watching classic movies, working on the Anne Frank video he put together for the play BYU put on, and going to classes - but he joined us for our FHE's and we did some fun things while he was here. It was a great month! Heath and Kyle had some great conversations about missionary work and being a missionary that I really enjoyed sitting in on.

He borrowed our ipod holder  to go
running... he was "hardcore!" :)

Our cute little FHE assignment board
was filled with THREE names instead
of just TWO for a month! :)
One of the weekends before he left we were able to go hike the Y. Kyle had only done it once while living here so we went before he headed out of Utah for a while. It was way fun... and steep. That hike is quite a hike but it was great! And it was a good reminder to me that I needed to get back in shape. haha. Once we got up there we sat up on the Y for a while. There were several families there with little kids that were having quite entertaining conversations!! We enjoyed eavesdropping. It was a fun Saturday morning!

Those towers help us see where our house is... it's about 1 block directly in front of them. :)

 Kyle was going to catch him.... ready, set... then they just settled with a high five (but, yes, kind of missed :)

  Mom, Dad, and Shelby came up during Memorial Day to have our last family vacation before Kyle headed to Pennsylvania. We went up to Ogden to a cabin in the mountains up there. Chad, Denise, Mom, Dad, Kyle, and Shelby had headed up there and checked in earlier Saturday morning. Heath and I met them at "Annie" the musical in Ogden that evening after Heath got off work. The play was very cute! We had fun singing to the songs and watching the performance! We had a great time! After the play we headed up to the cabin. They had said that it was snowing when we got up there earlier but we all had hoped that it had stopped. Well... it had NOT stopped. Our little truck made it almost all the way up but then with the snow and the steep hill (our truck HATES hills) it didn't make it. We backed up in the blizzard and parked by some other cabins that were lower down. It said no parking but there was no way we wanted to go up or down. Chad and Kyle came running to us in the snow (in flip flops - so nice of them) but they went back and the boys went and dropped off the stuff and the girls at the cabin and came back for us. We hopped in the car with them and made it back up to the cabin. There was a lot of praying and worries that night but we all made it up to the cabin okay! Wow - who would have thought that we'd be snowed in on Memorial Day (isn't it supposed to be the beginning of summer?!? :) We stayed up a while that night just talking and enjoying being all together again. During that - someone said something to the effect of "holy crap there are raccoons at our door!" And there were... they came to join in the late night party. :) There was one that night. He came the next day too and brought his friend along.

Chad and Denise had just got put into their Elders Quorum and Relief Society presidency's and were planning on going back to Provo for church on Sunday and then coming back up. Well, needless to say, that didn't happen. We really were SNOWED IN!! Craziness! Along with that we had tickets to go to Lagoon on Monday but we were still snowed in and the weather down there wasn't great either - so they closed the park. We got our money back but we were bummed about missing the park. But it was okay - we had fun playing lots of games, talking, watching snow fall off the roof in a very big, loud way, having our own little church meeting in the cabin, swimming, watching movies, and trying to get through the snow in our little jackets and flip flops (we were NOT prepared for winter weather!) It was a very fun and unpredictable weekend!! 

We started with some of us playing air hockey and ping pong. Then we played a family game of basketball and then ladder ball! 

 There was snow... LOTS of snow!! It was very pretty though!

 Of course Heath and Shelby started throwing snow at each other and chasing each other! :)

Shelby (I think) got some pictures while we were eating lunch one day. :)

My beautiful Momma!
Yup.. my cool big bro!
These two obviously fit right into our family!

Yeah... that is snow behind us!

LOVE my cute lil sis!
 This was our view from the back porch of our cabin. What a GORGEOUS place we were staying at! It was so great!

 I love my Mommy!!! :)

With the soon to be Elder!!

Everyone in front of the cabin! Great weekend!! Love my family!!!
Kyle went home with Dad, Mom, and Shelby for 3-4 weeks before heading off to PA! He gave his farewell talk on June 19th - Father's Day! We flew home with Chad and Denise Saturday night to hear his talk! It was so good! Mom spoke with him and the sacrament meeting was just amazing! They both did so good! I sat there kind of in unbelief that he was heading off on his mission! So proud of him! That afternoon we had lunch with family that was there - The 8 of us, both grandparents, Laraun, Cindy, Logan and Andrew. It was very fun! After that Heath and I headed over to his moms house and had dinner with Ric, Suzi, Brent, Koli, Kadean, and Preston and saw Carmen as well. It was fun to see them! Preston started walking that day (Happy Father's Day to Brent!) so he was all over the place! We had a fun evening catching up with them and playing with the boys. It was a great day and a great day to think about how much I love my dad too! He said what he wanted for Father's Day was to have everyone home so my parents paid for us to fly down. It was great to be able to be with him for the day! I love him and am so grateful for his example!! I'm also grateful for the amazing father-in-laws that I have! They are so great to us! Monday we were able to go out to Moriarty and see Andy, Papa, Granny, and Kagan. That was a fun day too! Kyle went with us because one of his requests was to be able to ride a horse before leaving on his mission so he rode Dusty while we were there! He had a good time! We did too - riding - and mainly talking with family. We love being out there! Monday night we came back to town and had lunch with Grandma Shupe - so great!!! She and Heath caught up on their sports talk. :)

 That night Kyle got set apart. President Cutler came over to our house and talked to us for a while first - mainly Kyle and gave him advice about his mission. It included writing detailed, important things home every week (which he's doing great at!!), the importance of following the rules and being a good missionary. It was great and was good to be there for that! Those that were there were Dad, Mom, Shelby, Heath and I, Laraun, and both grandparents. There was a lot of love in that room and a very strong spirit there. I knew he was going to do such a great job!!! :)
With ELDER Harrison!!

Um... we were tired after that! ha :)
Tuesday morning Heath and I went and had breakfast with his mom at Wecks, which was great!!! Then we headed back up here to Utah with Dad, Mom, and Kyle! Before going to Provo we stopped at Temple Square. It was fun and spiritual and Kyle gave names to the sisters there that he really wanted to share the message he is sharing with. It was very cool!

Three missionaries... you can tell by the distance between all of them! :)

That night we had dinner with Rhonda, Craige, Chad, Denise, Dad, Mom, and Kyle. We went to Applebees - it was yummy! At the end of dinner though they had karaoke. It was screamo type music and for a newly set apart missionary that was very difficult. He was sitting at his seat with his scripture cards out trying to ignore the music and memorize scriptures. Heath took him out in the parking lot and worked on the scriptures with him pretty soon. :) He's already a great missionary! :)
 (These are the only pictures I took on my camera from the night...)

The next day Kyle went into the MTC!!! Mom and Dad have all of the pictures from then (which you can look at on Kyle's blog... and can read about what he's doing). We went to lunch at Brick Oven right before and then went to drop him off at the MTC  (Denise had class so she could go to lunch but not the MTC and Heath had work so he couldn't go to lunch but could go to the MTC.) It was hard to say good-bye to him but it was exciting too because he's going to do such a great job!! I can already tell he's a great missionary!! Elder Harrison... LOVE YOU.... see you in Two Years!! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beautifying Our Place

[May 2011]

We LOVE our apartment! It's so fun to have our own place. It's close to campus, close to Heath's work, plenty big for the two of us, and is such a cozy little basement apartment! It's a great first (well, technically second) home for us! :)

It is an old house, though. A lot of the paint is old and not quite even, etc. Also, there was a flower bed just to the side of our stairs leading down to our front door. We talked about painting the apartment and using those flower beds for flowers and a little garden. A couple months of living here, we were outside of the church after cub scouts waiting for our scouts parents to pick him up (the church is right across the street from us) and we saw our landlords were at the house. So Heath went and talked to them. He asked if it would be okay if we repainted in the house and if we could use those flower beds. She was excited for both of those suggestions! She was excited that we would be willing to paint and said to go ahead and just take the price of any supplies we buy off of our rent. Her son takes care of the yard and so he had just finished pulling all of the weeds in the flower beds and she told us we were totally welcome to plant whatever we wanted to in there. Heath came back over and told me the good news! We were excited to start on those projects!!

 First thing we did was paint! It took a few days, since we were only able to work a few hours each day. We also are just doing one room at a time. The first room we did was the front room, the one we spend most of our time in. It was a lot of fun! And a lot of learning... how to paint best, what looks good, how many coats it needed, etc. We'll be pros when we have our own house! :)

  We didn't really change any colors except the front door, since it's not our home. So we started with the walls and the shelves that are in the room. They were already dark green so we re painted them. There were parts of them that weren't painted at all so we got them even and looking nice. Then, the walls were off white. With it being a basement apartment it's already naturally dark so we wanted to brighten up the room a bit. We painted the walls bright white. What a difference that made!! It really did brighten up the room and made it look really nice!

We moved over to the other side with the front door and painted those walls white and then started painting the door white. The door is so old that the white wasn't really covering up the old paint very well and we decided that it would be a nice touch to paint the door a different color. We couldn't decide what color to paint them so we went to home depot to look at the paint colors and decide. In a paint matching machine we put the color of the curtains that we have (blue) and it picked up the color and gave some suggestions for color schemes that would include that color. One of the suggestions that popped up was that blue, a dark green, and a lighter green. We loved it! The darker green matched the color of our shelves and so we got the light green to paint our door and front window pane. It turned out so great! We love it. It adds a little extra feel to our front room and to the front of our apartment. After a few days our front room looked brighter and better then ever. Our land lady came over a few weeks later and she loves it too! Hooray! Room #1 = success!! :)

Our next project, after it FINALLY got warm here in Provo was to plant! We first got a pot to put down our door and planted some flowers in there and then some flowers in the back of the house (this was before we talk to our landlady about using those flower beds.) Last Monday we decided to fill those flower beds.

We went and got quite a few flowers to put out by the stairs. I think we did a good job at picking those out! We put those closest to the stairs.

Then we had gotten some bricks so we sectioned off a middle triangle to have a little garden. We already had some carrot and cucumber seeds to plant and see how they would grow so they went in that triangle with some beautiful red, white, and purple flowers that my sweet husband gave me for Mother's Day :) in the back! Then we had a little triangle piece left on the right so we dug up the flowers we put in the back and put those there. It turned out so pretty! And it was so fun to do together!

We had a great time picking out flowers and planting them. Chad and Denise drove past as we were doing it and Chad yelled out the window, "Oh, you two are just the cutest things I've ever seen!" Yeah, we're so cute! :) It was great and I love that we can do it together!! Yeah for beautiful flowers - I love them! My husband definitely spoils me - I love them! And I'm so happy it's summer and warm!!

The plants have been doing great! They look beautiful out there and we have cucumbers and carrots coming out too! We're excited to see if we get any veggies from them! :)

It's been fun to be living here and to do some fun projects together around the house. For those who haven't gotten to see our fun, little place here is a little tour for you...

Welcome to the West Home! :)

The Living Room (we know have a wonderful desk where we used to have a chair and then a card table!)

The Kitchen


Extra Room (It used to have a twin bed in it - where Shelby and Kyle lived when they stayed with us. Now it's a craft/music/Heath's closet room! :)

 Our Room (The picture is mainly just our bed but it's a perfect room! Also those are our stuffed animals in the corner of our room. All 4 have special meanings/we gave them to each other while we were dating.)

It's a fun, little place and we love it! It seems we'll be here for a while - probably the time we're living in Utah! It's nice that we like it and that it fits us so well so that we don't have to move for a while! :)