Monday, December 8, 2008

The Holiday Season

Well, the holiday season is upon us, and just like most of you we are busy preparing for the many parties, travel, and likely weight gain! Although we live in a rather desolate area, and have yet to see accumulated snow on the ground, we too have been getting into the Christmas spirit. We have decked the halls of our little apartment with a beatiful tree (which takes up nearly a 1/3 of our living room), and have begun wrapping gifts in anticipation!
This year Christmas feels even more special than years past. At Thanksgiving I did a lot of thinking about my many blessings and the things I am most thankful for this year; first, and for most, John. Although we are going on our second year of marriage, this year has been full of drastic changes in our lives, and I feel as though we have grown so much closer, and much more understanding of one another. Being so far from our family and friends in the midwest, we have truly learned to rely on one another. Also, being so far away has made me more and more thankful for our family and friends back home. When you leave home, you know you will miss everyone, but until you have truly left, you can't imagine how hard it can really be.
Lastly, I am so thankful for the friends we have made here in West Wendover. Although, no one can replace our loved ones back home, I don't think we would have survived without each of these wonderful people, who have continuously supported us.
As I begin planning for our long trip back to South Dakota, Iowa, and our families, I often find myself holding back tears. I am so happy to be able to make the trip and spend some much needed time with each of our loved ones, and yet I am also sad, because I know how much it will remind me of the wonderful times we have when we are home, and how much I will miss it when we leave. This holiday season I feel blessed to have felt a new kind of love and appreciation for each and every one of our family and friends.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

4 Guys, a Girl, and Denver!

John and I are truly becoming road trip masters! Every other week we seem to be hopping into the car and taking off to visit a new place. This past weekend we made the long drive to Denver, CO, where we met up with John's brother Dylan, and our two friends, Steve, and Dan.
The main point of the trip was simply to spend some quality time, but while in Denver we figured we should see some of the sites as well. Saturday morning was spent doing a variety of activities. While a few of the guys hit the links, Steve and I hit the malls. For anyone choosing to vacation in Denver; Great Malls! Anyways, after a few hours of rigorous shopping, we met up for quick lunch and then jumped in the car to head to downtown Denver.Denver is a beautiful city! We had such a nice time just walking around and looking at the city. We went to the capital building where we all took turns standing at the mile high marker, and we managed to get some pretty nice views of downtown.
Once our feet had reached their breaking point, we stopped at a downtown resteraunt for dinner and a few drinks, before heading to the movie (James Bond).
Sunday, we spent most of our time just visiting. We were all very sad to see the trip come to the end. It most definitely went by much too quickly. Now we're home and are counting down the days until we get to see everyone! In less than a month we will be back in the midwest, and we're thrilled!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


As many of you may already now, this past week John and I decided to make the 12 hour drive from West Wendover to Snohomish Washington in order to visit Nichole, Brian, Sophia, and Madelyn. We decided early on, to the dismay of many, that we were going to make the drive non-stop. We left Wendover at 4 pm Wednesday afternoon, and arrived in Snohomish at about 4 am Thursday morning. It was a long drive, but definitely worth it.
Of course, being the weekend of Halloween, we busied ourselves with a few very fun and spooky activities. On Thursday afternoon, the girls and myself spent some time in the kitchen making Halloween spider cupcakes. We had a lot of fun. Both Sophia and Maddie were such great helpers! I think we may have a future chef, or two, on our hands. That evening, Nichole made us her famous fondue and we filled our time with chatting, snacking, and, of course, a little Wii.
Friday, Halloween, was spent sight seeing in Snohomish and Everett. Nichole and the girls took John and I to downtown Snohomish where we mozied through cute little shops, enjoyed some bakery sweets, and sipped on some coffee. After we had seen much of what Snohomish had to offer, we jumped in to the van, and took off to meet Brian for lunch at Scuttlebutt, one of my favorite Washington visit pasttimes. That evening the whole gang bundled up and took to the streets of Snohomish for some trick-or-treating fun! Sophia really had the hang of it. She would run up to the house, say "trick-or-treat", say "thank you", and be off running towards the next house. She was definititely efficient! Madelyn was a little less unsure of the whole process, but by the end of the night was having no problem keeping up with her sister.
We spent a good part of Saturday in Seattle. We walked through the famous Seattle fish market, saw the original Starbucks, and, in true Seattle fashion, got rained on! That evening we spent our time eating a wonderful dinner at home, hot tubbing, and visiting. It was a great last night, to a wonderful trip.
Sunday morning we took off bright and early to make the long trip home. We are so glad that we took the time to make the trip. We had such a wonderful time and made so many fantastic memories.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hiking to Hawk Watch!

Hey all!
Well, this week I thought I would share about our recent hiking trip to Hawk Watch. Hawk Watch is a non profit organization that sends about 10 bird scientists to live on top of a mountain just a few miles south of West Wendover to study the migration patterns of hawks, eagles, raptors, and other large birds.
John and our friend Brian have made the hike a few times, and we all have been able to get to know several of the scientists that work there. This past Saturday I, along with John, Brian, and Brian's parents, decided to take on this 5 mile hike (2.5 up and 2.5 down). As most of you know, I am not exactly a fitness buff, so needless to say, a 2,000 ft gain in 2.5 miles was plenty difficult for me.
We started the hike at about 12:30. If you look behind the boys, in the picture about you can see a rocky ledge at the top of the mountain. That is where our hike ended, to give you an idea.
The hike up was exhausting, but completely worth it! It took us about 2 hours with several short stops to catch our breath and take in the beautiful view.
When we reached the top we were greeted by several scientists and two sweet dogs that were very excited to have visitors. Although the scientists were having a slow day, as far as bird watching goes, we were able to see a few hawks, and hear about some amazing birds they had seen just a few days earlier. I think the thing that amazed me most is how they had been living on top of a mountain for 2 months! They were definitely a cool group of people and were great hosts.
After about an hour of visiting and bird watching, we began our descent. Surprisingly, I found this much more difficult than the climb up the mountain. Going up is exhausting, but going down is painful! I think my knees are still trying to recover. One of the coolest things we saw on the entire trip happened at the very end of the hike. We were lucky enough to spot a herd of wild horses only 100 yds. from where we were parked. This picture isn't the greatest, but it was amazing to get to see them so close!
Just a reminder for those considering visiting, this is one of the many exciting adventures you could choose to do while visiting exciting West Wendover, NV.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mom's Visit!

The past few days we have been blessed to have my mom here visiting. I didn't realize how much fun it would be getting to show off our new home, friends, school, and community. We are so glad that she took the time to come and spend some quality time with us. I don't think I could ever express how wonderful it was to have a little piece of home here with us, even if it was only for a few short days.
While visiting, we did our best to show Mom all that is important here in West Wendover. Although the weather was not it's usual sunny self, we were able to get out and do some fun things. Because Mom arrived during West Wendover homecoming week, she was lucky enough to get to participate in a football party hosted by some of our friends. Although we weren't sure how much fun she'd have, we were pleasantly surprised by the fun she had simply getting to meet and spend time with our new friends.
Because of the cold weather Saturday we decided to spend most of the day inside watching movies, visiting, playing games, and even made a batch of caramel apples. We also ventured out into the cold to have a beautiful dinner and do a little bit of touring. If you haven't read my previous blog, you may not be aware that Wendover is home to the airbase which trained and housed the planes and men that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. While Mom visited we took the time to go out and see many of the buildings that still remain from this era. The building to left of us is the building that housed the "Little Boy" and "Fat Man", or the two atomic bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Enola Gay.
Another cool spot of interest on the airbase is the "jail bird". The "jail bird" is the plane that was used in the filming of Con Air. The Wendover area has been the site of several movies, including Con Air, Independence Day, and the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean. While at the base at we were able to see many of the places used in the Con Air movie; such as the "jail bird", the airline tower, and a old swimming pool.
Sunday, Mom and I spent in Salt Lake City. We had such a nice time even though it felt as though we were in a winter wonderland. Yes. Mom came to visit sunny Nevada, and instead she got cold and SNOW! I still can't believe it. We spent the entire day walking through huge flakes of snow! Although we were cold, we managed to have a great time!
Well, now Mom has left and our lives will go back to normal. I thought I would have a much harder time when she left, but I seem to be doing just fine. Now that we have had a visitor it has made me even more anxious for more! Her trip, I hope, will be the first of many. We had such a wonderful time and we miss all of our family so very much! We hope you can all make it out some time soon!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Preparing for Guests!

Hey all!
Well, as many of you know, John and I are anxiously awaiting Mom's arrival this coming Friday. We are so excited to have company. In preparation for her visit John and I decided to sit down and make a list of all the fun things we could do with visitors. This process has actually provided us with some information on things to do in Wendover that we didn't know was available. For example, a friend of mine took me out the air base located on the very edge of town. I was not aware that this base is where the planes took off to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. I was shocked. There is all this history here, that I didn't even realize was in my backyard. Also this base is one of the only WWII bases that has most of its original buildings still standing. Its pretty neat to see, not to mention, the Wendover residents tell me it's very haunted!
I have also discovered multiple activities such as horse back rides, atv rides, and tours that I didn't know even existed.
Also, West Wendover often has great musicians in town playing at the new concert hall. Unfortunately there aren't any great artists while Mom's visiting, but we have had David Spade, Jay Leno, The Beach Boys, Collective Soul, REO Speedwagon, and Smash Mouth; to name a few.
Anyways, we are planning a great trip for mom, including fun dinners, salt flats, salt lake city shopping, golf, and much more! We're so excited to have her coming and are hoping that some of the rest of you decide to join us soon!
We miss you all so very much!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Substitute Teaching

Hey all!

Just thought I would take a moment to salute both myself and the substitute teachers that have gone before me. As many of you know, I began substitute teaching for the Elko county school district about 2 weeks ago. Since then I have come to realize both the joys and sorrows of this role. The best part of being a sub, is the chance to be "cool" sub...the sub that the kids want to see. The scary part of being the sub, is finding the happy median between being the "cool" sub, and being eating alive by noisy kids and attitude. I don't know if I have yet to be labeled "cool", or not, but I definitely have had to wobbled along the fine line. For example, I have already had the privilege of facing, what I will refer to as, the trouble students. Interestingly, when I began subbing I was most nervous about facing the boys, I have now learned that boys are nothing in comparison to the devilishly scary world of teenage girls. I can only pray that I was never so awful as some of the attitude that I have encountered.

Now that I've taken the time to rant about the darker side of subbing, I would like to share some of the finer moments that continue to make me smile. John giggled when I told him how happy I was when some sweet elementary students commented on how pretty they thought I was. Isn't it amazing how just a few little words, from a few very small little girls, can make one's ego sky rocket!

One of the neatest aspects of substitute teaching is the chance to experience many different levels of growth and development. I am lucky enough to be certified to teach at any level, kindergarten to high school. This has really allowed me to witness the variety of positive and negatives that each area can provide.

Although the extremes have occurred in the high school and elementary, I must admit I am beginning to truly appreciate the junior high. Junior high students are at the perfect age for teaching. They have learned many of the basics so it seems possible to carry on a real discussion with most of them. On the other hand they are just young enough that they haven't had the chance to develop a lot of high strung attitude like many high school students possess. They also seem to be still willing to learn, evening excited about the prospect of taking on new information. That, in itself, means so very much.

Overall, I've found the experience very rewarding. I can only hope that it continues to go as well as it has so far.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Angel Lake and Trip to Boise

Nearly a month ago now Amy, Brian, Leti and I ventured one saturday to Wells and up to Angel Lake. Leti is from Indiana and the new English as a Second Language teacher, a very helpful person for the students in my classroom who cannot speak English very well. I will mention Brian later in this post.
This is a picture of Gray Lake. As you can see, it is breathtaking. The lake gets very deep for its size and is nestled into a mountainside at around 10,000 feet elevation. Though the water is extremely cold, a quick swim is very refreshing.

We parked at the Angel Lake campground, which is more popular because one can drive to it, and hiked for about one hour to this more secluded area. On the hike up we met a truck driver from Nebraska on his way to California. He told us that times are tough for the trucker lifestyle--I sympathized.
After a dip, my friend Brian, who is from Seely Montana and teaches Biology and Health, and I journeyed up the mountain to its summit. It was a tough climb and we even ventured across a four or five foot crack (with a drop of about 200 feet). It was nerve racking but extremely fun. We summited just as the sun was disappearing below the horizon westward, and talk about beautiful. from 11,000 feet up one can see a long way in every direction.
On our journey down, guided only by the light of a full moon, Brian and I surfed the loose, rocky, slope and finally found ourselves at the lakeshore again. Needless to say, the girls were happy we were safe.
We topped off the exhaustive but excellent day with a bottle of merlot and pinot nestled beneath a towering aspen and watched the landscape of stars above and fire crackling at our feet. It was a great ending to a great day, and part of me fell in love with Nevada at that moment.

The following morning I awoke early and ventured onto the ridge looking to capture the beautiful morning digitally. I think you will agree that I succeeded. The pines to the right show how wonderful the mornings are here--cool and still.

Shifting gears, I'd like to tell you about our trip to Boise. The purpose of this little venture was to meet up with Amy's cousin Nicole and her husband Brian. As an added bonus, we got to see Madelyn and Sophia too, who each provided numerous laughs.

Amy and I decided to take off on the Friday of our four day weekend over Labor Day and at least make it half way to Twin Falls Idaho. What a quaint little town it is! Nearly twice as big as Brookings, Twin Falls has everything: plenty of shopping, restaurants, quiet neighborhoods, and the most impressive of all, the Snake River Canyon. I was able to get some interesting pictures of the bridge and the canyon (which has a very nice looking golf course running along the river I am hoping to get to sometime in the future).

After spending five hours in Twin Falls we decided to make the short, two hour trip and stay in Boise for the night. Driving into the sunset with the windows rolled down, we jammed out to an "oldies weekend" on the radio onward to Boise.

I must say that, aside from being Boise State Broncos fanatics, the people of Boise were very nice. The city pleasantly surprised us. It felt like a place one would like to settle into someday. Though very segregated, the community seemed very welcoming tucked along the rolling hills of Idaho.

Our first excursion was to the local park, and let me just say that the people of Boise know how to bike, run, jog, play frisbee, whatever. Anything outside will be done by these people. The parks were fantastic and the idea that one can get around the city on a bicycle is very appealing to me.
At the park Sophia got a little wet in the fountain, Brian and I watched a man flyfishing serenely in the river, and we all got a little workout on the jungle gym with the girls. There was a bagpipe "troop" I guess one could call it marching along playing "Amazing Grace" and other popular bagpipe tunes, which was neat to watch and hear.

During the afternoon we traveled to Roaring Springs waterpark, and for those of you in South Dakota, WWW doesn't have anything on this place. It was a blast. Perhaps the funniest thing to happen there was when Amy and I were left in charge of Maddie and Sophie in the wave pool, while Nicole and Brian hit some slides. Everything started out great, Sophie, with a life vest on was clutched to a small tube I was holding, and Maddie was in Amy's arms securely. Then the waves started. I felt as though I were on the ocean. It was fun for about ten seconds and then both girls lost it and started screaming. I was trying to get Sophie out of the tube but she wouldn't let go and I kept getting mauled by ten foot waves. Needless to say, we were out of the wavepool quickly and spent the next twenty minutes rocking and crying until Nicole and Brian returned. Overall, however, the day was a blast.
The next morning Brian and I hit the closest golf course while the girls went to the zoo. It was a great chance to kick back and relax with Brian and I actually hit my driver well, making me want to play more now. When we met back up the girls needed naps and Amy and I hit the malls. Around supper time Nicole and Brian and the girls met up with us at the Cheesecake Factory. The meals were all excellent, but Sophie's Macaroni and Cheese was phenomenal. I will be ordering that dish next time, despite the confused expression on the waitress' face.

Monday morning came that weekend just as it does any other weekend, and sadly we had to part ways. Poor Nicole and Brian had a few hours added to their trip due to traffic but we all made it home safely and I hope to enjoy Boise again sometime.

Well, that's it for this little novel. I hope you all can come out and experience Nevada sometime in the near future, but don't fret, Amy and I will be home as soon as we can be for Christmas. Take care all, and give a call once in a while okay? John and Amy

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life in Full Swing!

Hey all!

Well our lives are officially in full swing now. John has several weeks of teaching under his belt and I have begun my work as a substitute teacher. I must admit I'm excited to be out of the house for at least part of the day and my first few days have gone by with very few problems. I'm very thankful for that.

A week ago we met up with Nichole, Brian, and their girls in Boise, Idaho for the long Labor day weekend. We had such a wonderful time that we began planning a trip up to see them in Washington before their big move back to the midwest. We were able to see a lot of the fun attractions that Boise has to offer, and get to spend some quality time with some of our favorite people! I couldn't believe how much Sophie and Maddie had changed since I saw them a few short months ago in South Dakota. It really was amazing!

Day-to-day life is pretty easy going around here. Now that I'm substitute teaching, John and I are both at the school from 7 to about 3. I have also been asked to work in the high school office Wednesday mornings which will be a nice break from substituting and also allow me to hopefully get the upper hand on some subbing opportunities! Other than work we also spend quite a bit of time at play. We have been lucky enough to make some wonderful friends here who have many of the same interests as we do. John has joined a fantasy football team, we're in the planning stages of a book and wine club, and we get together at least once a week for a game or two. We couldn't ask for much more.

It is so hard to believe that we have been here for a month and a half. It seems crazy. We feel so blessed to have been able to still stay in close contact with family and friends. Meeting up with Nichole, Brian, and the girls, was such a blessing; especially for me. Having some quality family time definitely has helped me with the transition. We are so excited to have some of you visit. John's brother Dylan and a few of our friends are possibly planning a trip to visit and my mom will be heading west in October. We can't wait to show each and everyone of you our new home and community.

We miss you all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hey everyone!

Since John posted last time I decided I would step up to the plate on this one. Well, we've officially been Nevadans for a few weeks now, and we've learned a lot about what it means to live here. First, it's HOT! Fortunately for us, while you all are sweating to death in humidity, we go out in 90 degree weather and don't require a shower immediately, but boy is it dry. You wouldn't believe the amount of water, lotion, and chapstick we've consumed in just a few short weeks! Second, Las Vegas stinks! We are quickly learning that all of Nevada suffers due to the short comings of Vegas. All the prices here (e.g. insurance) are dictated by the crazy lives of those who live in Vegas. Ugh! Third, the landscape is beautiful (in it's own way)! We are quickly becoming aquainted with the beauty that northern Nevada has to offer. The best part is that driving just a few minutes in different directions you are able to find very diverse landscapes. From mountains, to salt flats, to desert, there is so much to see and experience.

We have recently embarked on our first Nevada nature excursion. This past weekend John, myself, and two of John's coworkers went on a camping trip in the Ruby mountains (about 1 hour from Wendover). The landscape was absolutely breathtaking. We drove up to Angel Lake, an alpine like about 8000 ft above sea level. Because the guys really wanted to hike we decided to hike up another 1000 ft. to smith lake and camp there. All was good until I discovered my fear of little paths with jagged rock drop-off's below. You may ask John for details, but to give you the overall scenario I came completely unhinged! We promise to post pictures sometime soon. Our camera cord has been misplaced in the move.

Anyways, we are trying hard to learn about, and experience what the area has to offer, so when each of you come to visit us (SOON) we can share all of this with you! We miss you all terribly and love getting phone calls! Also, thanks to everyone who has sent us cards! It's so fun getting mail!

Just a note as well...we don't have our internet set up yet so we are doing all of this from the school. At the school we are not able to access facebook. I noticed in my email that many have sent messages through that. Sorry guys! Not going to be able to respond. Below I've listed our direct emails and the website for cheap flights for visiting us! I'm sure you're all anxious for a little vaca!

Love you all!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

West Wendover!

We are settled into our new home and the weather is fabulous. I am very excited to start school and I actually started getting paid today so that is great. The program RISE for teachers new to the school district is great (it's kinda like CA Training for those of you who remember-but a lot more professional and less patronising). I am really excited to teach but maybe not as excited as they are to have us here! Amy is getting certified to Substitute, which could lead to a long term deal, while she pursues her ELED degree. There are many new teachers to WWHS and a lot of younger people as well, I guess in the Elementary School too. All are very nice people and fun to talk with and will be great to work with.
I can't get over how wonderful the weather is here. The mornings and evenings are so beautiful and comfortable, and the sun shines everyday--can't beat it. I'm really tempted to get a membership and golf but priorities won't allow it as of yet. My friend Brian and I are gonna do some mountain biking and hike Pilot's Peak pretty soon (10,000 ft.) as well as swim in angel lake. I have heard one may cliff dive there as well!
Life here is pretty laid back and I know I will be able to focus of work and we will become accepted greatly in the community--we already have. We look forward to visitors but it's great to be on our own and I am enjoying cooking every night. I made a spicy pasta the other night that was delicious, despite it being a bit spicy for Amy's taste. We walk everywhere which is good for our bodies and we're still poor so we don't eat very much which is good for our weight. I think we've both lost weight since being here. The air is dry so we suck down a lot of water, but that just makes us healthier too! We are looking ahead but it's nice to slow down and settle in after an exhaustive and expensive move. We miss our friends and family but know you are busy as we are and will visit soon. Take care all, more to come. JOHN

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Adios South Dakota!

Well, tomorrow is the BIG day! John and I are taking off to Nevada in about 12 hours. The many good-bye's have actually gone much better than I thought they would. Most have been tearful, but quick. Our dogs, Buck and Bella, have gone to Iowa to stay with John's parents while we get settled. This might be one of the most difficult adjustments and was definitely a hard good-bye. Although we're sad to be leaving them behind we know that they will have a wonderful time and probably will be disappointed when we bring them to Nevada and much less open space.
The trip is abou 1250 miles and should take between 16-20 hours. Luckily, since we are leaving a week before John starts training we're able to take our time, making several stops along the way.

The last week has been a roller coaster of excitement and sadness. Getting to spend a lot of time with family and friends has been wonderful and has made us realize how lucky we are to have so many special people in our lives. We are so thankful for everyone who went out of their way to spend time with us before we leave. We love you all so much!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 days and counting!

Well we're quickly approaching the big move day! I can't believe how the summer has flown by. I'm finishing up my last week as a Human Resource intern at Raven Industries this friday and John has a week of nannying left after that. With the move staring me down I'm doing my best to spend quality time with as many family members and friends as I can. The week before the move I plan on spending some time in Volga and Brookings with family there. It's crazy how you begin to realize how precious these times are when you know that soon you can't have them whenever you feel like it!
In the spirit of family time John and I went seperate ways this past weekend in order to get some extra time with each of our respective families. John went to Iowa to spend time with some family and friends there, while I headed west to Rapid City with my mom, Bill, and sisters Alyssa and Annika.

Our trip was amazing! We stayed in a beautiful cabin and saw the sites! It was a lot of fun and who better to spend it with than family. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend some special time with all of them before we take off. While in Rapid we took in Mt. Rushmore, the Alpine slide, Presidential wax museum (don't was very interesting), Sylvan Lake, Bear Country, went horse back riding, played putt-putt golf, and visited Keystone, and Hill City.
Overall, I can't believe that our time here is coming to an end and soon we'll be taking off to find a new adventure of our own. Our family is so very important to us, and although I am so excited to see new places, I am so sad to leave the people that I love. I hope you all visit often, because I miss you now, and I haven't even left yet!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer 2008

Hey all!

After much harrassment about my lack of updating, I decided to get organized. Wow! It's been a long time since I've posted anything and so much has happened since then. John recently graduated from the University of South Dakota with a major in Secondary education. This leads to our biggest news. John recieved an english position at West Wendover High School in West Wendover Nevada! Go Wolverines! We are planning a move at the end of july.

We recently took a quick trip to Wendover in order to get some moving items in line. We love the community and think we'll fit in very well there. Everyone we were able to visit with was very friendly, and had nothing but positive things to say about the town. Although I haven't officially settled on a job I feel very confident about a few of the options available and had a great interview while we were there.

Currently we are in Sioux Falls; again residing at the Webb household which is more than interesting with our two corgi's, tucker, and their new dog. There is definitely never a dull moment. Speaking of our dogs. They are both approaching a year old. I can't believe it. Buck just turned 1 and we'll celebrate our 1-year anniversary as well as Bella's birthday on July 20th. It continues to amaze me how time flies.

As we get ready for the many changes that are ahead of us we are thankful for the quality time we are getting to spend with our family and friends. It amazes me how much we appreciate the time we have together when we know that we no longer will have that time on a daily basis. We have spent a great deal of time in Brookings and Volga spending time with family. We also are planning some trips to Iowa and a family vacation to the black hills with mom and her family.

To those you scrutinized my lack of updating, I promise to try and do better in the future! I would imagine once we move I will be better about letting everyone know what is new and exciting with us!