Sunday, April 26, 2009

Anniversary Camping

Time is of the essence, and I sure haven't been spending a lot of it lately updating this blog. Anyhow, Ben and I celebrated our five year anniversary this weekend. It's hard to believe that it has been that long, and at the same time, I can't believe I ever had a life outside of him and our children. It all seems like a dream. So, for our romantic getaway this year to celebrate the occasion, we went camping. We've been ready to scout out Michigan and see what it's all about, just waiting for a break in the weather, and this weekend proved to be a good one. We drove about an hour from where we live to a state campsite that was pretty cool. The kids LOVED every minute, can ya tell? The highlight of the trip was when we drove into the campsite and realized that the transmission on our van was shot. We thought that we were going to have to call a tow to take us back to our house, and we were pretty sure that it was going to end up being a 3,000$ camping trip. Thankfully, we were blessed with yet another "tender mercy" from above, and when we woke up in the morning, our van worked well enough to get us home again until we can find a shop that is reasonably priced to take it in to. Phew... You know, camping really isn't "my thing;" I think I mislead Ben when we got married five years ago. He thought that I was going to be much more of an outdoors kind of gal than I really am. I have to admit though, when I sat down and watched how much fun the kids were having, and how excited they were to be outside, getting dirty, eaten by bugs, trying to touch the fire, sleeping in a cool new tent, eating dirt, not having to brush teeth, learning to pee in the trees, etc., I realized that I am willing to sacrifice my selfish priorities and comforts of home in order to enjoy these priceless experiences with my family. Sooo, I am looking forward to many more wonderful outdoorsish experiences with Ben and the kids for many more years to come.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Settled at Last

We're here and settled at last!!!!! How can I even begin to describe moving AGAIN?! The best part about it was that we had the support of family, friends, and a great ward to help us survive it, and survive it we did! Now we're here and adjusting to life in Michigan. So far, it has been a little cold and snowy, but we're hopeful that will change soon. Here are some random shots of the little place we found to rent out here. It's beautiful, and right across the street from a fantastic park with a petting zoo, a walking path, a fishing pond, a community center with a pool, and a playground. So, we're all set. Dax and Jacy are loving the new house. I don't even think they had to adjust. I think they never really understood what was going on when we were living in my parent's house, so they have actually been more calm and better behaved since we got out here. Celeste was able to fly with the kids and I out here, and then she stayed to help us set up and decorate. Anyone who knows her, knows that she can accomplish in one day what it might take one person a week to accomplish at the least. So, we got most of the house put together and set up in just a couple of days. My dad and grandpa performed a monumental act of service/love in driving our van out to us last weekend, and then they flew back home after they had a visit with us. So, now we're here and we've got all our stuff with us, and we're ready to settle in for a little while and break our streak of moving yearly. So, pray for the airline industry, and Mesaba in particular, and cross your fingers for us!
Anyway, my favorite part about Michigan so far is that they pay you in the grocery store out here to recycle! Anybody who knows me knows that I've always had a hard time recycling. When I was in junior high, I participated in a debate tournament where I opposed spending money to build recycling facilities in Utah, and with all of the research that I did on it, I became very disillusioned with it. There are a couple of members in my immediate family who are very avid recyclers, and they have scolded me at times for my attitude. Anyway, I was in the big grocery store out here, and I kept seeing all these shoppers taking big carts full of pop cans and plastic bottles into this back section of the store and walking out with these little slips of paper. So, the idea is that you take your cans and bottles back to their conveyer belt thingy, and it calculates a certain amount per item and then prints out a receipt that you take to the check out with you, and then it deducts the total from your shopping bill. The end result: I AM NOW AN AVID RECYCLER. All I needed was the right motivation! A lecture about conserving the earth's resources and pollution and waste just wasn't enough. Offer me a few cents off my grocery bill, and I'm sold. I can be bought.
My least favorite part about Michigan so far........they have not banned smoking in public places here!? Can you believe that? We went to a restaraunt the other night, and right when I walked in I was so confused because the place smelled like smoke. I turned to Ben and asked him what was up with that, and then he told me that the places out here still do "smoking" and "non-smoking" sections, and he wasn't going to tell me about it because he didn't want me to refuse to move here with him. I seriously thought that every state in the US had banned smoking by now, but apparently I was wrong. We "googled" it later on and found out that there are quite a few states left (13 or so) who still allow public smoking......yuck! So, we will probably end up saving a bit of money by not going out to eat, because it is a SERIOUS deterrent for me.
So, more later, but for now this will have to do. My sincerest thanks to everyone who helped us move out here, and who offered to help but didn't end up needing to! Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!