Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

Here is our Christmas letter for 2009. Enjoy the pictures. We had fun taking them. And then had a really hard time deciding which ones to post. And so I ended up posting a lot. There's more where this came from.

Season’s Greetings to all of our wonderful family and friends from the Bad Joke Girls (blonde, brunette, and a redhead). 2009 has been a busy year with many blessings. Though no one made the honor roll, no one’s soccer team won a tournament, and no one’s choir made it to the state sing off this year, we still had a lot of fun and have been very blessed along the way.

As roommates, we really enjoy each other’s company and try to have as many adventures as possible. This year we competed in a triathlon, each taking a different leg of the race. Ashley swam, Annie biked, and Talena ran. Even though a team of 14-year-olds beat us (oh wait, nope they were 11) we still had fun. We also enjoyed many camping and hiking trips (just can’t get enough of being outside).

Talena’s heart is so full with her cat family continuing to grow. She just added a new kitten to the crew. Snickerdoodle joins Mittens, Snowball Jr., Fluffy III, Ginger, Mrs. Whiskerson, Bubbles, Tiger, Pumpkin, Nub Nubs, and Friskers, and the late Snowball, Fluffy, Fluffy Jr., Blackie, Bucky, Sandy, Felix, Garfield, and Mopsy.

Talena didn’t win any races by being slow and steady, but we still think she’s a champion. She ran two 5Ks, two 10Ks, two half-marathons, and one full marathon. Wonder what she’s running from… She also scored a great job at Black Diamond, an outdoor equipment manufacturer, and can’t wait to try out all the equipment and stop being teased for being an outdoor pansy.

Annie’s had a rough year with medical bills, but her wart removal treatment went really well. She had 16 warts removed from behind her knee and 4 from her right wrist. Dr. Shamatu is truly skilled in his specialty and we’ll be forever grateful for his service to our family.

Annie’s ambition continues to amaze us. She swam, biked, and ran her first triathlon and did it all by herself. When she gets bored of the old U.S. of A. she takes trips to see other places of the world. This year she traveled to visit the kiwis, wombats, and koala bears in New Zealand and Australia. Good on ya’ Annie.

Ashley, our youngest, is a handful, but adds much joy to our lives. Having been just released from prison, Ashley is setting her sights high at keeping her life on track. She just got a job as a food preparer at McDonald’s and there is already talk of promoting her to cashier (keep your fingers crossed).

Ashley’s illustration work keeps her very busy. She’s already traveled to New York a couple of times promoting Shailie and also wishing that those cute little dress-up fashions would fit her too. Too bad you’re not shorter Ash. She’s also been using her talents in the religious side of things painting for a Book of Mormon Mania game and also Bible story illustrations for the Mennonites.

We are truly blessed to have each of you in our lives. You have touched our hearts this year and we’re grateful for your love and support. It has been our pleasure to know you or whatever. You and your kind hearts brighten our lives and enrich our souls. Merry Christmas everyone


Bad Joke Girls

Talena, Annie, and Ashley

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Spiffy new job

I know, it’s been forever. Even when I already made a disclaimer that my blog posting would be nowhere near regular, I still feel bad. Sorry about that. To be honest, I didn’t really feel like posting when I didn’t have a job. People asked me all the time if I had a job and I hated reporting that I still did not. And then I decided that my next post would be when I finally got a job. So, I’ll bet you can tell by this posting that I have a job. Hooray for that!

And now I will tell you a little bit about my job. I work for a company called Black Diamond. If you love the outdoors you will be jealous now. Yes, yes I have a job that inspires envy. And I don’t feel bad about it either. I went through 9 months (alright, only 6 of actual for real searching, but it’s still a large chunk of time) of much frustration and work (without getting paid) while I searched. And I’ve been really blessed. This job is so much fun. I am a technical writer in the Quality Assurance department. I write the documents that tell people how to inspect the product. Alright, now your jealousy is waning. But it’s okay, you don’t have to like it. I love it. I get to write and also play with lots and lots of outdoor products.

I’ve been at Black Diamond and making money again for a little over a month now, so even this post is delayed. (I have a feeling I’m going to be apologizing throughout this entire thing.) I will tell you of a few things of my experiences here.

  • Compared to the other people who work here, my enthusiasm for the outdoors is like that of someone who never leaves the house for fear of getting dirty.
  • Taco Thursday is eagerly anticipated every week
  • I finally found out where some bathrooms are
  • People test out the equipment all the time. There has been a bivvy sac set up in an area for a long time and I wonder if someone sleeps there every night to test its durability and comfort when camping indoors.
  • I’m still too afraid to wear jewelry to work—too dressy. If I have something to do after work and I want to look nice, I take a necklace or earrings with me in my bag and put them on in the car.
  • I have never skied a black diamond route, ever.
  • I was keeping a list of these things and now I can’t find it. This is all I can remember. So, if I find that list, maybe I’ll post more.

Alright, that’s it for now. More to come (maybe) later.

(Gosh, it's been so long I don't even remember what font and size I used before. If this is not consistent with the rest of the blog, whoops)

Monday, March 30, 2009

National Capitol March 14

On March 14 a bunch of us took a tour of the National Capitol. I mentioned it briefly before, but here is a little more information. Natalie works for Senator Bennett and is authorized to gives tours of the Capitol, isn't she just nice?the girls: Kendra, Rebecca, me, Natalie Our tour guide tells us about the pictures on the ceiling.

This is the ceiling. Every state has two statues of famous people from their state in the capitol, you will see some of these.Where's Ohio?

This is a bad picture. This is a group of us with Brigham Young, one of Utah's famous person statues. The person taking the picture cut off the top of Brigham Young's head, and also there is much red eye. The red eye doesn't come off with the simple red eye fixer and I didn't feel like fixing the all red eye by hand for a bad picture, but it's the only one with all of us in it.
This is going to be my bathroom tile.

My state of birth.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This one's for you, Mom!

My mother was wondering if I have any friends because so far, my posts have been my solo trips or playing with Melina. Don't get me wrong, I love my solo trips and playing with Melina, but I also have other people that I hang out with. It's just a titch more awkward to make everyone you're with take pictures of everything you do, so there are fewer of those, but here are some. I've also been to barbecues (yes in March, it's been that warm) and I go to Institute (religion studies) and activities with other people in the area. It's been quite fun.

This is a Mardi Gras celebration. From left to right are me, Melina, lamppost, traffic light, Rebecca (my new English friend that I hang out with a lot)

I like music and I like concerts (apparently more than I like my hearing, as many of you already know). This is a local Virginia artist named Justin Trawick and his band. Note the accordion, upright base, and saxophone as unusual instruments in a rock band, but he pulls it together really well. I'm a fan, a huge fan.
And when Rebecca and I got to meet Justin Trawick, we were a little star struck.

Here are a bunch of us about to take a tour of the National Capitol by a Senator Bennet (Utah)staffer.
See, I can make friends :) I'm not lame, well I suppose that's debatable.

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess! March 2

(Again, sorry for the lateness. Man I need to work on this.)As a celebrator of all holidays and with a fondness for Dr. Suess and his excellent works, Melina, Melina's sister Tiana, and I had a birthday party for Dr. Suess. We had green eggs and ham-burgers (Tiana's idea) with green stars on our bellies (Melina's idea). My contribution? a snow sculpture of pale green pants with nobody inside them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

an unconventional Presidents' Day

What's a conventional Presidents' Day? I don't know, but it sure isn't something I would do, most likely. Well, to celebrate Presidents' Day, we headed to the local Starbuck's and enjoyed milk steamers and biographies of United States presidents. I am reading David McCullough's John Adams and Melina is burying herself in His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis. Our presidential biography reading then turned to a scholarly discussion about presidents. Here are the results of our discussion:
President with the best hair: John F. Kennedy
President with the craziest hair: tie Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren
President with the best mullet: James K. Polk

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day really is one of my favorite holidays. I love the love and the pink and the hearts. In the morning, Melina and I donned our favorite pink ensembles (just call me bubble gum) and enjoyed pink pancakes. Later that evening we had a heart-shaped pizza (see below) and then made Valentine cupcakes (see below the picture below) and also Valentine cards for Melina's neighbors (see below below below). The cards had much glitter and pink and happiness. We surely spread the love around on Valentine's Day.