Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Some Awards

Best Way to Start a Trip
Owen & Drew with cousin Tristan in Greensboro NC, May 15

Paul & Robyn's house... just relaxed and recovered from all that hard work moving (well the cleaning part was hard). Got to meet new baby Griffin and celebrate Tristan's birthday.

Cutest Bums

Kirtland, OH, May 17

Standing in front of Newel K. Whitney's Mill and Ashery. So pretty there.

Best Temple in Ohio

Kirtland OH Temple, May 17

Really, I just like this picture and couldn't think of what award it should get. Ooh Justin gets the best driver award... he drove the ENTIRE time (at least 4,000 miles).

Funnest to Pass on the Road

Shipshewana, Indiana, May 17

Amish country. We decided to stay there spur of the moment cause we were fascinated by it. We timed it all wrong though because it was a Saturday night after everything was closed. They keep the Sabbath more holy than the Mormons - we couldn't taste their food or shop their handcrafted items. It was fun falling asleep to the sound of horse hoofs on the road. I want to go back and be Amish for a week!

Best Traveler

Nauvoo, May 18

Did not make a peep the whole time in the car unless she was hungry.
11 states in her 2 1/2 months of life: North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona.

Best Caged Animal Impression

Carthage Jail, IL, May 20

He had a rough time in the car. "We're almost there" means nothing to him anymore.

Wouldn’t Have Made it Without

Nauvoo, May 19

Troy was so good with the kids and easy to be around. He kept Owen entertained in the back and never complained about anything, not even the caged animal.

Biggest Ripoff Souvenir

Mississippi River in Nauvoo, May 20

Mississippi River in Nauvoo, May 20

Tin whistle: $14.25 at Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store in Nauvoo.
Dollar store quality.
It is the least annoying whistle I've ever heard, though.

Best Covered Wagon

Kanesville Tabernacle in Council Bluffs, Iowa, May 21

Not that covered wagon, this one:
Mississippi River in Nauvoo, May 20

This is where the pioneers left Nauvoo, crossing the river with their covered wagons.
Even with a car, this trip had its rough moments.
Can't imagine doing it in a real covered wagon.
And you can make fun of us for a) taking a picture of our car and b) getting a roof box

Best Ancestor Connection

Nauvoo, May 20

Researching my pioneer ancestors at the Land & Records Building in Nauvoo... locating the land of my 4th great grandpa, Lyman Curtis. His land, where I'm standing, is right on the Trail of Hope where the pioneers left Nauvoo across the Mississippi River. You can see the Nauvoo Temple in the background.

Best Meltdown

Winter Quarters, Nebraska standing in front of the Omaha Temple and cemetary, May 21

This picture makes me laugh because we (and by "we" I mean Owen, Drew, and me) were so done with visitor's centers at this point. We didn't even have it in us to check out the Temple grounds and cemetary. The Mormons can make a mean Visitor's Center but we saw a lot of them and it takes a lot of energy to get 2 boys who have been cooped up in a car and hotel rooms for way too long to be quiet and interested in things they care nothing about. The senior and sister missionaries that were our tour guides were awesome and did their best with us.

Best Surprise Weather

May 22

We drove through all sorts of weather: wind (crazy tumbleweeds going across the road), heavy rain, cold, fog (could only see a couple feet in front of us), and this snow in Wyoming. We'll get the heat here in AZ.

Best Grandparents Serving a Mission in SLC

Standing on the observation deck of the Church Office Building, where Grandpa & MarJean serve in the translation department, May 23

It made me so happy to a) finally get to Salt Lake and b) see familiar faces

Best Distraction

May 23

Finally something Owen & Drew liked! The dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT. We met Justin's sister, Ashley, and her kids there for the afternoon.

Worst Lodging

May 24

This is NOT the Four Seasons hotel I had in mind. Our worst hotel (and most expensive) by FAR. Everything in Kanab, UT was sold out... but one nice woman volunteered the apartment in the back of her Four Seasons Motel that wasn't being rented at the moment. I booked it over the phone cause it would be midnight when we got there and we couldn't go any further. WOW. The place stunk, and not the stink you can get used to. Owen & Drew's room had no door (notice it propped against the back wall). The door to our room had a hole punched in it. There was electrical tape sealing the edges of the shower/bathtub (which we didn't dare use). I had to sing primary songs in my head to fall asleep.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The military hired movers for us...we just directed traffic. Or played video games.

They were fast! They packed half-eaten boxes of cereal and who knows what else before we could set it aside. So we'll be looking forward to some stale food in a month

Have I mentioned I hate saying good-bye lately? Can't even say bye to a house without crying!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Travel Plans


A Hollobaugh family friend, Jen Truscott, taught me how to knit right after Justin & I were married and I totally loved it. For my first knitting project I did a blanket that was supposed to be big enough for a queen bed. It was a mess. Holes everywhere. And sized all weird. It might've fit 2/3 of a queen bed. So I took a knitting class at The Fiber Factory in downtown Mesa and loved that, too. Then I made baby blankets for my nephews Briant and Bob. Brent got a sexy scarf for his mission in Mexico but it wasn't that cool cause he gave it away. Then I just stopped knitting, who knows why. But I took it back up again a couple weeks ago to keep me busy for the 50+ hours we'll be on the road.


John Steinbeck is from the Monterey area and this book takes place there. The book was a gift from my mom for Justin, but I'll probably be the one reading it and I'll tell him about it.

And I'll get to knit and read while traveling with 3 kids thanks to our secret weapon, Justin's brother Troy:

Tomorrow the movers come to pack up the house.

Tuesday they load everything up.

Then we get to clean and clean some more.

Then we'll leave whenever everything is all clean.

We're going through Greensboro first to say good-bye to Paul & Robyn. Then to Kirtland, OH to see church sites. On to Nauvoo, IL for the same thing. From there we'll follow the Mormon Pioneer Trail across the country down through Salt Lake. We'll go to AZ for a couple weeks to see family. THEN in 3ish weeks we'll be in Monterey.

I'm Feeling Lucky

I always click on the "I'm feeling lucky" Picasa tab when I'm editing pictures to see if it makes the pictures better or worse. Usually it makes outdoor pictures better and indoor ones worse. But that's besides the point. What I'm trying to describe, but not very well, is that even before I started editing pictures last night I was feeling lucky. Then when I opened up Picasa it read my mind and made me laugh. Oh man I butchered that but hopefully you got the point.

Above is my favorite picture of the week. Not the best quality picture but what happened is my favorite. Sally was fussy so I asked Owen to make her happy while I was getting ready for bed. He laid by her and held her binky in (she always spits it out) and they both fell asleep that way.

And this is my other favorite picture:
This was on the front of my Mother's Day card from Justin. Rarely does a picture get taken around here without me knowing about it. It made my Raisin Nut Bran (that Justin went to FOUR different stores to find) and smoothie taste even better than normal. This was my breakfast request... cold cereal I know but we have 9am church!

Happy Mother's Day!

We'll Miss: Friends

(Sorry I don't have pictures of everyone, especially our hostess Sister Ilaoa)

And Aaron's BBQ.

Selling Things

I was all prepared to say I'd never do another yard sale (this was our first) but it wasn't bad, other than waking up at 5am.

We got rid of a bunch of stuff and found that yard salers are some friendly people.

We've also sold...

Our House - It closed on my birthday, we've been renting back until we move out. It feels weird to be renting our own house.

Justin's '91 Isuzu Rodeo - The gas to drive it across the country would probably cost more than it was worth. We are a 1-car family. Maybe we'll move up to a '92 next time around.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jacksonville Celebrities

The bees and Julian Wooten.

This is as close to celebrities as we're gonna get... Julian is a beekeeper who was hired to train Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, and Tristan Wilds how to be beekeepers themselves for their upcoming movie The Secret Life of Bees (based on the book which I loved).

He uses bees to pollinate his acres of strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, and other plants. The guy loves bees. It's hot.

We went there for a preschool field trip today. Here's Owen and his church/preschool friend, the one and only Emily Cox. She cracks me up. Owen picked a couple of strawberries, didn't want to eat any (cause they're too hairy), and then was too tired to move. But I had fun!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Blessing Day

Justin gave a short & very sweet blessing.

Paul & Tristan (Justin's brother & nephew)
came down from Greensboro for the occasion.
Robyn is home resting with new baby Griffin.

Elmer's school glue
(how bow is staying in place)

Fishing Day

Friday night I went out to dinner with Nichole & Kelli so Justin took Owen & Drew camping again... they drove an hour plus some to the campsite only to find out it was full with boy scouts. So they came home and camped in the backyard then went fishing the next day.

Fish are ugly.

North Carolina is pretty.

Park Day(s)

Perfect park weather this week... the park in our neighborhood is so pretty but it's tucked away, surrounded by trees. We're usually the only ones there. Doesn't feel too safe.