Sunday, July 17, 2011

Indy - Week #1

After a pretty long first week of doing a whole lotta nothin' ;) Michael and I struck out to see some sights...

Like: The Indianapolis Zoo

Megan (the wife of one of the other new emplyees) and I toured the zoo. She is going back home to Atlanta this week to move into their new house and get her kindergarten classroom ready for the new year.
The baby elephant was swimming! So amazingly graceful underwater!

My cousin Jenny and her kids, along with my aunt Kathy stopped by for a night on their way from Tennessee back to California. It was so nice to see them!

We drove into Ohio and here is what we saw...
The Columbus Temple...
The "A Christmas Story" house...
Michael reenacting the famous Ralphie scene where he says, "Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window. "

Crazy "Elf from Higbee's" hat, complete with jingle bell!

A can of Simoniz!



Mike tried out the punishment for saying "The F _ _ _ word!"

We went up to Kirtland to the first temple - no longer owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.







And we also toured the church owned Historic Kirtland sights including...

The Newel K. Whitney Store

The above fireplace is the one located on the second level of the store in a room used for the School of the Prophets and is the same fireplace that after receiving the revelation for the Word of Wisdom the men threw their pipes into.

A bishop who was in our tour group shared that he was going to take a picture of this fireplace to help remind him to always be mindful of what bad habits he might need to "throw into the fireplace" to draw closer to God.

After one week in this "foreign land" :) I have concluded that I would not have made a very good pioneer. When I first joined the church I was convinced that with my fire of faith I could have crossed the plains and whistled a tune along the way. I have come to realize that I might not have been afraid to strike out along the roadway but I would have cast many longing and backward glances at the place I was leaving behind. I imagine that I would have suffered mightily even unto heartbreak. Just think, they were not able to call their family or write to them along the way. Some probably didn't even know if they would ever see them again! Maybe those pioneers felt a little like I imagine I would and still they took their broken hearts, pointed their feet to the west and one step at a time followed their faith and hoped for the best. I am in awe of their sacrifices and I am thankful for telephones :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why We Love Modesto

Concert in the Park


American Graffiti


Knockout Burger and Scenic Drive at Sunset


Close enough to the Giants


Farmland - Orchards, Vineyards, Dairy Farms and Produce Fields. When the weather gets warm it smells like peaches!


The abundance of classic car enthusiasts


Great growing weather for amateur gardeners.


Only 2 hrs to our favorite camping spot - Bass Lake, CA.

But what we love most about Modesto is the people, family and friends who make the everyday extraordinary!

Firsts and Lasts

The last few weeks have been filled with many firsts and lasts. Some bittersweet, some exciting and some sad. Here is a peak...

Michael and Dad's first time canning on their own. My dad wrote "M & J" with the date on all the jar lids :)
Our last family picnic at Sutter Creek - my cousin Jenny and her family, Aunt Kathy, my dad and the niece and nephew enjoyed one fun day of swimming, picnic foods and baseball.

Our last 4th of July Concert in the Park - one of my very favorite summer activities of all-time!

Our last 2nd Ward Pancake breakfast and flag ceremony for the 4th of July, what a great tradition!

Our first time selling a car ourselves, the Golden Flash went to some dear friends of ours. We also took our last car ride with the kiddos - they were so sad to see it sold, especially Novalee as it was the car we took her around in when she was smaller and spent lots of time with us.
My very first pedicure - not as weird as I thought it would be. Thanks Kim!

Our last trip to the Organic Farmer's Market downtown. I would go once a week and pick-up farm fresh fruits and veggies and amazing breads. The kids loved to sample the fruits and talked Michael into buying them an Icee on our last time round...what a softie he is ;)

Our first and last SF Giants game this year. We were lucky enough to pick up some Club Level tickets on the first base side. We carpooled with our good friends and enjoyed a night of great baseball and super yummy ballpark food (Garlic Fries!).

Last time hanging out with our friends the Grimsmans, who moved to Folsom a few years ago. They are always so much fun! We played Bananagrams in the dentist's office while they got their teeth cleaned and then went for a picnic.


On our last night in Modesto we picked up our niece and nephew and took them out to their favorite spot - The Yogurt Mill in Roseburg Square...

They loved it!
Mikey's first time waiting for room service. Our flight in DC was cancelled and when we finally got a hotel for the night room service was the only food available...it was delicious!

First time in DC - okay so we really never left the airport, except for the shuttle to our hotel just outside the airport and we saw no sights but it was still our first time.
In between all that we also took one last trip to the Oakland temple, where we were sealed, it was a beautiful day!

We were also blessed to have an open house thrown by some friends of ours so we could spend time with our ward family and eat yummy desserts. We attended a ward BBQ (tri-tip!). Thank-you to everyone for your love and kindess all these years we love Modesto and we love you too!