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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Merry Halloween!?

For the last several weeks, as we all know, Mindy has been Christmas-ing. She has closets full of presents, has used 8 rolls of wrapping paper, and has been spreading Christmas cheer everywhere she goes. While I’m not exactly a Christmas elf myself, I usually put off Christmas preparations till the middle of November like everyone else. I chastise merchants for their blatant plug of commercialism by putting out Christmas decorations alongside mounds of Halloween candy. I shun radio stations that start playing jingle bells after the monster mash, and I abhor television stations that play back to back specials of Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin and a Charlie Brown Christmas. Usually I demand the separation and distinction of holidays. But, living by Mindy this year has been very different! The other morning I even woke up full of Christmas cheer.

I also feel to point fingers at Scott for my shameful behavior. I’ve been working on his present since August when we drew names. It has been a labor of love which I have enjoyed seeing develop but at the same time it’s forced me to be in the Christmas spirit sooner than expected.
(I promise that the sharing of this background and preparatory information has a point.) So Mindy and I have been blatantly discussing Christmas for several weeks now and this weekend it all came to a climax. The Case family left St. George on Friday to spend time at Amy’s before heading up to Richfield for Halloween. We told Mindy that we needed to work on her computer so she should leave her house open. Matthew and I had concocted a plan that we would sneak into Mindy’s house and put up her Christmas tree while she was gone, so that when she came home it would be a Christmas miracle. We even went and bought a bell and put it on her tree as “the first gift of Christmas” (our first idea was to get 4 bells and take the ringer out of one and give it to Kyle, but Matthew talked me out of it). So we waited at Mindy’s house till she left, and being Mindy, she was already suspicious. She called us twice, once she had left, to try to catch us, stating that she was looking at us through the window. At this, Matthew jumped and immediately checked all the windows. Matthew and I hurriedly put up the Christmas tree and giggled like little school girls/boys as we hopped in our car and drove away.

After the fun weekend we got a call from Mindy, “Santa came to our house during Halloween!” For once Mindy was surprised! It’s going to be a merry Halloween, a joyous thanksgiving, and a happy holiday after all.

A Story - In Mindy's defense:

Rebecca Monson was invited to a small holiday party at the home of Larry King. The place was decorated top to bottom in Christmas!....And he's Jewish!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

At last!

If a picture is worth a thousand words that this should make up for the last month!

Nuff said!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

" A deal is only good if it is fare to all."

When Matthew and I left Hawaii I had 12 credit hours left to officially graduate. After much deliberation, time off, and administrative oppression we are determined to get this stupid degree if it kills us! I have started back to school here in St. George at Dixie State which is where I received my Associates of Arts degree. I will still be graduating from BYU - Hawaii (the best BYU of the three) and will be graduating with a degree in International Cultural Studies -Communication (which is a fancy way of saying I talk to people that don't talk like me). My first day was last Wednesday. As a returning student I went through the usual bureaucratic run- around which college administrators impose so they can clear their schedules, sit in their comfy high-rise offices by their big windows and watch all the new kids run around campus in a furry, like a hill of ants that's just been flushed out by a kid with a garden hose and a magnifying glass.
After all the frenzy I went to class and met my teacher. Her name is Dr. Hunt, or Kathy as she likes to be called. I left her class all a flutter with a burning in my bosom and a twinkle in my eye! She really is a great teacher and I know I'm really going to enjoy her class. While introducing the class and herself it took everything in me to sit calm and act cool and not embarrass myself here at Dixie High High. I knew if I started relating to the teacher this early in the game I'd be labeled teachers pet, someone would give me a wedgie after class, and the cool girls wouldn't sit by me at lunch. So I sat there as she explained that she is an organizational consultant for the country of Bali and her philosophy is to not study the problem but to study our strengths and talents and then apply them to the problem to create even greater solutions. I was in a frenzy. But I sat there in my new school outfit with my way cool Chuck Norris folder and played the cool girl till I got home and could explode all over Matthew! It really was great to find such a teacher! I'm excited for what the future holds in Org Comm 3850-02 room 125.

I left the class bubbling with excitement and told Matthew that I had to go and buy my book so I could do my homework. I went online to see about how much the book would cost so we could add it into our budget. When I saw $88 dollars on eBay I was a bit surprised but not shocked even though the book is only like 200 pages. So I went to the bookstore to buy it with my $88 dollars in hand and when the total came to $115 dollars, I swallowed my tongue. Now I've been in college for a while, not as long as Matthew, but still a while. I've had to pay some pretty astronomical prices for text books. I had a biology book that was over 1,000 pages that came with a CD that I paid $175, but I think this one takes the proverbial cake! I bought the book and left the bookstore recalculating in my mind how much Ramen noodles are and slimming down my plans for sister Saturday to a weenie roast in St. George where all you have to do is hold it out the window to cook. I got to the door and turned back to look at the bookstore where I found this inspiring quote above the stairs: " A deal is only good if it is fare to all."
I couldn't help but laugh as I stumbled out the door! I pray I'm not the only one who sees the humor and dichotomy in that statement. I thought of all the poor college student across the world having to buy their books and pay for college while being out on their own for the first time and the passion of afferdity blazed within me! no more "robbing the poor to feed the rich" (that shout out goes to Kyle!) It was time to stick it to the man! I was ready! I was ready to fight for my right to party! (again, Kyle, that ones for you!) I took the book back to the book store and begged for them to take it back without making me dropping my class and then I marched out the door, money in hand, and firmly declared to Matthew over the cell phone, "I'll show them!"
To which I did! Kyle (the bosom friend of my bosom friend) and I got online and found it on Google books for FREE! so now I can just read it online and show those bourgeous, aristocratic, puffed up peacocks that Generation X has been liberated by the mass flow of information at cyber-optic speeds at a price that even the oppressed people can obtain through the globalization of mass media! And as I write this commentary where I lash out irrationally at the proverbial powers that be, I find that I play into their hands once again as i unwillingly become, the very thing I fear the most...blast the irony of it all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor

This week Mindy and I became bosom friends! Just like Anne Shirley and Diana berry….actually more like Lucy and Ethel (I’m Ethel, the innocent bystander that get ropes into doing crazy things!) This started because Matthew and I have moved about a block from Mindy and since were home most of the day we spend our lonely hours together to make them less lonely and a lot more adventurous. For example, last week we went to this fun new park that has play equipment for grown ups! Mindy wanted to show me one that spins around really really fast! I got on, not knowing what to expect and found my world spinning dizzily around me while I was clinging to the rod or iron for dear life ( a little teaching moment plug) that was almost two weeks ago and I am STILL dizzy (really! I’m not exaggerating!) Then on Wednesday we went to the cannery to meet the body quota for Mindy’s ward. The peaches were coming so fast we felt like Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory. For the younger generation, here is a link to show you what I mean.

On Thursday Mindy took me to dream dinners where Mindy discovered powdered mustard for the first time and she showed me her mad zesting skills. It was such a new thing for Mindy that I had to video tape it!

But, out of all our fun adventures, Saturday was the best! We were suppose to help with a boy scout function but when we arrived we were informed that we would be doing football drills with about 30 nine year old boys for forty five minutes. Kyle saw the fear, dismay, and confusion in our faces and graciously took our spots. With that covered Mindy and I went to the mall. Now, those who know me know how much I detest shopping. It really isn’t my “thing” but Mindy went to great lengths to make it less torturous and even at some moments enjoyable. We also went to a farmers market which brought great amusement as the sales clerk explained supplements to Mindy and I gleefully looked on. Several moments in that conversation stand out to me, like when the clerk was explaining “the three super foods” which are spinach, salmon, and blueberries, but Mindy thought they were Twinkies, ho ho’s and brownies combined. Or when I had to explain to the clerk that Mindy’s idea of eating healthy was a caffeine free, diet, mountain dew. I knew it was time to go when Mindy stopped the clerk to ask her if she was speaking English. It was quite entertaining and I knew that some of it had sunk in when Mindy made the most incredible salmon dinner for us! It was citrus salmon and Matthew confessed that he preferred it over my lemon pepper salmon ( to which he got the stink eye!) I have to hand it to Mindy! She’s come a long way! From not knowing what an apple is (ask Mindy to explain) to spending several minutes in a health food store/farmers market! With all this fun packed into one week, I’m excited to see what the future holds with Mindy as our new neighbor.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Opposition in All Things!!!

This last week we were up in Salt Lake while Matthew and Terry were working. It was lots of fun to be up there and play secretary while Pam was gone camping. On Wednesday Matthew promised a shopping trip for my birthday, and since my birthday lasts from the beginning of July to the middle of August he wasn't late! After reviewing my wardrobe and realizing that the majority of it was either from high school or the mission, it was time for an update! We headed up to Park City early in the morning to go to the outlet mall. We had a blast! Matthew took me to every store in both malls! We found so many cute things and I fit in a size 2! (it doesn't get any better than that!) We had a great time shopping but started to get a little hungry. We decided to go and get our lunch at Whole Foods. Paradise on earth. Utopia in one store. Greatness in one glorious location. Our first step within its walls we stopped for a moment of silence as we soaked in the good ju ju. We headed for the deli section and were overwhelmed by the splendor of the plethora of dishes before us. After ruffly half an hour we could wait no longer! We left the store in search of a park to enjoy our organic feast. We were forced to follow a trail of cars headed for The Canyons. We had to turn into a parking lot to get out of the on going throng and as we did we couldn't believe our eyes. We had a 365 degree view that was breath taking. It was overwhelmingly serendipitous! We had the valley at our feet, the mountains as our backdrop and each other at our side! Ahhhh! This is the fodder that movies are made of! As we sat down at the top of a rolling green hill we layed out our lunch which consisted of the most glorious organic grouping of elements I've ever beheld! We had organic quinoua with sundried tomatoes, curry turkey with currants, Spinach and feta hummas with blue corn tortilla chips, cold pressed apple ginger and cranberry juice, stone ground organic whole grain rolls, unsweetened rasberry mousse, and to top it all off, the most amazing electrolite enhanced water I've ever tasted! How can anything go wrong when you have such heaven sent goodness flowing through your body enriching every cell! (you know this is real. this is to much to make up!)

After lunch we finished shopping and found several other needed items. We had arranged to meet my dad for dinner after our spree and were hurrying back to Salt Lake to meet him. We were just starting our on our way when to our surprise we felt a powerful jolt in our rear end. No, it wasn't the quinoua, we had been hit by a young guy who was more rattled then we were. After inspecting ourselves and the car to check for any damage we found everything to be in good order, shook hands, and went on our way. After hitting unexpected traffic and getting to our dinner date over an hour later then expected, we still had a wonderful dinner and found it to be one of the most pleasant days we have had!

But Then...............

The next day was different. Matthew had worked on my hormonal system the night before and the whole next day I felt sluggish, tired, and icky. In an effort to get the most out of the work Matthew had done, I decided to rest for the day and to spend my time reading and answering the phone. But the reading made my eyes hurt and several people were a little less than friendly on the phone. At around six I was done with the day and ready for Matthew to be home and to get something to eat. Well, neither of us wanted to cook and nothing sounded good so I sent Matthew out to hunt something down to feed his starving family. He called me from an Indian restaurant and said, " There are NO people here, I'm going somewhere else!". So he went to a different restaurant where he ordered some sushi, giozas, and chow mien. Where, upon arriving home he found they had sent him with two side salads and some sushi. Being as hungry as we were we decided just to eat anyway. As i took one bite into the sushi i knew it wasn't good to eat. So Matthew packed it all back up and took it back where he had to explain to the girl how to give a refund and make change (what is our society coming to?) he then returned home where we decided to have a pizza delivered but the place we wanted pizza from didn't deliver. We were about ready to start gnawing on the plants in the front room when Matthew suggested we go out and find something. We were so hungry we found a Carl's Jr.(yes, a carls Jr.) and saw their menu that the sandwiches had lots of lettuce and tomato and thought that would be good and we can pick off the meat. We ordered and headed to a park in search of some good ju ju. When we got there we unknowingly parked in a flys nest (do flys nest?), found our order was wrong, and there was nothing wholesome or organic about the meal except the paper bag it came in. We tried to make the best of it but completely gave up as we both dribbled ketchup all over! Enough is enough!

But I guess you have to take the good with the bad. If it weren't for soda how could I know the joys of cold pressed apple,ginger, and cranberry juice. and if it weren't for carl's jr how could I appreciate organic hummas. Yes, after it all, I must admit, there is wisdom in opposition in all things.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Deepest Apologies

I wish to send out my apologies to all my faithful readers for the lack of blogness these past few weeks. I committed to be blogly faithful and I have failed. But, in my defense, I have been writing my blog every week but because of the lack of Internet I have not posted. But enough with the excuses. I have posted several blogs to make up for the lack and pray for your forgiveness.

“Lover bum, lover bum, where fore art thou lover bum?”

Last Thursday the 7th Pam and I drove up to salt lake for the all powerful, death defying, awe inspiring, nauseous making, voice male concert. It truly was a sight to behold! I didn’t know weather to laugh or to cry! Truly! It was like a train wreck! It was horrifyingly disgusting but yet, I couldn’t look away. At one point I was laughing so hard I almost threw up. It turned out to be a fun night. We sat a little ways behind Jessica and her group that were on a date……and Amy, I have to tell you, we were watching like hawks all night and you wouldn’t believe this boy! And his hands! You wouldn’t believe his hands! I couldn’t believe it myself! I was shawked! What kind of a boy acts like that! I mean come on! He had his arms folded the whole night! He didn’t try to hold her hand! He didn’t put his arm around her! He didn’t even prop himself up with his arm. He just sat there with his arms folded the whole night! And he was such a nice boy too. I mean, he’s from Texas! You don’t find guy’s like that every day (well unless you’re in Texas that is)
After the concert we stayed at Grandma Jeans and Grandpa Dick’s house in north salt lake. It’s a beautiful home with plenty of room to sprawl out in but under the circumstances Pam and I bunked together that night…..and every night till our “men folk” joined us. Now some of you may think, “why, with several rooms and a king size bed at your disposal would you bunk down with your mother – in- law” well, I’ll tell you. I’m not scared of the dark, if that’s what you’re thinking, even thought I do sleep with a night light (it’s for security purposes) and I don’t think there are monsters in my closet. It’s just that all of my life I’ve never slept alone. Now, I know what you’re thinking again “wow that Jessica, we knew she was a wild one!” The truth is that the last time I slept in a room by myself I was six! Then my little sister was born and I got a roommate. This lasted till I left home at 17 where I again had a roommate. After that I went on a mission where I received a “white bible” which clearly states “companions will retire at 10:00 pm and must sleep in the same room but not in the same bed.” Following this all to brief period I came home and had my mom for a roommate for the brief four month period until I was married. Upon which I gained a new roommate.
With this kind of sleeping history I’m sure you can understand why I never sleep alone (to the pure all is pure) and I was especially grateful when Matthew finally came to salt lake. Not that Pam was all that bad, in fact, quite the contrary! It was nice not to have to fight for covers all night and to stay on the bed without being nudged off and holding on for dear life. But I must admit, Pam doesn’t cuddle half as well as Matthew! J
After a torturous four day stint without each other we came to the conclusion that we just can’t live without each other. I truly don’t know how we survived! Having Matthew without Jessica is like peanut butter without jelly! It’s like Mac without the cheese! It’s like organic without a recycled canvas bags for $1.99, you can have one without the other but it’s painful to imagine life that way.
So, Matthew and I are together once again. And once again I have to fight for nightly necessities. But after one cuddle with him, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A difference of Three Bucks!

So we are shopping the other day, (this is Matthew, by the way. Yes, Jessica allows me on the computer every once in awhile, as she looks on, ensuring that I don’t download some virus… whatever a virus is.) and we head to the egg section. I became enthralled with the many varieties of organic or otherwise free range eggs on hand. As I reached for the $5.00 a dozen eggs which were all organic, brown, and vegetarian fed, free range etc. etc. my sweet wife, not wanting to offend my organic sensitivities but still conscientious of our budget, softly responded, “what about these extra large eggs for only $2.00.” they were generic. Maybe I am just wicked (as Jessica would say) but I really wasn’t going to spend $5.00 on a dozen eggs. I just wanted a reaction. Her soft non-offending response to my suggestion made me chuckle and love her all the more…Kucky! Anyway, we decided to meet somewhere between free range eggs and non-recyclable cartons, splitting the $3.00 difference. Of course, with the $1.50 saved I went and bought some doughnuts – I think I need some counseling.

To whom it may concern….

I hope ya’ll will bear with my as I unburden my soul on a heavier note ( I have to warn you, I read through some old journals recently and they were so disgustingly dramatic that I felt I was lost in some nightmare of Edgar Allen Poe dreaming he was lost in a Jane Austen novel that had been revised by jerry Louis)
I wish to apologize to all ya’ll. These last few months I have been uncharacteristically anti-social. I know I’ve missed several family functions and hope ya’ll will forgive me. Last month Matthew and I went to the doctors because I had been exhibiting pregnancy like symptoms for quite some time. With the hope that we were expecting we were told by the ultrasound tech that we had what was called a mole pregnancy where we were almost pregnant but not quite. Or in technical terms, the zygote had implanted but that was as far as it got. The hormones were still pumping which were causing the symptoms and the “mole” was still in the uterus but we were not expecting. After several months of symptoms this was a bit much to take and with all the new arrivals I have had difficulty handling it all.
I want to let ya’ll know how truly excited I am for ya’ll, especially Kenzie. I know you have hoped and prayed for Heston and I am overjoyed for you and want all the new mom’s to know how excited I am for them! I really do love ya’ll and I am so grateful for how ya’ll have welcomed me into the family. Ya’ll have been Amazing!
I love ya’ll and I appreciate you’re patience and understanding. Please know how happy I am for ya’ll! Thanks for bearing with me!

p.s. and Scott….thanks for the cucumber, it relieved my soul as I spiritualy feasted on the though of home grown produce.

“ I like to move it, move it, I like to move it…..”

Growing up my mother always said that “move” is a 4 letter word. After about our fifth move I understood what that meant. By the time I was 17 I had moved 18 times so I guess you could say that I’ve got this down to a science. I remember as a kid we stayed in the same place for more than a year and I started moving my furniture around every month to mix things up a bit. In our extensive courtship, Matthew and I found that we both had nomadic tendencies….it’s in our blood! One of Matthew’s friends was excited that Matthew was getting married and finaly “setteling down.” After 2 years and finishing our tenth move (that’s a move every 73 days) I have to say I’m a bit nervous. We just signed a six month lease (that’s a total of 180 days!) that’s 2.4657534246575342465753424657534 times longer than we have stayed anywhere! (it’s true! Do the math!) I don’t know how I feel about that. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I consider myself a “mover and a shaker and hottie high heart breaker” (to quote a popular song of the day) I don’t know if I can sit still that long! But, again, as my mother always said, you bloom where you’re planted.
This move was quite unique compared to our other moves. Matthew and I have learned how to live quite comfortably on what the airlines will allow. And in Seattle we discovered that it wouldn’t be so bad to be homeless because we can live like kings on what we can fit in our car. But, for the first time in our married lives we have all our earthly positions in one location (minus food storage and a few odds and ends at my mothers..bless her soul). We never realized we have so much stuff! By the fifth truck load matthew was ready to throw it all off the balcony, light a match, and head for missourie. I can’t say that I blame him! After living in a 15 x 20 studio I realize how little we need to live on. But we are now setteling in comfortably and loving our new place. My creative juices are starting to flow (to matthew’s fear) and our apartment it working into a beautiful home with portability in mind. All our positions fit in rubbar maid containers, our soon to be king size bed (we’re enjoying the romantic sentiments of sleeping on the floor with a georgeous headboard!) is made of detatchable parts that can be moved by one person, and the majority of things we’ve bought are colapsable and can fit in an overhead compartment.
After it all, we have been truly blessed! We have a great apartment that is close to family and friends (yes, we’ve even made friends). We’re growing closer together and learning to depend on each other as a couple, and the Lord is blessing us in abundance. We’re greatful for all He’s done and for the fun adventures that await us in our next move in 175 days….and counting. J

P.S. all are invited to come, stay, and play! We have a pool, comfy couches (thanks to the case family), and plenty of twiggs and berries to share! Ya’ll come down now ya hear!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Attention all-short-sticky-little people (kids)

You are all hereby cordially invited to come and play with the best uncle and aunt ever!!! Bring swim suits and a modest appetite for we have a pool and lots of twigs and organic berries. Please make reservations by calling aunty Jessica at 435 773-2474. Call soon, spaces are filling up fast.

" I Belong To The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saint "

Hello Everyone. Jessica just finished giving the F.H.E. lesson that was taken from Elder Ballard’s article in the Ensign entitled, “Sharing the Gospel using the Internet.” At the conclusion, she challenged herself and me to apply his teachings. So, what follows is our small way of obeying his counsel. We hope these stories boost your faith as they do ours.

Matthew’s story – A Testimony of Prayer

For many years my father, brothers, and I would pack up tents, bags, food and all sorts of fishing gear in hopes of catching the “big one” at the lake (isn’t that a wonderful beginning?) Each year was the same – we’d catch a gazillion fish, but nothing resembling at all the size that every fisherman dreams of…except for this one year! While loading the boat one early morning with all the essentials for a day out on the lake (ie, easy cheese, crackers, easy cheese, water, easy cheese, dried mango, easy cheese…) a suggestion was made for a prayer, prior to launching. I was appointed. Eager as we all were to get our lines in the water I kept the prayer short and sweet, but meaningful. The short prayer ended with the words, “please let us catch the sizeable fish of our hearts desires.” This drew suppressed laughter from a few on board and we were off. Not 30 minutes later my line received quite a jerk, followed by a whistling sound. It took a moment before I realized what was happening. My line was being pulled out so fast that it was whistling. Somewhat shocked but alert I reached down to adjust my drag in order to prevent busting the line. Still the line continued to go. Once all 100 or so feet of line was spent the pole literally bent into a perfect arch. “I have something and I think it’s pretty big,” I yelled. Once the motor was killed and the boat came to a stop it was confirmed. This was no snag. The line kept jerking and the pole remained arched! Could this be that magical moment that I had been wishing for all those years? After a thrilling 35 minutes of adrenaline pumping reeling, tugging, releasing and pulling, a 19 pound mackinaw was landed! (Isn’t that great!)

What a moment. I’m not a bad fisherman but what I caught that day was without a doubt a blessing from heaven – an answered prayer – a sizeable fish of my heart’s desire.


I want to share my story of how I know The Book of Mormon is a true record of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I went off to college when I was 17 and was living in an apartment with five other girls. During the winter I suffered from severe depression. Being away from home I had no one to help me through this rough time and so I sank deeper and deeper each day. I skipped classes (which is so not like me), I slept for days at a time, and I wouldn't let myself eat even when I got hungry. My mom would call to check on me but there was nothing she could do. I told her how depressed I was and how I wanted to come home. She finally said, "I love you and I'm praying for you! How often are you reading your scriptures?" I admitted that since I was so depressed I had no desire to read. She then informed me that she was going to hang up, I was going to read my scriptures, and then I was to call her back. I did as she insisted and as I opened my scriptures they opened to Alma 26:27 which says, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." I felt a feeling of peace and hope come over me. My Heavenly Father knew how depressed I was. He was encouraging me to hold on, push through, have patience, and He was going to help me succeed! And He did! That Semester was my best ever! Even though I had missed so much school I still got the best grades ever! My Heavenly Father knew what I needed and the Lord got me through it. I know the Book of Mormon is true! I'm grateful for its teachings and how it helps me in my life.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sheep, Bears, and Boogers

I have to hand it to the Hyde girls. I’ve heard talk about all the musicals and dancing and singing that went on in the Hyde household and coming from a very musical based youth myself I was comforted to know that Matthew was raised on the same page. Matthew and I spent the 4th with my family watching Hello Dolly. This musical was referenced in the new movie Wall – e (now in theaters) so he thought it would be fun to see. There is a dance that is particularly caucky in the show where they have their bums in the air and they bounce and walk around with their hands up. Since Matthew and I are enthralled with all things kuck, we thought we would give it a try and it has quickly become our favorite dance! We’ve found ourselves doing it everywhere! In the grocery store, in the street, even in the shower (probably not the visual you wanted). So next time you see us ask us to dance! We’re all a flutter and will jump at the opportunity!

So, last Saturday brought another adventure – a trip to SLC, where we were to stay for a week. We had just cleaned up from our camping adventure and didn’t want to filthify the kitchen so we decided we would stop in cedar at one of our favorite dining establishments – Costa Verde! Yum yum, chicken salad with mango salsa! What a way to start a trip! We sat at our usual table, in the north west corner by the window and salivated over our fresh food feast! In traditional Matthew fashion we forked through the entire dish to analyze and articulate over every morsel. Only then could we thoroughly enjoy each small smakeral. When the ceremony finished and our eating experience concluded we got in our car to head on our way. At the next intersection we were amazed at the traffic jam we encountered. We then noticed several cop cars and became concerned about the huge accident that had proceeded us. As we approached the intersection we came upon this seen:

I hope you can discern the hundreds of sheep that were making a left hand turn, apparently the blinker on the hoarse that was herding them was broken, thus causing a major traffic nightmare, and for once Matthew was right, the people on the road were driving like a bunch of animals!

Here are a few more pictures we picked up along our adventurous way…..the kilt one is especially for Stephen and the other is a new t-shirt I’ve acquired.

With all these discoveries along our way, our newest adventure was off to a good start! We arrived in Salt Lake in good order, with great excitement for the week ahead. On Monday I donned my secretarial hat and booked 5 appointments for Matthew with clients of his very own! He did an amazing job! And Jill was nice enough to allow us to use her house as an office while the girls were at swim lessons. He’s done such great work and we’ve seen miracles before our eyes! The results have been fantastic! We have truly been blessed this last week!

Another great blessing came when we got to crash the Bearden’s dress rehearsal on Wednesday night. They did a terrific job! And Ellie stole the show. I’ve never known a more adorable Gretel! We were so proud! The next night my dad joined us for opening night as we cheered on Annie. She was inspiring! We were especially moved when she entered the second act picking her nose. My acting teacher would say,” that shows that she’s immersed in her character!”

For two of the six days Pam and I got to go and watch Jacoy’s kid’s while she was at girl’s camp. After my nap it was fun to entertain them and play house. One of the highlights of the job was to watch “bear in the big blue house: it’s go time” or something like that. It was all about potty training. All I can say is that if I weren’t potty trained I would be now! I’m dying to have a copy….. to be prepared for my kids I mean.

After a long week we cleaned Jean’s house while singing the “happy little working song” to jolly everyone along. Then we took off for home.

Today was our first day as nursery parents. I must say, things went rather well. There were only about six kids, and with four parents it was definitely manageable. Matthew monopolized the blocks and entertained the children around him by batting their hands away as they tried to knock his tower down. Then he taught the valuable lesson of sharing at snack time as he insisted that each child take their turn at giving him a gold fish. After church we went to my mom's for dinner where grandma had prepared Ra-ta-toie. After proper ceremony (as before mentioned ) we enjoyed a delicious meal and grandma and Matthew went off on another culinary concocting conversation. Half way though Matthew kind of tuned out. On the way home I asked where he went as we were all sitting there discussing the recently devoured delectably delicious delights. He said,” you know, when grandma started talking about cabbage I thought, if I’m ever going to grow my own cabbage I’m going to have to have a house.” I replied, “ whatever gets you there is fine with me! However the Lord speaks to you, you need to listen!” Yes, we all get our answers in different ways, Moses heard it in a burning bush (Ex 3), Balaam was told by a donkey (Num 22) and Matthew was inspired by organic produce (Organic weekly Pg 47). The Lord does hear and answer prayers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"We've only just begun, to live"

So the Monson’s aren’t much for camping. My father’s version of camping was motel 6 and while we all like the idea of being out in nature and communing with God’s creations, it seems that we are following in his footsteps. But, in an effort to make memories we all decided to get together on the third and go camping for a few nights out at baker reservoir. We all had different ideas of how to go about this adventure (now, this is a real adventure, not an errands kind of adventure) but the basic concept was the same, sleep in a tent, play at the lake, and sing cum-bi-ah while munching on smores around a camp fire. Its all quite utopian!

Matthew and I, as usual, wanted to keep it simple yet elegant. We packed a tent, sleeping bag, fishing gear, and our meal assignments and were off to reserve our spot by the lake. Thankfully we found a spot with some shade to protect us from the 110 degree heat and went about setting up our perfect little campsite nestled in the foliage. As we finished setting up we could hear the fish calling our names in the distance so we headed to the lake to pass the time till the others arrived. In the hour that followed, the fish, regrettably, stopped calling Matthew’s name and started calling mine. Unfortunately, Matthew did not catch anything. I, on the other hand, caught 3 fish that seemed to be the average size (3 inches) for this particular lake.
We returned to camp to find that the others had arrived with a slightly different method of camping then we had. They came with awnings and grills, chairs and stoves, and even a 12 piece professional chef knife set. Matthew and I realized we were out of our league. Linda even had her own private tent. Pretty classy for a 3 year old! Finally, camp was set up and it was back to the lake for some kayaking, compliments of Mindy. At first we were a bit hesitant but once I saw Matthew in his cowboy hat, sunglasses, and life jacket, I knew I was sold! I would have swum across the lake to get a good look at him! Wow! Now, I know this might seem a little weird since the majority of people reading this are Matthew’s sisters but I must say what a hotty Matthew was in that Kayak!
After I caught 3 more fish and Matthew caught one, we decided to call it a day and head back to camp for dinner. We had a great weenie roast complimented by organic taro, beet, and onion chips. A feast fit for a king (or at least 2 organic junkies). At around midnight the kids started getting crankier then was preferred so we decided it was time to turn in. With Andrew, Dawnalyn, the baby, the baby’s play pen, swing, car seat, changing table, toys, blankets, and more princess paraphernalia then is decent, it was obvious there was not enough room for the entire Monson family. So, being the sweet, lovable, caring uncle and aunt we are, we decided to invite Zoë to stay in our tent with us. We thought it would be a sweet experience to play house and give us a taste of parenthood. It ended up being more of a taste then we wanted (kind of like when we took Casey to IKEA and she threw up in the car).
The night began with Matthew and I coowing over what a cherubim she was and how we would love one of our own. By morning we had a different view. One moment she was an angelic creature and the next she was a Saint Bernard trying to brush off a chew guard and catch his tail at the same time. By morning she was sleeping cross ways at the head of the bed and let’s just say that Matthew got the nice end! The worst wake up call of my life came with the smell of an 8 hour old dipper and a twitching leg aimed straight at my face.
After such a wonderful nights rest we decided to call it a trip. We stayed at the lake a while longer where the grand total was Jessica, 8 fish, Matthew 5. We then returned to Mindy’s house for a reprieve from the heat and the outdoors we had been infected with. Don’t get me wrong, I love the outdoors! But when you can’t smell a difference between the man and the raccoon in your tent, it’s time to return to civilization!
So we returned to air conditioning and running water, pillow top beds and satellite TV. We had a great BBQ with my family and watched old movies. We relaxed on carpeted floors and plush couches and felt even more patriotic since we weren’t watching our tax dollars go up in smoke. One firework did go off and Linda grabbed her ears. We asked if she was alright, and with her ears still covered she said, “it’s kind of ear shocking” wise words for a three year old!
After a sound nights sleep in a well air conditioned home (have I mentioned that it was air conditioned?) we felt revitalized and prepared for our next adventure!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Culinary "Adventures"

On Matthew’s day of we went on an adventure with Dad and Pam to do errands. ( I find if I call it an adventure Matthew is more willing to go and seems to last longer through the day). Our first stop was Tai Pan Trading, where I gained a testimony of international commerce. While I am still morally opposed to the whole practice of slave labor I just can’t seem to resist the great décor at fantastic prices. So I joined the world of Tai Pan Trading converts. While there I found a set of Asian - style dishes that I love and was inspired to try my own concoction of homemade Mongolian BBQ that night.
As we continued our “adventure” we all went to the St. George business expo where Pam met up with her old BFF (not that the friend was old but they are old friends…..and not that they are old but….you get the idea) Pam decided to invite her friend over for dinner who also brought a friend with her. I was excited for the occasion but also a bit nervous that these new friends happened to be coming on concoction night.
As everyone settled in for dinner Matthew and I manned our stations as head chefs and cooked up everyone’s individual dishes. As we were finishing our meal Pam’s friend’s friend announces that he is a gourmet restaurant owner and has a trained pallet……this is where I slid under the table. The only comfort I could offer myself was that at least it wasn’t clean out the fridge meatloaf night (which is actually quite delicious and one of my specialties but not something you want to announce to company) I gathered myself together and took some joy in our mutual passion for good food and it’s tantalizing mixtures.
The night went on and, as Matthew says, “it’s all about the banter.” I was greatful for the conversation since it took the focus off the food. As Matthew and I had our “post entertaining event rap up” I learned two valuable lessons
1. There is a lot to be said in keeping the house only 10 minutes away from company
2. Don’t let the dishes determine the meal or you’ll be eating the same thing every night or have to buy more dishes
After our dinner adventure Matthew and I brushed our teeth (video on the link) and hopped into bed. We kissed each other goodnight and rolled into our respective positions (me on the edge of the bed holding on for dear life and Matthew continuing to edge me off the bed) as I lay there dreaming of egg rolls and dim sum the thought hit me, if we are what we eat then Matthew and I are pretty weird concoctions but I must say, “life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
As a side note, I’ve discovered why it’s taken me so long to blog. A while ago I invited everyone to see my Facebook page which I update several times a week. So, no more saying that Jessica and Matthew don’t update their page! We have all our pictures and videos there and since we have had extreme technical difficulties because our files are to big we have put them on facebook and will include the ones on the blog that they will allow. But, being true to my word, we will continue to blog every Sunday come St. George heat or high water!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"I'm one stomach flu away from my goal weight"

Attention: This blog is not for the faint of heart

Par Mindy's request, I am blogging every Sunday as part of my reverent activities. And to emphasis how committed I am I am blogging even in my weakened condition!
On Thursday night from about 10 till 4 am I had the opportunity to study ever detail of our bathroom as I was hit with a small bout of diarrhea. Feeling much better on Friday but not wishing to share the fun with others I chose to stay in my room for the day and recoup.
On Saturday I woke up in my usual cheerful manner, called out the window to my animal friends to have them join me in a happy little working song as we did our Saturday cleaning. As I was merrily skipping about the house singing and dusting, it hit me! I thought perhaps I just need something to eat since it was now around 11 and I had yet to obtain substance. I quickly discovered that food was not the answer! I returned to my bed in hopes that some rest would help me to recover. As the day progressed I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the pit of despair! Pam immediately came to my aid with all sorts of remedies, eye of newt, dragons scale, and Wet Burch Bark. I was so grateful for her help and promises that I would feel better soon.
After having “the run” every 20 minutes or so for 8 hours I was ready for some help. We called doctor dad and nurse Matthew and pled for aid. Dad said that among other things that my duodenum (which connects your stomach to your small intestines) was inflamed and clogged. As the pain worsened I didn’t so much care what the problem was but how to fix it. I was desperate for some relief. Pam and I tried everything we could think of but to no avail. Finally, after over 8 years, the silence was broken. I threw up. (This is such a rare occurrence for any Hunt woman I thought it worth mentioning). At that point I knew I was at a new extreme. I finally felt some relief which was quickly taken from me as I turned on the television to the the food network……big mistake! I found myself sinking lower and lower, so, to keep my mind off of food I came up with a song that I sang over and over again. I think I’ll share it with you

This short little ditty really helped my through some ruff spurts! As I felt life slipping farther and farther away and saw the lights getting dimmer and dimmer in the distance I knew I was in real trouble when I was dad’s face. His jaw slightly dropped and his eyes bulged when he first saw me. When I finally looked in the mirror I understood his reaction! I looked like ‘Kiss’ after being hit with a coal truck. Not a pretty sight. (Matthew just said I looked like the jet puff marshmallow guy with 2 black eyes….he wanted to remind me that I was bloated)

So dad and Matthew offered a blessing and Pam said a prayer but it wasn’t till 2 in the morning that relief came. I was desperate for a reprieve. I tearfully turned to Matthew begging for a release. He offered a prayer and within minutes I was asleep and slept for a whole 2 hours. After that I began to improve and could fall asleep again for short bits as Matthew kept his hand on me and messaged my back. I truly couldn’t have survived without him!

Today is Sunday and I’m doing much better. I can now sit up without getting nauseous and I have managed to keep down several swallows of Gatorade. Because of Matthew’s superior nursing skills I made him a nurses’ hat. Now no one will wonder who the best little helper is!

So, even in my desperately week condition, where I can’t stand up without help and can only flush if I muster all my strength, I have blogged my little heart out. I hope this fulfills my commitment to Mindy for my blogging requirements. Who knows, after this blog she may change her mind!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

...And we're back!

I have entered the BLOGGING WORLD! This is Matthew, by the way. So once we set up this blog we quickly realized that we didn't have the know-how to maintain it. At least that is our excuse for not keeping it current.

The latest news is that we have purchased a car. Yippee!!! We hope it will fair a little better than our last, which was a Hawaii 'island car' that died everytime we approaced a stop sign. So, if gas prices don't sky rocket out of control, even more than they already have, we might be able to leave Dixie and visit ya'll.

Jess is happy and still loves me, can't believe that we're two weeks away from our 2nd anniversary!

Jess says, ALOHA TO YA'LL!!!

Pictures of Dad's 'B-day suit' will be forthcoming! Jessica continues impressing with her patented line of clothing.

Finally, we would like to thank our beloved and loyal fans who stuck with us through these months of bloglessness. To ya'll and the rest in that big wide world....we're back!