Monday, July 28, 2008

Crazy fun weekend

What a fun, crazy, busy, fun weekend I am getting home from today! My niece got married this weekend. I had insurance inspections to do in Boise, so we decided it was a great idea to combine the two! I actually started on Thursday, by dragging my mom with me up to Jackson Hole to do an inspection. We made the mistake of going through Driggs to get to Jackson. Let me first say, we do not go to Jackson very often & did not realize that this would take us over a huge mountain with a very steep pass! It was a little bit scary, but this view sooooo made it worth while!

And then on Friday morning, we left for Boise. Most of Friday was work, as I had inspections to do. I was in the McCall area for the afternoon & it is so pretty up there! I had forgotten that there is a huge lake in McCall. Of course, I had to whip out the camera & take pictures of everything! I don't go up there very often & wanted to be able to remember how pretty it is.

So, once we realized that we were going to be there three nights, as we arrived on Friday & came home today, we got to looking at prices. We realized that we were going to pay almost $200 for a hotel room & we could camp at a very nice campground in Fruitland for $60. For the whole weekend. That was a no brainer for us! We like to camp & so we decided to camp. It is a beautiful park like campground with lots of trees & grass. There was tons of room for Josh to play soccer, which he wouldn't have had at the hotel. As long as Josh can play soccer, he is happy. Not only that, but right across from where we were camped, they had a great clubhouse with a living room area, a kitchen, and a pool table. So I'm not sure how close we really were to actual camping. Yeah, we slept in a tent, but we have a huge tent, we all had mattresses, we had cable TV, full electricity, and a full kitchen to cook in. It was my idea of camping! They also had this sweet cat that lives at the campground. He was super sweet & apparently took a real liking to us, as he was with us all weekend! I seriously thought about sneaking him into the car & bringing him home with us.

And then, we had the main event! My niece Valerie is such a sweet girl. She's always been super quiet & never really seemed to know where she fit in to things. She met this wonderful young man, Kurt, who has been absolutely wonderful for her. I saw a totally different young lady this weekend. She was outgoing, confident, and so sure of herself. A big part of that change is due to the influence that Kurt has had on her. I am so pleased with her choice in a partner & can't wait to go back to Boise a year from now for their temple sealing!!!

The beautiful couple during the ceremony.

Most of the family during pictures

With Val's dad & stepmom

Getting ready to cut the cake

One of Kurt's cute little nephews on the tire swing that they had in the yard of the B&B where the wedding was held. These darling little boys loved swinging on it & picked Josh as their favorite pusher. I think he spent over an hour pushing them!

This is how Josh travels...either watching movies on the laptop or sleeping. No wonder he enjoys going on trips so much!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Great Annual Melaleuca Picnic!

Yes, it is that time of year again. We had our company picnic today. I love this picnic each year. It's a terrific thing that my company does for us. This year, for the first time, we had the picnic at Riverbend Ranch, the cattle ranch that the owner of our company owns. It was actually really cool to be there. It was way bigger than the place where we've had it in the past, so there was tons more room to spread out.

My company has about 2000 employees. Each year, we have a terrific summer family picnic completely funded by the company. They give everyone who attends Melaleuca bracelets, little cowboy hats for the kids, balloons, and sometimes t-shirts. There is a huge meal of potato salad, fruit salad, baked beans, BBQ sandwiches, chips, and ice cream. And the best part is that they roast about 20 big pigs & the management team carves them up for the employees. They bring in ferris wheel type rides, and the big blow up toys like slides, obstacle courses, those boxing things, climbing walls, etc. There's a water zone with pools for the kids, slip 'n slides, etc. They have some ponies there for pony rides for the kids. We have softball and volleyball tournaments. And then there are the prizes. Frank does a prize drawing at the picnic. Now, we are not talking about a couple of small items. I'll put photos of the prizes. We are talking basketball hoops, patio sets, family size tents, electric griddles, laptops, i-Pods, docking stations, PlayStations, Guitar Hero, power tools, propane grills, Wiies, airline tickets, ect. And then there are two grand prizes...a trip for 4 to DisneyLand, and a Caribbean cruise for 2. Unfortunately, I did not go home with any prizes, but it was still really fun to watch the prize drawing & see some of my friends win!

It was a beautiful day, with a great breeze and was so much fun! As usual, we returned home tired & worn out, but so glad we went!!
These are those cute little hats they give out!! Its adorable to see all these little kids running around with their straw cowboy hats!

These are the prizes...awesome, huh???

This is the food tent. You should see how fast those lines form when the lunch bell rings!!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the unlimited snacks. Under this tent, there are unlimited sno-cones, popcorn, cotton candy, bottled water, and sodas & lemonades.

Some of my favorite people...
Michelle--not pleased that I surprised her with the photo.
Derik, serving his time in the dunk tank
In a move that I thought was really cool, Frank spent time this year coming around to different groups & just visiting. It was nice to spend a couple of relaxed minutes just visiting with him.
Oh yeah, and another really cool thing this year? For the first time ever, we had helicopter rides! Frank owns a helicopter, so we had contests throughout the company & those who qualified got to enter a drawing for a helicopter ride. I didn't win the drawing, but it was fun to talk to my friends who did. They said it was way fun & they really enjoyed it. Here's hoping my luck is better next year!
And, as always, Josh slept the whole way home, exhausted from a day of fun at the picnic(in the background behind his head, you can see the two beautiful lilies we bought at the Farmer's Market this AM before going to the picnic. I can't wait to get them planted, they're gorgeous!!!)

I wrap up my day today again thanking my blessings for being able to work for a company like Melaleuca. I get to go to a job each day for a company that I am proud to work for. I am grateful for the good people I work for and with & am thankful for all that Melaleuca has brought into my life!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane....

I saw this on someone else's blog & thought it looked fun! I hope you will play along.

Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.

It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Favorite Receipe Tag

Ok, I was tagged by Jenni on this. It took me a little bit of time to get up the gumption to want to cook something, but I decided to cook a nice breakfast for the family this morning.

German Fruit Pancake with Mixed Berry Syrup

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tbs butter

1 lb bag frozen mixed berries
1/3 cup maple syrup
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder until blended. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until homogenous. Let stand at least 10 minutes.

Heat an 8 or 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven with the butter.

Pour the batter into the cast iron pan and bake until the pancake is golden brown, puffed up and set in the center, about 15 minutes.

To mke the mixed berry syrup: Heat the berries in a small saucepan with the maple syrup until mixture thickens, but you can still see the berries. Serve warm over a wedge of pancake, dusted with powder sugar.

As a side note, the receipe doesn't call for it, but we really like to put a dollop of french vanila flavored whipped cream on the top! We just didn't have any this AM. This is such a delish breakfast & it's actually super easy to make!

This is what it looks like fresh out of the oven.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cute Chicks

So, remember I mentioned a couple of months ago that we were going to get chickens. Well, we have them! We got them a couple of weeks ago. They were so cute & so tiny! Once I saw them, I thought to myself, well heck, why didn't I want to get them? They're awfully cute! Over the coure of the last two weeks, as they've grown, I've remembered why I didn't want them! They're only two weeks old & they're already getting ugly. But we are two weeks closer to having our own fresh eggs, so that is a bonus!

Aren't they cute? These photos are at about 5 days old.

And these photos are today. They will be two weeks old tomorrow. Not so cute anymore, huh? I don't have as many photos because the flash was kind of freaking them out.