Monday, October 31, 2011

75th Anniversary

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Church's Welfare Program.  What an incredible organization.  In celebration, our ward took a Saturday afternoon and cleaned up part of a local cemetery that the city has abandoned.  We weren't sure how much we would get done, but finished the section you can see from the street.  When we got there, you could barely see the headstones and many of them were knocked over.

All of us had bright yellow shirts on representing who we were--members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We had people honking as they drove by giving us thumbs up...and one man stopped to express how much he admired what we were doing.  When asked what he could do to help us, someone mentioned that we needed more water.  When he returned, not only did he bring tons of  water bottles, but he brought boxes of juice, cinnamon rolls, boxes of donut holes, and much more! It was cool to see first hand how truly inspiring giving service is.
The missionaries and the men of the ward picked up a lot of knocked over headstones.  There were also little mice running around everywhere and I picked one up with my glove to show Oliver. Kade is pretty embarrassed of this picture of me below but he couldn't help but laugh. He said the bishop showed it in a slideshow in Sunday School at church yesterday, great!

Rachel and I tried to get a normal picture of Michelle, but every time the picture was about to take she would turn her head thinking she was so funny.  Finally I gave up and told them to make a funny face for Michelle's sake.  Guess what she did in the funny face picture....yep.  Smiled nice and big. If she wants to smell my armpits after working in a graveyard pulling weeds, raking, and moving wood piles... she can be my guest :)

We had a great day and made a lot of progress.  It was fun to watch the transition of something that looked so horrible and run down, turn to something presentable. I am grateful that I was able to be apart of it, and am excited for the days when Kade doesn't have to live in the library and can come too!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Time

The air is getting colder around here and it makes it pretty hard to ride a bike to work at 6:40 in the morning but hey, it's free! What am I complaining about?!  I complained about the sticky heat and have chosen to enjoy the cool weather before the snow comes! A couple weekends ago, the Barton's had a little Halloween party at their house.  Kade was busy with an interview and school work, so I hopped in the car with Michelle and headed over.  I give the best costume award to the Tuckers...who came as protestors haha!
Alli dressed her little girl Haddy up as a unicorn. Whoever was holding her throughout the night got a good  poke in the face or two! 
Cute, pregnant Lindsey dressed up her baby--"First Halloween!"
Oliver thought this homemade mask was pretty cool--and kept dancing for our entertainment.  The Bartons made homemade donuts and apple cider.  There were fresh sugar cookies, caramel popcorn, and some chocolate.  We had a great time and it was fun getting to know some people better that I didn't know before.
The leaves are starting to change, and even though the sight isn't half as beautiful as looking at Utah's mountains covered with colored is still exciting. I am hesitating pulling out my boots just yet, knowing that I will over wear them when the real cold starts to hit. 
Kade is still working hard and just finished his midterms--phew! So glad they are over!! He has been so busy, and has worked so hard.
Little Violet rolled over yesterday when I had her on her tummy... I was pretty excited, but also sad that her Mom wasn't home to see it.  Next time I will have to try and get it on camera--it shocked her when she landed on her back and realized she had a whole new scenery to look at.  Being with her makes me so excited for what future kids are up there waiting for Kade and me to bring into this world.  Hopefully they are proud of us and the way we are living our lives so far! Even though I have only been with Violet for a month, she has already started finding out what her hands are and bringing things to her mouth--it has been pretty neat to watch her develop.  
I always need to remember to find joy in the small and simple things in life, instead of looking back and wondering why I didn't take advantage of something while I had it. Fall, student life, living frugally, making new friends, being a nanny, cuddling while watching $1 redboxes on laptops, finding the "perfect" chocolate chip recipe, quarter laundry machines, no kids, bikes and buses, big city, full size bed sharing, meal planning, date nights, job hunting...the small and simple things right now in life will all change when graduation comes in May. Sometimes I wish I could freeze life how it is right now :)

Ward Round-Up

A few weeks ago, the Primary had the privilege of throwing a ward party.  Since there are no more Activities Committees, they assign a different group to organize our ward get-togethers. We moved back to Philly right at the end of the planning, but since I was freshly called in the Primary I knew I needed to help out as much as I could.  Luckily for the Presidency, I didn't have a nanny job yet and was able to show up at 9 am the day of to help set up.  It turned out to be a big success and there was more than enough food to go around. 
The hubby and I were in charge of one of the game rooms.  He had a cowboy hat on and all--handsome!
I grabbed Jenny and got a picture with her--she is our Primary President and one incredible person! She has so much on her plate, and yet she always has a smile on her face. She is also an amazing piano player--truly talented. 

I thought the centerpieces were darling--what a good idea! I have a lot to learn from the women in this ward.  They are amazing!! 
...and a classic picture of us girls. Love hangin' with ShaNae and Michelle.  They took me under their wing and helped me adjust to being here back in the Spring--I owe them a lot for everything they have done and for the fun times we have had.

Monday, October 17, 2011


 The past couple weeks have been crazy busy for Kade.  Between fourteen interviews, two Finance cases, two Real Estate cases, two midterms, two "Super Days", studying, phone conversations, and networking...he has had barely enough time to sleep.  I do not know how he does it.  My role has been to make his life easier in any way, and to keep myself busy.  I picked up extra time nannying, and also hours at the Rehab facility. I have been meal planning and trying new recipes.  Amongst all of the craziness, life has been so good.  He took me down by the river the other night on a "sunset bike ride" so we could sit and talk for a little bit. He gave me a little gift and we took some pictures of the gorgeous sky.  Life may be stressful, but we have managed to enjoy the ride.  I am one proud wife.

We saw a commercial for the new Oreos a few weeks ago and he has told me numerous times that he "NEEDS" them. I kept looking every time I went to the store, but no one has had them in stock.  I finally found them today and brought them home to surprise him.  He deserves every pack of Triple Combination Oreos that he wants.

UPenn Football

Kade has a good friend that goes to the business school with him that got married this past summer.  That was good news for me because that meant a new wife in the city! A few weeks after school started, the husbands introduced us over a date to get ice cream.  We were talking the entire time, and jokingly offered to move to a new table if they wanted to have a conversation with themselves.  To say the least, we hit it off well and have been spending a lot of time together.
A few weeks ago we went grocery shopping and we found these ginormous apples. We thought it was pretty funny so I told her to hold them up so I could take a picture.  She is from a small farm in Washington State...I feel like I have a lot to learn from her.  I have been trying to introduce her to the other Philly girls--we love that our group is getting bigger and bigger.

Well, her husband Jeff plays football for UPenn and a few weeks ago they had a home game.  Jeff put my name on his guest list in case we wanted to come, and then I could get in free since I don't have a student card.  We weren't sure we were going to make it because we had an appointment set up at our house that night with the Taylors, the missionaries, and a friend from the NCC that Lindsey and I worked with in the Spring.  We were trying to get her to come to hear the first discussion, but she never showed up. Bummer. We decided to go to the football game at the last minute, and figured it would probably be Lindsey's only chance before her baby pops out. (4 more days!)  We met Amber there and got to cheer on someone we actually knew which made it a lot more exciting!
During the game we saw two large animals crawling all over the bleachers on the other side of us.  We could not figure out if they were large rats or not, and curiosity about killed us.  Lindsey and I ended up running over there to see.  Turns out they were raccoons, and we got in trouble for chasing them to take a picture.  Woops! I had made a huge batch of pumpkin spice cookies for the meeting at our house, so we got to enjoy them at the game instead. We ended up having a way fun night, and enjoyed watching the game!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Club

I have never been to a book club before, and I always wondered if it was just an excuse for my Mom to get out of the house when we were little because she needed a break from us.  I had my first experience the other night with our ward here in Philly and absolutely loved it.  The book for September was The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.  Amazing.  True Story.  I would have never picked it out browsing at the library on my own, but I am so glad it was chosen for us to read. The best part was the discussion we had to go along with it.  The girls in the Philly ward out here are inspiring...I feel like I have a lot to learn from the people I am surrounded by.
The book tells the story of a boy raised in Africa and his hope for changing his village for the better.  He is incredibly smart and finds a way through creating this windmill from a junk yard.  The book tells about the famine his family goes through, growing crops, and everyday life there.  I was fascinated.  He has his own blog about what he is up to now and how he is helping his village back at home with the resources and connections he now has in the States. 
The best part were the desserts, of course. Kelly did such a good job with the Halloween cupcakes and bread dip in a pumpkin! She also had black licorice in a jar, fruits, and veggies.

I don't need an excuse to get out of the house, but I will definitely be attending these monthly.  There was a lot of mingling and talking amongst ourselves, but when the conversation got was deep. I am sure it is different depending on what you are reading, but the conversation this month was very inspiring.  We feel that we are so lucky here in the States to have all the luxuries that we do...but are we really the lucky ones? We need to simplify. They are perfectly content over there with nothing.
I now realize why my Mom went all those years.  I hope to read a lot of good books and am excited to have another thing to look forward to monthly.
This is Philly's main downtown library.  I walk there a lot while I am nannying because the family lives close by.  It is huge, and I think it is such a neat buidling! 

October's Book Choice:  Frankenstein