This is a reminder for when we return to the beautiful land of Ireland
-Eat in Ennis at YOLO bar and grill
-Eat at Quinlans Fish Fry in Killarny
-Visit the cliffs of Moher
-Visit the Muckross House and stay all day
-Kiss the Blarney stone
-Visit Powerhouse Court Gardens
-Bring lots of scarves and sufficient raincoats
-Eat at Munstur Bar in Waterford
-Vist Waterford Crystal and take their techno tour
-Go around the round-abouts until you are certain what street you are supposed to be on
-Go to Doolin, take the Ferry, do sit on top in hopes to help your seasickness
-Stay in Adare, in the villas
-Know your left and right, traveling will be much easier
-Eat ice cream in Kenmar
-Eat everything with cream
-If you go to Dingle, eat the ice cream made from the endangered Derry cows
-Eat Butlers chocolate
-Wear chacos/tevas, never shoes
-Bring dice and card games to play while being trapped in the car
-Drive a mini bus
-Visit New York City for 9 hours before flying to Ireland
-Bike in Ireland, you will be taking your own life in your hand, there is not enough room on the road for you and a mini bus
-Buy water resistant, only waterproof, you will be soaked and grumpy
-Let Jessica drive, hirer someone
-Go anywhere near Avoca, not worth it
-Get trapped in the car for hours
-Eat lasagna with french fries
-Wait to buy a souvenir, buy something as soon as you see it, it will be too late when you go back for it
Obviously, eating is a very important part of our vacationing. :)
We had a great time! The locals thought we were nuts for coming to Ireland since we don't drink, but who needs alcohol when we're so fun! We can't wait to go back, well, that's if we can ever afford it again. :)
We LOVE dressing up! So we started this fall off with going to witches night out at Gardner Village. We don't really care for the crowds, which seem to get worse every year, but we can't pass up the opportunity to pull out our dress up box. Crystal also had some great costumes for Red Ribbon Week. Maybe if we pressure her, she'll post them. ;)
Yep, my sisters look pretty amazing!
Next, we went to our next favorite Fall activity, Cornbelly's! Made for kids, but I think we enjoy it more. Sarah unfortunately, couldn't come with us. She was doing something responsible, like visiting teaching, or something.
For those of you who haven't noticed yet. Our family is OBSESSED with Celtic Thunder. Well, everyone except Matthew. Our parents got us hooked and we now watch their DVD's on repeat while crafting, grading papers, cleaning the house....well, really, with whatever we are doing at the moment, I happen to be listening to them right now as I blog. WE LOVE THEM! So, we joined the 90 year old crowd (they're featured on PBS) and went to see them. We LOVED them! We sang along, screamed for our favorites (all of it) and were quite possibly the entertainment for the people sitting around us. We had a great time and wished the rest of our family could be there.
Okay. Even I am tired of looking at our blog. So, for those of you still checking for updates, let me fill you in on what we have been doing this summer.
Jeni started her summer off by running the Dirty Dash at Soldier Hollow. As the name implies, it is a fairly muddy course. Jeni got a group of co-workers together and they ran as the "Dirty Dukes and Daisies." Jeni and her friend Alex weren't really concerned about getting their best time in this 5K. They were more concerned about keeping their faces out of the mud. Jeni was successful. She actually stayed relatively clean compared to many of the runners.
Also in the beginning of June, Jeni and Crystal took a short trip to Las Vegas. They did all of their favorite things: watching the Bellagio fountains, going to the Coke and M&M factories, and shopping, lots of shopping. What they forgot to do was take pictures.
Mid-June, Crystal had to go back to work, so Jeni kept herself busy hiking--when it wasn't raining. She has been on several hikes with Jessica and a few friends. However, she doesn't want me to post a lot of pictures, so you will have to find them on Facebook.
At the end of June, I took a work trip to New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Library Association. This really is one of my favorite conferences, although not one of my favorite venues. This is really not a city I would choose to go back to visit. However, I did have a good time because several of my friends were also there. One evening we took a haunted tour of the French Quarter, which was really quite entertaining. The creepiest ghost story told that night was about the hotel in which my friends were staying. That made the rest of their stay a little less comfortable, but makes for a great story. I did a lot of walking and tried some new food. On Sunday, a friend and I drove out to the Garden District for church. That really was my favorite part of the trip. The neighborhoods were so much cleaner and it just felt good to be in a dedicated meetinghouse.
Crystal celebrated her birthday at school. She really doesn't like to work on her birthday. Since that has happened for the last few years, she has a new birthday tradition. Jeni brings cake to school and the whole class celebrates.
Jessica got a job at BYU-Idaho. YEAH! So, over the Independence Day weekend, Crystal, Jeni, Matthew, and Alli moved her into her new home in Rexburg. They worked really hard scrubbing down walls and floors and unpacking all of Jessica's boxes. Hopefully, when she gets her internet connection up, Jessica will tell you a little more about what she is doing now. What I can tell you, is that she likes her job, likes the people she works with, and is very happy to have employment.
I wasn't able to go on the moving trip because I was still working on my talk. I had to speak at the LDS Business College devotional on July 5th. I had known about it for almost two months and had been worrying about just as long. Although I had been working on the talk for about three weeks, I just couldn't get it to all come together--and fill up 40 minutes--until Monday night. I really don't like public speaking and I am very glad that it is over! Crystal, Jeni, and Grandma Sorenson came to listen and give me moral support. We had a nice lunch afterwards, which made the day much more enjoyable.
Crystal, Jeni, and I went to see Harry Potter 7, pt. 2 last Thursday. We have had our tickets to a private showing for months and months. Opening nights have always been fun, but we really don't miss sitting in line for three hours.
Crystal has had her very short summer break and has to head back to work next week. But, while she has been home, she and Jeni have been spending lots of time at the pool. They are both very tan.
We hope to fill the summer up with a few more fun things before it is gone.
I have had a wonderful seventeen months of a slower, more relaxed, peaceful life. However, much of that is going to change on Monday. I start my new job as the Director of Library Resources at the LDS Business College. I am pretty excited . . . and a little nervous. It has been a while since I have had to get up early, but a steady paycheck will make up for that inconvenience.
I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement during the last year. My parents and siblings have been wonderful and I really appreciate everyone that sent me job leads.
For Christmas, all of us girls got a craft. A couple of days after Christmas, all of us girls hibernated upstairs, listened to Celtic Thunder, and crafted the day away. It was a little challenging for Jessica since she only had her thumbs and 1 finger, but she did manage to paint the letters in her craft. Here are the finished products.
So mom was feeling really ambitious this year and decided it would be a great idea to make gingerbread houses - from scratch. Not just one, but 3. We divided up into three teams: Matthew and Alli, Mom and Dad and Jessica, and then Sarah, Jeni, and me. It seemed even and fair until we got going. Matthew is a pro landscaper, Mom and Dad are really talented and have experience making these things, but Sarah got stuck with me and Jeni - two elementary teachers. Yikes.
It took 1/2 the day to make the dough, cut out the houses, including the windows and doors, and then bake them. Luckily we have two ovens in Idaho or I think it would have taken us 2 days. The frosting was a mess. We made one kind and decided it wouldn't work, so we had to make another kind. We glued the houses together and filled the windows with sugar glaze. That was really messy and hard. Not sure we're going to do that again. But the windows sparkled when the sun shone through them. We had a few problems putting the houses together - there were some cracked walls and roofs, but it gave the houses character.
Dad was quite creative and cut up a box to keep their roof in one piece.
We were quite impressed with our efforts. And it entertained us for hours.
We were very proud of the duck pond at our house. Jeni is a genius. I personally liked the bench overlooking the pond.
Mom, Dad, and Jessica made a cute little house. I was surprised by how much Dad enjoyed this activity.
We all loved the woodpile, bench, chimney, and the pretty windows.
After all was said and done, Matthew and Alli were the winners of creating gingerbread houses. But I don't know what we were expecting. Matthew immediately started planning the landscaping around the house. He started with the pavers on the back porch and sidewalk. Then he added a water feature and other things.
I wish I had a better picture of the water feature. You can barely see it on the left side of the picture.
It was so much fun, we'll probably do it again next year. With a few changes of course.
I keep hoping that one day I am going to look at our blog and it will have magically updated itself. Is that lazy?
So here are a few of our Christmas miracles.
1. The night of our family Christmas party, Jessica steamed burned her fingers while she was trying to pick up a roasting oven with Sarah. It was pretty scary. My mom took her to insta-care where they put lots of stuff on them and bandaged them up really good. The miracle is that she didn't burn her thumbs and one finger. The finger that didn't burn had a band-aid on it because a couple of weeks earlier, she cut it really bad with a knife. It was also a miracle that the burns were only 2nd degree burns and not third. Thank goodness! And we were all so blessed that she could go to the bathroom by herself!
Here she is showing off her awesome bandages. Her fingers are recovering nicely. She only has 2 (I think) that are still really tender.
2. Sarah spent many hours working on her beautiful handmade ornaments for Christmas. They can be seen in the previous post. We were getting in the truck to head to Provo, when she dropped one on the asphalt and it rolled down the street. The miracle: it didn't shatter! It really is amazing, since those balls tend to break easily.
3. Christmas miracle number 3 - Sarah had 3 job interviews in the last two weeks of December. It was a bit stressful, but it was such good news. And she had another interview set up for January. I'll let her blog about the outcome of all those job interviews.
But our Christmas was wonderful and we had a lot of fun. More posts will follow.