Monday, November 19, 2007

ABC's of Thanksgiving

Yesterday in Sacrament the youth speaker extended a challenge to all the congregants. She challenged us to make a list of things we were thankful for from A to Z.

We thought it would be a great idea for our Family Home Evening tonight.

We is a list of what we came up with tonight for our ABC's of Thanksgiving:

A: alphabet, agriculture, anthropology, astronomy, algorithms, aspirations, Atonement, anatomy, air conditioning, airplanes
B: botany, biology, beavers, bed, baptism, bridges, buildings
C: Clarinda, children, Christmas, charisma, chapels, Christ, candles, computers, calendars, creativity, Chicago, capitalism, conservation efforts
D: development, devotion, dads, day, democracy, dreams
E: elephants, energy, electricity, electromagnetic field, epistles, education, e-mail
F: fish, food, flowers, flour, family, fun, fantasies, freezer, Fall, friends, fruit, Family Home Evening
G: greatness, geometry, geology, geography, good grades, gospel, games
H: happiness, home, humility, hats, heaven, habitats, hearts, hygiene, history, holding hands, hugs, help, helicopters, Hamburger Helper
I: individuality, independence, ice cream, islands, intellect
J: Jeff, jam/jelly, jokes, journeys
K: kindness, Killer Bunnies, kites, kisses
L: lakes, light rail, libraries, liberty, life, laughter, light, landscapes
M: music, moms, marriage, municipalities, movies, mathematics, money, modern conveniences, manual manipulation (opposable thumbs), mass transportation, maps, Minneapolis, minimalism
N: nitrogen, night, nutrients, negotiations, New York City
O: outdoors, oven, ordinances, Olympics, old growth forest, oxygen, order
P: prophets, pursuit of happiness, privilege, posterity, pumpkins, public transportation, parachutes, photography, priesthood, Portland, play, processes
Q: quality, queues,
R: revelation, refrigeration, Restoration, reading, rest, reliability, respect, resourcefulness, righteousness, Relief Society, road trips, rainbows
S: Superarmitron, squirrels, silliness, spirituality, Seminary, spontaneity, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, skyscrapers, seasons, sunshine, scripture, sleep, Sundays, shade, scenic views, and of course our Scion XB
T: technology, trains, toys, time, trees, trade, taste, touch, temples, tunnels, TV
U: urban centers, umbrellas, unity, understanding
V: violins, vitality, vision, vacations, vegetables, variables, vitamins
W: water, walks, wellness, willingness, watermelon, wishes, work
X: x-rays, xerography
Y: youth, yogurt, yellow, Yellowstone National Forest,
Z: zoos, zippers, ziggurat, zoology

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Waiting for my real life to begin - Colin Hay

Jeff and I just watched an episode of "Cane". The previews that we had been seeing for it all week had featured this song, and we watched the whole episode just to get to the end when the song was featured in the last few moments.

We love the sound, and the lyrics are beautiful, too. This video is just audio. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another thing we love about our apartment...

Location, location, location!

Last night Jeff and I went for a walk. In about 7 minutes we were at Minnehaha Falls!
I LOVE the falls! The rushing water is so beautiful. It was dark, dark outside (I think it was around 8:00 PM), but still you could sense the power of all that water. I think we'll definitely be finding our way back there. It's fun how close by it is.
Here are a couple of pics. Sorry for the poor quality. We only had Jeff's phone with us. We have the exact same model of phone, but I think mine takes better photos. Go figure!

The other day, we also walked down to the Mississippi River. That was a fun walk, too, but no pics from that. We were too preoccupied doing Latin vocab. Ahh...the life of a student...and a student's wife. :-)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dodsons are on the move...again...

This time we kept our move relatively local. We just moved from Eagan, MN to Minneapolis, MN. That's only about a 15-20 minute drive!

Our new address is:
4540 Snelling Ave #112
Minneapolis MN 55406

We found a lovely studio apartment in a fabulous building right on the Hiawatha Light Rail. You can visit the building's website: Oaks Hiawatha Station.

Our little studio has a decent sized kitchen including a dishwasher plus a washer & dryer in the unit!!

We are back in the ward that we attended when we first got married.

Life is GOOD!!

We are so overwhelmed with excitement about being back on our own in an apartment that we love!

Plus classes are going very well for Jeff--despite all the reading--and Clarinda is really enjoying her job at SC Johnson.

Oh, we will post some pics of our new place once we're all settled in.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Best Birthday EVER!!

I had my 30th birthday last Friday (Aug 10th), and it was so awesome!!

As I was biding my time at Keewaydin, waiting for 2 p.m. to come around (that's time to go home on Fridays, 'cuz of summer hours), I got a much anticipated phone call with good news! I was extended on offer to cover a 6 month maternity leave for the Admin Asst at SC Johnson Target Team in Minneapolis. I had interviewed for the position on the 8th and was very hopeful that they would choose me...and they did! How exciting to have something lined up for at least 6 months. Plus, now I can hope that at the end of my temp assignment, they will love me working there SO much that they will want to hire me. :-) Hey, you gotta have hopes and dreams!

Shortly after receiving this good news, I got a text from my wonderful husband saying that he was awarded over $31,000 in financial aid! Whoo Hoo! And the best part of that is that over $20,000 of that is FREE money (institutional grants). That was such, such great news!

Who could ask for anything better?!

Well, after work, I went and got my hair all chopped off. It turned out really cute! (Even now, days later, when I'm styling it myself). I went to a salon here in Eagan, Ficocello's. My stylist, Erin (I think) was terrific. I wasn't all that specific in what I wanted, and she created something so perfect. I love it!

Here are a few pics of my new haircut, and some of me/us all dressed up for my birthday dinner. I apologize for the quality of these photos. I'm not sure what the deal was, but Jeff took these with the camera on his phone. Our camera phones usually take much better pictures that this (at least mine does), but at least this will give you an idea of how sexy I/we looked for my 30th birthday dinner.

Jeff, my Dad, Marna, and I went downtown (Minneapolis, of course) to our favorite steakhouse. My Dad and Marna had actually never been there before. Morton's Steakhouse is phenomenal! We love the ambiance (very classy), and their steaks are to die for! So tender and juicy and melt in your mouth! Jeff and I actually split everything--a NY Strip, a baked potato (I honestly don't think that anyone could eat an entire baked potato on their own; they're HUGE), and garlic green beans! Delicious! Oh, and I can't forget the cake! Molten Chocolate Cake with Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream. Divine! It was a perfect ending to a wonderful birthday.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Riverview Theater

Jeff and I thought we'd splurge Saturday night and go out to a movie.

Well, we found this really awesome theater in the Longfellow neighborhood of South Minneapolis.

Here is a blurb from their website:
"Even though we feature state-of-the-art projection and sound systems, our customers enjoy the opportunity to "step back in time" and experience movie-going as it was in the 50s, when neighborhood theaters were in abundance. Some of our customers walk to the theater and enjoy arriving early in order to relax in the spacious lobby on the mod couches and chairs."

We were so impressed with the atmosphere of the theater. It really felt like a step back in time with the decor of the lobby. However, the actual theater (there is only 1 screen) was really impressive!

It was so much fun! I'm sure that we'll make our way to this theater again and again.

Oh, the best part, of course, is the prices! We got 2 movie tickets, a medium soda, and a medium popcorn all for only $9!!

If you've never been to this theater (and live in the Mpls area), you really ought to check it out!

Riverview Theater

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Bakken

Last Friday, Jeff and I checked out the Bakken museum in Minneapolis.

The public libraries in the area have a really cool program! You can check out passes to local museums, zoos, and historic houses. Each Museum Adventure pass that you check out allows free admission for up to 4 people.

I couldn't decide which pass to check out first. I'd wanted to visit the Bakken for quite some time, so I figured it was a good place to start. I really hope that Jeff and I will be able to check out all of the museums!

Anyway, the Bakken was awesome!

It is located right on Lake Calhoun, but that's not really what made it awesome. The museum is all about electricity. I learned a lot of things. It was a very interactive museum, too. If you've never visited this one, I'd highly suggest it. It's especially good for kids.

Well...except for the Frankenstein presentation. It's a little spooky and could frighten small children. Of course, it's great for the big kids that Jeff and I are. That was easily the best part of the museum!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Downtown Mpls

On July 9th, I began working a temp position downtown Minneapolis. We love downtown Minneapolis!! Jeff promised to send some pics of the old Federal Reserve Bank to his Art professor from PCC because they had studied that building in her class. So, after work, I walked down to Peavey Plaza to enjoy the water fountain. Jeff picked me up there and we drove down to where the old bank is and the new library.

Here are a few pics that I took with my camera phone while we walking around.

The Fourth of July

This is one holiday that always seems to be chock full of fun things to do.

This year, Jeff and I went to 4 picnics.

Picnic #1--The Christianson's
We stopped at the Christianson's for a little while. It was fun to catch up with John and Geri a little, and of course, chat with Lindsay and Dave. I also ran into Jessica Abrahamson (not sure what her married name is) who I went to seminary with many, many years ago. We weren't ever in the same ward, but our two wards did have early morning seminary together. I think her dad was even our teacher. She didn't really remember me though. :-( The food was good, and after a short while, we head out to...

Picnic #2--Uncle Rodney's
Every 4th of July, my Uncle Rodney invites everyone out to his house on Lake Minnetonka in Deephaven. Rodney usually takes a few boat trips out with the kids and whoever else might like to join them. Unfortunately, there isn't too much intermingling, but it's still fun for a once-a-year type of get-together. After some brief socializing, we headed out to...

Picnic #3--The Parsons'
McKenzie's birthday happens to be on the 4th, and she turned 30 this year, so we didn't want to miss out on this party. There was tons of good fun, and we were hungry again by this time. :-) Plus we got to visit with some friends from our old ward who we hadn't seen for nearly two years. It was fun to get reacquainted with a few of them. It was funny how one sister looked exactly the same as she didn't two years ago--VERY pregnant!!

Picnic #4--Back Home
Not really much of a picnic because no one was hungry from the day of gorging; it was more of a gathering place for fireworks. My family has scoped out a great viewing point for the Eagan fireworks. It's about a 1/2 mile walk, but you really can't ask for a better show! Corey, Lina, Trevor and Jeff stayed behind, but everyone else got to experience these fireworks up close and personal. I took a LOT of pics with my camera phone--some even turned out quite well.

It was a long, but very enjoyable, day!! Hope everyone enjoyed their 4th as well!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Selena's 11th Birthday

This is a little slow in coming, but here is a short blog on my niece's birthday.

Little Selena is growing up so fast. She just turned 11 on June 27. As per usual, we celebrated the following Sunday at Dad's house.

Enjoy the short slideshow!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Days Four & Five of our Eastward Trek--June 18th & 19th

The mornings on our trip never seemed to start as early as we would've liked. We had intended on leaving Molly's house around 8 a.m. on the 18th, but we didn't actually make it out of the house until around 9:30 a.m.

We drove the 4 hours to Mt. Rushmore. Here are a couple of pics.

Mt Rushmore

Honestly, Mt Rushmore was a bit of a disappointment. It was much smaller than Jeff had anticipated. For me, there just wasn't a lot to do around there. Plus I think we were just so ready to be finished with our trip, that we just weren't all that excited for one more thing to stop and explore.

We didn't stop at Wall Drug in Wall, SD.

We did have a very relaxing camping experience at the KOA in Kennebec, SD.

KOA Kennebec, SD

Jeff built a fire; we roasted marshmallows. We slept in the back of our Scion.

Jeff had a heck of a time sleeping in the car, because every time he'd fall sleep, I'd have him roll over. It was quite a sleepless night for him, made even more frustrating as he watched his wife enjoy a deep slumber.

The next morning, Jeff awoke at 6:30 a.m. and built a fire. I continued to sleep until around 8:30.

In the morning, we played a round of their free mini golf. Take a look at our slide show for a couple of pics of their very elaborate course. :-) We also played several games of table tennis.

Then it was soon time to pack up and head out.

We didn't stop at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.

About 60 miles East of Albert Lea, we thought we were being attacked by a crop duster. Seriously, we thought a plane was right over us, but we couldn't see anything! After a little bit of us twisting and turning our heads to look out the window to see what was the matter, Jeff thought it might be something with the car. When we pulled over, he revved the engine, and we sighed a big sigh of relief that it didn't sound like engine failure. As soon as we got out of the car, I noticed the flat tire!

We just wanted to be home!

Now we had to change to the spare, and it would be that much longer before we would arrive in Eagan.

Once that headache was all cleared, we were back on the road (at a slightly slower pace than we would've liked). We finally arrived at my parents house around 7:20 p.m.

Whew!! We made it!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day Three of our Eastward Trek--June 17th

Sunday morning, we needed to check out of our Kamping Kabin by 11 a.m. After enjoying a bit of a lazy morning--I blogged while Jeff slept--we finally got really moving around 9:30. We checked out with 10 whole minutes to spare!! :-)

Our next destination was Casper, WY. A good friend of mine from Cottey lives there. I had made plans with Molly for Jeff and I to arrive around 3:30 or 4, and it was only 2 hours from our campsite, so we had some time to spare.

We visited the old WY state penitentiary. We took a self-guided tour, which we were not supposed to do. Their website said, "Free admission, tours $6.00." We interpreted that to mean that you were free to walk around on your own, but if you wanted a docent, you needed to pay the price.

So, we walked around on our own. It was creepy!!

Once we got to the kitchen, we met up with the tour, and were told that we weren't supposed to be back there without a tour guide. Oops! We had gone through the whole place anyway, so we were ready to be done.

Click on the link below to view our pics from the Old Pen.
Old Pen

We were also surprised to find that Martin's Cove was directly in our path to Casper, WY. In case you don't know what Martin's Cove is, it is an LDS historical site. During the migration West, there were two handcart companies that were hit by an early snowstorm--the Willie and Martin handcart companies. Martin's handcart company took shelter in a cove near Devil's Gate, and now you can visit this site. On days other than Sunday, you can even push a handcart on a 5-mile trek. Our visit was on a Sunday, so we were unable to push a handcart, which is probably a good thing, because I'm not sure that we would've made it.

We barely made the 1-mile walk to Devil's Gate and back.

Martin's Cove/Devil's Gate

This historical site is also commemorating the Sun Ranch. At one time, it was over 1 million acres in size. That's huge!! This area also marks where the Mormon, Oregon, California, and Pony Express trails all crossed. I didn't realize that they all took basically the same route.

Walking/driving around this area really made me realize how difficult there journey was. I know that I probably couldn't do it today. Of course, we've been spoiled with modern technology. It also made me realize how beautiful their journey was. Even being stuck in a snowstorm with loved ones dying around you, I'll bet many of the pioneers still revelled in God's marvels and the beauty that they were beholding. There is only so much you can take in when driving 80 mph done the road. Imagine the beauty you experience when walking alongside the mountains.

We also got very philosophical in our little trek to Devil's Gate. We got to thinking about all the beauty that God created in the Earth. Artists throughout time have tried and tried to duplicate, but no work of art can compare to what our Heavenly Father created for us to enjoy.

It was a nice place to spend our Sunday.

We even ran into a couple missionary (Elder & Sister Mellor) that had served a previous mission in Minnesota. I believe they served in Willmar, and I grew up in Alexandria, so we knew some of the same places. It was fun to chat with them for a bit, and we left the Visitor's Center grateful to be members of the church where the world suddenly seems much smaller.

By this time, we were actually running late. We were still about an hour or so from Molly's house. She had specifically given me her phone number, so I could call if we were running late, early, etc. Unfortunately, we had no cell phone signal in all of WY. :-( I think we finally arrived around 4:30.

Molly & Edis have the most beautifully, decorated home! We fell in love with it as soon as we entered. I wish we would've taken some photos, unfortunately, our camera didn't come out once during our short visit. I didn't even get any pics with her and I, but that doesn't mean we didn't fully enjoy our visit with them. I had forgotten what a great storyteller Molly was--and so funny! I think that the four of us pretty much laughed non-stop from the time we got there until bedtime.

We wish we could have stayed longer, but by this time, we were really starting to be ready for our road trip to end, and we knew we still had quite a bit of driving ahead of us.

Here is one last album of Day 3. These are just some pics of the beautiful WY countryside. Some of these were taken before Martin's Cove and some were taken after. The ones before were all taken from the window of the car as we drove along. We actually pulled over for the ones after Martin's Cove. Before this road trip, I never really realized just how beautiful WY was!!

WY Countryside

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Day Two of our Eastward Trek--June 16th

The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn, but actually crawled out of bed around 7:30. Between breaking down camp and our long, luxurious, hot showers, we were back on the road by 9:30 a.m.

We were headed for Salt Lake City. I had never been to Salt Lake before (or Utah for that matter), so it was one stop that we definitely wanted to make.

We had intended on doing a temple session, but after our late start, we decided it would be too stressful to try to cram it in. We just walked around Temple Square.

It was SO hot! I don't care what anyone says about dry heat vs humid heat...95 IS STILL HOT!!! Even with 15 SPF sunscreen, I got a little pink (and a little red around the neckline of my shirt because, oops, I forgot to apply it there).

It was so bright and sunny out, that our pictures didn't turn out as nice as we would have liked. :-(

You can't really tell, but Jeff is sitting next to a cascading fountain in this pic of the SL Temple.

The Salt Lake City Temple
There was this really cool bench under this really cool tree. The pic isn't real clear, but the bench is made to look like tangled tree branches.I really liked how these two pics turned out of us on the bench under the tree.

After walking around a bit, we met up with Stephanie and Dave Allen for some lunch. We had some very yummy burgers from Crown Burgers near Temple Square. We decided to walk the 3 blocks, without realizing just how long SLC blocks were in that area. It was a very hot, uncomfortable walk, but the food definitely hit the spot.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to change my wristwatch to Mountain time, and we didn't realize it until Jeff consulted his phone. I thought it was only 2:15, but in reality it was 3:15. We still had 4 more hours of driving to get to our campsite.

But we couldn't stop in SLC without seeing the Christus.

After just a few minutes in the Visitor's Center, we hopped back into the car on our way to Wyoming. Our campsite was 4 hours away, and we wanted to get there before dark.

Somewhere in WY, we made our second stop at a Wal-mart. We needed more insect repellent and we thought we'd get some camping towels. We spent way too much time at Wal-mart, but still stopped for gas before getting back on the road.

We finally arrived at the KOA--Rawlins a little after 8 p.m. with some nasty looking clouds lurking above. Since the sky looked stormy, it was already so late, and we wanted to get in a little swim before the pool closed, we decided to upgrade to a Kamping Kabin.

Black Betty (our Scion) in front of KK3

Front view of KK3
Dining area
Porch swing


After our quick swim and after we got all settled into our kabin, we were very grateful that we'd upgraded. The wind was fierce, and I think that there was a bit of rain as well. And, of course, there were NO bugs!! Of course, there didn't seem to be very many bugs outside either. Maybe bugs don't like the WY climate...

Day One of our Eastward trek--June 15th

Originally, we had hoped to leave Trudy's bright and early Friday morning to head to Twin Falls, ID, our first camping site. Unfortunately, after the day we'd just experienced, we were very achy, Jeff's knee sounded terrible, and we were tired. Needless to say, we weren't moving with any sense of urgency.

I think we finally got on the road around 10:30 or 11.

In Pendleton, OR, (about 2 hours into our trip), we made our first stop at Wal-mart. We needed some food, toiletries and insect repellent. With our food bag and cooler stocked, we were back on the road.

I think we finally got to the KOA--Jerome/Twin Falls around 7:30 or 8 p.m.

The first thing we did was fog our campsite. In all of our excitement of beginning a new adventure of camping, I think we forgot how much bugs there would be and how much they would annoy us/creep us out. Jeff used nearly the entire container of this fog repellent. Plus he doused himself in 30% DEET repellent, and the bugs were still crawling all over him--or at least it seemed that way.

After fogging our area, we set up the tent.

Then we donned our swim suits for a soak in the hot tub!! Ooohhhh it was so nice on our aching bodies to rest awhile in the hot, bubbly tub!! Unfortunately, the chlorine levels in there were dangerously high, so our eyes began to burn a bit. We soaked as long as we could.

Then off to a tent...on an air mattress... :-)

Anna Sophia (Black) Zendt

As I mentioned in our Moving Day post, having dinner with Erin, Joe and Anna was, by far, the best part of our day!!

Here are a couple of pics of our dinner with the Zendt's.

Mommy, Daddy, and Anna

Time to say Good-Night to Anna

Anna and me (I loved how she was looking up at me in this one...)

Me and my good friend, Erin Black

Moving Day--June 14th

This was probably the worst moving day Jeff and I had ever experienced--since we've been married and including when we were single. Fate was definitely working against us, as it seemed that everything that could go wrong, did.

It all started with the credit card machine not working properly at the truck rental place. Not as many people showed up to help as we thought would be coming.

Then the biggest road block was that all our stuff was not fitting into the truck!!

We were moving all of Jerilyn's stuff to Trudy's house in Dufur, OR, and all of our stuff was going to a shipping yard in Portland to be loaded into Relocubes(R) to be shipping to MN. What this meant was that we needed to load the truck very specifically. Jerilyn stuff took up a lot more of the 24' truck that we'd envisioned, leaving us with not much room for our own stuff. After much frustration, a LOT of phone calls, and my breaking into tears, we were finally able to finagle all of our stuff into the truck for the drive to Portland. All of our stuff was packed in nice neat totes and boxes, so hopefully that was able to secure our belongings against breakage. We will wait to find out next week when we unload our stuff.

About 12 or so miles into our trip up to Portland, a terrible annoying alarm started going off in the moving truck. I wasn't able to experience this, so I don't know exactly the words to describe it. Basically the alarm was telling Jeff that the brakes were bad. Luckily they seemed to be working fine--unless you're looking at it from my perspective. I was following him, and his brake lights were not working. Let's just say it is quite nerve-wracking to follow a huge truck and not know when he is braking--especially for me with my poor distance judgment.

Finally we arrived at the shipping yard, transferred out stuff to the cubes, only to find ourselves in the thickest of rush hour traffic--1 1/2 to 2 hours behind schedule.

We arrived in Dufur without too many further incidents. Well, there was the gas station...but I'm not going to go into that...

Of course, all of this didn't seem so bad once we got to the restaurant to have dinner with Erin, Joe, and little Anna.

Anna is honestly one of the cutest little babies I've seen in a long time. She is about 3 months old now, and even though we kept her up way past her bedtime, she was still a sleepy cheerful. I even got to hold her for a bit, which was very fun for me. :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 a TENT...!?!

Anyone who knows us will read this with some amount of disbelief.

Yesterday morning, our plans to stay with a couple of old friends in Salt Lake City fell through. As I have never been to Utah before, we really wanted to keep this location on our itinerary. At first we were at a lost as to what to do. We didn't know anyone else in the SLC area that we felt comfortable asking to stay with and we knew that staying at hotels would be too expensive.

On our drive home, as Jeff processed the information, it occurred to him that it might be kind of fun to buy a tent and camp along the way (with our queen size air mattress). We figured even with the cost of buying a tent, it would probably be cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Now we will even be able to break up the long trip from Mt Rushmore to Eagan--our last leg.

We checked out the KOA website ( and are now even more excited to begin our road trip on Friday.

Thursday is moving day.

Tomorrow is last minute packing day.

Oh, and one of the great perks of staying at a KOA is that most of them have free wireless internet. We'll be traveling with our laptop, so hopefully we'll be able to keep our blog updated as we progress along our road trip. :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On the move...again...

Well, Jeff and I have been out here in Oregon for going 11 months. For those of you who know us, it sounds about time for us to move. We've been married for just under 2 1/2 years, and this will be our 3rd 1000+ miles move.

First we moved from Minneapolis to Brooklyn. Then we moved from Brooklyn to Oregon. Now we are heading back to the great state of Minnesota!!

We'll be living in Eagan for this first few months at least, and then we'll see where that leads us.

We're really looking forward to re-connecting with some old friends!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Man...has it really been 4 months!!

I guess Jeff and I have just settled into the monotony of school/work, eat, sleep... :-(

Nathan got to come and visit us this past weekend. It was kind of a last minute deal, but as always, it was fun to have him with us.

Jeff picked him up in Salem Friday afternoon, and to kill time before driving to Tualatin to pick me up from work, they went and checked out some electric cars. This bit Jeff with a real hankering to buy an electric car. Don't worry...we didn't splurge that much! :-) However, it might be a real possibility in the (not-so-distant) future.

Saturday afternoon, we went to the Portland Saturday Market. There were a lot of really cool things there. It really made me wish we had more $$ to buy art, jewelry, crafts, clothing, etc from these local artisans. Maybe someday...

The highlight of my weekend (and this is no joke) was after we returned from the Saturday Market. Nathan got to spend some quality time with grandma, and Jeff and I did yard work. Yep, you read that correctly! I mowed the lawn--not once, but twice. Yeah, it was that long. While I was mowing, Jeff was weed wacking. It was actually a lot of fun. My back and feet are a little sore today, but the yard does look much nicer. Both our mower and weed wacker are electric. It was pretty funny at times when we both had cords strung out in the yard where the other needed to be. I'd never used an electric mower before that was pulled into the house while you used it. It felt a little like vacuuming. :-)

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I hope to get up some soon...

Monday, January 01, 2007

San Francisco Day 2 (and 3)

We really wanted to go to church while we were in San Francisco, so we looked up the closest meetinghouse to our hotel and put in a call to the bishop of that ward. We wanted to know if they were having any schedule changes due to it being Christmas Eve and all.

We never received a call back, so we just went at the regularly scheduled time. Unfortunately, I guess we ought to have called the bishop of the other ward as well, because they combined wards for Christmas Eve. We missed Sacrament meeting, but at least were able to stay for Sunday school and Relief Society/Priesthood.

We really fell in love with these combined wards. Most of the ward was younger adults (30s & 40s), so we felt right at home. Plus their meeting schedule ran like clockwork--each ending on time and beginning on time. It was very refreshing.

When we move to San Fran in a few years, we hope to be able to attend one of these two wards.

Check out the architecture of the church building!! It's unlike any LDS chapel that I've ever seen. Very Gothic.

After relaxing for a few hours after church, we hopped on a bus to the Golden Gate bridge. It was pretty cold and windy out there by the bay/ocean, but it was fun to see the bridge up close at night. We walked to the halfway mark, made some phone calls, and then turned around. It's kind of like walking the whole length, right?!

Here are some pics from our venture out to the GG bridge:

Monday morning, after checking out of our hotel, we decided to stop at UC-Berkeley and walk around campus a little. It's one of Jeff's goals--getting a PhD in Philosophy from UC-Berkeley--so we decided to see what the campus was like. It was so quiet on Christmas morning! It is a really beautiful campus. Huge, compared to the community college that Jeff is currently attending.

The campus is beautiful, but we didn't really take too many pics. Here is a pic of a grove of trees in the middle of campus. There was even a guy doing yoga or tai chi or some other type of meditation. We didn't ask.

That was the close of our trip to San Fran. We spent the rest of Christmas Day driving back to OR. We were grateful for the good weather. Well, it was raining pretty good the last few hours, but at least it wasn't snowing!! Too much snow as caused the Siskiyou pass on I-5 to close, so we were happy we didn't have to experience that.

We spent a good chunk of the drive home learning interesting facts about the states--what's the highest point, the capitol, the largest city, its rank in size and population, and the nickname. Not sure that we remember any of it, but it was a fun way to pass the time (as least for me). It took a little too long for Jeff. Of course, I had the answers and he was doing the guessing. Maybe that made a difference. At any rate, it beat doing another 4 hours of the alphabet game--our game of choice on the trip down.

Hope you enjoyed our pics as much as we enjoyed our visit. I imagine we'll make the drive down there again sometime in the next few years.


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