Thursday, January 28, 2010

I went home for Christmas...

Well, we went home... and it WAS AWESOME!!! We loved seeing everyone and hanging out! We miss everyone so much! But we're so glad we got to see everybody! (Well, everybody who lives in Idaho. Two of Hal's brothers (and wives/kids) don't live in Idaho, so we didn't get to see them...)

We showed up in Idaho (we flew from Houston to Idaho Falls) on Monday, the 21st, and were there until the next Tuesday. We got to spend time with both of our families: in Idaho Falls, Victor, Pocatello, Rexburg, and Blackfoot.

While hanging with the Allen family, we went to Pocatello (where Sky and Lacey live with their 2 girls) and had a family dinner with all of us: Dad, Mom, seven kids, 2 spouses, 1 girlfriend, and 3 small children (Sky and Lacey's 2 girls and a little boy Lacey tends during the day). Sadly, I don't have a picture of it... *cry* :( But there were lots of us! And it was super fun!

Sky and Lacey (mostly Lacey, but Sky helped pick fabric and provided encouragement) made Hal and I the most awesome-est blanket EVER for our bed! It's all pretty and WOW and has my favorite colors: hot pink, lime green, and yellow! And it made me want to cry (happy tears) when I saw it. Thanks Lacey!!! You're the bestest! I love it! It's the most gorgeous blanket ever! :)I copied this picture from Lacey's blog. She took this of us when we opened it. (I'm the girl in the middle of the couch... just in case you didn't know! Hal's sitting on my left. Seated on my other side is my brother Zac, he's 10. Standing on the right side of the picture is Ben, he's 18, and my 2 year old niece.)
It is a huge blanket! We have a California King size bed, and it totally drowns it! (That's how blankets should be, but still!) Anyways, pictures doesn't do the quilt justice... it's way prettier in person! And for some reason we can't get the cameras to show what I think looks like the real red, hot pink, orange, and lime green in the same shot! It's frustrating! But such is life! At least I can take pictures of it! :)

At the Allen house, in Victor, we did lots of stuffs! First off we got to talk and talk and talk. That's the best part about going home to see family: just talking! But we also played games: Kings in the Corner, Phase 10, Five Crowns, and Buzzword... I think that was it, maybe? Who knows! I get all mixed up!
Unfortunately my oldest brothers seem to have "stolen" their copies of Risk from my parents house, so we couldn't play Risk with my 'little' brother, Jake (he's 12) - total bummer! It's the only game he really wanted to play!

We also got to go for a snow machine ride up Pole Canyon. (It's a road that's right by my parents house, it runs right up into Targhee National Forest. Hal took lots of pictures. It was gorgeous!
I picked a lovely "flower bouquet" for my mother from the woods. (Shh!!! Don't tell on me! Although, I don't think they'd actually mind, since everything was dead!...) It consisted of frozen weeds. It actually was quite pretty!
Here's me, picking my flowers. Sadly enough, this expression (or one similar) is fairly common in our pictures of me... *sigh*... Apparently I walk around with weird-o looks all day...
One of my flowers... it's pretty, huh?
Because Hal is always behind the camera, we have very few pictures of him. However, we did take this one of him, while up there...

And this next picture...
Anyone know what we're looking at here? Right in the center of the picture... Guesses?
I'll tell you at the end of the post! :)

We also went for a sleigh ride. On this:
My parents, if you don't know, live (and own jointly with my Dad's brother) on a dairy farm. The farm has a sleigh which is pulled by horses, that they use to haul hay to the cattle that winter in the field behind the farm.
Jake, riding on a sled pulled behind the sleigh.
My Dad, and brothers David, Ben, Jake, and Zac "accompanied" us on our cold outing. They worked, I played!
Ben, David, and Zac. Dad is in the background.
That's me! Playing! One of my favorite things to do as a kid, was ride behind the sleigh.

Hal took this from inside the house, after we went back inside and they had to do another run...

We also got to help make a Christmas present for ourselves, from my mom... it's something that apparently she's been wanting to make for the last couple of years, and hasn't gotten to it. Mom had my Dad and brother cut some blocks that were like 4 inches square.
There was some uneven edges, so Dad got out his hacksaw to cut them off... it was kind of funny. I love how my Mom is holding the block so my Dad can saw one edge off. Sounds safe, doesn't it? Then Mom and Mem sanded them smooth with the electric sander (after Mom, Mem, Hal, and I had spent over an hour sanding by hand - and not getting very much sanded, one of my brothers came in and said "why aren't you using the electric sander?" Hmmm... So Mem used that for a while. It was a lot faster!)
After they were all smooth, Hal and I got to paint them!
I actually love painting so this was no hardship for me. Except the stencils. I had my first run-in with stencils. It went awful! Ugh! Stencils!
So, you take your blocks, sand them smooth, paint them red, and then stencil on letters to spell things like
and We made it so that one side said one, and the other side said the other, so you can put it in the window and read one word from the outside and another word from the inside.
Cute, huh? We had fun making them!

My mom had to work on Christmas Day, so they did Christmas presents and stuff on Christmas Eve. It was fun to be there for that! Good times, good times! I love how excited everyone gets, and how happy everyone is! It was hilarious to watch the antics of my family! Zac (he's 10) had David (he's 26) for Christmas this year, and he made David Chex mix. (Well, to be fair Mom helped... a lot...) And then Memorie (she's 22) "helped" Zac make up a treasure hunt for David to find his Chex mix. It was hilarious! David was finding notes, and Zac's trying to help him find the container of Chex mix, but he doesn't actually know where the clues are pointing to, since Mem made up the clues. It was really funny!

After we did the present thing at my parents house, we packed up and headed to Rexburg to Hal's parents house for Christmas with them.
Bradbury family adventures will be its own post.

While we were at the Bradbury house, I took a morning and went down to Pocatello again to see Lacey and the girls. It was super to see them again and spend a few hours with them. I got to see the 1 year old walk! She wasn't walking when we were down there on the 21st, but the next week she was walking all over the place! It was super fun! Boy kids do grow up fast! :)

Anyways, that's half of Christmas vacation! Wow! More on the other half later... after I get it written...
Back to this picture:
What are we looking at here?

It's my parents house! Right in the middle! This was taken when we went up into the forest (Targhee National Forest) while at my parents house.


I am sooo mad!

A few weeks ago, our car started making a noise while we were driving it. It a thudding noise. So, we took it in to get it fixed. They decided that the noise was coming from a bearing. So they replaced the bearing. And once the got the bearing out, they decided they needed to replace the hub. So they did that too. A few days later, we had a car back.

And it still made noise. So, we took it back in. They claim two things: First that they could hear something, but couldn't figure out what it was. (Okay, is it coming from the wheel you just messed around with? Yes? Please fix it!) Second: That even though they couldn't hear anything, they replaced the bearing they'd just replaced again. (Does that even make any sense? If you can't hear the noise we're talking about, why just re-do what you just did? Obviously you suspected something!) So, we got the car back again.

Yesterday, Hal came home from work (it's a fairly long drive, somewhere just over 20 miles, or about 30 minutes) and announced our car now sounds like a podracer. From Star Wars. You know, the ones Anakin drives. They go whub whub whub-whub-whub faster and faster and change pitch...

It was bad. And kind of scary! It sounded and FELT like the wheels were just going to jump off the car! Talk about frightening!
So, I took it in to try to get it fixed today. I took it to a different shop, 'cause obviously the first guys are morons. Side note: I do understand that sometimes you do get a fluky part, but do you have to come up with multiple stories to explain what happened? Just tell me the truth! Either you hear something, or you don't. Either you can fix it, or you just can't and I'll take it somewhere else!
The guy I took it to (who was a very nice man) asked me to explain what's going on, so I started at the beginning. And told him how it was making a noise, we took it in to some place (yes, I told him which place) and they replaced the bearings, then it was making noise again, and they replaced the bearings again "just in case we got a bad one", and now it's making the noise again - worse than last time. So, we went for a little drive and he told me that noise... is a bearing noise. He doesn't think our bearings are installed correctly.
He recommended that I take our car back to the place that did the bearings before, and have them hear the noise. And give them 2 choices: Either they can actually fix it this time, or they give us our money back. While he would love to fix it for us, he doesn't want me to have to pay both places for our bearings to be fixed. (Nice guy, huh?)
So, I did that. The moron guy says "Well, I'll be able to fix it this time, I can actually hear the noise." I was like "did you not hear it the first time? This is the same noise, just maybe a little louder." He's like "nyump." Not sure what that means, but I'll give the moron one more chance. I doubt I'll get my money back without a huge fight, and while I am mad, I don't relish the thought of fighting with these fellows.
However, next week, when it's making this noise again... I may just go a bit nutty on these guys.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Now I want ice cream!

I was just sitting here working on my blog (about Christmas in Idaho) and the ice cream truck drove up my street playing his music. It always makes me want ice cream when he comes by! Yummy! And then there's that song: Ta-da ta-da ta-da ta ta ta da-ta-da-ta ta-da daaaa... it gets stuck in my head!

Monday, January 11, 2010


It's been cold here for like the last week. Really cold! As in 24 degrees outside when Hal went to work this morning at 7 am. This might not seem really cold to some of you, but for Houston? BRRR!!!

So, this morning, as I was scraping Hal's car windows... no, unfortunately for him, I don't usually do this, but I took out the trash this morning, and thought, "today's the day I do something helpful!" So, I scraped the ice off. And it was cold.
Anyways, as I was scraping Hal's car windows, I noticed my neighbor come out of his house with a pail of water, and fling the water onto the side of his car. And it made me think... I bet that works! No scraper needed! Genius!
But... wouldn't the water run down below the seals on the windows, and as cold as it is, freeze again, inside the car door? That seems slightly unsmart! You don't want inside the car door to freeze! Right? Or would it run down? I know when it rains a lot, water will go down in the door, but just a little water? Would that go down? Hmmm...
Dousing your icy windows in water to get the ice off... Good idea? Bad idea? I've been thinking about it all day, and have yet to come up my answer. Anybody?

Hopefully it'll warm up again soon. I really thought I was done with this freezing weather when we got back from Idaho! Brrrr!