Monday, October 29, 2012

The History of The Jack O' Lantern

Have you guys every wondered where Jack O'Lanterns even started from...

Or why we carve pumpkins every year?

Well I was wondering the exact same thing!
& Last week for our Family Night Blake taught me...
So I'm here to share my exciting knowledge [this version coming from the history channel] with you my friends!

Legend of "Stingy Jack"

People have been making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween for centuries.
The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o'-lanterns.

So in honor of finally learning why I have carved pumpkins every year [without fail] with my sweet family and now friends..


We carved Potatoes!
[we are in Idaho after all..]

It was pretty fun/funny because potatoes are completley solid.. unlike pumpkins! So we took a spoon and just scooped everything we could out of there..

And then.. I'm not sure if this is the way it was done before..
But we carved little Jack O'Lanterns in our cute little potatoes..

We were pretty proud of our little creations and our new knowledge..
[& This is why I am SO grateful for our Family Nights together, my sweet husband, and the fun memories we have the opportunity to make]

Stingy Jack won't be bothering us this year with these cute scary guys out there..
 I hope you guys are loving the Halloween Season and getting to celebrate the Fall Season..
I sure love you all
& hope you feel so enlightened today..
Have a wonderful start of your week!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life is a Beautiful Thing..

So I'm not really sure if this is gross... or inappropriate..
But this was probably one of the most eye opening beautiful things I've ever seen.

Before we could move in to our appartment we got to stay with my sweet in laws for a few weeks..
And along with it being nice coming home to them and seeing them more often I feel so blessed that we were here for this BIG event..
One night when we were about to go to bed.. their sweet little Yorkie dog Cozy.. started giving BIRTH to her puppies.

I know that the whole birthing process kind of has the idea of being gross..
But seriously.. Have you guys ever seen how miraculous it is that babies are completely developed and come out of their mother.. alive..and cute..
[mm.. kind of cute.. cute once they are cleaned off..]

And with dogs it is absolutely amazing they know exactly how to cut the umbylical cord and clean them and take care of them..
Cozy is not even a year old and she is having puppies.. and she is a wonderful mother.
Seriously.. life is amazing.

It's moments like this at 2 in the morning waiting for these puppies to come..
That I just think it's so obvious that all of this was created by God..
Life is too beautiful and too intricate and too amazing for me to understand other theories..
And I am so grateful for these sweet moments that I get to be a part of..
What a blessing.. and an eye opener for me.
We are so lucky to be here, alive, breathing, and with all of the conveniences around us.
I hope today you can see the beauty in things.
We talked about the Pure in Heart in church on Sunday
& Blake said that his Mission President taught that
The pure in heart can see God in everything..
How wonderful would the world be if we all could be like that..
I know that's my goal for today.. and everyday..
And I hope today that your life is uplifted by doing that as well.
I love you guys.

Monday, October 22, 2012

We're going to.. Jackson.. Look out Jackson Town.

Boy am I just behind guys or what..
& These pictures and 'stories to remember' are just piling up on me..
So before we left New Jersey Blake and I got one of our favorite presents..
[as you have already seen]..
Our Tent!
& We thought before it got too dang cold here in Idaho..
[Because let me tell you boy.. does it get cold..]
We HAD to go on a camping trip!

Blake is so cute when it comes to camping..
It's "his job" to do everything.
And he is so good at it.. I love him.. and love his camping skills.
So he packed up our tin foil dinners,

And then we BARELY squeezed into our dear friends,
Dave and Gaby's, car..
Isn't it nice they let us just stuff their car to the brim..

 And I do mean to the brim..
We barely could fit ourselves.
[We are prepared campers]
But we FIT hallelujah and after a looong day of school we were on our way..
Unfortunately.. as it seems to do quite often..
School cut into our fun camping time..
SO by the time we got there we had time to eat, set up camp, and...
The marshmellows OBVIOUSLY were not very happy about being eaten..
I've never seen such a grumpy face on a marshmellow.

But after we overlooked the emotional marshmellows and time school interfered with our fun,
 It sure was nice to unwind with our friends..

 & Have a little bit of a break from the world.

Now here is my serious question to all of you..
Have you ever been woken up by a HERD OF COWS?!
Because if you have I want to hear how awesome it was for you..
I was slightly excited..
[okay.. yeah..ecstatic..]

And what was just hillarious to me was how absolutely terrified these cows were of me us.
When we woke up they were like ON TOP of our tent I thought we were going to get trampled.
We opened the tent door we were just a few feet away from these cute little cows..
& Just by the time I grabbed the camera they were sprinting away..

So just imagine how happy they were when I decided I wanted to PET ONE..
Needless to say.. these cows are like lightening fast.. which one [such as myself] would not expect and it didn't happen..

So after our exciting wake up call..
Blake went to starting the fire and being manly.. and helping take care of the breakfast and camping stuff..
I watched.. and took pictures.. and had just a grand morning cheering him on.

Oh and there is our best friend David Bowen!
I didn't even realize how TERRIBLE of a job I did of taking pictures of our sweet friends.. but they were definitely here being just great and a part of all of this that you see..
Hopefully my photography skills will improve next camping trip..

oh yes.
And that is our lovely tent.. that inspired a new desire for our outdoor endeavors.

Then after a delicious breakfast made by our friends we decided to spend the afternoon in Jackson Hole.

I've been here a few times with my family and this was the part that I remembered most
[This and the Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum.. If you have money definitely go see it if you can it's SO interesting]
So we made sure to stop at the Antler Arch Park..
[Where obviously way too many elk were sacrificed..]

It is SO funny to me how different the West and the East Coast are for being in the same country..
Because we definitely didn't see anything like this this summer..
But I definitely felt 'back at home' this weekend..

And then we just played around with everything we could find that was
"In the Budget"
Haha and sometimes to me that is the most fun 'playing' there is..

And THERE is our cute friend Gaby..
Who is pregnant and due in March!
I think that we probably wore our sweet pregnant friend out a little bit but she was quite the good sport..

& There is my sweet husband who is definitely a character..

I haven't exactly figured out WHAT character yet..

But he definitely makes life a lot more fun.
This is basically how I feel every morning when I wake up to him.
I'm one lucky girl.
And when we got back to camp..
I was DELIGHTED to see that the cows had returned!
I decided to try again to pet them before we left..
I gave it a good.. RUN.. I'd say..
But those cows were just not being very agreeable..
Maybe someday..
[Perhaps the same day that I can convince Blake that we need to go cow tipping..]
Then after another fun night, tin foil dinners, frisbee and girl talk, &.. oh yeah some introducing us to Slender Man in the dark mountains..
We had to head back to life..
But I sure am grateful for good friends and weekends away.
I'm can't wait for next summer when we can go again.
My friends I hope that you all are doing great,
I sure have been missing you.
& Hope that I'll be better at keeping in touch.. and you all updated on life.
Have a Wonderful Monday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Full of Grattitude

Everyone, part of what has been keeping me so busy has been putting together our cute appartment and organizing all of our sweet wedding gifts.
I seriously feel that saying Thank You is not enough..
But from the bottom of my heart SINCERFULLY
THANK YOU everyone.
It is such a crazy experience literally starting out with nothing..
But luckily we have been indescribably blessed and this room (yes I'm sitting on the top of the bed post) is filled top to bottom full of gifts-kitchen things and necessities for life!
And all of our furniture and more boxes are filling the next room..

[Just to clarify that baby diaper box is NOT for a baby.. haha if you were wondering.. it's full of nice dishes from my grandparents. Dishes.. not Diapers.. got it. No babies coming.]
What a mess huh.. haha
But what a blessing.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends and I wish I could tell you everyday how much we love you and appreciate you.
Seriously I don't know how we would have done it without all of you.
I love you guys!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Someday I hope that I can share all of the happiness and unbelievable GRATITUDE that you have given me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Home Sweet Desert

It was definitely quite the experience driving from the green tree-covered
 East Coast back to my little home desert...
But there is no greater feeling than coming back to my family and driving into my home town.
This was the first summer I haven't really got to spend time with my family..
[Now don't get me wrong.. Blake and I got to spend it as our new little family and what a sweet experience that was..]
 Growing up is definitely one of those bittersweet things..
So I was SO glad we could at least come visit for a little bit before heading back to school.

While we were there I had to pack up my room and finish the Thank You Cards that we lucky enough to have so many to write..
[but man am I not sad that I don't have to do pack like that again.. guys.. there is really such thing as TOO MUCH stuff.]
So to keep me and everyone else [my poor family through all of this].. sane
Mitchy took Blake and I on a little afternoon date..

He got a really nice new gun when he got his Eagle Scout..
 [& after deciding he would like it more not just hanging on the wall.. even though let me tell you.. this thing is fancy.]
 So we decided it would be fun to go shooting in the canyon!

And man I was just loving it..
Can you tell by my face?!

But really.. even though I'm not a big gun [knife, fighting, blood.. anything that could cause blood..]  kind of person
it was really fun.
AND further more.. I was the one that hit this gatorade bottle square in the heart.
Talk about happiness.

The rest of the time however..
I just coached watched.

Oh yes. They found full cans of beer. The classy excitement in our lives is astounding.
And then [after we went squirrel searching because Mitch was determined]
My sweet brother took us out to a movie too.
Taking care of the poor newly weds..
Thanks Mitch.. You're a dang good brotha.

During our week home we also got to show Blake what a REAL [delicous] Navajo Taco tasted like..

We have sweet Navajo friends that we go to church with..
And our cute friend Megan made our whole family this awesome authentic meal..

And it was SO yummy!
I sure having been missing this South Western food.

Then when all the packing, and writing, and work was done we got to go on a little family date to Durango.
My favorite.

And our first stop?

Yes. This little house/bookstore covered top to bottom in.. BOOKS.
With no rhyme or reason.. or END to the madness.

& With all of the twists and turns and.. did I mention books?
You start to go a little crazy.

If you have ever thought about burying your home in books and calling it a book store..
and were curious to as what that would look like..
Ta. Dah.
You are so welcome for uplifting your life.

What the adventure.
Luckily though we had a cute little tour guide so we didn't get lost in there forever..
[Mar and the rest of the family had been here before..]

Then after our tour of the crazy Motor Cycle Rally that was going on,
[I think we counted like 70 motor cyles just lined up along the sides of the road]
And getting to see the GROSS unique motorcyles,

We finally got to our highlight of the night.
Bar D!

If you never have been to Bar D.. it's one of favorite things!
They feed you the best dinner EVER and then they have a little country outdoor concert.

& It is SO delicious/fun.

Look at those good parents.. holding down our place in line while we are exploring.

There are a bunch of shops and fun things to do once you get in to the ranch..
And in one of them we found this horse shoe game that everyone became obsessed with for the night.

And Marah was EXTREMELY good at it!
This girl has some serious skills.

Then before we knew it she was teaching a class!

 Here's my pretty Momma through all of this.. 
Still saving our place in line.
Once the kind parents got through the [long] Bar D line.. we got to explore a little more..

We thought we would be Cowboys to fit in with the crowd..
[I'm sure Blake was just loving this.. he has been having to 'adapt' to Country Music since we have gotten married]

And Strange Boys..

And then somehow we found our way back to this Horseshoe game for a while..
Where you can see Marah was schooling everyone again..

It seemed to turn into some ulitimate goal for the night.
Thank goodness everyone figured it out.
What a great feeling..

I had wanted to ride on the train when we got there but we really didn't want to pay for it.
So once the Conducter left..

We commandeered it..
[Thank you captain Jack Sparrow for the skills you have taught me.]

& After our train adventure.. I guess I was enjoying dinner too much to take pictures during it..
But we finally got to watch our show.

It is one of those interactive funny concerts that everyone can get into.
And I was one happy girl.
It felt so good to be back enjoying the end of the summer with the family.

I can't believe how blessed I feel that we have been able to make these fun memories and have such great experiences.
We are pretty lucky..
And I am grateful that I can testify how great life can be.
I hope you guys have felt like that at some point this week too.
I love you all.
Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend.. keep hangin in there.