Ambrerose Etsy Giveaway!

One of my very good friends, Rose, is a connoisseur of the Etsy world. She is an incredibly creative and talented woman who has mastered the art of jewelry making. Every month I will be hosting an Ambrerose giveaway on my blog to support her work. Check out this month's giveaway, and don't forget to enter the contest!

WIN AmbreRose Jewelry: Charm My Christmas Bracelet from the AmbreRose Jewelry December 3rd, 2009 by Rose.

AmbreRose is hosting a giveaway to thank all our wonderful supporters and customers, as well as give you the opportunity to check out the high-quality handmade art in her shop. This up-cycled bracelet is made from several bits and pieces of jewelry. It’s youthful and modern, but with vintage soul. The charms hang from an eight inch silver plated chain. Vintage beads and a rhinestone rondelle are a great accompaniment to the charms. A great way to keep the joyful spirit with you all holiday long.

There are just two simple things you need to do to enter:

1. Visit Ambrerose Jewelry and take a look around.
2. Make a note of your favorite item in her shop.
3. Come back and leave a comment on this post (look for the comment box or link at the end of this post) telling us your favorite item and you’ll be entered to win. Make sure that you leave an email address so that we may contact you. It’s that simple!

You have until Thursday, December 17th at noon PST to get your entry in, so commence browsing. There’s lots to discover! We’ll randomly draw one winner from the comments posted.


Thanksgiving Recap

Brandon and I went to Park City for Thanksgiving this year. Brandon's family came to Utah and we all stayed at a cabin for 6 days. It was SUCH a nice break from school, work and Provo. It only snowed a few times, not enough to do much sledding, but it was beautiful! We enjoyed just bumming around the town and not "doing" a whole lot. We watched a lot of movies, went on walks, ate great food, made MANY trips to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (caramel apples..mm.mmm!) and, of course, loved getting almost all our Christmas shopping done on Black Friday!

My hottie sister-in-laws and mother-in-law goofing off and posing for the camera while we were shopping on Main St. I love them!

Happy Turkey Day! Brandon's Grandma is too cute.

I guess something was funny?

There are only 2 things Brandon will literally jump out of bed for at 5 am: Fishing and Hunting. This break he went fly fishing on the Provo river with his dad. No, I was not there at the crack of dawn taking pictures, but he got some pretty good ones!


4 more days 'till the weekend (I SERIOUSLY don't know if I'll even make it this far...)

more days 'till the last day of school

more days 'till the last day of finals

17 more days 'till I'm in Oregon for Christmas

18 more days 'till I'm OFFICIALLY graduated whooooo!

25 more days 'till Christmas

31 more days 'till New Years Eve

32 more days till 2010

40 more days 'till Brandon's birthday



I am not a fan of winter. I completely understand how it is possible for a person to suffer from "seasonal depression." I am certain that this problem must run rampant throughout Utah. The miserable cold, the endless snow, the black ice that tricks me EVERY year, the horrible feeling of a getting in a bitter cold car that you know is NOT going to warm up before you make it to your destination....I could go on and on. This year I am petitioning mother nature for a short, short winter.


Congratulations Robbert

Through a non-profit organization called Koins for Kenya, I had the opportunity to sponsor a young man named Robbert as he completed his high school years. We are blessed in America to have public schools that are paid for by the government (and our taxes of course). In Kenya going to high school is about as ambitious, difficult and expensive as going to college in America. They have to pass a rigorous exam to even be admitted. Once they are admitted, they are expected to pay fees which are very often impossible for them to pay. Not for a lack of an incredible work ethic, many of these families simply do not have any money to spare for their children to complete school. If they do not complete high school they will most likely be forced to leave their village in order to be street vendors in a bigger city. You can imagine the severity of poverty caused by this cycle.

I am proud to say that Robbert has finally completed his high school years. He has received very good marks which is an enormous accomplishment for anyone at this school. He has applied for 3 jobs and I was just told by the director of Koins for Kenya that he will most likely be hired on to be a teacher in the elementary school. I am so grateful I was able to know this incredible young man, he will do great things for his family and his people.

I am so excited to be able to sponsor my next Secondary student. Her name is Umazi Khadija Sombo. While I have not had the opportunity to meet her, I have heard many wonderful things about her from Brent Hayes who is currently in Kenya touring her school. About her, he said:

"We have one girl there, completing Form 1, she was the top performing girl (scored a 327 on her KCPE) from Bahakwenu last year. Her name is Umazi Khadija Sombo. She was A first term (3 of 86) and B second term (12 of 132!) and she knows she can be an A student. As you’d expect the Headmistress is inspiring (been there for 7 years). The campus is beautifully situated in the hills outside of Voi with the classrooms and dormitories on different terraces amongst the green trees and tall growing shrubs and bright purple flowers. They don’t take any girls less that score less than 300 on their KCPE, and it shows, though old, it really is a model school, clean and well organized. I toured the dormitories. They put 10-12 girls in a large 13x15 cubicle with no complaint. Rooms, showers, toilets, floors and walls are spotless.

If you would be interested in sponsoring a student in Kenya, follow this link: http://koinsforkenya.org/Area/Sponsorship.aspx?Area=Samburu
Rinda and Brent Hayes travel to Kenya twice a year. They hand-select every single student through the help of their teachers. The students keep in contact with their sponsors through letters. It costs $350 a year (less than a dollar a day!).


Dear Ian, on your birthday I'd like to thank you for...

Letting me force-feed you...

Sacrificing your arm so that I could launch you into space in this rocket box...

Playing house/picnic/tea-party with me...

Letting me dress you up like a woman...

Being pushed around in a Tonka truck...

Laughing at my jokes...

Making sure my overalls were on correctly...

And lastly, for always taking care of me.


Peyton and I both religiously pseudo-online shop on Anthropologie.com. Neither of us have money, both of us have stingy husbands (whom we love!) and so we never actually buy anything. But pretending we will own these things one day is almost as satisfying. This ad made me realize that everyone should be able to lounge in beautiful Anthropologie attire, on ridiculously expensive throw-pillows, while reading sheet music and playing the trombone (??) in the freshly fallen snow. What a life. I'm being ripped off.



Nicole insisted that the first fall be documented. In fact, I think she was far more concerned about taking pictures than asking me if I was okay. I'm not really sure what happened...something to do with the spooky night, a big gust of wind, a saddle cover flying through the air and a huge buck. It hurt way more than I thought it would!

Honey was incredibly concerned and wanted me to get up. It kind of "weirds" horses out when you lay on the ground. Amira was just glad I was off of her...she really couldn't care less about my well-being.

Honey is doing great at jumping!(that's nicole)


Meet our New Family Member...

Well...I'm trying to convince Brandon that if I can take care of a Betta fish, I can take care of a baby. It's not going so well. Fish are boring as it is, but Parker is particularly boring.

I can't get him to do anything exciting and I'm quickly losing interest in his survival. Consider this a warning Parker!



I stole this from a website titled, "Where the Swine Flu Came From". It's pretty much the most disgusting thing I've ever seen...but adorably cute at the same time. I've had the flu since Monday and it hasn't been fun. There are, however, some serious "upsides" of being sick:
1 - No school
2 - No work
3 - No cleaning
4 - No cooking
5 - You're allowed to live off popsicles, jello, fruit snacks and capri suns.
6 - You discover all sorts of idiotic TV shows to pass the time, and gain an entirely new level of respect for shows such as Desperate Housewives, Degrassi, True Life, World's Strictest Parents, Divorce Court, etc.


Sugar Cookies!!

By far, my favorite thing to do around every holiday is to make sugar cookies! I was hoping we could find cookie-cutters of ghosts, pumpkins and witches...but the only ones left were the tombstone, cat and skull. Kind of morbid. They turned out alright, the dough was a bit strange (always the recipe's fault, never mine) but they tasted yummy. Brandon decided he doesn't like sugar cookies which is wonderful news for me because if he does like something it's gone before morning.

Oh heavens Brandon. Why mix the red dye with frosting when you can just squirt it right on the cookie?

The crucial moment right before I dropped my favorite cookie (the kitty) and broke it's ear off.

I believe he called this the spineless fish.

No, how do you really feel about me?

A few of our favorites. Brandon quickly noticed only one of his cookies was on the display tray...shoot.

Probably my favorite picture. Only when he's concentrating REALLY hard does he stick his tongue out like this. It's usually when he's playing tennis, or about to win a video game, or working on a math problem....but hey, drawing perfectly symmetrical dots on either side of a squiggly line is a stressful process for some of us.

Ok, yes I am bragging, but I've been coveting these boots for months now so I'm allowed to. Not only do I wear them everywhere, but I also sleep with them lying next to me on my bedside table. I am definitely not a shoe person, I think everyone who knows me would agree that I hate shoes. I'd much rather be barefoot. But for these I'm willing to make an exception.

Thank you Bran.


This is an older picture that I found the other day. It's from this last August when we went to Zion's National Park for a day. If I look tired and ticked that I'm hiking this crazy steep mountain in this ridiculous heat then you're right on. Brandon NEVER looks tired or ticked, he has this amazing (and extremely annoying) ability to absolutely never be in a foul mood. I have never met anyone quite as happy and satisfied as he is, it's a great quality but makes me feel like the biggest grump in the world! His shirt says, "Any problem can be solved with dancing"--James Brown. A perfect motto for him.


When Wants Become Needs...

It's terribly difficult to convince Brandon that $115 rubber boots are crucial to my happiness.



"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Autumn in Utah is truly beautiful. It's the only time of year I'm not wishing I was in Oregon. Brandon and I went up to Squaw Peak last weekend to enjoy the colors of the changing trees before the inevitable and dreaded first frost. I had a lot of fun taking pictures and messing around with them after wards. Brandon just got "photo shop" for me so my picture editing is only going to get more annoying from here on out!

For Dad.

For Ian.

For Mom. I don't know, reminded me of something she'd paint.