November 29, 2011


Well I failed at taking pictures... I had such a good time just chillin and relaxin with family that I wasnt focused on taking pictures. I did snap that video above of trinity telling me crazy princess stories. The second video is the girls Human Bowling. Izzy wasn't eating her dinner, so Nick wouldn't throw her... she decided to break dance instead :).  Nick and Tristan's kids are growing up so fast. Thanksgiving was great... It was just my family and grandpa and grandma Thornton. It was a great dinner.... Mashed potatoes were almost forgotten but we made them in a hurry. Both brad and I have decided that when we do our own thanksgiving dinner we are having a fancy buffet of tacos.... Who likes turkey that much anyways!? We helped my parents move a lot of boxes out of storage into their new house. My mom did a great job designing basically everything including the cabinents to drawing up their floor plan and my dad did great work buiding the house (they say it's their last - we'll see if they stick to their word!) We had a great visit!

November 22, 2011

GBTV awesome interview

I'm on a blogging kick lately I guess :D

If you aren't familiar with Stephanie Nielson, I recommend you read her story:

Anways, she just posted a link to a video where Glenn Beck interviewed her. Beware... it's a tear jerker.

November 19, 2011


Living in Stillwater will always be a time in our lives that we will cherish and remember forever. We would still be living there if it weren't for family. This year was the 10 year anniversary for the 10 who died in a plane crash when the men's basketball team was flying home from Colorado. Unfortunately, Thursday night another plane crash occurred and killed the women's basketball head coach, Kurt Budke and assistant coach, Miranda Serna.

The OSU community has a sense of pride that is amazing. When our family would come to visit, one of the first things they would say was that everyone wears orange and the city is orange. I'm sure the streets are full of even more orange in respect to the tragic deaths that took place on Thursday. I never personally met Coach Budke, but whenever I did pass him in Gallagher-Iba Arena he would say hello even though he didn't know who I was. Brad has great memories of him and his assistant. Brad said that Coach Budke would always call him by name and check up on him and see how everything was going. Brad was able to help Coach Serna with possible recruits from CSI. He talks very highly of them and they will truly be missed. As mentioned in the video, they were more than basketball coaches, they were mentors and great people. I just pray that the great people of OSU can make it through this hard time once again, especially the family members of the coaches. I'm also thinking of the psychiatrist, Dr. Gentry, that I worked for at OSU's Wellness Center. I'm sure he is going to be even more booked than usual and I would not want to be in his shoes. As a member of the LDS church, I have my personal beliefs on death and so I am very grateful to have a sense of calmness and surety that we all have the opportunity to be with our families forever.

November 16, 2011

$60 = Something Greater

I just had an amazing experience tonight. Andra, my mother in-law, had given me $60 at work for managing over the weekend while they were out of town.... Super nice of her and going to my cash stash. Anyways.... I put it in my back pocket and when I got home late tonight I went to take it out to put in my stash and it wasn't there. You know that gut-deep feeling you get when you loose something.... That's what I instantly felt. I was so excited to add more money to my future house decor and/or Christmas stash. We have been super frugal lately trying to save any penny for a house so I just wanted to break down and cry. I texted my sister in-law to check around for me in the morning. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it and retracked my steps in the house twice. As I went upstairs knowing that I wouldn't sleep I had a heart wrentching feeling to go back to Frostop. I thouht it was just me being impatient and wanting to find it now... But then I said a prayer and the feeling was still there, strong as ever. I woke up sleeping Brad and asked him what I should do and he was tired so didn't say much but he gave me the security code if I was going back. I decided to go back just in case the money was in the parking lot and because I wanted to test this feeling that I had and this $60 was well worth it to me. I got in the car and forgot my wallet so I prayed that the cops wouldn't drive by as I was there since frostop would be closed and I was in my p.j.'s with no I.d. so it would totally look suspicious . I get there and look around on the blacktop and nothing.... I go inside hoping I get the security system right so I don't set it off. I look around and nothing.... Then as I'm super sad, and go back to the car and the money was right in front of me on the blacktop plain in sight. I broke down and cried in the car ride home. I thanked Heavenly Father the whole way home. Lately, because of President Monson's examples of following the Holy Spirit, I have been challenging myself to follow the Spirit no matter what. Well tonight I was given an awesome opourtuniy and I was so grateful to have enough courage and faith to follow the prompting. I'm sure that $60 would have been long gone in the morning by the wind or picked up by some drunk from the one and only bar next door. The monetary value of this $60 will be very temporary, but the lesson learned from these Andrew Jacksons will be forever lasting. It was an amazing experience and I promised myself I would write it down. So here I am writing this in bed. Bullet has his paws pressing against my back and brad is sleep talking :D. Life doesn't get much better than this. Never thought I would be grateful for losing $60....

October 24, 2011


Pumpkins created by me, Kody, G-man, and Brad.
We had a great time carving pumpkins yesterday with the family. I found an awesome pattern on for a Jack Russel. I think it turned out good! Brad's was awesome too. Kody and Garrett had fun playing with knives.

School is going great. CRAZY BUSY (I should be reading my text books right now). It's not that the program is academically killing, it's not med school, but it is a lot of new concepts and tons and tons of assignments... introduction into being a teacher I guess. We write a lot of lesson plans. I haven't met a teacher yet that actually uses lessons plans, but hey, I'm sure it's great practice on organizing a lesson. I do like the one professor that requires us to write down our "teacher talk", I think that is really effective. Anyways, I am enjoying all that I am learning and the way they are instructing us to teach is super effective. I do, we do, you do together, and you do it alone - gradual release of instruction, just like riding a bike. There are way too many classrooms full of  "teacher teaches and then student do it alone" going on out there! Oh yeah, I'm in a first grade class all day on Wednesday and there have been sooo many times when I literally have to turn around so the students don't see me laughing hysterically. It is quite the funny class.

Brad is really enjoying his new job as general manager of Hillsports. He is the go-to guy and he comes home exhausted. The business has been built really well, now he is just keeping up with the work load and bringing in his contacts for business as well. He comes home with funny stories and he is happy, it couldn't be better. It has been really nice to actually have most weekends off from both of us working, we are actually home more often. It usually consists of me doing homework and brad watching tv though :).

We are officially first time house hunters. Hopefully in the next couple of months we will find an awesome house. Luckily my Dad's best friends wife (and his cousin), Linda Hansen, is a real estate agent and so we are in good hands. With interest rates at 3.75% we don't want to miss out. We love where we are at now, but neighbors and no yard gets old. 

Can't wait for Thanksgiving in my parents new house! 

September 9, 2011

Not Moving!

HOORAY! We don't have to move to Cedar City! Brad is taking over an employee's position that worked out of Hurricane and is one of the main dudes. Hurricane is only about a 25 minute commute from St. George. This job situation has really worked out nicely! All the stress I had about moving and commuting to school is GONE :). Maybe in the next year or so we will move out near Washington or Coral Canyon area... then it will only be about a 10-15 mile commute for Brad. But for now, I'm just happy.

August 30, 2011

3 Times a Charm...

Can't complain about our 3rd time moving this year :).

That's right... Brad got an awesome full time Job! Thank you to his buddy, Bryce, for giving the business Brad's name for the job. The company is Hillsports and they are located out of Hurricane, Utah but they also are located in Cedar City. Brad will be managing the Cedar City store.  For you Oklahoma people, it is similar to Duprees on the strip in Stillwater.  I'm so happy for Brad, constantly applying, writing new cover letters and resumes, and interviewing for jobs was really burning him out. His hard work really paid off though because he is going to love this job. Things fell into place really quick! We will be moving to Cedar in a couple weeks so if anyone knows of any good areas to live in let us know. We plan on renting for the next year and then buying a house in the near future. For now I will be commuting to Dixie State in St. George since it is only a 45 min drive but we will see what happens. I just started the Elementary Education program and it is going really well so I would rather not transfer. Anyways, I'm super excited for this new adventure and this move does testify to the saying..."3 times a charm"!

August 18, 2011

My Trip to NY and B&W 4 years!

I had such a great time visiting my sister Joy and her family. She lives in Pittsford, NY and is only about 15 minutes away from Palmyra and Rochester. It was beautiful everywhere we went. I made some lasting memories! I only wished that Brad could have been there with me... next time he is coming for sure. I took a million pictures and so I grouped some of them together to make it easier to blog about. Summer is officially over for me in 5 days because school starts again :(.

Smith Family Log Home

Smith Log Home. I don't know how they lived in such small homes! It was amazing seeing the upstairs where Angel Moroni visited Joseph. Joseph didn't have his own bedroom and private space to it was amazing to realize that he was visited in a room full of his siblings. What an amazing thought and to know that he was able to receive revelation not in total privacy.

Smith Family Frame Home
Smith Family Frame Home. Jaclyn was able to lift up the bricks near the fireplace where Joseph hid the Golden Plates from a mob of men. Jaclyn thought it was really cool that they were buried there at one time. This house was much bigger than the log home but it was amazing to think that they build this all by man power - amazing.
The Sacred Grove
The Sacred Grove. If you haven't been to Palmyra I recommend to do so - this was awesome. There were mosquitoes and so we did get a couple of bug bites. The next morning Jaclyn came out of the shower laughing, "man a mosquito really had some humor, I have a bite on my bum!" We got sacred bites :).
Grandin Press and Print Shop

Grandin Press and Print Shop was really neat. It was amazing to see how much work and effort it took to actually publish the Book of Mormon. I definitely gained a new appreciation for the 24/7 access we have to learn of Christ and His ways through the many available reading/viewing/listening options.  This article was great...
Rochester, New York
Rochester, New York! It was raining this day but the city is really beautiful. The building on the bottom left is where by brother in-law works as a corporate attorney. This day was Jaclyn's birthday and so we met him for lunch at the yummy cafeteria. Jaclyn had a grilled cheese and onion rings for lunch. She also chose mac n cheese (homemade) for dinner. Quite the cheesy day she said :)
The Strong Museum for Kids
After Jaclyn's birthday lunch we continued the celebration at this awesome museum. They had a Wegman's Grocery store where kids could play, a butterfly exhibit, and tons and tons of other adventures and activities for kids to enjoy. We had a great time.

Birthday Girl
Jaclyn sure had a great birthday. She received many packages from family that lives elsewhere. She sure got excited about every gift. We made birthday cupcakes and Jaclyn decorated them all by herself with only a little help - she did awesome. 

 Walking on the Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is huge and it's crazy to think that it was all man made. The bridges are awesome and in other villages they had draw bridges that lift up when boats come though. It was a gorgeous walk and we had fun feeding the ducks and enjoying the beautiful evening.

Lake Canandaguia
It was a cloudy overcast day so I was thinking people are crazy getting in the water when it's only in the 80's outside. Nothing like the heat here in St. George :D. Eventually, when the sun came out I pulled out the Idaho toughness in me and got in the water with Jaclyn. Surprisingly, the water wasn't as cold as I imagined. It was a fun day and was nice to just spend time with them.

Jaclyn's Baptism
What fun memories for Jaclyn. It was a great day and I think Jaclyn is the most popular 8 year old in their ward. Although a lot of people weren't able to make it to the baptism cause of summer conflicts, she had TONS and TONS of adults and kids come up and congratulated her. Jaclyn sure is a great example to the ward, she is always impressing people with her smarts about the scriptures and the gospel. Jaclyn is beautiful but she was sure shining bright on her baptism day.  My dad spoke on Baptism, it was great, and then her Grandpa and Grandma McClean spoke on the Holy Ghost. Alex, Jaclyn's dad, is the ward mission leader and conducts their baptisms so it was neat for him to be able to conduct Jaclyn's. Everything went well! We had a nice luncheon afterwords which required a lot of prepping the night before, I had cut up so many veggies that my nails were stained orange from the carrots :).

Hill Cumorah
Unfortunately, it was raining when we visited the site but it was sure gorgeous and we were the only people there because of the rain. To think what happened there is miraculous and it sure felt great to be at the site. One day I would love to see pageant.

Tomlinson Inn
I hadn't heard of this place until Joy set up a private tour by some of their ward missionaries. Check out this article if you're not familiar either.  There is a lot more to the story but the main thing is that after Brigham Young joined the church his first address took place in front of the fireplace (bottom left photo). The Inn has a lot history so it was really neat. Just down the street we were also able to check out the Young's home. It was really cool, an older sister missionary couple live there and the house is awesome. The floors were slanted and in the basement you could see how they built the house because of the exposed beams. It basically was built as a puzzle if they needed to move they could move the house.

This was a really old cemetery. The top headstone is John Tomlinson and below is his wife, Maria. The second to the bottom is Solomon F. Kimball who is the Father of Heber Kimball. The bottom headstone is Brigham Young's first wife, Miriam Works Young. I'm not a big fan of graveyards, but this was really neat.
I had a great time and can't wait to go visit again! 
Thanks Joy and fam for the GREAT TIMES! Love and miss you guys.


Brad and I also had our 4 YEAR anniversary on August 10! WOWZA, time has FLOWN by! It's crazy to think that the game of life led us both to CSI and things just fell into place and it was meant to be. It's like we've known each other all of our lives but met up at the time that we were supposed to meet up :). Heavenly Father knows best! I couldn't be more blessed to be married to the best man ever, love you BRAD.

July 29, 2011

Granite, boating, and good Idaho fun

My FAVORITE view at Granite Hot Springs. This is on the bridge close to the hot springs pool.
 Unfortunately, this year the river was way too high and dangerous and all the rapids disappear so we didn't white water raft... instead we went on a hike up to an Arch.  Grandpa and Uncle Mike said it wasn't that bad of a hike... I think they forgot :). We were all afraid for our lives at some point or another. It is scary when you are climbing a rocky steep mountain and a rock under your feet goes rolling down the mountain and we could only dodge to where the rock wouldn't hit us. I've never been afraid of heights until this wonderful adventure :). We could have gotten some AMAZING pictures but since our lives were on the line photos only happened when we were walking or sitting safely.
The start of the hike didn't seem so bad and it was really fun


This part was part of the steepest climbs. We joked that it was crawl 10 feet rest for 5 mins... etc. This was all broken, fragile, and loose rock that easily slides out from under you. There were even steeper parts climbing up to the Arch through the no-trails wilderness but we were too worried about making the climb to take pictures.
"I'll smile for one minute but how in the heck are we getting down."
It was a gorgeous view
My Uncle Shawn being a dare Devil

This was the snow under the arch. The snow was hollow underneath and it came avalanche-ing down the mountain right under our feet. Soon after brad slid down the mountain about 20 ft slicing his finger pretty good, soon after that we yelled SEAN, ROCK! ... luckily my cousin sean moved just in time so a huge rock didn't knock him out.

We took uncle larry's boat out and we had a blast on the tube! We didn't get a picture with me and the Thornton kids together but we caught major air!
Gorgeous Idaho Fields on the way to Black-tail Reservoir

Lex almost got up on the wakeboard but not quite.

Greg's family lovin the tube

Loved knee boarding
Granite and boating was a blast and it was soo good to be with family for a week. We also went golfing, birthday shopping, celebrated Shea's birthday at Olive Garden, and had s'mores cooked over the fire pit at my parents that brought on a bunch of laughs the whole time. I LOVE Idaho, there is nothing else like it :). Thanks mom, dad, and lex for the great time!

July 6, 2011

Hike at Kanaraville Falls

We had a fun and eventful 4th of July. We started the day off early and drove just south of Cedar and hiked Kanaraville Falls. It is an easy hike but really pretty cause you just follow a creek that goes up to the Falls. We had to walk through the water most of the time so it was fun.
Brad using Kim's homemade net - pvc, nylons, and a wire hanger!
Didn't catch anything but a rock... lol.

Brad, me, Shauny, Garrett, Louis, Andra, Kody, Kim, and Alex

Brad and me under the falls - the water was freezing!

We want to go back and climb up the log to get
to the upper level of the falls where there are
some pools but with the kids there we didn't do it.

After hiking we took the dogs to the Virgin River (4 Great Danes, 1 Basset Hound, 1 Jack Russel). It's so funny to watch all of the dogs together - we think we need to do some type of a dog commercial :). After the river we cleaned up and then had a little dinner and played vball at wyatt's. It's always fun to play with all of us together - then we had a little firework show at the in-laws.

Across the street near the St. George Golf Club's clubhouse the hill was set on fire because of people's fireworks. It was amazing to see how fast it spread and we were getting worried for the nearby house. Finally, a firetruck came and put it out. I imagine those people who started it felt pretty stupid :).

July 3, 2011

Quick Trip to Idaho

When I found out Joy and her two kids were coming to Idaho I was so excited since I haven't seen them since my wedding back in 2007. I finally got to meet her cute little boy, Will! I flew in on Friday and that night we had a bbq with the Thompson Family, it was good to see everyone. That night Alexis and I slept out in the tent with cousins and nieces and nephew. Hayden was being quite the little crack-up and was sure making everyone laugh. The funniest comment of the night was from Hannah. After awhile of Hayden being crazy the kids were getting tired and Hannah yelled (while giggling), "Why was I adopted into this CRAZY family!". It was really cute and she sure tried to keep her brother under control. This video is a sneak peek of his craziness :)...

On Saturday we went to the Idaho Falls greenbelt and had pizza with the kids and went for a little walk near the river. They sure had fun and Jaclyn and Hannah were best buds on the walk. That evening, the Thornton side came over for a bbq and it was fun. Joy made yummy lemon lush and April and I made these awesome cupcakes that were delicious! On Monday night we went to Reed's Dairy to get their fabulous Ice Cream and Jaclyn and Will had fun with the farm animals. We also went to Johnstone because Jaclyn wanted to see where grandpa works and where Joy worked, she loved shredding paper! I was able to ride home with April since she was on her way to California. We were also able to meet up with Aunt Jenny and CJ for dinner in Provo. It was a fun night and Joy was able to show Jaclyn her old apartment at BYU and we had some awesome ice cream.

Green Belt  at Idaho Falls

Sleeping in the tent

Love the little Man - Will

Cousins - Trinity, Jaclyn, and Mav

Cousins - Tilly and Will - SO CUTE

June 9, 2011

Louis Returns!

The Garrett Family is now all in St. George!
Everyone is super excited that Louis is home from his Mission served in the Singapore/Malaysia area.

Glad to have you back Louis!