Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 4

And the winner today is...Nathaniel Riggs (1796-1869). Nathaniel was Stephen Riggs' father, and Lucretia Jane "Jenny" Rigg's grandfather. Jenny Riggs was my grandfather Joseph Agnes Helm's mother. Does that clear it up? So he was my great-great-great grandfather. Anyways, there's plenty of info on him. Here's what I dug up:

Nathaniel Riggs was born in 1798 in Kentucky. Nathaniel's father, Bethuel Riggs, served in the American Revolution and became a famous Baptist preacher. He preached in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. Bethuel Riggs' wife was Nancy Lee and her father, James Lee, was also a Baptist preacher. Bethuel, after preaching in North Carolina and Georgia, crossed the mountains into Kentucky (Indian country, and quite dangerous at the time), and settled across from Cincinnati, where Nathaniel was born. {Peggy, this is close to where you live, right?}  Nathaniel married Rachel Weldon in about 1818 in Kentucky. They had 7 children together (including Stephen, my great-great grandfather).
From {gen 035 in the Riggs folder}




Nathaniel Riggs joined the Mormon (LDS) Church or Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1831, around the time that his fifth child was born. He was baptised by Joseph Smith. He left with the first Mormon wagon train for Salt Lake with Brigham Young. He was a High Priest in the Mormon Church and died in Provo, Utah. He was also on the Zion March. Before leaving for Salt Lake, he publicly stated that he was leaving with the Mormons for California and was never coming back. His first wife, Rachel Weldon Riggs, and her children including Stephen Riggs, never became Mormons. After Nathaniel left, Rachel Weldon Riggs filed for divorce in Monroe County, Missouri. The divorce was granted.



From the divorce petition {gen 040}: 1846

Your Oratrix [Rachel] represents that she and her said husband [Nathaniel] had accumulated and become possessed of comfortable property and were prospering, when some 13 years since her said husband joined the Mormons, since which time he has spent much of his time with said church and people and away from his family, and has lavished much of his property and means upon them, to the inconvenience of his family and your Oratrix. Your Oratrix represents that after spending the time her said husband has been identified with the Mormons she has been in great apprehension for her family and herself, and her said husband about the first of this month gathered together a part of their provisions and other moveable property and left for the Mormon city of Nauvoo, and perhaps from there to California, or wherever the heads of the church may order or direct. ...
Your Oratrix now expressly charges that under the repeated soliciting of some of the apostles and leading men of the Mormon connection and the delusions of your Oratrix's said husband, he had been and is induced thus to abandon your Oratrix and his helpless children and has neglected to maintain and provide for her without any good cause whatever, for she avers that since her said intermarriage as aforesaid, she has always endeavored to perform and she avers that she has ever reasonably performed her various duties, to her said husband as wife and mother, all which acting out the part of your Oratrix's said husband ...

 


These documents are a little difficult to muddle through, but still fascinating. The divorce was granted, and Stephen (Nathaniel and Rachel's son) went on to marry Lucretia Jane Sparks. Her namesake, Lucretia Jane Riggs (Jenny), married James Guinn Helm, II, and had many children, among them my grandfather, Joseph Agnes Helm. Here's the tree that shows this line:






I always knew that we had ancestors that were Mormon pioneers that came over pushing handcarts. But, that was from Grandma Helm's line. Did you also know that Nathaniel, a direct ancestor from Grandpa Joe's line, crossed the plains and migrated to SLC with Brigham Young himself, after being baptized by Joseph Smith? Very interesting, isn't it? After a little bit of research, and just in case there's any question, here's the link that shows Nathaniel Riggs' name on the roster of the Allen Taylor Company, which departed 5-6 July, 1849, and arrived 10-20 October, 1849. Also on the roster is the name of Nathaniel's second wife, Hannah Parsons Riggs, who brought her nine-year-old daughter Elizabeth Jane Page with her. Hannah and Nathaniel were married in about 1838. Nathaniel and Hannah were divorced, and in 1852 Nathaniel was sealed to Anna Reynolds in the Salt Lake Temple. However, the church webpage does clear up one issue. According to the webpage, the Allen Taylor Company was not the "first wagon train" with Brigham Young- the Brigham Young Pioneer Company departed on 14 April 1847 and arrived in SLC on 21-24 July 1847. I am unsure of whether the baptism by JS was also accurate, or if he was baptized by someone else. It is possible.

I hope you enjoyed this latest installment of Know Your Ancestor. Stay tuned for more info on where you came from! I'm taking requests for ancestors...let me know who you want to know more about! ~Pam

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 3

That's right, folks. Now is the time for William T. Donoho, whom I'm sure you've just been dying to meet. Remember, William is the son of James Donoho {starting to fill in the gaps}. William was born May 9, 1790 in Tennessee. He married Millie Meador {his first wife} in April 1811. Around 1827, William and his family moved from Sumner County, Tennessee to Jefferson/Marion County, Illinois. His home was a meeting place for all kinds of gatherings, and he ran the sawmill as well as a gristmill. He may have owned some type of inn, as well. William had 11 children with his first wife, Millie, including Susannah Donoho, who married John Nelson Helm. William went on to have 6 more children with his second wife, Elizabeth Hatchett, who he married several months after his first wife died late in 1834.  William T. Donoho also participated in the War of 1812, enlisting in the Tennessee Volunteers from September 1813 to December 1813. He was a member of Captain Adam Bledsoe's Company of Riflemen, 1 Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. After serving 3 months and 5 days, he was entitled to pay in the sum of $28.02. {And I thought we were paid little for OUR service :}

Here's the documents showing his discharge paperwork, as well as his enlistment muster and final paycheck amount. Pretty neat! His discharge says he served honorably under the command of Major General Andrew Jackson. I guess that means Jackson was the one in charge of ALL of them, but still pretty cool.



































Pretty neat, huh? I guess William T. did pretty well for himself: war service,17 children,prominent citizen of Jefferson and Marion Counties, Illinois. As one of the founding pioneers of the area, William's legacy lives on in the prairie named for him: Donoho Prairie. William died in December 1849, and since he did not leave a will, there was a long court battle between Elizabeth and her step children over William's estate.

Here's the connection from William to me; notice that William falls under James Donoho:


Next up: Who knows? Any suggestions or requests?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 2

And today's lucky ancestor is....James Donoho.

James Donoho was born in 1767 and died in 1820. Married twice, first to Elizabeth Lowry (who gave birth to my ancestor William T. Donoho), and second to Susannah. 

James Donoho appears on a list of the Revolutionary War which he marched with Captain Adam Clemente from Bedford County, Virginia, to the assistance of Colonel Green in South Carolina, May 1st 1781.

James, in addition to being a plantation owner in Tennessee, was also a slave owner. This is evidenced by his Last Will & Testament, bequeathing his estate to his son William (my ancestor) upon the death of his wife Susannah, as well as two named slaves: Lisn (or Lian) and Betty. Lisn was to go to Nancy and Job Meador upon the death of Susannah.  Betty, Lisn's mother, was to go to William Donoho and Yancy Turner. And here's the chilling part: the language describes the transaction as follows, "the remaining part of my estate, my negros excepted, I desire that it may be equally divided after the death of my said wife as be named, between William Donoho, Yancy Turner, and Nancy Meador, wife of Job Meador observing that a certain negro girl by the name of Lisn, I in special manner give and bequeath to my said daughter Nancy Meador to be delivered to her by my Executors after the death of my wife. And my negro woman Betty, mother of said described girl I give and bequeath unto my son William Donoho and Yancy Turner to be delivered by my Executors after the death of my wife and her increase, not more than two, and if more than two children, all the increase from said negro Betty over two that she may have before the death of my said wife is to be equally divided between William Donoho, Yancy Turner, and Nancy Meador.

{view this document online here }

~So, you see, a hero ancestor who served in the American Revolution, fighting for freedom, denied others the same right. Contradictions abound....

Here's my tree, from James Donoho to me:
























Next up: William T. Donoho, son of James Donoho and member of Captain Abram Bledsoe's Company of Riflemen, 1 Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry during the War of 1812.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Know Your Ancestor-Day 1

Ok, this is the first installment of what I want to call: Know Your Ancestor. See, my Uncle John was kind enough to send me some genealogy stuff in my Christmas card this year. It came on a disk, and there's so much info, I spent a lot of time last night reading about my ancestors. So, I decided to share a little with you all, whether you are interested or not :)

Ancestor number 1: Joseph Helm (and no, not my father)

This Joseph Helm, or rather the Reverend Joseph Helm, was a farmer and also a Methodist preacher of the "shouting order." He traveled in a caravan from Kentucky/Tennessee to Marion County, Illinois, in 1827, along with a William T. Donoho (this is important later). Although uneducated, Joseph had mental capabilities and oratorical skills that surpassed most men of his surroundings. Joseph would travel around and hold revivalist meetings, within a 40-mile radius of Xenia, Illinois. Joseph had many children, among them James Guinn Helm, Sr. (who my dad was named after) and John Nelson Helm (of whom I am descended).

This information was contributed by B.J. Lawrence, of Amarillo, TX. The original document, as scanned in, is below. After that is a (very crude) depiction of my family tree, at least the direct line that leads to Joseph. :) Thanks for reading, and I hope to add many more installments. Stay tuned!





Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Final Grades

Are in! And guess what? (OK, I know it isn't a hard guess, since I already told you, but...) I PASSED! I'm not surprised, but here's the proof.





I mean, seriously, how cool is that? That means I really WILL be graduating on Saturday. Oops! I forgot! I was going to go pick up my tickets for graduation. Let me check...Yep, I can still go out and pick them up. Guess I should go do that now, huh?

Oh, and I took my CBEST test today. That's the California Basic Educational Skills Test. They allotted 4 hours for the test; I was done in a little over 2. I took 3 sections: Reading, Math, and Writing. I got "unofficial" scores back for two sections: reading and math. In order to pass, I needed a scaled score of 41 or better. I got a 75 in reading, and a 70 in math. The writing will be graded later. All I need to get is a 37 in writing to pass the whole darn thing. Boy am I glad to be done with that!

On a different note, Matt and I got up this morning to do workout number 4 in our newest workout program: Insanity. I've decided to make my Insanity blog public, so if ya'll want to read it and keep me accountable, feel free. It isn't terribly exciting, but the link is on the left-hand side of my blog, under "Health". I'll make sure to update the link to "Winter Insanity Challenge" or something like that. Have I mentioned how sore I am right now? Those workouts are intense!

Anyways, speaking of that, I should update that blog right now while I'm at it, huh?

Later.
~Pam

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On Moving

or not moving....

So, here's the deal. Many of you know that we might move in January. Or March. Or April. But we are DEFINITELY moving sometime in the year 2010! Right now, there is so much up in the air. Matt has requested to get out of the navy early. He is supposed to get out in April/March time-frame. His request is slowly making its way up to the captain. In the meantime, he has applied to school and been accepted to a school in California. He also has some really good job prospects there, so it would be perfect. But, so much is unknown. Also, what do we do with our house? Put it on the (falling) market? Or put it up for rent? What property manager do we go with? So many unknowns.

But here are the knowns:
We had a great visit with Mom and Aunt Stormy. We're sad to see them go.
I finished student teaching on Friday.
I completed my Master's Degree and have Commencement on Saturday.
Matt will (eventually) get out of the Navy, and we'll be DONE with all that.
We will be moving west.
I'll be getting a job (maybe teaching, maybe anything I can get)


Ugh. I wish life was more simple. But today, I'm going to be cleaning up the house, doing laundry, and packing up the utility room. Let me tell you, by the time we eventually leave, everything WILL be packed up by then. If I have anything to do with it.

Now that I'm done with student teaching, and I passed, by the way (YEAH!), I don't have a lot to do during the day. I have to prepare for a test on Wednesday, pick up my tickets for Commencement sometime next week, and spend time with Kate and her kids. Besides that, I'll be fixing up the house and packing it all up. I'm making lists and setting goals for getting stuff done. Soon (hopefully tomorrow) Matt and I will get back into working out. I think my injury has healed enough (I hope). And then, LOOK OUT! Those workouts are INSANE! :)

Anyways, that's about it. Since I have a lot of time on my hands, I appreciate phone calls (hint, hint). I can put on my bluetooth and pack away while talking, I promise :)

Happy Holidays, all. It is hard to get into the spirit when I don't even have a tree up, but I still like this time of year. Especially when everyone ELSE has their lights up.

~Pam

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oink, Oink

So, what's better than getting sick with the flu right before Thanksgiving? How about NOT getting sick right before Thanksgiving. Yeah, that would have been nice. I mean, I knew that I was going to get sick, since Parker, Preston, and Paisley were all sick, and I hung out with them when they were still contagious. But, Kate never got sick. So I guess I was hoping I would get that lucky. Nope. I started feeling it on Thursday. My back started to hurt, I began coughing. Cough drops took care of the cough, sort of. But the aches persisted. Then, I went to the New Moon party at Kate's on Thursday night. I was feeling pretty rough, but it was still a good time. No, I didn't go to the midnight show. I DID have school the next morning. Except, when I woke up and checked my temperature, it was over 100F. Which is really high for me, considering my normal temp is 98.1F. So I called Mrs. Lyle, and we decided it would be best not to go to school. Don't want to expose those kids. I spent the morning sleeping, then when Matt was driving home around noon (he was day-after duty, so he got to go a little early), he convinced me to call the doc for an appt. I was able to get in, and was diagnosed with "flu like symptoms." My doc doesn't actually perform a flu test, since a false negative can have bad consequences. He told me to not expose the kids; wait until I was fever free without medication for at least 24 hours. And he gave me a Rx for Tylenol 3, you know, the one with Codeine in it? Yeah, that stuff works nicely. My aches are gone, I was able to sleep really well. Also, it has a cough suppressant in it, so that, combined with Mucinex has helped out a lot. Still not feeling so hot. Really weak and fatigued. But I'm trying to rest and drink plenty of fluids. And I'm doing my best not to get Matt sick. They might not let him go on leave if he is sick. And I don't want that to happen.

Getting ready for my Thanksgiving adventure. I hope I feel well enough by Wednesday, but I think I will. It will have been about a week by then, so I should be good. Kate and I are going to drive to Ohio to see Peggy and her family. Mom's already going to be up there. Then, we're going to drive back on Sunday with Mom. I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I'm feeling a lot better, since I'll be the one doing most of the driving. Kate isn't so good at long distances. It will definitely be an adventure.

Well, hopefully today I can get a couple phone calls made. Reconnect with good friends. :) Wish me luck!

Love,
Pam

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Ok, so Matt has been begging me to blog a little something, just so his blog post isn't the only one people see when they tune in. So...here goes.

Update on my life: Well, it has been a little crazy, but crazy good. I feel like I'm getting into a groove with teaching. I am finding my "voice" which is something I wasn't sure I would EVER find just a few weeks ago. My cooperating teacher, Mrs. Lyle, says that I'm doing a great job. And you know what? I almost believe her! Seriously, I feel like I AM doing a great job, most days at least. I still have a few things to work on, but mostly things are going well. I'm writing lesson plans like a champ, that's for sure. Next week, I get to take over the Guided Reading lessons. I'm a little nervous about that, but only because I haven't done it before. And I'll pretty much be on my own at the back table. Mrs. Lyle is planning on doing remediation with another group while I do Guided Reading with my group. Other than that, I have taken over pretty much all of the instruction for the class. I feel like I'm able to roll with things a lot easier. I dunno, maybe I CAN be a teacher after all.

Let's see...what else....oh, I was digging through a bunch of my papers, and I found this little story. I probably SHOULD scan it in and let you see it that way, but I'm just going to type it.
This was for my Study Skills class in 7th grade-Terreton Junior High:

March 4, 1994

Last night I got home at around a quarter after four. I jumped out of the car and went to see my puppies. My dog Whiskey had five puppies in all the night before that. 3 puppies had died. When I got tothe box that they were in, I counted four puppies. That didn't make sense, because 3 puppies out of five had died. Why was there more puppies than this morning? Then I realized that Whisky had had two more puppies. I ran inside and told my mom that Whisky had had 2 more. She did not believe me. Neither did my brother. He told me that I was lying. I convinced him to come out and see. We counted 4 puppies. I told him so. Then my friend Scott came by on his bike. I told him to check out my puppies. He thought they were pretty neat. Then his friend, and my neighbor, Thad came by. He tried to use our bicycle pump to pump up his tire, but the tire had a hole in it. He was mad. I told him to look at the puppies, too. He thought that they were neat. Then Thad had to go home. My sister and I had to go and feed our neighbors animals, so we walked him home. We fed the animals (one dog and a cat) and tried to make the dog stay there. It did not work. She crawled under the fence. My sister and I decided to go for a bike ride. We went past our neighbors house, but they weren't there. We stopped at the creek and rested for a little while. Then we headed back home. When we got there, the hamburgers were ready to eat. We had to set the table. My dad g--

------------------------------
And that was the end of my story for the day, I guess. :) It is so funny, b/c I didn't remember that Wisky (the real way we decided to spell her name in the end) had lost some puppies, but had given birth to more later in the day. I remember not knowing she was pregnant. We all thought she had a distended belly from worms. The morning of March 4th, I found her in the garage before I left for school. I thought she was being eaten by rats! Seriously! That's what I thought. My brother Matt came out, saw her, and said, nope, just puppies. I was sad to see 3 of them dead. I guess when I got home from school was when the rest of this story happened. The other funny thing is that I actually remember Thad coming over to use the bike pump, and his tire having a hole in it, and we walked him back to his house. I'm not really sure which neighbor's animals we were feeding, though. Maybe the family that lived on the corner...I dunno....

So, Halloween was a success for us this year. For the first time we ran out of candy before we ran out of kids! Last year I think we had 4 kids stop by. This year we had 20 or 30 kids. We were digging in the cupboard to find something to give out. Some kid got some OLD, OLD Lifesavers. From back when Chaz still lived with us.... BTW, I hope Pop Rocks don't actually expire. They don't, do they?


Matt's been busy. He's going to school right now, as well. He's taking one class from City University of Seattle. That one class will finish up his Associate's Degree. Cool, huh? In his free time (big joke, right? no free time with 3 section duty, that's for sure) he's been taking pictures. Last weekend he did a big shoot out in Chesapeake for a big family- almost as big as ours! This weekend he took some awesome pictures of kids in home-made Halloween costumes. Those guys were adorable! :) So, needless to say, he's pretty busy. We've also decided that our timetable for moving might need to be moved up. So this weekend, we've been busy getting some packing up started. I figure if I do 2 boxes a day, I'll be all packed up by the time we're ready to move. Right? It will work like that, right? I hope?!? Anyways, if I get a lot of it done ahead of time, I won't be scrambling when the time comes. No matter when that time is. Besides, most of the stuff I've been boxing up is stuff that was in boxes the whole time we've lived here. So its not like we need it, or anything. I've also been purging a lot of that stuff, too. Giving it away to charity, or just throwing it away. I won't need it where I'm going!

Ok, well, like I said, not a whole lot going on here. And yet, we're really busy. I am going to try to convince my husband to watch an episode of The Office with me. I could use a good laugh! :)

~Pam

PS. Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Still working

For me (Matt) I have always struggled with being able to gain muscle. I have finally found what works for me:

1.) Hard work outs ( been going since January)
2.) To gain any weight I need 4500 calories a day (no, that is not a lie (and you try eating 4500 somewhat healthy calories in a day, its hard!))
3.) Consistency! I have to keep at it...

Anyways this is not exactly a fair comparison, because in the picture on the right the lighting is much more flattering (direct overhead) and it was after working out. But the picture on the right is how I am feeling, which is GOOD! =) Up about 20 lbs on the year and only up 1-2% in body fat. I have 3 more months, I am just starting another phase of 4500 calorie days to try to put some more muscle on. Wish me determination ;)

-Matt

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just for kicks and giggles

Kate posted something similar on her blog, so I decided to check it out. I had way too much fun, and definitely didn't get any housework done yet. But this made me smile, anyways! :)

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By Popular Demand

Ok, so maybe Rene' was the only one who asked for it, but still. I'm sure there are others who are just dying to know what's going on in my life right now. Right? Someone? Anyone? Oh, well. *sigh* I guess its probably b/c not a whole lot is going on in my life. Let's see...school, school, more school, Blink 182 concert, did I mention school? School is my life. I walk to school every morning, which is pretty cool. It takes me just 15 minutes, even if I walk slowly. I get to the classroom before the kids do, and I help set up for the day. I've slowly started to take more responsibility for the class. Right now I'm teaching the "Making Meaning" lesson, which is a program for enhancing comprehension in reading. Basically, the teacher reads lots of great children's stories to the kids, and then we discuss together different strategies. We've talked about visualizing and inferring so far. Each week we read a story from the Basal (reading book) and the kids take a comprehension test each Friday on it. It is open book, but you'd be surprised how many kids don't do very well.... Let's see, oh, I've also started to take over teaching things like prefixes and suffixes as well. We'll see how that goes :) I also give the spelling test on Fridays. Sometimes I have to make up sentences for the words, and it cracks me up how I can't think of a good sentence for a word like "gray." My sentence is something like "I have a gray crayon." Pretty dumb, huh? My biggest challenge is classroom management. I have a hard time knowing what to ignore and what to stop. I'm learning, but I just need more experience. The best part of my day is when a kid says to me, "Mrs. Emerson, you're so nice!" or "I really like your sweater," or "I hope I can be in your class some day." It makes it all worth it.

So, teaching is actually the easiest part of being a student teacher. It is the rest of it that is complicated. Like remembering to send in my weekly journal on Saturday night (not Sunday!!!) or writing up my 20-30 page "Impact on Student Learning," (12 pages down!), or getting my portfolio put together. It is also nerve-wracking when my supervisor comes in to see me. I'm not intimidated by her, but it is hard sometimes to have someone watching me. The kids act differently, too, but usually for the better.

Anyways, that's about it. Matt's still on 3-section duty. So I get to see him sometimes at least. We try to make the best of the time when he is home. We actually went clothes shopping yesterday, at the Limited. We had a good time; we needed to spend some coupons we had. Last time we were there, they gave us 4 coupons worth $25 off a $50 purchase. So, we spent $200 and only paid $100. Pretty nifty, huh? Also pretty good considering our last purchase we saved about 50% as well.

OK, well, I should get some housework done, now that it is getting to be evening time around here. Maybe cook me up some dinner. I feel decently productive today, but if I can go to bed with a clean house, it will be a bonus! :)

~Pam

Friday, September 18, 2009

A little time for a quick update

Well, it has been two whole weeks of student teaching. I feel pretty good. I'm getting to know the teacher, the students, the format of the lessons, the rules of the school, all that good stuff. There are some problem children, but what class doesn't have those? Right now, I'm basically just observing and lending assistance when needed. Starting next week, I'm going to teach some lessons. We'll start slow and ease into it. My comprehensive exam is next Saturday, and I'm really nervous about it. But, once that is out of the way, I'll be able to focus on teaching and getting my portfolio together. There's so much that goes into it! One of the things I need to do is n"Impact on student learning." This means that I need to give a pre-test, look at the scores, figure out what areas need to be taught and which don't, and then come up with a plan to teach those areas. After the lessons, I'll give a post-test and find out what my "impact" was on the students' learning. I have to write a paper about it, too. This is the big project for the student teaching experience. I think I've already given the pre-test. We're waiting for the scores to come back so I can make a plan of action and design some lessons. I'll give the same test as a post-test. Or maybe I'll do something simple like give a spelling pre-test, teach a lesson on how to spell the most frequently misspelled words, and then give a post-test. It could be that simple. We'll see what I end up having time to do.

I'm so happy, because I thought Matt was going to be on "fast cruise" for the next week or so, but I found out he's coming home tonight and he goes on leave on Monday (after a Sunday duty day). Way too exciting! (This will put a damper on my study plans for the weekend, but we can work around it, can't we? ;)

Anyways, I best get ready for Matt to come home. He's on his way! Talk to you all later!

Pam

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Since Kate doesn't have a camera...

I'll post some pics from our recent outing to the zoo.











So, this morning I decided that I would try to weed my garden this morning. It is starting to look more like a garden, don't you think?



But then, I saw this...


And decided that I didn't really want to weed anymore.

Can you see it?

How's this?


Yes, Kate, this is the same type of spider you had at your house, but it is smaller. I almost put my face right in its web before I saw it. :( Needless to say, I ran away screaming, and I had to force myself to go out there and take a picture of it, just so I could share with you all...

Have a great day, everyone. Those picked weeds are going to stay there until Matt gets home tomorrow. I'm NOT going out back again today!

~Pam

PS. Oh, by the way, I opened my windows last night to let some fresh air in, and the house smells so fresh this morning! It is still cool right now, but I guess I should close them before it warms up too much...and maybe turn the AC back on....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Word

I have a confession to make. Today, I heard the word "ambivalence" on the radio, and I realized that I didn't really know what it meant. I always thought that it meant "Not caring one way or the other." I got curious, because it didn't seem to fit the sentence I heard it in (it didn't fit the context). So, I did what any good school teacher would do when she doesn't know what a word means. I looked it up. And here's what I found:

ambivalence (n): simultaneous attraction and repulsion.

So there you have it. And now the conversation made sense :)


~Pam

Monday, August 24, 2009

Efficiency

So, I was looking at a blog travelinlocal.com and I saw an awesome visual. Just what does it really take to transport 300 passengers? Well here's an idea...



Kind of cool, huh? Kind of makes you think about commuting to work in your car...at least it makes me think about commuting to work in my car. Or truck. I'm glad that I will be able to walk or ride my bike to school this fall-Every Day! :)

Have a great day, guys!

Pam

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr. Horrible

I really don't know how I was able to survive this last year not knowing about this amazing show. I mean, seriously? Josh Whedon is involved. Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) is involved. What is not to like? Anyways, I saw this on Cake Wrecks, had to watch the whole thing, was totally worth it, and now I'm singing the soundtrack to myself. Really brightened my day. Hope you enjoy-it is about 45 minutes long, but SOOOOOO worth it :)




Pam

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ideal Woman

I watched a documentary today. It was about mannequin makers. These artists basically decide what the "ideal" woman is-this is what we see when we go into clothing stores. What we all compare ourselves to. When we see clothing on a mannequin, we all secretly hope that the clothing will look just as good on us as it does on the mannequin (never mind that the mannequin's clothing usually has to be pinned to fit properly, since they don't really make clothing that actually FITS the mannequin...) Anyways, the artist said that they usually make the mannequins in the size 34x25x36. I was curious-it has been a little while since I measured myself. So...I measured myself. With my clothes on, in the middle of the day, and this is what I came up with:

34x26x37

So close, yet so far away?

And what does that say about me? Am I truly happy with my body yet? Or do I still feel so far from perfection that I will never reach it?

Well, what IS perfect, anyways? And who should I let decide what perfect is for {me}? I guess that's what I really need to work on. And besides. I really shouldn't compare myself to a mannequin. I mean, they're made out of plastic. They can't move, and they sure can't have as much fun in their "perfect" body as I can have in mine, right? :)

Just a thought. Thought I would share. I really am amazed at how far I've come and how much I've changed, just within this past year. I'm not sure I've ever really felt proud of myself. Not when I made it through Power School or Prototype, not when I qualified my watches, not even when I made the Dean's List every semester of my undergraduate degree. But I do feel a certain amount of pride when I look in the mirror these days. I still see my problem areas, but instead of dwelling on the problems, I try to think of solutions. Try, being the operative word.

I actually went into a clothing store the other day and COULD NOT find a single pair of pants to fit me. None of the Women's pants were small enough (just one size too big, but still), and the Junior's pants didn't fit right. I guess I can't shop in that store anymore, because they just don't stock the right size for me. I'm a little sad, but also really happy. More happy than sad, to tell the truth.

Well, I am coming up on Student Teaching, and this semester will be challenging and {hopefully} rewarding. Matt's going to be ridiculously busy with work, but he's only got about 200 days left, and he's counting down!

Well, I will talk to all of you later,
Pam

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Actual Birthday

Well, yesterday turned out much more exciting than I was expecting. Turning 28 was actually pretty fun, when you get right down to it. All morning and most of the afternoon was spent either studying for my in-class exam or working on my take-home exam. I got a call from a good friend, Rene, and got to have a nice little chat with her. That was fun! Then, I had to get ready for class by showering, brushing my teeth, and getting dressed. I had arranged to meet up with a girl to sell her a textbook, so I left the house, while talking to Penny. I met up with the girl, headed to class, and all the while the skies were blue and the sun was shining. It was a gorgeous day. I parked my truck, headed for class, and I heard this loud boom behind me. I looked back, and holy cow! There was a big, dark wall of black clouds looming behind me. I thought "no big deal. probably headed the other way." Boy was I wrong! (more about that later). Anyways, I walked to class, got a phone call from Beth and got to chat to her for a little bit (oh, and I got a present in the mail from Beth. Good timing! Thanks for the book!) Class started, and my professor surprised us with... a birthday cake for me! That was so sweet! She even took some pictures.




I mean, seriously? How cool is that? I've never celebrated my birthday during a class before. Never in elementary or high school, since it always fell during the summer. And never during a college class-and I think I've had a final exam on my birthday every summer I've been in classes....Needless to say, I felt very special, and the final went AWESOME! I guess some students have complained in the past that it was difficult, but I thought it was pretty straightforward. It was open book, so the answers were all there. I did some prep-work, which I highly recommend for any open book test. If the teacher gives you a study guide, I suggest finding all the things on the study guide and writing down page numbers for quick reference. That makes it so much easier during the test to reread any information you might have forgotten.

{Speaking of final exams, I'm not sure how I did on my Advanced Child Theory final, but I got an A overall in the class. I feel pretty good about it. To refresh your memory, this class was the one where everyone technically failed the midterm exam. Including me, even though I got the second highest grade in the class (I know what you're thinking, 'Second highest?' Me, too. *sigh). Since we all did so horribly, the teacher added a whopping 20 points to our raw score, so instead of getting 55/80, I got 75/80, which is an A. There were still some people who didn't pass, even with the added points.}

Ok, so back to my in-class final yesterday. I finished it first-big surprise. And headed back to my car. Only, by this time the storm had hit. It was like the sky had opened up an just let it go! Now, I park off-campus, about a mile away (I'm not exaggerating) so this was going to be fun. I rolled up my pants, wrapped my cell phone and Ipod in paper to keep them from getting wet, and headed for the truck. At least it was a warm rain. By the time I got to my truck, I was thoroughly soaked. My original plan was to go, pick up Kate, go out to eat dinner, and see a movie. Well, it was raining so hard and traffic was bad, so it would have taken us too long and we would have gotten soaked as well, so Kate and I decided to eat some deer spaghetti and french bread at her house. The boys greeted me at the door with "It's your birthday, Mimi!" and "Happy Birthday!" So cute! They had drawn me birthday cards, and Parker let out the surprise that there was a birthday cake for me. I'm so glad I got to share my birthday with them! They are getting so big.
Kate tried to take pictures of me blowing out my 14 candles, but her camera died. Oh, well....Kate gave me her present-two Scentsy bars-one Wasabi Ginger, and the other White Tea and Cactus. I'm pretty excited about both of those!
I got two and a half phone calls while I was over there. Gwen called and told me some exciting news (you'll have to ask her), mom beeped in (but I didn't know it was her b/c I didn't recognize the phone number), and my good fried Matt T. called. I wish I could have talked longer!

So, Kate and I headed out to see the movie. My shoes were soaked, of course, and like wearing two blocks of ice. We decided to watch the movie "Julie & Julia" and it turned out to be a great movie. I hope Kate enjoyed it, because I thought it was really fun. It almost made me want to buy "The Art of French Cooking" and try some recipes. Almost. I saw how much butter those recipes call for! I'm not sure I could do it.

We got back home around 10:30, I dropped Kate off, called Mom back, talked to her and Nathan, got the cutest message in the world from Jill and Jheriko (at the end he is yelling "Happy Birthday Aunt Penny!!!!"). Too fun! Then I was able to talk to my husband for a few minutes before I went to bed. This was a really fun birthday, and a memorable one! Thanks, everyone. You all made turning older that much more bearable. I'm ready for this year, the year of 28. Its going to be a good one!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Test

Just trying this out. Yes, I am writing this on my iPod. How cool is that? Who needs a laptop anymore?

Pam

Happy Birthday to Me!

I know, I know, my birthday is not TECHNICALLY until tomorrow, but since Matt has duty tomorrow, and I have my final tomorrow, we sort of celebrated last weekend. Let's see, on Friday night, Matt and I went to Barnes & Nobles and picked up some books from the $2 section. They are these gigantic coffee table books that have great pictures I thought might be fun for my future classroom. One's about the polar region, one's about space, and one's about birds of prey. Very, very cool. Then, Matt and I ate dinner (at A&W's, we never eat fast food) and headed over to the mall. Since I've lost all my weight, I don't really fit into the bikini that I bought for our honeymoon back in 2006. So...Matt decided to help me find a new one! That was so much fun. For the first time in my life, I had fun trying on different bathing suits. And I tried on so many of them! I narrowed it down to 3 suits, and then Matt helped me choose one. :) So much fun! Then, as another part of my birthday present, Matt and I headed down to the beach early Saturday morning for a photo shoot. We've never really done that before, and I was really excited. We went to Sandbridge Beach, and watched the sunrise. It was gorgeous. The ocean was calm, and the water was warm (thank goodness). Anyways, here are some amazing photos that Matt took of me down on the beach.


















Oh, and Matt had one more gift for me. A couple weeks ago, he had bought a toy for himself, and I asked him "When are you going to get me one?" Well, he actually already had one in the mail, and I got to open it for my birthday.

TaDa!!!



Yes, I know, its an Apple product. But seriously? This thing is cool. And we find new things we can do with it every day. I've been listening to podcasts on it, so far that's my favorite thing to do with it.

Well, it was a pretty great birthday. And it isn't over yet. I heard a rumor that Kate was going to make me a cake tomorrow, and maybe we'll go out late and watch a movie. I should be completely done with classes and exams by then, and it will be sort of a celebration. I'm pretty excited.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed.

Pam

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can anyone guess what I did today?

Wow, you guys are good. Yep, I sure did watch the boys today. It has been a while since they've been over to Mimi's house, and we had a lot of fun. First, we went outside and played with the "hammers" (my croquet mallets). The boys even helped me harvest some beans from the garden before we got attacked by mosquitoes! That was fun. We raced inside, watched a little bit of Ice Age, and then the boys got antsy. So, what did I do? I got out the boxes! It is amazing what two boxes and some imagination can do, isn't it?

Let's see:
You can build a fort....



You can row a boat...


Then, Preston said he wanted to make a necklace, which was something they had done the last time they were here. I got out the pipe cleaners, and beads, and we started making necklaces. But Parker decided he wanted some glasses, so I made some for him, and some for me. But of course, he refused to stand still enough to let me take a picture of him, however, I did manage to get a cute one of Preston.



And, of course, I had to try the glasses on too!





We had such a fun time today, and the frozen yogurt afterward sure was a great treat!


Since I haven't posted any pics of myself lately, I thought I would share a couple that Matt took down on the beach of me a couple weeks ago. We had a good time :)



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ok Ok Ok, Matt's Pictures

Allright so rumor has it that I did 2 rounds of P90X with Pam, well sort of just before the last one finished I injured my foot and had to spend 2 weeks on crutches and took an extra two weeks off. The second round I only did the strength workouts and none of the cardio work outs. So after 180 days here are my results I am up 15 lbs and mainly just feel awesome:



Since then we have finished our P90X and now we are moving on to a strength training program and here is my favorite move the Hang Clean & Press:

video

and not to be out done here is Pam doing them to! sorry for the shakyness but I just finished my set and was tired!

video

-Matt

Monday, July 13, 2009

My 106 hour work week

**WARNING THIS POST IS A RANT ABOUT MY JOB -Matt**

Phew, let me tell you some more about my Navy life. 3 weeks ago I was at work for 106 hours in 7 days, considering that there are only 168 hours in a week I pretty much hate my life in the Navy. Now lets also consider that my commute is 26 miles each way (because my ship moved from the Norfolk Station which is a mere 10 miles from me) and it takes and hour to get to and from work because of traffic, that sucks up about 10 more hours of my time.

Now let me tell you about what I am doing at work that is so important for me to stay there so much... well for about 18 hours any given week I sit and stare a indication panel that shows the status of the electric system, that is about the most rewarding part of my job right there... A majority of my time is spent sitting in a chair doing absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, I stare at the wall, I stare at the clock, I wait to be tasked with something important... oh wait I just got tasked, sweet I get to hole punch 350 pages of paper! wow I am so awesome and talented... next task.. hmmm oh make 500 copies, then throw them all out because we changed our mind. sweet.. ok back to sitting and doing absolutely nothing.

Wait now it is time to clean... I have been assigned a 3 foot by 3 foot by 7 foot piece of the ship that I have to clean for 1 hour a day... hmm let me tell you that I pretty much could clean that little piece of the ship in about 2 minutes, but that doesn't mean I can stop... NO NO NO, must clean, and clean more, you're doing a good job if the paint starts coming off the wall because you clean it so much... hmmm is this hour over yet? Oh wait some Khaki wearing person has decided that we aren't cleaning hard enough, so we need to clean for two hours today... Sweet..

Awesome it is the end of the work day... I survived let me just check with my bosses to make sure I can leave to go home, since it is the end of the work day. Wait Wait Wait, the end of the work is the time when they assign us more work, so while I was sitting around all day doing absolutely nothing and could have been working no one bothered to tell us what really needed to be done. Instead they wait until 4pm and say "yea while the rest of the ship is going home right now you can leave until you do *insert dumb task here* and it needs to be perfect" ohh and this task could be accomplished by ONE person but we are going make all 12 of you stay just in case... Sweet...

Ah 6pm rolls around and we have finally completed said dumb task finally time to go home... Now I have to walk 2 1/2 miles to my car because the ship has no parking near it.. sweet... oh yea and the tunnel is backed up again... sweet...

ahh home at last it's 7pm did I mention that I left for work at 0500 this morning... sweet.. enough time to eat, kiss my wonderful wife, and go to bed to rinse wash and repeat the next day...

So welcome to my miserable life where I am essentially a slave, I mean before we leave on the weekends we have to fill out a sheet of paper that says what we are doing for the weekend... Are you serious, I am a 26 year old married man, and I have to fill out a weekend plan before I leave.... oh well I am done, just wanted to share with you my life, maybe next time I will write about how we waste thousands of your tax dollars everyday for no reason.

-Matt

Friday, July 10, 2009

I feel like I need to

Blog. It has been way too long. I think I've been in kind of a rut lately. Yes, I've lost weight. Yes, I look good. But, holy cow! I was exercising almost every day for the last 180 days! That takes a lot out of a person. And yet, since I've sort of been taking a break lately and starting a new routine, I've started to miss my daily workouts. Today, in fact, I decided I would actually "treat" myself to a little Kenpo action. And boy did I need it. That workout makes me sweat like crazy, and I just felt so much better afterward.

So, I got a weird email from a friend asking if I was going to be going to my high school reunion. Huh, well, since I haven't heard anything about it, I hadn't really planned on it. I have definite mixed feelings about the whole thing. Ten long years have gone by since high school, but I'm not sure if it has been long enough for me. I never felt like I belonged there, at least not until the very end of my senior year. Up to that point I felt like an outsider. Most of my classmates
a. were related,
or
b. had been together since Kindergarten.
It was really difficult for me to make friends. Which sucks, because I would have LIKED to have been friends with a lot of the kids in class. Maybe it was harder since there were 15 guys to 5 girls in the class (ok, so the numbers kind of changed as it went along, but that's how it started out). I guess I'm not saying that I didn't have ANY friends in high school, because now that I look back on it, I remember having good times with a lot of my classmates. It is just that, in the last 10 years, there are very few people I went to high school with that I've stayed in any sort of contact with. It might have to do with my changing belief system over the years. Or the fact that now I'm a navy vet and don't have a lot in common with the majority of the kids who stayed in ID, got married, had kids, whatever. But, regardless of all that, there is a part of me that wants to go back to Bancroft in my little red dress, and blow them all away with my smokin' hot body! (: You know what I mean? That, and the fact that I've been sort of successful: nuclear electrician, bachelor's degree, working on master's degree, homeowner, world traveler, that sort of thing. I feel like my life is exactly how I wanted it to be, even though in high school I wouldn't have been able to tell you how I wanted my life to be. In fact, I would have told you exactly what you expected to hear: marry an RM, have kids, blah, blah, blah. Not that I'm saying that life isn't good for others! It is! I'm just so happy with the way my life is right now (how many times can I say that in one blog post?) that I guess I never imagined my life to be this good. I never imagined that I could have such control over my life. That I could grow and make changes. I always thought that I was one way, and that was the way I was always going to be. Destined, I think is the word. Well, thank goodness I met Matthew Emerson, and he showed me that I can do ANYTHING and if I don't like something about myself (like my weight) then I can CHANGE it.

And if there's anything I've learned in my experience with Matthew and with my studies in developmental psychology (which has been sparse, but we get some in my education classes-must figure out how kids develop cognitively and socially, you know?) it is that we can always be better. There are always improvements we can make. Nothing is set in stone. Choice is yours. Take it!

Ok, well I stayed up exactly 1 hour later than I wanted to, but I still have plenty of time to get a good night's sleep before Matthew comes home from work and we start our next workout. I'm SO ready! :)

Good night everyone.
~Pam

Friday, July 3, 2009

6 Months into a New Life

Pam and I have changed our lives a lot this year, we have made fitness and health a priority and it has been wonderful. I would like to share with you Pam's pictures after round 2 of P90X.

She has worked so hard and pushed her self so far it is awe inspiring. For 95% of the days in this 6 months she woke up and sweated for an hour straight to achieve her results. She inspires me on a daily basis. I am proud of you sweetheart.

-Matt

PS: I forgot to mention she has worked off 1/3 of her body fat! The final measurements put her at 23.3% down from exactly 33.3% when she started, how awesome is that!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Has it been almost a month?

Since Penny got married? Wow, this month (June) went by so fast. Here's a rundown of the things we've been up to this month:

1. Penny's wedding in Spokane on June 6th
2. school, school, more school (including a 10 page paper I'm supposed to be working on right now)
3. Kate left on vacation, so I haven't seen the boys much in the last 3 weeks
4. Matt flew to Cali last weekend to take a Load Dispatcher test for the city of LA -cross your fingers. That would be an AWESOME job! (It was a really quick trip-fly in Friday, take test Saturday, fly back Sunday. Boy was he exhausted!)
5. I helped Rene Timmermann with fixing her house up after the previous tenants left a mess. Rene and I worked 81 hours together, from Sun 14 June to Mon 22 June, with Rene working an extra 11 hours by herself one day while I worked on an assignment. We cleaned, painted, mudded, sanded, fixed, and just made the house look better. The carpets were stained, but a friend loaned us a cleaner, and it was a miracle worker!

Anyways, other than working out, we haven't been doing much around here. We haven't had a chance to enjoy the beach weather yet, and the rest of my summer classes start up on Monday, so hopefully I'll be able to fit in at least a couple days at the beach this summer. It is so hard with Matt on 3-section duty to find the time. But we will, dang it!

I took pictures at Penny's wedding, and I'm still working on processing them and getting them looking as good as I can. Once I get this paper turned in I'll have a little bit more time to work on them.

I'm really glad Rene came out and could spend all that time with me. We had such good conversations (along with all our back-breaking work that we did). It is good to know that you have friends that you can remain close to, even if you don't see them for years at a time. Or just once a year, as it has happened with me and the Timmermanns. Well, I guess when we move across the country we'll be closer and hopefully will be able to visit a lot more. I miss you already, Rene!

Anyways, let me put my nose to grindstone and knock out the rest of this paper. I've done 7 of the 10 pages already, let's see if I can just finish it up. (I'm procrastinating, can't you tell?)

~Pam

PS. Matt and I officially have a weightlifting room. I'll take pictures of it when I find my camera battery charger (I CAN'T find that thing ANYWHERE!) and show you guys what an awesome deal we got on all of the equipment. :) We're planning on experimenting with different techniques after we finish with the current round of P90X, which will end in 2 weeks. Then...look out! :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

I am continually {amazed}

Ok, so all day today I've been a little stressed out about getting my scores back. A couple months ago, I took 2 tests that were very important to my future in education. In order for me to begin student teaching, I needed to take 2 tests: the VRA and the VCLA (along with the Praxis 2 that I had already taken). I decided to take them both on the same day, and then I seriously doubted that that was a good move. I met several people the day of the test that were taking one or the other test for the 3rd or 5th time! I began to worry, but there wasn't a whole lot I could do.

Well, today the {unofficial} scores came out via email at 5pm. I was grocery shopping when my alarm went off to remind me to check my email. I got home, put away the groceries, and tried to to remain calm. I logged in, and here's what I found:

Test Date: 05/16/2009

PAM H EMERSON
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23455

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Reading Subtest: Standard: 235 Your Score: 288

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Writing Subtest: Standard: 235 Your Score: 272

----------------------------------------------------------------------

VCLA Total Test: Minimum Passing Score: 470
Highest Total Score: 560

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Highest Achieved
Subtest Scaled Score Test Date
Reading Subtest 288 05/16/2009
Writing Subtest 272 05/16/2009

VCLA Status: Passed

Test: Virginia Reading Assessment for Elementary and Special Education
Your Score: 265
Minimum Passing Scaled Score: 235
Status: Passed


So, what does that mean? Well, I definitely DON'T have to take those two tests again. Now, I know what most of you are thinking: "Pam, why do you EVER worry? You always do well!" But, hey, there's always that little voice in the back of my mind that is unsure. I'm just so, oh, I don't know, RELIEVED would be a good word. You should have seen me. I was doing the famous Matthew Happy Dance (probably only Matt will know what that looks like). When I finally calmed down enough, I decided to share with you all my good news. Now, aren't you glad I shared?? :)

Oh, and I finally figured out how to put a {heart} into my text.



So there!

~Pam

Monday, June 8, 2009

Penny's wedding

Ok, so right now I'm sitting in Penny's basement, listening to the rain fall. Thankfully, this is the first time since I got here that it has rained so much, so we're all pretty grateful for that. So, anyone want to hear about my whirlwind weekend? (Sorry, no pictures yet. They need to be processed, but when they're done, I'll post some :)

Ok, so I got here on Thursday afternoon, after a long, long, long day of traveling. Actually, I woke up at 330am to work out with Matt, then rushed to the airport, only to find out that I was flying a different airline than I thought. Finally got on the plane, flew to DC, then flew to Seattle, then flew into Spokane. Mike met me at the airport, and Penny was home by the time I got there. We had a really enjoyable evening, Mike BBQed for us, and although I got to bed really late (10pm PST, which is 1am EST) I slept really well, and was refreshed in the morning. I got up at 530 when Penny's alarm went off, and decided to do a workout (Plyometrics). That really helped me sweat all the toxins out from flying and I felt really good. After the workout, we all got ready and headed to Kohl's for some dress shopping. Yes, I helped Penny pick out her dress, and also Mike pick out his outfit. I don't know why, but it is so much more fun shopping for someone else. Just like it is more fun to clean someone else's house. Which is what we did after we got done shopping. We scrubbed, and cleaned, and the house looked awesome by the time the first of the siblings started to arrive. Jill and Demarko were first, after they picked up Peggy from the airport (that was a surprise!). Gwen and Tansy flew in, and Peggy and I drove to the airport to pick them up. Then Mom, Kate, and Beth got here. Along with Mike's family. Everyone left to check into the hotel, and Mike headed out to get KFC, and Matt and Brittany drove in. We had a great meal, then lots of talking while Peggy attempted to straighten Penny's hair. In the dark. Outside. :) We stayed out until it started to rain, and then everyone gathered in the house for more visiting. Finally, everyone headed to their hotels, and Gwen, Tansy, and I made up our beds and hit the sack.
Saturday morning dawned bright and early. 530 early. (I think we East Coasters were still on Eastern time) We made some pasta salad, did Penny's nails, and then Penny and I were convinced to head over to the hotel so Penny could get her hair redone. I took pictures of her getting ready, and we'll see how those turn out. Before we knew it, it was almost time for the wedding, and Penny, Mom, Peggy, and I hurried over to the park. Where it was nice and sunny, but cool and windy. The tables were AWESOME! Everything was just getting set up, guests were arriving, and everyone looked so good! It was so much fun! I took pictures during the brief ceremony, which went quite well, I think, and then we did some group shots. I had Rene (yes, Matt and Rene Timmermann, some of my best friends in the whole world, drove over from Seattle to come to the wedding and visit with me :) take the big group shots. She did really well. Reception followed with lots of food, visiting, and having a good time. If it wasn't so cold, it would have been perfect. After we ate some yummy hamburgers, hotdogs, cornbread salad, broccoli salad, pasta salad, chips and salsa, we had a group game of trivial pursuit. That game, I think, will go down in Helm Family History. Longest game ever! But it was a really close match, and we all had fun, I think. Next came the cake, and then we packed it all up and went our respective ways. My plan was to stay with Matt and Rene for the night, and we got Gwen and Tansy a room in the same hotel for dirt cheap. Gwen, Tansy and I let Matt and Rene get some studying done, and we headed over to everyone else's hotel for some more visiting time. We ended up walking around, seeing the gorgeous Spokane River, and riding on the Carousel. Then we had some dinner, where Beth was serenaded by the staff (it was her birthday) and Jill passed out some letters and such that we hadn't seen in a long time. Fun times! Lots of spilled water glasses, for some reason.

Let's see, then we went back to the hotel and jumped into the hot tub. I think it closed at 11pm, but we stayed until almost midnight. I think we intimidated them too much! :) I said my goodbyes to everyone (ok, almost everyone. I thought for some reason that I would see Matt and Brit, Jill and Demarko the next day. BUt I didn't. SOrry guys!) Then I drove Gwen, Tansy and me back to the hotel and I crashed in Rene and Matt's room. WEll, Rene kept me up talking for a bit. ANd then I was awakened by the alarm at 530 (what IS it with me and alarms at 530???) I finally figured out how to turn it off, and went back to sleep. WE woke up, decided to get some breakfast, and then we packed up and headed out to do the same awesome "Bridge Walk" that I had done with the family. I thought it was going to rain on us, so I didn't take any pictures. BUt, lo and behold, the sun came out, and it was GORGEOUS! We enjoyed ourselves, and then we had lunch, and then went back to Penny's. I didn't want to say goodbye to them, but they REALLY needed to go. It is finals week for them, and they needed to get some stuff done. I miss them already! (Lucky for me, Rene's coming to visit next week, so I get to spend some more time with her!) Penny and Jen and Mike (Jen is Mike's sister) and I hung out for the afternoon, watched some Twilight, then ate dinner, then watched Bolt, and then made some S'more's and went to bed. Full day!

This morning, I did some yoga, and I feel a million times better. Even though Yoga is 1.5 hours, I always feel like I did something good for myself, and I feel like I've been rejuvenated. :)

Our plan for today is:
1. shower---check!
2. eat----check!
3. laundry------check!
4. watch movie, UP!-----soon
5. get lunch
6. hang out
7. airport at 7pm.

We'll see how it goes. It is rainy and cold, did I mention that yet? But we're still going to enjoy ourselves. Now that everyone is gone, it is just me and Penny.

Well, that's about it. SOrry I don't have pictures. Hopefully others in my family took some pics and they'll post them for us.

I'll write more when I get home.

I miss Matt.

Pam

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Help Needed

Ok, so Penny asked me what I think she should write on her cake. Well, since I'm a fan of "Cake Wrecks" (See my sidebar favorite links) I had a few ideas. What do you guys think?












Ok, so I've had a lot of fun with these :)

~Pam