Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Time is Here

Well, the coughing/gagging has subsided, the decorations are mostly completed, school is OVER,...vacationing can now commence! Reed and I (and when I say Reed and I, I mean Reed) have been working hard trimming the tree and rigging up the lights in a lame attempt to add some holiday cheer to our new home. We don't have enough decorations to satisfy even Mr. Scrooge, but our tree looks great, and I feel better knowing that we should hopefully have enough time and money next Christmas to create a winter wonderland that the Grinch can't even shake a stick at.
Tree # 6 in the life of Reed and Jennifer Seamons...
Above is our Christmas ornament of choice for 2008. Our first house! It's actually the first meaningful ornament that has ever graced our tree, besides the ones my mom gave me that commemorated my years growing up.

The piano I am supposed to play more often. Is that a cobweb over there on the left??

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Cheer!

I like to post pictures with each of my blog entries, but this one is about the past few weeks, which pretty much consist of me coughing so hard I nearly gagged, and stressful attempts to close out yet another grooling semester at the UofA with good grades. Therefore, there will be no pictures documenting that holiday cheer! You can thank me later. Re good grades: Reed and I both get a big fat check mark in that department. Wahoo!! Stay tuned for more...about Christmas, not gagging.

Turkey Time!!!

...SEAMONS FAMILY...
I know this is soooo late, but I now have the pictures I need to document our Thanksgiving frolics. We had our first Thanksgiving in our first real home, (the apartment being some sort of edifice to get our feet wet) and cooked our first turkey. It turned out perfectly. I was so proud. We had Reed's family over and they completed our feast by supplying all the side dishes to compliment our beast. Hey...a rhyme! I know it's a fowl, not a beast, but then I couldn't make my rhyme.

The next night, we had my family over and cooked another holiday bird. It of course turned
out perfectly too. Best not cook another turkey again lest it tastes horrible...or we burn down the house. Either scenario would ruin the good memory I have in my head of our beautiful birds.

Turkey-talk aside, we all had a great time, and I can't wait for Christmas...which is in less than a week in lou of this procrastination blog.


Ain't he handsome?! The guy with the knife
is pretty hot too!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How To Relieve Stress 101...

Well, it's been about a month since my last entry. That of course means it's time to type something. We have been so busy moving, entertaining family and organizing that I haven't had much time to breathe let alone blog. However, we do have everything organized and have gotten used to the fact that we will never have as much money in savings as we used to. Sigh! I would just like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all those kind-hearted (out of their mind) individuals who drove clear across town or state to help us move into our-for now-oversized house. We truly appreciate your efforts. You should all come again when I am less stressed and yelley...that means I yelled a lot. Never fear though...I have figured out that in those moments of stress and yelliness...all I have to do is blast a Journey CD, and I am instantly transformed (for the better).
Another alternative stress reliever was the first Halloween in our new home. Not only was this our first Halloween in our new home, but our first trick-or-treater opportunity. An opportunity that proved not so opportunistic. Why is that you say?...our door bell only rang twice. TWICE! We bought 2 huge bags of candy and only handed out 6/18ths of it. Oh well...stress reliever #3: eating lots of candy! I wanted to document our Halloween enthusiasm with a picture of us and our first trick-or-treater, but I thought that might ruin any opportunity of friendship with this new neighbor...oh, and scar the poor girl for life.
For those of you who have been asking to see pictures of the inside of our house...I'll get to that when I'm done with stress reliever #3...and lots of exercising.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

JOURNEY to Phoenix

Yesterday, my husband took me to Phoenix to see Journey in concert. It was the final piece to my birthday present in August. I must say, I was not a true Journey fan, but loved a few of their songs. Now, I can confidently claim obssession with the band. That was an awesome concert and I will be doing THAT again in the near future. Their new lead singer, Arnel Pineda is gorgeous. He is a tremendous singer and a perfect addition to this legendary group. What a night! I bought a Journey T-shirt, we had great seats, and we saw ourselves on the big projector 3 times. I could not thank my husband enough for such an awesome gift. Way to go Hun. You nailed it this year. (Not that all the other years weren't filled with good memories.) Anyhoo...here are some moments from one of the greatest events of my life thus far:
This is the best picture I could get of most of the band members. You have to realize that this lead singer was all over the place...very into his music...so it was hard to get a clear picture.

The following picture is of me and Reed during intermission. Is that a Bob Marley shirt he's wearing...to my Journey concert???

Anyway, this was such a good experience for me. I only hope I will be able to hear clearly again sometime in the near future.





DON'T STOP BELIEVING!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

House Hunting Complete!

We bought a house!!! We will actually be investing our money into something that will be ours free and clear someday. It feels good to be an investor. I highly recommend it. The only scary/sad element is that we are so far away from civilization and life as we knew it and loved it for almost 6 years (longer for me). I thought I would show off our new house in lou of my excitement... Here she is. It's hard to hold back the tears.

We'll have to spruce the back up a smidge...vines?


This is the view from our backyard, or sideyard. Not sure. Our realtor took these for us.

I think there is a Pampered Chef/Open House party in my house's future...for sure!!!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Grandma's Birthday!!!

A few weeks ago, my family got together to celebrate my Grandma's 78th birthday. Some family members were in town that we don't usually see much of and it was so nice to spend some time with them. As you can see, we have a large family, but as most of you don't know...there are 12 people missing from this photo. TWELVE! They were otherwise engaged...BUMS! So if you do the math, that means there are 43 of us all together: 1 grandma, 4 kids and their spouses, 16 grandchildren (9 of whom are married), and 9 great-grand children=43 + 1 on the way.

We had so much fun together. My grandma performed some of our family's best known poems, and we ate until "unbuttoning your pants" capacity. The best part: I managed to come away un-ill. The last 2 times a Willis or Blair family gathering occurred, I became deathly ill. WHAT!!!


The next photos are of me and my sister, my grandma and my mom. Do we look related, cuz I'm not sure? I think I look like my mom, but most people tell me I'm the spitting image of my dad.



This is my friend Storey. That's right...her parents named her after the simile for book. I would have gone with Haiku or Limerick...maybe even Prose, but it's not my kid. Isn't she cute though? Her parents say she loves to make faces. This is one of her more unique faces. Her future has Comedian written all over it...or Librarian. Get it...Storey. Hee-hee.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Window to the Past

I've been tagged again by my friend Gretchen. Yes! This tag requires me to reflect on my highschool years...the best in my life if you ask me. I loved highschool. So, here we go...
1. Did you date someone from your school? A Junior in my seminary class liked me when I was a Freshman. It ends there. I was not popular with the guys. Probably because I prided myself on being rude and obnoxious. That, and I had no clue about the ways of flirting/dating.
2. What kind of car did you drive? My mom finally gave me her white Mercury Tracer when she bought a newer car of her own. This was my Junior year. Oh the freedom one gains when she scores her own vehicle.
3. Were you a party animal? To quote a friend of mine, "I am pretty straight laced." She then continued, "but not dead." Well, I was. The party scene frightened me.
4. Were you considered a flirt? Refer to item #1.
5. Were you in band, orchestra or choir? None of the above. I was heavily involved in drama and speech though. My highschool won several state competitions in a row...5 I think. I was a strong contributor in our wins.
6. Were you a nerd? I hesistate to answer. I don't think so. Let's review: I didn't raise my hand to answer every question; I didn't wear any glasses; I don't recall being on the chess club or associated with any who were. Looks like it's a resounding NO. Phew!!!
7. Were you on any varsity teams? What does varsity mean? Team? I'm confused. :)
8. Did you ever get suspended or expelled? No, but I was slated to attend detention once because my friend Kelly made Erika and I late for Chemistry. She fessed up real quick though and proudly offered to take detentions in our place. Way to go Kelly! You're a model friend.
9. Can you still sing the fight song? I haven't been good lately with thinking on the spot. I can't even think of the first few words. Lame! I remember our mascot. Does that count?
10. What was your school's full name? All that I can remember is Cortez High School. I don't think it had a full name.
11. School mascot? Colts. The Cortez Colts. We were a force to be reckoned with. Rar! I mean...Neigh!
12. Did you go to Homecoming, and who with? I would just refer you to item #1 again, but I did in fact go to one dance with a guy. Reed just said "I never went to Homecoming." I just laughed out loud. But now that I think about it, neither did I. I was thinking of Senior Prom. I went with James Taylor. He didn't see fire and he didn't see rain, but he probably hoped that that sunny day would end...quickly. He was a Junior, and I asked him. I rock! I should have just stuck with a reference to item #1.
13. If you could go back and do it again, would you? I would love to go back, but I wouldn't change a thing. My highschool years were some of the best in my life. I had great friends. I loved my teachers. I was involved in all the clubs there were. Well...the non-nerdy ones. I can't wait for my 10 year reunion! Wait, that sounds kind of nerdy.
14. What do you remember most about graduation? "Don't trip." "Don't trip." "Don't trip."
15. Where did you go Senior Skip day? I may not have been a nerd, but I wasn't stupid. Everyone that got caught was suspended. I ALWAYS get caught!
16. Were you in any clubs? Drama, Speech, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, National Thespian Society, Just One, SADD. I think that's it.
17. Have you gained some weight since then? The opposite, actually. When I got married, I lost a lot of weight. Most everyone at work thought I was sick or something. Shame on all of you. I was pretty skinny though. I have filled out a bit more. :) Let's hope it stops there.
18. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? Absolutely. I can't wait to walk in without a trail of kids behind me or a bun in the oven. I expect to hear huge gasps. I was supposed to be the one who opened her wallet and 10 pictures unfolded in the plastic accordian insert...one of each of my Jenlets.
That was fun. Thanks Gretch! Now I tag Bethany, Lark and Camille. Enjoy your blast from the past.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Knock Knock. Where's Jen?

Not much to say, but needed to write something. I haven't entered a blog in about a month...not cool! Since our amazing trip though, not much has occurred exciting enough to grace our blog. Ugh. All that's been happening is work and school prep. I just finished teaching my 3rd week of school. They were filled with laughter, tears (not by me), and way too much energy. I love my new class. I have only one new student and she is so cute. She loves to explore her environment and is so curious about everything. Not to mention, I have the cutest class at ASDB...everyone thinks so! They take after me. These first few weeks were rocky at times, but I think we are beginning to find our groove now. It usually takes about a month.
I start school this Wednesday: Braille and a web delivered course about behavior management. Like I need that! I've never taken a web delivered course before. It's never good to leave me on my lonesome with only a few words of wisdom and direction. Anything could happen!
Other than that, I've just been enjoying my new class, trying to catch up on reading, and house hunting. That's right...Reed has finally let us dive into the adult world. For those of you who know us well...this could take about 9 months to a year, so don't freak out. We will be graduated, Reed will have a great engineering job with a bigger company, and we'll be ready for the move in time. No worries! Soul possession of a washer/dryer...here I come!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tag...You're It!

Yay! I've been tagged. I have to report 6 things about myself that are random and possibly unknown to many. Then I have to tag a few other people. Too bad not many of my friends blog. Common guys...I need more blogging pals.
1. I am absolutely dead to the world when I'm sleeping. I can sleep through a thunderstorm or a kidnapping no problem.
2. I can make 3 loops with my tongue. I was really bored one day in highschool.
3. I love to step on very crunchy leaves...and bugs.
4. I despise bows. You'll never see me or my children sporting those hideous eyesores.
5. I love to be barefooted. Maybe that's why the bottom of our tub gets so dirty so fast.
6. I have never broken a bone. All of you better knock on wood right now!
Now I tag...Lili, Jordie and Vanessa. Have fun being random.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh, What a Wonderful World

Well...we're back! We had such a great time. The West Indies are beautiful and the culture is welcoming and friendly especially when your husband thinks he's a West Indian...they seemed to like that. I was telling my cousin how important/humbling an experience this was for me. Guyana (located on the north coast of South America) is one of the poorest countries in the world. They don't have much, but they will give to others-no questions asked. I find most countries I've been to are the same way. America needs to follow suit a bit more.

Okay, we visited 2 countries (Trinidad and Guyana) in one week and I still managed to take over 200 pictures. We are so tired, but glad to have such an unforgettable experience under our belts. My eyes have seen some amazing things that I will brag about forever...until our next unforgettable trip. We hope to make this a yearly tradition while we have the time and money.
Here are some interesting facts I came up with about the W.E.:
1. Everything looks, feels and operates like Europe-probably because it was once run by the British for many years (at least Trinidad was).
2. Vendors/vagrants walk the middle of the highway selling their goods.
3. Although they speak English, it sounds like a foreign language to me-a cross between a Jamaican and East Indian accent.
4. People leave their trash bags full of trash on the streets (no trash bins I guess) for the city to pick up.
5. The government subsidizes travel, and food happens to be really inexpensive (not at the grocery store-a box of Cheerios was $7 U.S.)...yay for us!
6. Security guards patrol the grocery store aisles...should we have been concerned?
7. The people either look straight from Africa or India, or are a nice mix between the 2.
8. Stray dogs are like the pigeons in New York. What is that about?
9. Exchange rates: $6 Trinidad/Tabago to $1 American. $206 Guyana to $1 American.

Here are a few of my pictures. The rest can be found in this link: http://picasaweb.google.com/jseamons81/WestIndies2008.


Trinidad's Savannah. It was cloudy a lot, but isn't it beautiful?


Some kiddos at the zoo in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
On the way through the jungle to Maracas Bay, Trinidad.
Maracas Bay: this was a shocking realization for Reed that he needs a more thorough tan.
Beauty all around...loved the fogginess.

What a wonderful world we live in.


"The Bird Dance" by the ex-Queen of an Amerindian tribe called the Arawak's. We took a boat ride through the Kamuni creek off the Demarara river in Guyana to visit their village. Sorry for the obnoxious weed-eater noise in the background, but if you succeed in blocking that out you can hear her explain what she is doing and catch her cool accent.




video

Sunday, July 13, 2008

26 going on 80

I haven't blogged in a while, and since the blog is kinda like a journal for me (which I don't keep), I thought I would subdue my guilt and do my blogging duty. Reed and I have recently been feeling very outdoorsy (really due to the recent rain and cloudy days we've been getting) and have been hiking Sabino and Madera Canyon. I want all to know that I have faced and conquered my fears by hiking Madera as the last time I showed my face there, I fell on it...hard. I vowed never to return. However, I regained my wits and had a very successful trip, returning completely unscathed. Anyway...I just love the outdoors. Especially when it is cloudy. It just makes everything look much greener. I can accept the desert only under such circumstances.

On a much different note, and really the reason for my blog today, something that has been weighing on my mind...and my legs: Vericose/Spider veins. What!!! Last time I checked, I was in my mid 20s not Great Grandma-age. My mom doesn't have any and neither does my grandma. My legs are one my best features and now they are tainted. TAINTED! The hideous eye sores are faint mind you, but there nonetheless. I blame Reed...and my students...and the UofA. There...now I feel better.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The crack of the bat, the smell of the grass, sharing your cotton candy with every puppy-eyed, open-mouthed person around you...That's right, I went to a baseball game tonight. Every summer on or around the 4th of July, our church buys a bunch of tickets and we all go together on the same night. It's really fun. This is the last season for the Tucson Sidewinders. They were sold to Reno, Nevada, so this was the last time to catch a game before they pack up and move on down the road. Since it is also around the 4th of July, they always have a fireworks show after each game. It was really awesome. It is really the only reason I go, and it would have been even better if Reed had not complained about their sorry selection of patriotic songs and wanna-be spectacular fireworks/grande finale THE WHOLE TIME:

Reed-"I can't believe they picked this song. It is not patriotic at all."
Me-grunt.
Reed-"Where is that firework going. It is going to burn someone up."
Me-sigh.
Reed-"They should fire this trumpeter." (they had a trumpeter soloist introduce the Firework Spectacular)
Me-"How about you just keep the yap shut next time and try and enjoy the show."

Other than that fascinating conversation, the night went very well, except for the 1/2 hour rain shower we got in the middle of the game. Everyone fled for safety, but I stuck it out. Reed was so proud.

Well before the firework conversation...

Here comes the rain...


Darwin (my father-in-law) and the girls...

PHI ETA SIGMA, here I come!

I was SHOCKED yesterday afternoon to find an envelope in the mail inviting me to join the National Honor Society at the U of A for my high academic achievements in recent years. Now this may seem like I am inappropriately gloating, but Gloat I shall because as some of you may not know, I am not the academic achiever by any means. I hate school (but Jen...why the Master's?...don't ask) and have to work really hard to get good grades. So I am allowed to gloat all I want! Anyhoo...imagine my utter suprise when I got this letter in the mail. I have to pay 40 bucks to get in, but we can forget that little impuning detail, and I get a free PHI ETA SIGMA tee-shirt, a certificate and a great pin in an honorary induction ceremony. Wowwy! I also get to attend social events, and participate in service projects. I think I'm gonna do it. I don't know how this will fly with my inner conscience though seeing as how I hate sororities with every fiber of my being!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Etiquette...Improving America one youth at a time.

All is not lost! Yesterday evening, I taught an etiquette lesson (while dining) to five girls in my church ward. (I, along with 2 other women, meet twice a month with a small group of girls ages 8-11, and teach them simple gospel doctrine paired with fun and interesting activities.) They actually knew more than I anticipated. I was so proud of them. We discussed everything from basic manners (not chewing with your mouth open) to little known facts but staples of etiquette (keeping your elbow close to your body when eating; scooping away from you while eating your soup appetizer). We played a game afterwards where they had to answer questions about etiquette and they could win back to school prizes (got some ugly grimaces for this choice) for correct answers/valiant effort. They all did very well. The girls all wore dresses to add to the nicety of the event, and nice...it was. I was glad to see that they knew some important manners already and that I could introduce (and hopefully engrain) some new rules of etiquette that they may share with others later, all in my courageous effort to improve/restore America one youth at a time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oasis in the Desert

After finishing a 1 week intensive crash course in assistive technology for people with visual impairments (which I survived...thanks for caring), my cousin Jordie and his family came to visit! They live in Glendale, Arizona where the temperature...and gas prices...are higher than they are here in Tucson. So this was a nice break from the weather and the economy for them. We always like to take our guests to Mt. Lemmon. Emma would have rather gone to the zoo...but she seemed to enjoy the squirrel she fed at our picnic table. What she may not have enjoyed so much was the rather unexpected dunk she took in the stream. Here are some pics of our family fun. Aren't we fortunate to have family...


Here's my cousin and his cute little family.
Victoria cools her tootsies... Reed and I try to be familyish!
At one point, Jayden decided that modesty was no longer important. If you look real hard, you can spot both his diaper and pants in the background...cuz who needs those anyway!





Saturday, June 21, 2008

FRAUD...She Wrote!

Well...just when you think you have beaten the system and "this will never happen to me"...you become a victim of FRAUD. Reed and I are trying to finalize everything for our big excursion to the West Indies next month. It is hard to communicate via phone with someone in another part of the world (not that far) but you get the idea. So...we have been doing everything over the internet. By golly, if someone did not hack into the system, or the person we were actually corresponding with, and take a very expensive monetary trip to not 1 but 3 different businesses to spend our hard earned greenbacks!!! I tell ya...what is the world coming to? I just hope we can enjoy ourselves now on an island where thieves may be lurking around every corner licking their chops waiting to sink their fangs into our moolah once again! Think positive Jen...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

GONE FISHIN'!


Hello family and friends,
Just an update on me and my latest goings-on...
This was my very first fishing trip in Showlow, Arizona. I went to visit my hubby Reed (an up and coming engineer looking for underground water for a housing development)...and my beautiful grandma Anita (resides in Snowflake). We met up with my in-laws and had a grand ol' time frolicking in the woods...I LOVE the woods! I have taken the liberty of putting together a lovely picture scrapbook of all the fun we had. The pics speak for themselves...but I added captions anyway cuz' they're fun. Enjoy...


Reed wastes no time. He's already baiting his hook without a prob.


Casting already. If he can do it...I can. Right?


My beautiful nieces Stephanie and Emyle have the right idea.


My turn! Okay...so I needed some assistance. Thanks Nick!
We're using actual worms...GROSS!
Let's try this again...

SUCCESS! Let the fishing begin.

Uhhh...other way Emyle.

Holy Toledo...I caught a fish!

Such a proud Fisherwoman. Look at the size of that Tubby! Okay...he was big to me.

Me and Fishy pose together for the first (and last) time.

Who loves her Fishy?!

Reed tries to fake a smile. He's just jealous. Buck-up Hun!


Little did poor Fishy know...


In case the last picture was not enough of a close-up...

What a trooper I am. A true Amazon woman!

Order's up! This pic makes me feel kinda devious. Fishy's family is gonna wonder why he doesn't write.

Yum-Yum! A little lemon pepper helps the medicine go down.

So full...and pooped. What a night! I even kept the skeleton...I needed proof...cuz' no one's gonna believe a word of this. Got shellac anyone?



Thanks to my awesome family: Laine, Steve, Nick, Stephanie, Emyle, Reed, and Royce too (he lent his home and supplies for our fishin' pleasure) for helpin' make my very first and quite successful fishin' trip a great one. I had an awesome time!