Thursday, December 18, 2008


This was mine and Quin's first Thanksgiving all by ourselves, so we wanted to go all out and have a big meal with everything. We invited a few friends from work, Budge and Jana Tungate and their sons Jaden, Rohan, and Xander, and Amr and his son, Begad (I don't know their last name). Thanks to Jana for the pics. Sadly because she was the photographer, we didn't get any of her.

The Thanksgiving table, we used paper plates and disposable utensils, clean up was a breeze, it was great!

Dinner was an hour later than I had planned (which I hear is typical) so the kids (Rowan in the front with Begad and Jaden in the back) played with Quin's toys.

Xander played a game while Amr watched.

Here I am fighting potatoes. I look mad, but I am really just concentrating. Potatoes can be tough opponents.

Quin and Budge carving the turkey. Quin smoked a turkey and Budge brought a deep fried one. They were both delicious. You might notice Quin's fancy clothes. I have learned the secret to getting Quin to dress nicely is to make sure all of his other clothes are dirty. He wore his only clean pair of pants to smoke the turkey so he was forced to wear slacks, which I did not mind at all!

After dinner we finished with pumpkin pie and ice cream. I made my first pumpkin pie, it was so fun!

Looks like the turkey got to Jaden.

We had such a great time. We were sad we couldn't be with family, but we had a fun adventure!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas time in Bakersfield

Christmas time is a little different in Bakersfield. We thought that we would show a few of the things that make Christmas time here unique.

The lemons are ripe and ready to eat. This is in our backyard and Quin is in heaven! He has always wanted to live in a place where lemons grow. When we moved in, he went and bought a little lemon tree, but was sad because he wouldn't get any lemons for a few years. Then we found this growing and realized it was a sweet lemon tree. It is now his baby, he checks on it all the time.

Oranges are also really common around here. We have a miniature orange tree in the back yard (Quin bought it at the same time he bought the lemon tree), but it won't give oranges for another few years. These oranges are the best I have ever had, they are a million times better than the ones in the store, we like to go buy a box every year about this time.

I am dreaming of a white Christmas, but this is as close as it usually gets to snow around here. Fog delays are really common. From inside our house, we couldn't even see our neighbors house.

We turned on the Christmas music and decorated our little tree. We put it on a stool so it could be seen from the window (it is a bit vertically challenged). I grabbed some sheer white fabric and wrapped it around the base for our tree skirt.

We didn't have a star or an angel to go on the top of the tree, so we improvised and Quin grabbed two bows and stuck them to the top of the tree and it works nicely!

Quin decorated the outside with lights, it was so exciting! This is our first Christmas that we get to decorate outside!
To finish it off, when I wasn't looking, Quin hung some stockings by the chimney with care. And when I say stockings I mean old socks and when I say care I mean he draped them over some old nails that happened to be in the mantle. But I think it adds that special finishing touch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Review

Quin and I had a pretty busy weekend. Friday afternoon I spent preparing food for our ward Christmas Party and then spent Friday night at the ward party. It was a lot of fun and good to spend time with our church friends! Unfortunately we realized too late that we should have brought our camera.

Saturday morning Quin's company had their annual year end employee appreciation brunch. It was held at the Petroleum Club, a really exclusive club that you can only belong to if you are a big wig in the petroleum business, so Quin's bosses were nice enough to extend their elite status to us for a day! It was beautiful and the food was delicious! It was fun to visit with people. We sat at a table with Rob and Greer Garcia and their son Rocco, Jeseka Snider, Amanda and her son Benjamin, and Amanda's ego-centric sister Lisa Marie Val Verde. The big boss was the MC and was kind of struggling so he asked for jokes from the audience (you know you are dying when you have to ask the audience for jokes). Well in a room full of engineers the jokes are few and far between, so after a few minutes of sweating it out, he started asking where Quin was. He caught us sneaking to the buffet table and had Quin tell a joke. S0 of course Quin was the hit of the party and afterward people kept coming up and telling us how funny it was and how their kids would be telling the joke for weeks.

After the party, we went Christmas shopping. ~WOW~ We went to Toys-R-Us and fought our way through the crowd for a few hours! I don't even know what to say about that experience.

That night Quin and I went to an ugly sweater party. We stopped on our way home from the toy store at the Goodwill and picked out some doozys! An ugly sweater party is a party where everyone comes in the ugliest sweater they can find. One of Quin's co-workers used it for the theme of her birthday party. We had so much fun! Quin took first place with his beauty!

Quin wore this beautiful bright angora and wool blend sweater. We are still finding brightly colored fuzz everywhere! Quin wanted me to get the sweater I am wearing because he was sure his sister had one just like it!

Our gang
Going left to right is Daniel Burk (aka Go Fast), Shelton Stevens, Mel Stevens, Jeseka Snider (the birthday girl), me, Quin, and Rob Garcia!

The other winners (I don't know who they are)
Quin also won a giant bottle of beer, but he left it at the party.

Quin with his great sweater and trophy, he is going to proudly display it in his office

(it even says ugliest sweater, first place)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns

This book is a must read for all women in the U.S.! A friend of mine loaned it to me a few months ago and I have finally had some time to read it. It is a fictional account about two women in Afghanistan spanning the last thirty or so years, written by the author of The Kite Runner. While it is fictitious, I believe it gives an accurate account of what women endured there under the different government factions, including the Taliban. At one point I put my head in my hands and bawled. I cried for the character in the book, I cried for women who had to endure similar fates, I cried because I have been blessed to live in this country of freedom and choice, and I cried for those who are sacrificing right now to maintain our freedoms, both those heroes who are overseas and those who stay home waiting for them to return. I loved it and encourage you all to read it! Let me know what you think!

We're back!

Hi everyone, long time no blog! I have been super busy with school and Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas, and working to pay for next quarter. I was looking at some friends blogs and it said that my last update was a month ago, it has almost been two months. So now that I have a little bit of time (very little, I already have an assignment for next quarter from an overzealous professor) I hope to catch up on everything that has been going on the past few months and even some flash backs that I have been meaning to post.