Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Magical, oh so magical

Thank you Viana for being potty trained so that Grandma could take you to Disneyland as her promised reward. And thank you for being 2yrs old, and still free so Grandma could take us too.

It was magic beyond all magic, especially since you have that long blonde hair and danced around in your Sleeping Beauty dress all 3 days, which of course made you the star of the entire park. Mickey who? I'm not sure, too mesmerized by this little beauty...

(That's a two way curtsy. Now do you see why she was the star of the WHOLE park?)

Oh, and thank you Toy Story Mania for being the greatest ride in the history of rides. Great enough we rode you 4 times. Waited through hour long lines each time. Once it was 75 min. And thank you for having the cars you ride in face each other. Then you can get pictures like this:
Then you can say to that facing car, "I'm gonna throw the camera over to you so you can take our picture." Then you can try to throw, totally miss, watch your camera fall down, down, down into the track of the ride, be amazed at the stamina of your non-shattered camera, slink away embarrassedly while your husband waits as the whole ride is stopped (sorry line waiters, 85 minutes for you now), and the worker bee climbs down to retrieve your camera.
Some people at Disneyland get red cheeks from a sunburn. Not me, I'm Miss Brand-new-ride-stopping-embarrassed.

But oh how we still LOVE Disneyland!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A few things I love about Monroe

Though we leave this afternoon to the happiest place on earth, I have just a sliver of sadness to be leaving Monroe. This weekend is, afterall, Pioneer Day. And everyone knows that Pioneer Day is the biggest holiday all year in Monroe, and if you are anywhere in Sevier county you come to Monroe to celebrate.

There is a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for part of the festivities. Where do they hold it you may ask? On Main Street. And I don't mean there is a gym on Main Street. I mean ON Main Street. They close the road down and set up 6 hoops, on Main Street. Love Monroe.

Other things that just make this place heaven:
*The one grocery store in town closes at 8pm
*When I go on walks (everywhere, because I can walk ANYWHERE in town within 20 min.) everybody waves
*It's so peaceful. The only noise we hear at our house is the 4-wheelers
*Narnia is here, how do I know? There is a lone lamp post in the wilderness behind our house.
*We can see farm animals from our house.
*The libary and Main Street shop are only open from 1pm-6pm
*Judy's Shop on Main is only open Thur-Sat
*There are NO stoplights, and only a few stopsigns
*Old people sit out on their porch in the evenings
*There is free lunch in the park every weekday
*You can meet a 5 year old in your neighborhood and she will say, "I might show up at your house, I like to wander." And you smile, because she can wander.
*Farmland, everywhere. And the farm closest to us is our Bishop's
*You can go to the post office, and there is NO line, and since there is no line you can have a casual conversation with the attendant.
*The stars at night. WOW.

So, those are a few of my highlights. I know you want to come visit and experience it for yourself. It's wonderful. So California, here we come; but Monroe, how we will miss you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book of Mormon Challenge

Part of Eric's job during the summer is going out to the homes of the youth and talking with them about the upcoming year in seminary. Yesterday he came home from visiting a youth he's become close to and said to me with glum heart, "He's not doing his daily scripture reading." I gasped in sadness and said, "Oh no!" And as soon as I said it I realized, I'm not either. Then and there, seeing the glumness is Eric's eyes, and hearing the understanding in my own voice from this situation I decided to make a change.

But, change, or goals, always seem to be more easily fulfilled when you have a support system. So here's my proposition:

Whether you are an avid scripture reader or need a little boost like myself, there are improvements ALL of us could make in our scripture study. Whether that is just doing it, or doing it more consistently, or for longer, or in a more regular set aside place or with more searching or with greater feasting we can all do better.

So, this coming week starting on Sunday I am going to set the personal goal to study the Book of Mormon for 10 minutes everyday. This is my goal for one week. I invite all who would like to participate with me to write their own goal, share it or keep it personal, but join with me next week. I think the support will be nice.

I know I need the guidance of the scriptures in my daily life, especially with my new role as full time momma. The blessings of the Book of Mormon are real. These are the teachings of Jesus Christ. I love this book, and hope that this little challenge can extend into a daily ritual I can not do without.

And for those of you reading this wondering what the Book of Mormon is (from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), go here. At the bottom of that link you can even order a free Book of Mormon so you can do the challenge too.

Happy testimony building everyone :)

Monday, July 14, 2008


The world knows we love High School Musical(1&2). Maybe some of you did too. Some of you didn't. But surely all of you will get chills like we did watching the motion picture trailer premier at for High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Only 102 more days until big screen bliss.

Now, I'm not kidding. Go to, and the preview will automatically start playing in the little screen there. Goosebumps I tell ya.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Alright dear friends and family. We have done so much in the past 2 weeks that we wanted to make sure and get a detailed recording of these life events. So, rather than presenting you with one out-of-this-world long post, we've made 9; detailing, well, the details. We sure are enjoying ourselves right now. I know we are still in pseudo community with our new life (thank you past Hall Advisor life for teaching me such things) but are enjoying it while we can! Love to all!
The official Monrovian Carters

In chronological order:
Last Day of Work
Buying a HOUSE!
A visit from the Roys
The Move
Spokane for a visit with Brooke
4th of July at the Carter's house
Brooke's 1st Birthday

(Have you seen me yet?)

Brooke's 1st Birthday

July 6th found this little baby girl turning one year old!Though we spent 12 hours of her birthday in the car, she didn't mind all too much because now she is forward facing!! And we celebrated the day before (Happy Birthday Mom, sorry I couldn't have popped Brooke out 14 hours sooner so you could have the same birthday).Oh but did I mention that we celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese's?? Yeah, Brooke pretty much had the time of her life!! Easily her best birthday party EVER. And yes she figured the most effective way into her cupcake would be face first!

Happy Birthday Brooke! You have been such a wonderful addition to our family! You are so happy and easy going. People always call you precious, which we love since that is what your middle name, Talei, means. You are a joy to be around. And your Grandbill loves that he could count a solid 48 hours without hearing you cry once. We love you Brooke and look forward to all your birthdays to come!

Camp Rock

It's no secret that we LOVE High School Musical...1, 2, the concert, surely we'll love 3 coming to theaters Oct. 24th. So, when Disney Channel announced their next made-for-tv movie , Camp ROCK, we were pretty excited. It premiered June 2oth, we saw it on ABC June 21st, but missed the first half. Luckily, Grandma tivo-ed it, and we watched it in Washington. It did not disappoint! Although made for an older audience than HSM, it was great. We went and bought the CD for the 12 hour drive home. (Another benefit of living in Monroe: "Would you like to sign up for the Best Buy reward program and credit card?" "Sorry, we're just visiting here, and there's not a Best Buy for miles by where we live.")

Viana already has most of the songs memorized, and we are looking forward to the release to DVD! Anyway, if you like cheesy teeny-bopper movies, give this one a try! Here's a sneak peek of the tunes:

4th of July at the Carter's house

We had a great visit at the Carter household! We were double lucky. Not only were Grandma and Grandad there, but Grandpa Glen AND Uncle Jared, Aunt Becky, Molly, Emily, Tim, and Ben! It was TOO fun! The cousins made such fun 4th of July flags!
We didn't watch a big fireworks show...we made our own! It was so fun and Viana LOVED it (after the initial shock).
Viana swam her heart out. She played so hard in fact, that one day she went to lay down at 4pm. I thought it would be a nap. But then she didn't wake up until 7:30 am!! That's some hardy playing!
We sure loved being able to sped time with our family for the holiday!!

Spokane for a visit with BROOKE!

I love my husband. He takes every opportunity he can to connect me with my best friend Brooke. So, on our way to his house in Richland, WA to visit and pick up stuff to bring to Monroe, we flew in to Spokane so we could visit with Brooke, Linc, and Tad for an afternoon. It was SOOOOOO fun.

Eric got to climb trees.
I got to visit with Brooke (isn't she beautiful?) Eric's holding Tad...he and Brooke (baby) are both toeheads, easily confused.
Viana got to ride a REAL horse AND jump on the trampoline with Lincoln.
Brooke got to spend time with her namesake! And we all had a GREAT time. So great that as we were at dinner (pictured here...Tomato Street, yum) We asked Lincoln what his favorite part of the day was. He said, "Playing with Viana."


Moving can be a very confusing and upsetting thing. Routines are changed and nothing is the same. My girls found even sleep something that they weren't quite sure where should fit in.

Often times the car was the best place for a nap.
A very deep sleep... Other times it was on a plane where they were able to find solace.
And then sometimes I would be unpacking boxes and not hear anything from Viana for a while. I then found her here...
And then here. Her bed is about two feet to the left, hence all the blankets and pillows. But like I said, sometimes moving is confusing enough you'll sleep anywhere!

The Move

So these are the details I always wished my other moving friends would post. So, on the off chance anyone out there is like me, here is a picture journey of the move.

Here is our Provo house in boxes. Thanks to the Roys for packing most of these!

Here is moving day. That huge yellow truck is all for us. I asked the movers if they were picking up another load after us, and they said, "No, this is all for you, they told us you had a lot of stuff." Uh-huh. Considering we don't even have our own bed we didn't even fill a quarter of the truck.
And here's our apartment empty. Doesn't it look all clean and white?
And here is moving-in day in Monroe. Just like every move across America should be. All our wonderful neighbors were there helping out in any way they could. (Before the truck was ready to unload, there was my neighbor, on her hands and knees weeding my bushes-amazing, I know).
And here is our new house full of boxes. Happy to say all those boxes are gone now. That's right, I'm amazing. Oh, and that bottom middle picture is our first meal. Once again, brought to us by the wonderful people of Monroe (actually they live in Annabella, which is an even smaller town next to Monroe).

Now right here is where you would want to see pictures of our house. But, I can not put those up. Otherwise you would have no motivation or mystery of intrigue to come visit us. So, if you want to see more COME VISIT...PLEASE. Our guest room (toy room with available queen air mattress and bedding) is WAITING FOR Y-O-U!!

A visit from the Roys

My family is AMAZING. I say, "Hey, do you guys wanna come to Provo so you can stay with my two kids while Eric and I go to a wonderful 2 day convention for Seminary in Price, UT? Oh, and did I mention while we're there, it would be great if you could pack the rest of my house?" And they say, "Of course, and we will come with our happy faces!"

Welllll...Mostly happy faces. These are the faces you get when you put two sisters in the back of a van with a camera for an hour:
They also helped me do my last load of laundry in a laund-ro-mat. This is how I felt about that:
(Ok, ok, they are not tears of sadness after all, I was emptying the laundry bag into the washer, and the toggle that closes the bag whipped back and hit me in the eye.)

And Dad and Eric are still married.
Dad to mom, and Eric to me of course.

Thanks Roy Family. You guys are lifesavers!

Buying a HOUSE!

Well, if you would have asked me a year ago when I'd have been able to buy a house, I would have laughed in your face and said, "Maybe when I'm 40!" But I guess hard work and Hall Advisor life pays off. I would recommend buying a house to anyone. You learn a whole lot, and then, when you go to sign, you can look like this: Can you see the apprehension and exhaustion and excitement and nervousness and daze and all other emotions we are experiencing in this picture?

But we did it, and yes, it takes an entire folder to hold all the papers you get to put your John Hancock to.
But the best part is walking out of the title company office feeling very broke and very in debt and yet still very ready to spend the $7.38 on some celebratory ice cream at the local creamery (100 times better than BYU creamery. Come visit if you don't believe me).

Last Day of Work

My last day of work fell on a Tuesday. Any Hall Advisor would know that Tuesdays are your longest, most exhausting day. So how sweet it was to tear up my final staff meeting agenda and throw it over my head...I mean, pose as Kiersten threw it on top of my head.
Non-work life has been great. It's surprising what a half mom and housewife I was while I was working. I have been doing a ton more for my family since work has been done. I love it. Motherhood is a FULL TIME job. Times 3. I couldn't just unpack my house. I've unpacked, made three meals, laundered, dished, swept, childed, etc... So exhausting, but so what I've been looking forward to for the past 25 years of my life (well, I was probably 11 when the true desire for motherhood set in, so only 14 years).

I learned A TON while being a Hall Advisor, and am a better person for it. But motherhood, the lessons of motherhood are the lessons I've really been looking forward to. Yeehaw!!