Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Up-date of Summer

Well a couple days ago I was going to post about how I'm finished with school and that we have been enjoying the summer, and then I realized that summer is almost over and I start school again in two weeks!  Where does the time go?

I finished up all of my pre-reqs for Dental Hygiene school and I'm PROUD (sarcasm there) to announce that I have been accepted to Salt Lake Community College for their program for Fall of 2016!  No that is not a misprint.  There is currently a five year wait list!  YUCK!  They say that on average students have been waiting 2-3 years, but they can't guarantee anything.  The really crappy part of all that is if I have to wait till 2016 all of my pre-reqs that I have worked so hard and long on will expire and I'll have to retake them.  I'm planning on applying to a few more schools this fall, but my chances of getting in aren't the best.  So for now I'm just taking things one day at a time (no planning here because we all know that our plans get ruined if we do plan ;)). 

So why am I going to school in the fall if I'm done with all my pre-reqs?  Because I am only 14 credits away from getting my Associates.  Dental Hygiene is only an Associates degree so hopefully I'll have two AS's by the time I'm done, but just in case DH doesn't work out I  want to have at least one.  So I'm taking it REALLY easy and breaking up the 14 credits into 6 this semester and 8 next semester.  I'm hoping things will be WAY easier for me now than they have in the past since the classes are basic generals.

Now back to what we have done this summer.  This summer has flown by!  We really haven't done that much but some how it's almost over.  Some of the things we have done are, helped out with Grandma while she was still alive, had Grandma's funeral, went to Vegas, had a family reunion, went boating, celebrated my 31st birthday, I picked up 10 more hours a week at work, and Clint has been working like a mad man!  Two nights a week he works till 10:00PM.  On those days he averages about 12 hours a day!  I don't love it (I REALLY hate it), but he says he has lots of stuff to get done and working after hours really helps him focus and get stuff done.  I'm proud that he is willing to work so hard so that we can have a good life.  Thanks Clint, you're the best!

And that about covers our life right now.  Nothing too exciting, just a long list of "To Do" items that I had planned to do over the summer and only half of them got done.  Please tell me that's how everyone works so that I can feel a little better about myself.  I hope all of you had a fantastic summer with lots of accomplishments, sun and FUN!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm a Good Friend Now!

OK after this post I don't want anyone accusing me of not being a good friend.  Even though my only true friend is Shantel Schow (OK that's defiantly not true because I have so many of you), I am just a little peeved that non of you have told me about this AMAZING cooking blog before now.  Those of you who know about this, it's going to take a lot of repenting to me and showers of gifts for me to forgive you, but for those of you who have never heard of Our Best Bites, must check them out IMMEDIATELY!!!  I have only experienced this new form of heaven for a month now (this coming from the girl who FINALLY realized that browsing the internet can actually be great if you are using the right browser like Fire Fox or Chrome and not the icky thing they call Internet Explore), but since I've found out about it, it's changed my out look on life, or cooking that is.  I tell you that I am addicted to their website!  For the past three days I have done nothing but read their posts, OK maybe I've done a few things but I seriously have been so fascinated by what they have to say about cooking, tutorials, entertaining, life and anything else they have to say for the day.  They have SO many great recipes (most of them I haven't had time to try yet, but by looking at the pictures and seeing what ingredients are in them, I know they are all winners).  So if you are ever in need of an idea for dinner, check out their website, they will keep you on the straight and narrow, plus they are great writers and really funny!

I also bough their cook book a few weeks back and have made quite a few things out of it.  Yes I'm an OK cook (not great, OK) and I did OK with out their help, but since I've been making things out of the book this is the response I got from Larry Veenker (my dad), "This is so good, when are you going to open your restaurant?"  If you know Larry Veenker, that is a pretty great compliment and VERY shocking only because he DOES NOT give complements out very often, if ever!

So by now you must be thinking that Our Best Bites must be paying Jen to write all this great stuff about them, but sadly no -- I just really want to be a good friend and pass on this most important information to all my friends out there, so that one day I don't loose a friend because I didn't share with them the secret to life (OK maybe it's not that good, you be the judge).  So there you have it, I'm a good friend now, sorry I wasn't before, I just didn't know this valuable information yet.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Williams Family Reunion 2011

Every three years my mom's side of the family has a reunion.  We have done it at my parents cabin for the last little while because number one it's a lot cheaper than going some other place and number two it's hard to find a place for 80 people.  That's right, this year we were kind of small in numbers and only had 80 people.  A week and a half before the reunion my dad had gone up to the cabin to remove the snow from the roads so that we could get in.  By the time the reunion came there was a few snow patches here and there but for the most part things were nice and dry.  Since we can't fit 80 people in our cabin our nice neighbors allowed us to use there cabin, plus with people using their trailers, no one had to sleep in a tent.  It was great because Clint and I would have had to sleep in a tent, it would have been FREEZING this year!

The first day was a little rainy, but by the next day the sky's cleared and we were able to spend our time out side.  We had a great time riding 4-wheelers, canoeing, pinewood derby, rockets, Zumba, visiting, crafts, swinging, snowmobiling (no that is not a misprint), games, visiting some more and just enjoying what God created, family and the outdoors. 

Yes there are a MILLION pictures, but you're lucky, I cut back and only used the best ones.

See I told you we snowmobiled.  On July 1st we took a few snowmobiles to the top were there was a little bit of snow.  It was more to say we snowmobiled on July 1st than it was to have fun and go on big rides.  In one of the pictures my cousin is in her flip flops, now that's a new one I've never seen!

To end the reunion some of us went to Stadium of Fire.  David Archuleta and Brad Paisely performed.  It was seriously an awesome night!  Such a good show with the fireworks, singers, dancers, sky divers and everything else they had!  Plus we got half off tickets which made it even better in my opinion!


The forth week of June Clint had a conference for work in Vegas.  He drove down Thursday with some of his coworkers and then I was able to come down the next day after work to meet up with him.  I didn't want to drive down alone so I convinced Andrea and Scott to drive down with me.  We got there about 6:30, perfect timing since Clint's conference had just ended.  We checked into our hotel and then went to dinner at one of the buffets in town. We stayed at an Embassy Suite off the strip, we REALLY liked it and there wasn't the craziness like there is on the strip, plus it was MUCH cheaper!  At the buffet the food was GREAT but it totally wasn't worth the money.  Non of us could eat more than 2 plates so we didn't really feel like we got our money's worth, Oh well, you live and learn.

After dinner we headed over to the Belagio to check out the water show they have.  I have always wanted to see it and never have, so it was a priority for me this trip.  It was really fun to see and really amazing what they can do with water, air and music.  We were pretty tired after the Belagio so being the old boring people we are, we headed back to the hotel to sleep.

Saturday we spent some time by the pool and by we I mean Andrea and me.  Clint and Scott lasted maybe 30 minutes and then couldn't stand being cooked anymore so they went back to our room.  After we got ready we headed back to the strip and went to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum .  That was A LOT of fun.  I can't believe how real they make the stars look.  I don't think the pictures do a very good job at making the models look real, but if you are up close and personal with the stars, the detail work is AMAZING!  I really liked going and I would recommend it to everyone.  Just make sure you get a coupon, they are all over the place if you look hard enough.

After dinner we went to a Variety show.  It was OK, there was some cool stuff but I am so glad we didn't pay full price.  We had a buy one get one free tickets and I would have been TICKED if I would have spent full price.  But really all the shows in Vegas are SO expensive so we did pretty good paying as little as we did.

Again we were pretty tired after the show so we walked the strip a little (only because we were looking for the M&M factory which doesn't exist on the strip, there is a store, but no factory), and then we headed back to the hotel.

The next morning Clint and I slept in while Scott and Andrea went to visit one of Scott's mission companions.  After they got back we packed up and headed home.  It was another quick trip but we had a good time and it was nice to just get away, even if it was just for a couple of days.  Thanks Scott and Andrea for going with us, it made it a lot more fun!

We won't go into detail on this one, let's just say Andrea had a little struggle with the window on the Jeep and her middle finger.  OUCH!!!

One of the pictures above is the temperature.  It was SOOO hot, the hottest that we ever saw was 109.  Thank goodness it was dry and not humid like it is back east!

Grandma's Memorial Service

Like I mentioned in an earlier post my Grandma Jo Veenker passed away May 29, 2011.  She had been living in Utah with us but her real home was in California, so naturally that's where she wanted to be buried, next to her husband.  The whole Veeneker clan, minus my brother Doug's family (they were in the middle of moving), took a VERY quick trip to the June Lake area for her funeral.

We left Friday around 9 and followed the hearse (which happened to be my dad's excursion, kind of a weird thing but they got permits to take Grandma across borders and my parents didn't mind having a casket behind them while driving, so oh well).  After we got to my Uncles house in June Lake we had dinner and caught up with cousins and other family members that I haven't seen for a very long time.  It was so nice!

Saturday we had the funeral service at my grandma's grave site (my grandma wasn't LDS) and then...we got to watch as my cousin's, dad and uncle buried the casket.  You see the area she was buried is a VERY small town, and there aren't any funeral homes near by so we had to do pretty much everything ourselves.  It was kind of fun and now we'll always have that memory.  After the burial we had a little wake at the community center near by and we were able to celebrate my grandma with friends and family.  It was so nice.

Later that night we had another BIG dinner at my uncles house.  There were so many people there and we just had the best time talking and visiting with family. 

The next day we left!  Three day trip and two of those days were spent driving.  It was very quick but totally worth it.  We love and miss you Grandma, but thanks for your wonderful example in life!

Bringing Grandma into the community center

At the community center before the burial.

At the Grave Site

See I told you we had to do it all ourselves!

The Wake



Dinner at my Uncle's


We had a BLAST driving with Scott and Andrea.  Jax even came and did so good in the car!

Before we left on Sunday we stopped off at some of the look out spots and took pictures of June Lake

Scott and Andrea could be models!  So cute!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Veenker Family Photo's

My amazing sister-in-law Katie took family pictures of my side of the family a little over a month ago.  Katie hasn't been taking pictures a little over a year and I am SOOO impressed with her!  She is getting sooo good.  If you are looking for a reasonably priced photographer in the area, you really need to check out her blog and giver her a try.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures she took of my family.

I love this one of all the nephews.  Unfortunately the nieces didn't get a picture, so hopefully next time we'll get them.

Mai's Here!

Our Amazing friends the Jensen's had their first baby.  Remember I did a shower for Teresa a couple of months ago?  Well Mai came in May and being the awful aunt that I am I can't remember the exact date.  Sorry Teresa.  She is such a doll and we are just so happy for the Jensen's.  They have been waiting for a LONG time, just like us, to have a baby.  I think that's one reason we get along so well.  We have lots in common and when it came time to do something on the weekend we could call them up a few minutes before  hand and have a night of fun.

Mai is such a good baby.  She doesn't really like to be held all that much and is totally content most of the time to just laying on the floor and playing with her rattle.  It's been so much fun having a fifth person added to our group.  I'm sure it would be a lot more fun if Clint and I had someone we could add to the group, but I guess it's not our time.

So Congrats Robin and Teresa, you're great parents, great friends and we are just so happy that you're in our lives!

I just love Robin's face in the picture on the left.  He wouldn't look at me normal when I took the picture, so just for that Robin, the whole world will get to see your goofy self!

Mother's Day

This year we spent mothers day at Patti's house (Clint's mom).  It was a great day filled with yummy food and good company.

The boys cleaned up, nothing could be better than that.

And just a few family pics.