Memorial Day Fishing.

May 26,
Porter's mismatched shoes made for a mismatched sunburn:)
     My dad had been wanting to take my nephews fishing for a couple weeks but things kept coming up so finally on Memorial Day he decided to take them and the rest of us decided to tag along as well. We went to a pond our in Nampa that is stocked from the hatchery that's close by. Unfortunately it didn't make the fish anymore willing to bite. We did see a cute family of ducks that we fed french fries to.

hanging out on the dock.
     As per tradition Nate was the only person to catch a fish. Lincoln was pretty cute about it too. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, "Hey mudder duck, my uncle Nate just caught a fish!" The rest of the trip he talked about taking that fish home and putting it in a jar so he could show all his friends. He even held it all the way home (and cried).
Nate's whopper!

and of course had to add one of this cute guy with his Oma.

6 month Spencey!

     On May 16, our baby turned 6 months old! I can't believe how fast the time has gone, I swear we just brought him home from the hospital a week ago!
this picture was actually taken in PA so he's not technically 6 months in it, oh well!
     He is such a funny kid and of course we are still enjoying him! He is much more interactive now. He loves to smile at everyone and stick his tongue at them too! He has pretty much mastered sitting up, though he does topple over on occasion. He doesn't like to be laying down or even reclined back, he wants to be sitting so he can chaperon everything that is happening. He is quite talkative and just babbles away when he is content.
     He has started regularly eating solids. He loves all fruit and most vegetables. Not a big fan of jarred meats though and I really can't say I blame him! He also loves ice cream and anything else packed with sugar. He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth regardless of whether or not it is actually edible so we keep close tabs on him these days. He has not started scooting or crawling (on purpose) yet, which I am very grateful for. I can already tell my hands will be full when that time comes!
visiting Grandma Joyce's grave on her birthday 5/25.
     Most unenjoyable about 6 months is that Spencer and I have been sharing a nice case of thrush for the last 2 weeks. That is MISERABLE! We finally both seem to be on the uphill, (I am not crying in pain anymore!) and hopefully we can whip this thing once and for all! It was awful and I don't wish it on anyone. Note to self: never take allergy medicine while breastfeeding again...just suffer through it!
     Spencer is still practicing sleeping in his own bed. He is pretty good about spending the first 3-4 hours in his bed but always ends up in bed with me which means I don't sleep. Somehow I am more sleep deprived now than I was any of the first 6 months. He is a comfort nurser and that is another habit I am ready to nip in the bud!
     He gets cuter and cuter and people are still torn on whether he looks more like his mom or his dad. He is also still pretty bald and looking like he will be a blondie! We love our baby 'Fencer' as his cousins call him!
Uncle Heatie's high school graduation.

Nate-ism #20.

Background: I am still on my dad's cell phone 'family plan' since its $10 a month. Also on this plan is my dad, my mom, and my 2 brothers. The 5 of us I believe share 500 minutes. Maaaaaybe 600. Nate has his own plan with a terrible company and though he has tons of minutes, he NEVER has service. This was our conversation as we were driving across the country right after we'd run out of gas and had to use my dumb phone because his smartphone didn't have any service.

Me: So what are you going to do when your plan is up in June.
Nate, completely serious faced: I thought I'd just get on your dad's plan?

I laughed so hard and thankfully he was joking. But I guess we should start becoming real adults and get our own family plan, eh?

Hello Boise, ID

Thursday May 8,
     We woke up about 6am and drove all day through never ending Nebraska. We stopped for the night in Sidney, NE where our friends Alicia and Trevor, were kind enough to let us stay (and shower!). We got there about 5pm which was nice to just be able to relax for the evening.
     The following morning we left around 7am in hopes of making it to Boise late that night, only 12 hours remaining. We were finally getting a little better gas mileage and were so close to our destination and being out of the truck!!
     About 4pm we were passing through Evanston, WY. Nate and I were having a silly conversation about something when he goes, "Oh...I just missed my exit." I wasn't paying any attention and figured, oh well we'll hit the next one. Until a sign told us the next one was 37 miles and our gas light dinged. We crossed the border into Utah, and our truck sputtered and died. WORST. FEELING. EVER. (except bed bugs in your hotel!). Luckily, we were smart and signed up for AAA before we left, though we didn't print ID cards because we didn't ACTUALLY think we'd need them! No problem we thought, we'll just look them up on Nate's smartphone. Except he of course had NO SERVICE to make calls or access the internet. Awesome.
     We were able to sloooowly look up the information on my old reliable not-so-smart-phone and make the call to AAA to get us some gas. The "20 minute wait" turned into an hour before the gas man showed up to save us. I was slightly annoyed as I really had to go to the bathroom, but I think Nate and I were both good sports about it and made the best of our situation, joking and laughing as much as we could with our screaming baby. And I peed on the side of the highway for the first time in many years! :)
     When the gas man arrived he asked, "So how did this happen?" Nate replied, "I missed my exit" to which the gas man responded, "All 3 of them?!" pretty sure he thought we were the biggest idiots. We were given $20 worth of gas, enough for us to turn around, drive BACK to Evanston, get gas there, and THEN drive on into Utah. Only running 2 1/2 hours behind schedule.
   Once in Utah we met up with Nate's little brother and his fiancee as well as my little brother and his girlfriend. We all went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner which was delicious. We didn't get done there until almost 9:30pm and luckily Aaron's fiancee was nice enough to lend us a guestroom in her house for the night. We very much appreciated that since we were BEAT after 4 days of driving.
     Saturday morning we stopped in Layton on our way up to Boise to visit Nate's 92 year old grandpa Oren and introduce him to Spencer who is named after him (Spencer Oren).
     We made it to Boise Saturday about 3pm and are SO glad to be out of the car for a while! We spent the next few hours unpacking and organizing. We are glad to be in Boise closer to family but we sure miss our friends in Pennsylvania!!

Goodbye Waynesboro, PA

April 21, 2014
     Nate got a call with a job offer working for the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections in Nampa, ID. They wanted him to begin working on May 12 which was only 3 weeks away! We quickly started getting things in order as well as started packing up our tiny apartment. Though the call was an answer to our prayers, the fact that we were actually leaving our first home, the place that we became a family, was bittersweet and harder than we expected. 
Our first home.
May 6, 2014
     So we sold our furniture, said goodbye to our wonderful ward and our great friends, and set off on our 2,380 mile drive across the country, this time with a baby. I'll admit, I cried multiple times. Living away from family really was a blessing. It taught Nate and I to rely on each other for everything. It taught us how to live on a tight budget. And it is where we became a family instead of a couple. A part of my heart will always be in Waynesboro.
Saying bye to Lexi.

     We left PA about 1:30pm and drove through Maryland, West Virginia, back through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and stopped about 2am in a Walmart parking lot in Dansville Illinois. Funny enough we stopped for dinner in West Virginia at the same place we stopped 14 months ago when we were moving to PA. It was some delicious mexican food! 
dinner in WV.

     Spencer's first blowout happened on this leg of the journey. We had poop for days! The next morning we got up and drove to Nauvoo, IL where we toured around Carthage jail and Old Nauvoo. It was an interesting day, we took a wagon ride around Nauvoo and it thundered and lightninged and rained so hard and as soon as we got off the wagon to walk around the town the sun came up and it got sunny and hot!
wagon ride in Nauvoo.

Carthage jail and the window Joseph Smith fell from and died.

bullet holes still in the door.

the window from the inside.

     We toured around Nauvoo for a while, we visited the Lucy Mack Smith home, the blacksmith shop (my favorite), the Brigham Young house, the brick yard, the bake shop, etc. Such a cute place with lots of fun things to do and see. We ran into some relatives of Nate's (his mom's cousin?) that were on a mission there and later that evening we met up with my great aunt and uncle who are serving as temple missionaries! It was fun to see them since we hadn't since our wedding. They were so gracious and fed us dinner and volunteered to babysit Spencer for an hour while we went to a show put on by other missionary couples. It was nice to get to enjoy the show with just each other and Spencer had a good time playing with Aunt Sue and Uncle Pete! After the show we hopped in the truck for some more driving!

upstairs in the Lucy Mack Smith house.

the women's garden.

Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo.

     We stopped somewhere in Iowa and decided since we hadn't had a shower we'd stay at a hotel. We picked a moderately priced one, not a super cheapy gross one...BAD IDEA! We walk into the room and set out stuff down. Nate jumps in the shower and I inspect the beds for bed bugs. Didn't see anything too suspicious so I began to change Spencer and get him ready for bed. I pulled the blankets on my half of the bed down and started nursing him. I suddenly had a thought to pull the other side down. I did and I noticed a redish brown spot on the sheet. I thought it was just a stain so I ignored it. Then I had a thought to not ignore it. So I looked closer and to my horror it was a bed bug!!! UGH!!!! I was sooo annoyed, disgusted, and just mad!!
little traveler!

     I grabbed a cup from the counter and caught the bug. I packed all of our stuff up as fast as I could and yelled to Nate to hurry, I was not staying in this hotel one minute longer than I had to! We went to the front desk where I set the cup on the counter and said, "I'm sorry, we can;t stay here. I found a bed bug in my bed!" The front desk clerk said, "sorry" and did something on the computer, handed me a refund receipt and we left! NO WAY was I dealing with those awful bugs again!!! 
our load that made it possible to only get 9 miles per gallon!

     So since I had some adrenaline going we decided to drive a few more hours, after we dropped some bug bombs in the trailer for safe measure! We drove till about 2am and stopped in Pella, Iowa and slept in the Walmart parking lot!! :) In the morning we discovered it was actually a really cute town with windmills and tulips and Dutch influences.
somewhere in Ohio.


This morning I fed Spencey some blackberries for he first time, he was a mess but he LOVED them and gnawed on 5! He somehow even managed to get it on his forehead? He stained just about everything in sight, but it was worth it to watch him go crazy over them! Oh, and Nate said he had pink spit up afterward as well.

Palmyra and Niagara NY

     After we visited the Joseph Smith farmstead we wandered into the little town of Palmyra to see the Book of Mormon publication site. I think this was on of my favorite things.
     We toured the old building and saw where and how the first 5,000 books were printed. The building had obviously been added on to, but in some places still had the original creaky wood floors which was neat. An interesting story we heard here was the E.B. Grander at first told Joseph he couldn't print the book because he knew how much drama there was about the whole situation and he didn't want to be a part of it. Later, he was telling his friends who were a part of the mob that he had told Joseph no and they responded by telling him he should print it, he was in the business of printing to make money to support his family and they understood that, so he could print the book.

     My favorite part of that tour was seeing the whole process of how they actually printed the books. It looked very tedious and time consuming, not to mention messy! They also had one of the original books in a glass case where the missionary told us if it got messed with Salt Lake would know it before her just because of all the security surrounding it, but you'd never know it was so heavily guarded just by looking! When we were done there we went next door to an LDS bookstore and ran into a guy who had been in my ward in Rexburg in 2007! Small world!
     We then decided we would drive out to see Niagara Falls even though we'd heard from everyone it was a better view from Canada and we didn't have our passports. It was still pretty amazing to see. It was a pretty drive out there as well and even though we couldn't see it, we drove along the Ontario Lake coast the whole way there. The falls was pretty awesome, and wouldn't you know it we ran into the couple from Idaho that we had toured the Joseph Smith farmstead with. They were nice enough to take a picture of all of us.
     When we finished at the falls there was still one more historic church site we hadn't been to because it was about 45 min. out of the way from Palmyra and that was the Peter Whitmer home where the church was restored. It closed at dusk so we hurried over there to try to see it really quick. Right as we pulled up the senior missionary couple was walking out the door and the husband asked if we'd come back tomorrow which meant we had to camp another night which I really didn't want to do. The wife then said, "let's just do one more tour, we have nothing to hurry home to." And we greatly appreciated that they stayed for us!


     The visitors center there was this beautiful building that had a chapel that was housed the local ward, so that was cool. The house itself was another replica built on the same foundation and was bigger than both Smith homes.

     Some cool stories and facts from here,
     When David decided he wanted to be a part of the Book of Mormon translating process, Oliver and Joseph were in Harmony, PA and needed a new place to stay and translate. Peter Whitmer told David that after he finished planting the fields he could go down to Harmony and get them and bring them back. I forget what exactly he had to do after planting that would take so long, but it was going to be 3 more days before he'd be able to leave. Well the next morning when he woke up the fields were planted and this other turf stuff he'd had to lay was spread. He went to his sisters to thank them and they said it wasn't them, that they had seen 3 men doing it and thought David had hired them. So with the fields being done and planted he was able to leave earlier than planned. Meanwhile in Harmony, Joseph told Oliver they needed to get there stuff ready to go, that David was on his way even though David wasn't supposed to be on his way and they weren't supposed to be leaving for another few day. Joseph had seen a vision of David coming toward them and sure enough he was there shortly thereafter and they were able to leave sooner than expected.
      The upstairs room of this house is where the beginning (last plates) of the Book of Mormon was translated. Sounds like they translated the plates in reverse so they started with the end of the Book of Mormon and ended with the beginning.
the only picture we took of the house, ha.

     This was also the site where the 1980 general conference broadcast started from. When the church sited were dedicated, President Kimball stood in front of the Whitmer fire place to begin conference, it went to Salt Lake for speakers, and ended in the chapel next door with President Kimball dedicating all the buildings. I believe that was the 150th conference and also happened to fall on April 6 which we know is when the church was formed in the same location. The sister at the Book of Mormon publication site also said she believes the 200th general conference will be broadcast from somewhere but I can't remember if she said where she thought it would be.
     I also learned that though the church was organized with only 6 members, there were more than 80 people at the home watching this organization take place. Some were children, but it was clear whether the rest were just spectators or what.
     A final piece of information I learned was that Joseph had the gold plates for about 2 years but it only took 65 days to translate them. It took 2 years to get 65 days due to the fact he kept having to move around in order to find peace and safety.
     We left the Whitmer Farm about 8pm and decided rather than have another sleepless night,this time with rain, that we would just drive home. It was looong but Spencer did awesome and slept almost the whole way and we never had to stop once! We were home by 2am. It was a short trip, but so worth it!
     Oh, turns out we did get a picture of the Joseph Smith frame home, thanks Nate.
and the girl is the sister missionary who gave us the tour.