Tuesday, October 28, 2008

random recent pictures

I realized I didn't have a recent picture of our house, since the changes over the summer. And the other ones I just thought were cute.

Ahh, it is fall...

This last weekend, we went to Hesston for a pumpkin carving party at Mom and Dad Sweigart's. It was a good time, this time Ben and I made a tractor. There was a cat (Brent and Alyssa) two funny faces (Mom and Ava..and Dad and Maddox/Ava) and a deer (Mitch..Maddox kinda lost interest immediately after seeing what it involved). After the pumpkins were finished, we had homemade pizza! It definately felt like fall when we were leaving...BRRR! I think that was the first night it was below freezing this season. Right now, it feels quite chilly...I'm drinking some coffee with the electric heater on, and a woodwick candle burning (my pretend fire place)...probably the real heater will have to go on this week sometime. This is my favorite time of year...feels so cozy, all the fall smells, even the football (ask Ben, I watched quite a bit with him on Saturday)...and of course being thankful for all the wonderful things we are blessed with!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our own fall festivities!! (day 5:part 2)

Carissa had a whole evening of events planned..Darren and Dan (a friend of hers, who I actually went to HC with as well) joined us. We ate homemade pizza and then proceeded to the pumpkin carving!! Ben and I were together, Darren and Jenny, and Carissa and Dan. It was quite the event. Removing the guts from the pumpkin, coming up with a design, drawing it out, then cutting it out. We all did a pretty amazing job. To finish off the night, we had hot apple cider and caramel apples! Quite the home fall festival it was.

We had a good time visiting Carissa, and all the activities we did as well. We arrived safely home on Sunday night around 10:30.

Fall Festivals and more...(day 5: part 1)

Saturday was full of activities. The three of us drove out to the apple farm we went to last year. It was a bit different this year, but still very enjoyable. We ate apple donuts and rode on a hay rack ride through the apple trees.

Then we stopped in a small town, to go to a fall festival...the main street was full of little craft vendors and such. We stopped to eat popoosa's (a central america meal), which was pretty good...its similar to a quesadilla. In the afternoon, the three of us and Jenny (one of Carissa's roommate's) went golfing! It was a par 3 course, which is like real golf but on a much smaller scale. I think I'm going to go ahead and say none of us were great, but we all had a great time. I'm not exactly gifted in controlling the ball, or controlling my strength...which was a bad combination with a good sized creek nearby. Not to worry, I wasn't the only one, Carissa had the same problem. We found other balls to use, and proceeded with our "intense" game.

Ms. Sweigart's class (day 4)

Friday, Ben and I went to the 4th grade classroom of Ms. Sweigart! It was such a nice school, brand new this year. Carissa teaches children that use english as their second language (ESL), which in addition to other home issues, makes for a more challenging classroom. We helped during their math station, which was fun. Then we went to recess with them...oohh boy! Yep, I went on the swirly thing that nobody should probably ride on more than once. And in the afternoon, her kids presented us with their read aloud short stories. They did such a good job, we both enjoyed ourselves. After visiting the classroom, interacting with the students, I can see why Carissa spends so much time at school. She does a pretty amazing job with those kids...and its clearly not an easy job.

We left before school was over, and went to a HUGE book fair outside of town. Wow, I'm not a big reader, but I could've spent hours looking at all the books there. We actually did spend almost 2 hours there! Friday evening, we took Carissa out to eat at a restaurant of her choice..it was Greek food. Then, we stopped in to see Darren's new home and spent the rest of the evening there. He has a nice place...he is in the process of painting the inside...when he moved in his bedroom was a surprising purple! I think by the time we visit again, that may be changed to a more masculine color.

Hiking "Old Rag" (day 3)

Thursday, Carissa had parent teacher conferences at school. She took us out to eat for breakfast and then headed to work. I guess since she's the teacher it would be kind of important if she would be there. Ben and I headed out on a "little" hiking adventure to a trail called Old Rag.Before starting, the name itself pretty much hits the feeling you get WAY before the end. Somehow, before starting the trail we were in the wrong spot. We asked the park ranger where Old Rag was, and he pointed up...so we went up. A mile later we saw a sign with the trail map, and proceeded on our way, it was a 7.2 mile hike, with the extra mile that we already did. I tell ya what, KS doesn't have terrain like that and whew its a work out getting to the top. It was beautiful weather and scenery getting there though. As we got to the top we realized that we had started this backwards, since we began in the wrong place. This made the next part maybe a bit more tricky...which was the rock scramble. Needless to say, we took a few "alternate" routes to get back to the main trail more than once. It was hard to know which way to go because the little blue marks were pointing us in the direction towards the top, not to get out of there. There was a sixth grade field trip on the trail...and we had to laugh when we passed them going in the opposite direction (everybody we passed was going in the opposite direction for that matter) as one boy was moaning, "are the at the bus yet?". Poor little guy, he was just a trucking a way..yet I felt the same way and I'm a few years older than him! Anyways, after we got down to the switch-backs we felt a little bit better just knowing that we were indeed still on the right path. And the final stretch, which normally would be an all downhill experience...you guessed it, was an all up hill slope for us (the backwards thing again). Our feet were burning, our legs sore, our hips aching....BUT, it was a beautiful hike!!! I had wanted to see a bear, but no bear...they kept having signs that it they were out there...only trace that we saw was a "greedy bear dropping". That was Ben's words for it, I won't go into detail about it...but it was a form of bear poop.

We got back to Harrisonburg, picked up Carissa from school...and since one of her roommates had borrowed her car, she didn't have keys to her house. Guess who got to climb in through the bathroom window...yep, me. We had supper and a nice shower, and then left to go watch a TV show with some friends of Carissa. But wait, were would the keys to the car be after we already left the house...yes that's right...guess who got to go in through that same bathroom window again...ding ding ding, me. Needless to say, I think both Ben and I slept really hard that night, our whole body sore!

Fall trip to Virginia (Day 1-2)

(Leaving Topeka...wide-eyed and ready for the trip!)

Ben's fall break from classes at WSU was this past week. We decided to take a trip to VA to see my sister, Carissa. Last year we did the same trip at the same time...I guess the difference now is we're married! We left Tuesday afternoon and stopped in Topeka to see Mom and Dad Hershberger. After eating a tasty supper at their house we hit the road for a long ride in the car. We arrived in Harrisonburg around 1:00...and fell asleep for a couple hours. Later that afternoon we played volleyball outside and then enjoyed some delicious homemade tacos, which Darren joined us for. (Carissa's home)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Ben!

Ben's 24th birthday was Oct 1st. We had a good day celebrating...blueberry waffles for breakfast, met MJ for lunch at Cracker Barrell, he had class in the afternoon, and then to PF Cheng's for supper! Not that eating is the only way of celebrating, but it is one of Ben's favorite things to do so maybe it is appropriate. On the 4th, we had all the family over to celebrate...both sets of Ben's grandparents, both of our parents, Sam, Mitch, Brent & Alyssa and kids. We had a good time with everyone. Ben said this was the first time he has had everyone together for his birthday...he really enjoyed it. Thank you all for coming!