Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

This year, being so far away from family, we decided it was best to just stick around for the relatively short Thanksgiving break. We had opportunities to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with friends but decided it would be fun to do something a little different instead! This is where we ended up (it was really bright outside):

And this is how we felt about it:

More specifically, we went camping at Turner Falls near Davis, Oklahoma (as if anybody knows where that is). It was about a 2 hour drive north of home on I-35. I suggested to Grant that we keep driving until we get to Canada and we considered it for about 20 seconds... Here are some of the amazing things we saw on the way there:
Willy Wonka's Factory

Home of the celebrated Bulgarian Seeker

My very own video store! We got closer and found out is was an Adult Video Store... (and a huge one at that...) I disowned it immediately...A car full on burning on the side of the road... I can't imagine that smoke is very "green"

We arrived at Turner Falls in the afternoon and were surprised at how beautiful it was! There was a creek that ran all through the camp. The water was SO clear and at the base of camp, it filled out into pool they turned into a swimming hole. The water was absolutely freezing (get to the end to read about my plunge of death).
We drove to our campsite-- you have to cross the creek at times, it is for fun-- and set everything up. We brought our air mattress because it's the only portable mattress we have that fits two. Unfortunately it is about two feet tall when blown up and it took up probably about half of the total tent volume. It filled up the entire floor of the tent and made it impossible to sit up without running into the ceiling... but it was comfy!!
After that, we set out for a short hike to Turner Falls and some of the surrounding caves. On the way there we discovered The Castle!! I was really excited about this. Some college professor built this place in the 30's for his summer home and Bar C Ranch Headquarters (I really don't know what that means). It was beautiful-- I'm wondering how much it would cost to buy the place and fix it up to live in it, except for the fact that it's in Oklahoma... never mind.

We continued on to the falls-- they were beautiful and it was a fun rocky hike up to the caves and to the top of the falls. I tried to be an artsy photographer-- one of my many aspirations-- although it's difficult when you have no training and a simple point and shoot camera...
Turner FallsThe view from a cave

Inside the cave. "Oooooohhh!"

It was really steep :)
Attempts at artsy-nessView from above the falls

That night we discovered our true callings in life-- Grant is the master fire maker and I am the master camping cook. After I successfully smothered Grant's fire about 5 times, I moved on to preparing the food and all was well. We had stuffing and mashed potatoes as well as campfire vidalias, but the main menu was foil dinners with ham, sweet potatoes and pineapple (with Grant's addition of marshmallows). For dessert we had Banana Boats-- it was super tasty and we were super full! We don't own a camp stove so all of this was done over the fire with pots from our local thrift store-- we were pretty proud!
Here's where I run out of pictures because the camera died... We slept pretty well that night. There was about an hour where we both couldn't sleep because it was too cold, but besides that it was really nice. We woke up and had hot chocolate and a campfire breakfast without a name (bacon, ham, and hash browns cooked with eggs topped with tomatoes and cheese). We packed up and Grant decided it was time to go swimming... Remember that freezing cold swimming hole we talked about earlier? We put our swim suits on and headed out to the water. It was literally an ice bucket. Grant slid in and stayed under for a couple of seconds while I held my hand over my mouth terrified and a couple hikers looked on, probably wondering when they would need to call an ambulance. I sat on the side of the pool for about 10 minutes (too long for the hikers to stick around). I finally got up the nerve to get in. I screamed before I went under and I screamed coming up. I think I was under for approximately .12 seconds because not even all my hair had time to get wet but I DID IT! I was very proud and I told Grant that he owed me something pretty special for getting in the water. (I got breakfast in bed this morning :))

It was definitely a good Thanksgiving-- a little different, a little turkey-less and pumpkin pie-less but still a good one. Now we can't wait until Christmas!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lonely No More

Grant is coming home today after a week in Colorado! I am very excited because life is way better with Grant than without him. The week he has been gone my life has been something like this:

1. Getting cold at night because I don't have my natural radiator in bed.
2. Playing Zelda for entirely way too long (although I finally beat the game).
3. Actually getting some homework done early (the one good thing).
4. Getting lots of work/choreography in.
5. Not cooking a single meal because it's no fun to cook for yourself.
6. Eating granola bars, crackers, oreos, Corn Chex, cupcakes and an occasional sandwich (yes, I believe this is all I ate all week).
7. Oh, I also drank a lot of hot chocolate.
8. Oh, I also ate a few apples-- Grant will be proud I got my fruits & veggies in... hah.
9. Rented a RedBox that Grant would never have watched (and never would have liked, I realized once I saw it).
10. I went to a show at school-- Grant was probably happy about this because he already went to his one modern dance show for the year :)
11. Played games and watched Muppet Christmas Carol with some friends (Christmas is coming!!)

That was a pretty random list... but I haven't posted in a while and that's all I have to post. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! We're going camping so if you have any good Thanksgiving recipes that are easy to do camping let me know!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hiking in November Warm Weather!

Kelsey and I had a great weekend. We went on a several mile hike next to Grapevine Lake not too far from our apartment. I wanted to break in the new boots I got from Cabella's - thanks Mike!

The lake water was cold, but not that cold considering it's November. We are, for the first time, enjoying the weather in Texas.

For the last several months, Kelsey has been performing in a singing group. They put on Fireside's in different wards around the stake. Here is a clip of her singing - she is the star (don't tell anyone I secretly filmed this in the chapel). I realize it may be off centered and not straight - but I was trying to be sneeky.

I am off to Denver this week to see about some possible career options. Why is choosing what you want to be when you grow up so difficult? "Well, I got a news flash for you Walter Cronkite..." the hard decisions never go away.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

People pity you when you're unemployed...

The Mallory's invited Kelsey and I to the Mavericks vs. Jazz basketball game on Tuesday night. I asked Logan how much the tickets were and he said, "For the Tanner'!" Thanks Logan and Emily.

Here are some pictures of us with the Mallory's and inside the American Airlines center. It was a fun night, even though the Jazz lost after being in the lead the whole game.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Hello family and fellow blog readers. Kelsey and I are having a hard time believing it's November already. We have been in Texas for 6 months (seems like we've been here longer...huh). October was a fun month full of unique challenges.

I lost my job...enough said.

We spent some time in Arizona for Grandpa Tanner's funeral. It was great to remember a wonderful man's life and to see the whole family! Grammy - our love goes out to you. Kate still remembers her Uncle Grant. The first thing she said to me was, "Hi Uncle Grant, but where's Kelsey?" She also probably still remembers her sheep Ricky Kenship Ba Ba White Sheep (she came up with that all by herself). We love our family and were super glad to be with everyone for the weekend.

We spent the next weekend in Boise, Idaho. We enjoyed some beautiful fall leaves and crisp air - something we just don't get here in Dallas. Kelsey was recruited out there to choreograph some dances for her old studio, Studio C. She loved it. She does wonderful work, and everybody loves her there. She probably will not approve of me putting a video of her on the blog, but here is a little clip of her dancing here in Dallas. She is on the left. She made this up.

We hadn't heard about any Halloween parties, so we decided to have our own. I was a giraffe. Kels was Mrs. Gold. We both carved the jack-o-lantern and she made the cake. The cake was very impressive and super tasty. She's getting really good. Lower left shows Hugh and Caitlin West and Stephen and McKenna Dutcher, some good friends.