Friday, July 31, 2009


Grandma Laura (second from left) and her three siblings at the family reunion

Dorothy, Danielle and me

from left to right: Ben, Mike, Aunt Lori, Karly, Tyson (Lori's son)

Ben and me gettin' the gear ready!

Mike and Danielle

Dorothy (Ben's mom) soaking up the sun!

During our time in Washington we had a family reunion with Ben's mom's side of the family. It was great to meet the Conner side and get to know people better. We had amazing food and several rounds of the "bean bag game." It's a game Ben's great uncle made and it is addictive!

Yesterday we took advantage of the crazy warm weather and floated a section of the Spokane River with Ben's mom, Mike (his brother), Danielle (Mike's girlfriend) and the two of us. It was beautiful and relaxing. We even hit a couple sections that had some good rapids. We are sad to say good bye today but are looking forward to getting settled back in Southern CA. I'll post pictures when we get back.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Washington Reception


Kristy, Evan (Ben's best friend from childhood and a groomsmen), Ben and me

Our "first dance" was at this reception, Thanks Tina!

We've spent the last week in Washington visiting Ben's family. This past Sunday his dad and Tina held a really special reception for us at their house. I got to meet a lot of Ben's extended family for the first time along with life long friends that he's grown up with. They also had a dance for us since we couldn't dance at our wedding. It was really special. Ben also got a personal favorite wedding gift, a new (to him) Colt Kodiak 44 Magnum. His close friend and surrogate dad Craig gave it to him as an "heirloom" gift. I don't know anything really about guns but his brother was drooling over it and is glad that Ben will be leaving it this year in WA b/c CA is so tight right now about owning and transporting guns.


The night before Ben and I were scheduled to leave Alaska and fly to Washington to spend time with his family we were encouraged to change plans. We had dinner that night (July 14th) at Ethan and Chris Hansen's house and through conversation Ethan got excited about having us go with their church, Faith Bible Fellowship, the following week to Eagle, AK. They do a one week VBS and several service projects. This year in particular was a heavy service project year due to severe flooding in May when the Yukon River rose to a record high and chunks of glacial ice literally crushed a large part of the town. Eagle is a bush community with a population of 150.

We were excited to be a part of this ministry and Ben was put on a crew to replace/rebuild the giant cross at the top of a bluff that overlooks the town. Interesting bit, my last trip to Eagle was my sophomore year of high school when I floated the Yukon River from Dawson City, Canada to Eagle with Wasilla Bible Church. I clearly remember what the town used to look like but it has all been washed away now. I also remember floating down seeing the once HUGE wooden cross at the top of the bluff. That was our big marker that we paddled toward before we set up our last camp. It also had since rotted and fallen over.

Cool story, while we were there a couple traveling "through" (Eagle is on the way to nowhere) from Switzerland noticed and commented on the cross we errected and how awesome it was to have that as a symbol in their town. I hiked up the bluff with the boys on their final trip to get pics and I must say it is likely a hike I will never do again, crazy steep and scary!

I will post pics of the flood and cross when I can get my computer back online, until then I am catching up the narrative b/c SO much has been happening in our lives this past month!


Post honeymoon Ben and I drove up one Saturday afternoon with good friends Sarah and Ashley Brown and kiddos to the Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival. The experience was true to Alaska . . . very red neck. It's like a mini Alaskan state fair with a "moose dropping." For those who haven't been people can buy lackered moose droppings (something like $2-$5 a piece) with a number on it. They are given a copy to keep with each one they buy. Later in the day someone flys a plane up over an open field there with a large target on the ground and literally drops thousands of moose terds from above. There are cash prizes for closest to the target, farthest, etc. Alaskan, that's all I can say about it. :)


Ben and I wanted to stay in AK for our honeymoon b/c we LOVE Alaska and we haven't had much time recently to soak in a beautiful Alaskan summer. We split our time between a cabin in Sheep Mountain and a cabin in Denali Park. The weather was incredible! At Sheep Mountain a long time friend from high school, Matt Keller tipped us off to a GREAT hike, Lion's Head off the Glenn Hwy. I have to say it was one of the most scenic Alaskan hikes I have ever done. While in Denali we went to the Alaska Cabin Night dinner theater, compliments of the Burdine girl cousins, thanks girls! I had been a few times before with family and friends from out of state but this was Ben's first time and he loved it! He LOVES Alaskan history.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

June 27, 2009

Our wedding day! We ended up having our wedding inside due to predicted rain and hail storms later that afternoon and I have to say our "plan B" back up turned out as good or even better than our original plan A. The day was perfect in my mind. It started with pictures outside at Bob and Connie Stahle's house. They live on a lake and it was sunny earlier that day so we took advantage of the weather and scenery and got some great pictures.

One of my aunt's made a suggestion that night before to have the ceremony in the center of the "sanctuary" gym at WBC which proved to be really beautiful and intimate. One of my uncle's who is an engineer bought lumber the day before and he and couple of the men in the family built a stage and two sets of stairs from scratch just in time for the rehearsal that evening. I have an AMAZING family!

The entire day was special and memorable. A couple friends told me prior to take occasional snapshots of the day in my mind so I would remember things later. I have several in my mind and am so thankful for such a special God centered time of celebration. Thanks to all who came to celebrate with us and make the day memorable! We love you!

I don't have any of my own pics of the wedding yet but will post some when I get copies and CDs from friends. Stay tuned! :)

Bridal Luncheon

During our wedding week my aunts from out of state, Tammi (NC), Becky (CA), and Lynn (ND) hosted an amazing bridal luncheon for me at Evangelos. They did everything very southern style, flowers, party favor chocolates, special cake etc. It was such a treat I felt like a queen. Women from both sides of the family came along with women in the wedding party. It was a special time of fellowship and time for families and friends to mix and get to know each other. Thanks so much ladies!


Our new desk

Our new kitchen table, the perfect size for a little dining room!

Four days before I left to fly back to AK to start final wedding preparations Ben got a call back from a seminary posting he'd checked into inquiring about some furniture. Long story short the Saturday before I left we met with the family for breakfast and they gave us a fouton, huge desk, nice dresser drawer, two lamps and a toaster for FREE! I woke up that morning with my nesting woman's mind thinking about some of the amenities I'd really enjoy having to make our new little apartment more of a "home" and 30 min. later literally Ben called and said this family he emailed that had posted furniture on the online seminary postings called and wanted to meet us and may have some stuff we'd want.

What a blessing! Later that afternoon in our running around we stopped by another seminary friend's house that was moving out and we bought their kitchen table for super cheap! Our Saturday turned into a furniture day that has nearly furnished our place even BEFORE we left to come back for the wedding! God is faithful and we are thankful for his many blessings!

Another cool blessing, a week later while Ben was settling in after I left his roommate gave him a big new bookshelf that he didn't want so now we have a new bookshelf too . . . for FREE! Amazing! Thank you Lord for your provision!