Monday, June 25, 2012


We have been planning a trip to Yellowstone for several months and it finally came. I had never been to Yellowstone and it was a lot of fun going there and being able to see everything. We went with Derek's parents and also Leanne and Trent. We had a fun five days, but we were glad to be home when it was over. Just a warning: I will be posting several pictures from our trip, but that way you can see a little taste of all our adventures. Here we go: enjoy! Our first night we stopped in Idaho Falls and spent the night there. Since it was Derek's birthday we went out to dinner at the Olive Garden and then spent an hour or so walking around the Idaho Falls river which runs right along the temple grounds.

The next day we got up and headed to our next big adventure: River Rafting. I had never been river rafting and man was I scared. I didn't know what to expect or how difficult it would be. Of course (and I understand that they have to do this) before we actually got on the river the guide had to go over all the worst possibilities of what might happen to us (worst being death). And that didn't make me feel any better. There was a part of the river called the "Mad Mile" which was pretty intense and we had to work together paddling just right so we didn't flip or crash into huge boulders and such. I was nervous, but then I started to relax a bit more as we got going and by the end I wanted to do the run again. It was an amazing experience, the scenery along the way was beautiful, and we all had so much fun. 

After our rafting trip we were all so exhausted that we went to our hotel in Bozeman Montana and just relaxed the rest of the night. We ate dinner and watched a movie then headed to bed. Our Hotel was a little bit ghetto, it seemed like everything was just a little off-ish. But we had fun there anyway. 

Here Derek is standing in front of our hotel room. It was definitely a hotel that thrived in the 70's. See those open sliding doors? Those were the doors to our hotel room. And unless you have your curtains closed just right your bedroom is open for the whole world to see. :) Our next day was our first day to enter Yellowstone. As soon as we entered the park and before we even got to our first hike there were Elk everywhere just hanging out not minding all the people around them.

This is us hiking to our first stop, mammoth hot springs. 

In between hikes and stops we had fun in the car talking, snacking, and having fun. 

A few more of our stops along the way:

Mine and Derek's favorite hike/scenic stop was called the Little Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It was gorgeous! You hike down to the top of the waterfall (and I mean you are RIGHT there at the top of the waterfall) and it runs into this gorgeous river running down this massive canyon. These pictures don't do it justice but you can get an idea. 

We even got to see a mama bear and her cubs. You can't see it great in this picture but they are by the log just beyond the river. It was so fun to see that. 

We went home that night to the cabin resort that we rented and man did we have fun at that cabin. It was great. We were living like kings. We had a BBQ, we went hot tubbing, we watched movies, played games, etc. Here are a few pics of the cabin we stayed in.

The next day was our second day in Yellowstone and we got caught for about an hour in traffic going through the park because a huge herd of buffalo decided to cross the street. You can't see all the buffalo in this picture, but there were probably 150 buffalo crossing the road and taking their time doing it. 

...and of course we went to Old Faithful. That was a lot of fun to see. We also went to the lodge right there by Old Faithful and spent some time in there. 

Again, we went back to the cabin and did some more hot tubbing and games and such. Sunday was our last day and it was just spent driving home. We stopped in at a sacrament meeting in Idaho Falls and then took a walk around the temple before we finished our trip home. 

That last day was a lot of traveling to do and we were all starting to get a little antsy to get home. We had a lot of fun and will always have great memories of this trip. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Alan's Big Day

It was Alan's big day to start a new adventure that will last the next two years of his life. On Wednesday, June 20th (also Derek's birthday, also Dave and Sarah's anniversary) we took Alan to the Provo MTC. He was pretty nervous and I think it was making Jeanne and I nervous for him. We stopped by Sarah and Dave's and talked for awhile and had lunch. He held everything together really good though with the goodbyes and walked away smiling. We will all miss Alan a lot. He's the life of the party a lot of the time and everyone loves being around him. He is going to do great on his mission and be a great leader. Good luck Alan!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Birthday Celebration and Fathers Day

Well everyone, its that time of week again to post about our week. It was a pretty typical week. Derek went to work, I went about my activities getting the things done that I needed to, summer school, teaching piano, etc. Thursday night we were able to go to the Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremonies with Jeanne, Dave, and Alan. It was kinda crazy there. They encourage everyone to come support the opening ceramony in the community by purchasing a ticket, but then they don't have enough seats for the number of tickets sold. It was crowded and crazy, but we enjoyed ourselves. We saw some crazy stunts done on motorcycles and bikes, got to listen to Vocal Point (or remixed), and watch the fireworks.

The next day was Friday and Derek and I decided to celebrate his birthday. You see, his real birthday is this Wednesday the 20th, but we will be spending his birthday this year dropping Alan off at the MTC and then heading up to a family vacation to Yellowstone. We are really excited for our trip, we've been hashing  out all the details and it should be fun. So anyway, back to the birthday celebration. My parents took us out to eat for Derek's birthday at the Garden House (yum...their soup is thee best). When we were done, Derek and I came home to our apartment and we played a game, I gave him his present, and we just spent the evening together. We ended the night by going to get  a snow cone from the shack up by family doller. It was not a snow cone like I had ever had, Ice cream in the bottom, orange dreamsicle flavoring in the ice, and then whip cream on top. It was really good, but back in my day you just got the shaved ice and the flavoring. Derek was pretty happy about the present I got him. Here he is holding it.

He has been wanting one to help him out with all the things he does on his computer. Its a Bamboo tablet with pen. You can check it out if you are more interested here. We also got Derek some new slacks that he could wear to school for presentations or to work. He hasn't had any, and he really needed a pair, so we got him some with new shoes to match. I made him model his outfit on Sunday so we could show everyone.

Isn't he cute? I didn't however to ask him to pose like that. He just did that because he apparently is a "cool guy".

Saturday morning my Dad, Justin, Joe, and Derek all went out to breakfast at the Market Grill. It is their manly little tradition that they do each year on fathers day weekend. They all had fun and ate good food. Derek left straight from Market Grill and we headed down to a doctors appointment in St. George and then headed over to do sealings at the Temple. We came back just in time for a little birthday party for my nephew Logan at the park and then used the rest of the day cleaning our apartment and getting our life organized a bit before we leave on our big trip.

Sunday was Fathers Day. These are the gifts we gave to each of our Dads and they both really enjoyed them. They were fun to make too. It was Derek's job to drink all the soda so I could clean out the bottle and fill it with other goodies.

 We are so lucky to have both Derek's dad and my dad in our lives. They are both such a huge support to us and we look up to each of them both very much. Tune in next week for Yellowstone trip adventures. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our Highlights and Happenings of the Week

Its been another eventful week with us Paynes. Sometimes events that happened a few weeks ago seems like an eternity ago and other times it seems like it passed by in a blink. This week was one of those weeks that went by so quickly (at least for me). Here are a few of the highlights from the week: Summer school started for me at the school and I had a lot of fun. It's not bad considering its only a couple hours a week a few times a week, however its a busy couple hours. There are a couple down syndrome kids in my class, a couple autistic boys, a little boy on oxygen who needs one on one assistance at all times, and several other very low kids that need access to adult if needed. We have really had a lot of fun so far though and I have enjoyed it. On Wednesday night we had some good friends over for a BBQ at our new place. We had a lot of laughs and some good food.

Derek is busy with work, and then he mows some lawns throughout the week too. That keeps him pretty busy. A lot of people ask me what I've been doing now that I have the summer off. Well, I do keep busy with teaching piano, teaching summer school, and catching up on projects I've been behind on for a long time but I have to admit I have found a new guilty pleasure. I'd like to introduce you to Downton Abbey. Its one of my new favorite TV series. I've really enjoyed following it and a lot of days I'll turn that on while I work on projects and such. I highly recommend it to any gal out there that loves a good love story and story line. It starts in 1909 and goes through the 1920's. I'm half way through season 2 and season 3 comes out in the fall. There are only about 8 episodes in a season and each episode is about an hour. It's great. Give it a whirl and let me know if you like it.

Dave, Alan and Derek made a day trip down to Zion and hiked The Narrows on Saturday. They all looked pretty beat when they got home. They had a lot of fun and some battle wounds and scars to prove it.

This Sunday wasn't one of our most routine Sundays, it was quite eventful. First off,  it was Alan's farewell. He did a great job with his talk and had everyone laughing.  He had a lot of support from family and friends and there are only 10 more short days til he makes his way to Nicaragua (well actually 10 short days til we drop him off at the MTC in Provo and then head up to Yellowstone to enjoy a vacation, while he studies away for 9 good weeks in the MTC and THEN he will be on his way to Nicaragua). Here are a few pictures from the lunch after Alans meeting.


 Notice how Brian made it into both small group conversation shots but in different shirts. Just thought I would point that out. 


We spent the day going back and forth from Alan's farewell to my Dad's big day of becoming the new bishop of the Cedarview ward. I will now put in a dashing head shot of my father so you can all see for yourself the new bishop.

 Basically all of my life he has served as bishop or stake presidency member or this or that and now he's back to being bishop. Why? He's a good guy. And a good dad. And he will spend the next 5 or so years on the stand and being busy. We were able to make it to the most important parts of both events and spend lots of time with family and friends. It was a good week and an eventful week once again. Thanks for tuning in.

Oh... P.S. Derek has made a personal blog of his own to help with his resume building and such. If you would like to check it out as well you are welcome to: .

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Moving, Farming, and Herbert

This week I, Derek, will be posting on the blog. Why? I don't really know.

New things that happened this week include moving and planting a garden. We'll start off with the moving. Over the course of this past week we moved from our old place into our new place, and I'll say that moving over the course of a week is much less stressful than moving everything all at once in one day. We received help from my family as well as Bib's in moving the various items, and we are grateful for that help. We've now got everything moved in, organized, and lookin' good. We even had my family over for a little dinner so they could see the new place. Here are a whole bunch of pictures:


Front room


Pantry/Storage closet


We also planted a garden. We were excited to find out that we had space in the back to plant some stuff. So Bib went to the store bought some plants, fertilizer, and some other stuff and we spent the afternoon preparing the soil and planting. Neither of us have ever done our own gardens before, so this is going to be a good learning experience for us. We planted broccoli, squash, spinach, peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and probably some other stuff. Now, more pictures:

This is what the ground kinda looked like before we did anything to it.

Working the land.

Looking dashing.

Plants straight from the place where you buy plants.

Yellow Crookneck.

Garden, in it's final state.
Also, Bib bought me this plant to put on my desk. I named him Herbert.

Also Bib made this cool wreath for our front door.