Monday, August 30, 2010


Denis already posted about Kirtland, which was really fun, but we also celebrated our two year anniversary there. It was my turn to “plan” the anniversary and I must say I’m really bad at it. Good thing Denis is so laid back. I think this is how it went down as we were in the car driving to Kirtland…“So, um, is it okay if this counts as our anniversary trip?” I was going to plan a weekend in Nashville on our way home from Ohio this weekend, but both Denis and I agreed that we just really want to get back home as soon as possible. And since neither one of us knew we were having our anniversary in Kirtland, we didn’t get any gifts for each other. However, I stunned myself with my “on the spot” brilliance and came up with the idea to write each other love letters. I think we’re going to make that a tradition because that was better than any present he could get me! I’m not just saying that to be all cheesy and crap, the letters were amazing and definitely journal worthy. Even though we didn’t have some grand celebration this year for our anniversary, it didn’t matter to us. We talked about our favorites parts about our wedding day, our engagement, and how we starting dating. We celebrated by remembering. By remembering how we fell love is how we know our love has grown even more since.

Monday, August 23, 2010


“…go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;” – Doctrine & Covenants 38:32

Disclaimer: Yes, this is Denis writing the blog, and yes, my pictures are all cute-looking and stuff.  I am testing a new picture plug-in that I found for Lisa…hope it doesn’t take away my man card

We went to visit historic Kirtland, OH last weekend to get away from my class in Dayton and since Lisa has never been!  I have been to Kirtland with my family in 2000, but a lot of buildings have been restored since then per request of President Hinckley, so there were a lot of new things to see!

Here’s a brief background about Kirtland for those who may not know:  Though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began in upstate New York, Kirtland was the first official headquarters and gathering place of the early church.  The prophet Joseph Smith, shortly after establishing the church in 1830, received revelation that four missionaries (including Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery) should go and preach to the Lamanites (Native Americans) on the borders by the Lamanites.  These missionaries departed for the border of the United States which was then western Missouri.  On the way, Parley suggests to stop by his old stomping grounds in Ohio and teach one of his old preachers, Sidney Rigdon.  Soon, Sidney Rigdon is converted after reading the Book of Mormon and many people from his congregations also are baptized into the Church.  Within a year of the Church’s organization, there are more members in Ohio than New York.  Joseph receives revelation by the end of 1830 to leave New York and have the members gather to Ohio.  Thus began the vital stage of church history in Kirtland, Ohio!

Kirtland is an amazing place of faith and history.  Kirtland was the place where the church continued to grow and become organized.  The first First Presidency, the first quorum of twelve apostles, seventy, bishop, high priests, and stake were all organized and/or called here.  The first temple was built here.  Revelations like the Word of Wisdom, the three degrees of glory, priesthood keys, and other visionary experiences happened here and were witnessed and recorded by many.  So many members worked hard and gave up so much to help many of the poor Saints moving into the area.  They took time building up the area, many knowing that they would be leaving it behind, which happened in 1838 when most departed for Missouri.  It really is a remarkable place!

We spent Saturday morning touring the temple and got to see the pulpit where the heavens were opened and Joseph and Oliver Cowdery saw Christ who accepted the temple, followed by Moses, Elias, and Elijah, who each gave important priesthood responsibilities.

After that we saw the Whitney store, a cool old sawmill and ashery, the Johnson Inn, and Isaac Morley’s farm.  Later on Sunday we went out to Hiram and toured the Johnson home where Joseph and Emma lived for a time and also where Joseph was tarred and feathered.  Overall, it was a great experience and we had a very rewarding time there!

The training never ends…but we like the vacations!

  That’s right, we’ve been in Dayton, Ohio for the past week for more TRAINING. The Air Force really likes training. Train till you drop. We’re here until Labor Day weekend.  Anyways, we’re actually grateful for all the training because it’s given us the opportunity to travel to a lot of different places in the process. Here’s some pictures of our adventures in Ohio!


Wegerzyn Gardens DSCN4124



The National Air Force museum is on Wright Patterson, the base we are staying on for Denis’ training.DSCN4166

The F-22


The B-2 Spirit…I thought that was one cool looking.



Last weekend was our 2nd anniversary and we visited Kirtland, Ohio to see some of the church historical sites, but since Denis loves that stuff so much I’m gonna let him post about that next :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It wasn't weird!

My junior year in high school we had to write a paper on "How to Make Something" and then we had to present it in front of the class. I knew if I was going to present this in front of the class then it had to be something with food because what high school kid doesn't like food? I thought about a lot of different options and then it hit me! Tiger Paws. I have been making them every year at the Salt Lake County Fair since before I can remember, it was the prefect idea. It was beautiful, my mom made the dough and brought it to my class. I heated up the grease and fried up some smaller versions of Tiger Paws for all the kids in my class. Wow, they loved them and they loved me for making them! Who wouldn't like bread deep fried and then drenched in butter and honey?? I knew I was definitely going to get an A on that paper, and I wasn't wrong :)

Back in June when I went out to Alabama to be with Denis as he finished up his training, we decided it would be a good idea for me to fly out to Utah for a visit sometime in August. This way I had something to look forward to and I knew that I could go back to Utah anytime I wanted if I needed to. So I booked my flight. And the exciting part was that I didn't tell ANYONE in my family. It was hard to keep the secret and a couple times I came close to accidentally giving it away, but I LOVE surprises. Seriously, I thrive on them. If I could I would plan big surprises for everybody I love everyday! Anytime I was feeling a little sad or lonely in Alabama or Florida, I would just picture what their faces would look like when I came walking in the door.

Finally, August 7th came and I was off to Utah! I'm so glad I have awesome friends like Kar and Sus who would come pick me up from the airport to help surprise my family. As we drove on the freeway to my parents house, I remember looking out the windows in the car at all the familiar things and thinking, "This isn't weird" and "Man, I love the mountains." When we got on the street where my parents live, I called my Mom for our daily chat. However, I noticed as we pulled down the driveway that there where a lot more cars that I knew. Not only were my parents home, but my entire family was there for my nephew's birthday! As I was getting out of the car and talking to my Mom on the phone, my two six year old nephews came running out on the driveway. I ducked behind Susannah's car cause I didn't know what to do, I was getting so flustered that I just hang up on my Mom and ran up to my nephews. They both looked at me and very casually said, "Oh hey Lisa, what are you doing?" haha! That was one of my favorite things, they weren't surprised at all to see me, they acted like it was normal I was there...I loved it because it made me feel like they still remembered me even though I hadn't seen them for two months.

With Tyler, Jack, Karlie and Susannah we ran to the garage door and I walked in and said loudly, "Hey my Peeps! What's going on?!" They were in the middle of dinner and everyone turned and looked at me with the most confused and shocked faces...silence. haha. My mom wasn't in the kitchen so I was like, "Alright if you aren't going to be excited to see me then I'll go find mom." So I turned and ran into my Mom's room and gave her a big hug and then everyone followed from the kitchen as I'm sure the shock was wearing off and I started hugging everyone. My mom and my sister in law started crying and all of them asked me where Denis was...I guess once you get married you aren't good enough by yourself anymore;) jk. It was the best surprise! It was funny for about 15 minutes after I got there I could see them all stealing looks at me in turn as if they were making sure I didn't disappeared. My sister in law, Iliana, asked me like 10 times if it was weird that I was back. Every time before I would answer, I would try and think of anything weird, but every time it just felt normal. I think the weirdest thing for me about visiting is that it didn't feel weird at all, it felt like I never left.

The reason why I chose the week of August 7th to visit Utah is so I could work for two days at Tiger Paws. Tiger Paws is hard work, when you get home at night you are sore, ache everywhere on your body, so very tired, and you can wipe the grease from your face and cook with why would I want to work at Tiger Paws? Because that's when I get a lecture from Kell about how to serve the Chile, I get to go on a walk with Mike and Steph into the main building and have a good time as we look at all the booths, I have a contest with Phil to see who can keep their hand in the ice bucket where we keep the drinks for the longest time, I make up the "meep" and "boop" joke with Iliana and Kell as we're making never ending orders of Navajo Tacos, Steph and I laugh at the way Dave makes Navajo Tacos, and Mike and I compete on who can stretch the dough the best to make the most perfect Tiger Paw. Those are the reasons why I wanted to be there to work at Tiger Paws because that's where we make memories as a family.

It wasn't weird to be in Utah. It wasn't weird to have Sunday dinner with the family, to hang out with Susannah and Karlie, to take Kylie (from my old work) out to lunch, to sit out on the deck and look at the mountains, to drive down I-15, to work at Tiger Paws. None of that was weird. What was a little weird was how ready and excited I was to go HOME to Florida. I belong there with Denis, at least for now...till we move back to Utah :)