Friday, August 29, 2008

Give to Ghana

Some of you may or may not know that I am going to Accra, Ghana during Christmas break for a few weeks. I will be joined by a few of my cousins and friends. We are all very excited to go visit Chelsea & Mike. We are also very excited to bring many needed supplies, money, and help. 

My cousins and I have been having many meetings to prepare for our trip. I have put together a website where you can learn more about our trip to Africa and all that we are looking to do and to bring.

I am excited to officially launch: Give to Ghana

You can also join the Give to Ghana Facebook group if you would like!

Friday, August 22, 2008

from "God's University" to the Devil's

I thought it might be fun for you to see my new room and house where I live in Mesa, AZ.  

Well I am officially a Sun Devil and it is wicked hot here in Arizona--but since I am inside most of the time I'm mostly okay! Below is the schedule that I'm getting used to!

Mondays & Tuesdays I work at my internship at Arizona Children's Association working in the Therapeutic Foster Care division.

5:30 am        wake up
6:00 am        drive to ASU Tempe Campus & park at the LDS Institute 
6:30 am        attend my "Principles of Leadership (religion class)
7:25 am         walk across campus to free intercampus shuttle
8:15 am         arrive at ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus (where I have my classes)
9:40 am-12:30 pm     social work class
12:30 pm                      lunch
2:00-4:50 pm              social work class
5:30-6:30                      Cardio Kickboxing (free class at the YMCA across the street)

same morning routine
6:30 am                      attend my "Book of Mormon" (religion) class
7:25 am                       catch shuttle
9:00 am-11:50 am     social work class
12:00  pm                    lunch
1:30-4:50 pm              social work class
5:00-6:00 pm             Body Sculpt (free class at the YMCA across the street)

Being an ASU student come with some perks. The buses,soon the light rail, and the YMCA are free for students. 

Free Fridays!!!

10 Year High School Reunion

Melinda & I

My 10 year high school reunion was interesting to say the least. Not very many of my personal close friends from high school were there. Since I only went to Oren High for 1 year I didn't know everyone in our graduating class. We had a graduating class of around 500 and OHS, at the time was a 5 A school.

Currently they had demolishing parts of OHS and it is now a 4 A school.  There was a really small group of people that gathered and I was surprised that more people didn't show. I guess it is hard to get the word out to everyone.

All in all it was great to see those that did come and the food was great! I also won a gift certificate to Magleby's--so that was a bonus!

(L-R): Marie, Stacia, me, Megan, & Kilee.

I can't believe that it has really been 10 years! I am amazed at how much I've changed and how much I haven't!

Weddings & Family

Wedding #1:  Kasey Holt & Tyler Ahlstrom

I was very happy to see my family this weekend! They decided to come to UT because they had 2 weddings to attend. One wedding on my dad's side of the family (his sister Julie's son, Tyler, was getting married) and one on my mom's side of the family (her brother Dirk's daughter, Stacey, was getting married.

It was very special and important for my family to be at Tyler's wedding. Tyler and my brother Grant were best friends when they were little. Even though I am very happy for Tyler in his life it has always been hard for me when he hits those defining moments in him life. When he served his mission, when he was dating, and now that he was getting married. He reminds me of the things I am mission in my life without Grant.

Their sealing was beautiful and I was doing great but then Mom, Dad & were talking about if Grant was at the wedding and I started to cry. Part in happiness for Tyler & Kasey and part because I miss Grant!

Clay & Camryn at the luncheon before the wedding.

My beauty sisters, Kaitlin & Alexa.

Here I am with newborn Dayton Ryan Ahlstrom. He is the first born of Ryan & Maryann Alstrom ( Tyler's brother).

Here's my beautiful mommy with Shields family.

(L-R): Melinda, Ali, Shane, Carly, & Kati.

We has a few hours between the luncheon and the wedding in Logan so we all decided to go hang out at a local park--that happen to have a Zoo.

Here's Dad & Clay. Dad and his famous hanky hat so that his bald head doesn't burn.

My amazing family!  It was so great to be with them even though it was WAY too short!

Here I am w/ my sweet cousin Timothy, who I wrote about before on this blog. He has HLHS
but is doing really well. He is gift to everyone around him. This summer Timothy & I really bonded and it will be very sad to not see him as much when I move to Arizona!

Wedding number 2:  Stacey Brinkerhoff & Pierce Thiot

Through the years my family hasn't been able to see much of my mom's family.  Most of them live in Texas. So it was really great that my family could come out to Stacey's wedding and we could all be together!

Back Row (L-R): Scott, Dirk (my mom's brother), Dain, & Sandra. Middle Row (L-R): Katie, Jordon, & Me. Front Row: Pierce Thiot, Stacey's fiance.

Pierce's family threw a big family dinner the night before his and Stacey's wedding. It was Olympics themed and it was awesome!
Congrats Stacey & Pierce Thiot!  Their wedding was beautiful and it was so great to be with family and cousins I don't get to see very often!

I don't get to see my Brinkerhoff cousins nearly enough!  Here I am with Dain (R), his wife and kids are in Texas, and Scott (L), who also has a wife and kids in Texas!

Back Row (L-R): Scott, Katey, Dain, Kaitlin, Alexa.  Front Row (L-R): Danielle, Clay, Kylee, and Jordon.  Here we are outside the SLC Temple waiting to take a family pictures for Stacey & Pierce.

Time To Play Catch Up!

Here is Erica Shields & Isaac Workman

Before I moved away I thought it would be fun for my my cousins, Jessica, JC, & Erica to got a big group date w/ me. So I went with John Kane (friend from the mission), I set up JC w/ Heather Barton, I set up Erica w/ Isaac Workman, and Jessica came w/ a friend. 

We decided to go to the Utah County Fair and had a great time. After the fair we all went ice blocking up Provo Canyon (talk about memories)!

Here is John Kane & I. This ride, "The Zipper" was insane!

Here is Heather Barton & JC Shields

Here is Heather Barton , a cow, & Isaac Workman (my summer BFF and new little brother).  We were all in the 7th Ward together. 

Although my ward in Provo (Pleasant View 7th Ward) started out a little rocky I grew to love it and the people I met in that ward.  Jonathan Barton & his sister, Heather, became great friends quickly over the summer!

(L-R) Kelly, Stacey, & Kylee. It was great to be in Utah for my cousin Stacey's bridal shower. Kelly threw a beautiful shower and it was great to be with family and friends.

Here I am with John's niece & nephew

A dear friend of mine from Boston, John Henry, took me to see his ranch and then to a wonderful jazz concert at Snow College. The jazz band was from Julliard and they were amazing! those of you who know me know I LOVE jazz!  It was wonderful to spend time with John!