Thursday, October 10, 2013



Hey, I'm still alive! Woot woot! turns out china blocks more than just can't get on blogs either!

Lame, right?

That's why I have been neglecting you so!

Now you can feel relief in knowing I wasn't like mad at you or something...haha

We finally found a good VPN...that seems to work, so I can give you an update! (But don't expect lots cause our internet is pretty iffy around here).

Anyhow...China has been awesome! It's been crazy, but so fun. The kids we teach are hilarious. One kid was calling Ben "teacher big" so Ben said, "yeah, I'm big!" He even stood up and stretched out his arms to emphasize. But the kid said, "no! Teacher big!" And then he pointed at his bottom. Apparently Ben is Teacher Big Butt here in china. I can't complain. They call me Teacher Yummy because I teach kitchen. I'll take it!

We've gone on 2 wonderful vacations. One to Yangshuo and one to Sanya. Google them if you want to be jealous ;)

This has been quite the adventure for us. The cafeteria sometimes serves chicken feet for lunch...and I've learned to bring TP with me wherever I go...cause, guess what? They don't supply it. But I'm learning awesome things (like how to say panda in Chinese...and that I really miss me a Costa Vida...). But yeah...good times!

Since blogging is not the most reliable, if you wanna email me, me email is I won't think you're a weirdo if you email. Promise.

Now I better get going so I can catch up on all of your blogs that I've missed out on!!

Love, Kim

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The One in Old Nauvoo

As you guys know, Ben and I were able to go with his family to Nauvoo as well as to some of the other church sites...and some not-as-churchy sites. We loved it. This whole summer for us has been one vacation to the next...and I'm not recommending that anyone quit their jobs...cause, gosh that would be dumb coughcoughnotthathatswhatwedidcough...but it has been quite the awesome adventure.  Here are the pics:
The kids favorite place was the Pioneer Pastimes. They loved dressing up like little pioneer children and we loved that they could be as loud as they wanted.
 Ben and I got to do a session at the Nauvoo temple. The temple is gorgeous-they recreated it how the saints would have made the original. So they had wooden stalls and faux candelabras for lighting.
 We got to go on a wagon ride that toured all of Old Nauvoo. We learned so much. The pioneers were so smart and resourceful.
 The place we stayed was right next to the river. We woke up to this:
 The missionaries there put on one heck of a play complete with singing, dancing and love stories.
 After Nauvoo we went to Worlds of Fun (its like Lagoon) in Kansas City. Ben and I skipped out early and went to see these kiddos. I was SO excited that we got to stop at my brother Spencer and Whitney's house. I know we saw them a whole TWO times already this summer, but I just can't get sick of them, so we signed ourselves up for round 3 with the Kansan Lifferths and we weren't disappointed.
 We stopped by the house of the outlaw Jesse James. These boys acted as the house's bodyguards. They never smile for pictures anyway, so it worked out for the best.
 This is the whole lot of us at Liberty Jail. Go ahead and count. 10 children. And we survived.
 Our next stop was at the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska. It was seriously the coolest zoo I've ever been to.
Here's Halle...remember how our laptop broke? I'm currently using my mother in law's iMac (or do you just say Mac? I don't know...) and I have no idea how to rotate pictures. So this is what you get.
 Some of the Pettingills. Little Bitty was probably my favorite person on the whole trip. She's so gosh darn cute and she sings on request. She goes, "La Laaaaa" complete with vibrato.
 Here's an animal pic to prove we were really at a zoo. Isn't that parrot awesome?
 Here'e Ben and I on the train ride.

Here's me at the aquarium, which was one of my favorite parts. They had a shark tunnel! It was awesome!
The trip was so good. I'm so glad that Mama Brown had the insight to plan this trip and take us all on it. We loved it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The One for Idaho

Today, I feel like a true Idahoan.
Not to worry, I still claim Utah as my home state.
But today I picked a bunch of corn, straight from the stalk.
Then we shucked it.

Yeah, that corn was hand shucked.

Then I went and fed apples to a cow.

It was all very rustic indeed.
I would post pictures but I didn't take any...which is just as well because they don't believe in technology here in Idaho.

I was just kidding about that last part. They still love technology (as made famous by Kip, a local Idahoan).

But the corn really was hand shucked.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The One with the Farnsworths

After mine and Ben's weekend in Utah (p.s. the Girl's Camp trip has got me dreaming unhealthily about buying a condo in St. George...) we headed back to good ol' Idaho. The week's main event was the Farnsworth Family Reunion.

This is Ben's mom's side so it was right there on "The Farm" where my mother-in-law lives, next to Grandma's house and an Uncle's house. Perfect place for a party of this magnitude. Another upside was being able to actually sleep in a bed a night. What a blessing.

Uncle Ron was official party coordinator and he did a dang good job at making sure everyone had an amazing time. I'm positive he and his family had been planning for months and, trust me, it was worth all the planning and effort because it really was just that awesome.

We started the weekend out with some fun crafts. First I painted Ben's face. I'm pretty professional at it and I think I might make a career of it. I call this face "Earth Child."
 We also did some crayon art. You know, like the stuff you've seen on Pinterest. Mine turned out really awesome and I had some big plans for it...but then I left it out in the sun and it all melted together and turned out hideous. Oh well. Ben's was quite successful.
 Tiana's arranged her crayons expertly but was nervous about putting heat on it.
They had a train for the kids to ride on around the farm.

 The kids loved it and would beg to have someone drive.
 There was much swimming to be was really hot. And 2 of the mornings we were encouraged to do a polar bear plunge. You'll be proud to know that I was one of the few who participated in BOTH plunges. Only like 5 of us did it each day. I don't have picture proof...(Tiana I'm counting on you for that;).

We had a pie eating contest. 
 My favorite part was watching Uncle Ron (on the right) peck at his pie with his chin to break his crust. It was hilarious.
 I think Heather wanted to do the contest just so she could spew half eaten pie at her competitors. But who knows for sure?
The pie eating contest promptly turned into a food fight. A preplanned food fight meaning they had prepared spaghetti with sauce, rice, jello and I don't know what else. Here are some flying noodles.
Here's Ben attacking a cousin. I participated at a safe distance by just taking pictures. Plus I'm not allowed to waste food.
This was my favorite picture ever. Tiana's face? Priceless.
Here's the crew after the fight. They got what they were asking for.

Anyhow...I was going to post a couple more pics...because we really did a billion other things...but then I changed my mind...because I'm lazy.

Forgive me.

The point is, the reunion was a blast. We had so much fun and I was way excited to actually have an official Reunion shirt!

We're currently completing Phase Number Who Knows What in our summer as we travel with the Brown family to Nauvoo and Missouri. We're having a blast and you can rest assured that I'll getcha a post on these crazy happenings...when I feel like it.

On a final note, can you believe Ben and I are flying to China in 11 days?? 


Sunday, August 11, 2013

The One with Phase 2

I never posted about Phase 2 of my summer which happened about a week ago. Phase 2 was me going to Girl's Camp with my sister Leslie. She was nervous about being homesick...and, well, when you're jobless you don't really have any excuse not to go.

When I was a Young Woman, our Girl's Camps consisted of sleeping in a tent near some lake and crocheting scrunchies for service projects.

But this year they switched it up and headed to Las canoe 11 miles down a river. It was a blast.

Immediately following that awesomeness, I hiked the Subway (which is in Zion National Park) with an awesome group of friends/family.

Needless to say, it was an awesome week. But, unfortunately, I didn't take pictures...but my excursions can be summed up with this one:
Yep, that is a genuine Chaco tan line. My first one ever and I must admit it is a whole lot better than the running shoe tan line that I usually sport. Apparently, sitting in a canoe in 104 degree weather will do that to a girl.

You can also watch an awesome video of our Subway Expedition here. My amazing and very talented husband made it with our new Sony Action's kinda like a GoPro but Ben says ours is better. Who's to say for sure? Anyhow, go watch it. It's pretty epic.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The One in Utah

It's official.

Ben and I are jobless AND homeless.

And let me tell is quite the adventure.

Ben finally finished his summer semester at BYU-I, which, frankly, was a relief to me. It meant SUMMER was finally here.

So we loaded all our stuff into a storage unit and we told Rexburg to peace out until further notice. We headed to Utah and finally let our summer of adventures start.

The reason for the Utah trip was mainly for my brother Kyle's wedding. Buuuuuut weddings bring all the other siblings in so we had a week jam packed with activities and good times with the fam.

I have to admit that I failed with the picture taking this time around. I totally forgot my camera for some of the best trips. So, many apologies.

We started the trip out with a 5 mile trail race that my brother-in-law Matt put on. It was on the Bonneville Shoreline which is pretty hardcore and way awesome. This year the race was small and unofficial...but Matt's going to make it start training for next year!

This is me finishing the race. I went slow because I was scared I would slip.

This was Ben's very FIRST race. And it was no walk in the park. He did SO good. He made me a proud little wifey.
Matt got hooked up with some awesome raffle prizes. Handheld water bottles? Yes, please!
Grandma (aka: Mom) took us bowling. The kids loved it!
See how excited we were about our crazy shoes?
Holy my oldest brother and his wife have 4 super cute kids (with one on the way). But their youngest one is hilarious. Whenever I walked in the room, he always had some weird get up going on. He can accessorize with anything. Here's a small sample (trust me, we saw much more).
Yes, those certainly are socks on his hands.
Very stylish.
He loved that one of the lenses was missing.
And since I included so many pictures of Oak, let me share the cuteness of the other kiddos.
Ezra at the splash pad.
Georgia made a heart out of play-doh just for me...that little girl melts my heart.
Scarlett's so darn cute. We'd tell her to stop smiling...and she for real could NOT stop. It was hilarious.
Yep, my failure is confirmed. We did waaaaay more than the pictures suggest. Our activities included but were not limited to:
  • Kayaking/canoeing the Provo River
  • Hiking and rock climbing in Maple Canyon
  • Having a dutch oven cook off/volleyball tourney
  • Mini golfing
  • Bach parties
  • Swimming at the Spanish Fork Pool
And last but not least
  • Planning and taking part in many a wedding festivities
It was a very busy and super fun week.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The One with the Stolen Birthday

Welp, ladies and gentlemen, Ben and I got our travel itinerary for China (it makes it seem so real, right?).


We are flying out of SLC on August 27th.
After a couple of switcharoos and layovers we'll be landing in China on the 29th.

What happens to the 28th? you ask.

It's gone. We're completely skipping it. Flying through several time zones and pretending like that day never happened.

The significance of this?

The 28th just so happens to be my birthday.

Looks like I'm going to be staying 22 an extra year.

Which is probably just as well seeing as how most people think I'm 16.

Plus, Kyle's pretty excited about being the older one.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The One With the Attempt at a Tutorial

A month or 2 ago, I had an addiction to Project Runway. Fortunately, I watched all the available free episodes on Hulu so my life has returned to normal since then. However, I absolutely fell in love with the show. I mean, I even had a dream where Tim Gunn was telling me to hurry with buying my fabric but I just could not decide which fabric choice Heidi Klum would approve of.

It was very stressful.

Anyhow, as I watched the show I started forming these lofty goals of someday being proficient in sewing new clothes and refashioning old ones.

I found this blog and was immediately envious of this chick's skills. She makes the cutest clothes and all for really cheap.

Anyway, I made one attempt at refashioning some old t-shirts into a maxi dress...and while I completed it easily, I wasn't sure whether I liked the finished product (which is why you guys didn't see it).

My dreams were put temporarily on the back burner (for lack of ideas and funds) until I found this lady. She mentioned that she made a skirt from 2 pillowcases. And I though, "I could do that." Plus it would be perfect for China--comfy and cool.

So I went to D.I. in search of the perfect fabric. I wasn't set on getting pillowcases...just for the fact that pillowcases are rectangles and as long as I had enough fabric, I could definitely cut and sew some rectangles.

D.I. had some good options. I would recommend checking out the sheets/ tablecloths they have there. I know some people think it's gross...but you can get like 4 or 5 yards of fabric for a couple bucks. Just make sure you inspect it well. But most everything that I've found is clean and in good condition.

I actually ended up getting some discount fabric at our local craft store. They didn't have a full yard of it, so my skirt ended up being a little less full than I wanted. But I loved the fabric so it was worth it.
My camera really sucks at picking up color, but the fabric is kind of sage green and it has a little bit of unexpected shine to it. I got 3/4 yard of that for 3 dollars. The elastic (I went with gray) was about $4.50 so I made the skirt for less than 8 dollars total. Woot! woot!

P.S. Does anyone know where to buy cheap elastic?? Seven ninety-nine a yard is not my idea of a bargain...

Here's what went down:
First I trimmed everything to make it even. Then I sewed a hem by folding the fabric twice, about 1/3 inch. I ironed it well and then sewed it with 1/4 inch seams. After the hem is when I sewed the 2 sides of my fabric together to make a tube (but if you are working with more than 1 piece of fabric, I would suggest doing this first and then hemming so that everything matches up).
Then I fit my elastic around my waist. You want it to be snug, but not uncomfortable (that's my favorite part about making my own clothes: they're made to fit ME!). Make sure to sew it with a zig zag stitch or else the elastic won't give.
Next, you'll want to do a basting stitch around the top of your skirt. When you grab the top string, you'll be able to make ruffles like this (gosh, isn't my hand so modelesque?? I must be made for giving blog tutorials;).

Ruffle all the way around and make sure it matches the length of your elastic.
Then pin it to make sure you don't end up with either:
a) a whole lot of ruffles at the end
b) a whole lot of nothing at the end

Then sew...
Again, use the zig zag stitch...
And wa-la! You're done!

Now, the first time I finished (yes, I had to finish twice) I realized it was too long and the elastic was too loose. Soooo I ended up picking out the thread, cutting it a little shorter, and tightening the elastic. But even with all the extra sewing time (due to my lack of planning) it took me less than an hour and a half. So quick and I love love love the results.
There's a better picture of the color...sheesh! the other ones look awful in comparison. I promise I chose an attractive color to work with.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The One Starring the Born Again Hippie

Remember that one summer when I lived in the wilderness with wild adolescents and only showered every 8 days when I got a couple days off?

I was rocking the hippie vibes back then.

It only lasted as long as the job lasted (which was the summer) and then I was back to my shower-taking, oven-using ways.

But now I'm feeling a spark of that hippie-ness return. And I like it.

Let me rewind.

Awhile ago (can't remember exactly when and can't remember what we were talking about), Ben mentioned that his family, with the exception of his dad, wasn't covered with health insurance. I have to admit that I honestly figured that the guy just didn't know what he was talking about. I mean, who doesn't have health insurance??? Isn't that something that everyone has?

It wasn't until later, when I was talking to my mother-in-law, that I realized Ben wasn't lying.

My mom-in-law said that she was getting tired of paying for it. In her eyes, it was expensive when they didn't use it and it was expensive when they did. She was sick of it. So she started doing research and that's when she discovered herbs.

She researched and learned as much as she could and started healing virtually all her kids' problems. With herbs. They got rid of the health insurance and Mom said she never regretted it.

Which is saying something because they had to pay for Ben's broken back when he was 17.


A couple weeks ago, I got a stiff neck. Now, this wasn't your run of the mill oh-I-slept-kinda-funky-and-now-my-neck-is-hurting kind of stiff neck. No. It was the holy-cow-I-really-shouldn't-be-driving-because-I-literally-can't-move-my-neck-to-see-if-a-car-is-coming-from-anywhere-other-than-right-in-front-of-my-face kind of stiff neck.

It was that bad.

But I'm cheap and this was not immediately life I didn't want to hit up the doctor. So we called Mom.

She sent us to the store with a list of herbs and gave me a strict regimen to follow. Less than 2 days later, I felt good as new and I kept telling Ben to, "look at me!" while I turned my head back and forth with full rotation.

It was an herbal miracle! The stories Mom had told me had intrigued me...but this...this convinced me! (Don't didn't convince me to drop my health insurance).

So Mom suggested this book for me (not to make all my posts book reviews):
The Herb Lady's Notebook
By Venus C. Andrecht
You know you have to believe her herbal know how because of her hippie reminiscent name.

I loved reading this book. It was hilarious, entertaining and very informative. The Herb Lady has an herbal remedy for every problem you could think up. Reading the book kinda made me want Ben to get sick so that I could try my hand at using herbs...but, gosh, that makes me sound like a crazy...

I didn't REALLY want him to get sick. Sheesh.

Anyhow, Mom suggested buying herbs from so I made a small order because Ben's knee has been hurting him. The email vitacost sent me to confirm my order said, "You ordered something healthy! Nice!" Positive verbal reinforcement. Nothing works better to convince me (except ice cream).

Now, I'm not trying to convince any of you to cancel your health insurance (cause heaven knows I'm not doing that)...but I just wanted to inform and maybe pique some interest. Herbal healing is natural and its hecka cheaper than spending a chunk of change at the doctor's.

Next on my hippie studying list:
Muscle testing (which is too legit to quit)
And Iridology (who knew, right?)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The One in Yellowstone

Like I mentioned before...Ben and I had our Numero Uno Anniversary on the 8th. For about a month we were trying to figure out what to do to celebrate and we seriously went through the most ginormous list of possibilities. Our car was broken (it's fixed now! and for much cheaper than originally thought:) so we weren't sure if we'd have a vehicle. We also weren't sure how much it was going to cost to fix the car, so we didn't want to spend too much money.

We finally settled on just hanging out in the Rexburg area, going swimming and getting dinner, you know, just relaxing.

But Ben is very spontaneous and after I went on my run that morning, Ben said, "Let's go to Yellowstone instead."

So we went! I'm not very good at being spontaneous, so this was good practice. We packed up some snacks, put on our hiking shoes and were out the door, on our way to Yellowstone.

I had never been to Yellowstone before. I know, I know, it's a shame! But we loved it and had a blast! And, seeing as how the entrance is only an hour and half from our house, we bought an annual know, if anyone wants to come visit...(hint.hint.nudge.nudge).

Anyhow, here are some pictures from our awesome adventure:
There were buffalo EVERYWHERE. It was so cool.
And Ben kept saying, "Look at me! I'm a buffalo in
Yellowstone!" And it was hilarious...but maybe you had to be there.
So pretty! (The landscape, not us...). And this was just by the side of the road!

These are the Paint Pots.

It's ol' Fayful!
Yes, it kept reminding me of Dennis the Menace.

It was pretty windy, and when Old Faithful got going, we were
sitting right in the we got pretty wet. No wonder no one was sitting there...

I can't remember the name of this one, but the steam was incredible.

These were our favorites. It's so crazy to me that these colors are
just rockin around in nature. The picture doesn't give it justice-
It was very orange-y and blue-y. Very pretty.
And very steamy.

You can see the color better in this picture...but not as good as being there.
We loved it. It turned out to be an rockin' day trip and we can't wait to go back sometime!