Sunday, April 30, 2006

I think we're in shock....

A big YIPPIE for the new member of the Hunt family.......

Meet Sammy the Subaru!

Yep, after having numerous cars that were as full of problems as they were character, we decided to bite the bullet and get a newbie. It is something we've talked about for years, especially while sitting in mechanic shop, after mechanic shop, after mechanic shop. So, today we say goodbye; not only to our beloved past vehicles but to a whole way of thinking that went on waaaay to long. The "It looks so neat and has so much character and I'm sure after we fix this one last thing it'll run perfectly" way of thinking. It's hard to let go, but for now we goodbye to...

The Saab-- my first car that I loved sooooo much. It had these neato heated seats and even though the ceiling liner sagged so much it would get in my eyes, I cherished my time with the Saab.

Jack-- Joel's brown Ford Ranger with orange racing stripes that he drove while we were dating. Jack was a good truck, though at the end of our time with Jack,the enormous explosions that came when he back fired could be a bit embarrassing.

The Wagoneer-- I loved the way the wagoneer smelled with its old leather seats. I love the way it rumbled and felt so good and sturdy when you were driving it. Unfortunately, it got 11 mpg and needed a new transmission:(

The Mazda Navajo-- This was a no character SUV that we probably should have kept. It ran fine, but no, I had to feast my eyes on a vehicle I was so sure Joel would love (he was already in Hawaii and I was meeting him there)that we sold the Navajo and bought...

The ridiculously big Jeep CJ7-- I'm not kidding, guys, this thing was enormous. It was so jacked up that when we drove next to a bus we would be at the same level as the passengers! I don't know what I was thinking because I was the one doing most of the driving in Hawaii and it took me forever to even get up into the drivers seat. It was also a standard and on more than one occasion while at a stop light on the top of a hill, I signaled the car behind to back up b/c I just knew I would roll back and smash them to pieces. We had problem after problem with the Jeep and couldn't sell it to save our lives. It was so much fun to drive it through those green, green mountains though...

The Toyota corolla--This was a fabulous little 1987 beater. It lasted us a good three years in Hawaii and then promptly died right before we left. We miss little yoda and were soooo thankful for how well it ran.

The Volkswagen Vanagon-- Oh, the vanagon. What a love/hate relationship. When it ran we had so much fun with it, especially in Hawaii. The problem is that most of the time it wasn't running and we poured more money into that van than I'll ever admit because we loved it so. The curse of the van continues as dad is still trying to sell it for us in TX!

The Mazda Protege-- Another great little car that we'd still be driving if we weren't in a place with so much snow in the winters and hills everywhere(its a standard). It was a perfect car for our year in San Marcos!

So farewell, you little pieces of our history. You have provided us with many, many adventures and we miss some of you often. On the other hand, we are pretty darn excited to welcome Sammy into our lives and hope many of you,people reading this, will get to enjoy the new Subaru with us when you visit us in this most beautiful place.

In other exciting news (and so this post won't be entirely materialistic:)... we have found a great church! Its called New Song Presbyterian and its about 1/2 a block from our house. Joelie and I both teared up during the service this morning in thankfulness for how faithful God is in allowing us to find a church so quickly that we feel so at home in. Thanks to those who have been praying with us about that. We feel so welcome there, and though this isn't the most important thing, they still sing hymns! It's so refreshingly simple and they even have a folk music sound with a mandolin and a violin. We love the teaching and I can't say enough how kind and warm everyone has been. You can check it out at

Guess that's all the news for today...more soon....

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Places that surround us...

When the weather's bad or he just needs a break from the bike, Joel will ride the TRAX to school. This is where he'll wait.

We feel especially urban when we ride the TRAX:)

We seem to find a way to visit Smith's every day! This picture is of "The big Smiths" that has a top floor with house and lawn stuff, clothes, etc.

This is how we get the goodies home from the store.

The entrance to Liberty park where we jog, go to events like Earth Day 2006, and take walks.It's a great place to be.

Our mailbox is another great place to be, especially when it's full of mail from family and friends (ahem). Ours is the big one on top, so don't ever be afraid that it will be too full.

Guess thats all the pictures for now. We had a good day today. We went to a place called "The Original Pancake House" for brunch and Joel was thrilled to discover it is the same Original Pancake house that is in Hawaii, where his beloved 49ers reside. They are these enourmously round, but very thin pancakes and he loooooves them. Then we went to a coffee shop where I worked for a bit doing some data entry. He then rode on to REI and I came back home to walk to Old Navy.

The reason for the Old Navy trip was to buy some baby girl clothes for newly born Megan Riley Howard. Now, we thought Megan was going to be a boy. The doctor even said it was going to be a boy after the ultrasound. Thus, a baby shower with a boy theme was given--by me-- all the while Megan's mom Holly was trying to tell us that she really thought it was going to be a girl!So imagine the surprise, to everyone but Holly, when 10lb Megan burst into the world:) So an immediate trip to Old Navy was in order, and cute girlie things were purchased to be sent ASAP. Next time a friend tells me to go nuetral on a shower theme, I promise I'll listen!

Hope all is well with you folks, Jenny

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Thank God for the Earth" Day

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies.
For the fields which from our birth,
Over and around us lie.
Lord of all to the we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

This is one of my favorite hymns of all times—so simple and pure. It was in my head all day yesterday as we celebrated “Earth day”. By celebrate, I mean that we joined in the festivities going on at Liberty Park and the library for Earth Day 2006. At the park we watched some Brazilian martial arts that was pretty fascinating, we mingled with the local hippies and looked at their artwork and jewelry and listened to them sing and read their literature on alternative schools and bio fuel and we even signed up to pay for some wind generated electricity each month. We then rode our bikes to the library and watched a recycled clothing fashion show, watched a pretty funny band, and returned some movies.

Such a cute puppy!

A capri-sun recycled skirt

Joelie loved this guys hair and took lotsa pictures of it:)

It was a warm, clear day and as we rode around and walked through the throngs of earthy people with their activism booths and veggie burgers, my eyes kept averting to the mountains and the hymn would again play itself in my mind.

We do, as Christians, need to be so much more mindful of the earth God has placed us on. We need to cherish and appreciate it and be good stewards of it to the best of our ability. And yet, beyond the importance of conservation, earth day reminded me that God’s incredible creation is supposed to be, most of all, a reflection of the Creator. And as I looked up at those incredible mountains, my heart was glad and humbled and truly thankful for the opportunity to live in this manifestation of His creativity. And so on “Thank God for the earth day”, and every day, I hope to lift a hymn of grateful praise for all that He is and for those little glimpses into His character we get when we spend time in His creation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A (Long) Word From Joel

Well, this sure has been so fun living in this in-between world. We're in between school and jobs, just living. It's great having so much time to spend with each other and explore this new beautiful place that God has granted us the opportunity to live in. However, it is a bit unnerving knowing that we are making basically no money and will be existing on loans or a scholarship that requires indebted servitude after my time as a student, not to mention not having a car. I will come back to the no car thing in a moment because it deserves is own little discourse, but I want to make it clear that I am not complaining, just stating the thoughts that are ever-present in my mind. I'll spell it out real simply. Here's a glimpse into my subconscious/conscious, depending on the situation and awe factor that is occurring at the moment: "Wow, this is so fun. All I have to do is sleep, eat, fix up or home, that's right, a HOME. NOT an apartment, a home. In addition we get to be in an incredible city and explore it. The city has so much and there is so much to see and do. Oh yeah, we don't have a car yet. Oh yeah, we have to get one. Ahhhh, money! Oh man, what about the school loans vs. the scholarship? What about the car? Do we get new or used? (I won't go into detail but I go into the pro/con argument for each.} I have to map out a route to school. Oh, that's right, I have to go to school in less than a month and then all this gallivanting will be over and it'll be nose in the books and trying to remember what being rested is like. Oh look at those mountains, aren't they beautiful? I love the weather here." So that is sort of what the stew in my mind looks like, if you will.

Now the car. We don't have any mode of transportation ourselves besides ourselves, meaning foot or bike. It has been great to walk everyday and go places on foot. It is so much more healthy and fun and invigorating. It's a great time just walking and talking with Jenny. It is not fast, but it sure is friendly. We love it. Then there is biking. We just got Jenny's bike back from the guy who tuned it up, that would be a whole other post about this guy, he's pretty cool. Anyway, we are now both mobile on wheels. It is so fun. It is faster too. Now, I think that it is probably the most perfect way to commute around a town, almost any town, even if they are bike unfriendly like most of Texas' towns. I know I was just as fast in San Marcos on a bike as I was in a car. It's great. Again, it's healthier for the rider and the environment. What makes it so unbelievable up here, besides the ideal weather and the mountainous backdrop, is that this city is set up with bikes and pedestrians in mind, almost as a primary thought with vehicles as a secondary mode of transportation. So, we have not missed the car too much. However, this riding around and walking to and fro is wonderful and healthy and clean, but it is dependent on good weather and one cannot go very far or carry much at all, which probably is not a bad thing most of the time. We still are planning on getting a car soon but hope to keep our car parked as much as possible and use our feet and legs as much as we can.

Jenny. What an explosion of wonderful personality that this move or city or phase in life has brought out in her. She is perfectly wonderful. It is so fun to watch her around the house, again I must emphasize that we live in a HOUSE, and getting things together and arranging this and that. I love watching her wash the dishes (we don't have a dishwasher) or scurry about in the kitchen or move boxes around or really just about everything she does. She got a shot of energy from somewhere and I love it. This place is inspiring and I know she is glad to not be going away to work everyday, she kind of likes being at home as much as possible so this is right up her alley. I love watching her walking to the coffee shop and sit there without a care. She is so cute in the little coffee shop just punching away on her laptop and getting her work done or updating this blog or whatever else she does on-line. It's fun to see her having fun and enjoying herself, especially since I am responsible for ripping her away from her family and taking her to some far off place, again. But at least it has a magnificent beauty rating, which helps a lot. It has been so much fun reducing our "stuff" from "stuff" to things we actually use. I like how she is not into sentimentality too much, actually I am the one that wants to keep more stuff than she does. She is so practical, it's wonderful. We have pared down quite a bit and our home is the better for it. We are finding that we need way, way, way less than we have. It feels like weights being lifted off our backs to get rid of things that we do not use. Anyway, back to Jenny.

I have a story from today that will be backed up with pictures shortly. Well, it has snowed the last couple of days, which is mind-blowing to us Texans, and both days we have gone out in the "elements". See, again, that is something that Jenny and I refer to as the new "SLC Jenny" does, goes out in the elements and doesn't mind them much. Yesterday it was walking to the coffee shop and the grocery store in some pretty heavy snow and some rain, but today it was just cool/cold when we went on our ride. I brought her bike back from the "bike guy" and then the next thing I know I look out the window after a stint in the basement and see Jenny riding around in circles in our driveway/alley/yard thing. It was cute, funny, hysterical, wonderful, and out of nowhere all at once. I just looked out through the glass panes and smiled. She told me she was "warming up" for our big ride to the library. Well, I had no idea that she was going to be scaring ME on our ride. I was being cautious and trying to keep her from harm and then again, the next thing I know I look back and see Jenny riding on about a foot of sidewalk right next to rushing traffic and dodging trees along the way with the calmest look on her face. I was nearly mortified, but mainly amazed, at her skill and boldness. I have to say though, that just writing about it made my heart rate rise again. She was a little trooper, no that sounds like she was toughing something out, she wasn't, she was enjoying it and reveling in it. Talk about filling my love tank, I got extra love bubbling all over the place. Then, this is now the story I set out to write about at the beginning, we went to the grocery store on the way home, which I think we have been to everyday since we moved up here. We bought some stuff, ended up being four pretty weighty bags. Jenny had two and I had two. Again, the next thing I know Jenny has her bags on her handle bars and is waiting for me to get settled so we can go. As she road home I almost wrecked into a number of parked cars on the way while I was riding and looking and smiling at Jenny as we rode together. She would look at me and say she was having so much fun. What a woman! That's the story folks, Jenny on a bike bringing her groceries home on her handle bars and lovin' it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

He jumps in with both feet while she cautiously dips in a toe...

Joel loves change. I think it’s because he loves exploration of all kinds, and change often times brings about lots of exploration. I, on the other hand, have a very hard time with change…. to say the least. For example, when I was younger (tenish, maybe a tad older) my mom and dad were going to sell an old stove that had been in the kitchen since I was born. Apparently that was too much change for me and I through my body over the stove and sobbed uncontrollably at the thought of losing it. Things haven’t changed much. Though, I am happy to say, that Joelie has increased my ability to deal with and even get excited over the new and the journey of change.

All this to say that this move has been a real illustration of those characteristics. Joel revels in exploring new shops and churches and transportation and trails and parks and meeting new people, while I have to ease myself into these new experiences. When we walk into a new place ever-observant joel has noticed that I’ll walk in and immediately stop or start walking really slowly. I laughed when he told me this and I started to notice it myself. I have to get my bearings, to see the whole situation and then move forward while Joel unabashedly bursts into a place. We have grown to love this difference in each other. I envy and learn from Joel’s ability to live life to the fullest with no fear and he appreciates my tendency to fully see a situation and the pure joy that I feel when I open myself to new people or places.

So, keep this in mind as I write about Joel’s adventures and mine. For Sat. Joel’s adventure was going on a new hike with three new friends while mine was talking myself into using the washer and dryer that is shared with the duplex in front of us because I had been afraid I would inconvenience one of the other tenants. Joel had a great hike and I had a great laundry experience and we both felt very fulfilled by the days events.

Like I said, he jumps in with both feet while she cautiously dips in a toe…..

Friday, April 14, 2006

Blogger Stuff

Hey Guys,

Several people have said how complicated it is to leave a comment on the blog. I think I just made it a bit easier.

Okay, first click on the comment link at the bottom of the post where you want to leave a comment.

Next, type your comment in the square that it will give you on the next page. Then click "Other" when it asks you for your identity and then you can just type your name and click publish.

The reason it was so hard before was that you had to actually be a member to Blogger in order to leave a comment-- so I disabled that so that anyone can leave a comment.

Also, I know that when you click on the Flikr link you have to look through all of our Hawaii pictures first before you come to our new ones. I'm still figuring that out. Any suggestions? You can leave them as a comment:) Thanks for being patient with this pen and paper girl living in a keyboard world........

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's For Real!

Well, here we are. I’m sitting in our new living room in our new little house after a walk through the park across our new street. So far, we love it! The Hunts drove us up and helped us BIG TIME getting moved in—we even painted the kitchen a wonderful, soothing green. We had a wonderful time with them and are soooo thankful for all of their help.

Yesterday Joel and I had a really fun day exploring our area of town on foot. We walked to Taco Time, then test drove a Toyota RAV 4 (not for us but it was fun just being in a new car:), and then we walked to the library. OH MY GOSH, I think SLC must have the most amazing library in the world. Its five stories with gas fireplaces on each floor, tons of windows and reading rooms, free wireless internet, and you can walk out onto the roof where there are flower gardens and tables and mountains everywhere in the distance! I think Joel and I are going to be spending a lot of time there!

We are getting the house together a little bit at a time. Shari organized and finished the kitchen, we finished the living room today, and tomorrow we are focusing on the bedroom—lots of pictures to come.

Guess that’s all for now. Hope you all are doing well—we miss everyone already! Make sure to click on the Flickr picture link to see pics of us moving in!