Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It Might Just Be Time...

...for an update to our blog.

Life seems to be going well for the two of us here in Utah. We are coming to realizations that, even if we may not be in, what we consider, the most desirable of places (i.e. Prescott, AZ), God desires us where we are, and that is here.

Jennifer began a full-time job with Teacher Education and Leadership College here on campus. That's great news for those who hold our debts, but not so good for summer trip desires. We praise God for bringing about the situation, job, and coworkers that she now enjoys. This puts a hold on pursuing another degree, plus she hasn't quite figured out what that would be anyway.

Johnathan takes (too much?) advantage of the few days he has off between summer classes that he is taking and teaching. He looks to be done with his MA in folklore by next May, and he hopes to get into the EdD or PhD program for Literacy (Writing) Curriculum starting Fall 2011. That would keep us here for another 6 years or so...that's right - 6 more years. If that is God's will.

We both are involved in bringing YoungLife ministry here to Cache Valley. Everywhere you go, you ought to have an answer, defending the Gospel. We are excited about how we see God moving here in Logan, and we desperately want to be a part of all that God has planned.

Come see us. We'll try to take a trip to Phoenix this summer and maybe to Glacier National Park in August, but we want to show you around our wonderful valley.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homecoming 5K Fun Run

We ran in the USU Fun Run this morning! We did pretty well for not being habitual runners. Johnathan did a great job encouraging me through out the run and sharing his cross-country tips. We were slightly confused by the bright yellow shirts with picture of the bull chasing a matador. No stampeding bulls appeared at any point on the race. Our mascot is Big Blue the bull, but they could have a picked a better graphic. Fun fun fun!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Awesome food blog

On was on our friend Karenpie's blog the other day - creative, intelligent, pee-in-your-pants funny gal - and I found a link to Dutch Girl Cooking. This is a great food blog with lots of cool pictures and detailed steps. Karenpie does her share of food blogging and I have always enjoyed her posts. I am inspired by these people! You can check out the blog by clicking on Cooking with Kay under places I go or go to Karenpie's blog.

We're going to our first USU School of Arts performance tonight. The theater group is performing the Glass Menagerie tonight. The Homecoming football game is tomorrow night.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yep, we live in Utah...

Two weeks ago we became True Aggies. On Friday night at midnight under a full moon, Johnathan and I kissed on top of the Aggie "A" in front of several of our closet friends - including Johnathan's students. Weird :). This tradition occurs every full moon or homecoming at midnight. Then, the official True Aggie Patrol handed us a card that documented this occurrence.

I can't believe that I haven't posted anything in over a month. Well, actually I can giving my track record and feelings about the internet! We have completed our first month of school! Adjusting to going back to school has not been as difficult as anticipated, especially for Johnathan. He is loving teaching and his classes. I have too much time on my hands; which should lend itself to incredible opportunities, but usually turns into lazy hours. I am trying to be motivated and trying to be passionate about living each day to the fullness that God has intended. I am working part time in the Graduate School office on campus and taking 9 hrs of classes. I am enjoying my History of Islamic Civilization class. I had known only a surface amount about this culture, but I am being enlightened to Islam's many years of elaborate empire building and conquests combined with impressive artistic and scientific works. Johnathan, and me by extension, is learning German. He is being a little language sponge and is filled with all the excitement that goes along with learning a new language. We had so much fun studying for his first test together and I am ready to go to Germany!!! We have met great people that are graduate instructors like Johnathan. They are really interesting people from all backgrounds and we have enjoyed hanging out/discussing things with them.

So I am sure anyone who knows us and is reading this is curious about our evangelical Christian existence in Utah. Our first impressions of life in a strange land are just that: it is a strange land, almost like another country. What I mean by this is that there is a definite dominate majority culture that permeates everything here. I have found myself observing and editing myself to fit in, just like I would do when visiting a foreign country. We have found ourselves being out of the loop on a few occasions. We have observed that Utah is a rare location where religion is talked about freely, a bonus! We have chatted with LDS followers, atheists, other evangelicals, and agnostics. I am convinced that there are not many places like this in the world. It is apparent that the LDS followers are sharing there faith with you while you hope to share yours with them. I have been a little taken back by the "everyone is assumed LDS until proven not to be" mentality, especially because our outward appearance/actions usually mean that we are assumed to be LDS. The LDS culture in Utah, as best that I can describe it, is a closed group of controlled religious people who have not been very exposed to the religious/social diversity that exists in the world. Some have, usually from their mission, but other than that I am not sure about their exposures. What I hope for is interaction with other faiths in an open diaglogue based on gaining mutual understand, but I don't know how realistic this is. This culture has influenced people of other faiths or people of no religion to be either very vocal about their views or to become quiet and inner dependent. I can't think about anything else, but if anyone has any questions about our life here please ask!!!

We have visited several churches and made some great acquaintances. We have yet to find a church home, but are continuing to pray about where the Lord wants us to be. There are several christian groups on campus and several bible studies - maybe we should go to one sometime :). We've been meaning to go but haven't made it to any yet.

I have lots of other exciting things to share, like curtain fabric decisions, new furniture, new/fun internet sites, the farmer's market, beer and wine in Utah, our favorite restaurants, Salt Lake City, our parent's visits, the shops in town, the sunsets, the mountains...too many things!!! I will hopefully be a more interesting blogger!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Short and Overdue

Okay, there is a lot to share about our backyard camping trip with the Rowzees, the last trip to the coast with the Heyens, dinner and a movie with the Clarks, and the amazing blessing that was moving out with the help of our church family (major props to Jacob Warde).

We will give you a quick update. Tonight we are in Mountain Home, Idaho on a broken bed in the Best Western. After we turned in our keys on Friday (in one month we'll see how much energy we will need to spend to try and get some of our deposit money back), we headed up to The Couve to spend time with Glenn, Dawn, Kellen, and Noah. Pink Panther 2 put me to sleep. Glenn and Noah went golfing on Saturday; Dawn and Jennifer shopped for antiques (we are bringing a cast iron saguaro cornbread pan and some sweet Frankhoma pottery); and Kellen took me to Voodoo Doughnuts and the Saturday Market. Dinner was at the great Burgerville. I had a Walla Walla Onion Burger with Horseradish and a fresh raspberry good.

It was tough to say goodbye to all our friends and, especially, our family. They mean a lot to us, and  we wish the distance between us wasn't so far.

Today, Kellen came with us to help us drive and unload in Logan. It's nice to spend a little more time with him before he goes to college. Glenn was also able to retrieve my fourth grade basketball ball shirt (kelley green, 25, BONNER) from the Salvation Army for Noah. It's a pretty sweet story, but I'm kind of tired.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Utah and back

Hours and hours of driving, beautiful scenery, wind gusts, camping, hotel living, university tour, meetings with advisors, farm smells, twilight zone towns, and lots of laughs filled our week long trip to Utah. We found out just before we left that we got into on-campus housing (yipee). SO, our house/apt. hunting trip was transformed into a "lets relax and explore everything" trip - much more enjoyable and marriage bolstering than the original plan. On our way there we had to stop by Boise State Univ. so that I could be a good Oklahoma fan. I gave that Bronco a good one-two punch in the nose! We spent a day and a half on the USU campus, participated in Logan's Downtown Summertime Sidewalk Sale, drove down Logan Canyon to Bear Lake stopping at the Beaver Ski Area, and drove to Salt Lake City. We saw downtown SLC and visited the Univ. of Utah. The SLC day was ended by feasting at the Cracker Barrel (the real one, see picture below). Randi, our waitress, was so sweet and made our first CB experience in 3 yrs all the better!!! Drawn by the name and keeping with our university theme, we stopped by Pocattello, ID on our way back. We stopped by their Saturday Farmers Market and feasted on Colombian tamales and arepas. Yummy! We also packed in a whirlwind tour of Eastern Oregon. We took a six hour side trip on the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway. We went through the best little towns, Halfway and Joseph just to name a few. Weather was great and I didn't kill us or the car while learning to drive stick shift!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

11 June 2009 = Four Years for the Bonners

Jennifer changed my life. I wasn't much to look at before, but now I'm almost a respectable adult...almost. We've grown a lot in these years together - I've grown out quite a bit, too.

On the side of a mountain, I asked her to marry me while in Ecuador, and on our anniversary weekend, we went to the top of a mountain in the Santiam Pass. We spent our first year's anniversary in Portland, looking for homes when we decided to move to Oregon. Now we are spending time packing and will take a trip after the 4th of July to Logan, UT to scope out a place to live. We are living in cycles right now. Jennifer has asked me not to let this become routine in our lives together.

It's hard, sometimes, for me to feel really grown-up...okay, almost all the time, but let's think about some of the "adult" things we've done in the last four years:
  • transitioning successfully into the workforce from college
  • loading up U-Hauls and moving across the country
  • finding jobs again
  • purchasing a brand new car
  • deciding to buy quality furniture from now on
  • taking a trip to Europe
  • enjoying friends from our church small groups
  • serving the Lord through multiple ministries at Salem Heights
  • going home to help parents with illness
  • reapplying to school to focus on career changes
  • hoping that there is more that makes us "adults" like getting a reduced rate on our car insurance, but the best one to date is getting a brand new bed - it came today! Jen and I relaxed on it for a moment, and she said, "This feels better than it did in the store!" There was a time in college when we were dating that we traded blankets (that was hot, let me tell you) so we could "sleep with the other person's smell," but now we get to share a blanket - I'm not sure my smell is as alluring as it once was.
You see, we'll be turning 26 and 27 this year, and I never thought of myself as being anywhere near 30. My body sure can't do the things I did in high school or even college, but we've both decided that this move will be one that is kind of a restart, a restart to make sure that we don't live day to day, getting up, going to work, eating dinner, and going to sleep in order to do it again tomorrow.

Jen and I have talked about how we are capable people that could be doing just fine on our own, but any "inconvenience" from living with another person (only-children here) is quickly thrown out the window because of the joys that we give each other. Jen just said, laying on the new bed with new sheets, "It feels good to make good choices," and it's true. We chose each other, thank the Lord - I don't think anyone else would have me.
Time for some pictures from our anniversary:
The new bed!
Fish Lake
Falls on our day hike
View from a cabin in Sweet Home, thank you Stocks and Thorpes
On our way to the top!