Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hollis got a new bike (Summer 2010)

Okay, so it was this summer, but I sort of fell off the face of the blogging world since July. We had another family reunion, my sister got married, we went to Mexico, and all sorts of fun stuff. Let's see if I can get caught up during Christmas break - updates on the end of summer and all fall! (I've missed blogging; good thing it's so easy to start again.)
Hollis and I got a ton of gift cards to Target. Our first purchase with them was Hollis's bike. He was SO excited when it arrived. I would describe, but his face pretty much speaks for itself.
After opening and assembling it, Hollis decided to take the bike for a test ride:


He rode his bike for just about anything he could think of. When he needed to check to see if it was recycling week, he jumped on his bike and rode down the driveway.

Also, Hollis's wedding ring arrived in the mail. He likes it a lot.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Total Ridiculous Dream Commentary

So Michelle and I regularly wake up in the morning and talk about our dreams. I thought we could discuss that here.

So there is a game in the movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's book The Fantastic Mr. Fox called Whack-Bat. Kinda like Cricket, kinda like an obstacle course. Well I had a dream the other night that I was playing Whack-Bat in waist deep water. Needless to say, it was difficult, but I think I did well.

A few nights later I dreamt. That I was trying to turn left onto a road with a center median so I took a wide right turn to get into the far left lane only to accidentally drive right onto the median which was really a small playground in the middle of the road. Well I drive through the park to an exit on the left side and I get going the direction I want to go only to realize that apparently I am driving my car from the rear passenger seat. From this spot I can't see any of my mirrors and if I could have, it wouldn't have helped because I was in the wrong seat. I also couldn't see forward very well because the front seat was in the way. This is when I begin stressing about all the illegal things I have recently done (drove through a playground) slash was doing (driving my car from the back seat and not even doing a tidy job of it). Naturally in dreams this is when the police show up. So they obliged and I start freaking out about how I'm in the backseat and they're gunna pull me over and think that I was crawling around trying to avoid them and should I or should I not jump out of the car and try and quickly run around to the drivers seat when I pull over and if I do will they think I'm trying to get away and shoot me?! Anyway, I decide it's best to pull over regardless, but all of a sudden I can't because my right arm is trapped behind my head and is being held there by my seat belt. I start yankin on it to free it and then I wake up to find myself laying on top of my arm. No, it had not fallen asleep yet.

While I've been up reading and writing blogs in bed, Michelle pulled out her arm, held it up and waved it around. Her explanation when she woke up? "Brian was a baby and I was giving him a high five." 'Nuff said.

(Note added by Michelle: Brian is my brother; he is now 13 years old.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow!

This is my backyard. It's snowing! It's so nice to be inside a warm house and see the beautiful snow. But it's a bit scary because Seattle isn't as equipped as Provo to handle snow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waiting in the cold

Hollis and I have very nearly opposite schedules, so we don't travel together as often as we did in the summer. But sometimes we get to ride the bus together. And then it is a lot more fun.

See how excited we are?

Okay, so this was mostly just an excuse to take a picture and blog using my new iPod :)

Identity

I wrote this email to a teacher sharing my thoughts on the topic of Identity. We had been discussing that day what was a real Indian? In my mind this is closely tied to anyone's personal identity.

Just for reference, Blood Quantum is how much percentage someone has of a certain racial, or ethnic ancestry, particularly in reference to whether an American Indian is considered by the US government to be an American Indian.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Elissa

Today we were talking about Indian "Identity" and I wanted to share some thoughts I'd had on the subject.
The first time I remember investigating my "heritage" was in fourth or fifth grade when we had to do a presentation on a foreign country (or culture) in our blood heritage. It was the first time I tried to track my genealogy out of the country. My family has been born in the US for about 3 or 4 generations on all sides and by the time I got people that were born in another country, it was scattered all over. I think I ended up being about 1/4th English and 1/8th Danish and then 1/16ths and 1/32 other stuff. Oh and like 1/8 Swiss, which means they were part of another country or culture when Switzerland was formed. I didn't want to do England, cause like 3 or 4 kids were already doing England, so i ended doing Switzerland. After that I don't remember thinking much about the culture my ancestors were from. This is not to discredit the culture and heritage of my parents and their parents and grandparents, but that was about as far as it went for me.

Then I got into a multicultural studies class my sophomore year in college and was one of two (three including the teacher) of white, middle class, christian males. I got the impression from the class that the accepted view of multiculturalism was that I, being of the oppressing class, would never know the hardships of those that I had oppressed, regardless of the actions of my or their ancestors. I didn't really get it and it didn't affect my relationships with any of my friends (arab, asian, african, european, american etc.) but it did expose to me the importance that many people put on race, and ethnicity. And that we do have distinct and different heritage and that that shouldn't be ignored, and that past oppression has modern day consequences and affects.

As part of my personal statement in my transfer application to the University of Washington, I was asked to include how multiculturalism has affected me and life. I didn't understand the question. Because it was much more than who am I, ancestrally (a northern European mutt), or how much money my father makes (middle class), or what schools and church I went to, and what friends I had. I had to some how comprehensively talk about it all, and it was the first time I tried to figure out how I identified myself.

Ok, here goes. I was white. Check. Little confusion about that. I had no known relatives from Africa, Asia, South America, or that were "Native Americans". I was part of the middle class, a culture all of its own (or so I'm told). My parents made a decent living and spread over 11 kids we always had enough, but we sure didn't have luxuries of cable TV and large birthday parties. I was Christian, but a special kind of Christian. One that many Christians didn't consider Christian. Some even called us a Cult. I was (and am) Mormon. That was how I primarily identified myself. I was more Mormon than I was of European decent. More than I was middle class (the church easily crosses financial lines, and thus my social circle founded therein did as well). More than I was from Seattle (and I am a Seattle-ite through and through). But this Christian subsection was hardly ever recognized in school. Never discussed in multicultural classes I had taken. The only reference I remember from K-12 education was eighth grade high-cap social studies, where someone did a vague and extremely skeptical report on the founding of the church by Joseph Smith, and how they were the primary settlers of Utah.

And so I wasn't sure how well this identity fit in with the "academic" view of multiculturalism that this question was addressing. I decided to include it and voice my opinion on the lack of history of mormons and mormon persecution in college and primary education. It being once acceptable to kill blacks because of their skin color, must be as outrageous as an extermination order passed in Missouri to kill all mormons in the state. There weren't concentration camps. Instead those that didn't escape were killed on site.

The people who endured this and pioneered to find freedom and worked hard to do so (in Utah of all places) are the people I claim to be my cultural ancestors. I've thought a lot about this cultural portion of ancestry and feel that who you define yourself as should have more impact on the way you are defined as others to be than who your parents and grandparents were and what they did. Would Bruce Wayne be a great man if he squandered his father's fortune because his father fought for social justice? No, he had to.

Anyway, I've blathered on and this is a bit disjointed, but to get down to my point, I think cultural self identification (and acting as part of those identifications, practicing what you preach) is more important than any sort of blood quantum or whatever. I understand that religious culture is a lot easier to adopt into your own life than racial or ethnic culture, but are American Ex-pats living in Britain (that want nothing to do with the United States) American? Are they British? Should it matter?

Hollis Crapo

Monday, November 15, 2010

My new iPod!

Earlier this summer I got a checking account at Key Bank. They had a
special - get an account, do some things with it, and get a free iPod.
Simple. So I jumped through some hoops and then waited for my iPod to
arrive. I expected to get one of the 3G iPods because the newest ones
were released after I signed up with Key.

To my extreme surprise and delight, I got a new iPod! It has a camera
that takes photos and video. And Hollis and I went to the Apple Store
to buy this awesome case for it.

Hollis and I use our iPods for calendars - we have them synced with each other. And then we are also starting to use them as our phones - for free! We love it. As long as we have wi-fi, we have a free phone line. So after December, you shouldn't call our cell numbers. You should call our google voice numbers. We'll try to remember to let everyone know ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

School Fall 2010

So Michelle and I are in school right now, I in my senior year at UW and Michelle in her last year of her Masters program there as well. So I thought I would tell you about my classes. I'm taking Northwest Coastal Indian 2D art. It all about learning the shapes and forms of Coastal Indian art and involves a lot of drawing and is super fun. Its been about 8 years since I've taken an art class, and I love it. I'm taking an intro to American Indian Studies class. It's required for my AIS minor and is very laid back and broad and . . . well . . . easy. But the best class by far is Wood Carving. It's taught by the same teacher that teaches my 2D art class. He is an Indian artist that lives locally and has been teaching for years. He only teaches these two classes and teaches them both every quarter. He is also a curator at the Burke Historical Museum.

For the Wood Carving class, the first project was make an adze, a traditional wood carving tool. First we went to the Pratt Fine Arts Center and received a piece of steel that used to be a suspension strut for truck. It was cut into 6" strips and trimmed to about 1 1/2" wide. We then used a trench forge, hammer, tongs, anvil, grinders and sanders to make it a blade.
Then we were given a trimmed tree branch to make into a handle that we de-barked and shaped. Then we used hose clamps to fasten the blade to it.
From there our teacher cut down a tree (alder) and cut it into 14" tall rounds. He brought them to class where we partnered up, picked a round and used a froe (a long thin wedge attached at a right angle to a handle at one end) to split the round in half. then we took our round, measured out a rectangle on one side, and then using squares and yard sticks to transfer the rectangle to its exact mirror on the other end.
Then using the froe, we cleaved the round at the edges of our rectangle.
Then used our adze to square up the block.
We are now tracing our sketches for our ladle (our second project), on the sides and then top and bottom and using the adze to trim away the excess wood. After that, we use straight knives and crooked knives to carve from there. Its really awesome.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We got free phones!!!! (Well, kinda)

So Michelle and I recently got iPod touch's with a couple ideas in mind. One of them being to sync our calendars to wirelessly and stay abreast of each others schedules. Using the built in calendar app, and syncing it to a already-in-use Google Calendar, we set it up quite nicely. The second purpose was to try and finagle a free internet phone (VoIP, Voice over IP) that ran through the iPod touch so we could make phone calls, from the iPod, for free, anywhere there was WiFi. The idea behind it is feasible enough. There are many VoIP providers on the internet, many of which have a certain number of free minutes per week or month, but we wanted the best one.

Michelle has an account through a company called Gizmo5 that allows her unlimited calls to Internet/Computer based phone numbers. This includes Google Voice, a free forwarding number google set up to connect incoming calls to any phone numbers you may have. It also works for outgoing calls by calling the number you want to call FROM first and then calls the number you are trying to reach after you pick up. So through Google Voice, you could use the Gizmo5 number to make unlimited free phone calls, so long as you have access to the Gizmo5 number from your iPod. Unfortunately there is no built in microphone for 3rd generation iPod touch's and so they need a headset with a microphone (Which we don't have) to use any of the VoIP apps. Not to mention that most of them cost money, just to get the app, and there isn't a free trial period for most.

Another hiccup we ran into was that Gizmo5 was recently bought out by Google and has since frozen all new account registrations, so although Michelle has a number she can use, I do not. Not to mention the trouble of finding an App that allows you to go online to the google voice website to make a call and still accept that call in the VoIP app. I began doing a lot of research into it trying to find out which one would work with what we needed it to, and preferably let us test it before we spent any money on applications we can't get refunds for. This has be a project of mine for the last couple of weeks and then today I came across a fairly recent app called Whistle Phone. It, like many other VoIP providers, boasts free calling to landlines and cell phones anywhere in the US. But this one DOESN'T have any hidden limitations! It legitimately allows free incoming and outgoing calls anywhere in the US over a WiFi internet connection. They can do this, because it is powered by ads. Every few outgoing calls or so, you have to listen to a 20 second ad before it dials out. I was blown away. If you have an iPod touch and want the option of having a free phone to make and receive calls in hotspots, it is DEFINITELY worth it.

It also has a call forwarding option, so if you don't pick up in the first 60 seconds, it will forward on to any other phone, and then give the option to leave a message on the voicemail of that phone if it still isn't answered.

There is my little rave. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Callings

I got a calling in my new ward. I'm the Sunday School teacher for the 16-17 year olds. I've never been a Sunday School teacher before, but i'm quite excited. It's nice to have a steady, small group of people to custom tailor my lessons to. I love being entrusted with a stewardship to help develop the testimonies of others. Michelle got called to be a ward missionary. Last week we had our interviews, and this week we were going to be set apart, but the bishop and his councilors were booked and so it got pushed to next week. But that didn't stop me from sitting in on my class this week.

Story time: During the sacrament I was thinking about the hymn Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. And then began thinking about the ninety and nine versus the one. So often we talk about the one, but feel like the ninety and nine. We haven't gone off the deep end and so it feels like no one is paying much attention to us. Anyway, I felt strongly that I should write this down. So I pulled out my journal and started writing. It turned into an outline for a talk, and then morphed into a lesson plan. Then some scriptures came to mind, and then the speaker (we were well into the second talk by now) said something that really caught my ear. She and her husband recently returned from a mission and she said that "the Lord sees us all as individuals." I was really impressed by that simple bit of truth. To the Lord, there is no ninety and nine. He never has to leave us to go after the one. He is always with us. We are all always the one to him. It was very comforting.

Well, after sacrament meeting was over, I walked over to the 2nd councilor to make sure I wasn't expected to teach today, cause i haven't received a manual or anything, much less prepared the lesson. He said no, someone else had been taking charge of the class while a new teacher was called and that they had the lesson today, but I was free to sit in on the class this week and see where they were in the manual etc. So when I found the classroom, I sat in the back row as students filed in. They got to chatting and I introduced myself to those I hadn't met yet and waited for the teacher to arrive. Eventually no one came and the students decided they could just play scripture hangman again this week. So I stood up and said, no, I have prepared a lesson and if it please the body, I will share it with everyone. So I taught the lesson I prepared in Sacrament meeting an hour before. It went well, students participated, I learned people’s names, the spirit was present and I had a wonderful opportunity to share my testimony and I know everyone was paying attention. They even laughed at a few parts of the lesson. It was pretty great. I'm so glad I had the inspiration to prepare the lesson I did. And even more glad I didn't ignore the prompting to write down my thoughts.

Hollis

Friday, August 6, 2010

Enchantment hike (that was very LONG)

The day before our Wenatchee wedding reception, my dad and I planned to go on an 18-mile day hike through the enchantments. We had done it before, and had finished in a reasonable amount of time. And we both had loved it. This time, my dad had invited several people and brought his fishing rod to fish in the lakes with.
We got up at 4 AM so that we could arrive at the trailhead by 6 or so. The weather was quite comfortable for a hike. Brian found some moss along the way and posed with it, pretending it was a goatee.
After hiking around a lake, we came to the foot of Azgard pass - a steep incline that is normally the hardest part of the hike.
Hollis is super cute as he smiles at me; we're partway up Azgard and are looking down on the lake we climbed earlier.

We made it to the top just after noon. The weather was wonderful! Hollis and I were very excited to be that far up the pass.

We all ate lunch and then began exploring. Hollis's favorite part was the goats.
Then we started the long downhill portion. However, we were much slower than we anticipated, and took 12 hours to make it down. It was dark for the last 4 to 5 miles of the hike, and the flashlight Hollis and I brought was nearly useless. Natalie and Tim had run ahead - both were equipped with headlamps. In fact, I think they ran the entire last six miles. We were supposed to be in a group of 5 - Nat, Hollis, Tim, Brian, and I - so their headlamps would have been useful to spread between Hollis, Brian and I. However, Brian took a little bit longer to get packed up, so I wanted for Brian, and Hollis waited for me. And then we ran, thinking that we'd catch up to Nat and Tim. But we didn't. And then it got dark, so we went slow. GB caught up to us - he had a headlamp and a flashlight.
We reached the end of the trail, and then couldn't figure out how to get to the parking lot! It was extremely frustrating. We ended up hiking back and forth along the end before we found it. Nat and Tim were flashing the car headlights to let us know where the parking lot was, and that did help. It was after 11 30 PM when we reached the car. We were exhausted and filthy and sore. We waited for the last of our group to finish - it was 1 AM by that time. Then we drove home. I stayed up and talked to my dad (I think) so he could drive.
By the time we got home and Hollis and I got cleaned up, it was 4 AM. We had been up for twenty-four hours! Needless to say, we weren't all that helpful for setting up for our wedding reception. My mom then officially banned hikes of any sort the day before wedding receptions.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wenatchee Wedding Reception

We had a reception in Wenatchee on July 30. This was our thrid (and final) open house. It sure felt good to be done. This was the first reception with a wedding cake. You can see how excited we are to be cutting that cake! Boy oh boy. We also did some dancing. Mostly only small children joined us, but we did convince one older couple to come cut the rug.
The cutest part was probably when I threw the boquet. All the girls (my cousins, mostly) lined up to catch my boquet. After my cousin Sarah caught it, my cousin Hannah handed the boquet back to me insisting that I throw it again (top right picture). I did, and aimed it specifically at her. She smiled to pose with me for the picture of when she caught it. It's an adorable smile that is much closer to a grimace than a smile :). I told her it was her turn to throw the boquet. She managed to send it straight up into the air. It was pretty adorable.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seattle Open House

So I discovered that I poke kids in the head. I had no idea that I was doing this. :)
(I'm poking my nephew Max in the head.)
The Merrill family went down to Carkeek park the next day. You can see all the kids on the bridge. I like to pretend I'm running on top of the train while it's running under me.
Then the Merrills went to Dicks for lunch. This is my grandma enjoying her burger and shake before coming to our open house.
I was kind of sad that I missed all those fun activities, but I was otherwise occupied.

At our open house, we had a waffle tower instead of a wedding cake. Hollis spent a couple of days drying out the waffles and buying the topper. It turned out AMAZING!

My dad and I started off the dancing with the daddy-daughter dance. He had requested "Butterfly Kisses" and we cried almost the entire dance. I don't know if you can see, but I'm actually laughing through my tears.
Then Hollis and I danced, and then we started a dance party! Hollis really pulled out some awesome moves (he always does).
And then there was the traditional Crapo brother muscle-arm pose. They all have quite the guns :)
(L to R: Kevin, Jay, Ammon, Hollis, and Marc)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wedding Day Pictures

The first set of pictures are the large group pictures. I realized after I made this collage that I included the Crapo sibling pictures in the "large group" instead of "siblings" category, but that's just because there are so many! I love it.
Top to bottom, L to R: extended Merrill guests, Crapo siblings and spouses, entire family and friends, both sides, friends and family waiting to greet us outside the temple (B&W), and Crapo siblings.

These are some of our favorite sibling pictures.
Top to bottom, Left column first: Crapo brothers, Hollis and Brian (my brother), Brian and me, the Merrill siblings, Merrill siblings and Hollis, Crapo brothers.
And now for some adorable parent pictures:


And then came a very long and hot period of time where the photographer followed Hollis and I around. My mom and sisters stayed to help.


All of these beautiful pictures were taken by Angie Penrose.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fireworks!

Friday morning, I send Hollis to the store to get milk. When he returned, he immediately called my name. "Michelle... you know what happens when you send your husband to the store to get milk and we're in Utah and it's the day before pioneer day?" I knew that he had purchased something besides milk, and I might have guessed it. Fireworks! He was so excited that they were sold right there in the grocery store. So he spent 2 dollars and purchased 24 fireworks. We set them off that night outside his parent's condo. We had fun, and so a lady who also watched from her balcony.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Red Rock" Park

On Thursday Hollis and I spent the day going around St. George. We hung out with my cousins in the morning, and then we went to "Red Rock" park where I have always loved going. It's like a giant rock playground. It's technically called Pioneer Park, but I think about 30% of the parks in Utah have this name. It's just up on the red hill on the north side of St. George.

Hollis, of course, loved it. He's part mountain goat, or so he tells me. Apparently when he was in scouts the boys called him gunky or something - it's a cross between goat and monkey. He ran and jumped and climbed. It was awesome to watch.
I also took Hollis through my favorite tiny canyon narrows. We got about halfway through and Hollis thought it was the end - he started hiking back down. I informed him that it continued up. He wondered how we could fit. It's so narrow that you can't easily turn your head around. You can face one direction - sideways - and you have to stay that way for extended hiking periods (okay, so like 25 or 50 feet - not like miles or anything). Hollis didn't know if he'd fit, but I thought he would. And he did. It was magical :)

We found this bright yellow and white golf ball. Hollis and I entertained ourselves for at least 15 minutes by trying to toss the ball into a hole and get it to stay there. Finally Hollis just climbed up the wall and placed it in a hole.


You can see how awesome the wall is. Hollis just wanted to climb everything. I won't be surprised if we return sometime with climbing gear.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hullinger Haven

Hollis and I began our first married adventure by driving to Utah. On our first day driving, we drove through bugs so thick that it sounded like it was raining. You can see how the front of Smurf (the car) grew a fuzzy beard... of bugs.

It's pretty gross. We got some of it off at various rest stops along the way, but we need to do a good cleaning when we get home.

And this is where Hollis and I spent our honeymoon:



It's actually on Hollis's grandpa's property near Hannah, UT. Hollis's Grandpa (named Hollis Hullinger) bought some property a good while ago, and the family uses it to come hang out and play. Hollis's aunt and uncle weren't able to make it during the reunion, so Hollis and I
got to use their camper.

On Friday, we played in the river, going tubing down with the Bohon kids.

(Top L to Bottom R: Max, Ruben, Henry, Jonathan, me, Daisy, Hollis sitting in a chair with Oscar and Henry in a boat, Henry, Max posing with a random second cousin walking in the background, Hollis (a hottie :) and finally Hollis pulling Daisy, Oscar, and Ruben to shore at the end of a tubing run)
Henry was very cute, playing with the water. I also enjoyed my camera's waterproof feature, and took this picture of Henry by partially submerging the camera.


Now my husband is quite hilarious. I took several pictures of him jumping into the river and below are my favorites:

"Michelle, I'm posing!"

This might hurt...

Oh! Cold? Pain?

Wet.

And cold. Definitely cold.
I had a ton of fun, and I didn't even have to use bug repellent. There weren't any bugs!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hat?

We were sorting through our wedding presents, and we got this awesome collapsible colander. However, it also happens to look like an awesome warrior hat when you wear it on your head! My lovely husband is modeling it below:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hiking with the fam

I went hiking with Dad, Heather, Simon, Brian, Melinda, Uncle Rick, and Grandpa. It was fun because I got to use the new camera that Hollis and I got from my parents. Oh, and the hiking was fun too.

(L to R: Melinda, Heather, Simon, Brian's leg, Dad)

There was also this nifty feature - taking panoramic photos! I've never had a camera that did that before. Here are some of my favorites:


Oh look! Suddenly Mel has a twin!

And we all know what would happen if suddenly there were two Brians to tease us new couples:

Oh, but what if there were THREE Brians?

Hiking was fun. I only got three mosquito bites. One was on my face, so I put a band aid on it so that the swelling could go down by my wedding day. I don't want a swelling on my face for all those pictures!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Engagement Pictures!

Hollis and I have a hard time being "serious" when taking photos. So we went through several attempts and took probably about a thousand pictures before we got ones that we both liked. Well, we actually liked several of them, but I thought it would be nice if the pictures we sent out you could see both of our faces.

But on a blog, we can publish all the ones we liked! (Don't worry, there aren't thousands.)