Thursday, July 31, 2008


Derek's back! He's been at Scout Camp for the last few days. He volunteered out of the goodness of his heart. He was sort of expecting just one night, but they were in severe need of leaders so he stayed Mon-Thu morning. And I've missed him! It's so nice to have my honey back home again. It was too weird "living alone." Well, not exactly alone. I did have Willow with me. But she was pretty much lethargically useless. She didn't even want to play! All she did was lay on the couch. She's either depressed or sick.

Well, here's a classic Derek pose for you all to enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pics from the 4th of July

I stole, er... I mean borrowed a couple of pictures from the bulletin board at church (I promise I'll take them back!!!) to put on the blog. They're from the 4th. A little late I know, but hey, better late than never!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Weekend in Provo

We had an excellent weekend in Provo! Derek and I drove down on Friday night, arriving around 10:30. We had planned on going to the Provo temple Saturday morning since the Boise temple was closed for maintenance, but the Provo one was closed too! Mt Timp was the closest open temple, so we went there. We had planned on going to the 9:00 or 9:30 session, but got a up a bit late. As we walked into the temple at around 9:30, there were tons of people outside and around the grounds. Thinking that this was normal because Mt Timp is popular for weddings, we didn't worry about not making it to my Aunt and Uncle's house by noon. But, the temple was busy on the inside too. We didn't quite make the 10:00 session, and the 10:30 session was about 15-20 minutes late. Good thing there aren't too many clocks inside the temple, I would have been stressing out the whole time. It was so nice to be there with Derek!

We got out of the temple at 12:30, 30 minutes late! It was a quarter after one by the time we got to my aunt and uncle's house. But it ended up being just perfect. They had some family over that morning and for lunch. They were just leaving as we got there. The main purpose for our visit was to get them set up on the blog (my Chronicles of My Family). I would have felt bad taking them away from their other family. It was great to see them again! They have a bunch of stories that I think will be great for the blog! I hope they post them.

Yi and Sarah came over on Saturday afternoon/evening to prepare dinner. They made three dishes, Bell pepper steak, Coke Chicken, and tomato eggs. They were all DELICIOUS! We wish we lived closer to Yi so that he can cook for us more often! After dinner, Derek and I went to help them move their stuff out of an apartment and into a U-haul truck. They had a bit of a fiasco with this Wymount apartment, but they're getting their stuff moved into a different, off campus apartment.

Sunday was a nice relaxing day. We even got to get home taught by Mom and Dad Cheney's home teachers, the Kangs! We love the Kangs! They were so nice, they brought over a gift bag full of treats for our trip home. :)

About half-way through Church, we realized that we didn't have enough time to visit Daryn and Becca and still get home at a decent hour, so we called home, and Dad graciously let us stay another day. I help my parents out during the work-week so my dad can still get work done. Thanks Dad!

We visited Daryn and Becca Sunday evening, and had a great visit! Their boys are growing up so fast! It's fun to see them! Joseph is too cute! As we were visiting, the Lees showed up! We had seen them at the temple, but thought that would be it. We were pleasantly surprised!

Monday was spent running errands (mostly unsuccessfully) and then driving back home. We got back around 9:30, wiped out. We unpacked our stuff, did some laundry and collapsed! Busy, busy weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Half a man

Derek lost his hammer.  Doesn't seem SO bad, but since he's a handyman, it's a big deal.  He had been without it for a week or two, and I'm surprised that he survived.

So on Monday, for Family Night, he suggested that we have a short lesson and then go to Home Depot to get a shiny new hammer.  Can you guess what the lesson was on?  That's right, being a "tool" here on Earth for Heavenly Father.  Pretty clever don't you think?  And as cheesey as the inspiration for the topic was, the lesson ended up great.  It's always hard to come up with stuff for just the two of us.  We had been reading out of the Teachings of the Prophets books to prepare for Sunday's Priesthood/Relief Society lesson, but we kind of quit once we started the Joseph Smith book.  Don't get me wrong, it's a GREAT book!  I love how all the stuff Joseph Smith said is in one place.  It's just not so good for reading it for FHE.  Anyways, back to the lesson.  We both talked for a few minutes about how we can be, or are "tools."  It was pretty inspiring for me because as I thought of the ways that I am being a tool right now, I realize that I could be doing so much more! (That last sentence is true on so many levels!)

After we talked for a while, we went on to phase II in our plan, Home Depot.  Derek was so excited!  He hadn't been there for quite a while... at least a month.  It's his favorite store in the whole world.  Do you remember the commercials H.D. had running around Father's Day (at least, I think it was HD)?  It was something like, "think of where Dad would go if he had no other place to be?"  I kept thinking, what a dorky commercial, they just want people to buy stuff from them for their Dads.  Derek on the other hand kept saying, "That's where I would go if I had no other place to be!" Cute guy!  And yet another small digression.

We got to Home Depot, and of course, we needed to look at the flooring, specifically tile and hardwood.  That is the one part of HD that I really enjoy.  The rest of the store is somewhat boring for me.  The reason for going there is always exciting (like building a bed) and that usually gets me through.  But the flooring section is pretty.  I like to look at it and plan future bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. 

After looking at the flooring, we headed on over to the tool section.  I was a little disappointed because in another home improvement store (not sure if it was Lowes or Home Depot) there was a "Tool World."  That made tools exciting.  But at our Nampa Home Depot, there's no "Tool World," just a tool isle.  We found the hammers.  I had NO IDEA there were so many types.  I guess that makes sense though, there are a lot of different uses for hammers.

Derek started trying them out, swinging them in the air to get a feel for them.  It didn't worry me too much.  I was far enough away from him to be out of danger, but it just looked funny to me for some reason.  Probably because there wasn't anything to hammer.  It was like a golfer getting a new club.  They swing it at imaginary balls to get a feel for the clubs, looking completely serious.  That's a little what my Derek looked like. And all the while saying things like, "...too heavy," or "...too light," or "...this handle's uncomfortable."  He ended up choosing a hammer that was pretty much exactly like his lost one, good ol' Stanley brand, but I think this time he got a 20 oz.

 Anyways, the whole point of this post is what he said as we were walking out of the store.  He turned to me and said, "Without my hammer, I felt like half a man!"  I told him, "Not half a man, just half a handyman!"  What a guy!  He is sure happy to have a hammer again!

PS:  Thanks to our excellent friend, Brent, for helping him get a replacement!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Have no fear!

No need to worry any more!  It just took my Google Reader a minute or two for the NEW and IMPROVED "Idaho Cheneys" to load.  I'm relieved.  I wasn't relishing having to fix that bug.


I'm not sure if my new blog is working with google reader quite how I want it to.  I guess this is a test post to see if it is actually working.

A New Look for Idaho Cheneys!

We've got a new look here!  I'm so excited!  I've been waiting for just the right template for my blog, and here it is.  There are still a few kinks to be worked out.  I'm hoping that anyone who has me on their Google Reader or another RSS feed still gets me.  I had to do some fancy footwork with the site address, actually it was more complicated than any dance move I've ever seen done.  I had to create an entire new blog, import the original Idaho Cheneys posts, change URLs, and then cross my fingers that it would all work.  I'm sure there was an easier way to do it, but after a while all that HTML code looks the same!

So, there are still a few kinks, but oh, how in LOVE am I with this new template!  The most obvious kink is the "undefined undefined undefined" to the right of the post title.  I guess if I consider myself "undefined undefined undefined," it's not that bad... but it still looks a little strange.  The other kink that has me completely stumped is that the date for the "date posted" thing doesn't show up.  It's supposed to; I've got it included in the edits, but for some reason, it's not showing itself.  As a band-aid, I've set Idaho Cheneys to archive daily.  Not the best fix, but it's a quick one.

So if any of you savvy bloggers out there know how to fix my two kinks, please please let me know! 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

God's Gifts

Sometimes you don't know what you're grateful for until you meet someone who is lacking it.  This has been shown to me many, many times.  Most recently, I have realized how much of a blessing good vision is.  Derek has been doing fence work for/with a family in our ward.  They both have serious vision impairments, and I know that at least one of them is legally blind.  Neither of them are allowed to drive.  

As Derek has been explaining some of their vision limitations, I've marveled at how they live their lives.  They are both school teachers.  He is a 3rd grade teacher, and she teaches special education.  Everything, even daily tasks must be so challenging!  They are truly amazing people. 

And they are so happy!  That is a testament to me that it doesn't matter what your challenges are.  Be so very grateful for what you have, and do the best you can with what you've got.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Wonderful, Amazing Husband

Here's my baby!  Doesn't he look so manly with a sledge hammer slung over his shoulder?!  He's been working so hard the last few days!  A couple in our ward called to see if they could hire Derek to come help them put in a fence.  A HUGE thank you to Sister Bickham for recommending Derek when they needed extra help!!!!  At first we thought it would be a short job because it's a vinyl fence, but we soon found out that it will take a while.  I guess that goes to show that you shouldn't judge a job when you've not done it before! :)  But it's looking great!  All the fence posts are plum and in line.  It's going to be a perfect fence!

Anyways, I just want to publicly show how proud I am of Derek.  He is wonderful!  Derek has the unique talent of figuring out new things as he's on his first try!  It usually takes me two or three trial runs to get it right.  His end product of whatever (handyman-wise or in anything else creative) he does always looks so perfect.  He never thinks so, and tries to show me all the flaws.  I'm so grateful to have a husband who is able to do these sorts of things for ourselves, for our friends, and for pay.  I'm so fortunate to have an in home handyman!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Swedish Furniture

So I found this funny name generator on my friend, Courtney's blog. Try it out, it's quality


I just have to say, blogging is WONDEFUL!  It's amazing how much great stuff you can learn from other people.  In the past, I had heard that you could get a lot of info from blogs, but I didn't really understand how.  But now I do.  It's all in the linkage.  Yes, I know that's probably not a real word, but it works for me. 

Since I've started blogging more "seriously," (I write seriously with quotation marks, because come on, you've read my posts, they aren't THAT great!) I've realized the value of linking to others' blogs, especially professional bloggers', and then checking out the links on those blogs.  That is linkage.  And, oh the good stuff I have found.  Just today, I found a whole series of blogs that are so interesting.  They all start with "5 Minutes for _______."  I particularly enjoy the one about reading, and being green.  Check them out!

They also have "5 Minutes for," "5 Minutes for Parenting," and a couple others. You can find links to those on the left hand side of any "5 Minutes for..." site.

I guess it's sort of like a blog version of Chicken Soup for the soul, short easy reads with great info!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I've been MIA

I had made a goal to update my blog more regularly. I want to be able to use this blog to create a personal history sometime in the future, but that won't ever happen if I don't keep this updated!

I've been MIA as of late because I'm super psyched about my new project! I'm making a family history storybook. It's a collaborative work. I've asked a few of my relatives to submit 5 or more stories to me, and then I'm going to put them in a professionally published book. I'm using They are great! In the past I've used the book publishing option that came with my iPhoto application, and like all other Mac products, the book publishing service is SO EXPENSIVE! Some Mac stuff I'm willing to pay the extra for, but not book publishing if I can get the same thing for a better price! And blurb has more customizing options than the iPhoto.

Anyways, I'm really, really excited for this project. I stayed up until 2am last night getting my blog "just right" so everyone would be able to use it properly. It's tricky setting things up and typing up explanations for things so that other people understand. I did a bit of that while I was teaching English in Korea, but that was all REALLY simple stuff because they didn't speak English. So I'm hoping that everything will turn out the way I want it to.

Now for the stuff that we're doing in our day to day lives... not that much. I'm still helping my parents out on weekdays. Somedays are tougher than others. It's not easy being a caregiver, but it's totally worth it. My mom is the greatest! She's such an inspiration to everyone around her. There's a lot I can learn from her. Derek is looking to get a part time job to suppliment the two other ventures he's working on now. It's kind of tough because not too many people/businesses are hiring. But something will work out! It has to!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fourth of July Plans

The fourth of July almost here already!  Tomorrow!  And Derek and I don't have anything planned.  We haven't ever started any of our own traditions for this holiday.  When I was a kid, we always got fireworks to set off in the evening.  And Derek says when he was a kid, they went on base to watch fireworks because Germans obviously didn't celebrate the holiday.  He said they might have also gone bowling or something like that.  I think it would be nice to have some other special traditions along with the lighting of fireworks, but it's almost always too hot during the day.  I think if it were up to Derek, we'd have a movie marathon of some sort.  But that's his idea for any day off.... :)  Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas

I read an interesting article from Time Magazine online, "10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas." It took an interesting, more positive view on gas prices.

Here's their list
1. Globalized Jobs Return home
2. Sprawl Stalls
3. Four-Day Workweeks
4. Less Polution
5. More Frugality
6. Fewer Traffic Deaths
7. Cheaper Insurance
8. Less Traffic
9. More Cops on the Beat
10. Less Obesity

Sounds pretty good to me!

I found a great resource for any kind of blogger! has a whole slew of useful articles and tips on blogging. My favorite so far was the one for "blogger's block". Bloggers block, as they call it, I think has held me back from really blogging well. When I was in Korea, there was always something to write about. But now, life is back to normal and I'm running out of things to say. Although, I guess everybody's life is different, so there's no normal...

I also liked their "15 Tips to Increase Blog Traffic." Not that I'm trying to become a world famous blogger or anything, but they had some great ideas for anyone who wants to show up on search engines.

So now to implement the new knowledge I've learned from's blogging section. Let's see if you all can figure out which new tools I'm using. Leave a comment if you think you know, or leave a comment just because!


1. A foreign language -- probably Japanese, Korean (I know, I know, I lived there I should know it, but guess what, I don't) or maybe even Spanish. After being exposed to non indo-european languages, languages like Spanish, German, or French seem so tame!

2. Some sort of great physical feat -- something like a martial art. My husband did Tae-kwon-do back in the day. He was (and probaby still is, but won't show anybody including me) pretty amazing at it and enjoyed it. It seems like an enjoyable form of exercise; although I tend to loathe most forms of exercise.

3. Political Science -- of the whole world. I hate watching or reading the news and not knowing if I really agree or disagree with the coverage. I know enough about the foreign world to know that US media coverage is BIASED, big time. It's not always completely wrong, but it never tells the whole story, and the effects of that just leads to more dislike of America on the world scene. So I want to know more about International Political Science so I can be confident in my opinions.

4. Auto repair -- so I can fix my own car. I'm sick of feeling like I've been over charged for something, or that the mechanic has told me a load of bunk about what needs to be fixed. I don't know enough about cars to be able to argue with the guy if it's really necessary or not.

5. How to teach piano lessons -- I've posted about this before. I know how to play. I play pretty well, but I'm paralyzed at the idea of teaching someone else. It could be a great work from home opportunity for me; something I don't want to miss out on. Right at the moment we don't really have enough space in our house to house a piano. My parents are graciously letting my piano live at their house until we do, so teaching lessons is not in my very near future. But hopefully it will be, eventually. I guess that means that I definitely have time to learn this skill!

Alright, I'd like to hear your top 5 I-wanna-know lists. I tag Derek, Wendy, Rachel, Kim, Tanya, Jodi, and Heather. I also tag my mom, my aunt Sherri, and my Gma and Gpa McGrath. I know you guys don't have blogs, but leave your lists in a comment please! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Piano Lessons

I'm thinking of maybe, possibly, sometime in the future, teaching piano lessons. The thing is I don't know if I would know what I was doing. You know? I can play the piano. I feel like I play well enough to be able to teach someone else how to play, but I don't know how to teach piano. Any suggestions? Or links to how to stuff, or books? Anything really...

Teddy Roosevelt

Today as I was surfing Wikipedia, I noticed today's picture was of Theodore Roosevelt and remembered that he is on Mt. Rushmore. Then I thought, why? I can figure out why George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson are on there, but I haven't really been able to figure why Teddy Roosevelt is. I skimmed the article that Wikipedia has on him and I still don't really have a clear answer. He did the Panama Canal, made his own party, and had great ideas, but none of those things really make him Rushmore worthy in my opinion. At least now when the other three presidents were... one, the father of our country; two, perhaps the one of the greatest writer and thinker America has ever had; three, held our country together during the civil war. I don't have anything against Teddy Roosevelt. I just don't really get it. So my question is, why? Does anybody know? I would like to know.