Category Archives: family

The Bunkhouse

This past week, my sister and I drove to Idaho to pick up our other sister and cousin from the camp where they worked this summer. We intentionally made the entire trip flexible. However, we still needed a place to stay at night so once we decided on Mount Rushmore as a good stopping area, I got on my phone and found us a place to crash. We’re a bunch of students. Cheap = good. So I found us a bunkhouse where they provide little cabins with bunk beds and a shared shower house. Bring your own bedding. 

For the record, I did ask the others for their input. The bunkhouse looked fine online. I booked it and received an e-mail reminding me to bring my own bedding. 

Check-in supposedly ended at 9 pm. We planned to arrive by 8:30. I got a call at 7:30 from the manager informing me she was going home and that she’d text me the code to get into our cabin. Also, did I get the message that they did not provide bedding? (I did.)

We arrived in the dark. And by arrived I mean exited the freeway, drove for fifteen minutes on abandoned back country roads, and turned too early on the dimly lit road to the cabins. If you can call it a road. No obvious parking lot existed so even after finding the correct turn we drove on the grass to reach our cabin. 

The place was abandoned. Not another car to be seen. 

Then we entered the cabin. To quote my sister, “I did not need to check for bed bugs because I could already see the dead bugs all over the mattress.” 

Instead of a four bed bunkhouse like we expected, we got a bunk with two queen size mattresses. We did not mind sharing, but the website definitely promised four. And it wasn’t just sharing with one another. We apparently were supposed to share with an entire graveyard of moths, beetles, and spiders. 

So many spiders. I’m not afraid to kill an arachnid but even I found the spider guarding our cabin intimidating. He was easily the size of a quarter. 

Some (I won’t name names) vowed to sleep in the van. I protested that we paid for the cabin so by golly we should use it! Anyway, we were leaving early the next morning. A few hours wouldn’t hurt us. 

We then went to the shower house. At first glance, it at least appeared clean. Second glance revealed even more bugs than the cabin. Live crickets and dead beetles hung out in the sink. Spiders clung to the rafters. But what finally broke me were the moths. 

The moths lived in the toilets. 

Imagine doing your business and all of a sudden a moth comes up from between your legs. Or reaching for toilet paper and a moth flutters out with the paper. I screamed. My sisters screamed. My cousin probably screamed. 

Lest you think us heartless to our fellow campers, remember, there were no other guests. And the staff all left way early. 

I am not going to lie. We ran back to our cabin, grabbed our stuff, dodged the giant watch-spider, and drove like a bat out of hell. No destination needed. Just out.

The next place we stayed at had a hot tub and continental breakfast.



Happy Birthday, Elijah!

My youngest brother turns 18 today! Here are 18 adjectives that describe him: 

  • Godly
  • Thoughtful 
  • Sweet
  • Knowledgeable
  • Funny
  • Erudite 
  • Loyal
  • Dependable 
  • Loving
  • Stubborn 
  • Scholarly 
  • Attentive 
  • Friendly
  • Responsible
  • Consistent
  • Precise 
  • Witty
  • THE BEST (don’t tell Sam 😉 )


Contact Paper

When I moved in to my new apartment, my wonderful Mother put contact paper and most of the shelves. She left a few to me. I decided to stop pushing it off and tried to paper some tonight. It went… less well.

The thing is, I am not a big fan of this whole measuring thing. Or cutting. I once won the “Measure Once Cut Fifteen Times” award on a mission trip.

Which is to say, if you ever come over, the shelves with fitting paper are my Mom’s work.

Anna B-Dayyyyy


Image result for feeling 22 memes

So, it is that time of the year again…WHEN MY SISTER TURNS A YEAR OLDER!!!!!!!!!!

 To be honest, though, this is a day that should be celebrated every day and not just on her birthday because my sister is AMAZING and I feel grateful every day for her. 

But today I am EXTRA-grateful for my awesome, funny, fabulous, smart, hard-working, creative, inspiring little sister. 

Image result for feeling 22 memes

Volunteering at Church

As the oldest of five children, I’m used to doing things first. People meet me first. I get involved in activities first. It is part of who I am. When my siblings come, they are “Amy’s siblings.”

The older I get, however, the less this is the case. Nowhere is this more apparent than where my family goes to church. All my family is super involved and my Mom works there. Maybe I am now better known than the brother who lives an hour and a half away. But for the most part, I’m Anna/Bethany/Elijah’s older sister or the missing eldest daughter of my parents. 

Today my Mom needed an extra volunteer so I filled in. It was entertaining. I look like my Mom; I don’t look that much like her. But people still did a double take when they saw me. Uncertain smiles, hesitant nods as if trying to place me. 

One lady I’d never seen before exclaimed, “You look so much like your Mom! It threw me off.”

Another lady inquired after my Dad. My Dad? Or my grandpa? Who knows!

And so, though I go to church regularly when I’m home, I slip into my uncertain role as the Family Member No One Quite Knows. 

Elijah Comes Homeeeeee

My youngest brother has been on a mission trip for the last 10 days in Costa Rica. And I know in the big scheme of things, 10 days go by super fast. But it feels like he has been gone forever

And he comes home tonight! (Well, technically, flight delay means after midnight so he comes home tomorrow. But it is basically tonight.)

He’s been missed! It is one reason I’m back home after moving all my stuff into my apartment yesterday. I want to hug him ASAP! 

Cooking with my Sister

I’ve been known for my odd cooking choices. But my sister is always finding quirky recipes! So you’d think we would blend some way, wouldn’t you? 

This is how mac n cheese went.

Me: “If we don’t have milk, we can use the coconut milk.”

Sister: “Gross.”

Me: “It will make it sweet! Then we add kimchi. Sweet and spicy.”

Sister: “Rejected.”

Me: “You know what we should mix with this butter? Onions!”

Sister: “No.”

Me: “Oh yeah, our mac n cheese needs onions and kimchi…maybe some garlic…” 

Sister: “Someday, you’re going to have your own restaurant and serve all this weird food that no one else would think to try. And no one in your family will go.”