Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to

When I was 16, I was invited to join People 2 People Student Ambassadors program. The basic gist of it was giving teenagers a chance to go foreign and learn other cultures. You had to pay for the trip yourself, but it was a chance of a lifetime. My brother, Roger had been invited two years in a row, but wasn't willing to earn the money for it. The invitations were done by referrals and recommendations by previous students and teacher involved with it. I went in July 2003 to Sydney, Australia, for a two week adventure. We flew into Sydney, toured the sites there for a couple of days, eating the local cuisine, which wasn't to far off from what we were used to. Toured the Sydney opera house, attempted wading at Bondi Beach(our summers are their winters) in the 40degree waters, did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, which is scary as all get out even if you don't have a fear of heights, which I do. After that, we went to Alice Springs. Did a night at a bush Camp, slept under the stars in the desert with negative temperatures(dropped from 63 degrees to -4), learned how to crack a whip properly and rode camels. Walked around Ayers Rock, we did not climb up out of respect for the Aborigine's religious beliefs. Also walked around Kata Tjuta, which is similar to Ayers Rock. Got to watch the sunset and sunrise on Ayers Rock, which was pretty, did the sunrise in a 25 man hot air balloon. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant/hotel we stayed at the last night we were there in Alice Springs, I know it have it written down in the journal, but it was a do-it-yourself barbeque. They served crocodile, kangaroo, emu, barramundi, and a variety of other different things. P.S. Emu taste like sausage and kangaroo is similar to steak. It was pretty awesome. We got to ride camels in a dried up river bed of the actual Alice Springs. Got to learn how to thrown a boomerang. I sucked at it. Following that we traveled to Cairns. That is easily the prettiest place I have ever been too. The Hotel was named The Tuna Towers. Behind us were mountains, on the right sugar cane fields, to the left the Rainforest, and straight ahead the Pacific Ocean. It was gorgeous. During our time there we did a Home-stay with a family. I went to their school and then spent the night with them. There were three kids in our family. A girl our age and two younger ones in elementary school. The younger girl loved animals and even while living in a pretty suburban home, they had a goat, some chickens, a rabbit and a dog. The next day at their school was track and field day, so we were able to participate. I don't know if this was a normal thing, I would assume it was, but the kids were not required to wear shoes. I am serious. If you wanted to compete in the track and field stuff, you had to be bare foot. I am someone who doesn't really like wearing shoes, so I thought it was great, but then again it was their winter time and the coldest it got when we were there was 80 degrees. Wouldn't exactly work here in PA. The place was also the cleanest place I have ever seen, no trash anywhere, in the school or the town. We also went to do a tour in the rainforest and saw an Natural animal habitat where they had the largest captive crocodile there. Held a Koala and watched someone else get sneezed on by one. It was gross. Saw my first nude beach driving back from the rainforest to the hotel. We went to the Great Barrier Reefs and snorkeled in the corral. My friend, Val and I got mooned by some french guys while we were there. On the way back from the reef, a humpback whale swam right passed our boat. That was the last day we were there. Then there was the 16 hour flight back. Long plane trips are annoying, but we had such a great time it didn't seems soo long.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 7: Favorite movies

Voted #1 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Funniest Movies.

When I first started watching it, I didn't think I would really get into, but you can't help laughing through it all.

Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy

I love pictures of my family.

Day 5: A song to match your mood

Bruno Mars- The Lazy Song

I have a cold that has been keeping me down, so yeah, I don't feel like doing anything today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 4: Your parents

Stephanie Kean- Mom is the second youngest child and oldest daughter in her family. She is short and has curly hair. While she was growing up, her hair was stick straight, and didn't change until she became pregnant, at which point it got curlier with each kid. Went to Rick's(BYUI) then Byu and became an elementary school teacher. She taught for 7 years, moving around to different areas including, but not limited to Alaska and Texas. Served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Japan. After being single for long enough, her S-i-L decided that she knew the perfect guy for her out here in PA, so Mom moved out here and live with them for awhile. The perfect guy wasn't the right one, but she did end up meeting Dad at a Single Adult activity. They dated for three month, engaged for three months and got married in the Idaho Falls Temple. She was 31, he was 32. They had 5 kids, Vanessa, Me, Roger, Alan, and lastly Natalie, who only lived a couple of hours. She always said she loved her Ernie, but hated his name. Dad passed away at 55 to a massive heart attack, leaving Mom a widow, with three kids still at home. Vanessa had gotten married earlier that year. Mom is notoriously forgetful, doesn't check her voicemail, and is computer illiterate. She plays the organ and piano. She is generous to all, but hates ingratitude. Her little 2004 Toyota has over 150k miles on it because she loves to travel, and will help anyone with a ride. My Aunt also lives with her and between the two of them, I have nicknamed them the Two Biddy Aunts of Butler Ward. They adore quilting and often have 5 different projects going. She works as a substitute aid for the kids with special needs in the area. She loves audio books. She is quite the scriptorian. Love the Old Testament and whatever book she is currently reading at that time. She truly loves the gospel, teaching, and being helpful. She can't say no to just about anyone. Loves and cherishes her grandchildren. Isn't much of a cook, but she does try, she ends up substituting just the wrong ingredient when she finds out she doesn't have the right now. Enjoys a good comedy, but despises crass or crude humor. She is my mom and I love her.

Ernie Kean- He is oldest out of two kids. His family are not member of our church, he was a convert in his 20's. Grew up Lutheran. Very involved with the Boy Scout Program with his Lutheran church and his passion for it continued until he died. This man should have died many times when he was younger. I can't remember just how old he was, but he had a burst appendix that they didn't get to the doctor for two days, and he was septic. He was technically drafted for Vietnam, but signed up three days before his draft date. The class before him and after him were sent to Vietnam, he ended up in Germany at a supply unit. Made it to I believe it was Staff Sergeant in the shortest amount of time possible. He didn't like the army, but he was good at it. If there was a problem person, they were sent to Dad to deal with. If he couldn't handle him, no one could. While in Germany, he joined up with the Boy Scout Program there. That is when he was introduced to the Church which he later joined. He did not serve a mission. He dated a lady name Carol for 6 years. After he came home, he became less active in the church, but due to the diligence of Roger Ladle, he became active again. My brother Roger was named after that man.
He attended a two year business school in Pittsburgh, I forget the name of which one. He ended up working as a traffic disbatcher for Marmon Keystone. He worked hard to support and provide for his family. I remember living in a tiny 2 bedroom duplex until I was nine for his dedication to finding us a house. They wanted somewhere with a yard and room for us all. It took awhile, but we ended up moving two days before Christmas in 1994. It was an interesting Christmas that year. Workaholic does not describe just how dedicated he could be about anything. The man could not just relax. If he did take a day off from work, which was rare, he would spend the day cataloguing the books and movies. He loved Alfred Hitchcock and James Bond movies. He liked movies in general. He took special pride in making sure we were treated to going to the movie theater and going out for ice cream. As we got older and busier, he made sure he took one of us out to eat for Breakfast every weekend, so he could have one on one time with us. Planning vacations down to the miles was something he was meticulous about. Always tried to make sure there was some history and at least one amusement park in our big vacations every year. Dad loved amusement parks, especially roller coasters. It started getting to him, physically, towards the end, but he still rode them the trip out to Gettysburg and Hershey Park just weeks before he died. He was a meat and potato eater his whole life and loved meatloaf. If something bothered him, he usually didn't mention it, much to the chargrin of my Mother; example, one of the common meals at our house was Rice with Gravy. It took my Dad 6 YEARS to tell Mom that he didn't really like rice that much. Gave him indigestion. Dad's dedication to detail helped a lot when he passed away. He made sure that Mom would be taken care of. I do believe he knew he would die young, I don't think he knew just how young he would be, though. He was Bishop for our Ward for 7 years, from the time I was 8 until I was 15. He was very much a simple, quiet, dedicated, honest man for which he was loved. I am proud that he was my Dad.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 3: Your first love

Michael Mcmillan. He and I were in a special hearing impair preschool class together. He had sandy brown hair that was bowl cut and shared toys with me. We were really good friends through kindergarten. At that point we were separated, since he did a repeat year of kindergarten when I moved on to first grade. We still saw each other occasionally through the hearing impairment group, but not as much. After first grade, I transferred to the school in my area, after showing signs that I didn't need the help as much from the group.

I didn't see him again until high school at which point I wasn't sure if he remembered me anymore. We ended up in a class together my senior year, and I lost a lot of respect for him when I realized that he was one that got embarrassed by his hearing aids, and so he wouldn't wear them, and I know the differences of someone not wear compared to when they do. My opinions for that sort of thing are very low. When you are blind you wear glasses, or learn braille, if you can't walk, you use a wheelchair or crutches. Use what you can to help yourself, life is hard enough, don't be dumb and make it even harder, especially if your concern is for peer pressure.

Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name

Umm... I thought it sounded nice? I wasn't trying to be creative when I did it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

I am Margaret Fike.

15 Facts about Me

1. I am the second oldest in 4 kids.

2. I read incredibly fast, and not only when I am interested in the book.

3. I can lip read. I am not the best, but I can hold my own for just about any situation.

4. I am a garage sale junkie. I have supplied 90% of the clothing, books, toys, and baby supplies in this house from garage sales. I will map out destinations with times to make sure I hit the best ones. I know from previous years which houses are repeaters and should be avoided at all times.

5. Ethan and I got engaged on our second date. Five months later, we were married in the Washington D.C. Temple.

6. I worked on a dude ranch in Colorado when I was 19. I know how to lasso, am quite proficient with a gun, and own and know how to use a whip.

7. I have swam in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Pacific was far better.

8. Will encourage any teenager out of high school to spend a summer working at any job of the site. They do crusielines, camps, hotels, etc. That is how I got the job in Colorado. I also had an offer for a job in Alaska for a hotel, but chose Whistling Acres instead.

9. Loves, loves, loves amusement parks. More specifically roller coasters. There has only been one I didn't like, the Mean Streak at Cedar Point. Fav. The Millenium Force and Dragster at Cedar Point. Cedar Point is the roller coaster city of the world.

10. I don't own a hair dryer and never have.

11. I have a small time job at the cheap theater in town. It is my sanity from my kids job, and I have worked there longer than I have been married.

12. I want to become a phlebotomist. Once this baby(not yet born) is a little older, I intend on taking the class for it. I just want to be able to jump into the job immediately after I finish the class, so it probably won't happen until he is in Kindergarten.

13. I collect books. All kinds of books. Except horror, my imagination is good enough without help from them. There are 3 books shelves in the front room filled to the brim, one huge one in the dining room, one in the living room, one in my room as well as wall shelves, and one in Lyssa's room. All are full and there are still more books. I need more shelves.

14. I am extremely proud of the the work that has been done on this house. Not many people could have done what Ethan and I have done to this place. It went from having no plumbing, electrical, needing a new heating system, and massive cosmetic work to what we have now. It will be at least another 5 years before we are finished with everything we have thought out, but it will be beautiful when it is done.

15. I love Chocolate covered Strawberries like no other.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


In an effort to get back on my blogging bandwagon, I am stealing the 30 day blog challenge idea from my cousin Dedra and others.
Here's how it goes...I'm going to post everyday for 30 days and below are the topics I'll post about.

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your parents
Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 7: Favorite movies
Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you’re afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don’t leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year – how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What’s in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Books
Day 24: Something you’ve learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge