Sunday, March 29, 2009

Special Day

Saturday morning Christine went through the Twin Falls temple, and we were so blessed to be there with her. It was such a great session, everyone in my immediate family that was able to be there was and it was such a special day. I learn so much every time I go and it was neat to think back to the day I went through the Boise temple for myself. What a glorious, sacred day for her and to live SO close to the temple is a tremendous blessing! The wind didn't even blow too hard which made it an even more perfect, spring day.

"These temples are sacred structures in which eternal questions are answered, truths are taught, and ordinances performed so that we can live with an understanding of our divine inheritance as children of God and with an awareness of our potential as eternal beings. The house of the Lord helps you to see the end from the beginning."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Bachelorette Party

Friday night all my sisters in-law and my mom threw a little bachelorette party for my sister Christine, after all she only has two weeks left until she's a married woman. We went to dinner at Applebee's, teased her a little, and had a good laugh!

Then we took her shopping at Victoria Secret for some lingerie. We only had a short window of time because she just had to get back to the house because her fiance was waiting for her and she didn't want him to get bored. But who can blame her at a time like this when all she thinks about is him?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gardener's Secret

I had a hair cut scheduled for late this afternoon but my excitement and anxiety became too much so I canceled it. Instead I went to the local hardware store and bought several flower seed packets and some bulbs to plant. I'm no horticulturist by any means so I couldn't tell you the species of the flowers but they looked pretty in the picture......does that count? I was so excited to get dressed in my "barn clothes," (as my siblings and I called them on the farm growing up, or grubby clothes if you will) find my gloves and tools, and get working.

By this time it was about 5:40 and I braved the crisp wind for about 20 minutes. Then I realized the reason my fingers were going numb wasn't because I was working hard, but because they really were freezing. I took a quick break to grab a jacket and then went back to work. There's a lot of grass in the flower beds with no defined border so I just worked on the border and weeded out the extra plots of sporadic grass. By that time I was really cold and didn't have it in me any longer to stay outside. My lovely paper bag full of seeds and bulbs would have to wait for another warmer day before they get planted.

As I was about to put away my tools my brother walked out of our house, finishing up a piano lesson with Lance. He's much more knowledgeable about garden things so I showed him all the work I have to do and explained my plan along with my excited squeal as he peaked in the paper bag to find seeds. Come to find out from my expert of a brother, he said I'm not supposed to plant anything until after Good Friday which isn't for another 2.5 weeks. (Bummer!) Otherwise everything will freeze. As I was showing him around the outside of the house, I found in one little corner I have daffodils that already bloomed!! They're so pretty, I love their beautiful little heads that bounce in the breeze! There are also tulips, irises, these purple bulb looking things, and bigger bulb looking things. I have no clue what they are but I'm excited to watch them bloom and grow. :)

While I'll be impatiently waiting for Good Friday to come and go, I have my work cut out for me defining the border on the other side of our front steps, weeding out the plentiful extra grass, and possibly getting rid of a few dead trees. (By the way, how come none of you told me this little gardener's secret about planting too soon???)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green or Purple Thumb?

We had to get back a little early from Logan because a member or our ward died and the family asked Lance to dress her, sing a duet with Kempton, and direct the funeral. It was still a perfect mini vacation plus coming home a little early gave me a chance to get a head start on yard work. We haven't lived in a house since our first year of marriage so it's been a long time since I've had to dig in the dirt. We're living in Lance's grandmother's house because it is vacant and she's been in a nursing home for about four years now. Nobody has lived in it since, therefore there's A LOT of yard work to do.

I grew up on a farm in Jerome and I'm no stranger to pulling weeds, moving pipe, feeding all the animals, and LOTS of canning after harvest. I have to be honest, it felt REALLY good to be outside and get dirty! It was almost therapeutic really, although I wouldn't say that too loud. Dirt under my fingernails, dirt in my nose, dirt on my arms which made me think I was starting to tan (until I looked real closely), and yucky dirty hair. I mostly raked up all the dead leaves and branches and pulled weeds. There's so much to be done, I only finished the south side and half of the front side of the house. If you came and looked at it now, it wouldn't be anything spectacular because there's still so much to do but at least I can tell a difference.

In the back yard there are a lot dead(?) trees/shrubs so my question is, are they really dead or still hibernating from winter? I don't know and I don't want to get too carried away and start pulling everything out but it looks sad all dead and brown. Thank goodness I had a new pair of gloves to try out because my hands are purple and raw after all the pulling and raking and shoveling. I'm glad no blisters are in sight. Yet.

I was excited to see that we have tons of tulips all around the house and the ones by the front door are coming up nicely. As soon as they bloom I'll be sure to post a picture. When we lived in Charleston Lance gave me a little packet of Edelweiss seeds because we're so in love with the movie The Sound of Music. I have no idea how to grow them but nonetheless I did plant them today. The seeds are so tiny they look like weavel which means I'm not getting my hopes up or expecting anything to bloom.

My sister is a landscape design major so I'll have to ask her which flowers to buy that are very low in maintenance and can grow with any type of rookie gardner like me. Anybody have ideas?

The first flower of the season came up by the tulips but I don't think it's a tulip. Whatever kind of blossom it is, it made me smile.

Weekday Get Away

For Christmas my parents gave us a Cache Valley Getaway Package which included a one night stay at The Anniversary Inn in Logan, UT, dinner for two at any of 8 restaurants we wanted, and several coupons and discounts for things to do like bowling. We chose the Pirates Paradise room mostly because it had the biggest jacuzzi we'd ever seen, and we loved the interior. It was built to look like we discovered a ship wreck, very cool. We got to watch movies for free, complimentary sparkling cider and cheesecake, and free breakfast in bed. We really enjoyed it all, it was so awesome! It's Lance's spring break but because he has two online classes, he's still pretty busy with homework and has been working a lot. It's a three hour drive to Logan but it was so worth it just to get away and be alone from the world. Just the two of us, that's all I really wanted anyway, themed room or not.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Our Turn for Craft Day

My sister in law, Trish and I hosted Craft Day this month. We decided to go with an idea that we saw in Scrappin' Girlfriends which was a flower/button bouquet. I think they turned out SO cute, I just love mine! So I took care of getting all the materials for the craft while Trish took care of heading up lunch.

Here's how to you make it, I promise it's super easy! You take a floral wire and bend it in half. Slide on your buttons and flower (be sure to put a button on the bottom, otherwise the flower won't stay). and twist the wire from the top down. Then take floral tape and wrap all around the wire for a finished look. You can use only buttons and make button flowers, or you can twist a third of the way down, add a button or two, and then finish twisting the wire. Both ways are super cute! Choose a coordinating ribbon to tire around the middle as leaves and put in any jar of your choice with sand or marbles in the bottom to hold it in place. I tied a ribbon around the neck of the jar for some added character. See, I told you it was easy and it was only $5!
Everybody is busily at work.
I'm helping my cute grandma.Time for a break, all this creating is making me hungry! We had chicken lasagna, fresh homemade rolls, green salad, and fruit.What??? Are you serious, is that really Stephen sitting by Christine? It is! What is he doing? You've got to be kidding me, not only did he stay for the entire Craft Day, but he's also helping her with the craft?!

Christine's Bridal Shower

Okay so here's the drama/saga of the cupcake bouquet. I found this idea on the internet and I thought it would be SO adorable for either the shower or the reception. They're elegant and they really do look like real flower bouquets. My mom made the cupcakes earlier in the day, we already purchased the pails that would go perfect for Christine's decor, and we were ready to give it a whirl. We really weren't sure exactly how to frost the cupcakes, so some were plainly frosted and the others had a fancy chrysanthemum design, all thanks to Heather. We sprinkled some raw sugar on top to give it a "dewy" look and started poking away with the skewers. This turned out to be a little rougher than expected. The cupcakes were too heavy. Some fell right away, others stayed on until the shower. Needless to say, they're really only good for looks and not necessarily practical. I mean, once they fall off (which could be at any second) then the whole cupcake is ruined and well, what's the point of that anyway? So, we probably won't be attempting this in the near future although they did turn out darling! I'm just glad I snapped a picture before they all fell off.This is about half of Christine's loot, she had a good turnout and thank you to all the family that came, it was wonderful!We started with my mom ready Christine's version and Stephen's version of how they met and fell for each other. Initially Christine was kinda annoyed by him so I wanted all the family to have the good, juicy details.
We threw Christine a room shower, and each person had an assigned room for one of the following that she needed: bathroom, bedroom, laundry room, pantry closet, and game closet.

Final Preparations

Whew, what a crazy but fun-filled weekend! All of us sisters met at my Mom's house on Friday to get ready for my sister's bridal shower. We packed as much stuff into the weekend as we could and I'm finding I could use another weekend right about now - I'm exhausted!

My mom made the cupcakes and frosting for our cupcake bouquet centerpieces. She also let us invade her house for the entire weekend, thanks mom!
Heather is using her mad piping skills, you go girl!Trish arranged the cupcakes in the pails and made sure they stayed. I'll get the further details on the cupcake bouquets later. I was just tying the ribbon around the pails........that's all I'm good for.
KoLei used her cricut to make this awesome banner for Christine, I think it turned out SO cute!
Here's a close up of the banner. Christine's colors are purple and apple green so we tried to stay with her color scheme.While we were all hard at work, Christine and Stephen were in the corner relaxing and making smoothies for themselves.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Church is Focused on it's Mission

I'm sure many of you have heard the controversy of the HBO show Big Love showing sacred temple ordinances on their show. I've read many things regarding this but in case you haven't heard/read the church's official release on this, I've pasted it below.

The Publicity Dilemma

SALT LAKE CITY 9 March 2009

Like other large faith groups, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes finds itself on the receiving end of attention from Hollywood or Broadway, television series or books, and the news media. Sometimes depictions of the Church and its people are quite accurate. Sometimes the images are false or play to stereotypes. Occasionally, they are in appallingly bad taste.

As Catholics, Jews and Muslims have known for centuries, such attention is inevitable once an institution or faith group reaches a size or prominence sufficient to attract notice. Yet Latter-day Saints – sometimes known as Mormons - still wonder whether and how they should respond when news or entertainment media insensitively trivialize or misrepresent sacred beliefs or practices.

Church members are about to face that question again. Before the first season of the HBO series Big Love aired more than two years ago, the show’s creators and HBO executives assured the Church that the series wouldn’t be about Mormons. However, Internet references to Big Love indicate that more and more Mormon themes are now being woven into the show and that the characters are often unsympathetic figures who come across as narrow and self-righteous. And according to TV Guide, it now seems the show’s writers are to depict what they understand to be sacred temple ceremonies.

Certainly Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding. Last week some Church members began e-mail chains calling for cancellations of subscriptions to AOL, which, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner. Certainly such a boycott by hundreds of thousands of computer-savvy Latter-day Saints could have an economic impact on the company. Individual Latter-day Saints have the right to take such actions if they choose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution does not call for boycotts. Such a step would simply generate the kind of controversy that the media loves and in the end would increase audiences for the series. As Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Robert D. Hales of the Council of the Twelve Apostles have both said recently, when expressing themselves in the public arena, Latter-day Saints should conduct themselves with dignity and thoughtfulness.

Not only is this the model that Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated in his own life, but it also reflects the reality of the strength and maturity of Church members today. As someone recently said, “This isn’t 1830, and there aren’t just six of us anymore.” In other words, with a global membership of thirteen and a half million there is no need to feel defensive when the Church is moving forward so rapidly. The Church’s strength is in its faithful members in 170-plus countries, and there is no evidence that extreme misrepresentations in the media that appeal only to a narrow audience have any long-term negative effect on the Church.

  • During the Mitt Romney election campaign for the presidency of the United States, commentator Lawrence O’Donnell hurled abuse at the Church in a television moment that became known among many Church members as “the O’Donnell rant.” Today, his statements are remembered only as a testament to intolerance and ignorance. They had no effect on the Church that can be measured.
  • When the comedy writers for South Park produced a gross portrayal of Church history, individual Church members no doubt felt uncomfortable. But once again it inflicted no perceptible or lasting damage to a church that is growing by at least a quarter of a million new members every year.
  • When an independent film company produced a grossly distorted version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre two years ago, the Church ignored it. Perhaps partly as a result of that refusal to engender the controversy that the producers hoped for, the movie flopped at the box office and lost millions.
  • In recent months, some gay activists have barraged the media with accusations about “hateful” attitudes of Latter-day Saints in supporting Proposition 8 in California, which maintained the traditional definition of marriage. They even organized a protest march around the Salt Lake Temple. Again, the Church has refused to be goaded into a Mormons versus gays battle and has simply stated its position in tones that are reasonable and respectful. Meanwhile, missionary work and Church members in California remain as robust and vibrant as ever, and support for the Church has come from many unexpected quarters — including some former critics and other churches.

Now comes another series of Big Love, and despite earlier assurances from HBO it once again blurs the distinctions between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the show’s fictional non-Mormon characters and their practices. Such things say much more about the insensitivities of writers, producers and TV executives than they say about Latter-day Saints.
If the Church allowed critics and opponents to choose the ground on which its battles are fought, it would risk being distracted from the focus and mission it has pursued successfully for nearly 180 years. Instead, the Church itself will determine its own course as it continues to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Simple Gifts

We had enrichment night tonight and among the many wonderful things that were spoken and stood out in my mind, this one in particular I wanted to post about. This is a very old song written by Joseph Brackett in Maine in 1848. Here are the lyrics and you can click on the link at the bottom to hear the arrangement by Aaron Copeland. I love it!
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come out right.

Simple Gifts - Aaron Copeland

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Saga Continues

Week 3 - just a little update and ranting on this weird prolonged illness that has me in bondage. I did go to the doctor a week ago who said I have a bacterial infection/virus/whatever. He prescribed me some antibiotics to take which did actually work, by Friday I was feeling almost normal again. Saturday came and it started all over again, the coughing, sneezing, stuffy sinuses, all of which I've been trying to endure well. Until last night. I had some intensely sharp pains in my stomach that would last as long as 5 seconds (which seemed like an hour!) or as little as a half second, either way they were EXTREMELY painful. I tried to endure those as well as I could but the pain was getting closer together and more intense. At this time Lance was at quartet practice so I told him he needed to come home ASAP. He kind of did, he took a detour to the pharmacy and the pharmacist said that the antibiotics were killing the bad and the good bacteria in my stomach which was why it was so painful.

Anyway, by the time Lance got back I had thrown up a couples times and he was researching it all on the internet. Everything he found said to stop taking the antibiotics and to contact a doctor right away. Duh, that was helpful! It was around midnight, Lance called the few doctor offices that were open and they wouldn't give doctor's advice over the phone without knowing our regular doctor. We don't have a regular doctor, we just moved here a few months ago - frustrating! Luckily we have several friends in med school in Charleston, however it was about 2am their time. Do we call and wake them up? We opted not to. I threw up once more and Lance told me to get dressed, we were going to the ER. By this time the pain was further in between and I was able to start drifting off to sleep, until the pain woke me again. I told Lance I'd try to sleep it off and if it was just as bad in an hour, I'd wake him and we'd go to the ER.

Thankfully I lived to see another overcast day here in Twin without a trip to the ER. I'm waiting for a phone call back from the original doctor that admitted me and hopefully I can put this whole thing behind me. I have a lot of important things going on this week so I'm hoping by tomorrow that I'll be back to my old self. We'll see.

On a lighter note, this illness has given me a lot of down time which means I finally had time to start reading Twilight. SO GOOD!! Even though I'm not much of a literary analyst or writer myself, I don't think I would have enjoyed the book as much had I not seen the movie first. I didn't care for the first two chapters I think the author writes in too many short sentences. That bothers me a little, I like to have some variety. But when it comes down to describing Bella and Edward and their conversations, I think she captures it so intimately perfect!

Lance is doing quite well in school. I was never as academically dedicated as he is, I'm so amazed at how much time and effort and TIME he spends studying. How many college kids do you know go to the lab on a Saturday night studying? I only know of one and I'm so proud of him.

You would not believe how filthy our house is. Sure I've been sick for 3 weeks but I never feel quite good enough to bring out the cleaning supplies. I mean our house is down right D-I-R-T-Y which can't help my illness but I just don't have the energy to clean. Luckily I have a good husband who still does the dishes for me.

Hopefully the next time I post I'll be back to my chipper self. Until then, Twilight is waiting for me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Finished One - Finally

I have several unfinished crafts that I've had for quite some time but this past weekend I finally finished one. Whew! I've had intentions to finish it several weeks ago but just haven't found the time. Here's a picture of the finished product. I just painted this wooden frame, roughed it up a bit with sand paper, applied a finishing stain, and inserted the bead board. I found the wreath for $7 at Real Deals (a woman's paradise!) and the knob at Lowes. Add a little ribbon to hang the wreath and voila, I'm done! What do you think?

More Designs

I've added more things to my display at Scrappin' Girlfriends so head down to take a peek! I've also posted a few more things on my jewelry blog and Etsy Shop. Check it out to the right!

Day 5

Day 5: This illness is just dragging on and on and on and on and on. Need I say that I'M TIRED of this?! I've missed four days of work which isn't good at all considering I'm the moolah maker while Lance is in school. Everybody keeps giving me tips and advice of what medicine I should take and how to take it. None of it is working people!! Ohhh.....every inch of me aches.....