Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Hobby...

Last summer, my roommate (and bestie) Olivia made these really cute letters to put up in her classroom. Of course I wanted some for my classroom too! So, Olivia and Kerri helped me paint, etc. letters spelling out all the 7 army values. 
I thought it was going to be SO HARD to do these, but found that it wasn't too tricky. About 2-3 months ago, I went back to The Wood Connection, to see if they had any quick and easy decorations for my house. I didn't want to spend a lot, but wanted a little "seasonal" something to put up. I found lots of CUTE wood decorations that took a little effort, but didn't cost much (oh wait, until I added all the paint, and paper, and ribbon, etc.) And then I was hooked!

Made Valentines decorations, St. Patty's decorations, and recently did an "Easter" project. This next week I'll be doing a "SPRING" block, and yes, I LOVE IT.  Who knew I would love "crafting"... Well, not me - and yet, I DO. It's so "relaxing" and I really get excited when it's all done and I have something to put up in my house. :) 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

IF we only all believed in each other...

I was folding some laundry tonight (yes, I know I shouldn't do this on the Sabbath...) and turned on a BYU Hawaii devotional given by Douglass Brinley from May 2011. In it, he told the following story...

"A few years ago there was an unusual high school football game played in Grapevine, Texas (close to our mission).The game was between Grapevine Faith Academy, a Christian school and Gainesville State School which was located within a maximum security correction facility—a prison. (You have to understand that high school football in Texas is a religion. They put a football in the crib of each boy so he can get the feel of leather.)

The Gainesville State School of Correction had 14 players who played every game -- on the road (obviously).Their record was 0-8.They had only scored twice.Their 14 players were teenagers who had been convicted of crimes ranging from drugs to assault to robbery.Most had families who had disowned them.They wore outdated, used shoulder pads and helmets.On the other side, Faith Academy’s record was 7-2.They had 70 players, 11 coaches, and the latest equipment.

Chris Hogan, the head coach at Faith Academy, knew the Gainesville team would have no fans, and it would be no contest.He thought, “What if half of our fans and half of our cheerleaders, for one night only, cheered for the other team?”He sent out an email to faithful fans asking them to do just that.“Here’s the message I want you to send to these young men,” Hogan wrote.“You’re just as valuable as any other person on the planet.”

Some folks were confused about the coach's efforts.One player said, “Coach, why are we doing this?” The coach said, “Imagine you don’t have a home life, no one to love you, no one pulling for you.Imagine that everyone pretty much had given up on you.Now, imagine what it would feel like and mean to you for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you.”

The idea took root.On the night of the game, imagine the surprise of those 14 players from the prison when they took the field and there was a banner the cheerleaders made for them to crash through.The visitors’ stands had people sitting in them.The cheerleaders were leading cheers for them.The fans were calling them by their names.Isaiah, the quarterback—also played middle linebacker said, “I never in my life thought I would hear parents cheering me to tackle and hit their kid.Most of the time, when we come out, people are afraid of us. You can see it in their eyes, but these people were yelling for us.They knew our names." (Read the whole article on ESPN

This story brought tears to my eyes, because what is said here is so TRUE. What would (and will) the world be like if/when we were/are to all truly LOVE and BELIEVE in one another. This is what it really means to be Christlike - and it changes lives. Charity for our fellow brothers and sisters is an amazing thing. I have a LONG way to go, but what a good reminder and motivation to start... how many people can you "believe in" today? I bet it's more than you think.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thoughts on life...

Suppose that today were your last day on earth,
the last mile of your journey you've trod.
When you've counted it up, how much are you worth?
How much can you take home to God?
Don't count as possessions your silver and gold,
for tomorrow you leave them behind.
But all that is yours to have and to hold,
Are the blessings you've given mankind.

Found this poem in my email from a fellow service missionary, when I worked at the conference center a few years back. I really enjoyed my time there, and every so often wonder what happened to those wonderful people I got to serve with. LOVED my once a week mission, even though it seemed like it took a lot of time out of my already busy life, I know I was extremely blessed for my service. That's the way life is. We think we're giving, when really we are the ones getting blessed. :) Gotta love it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bucket List - Winter Style

I realize that nobody's reading this because, well, I didn't blog for like 900 years. However, I'm going to post none-the-less. This past week hasn't been all that exciting but there are two things I'm going to post about.

First - Kerri and Olivia and I have created Bucket List - Winter (Jan to end of March). On this list are a variety of exciting possibilities that we (either individually or collectively) will hope to accomplish in the near future (by April General Conference weekend). Can't wait to see what we'll get done this time!

Winter Bucket List...

Second - Near Christmas time, Paige and Adam had us over for an FHE. We each chose to give a "gift to the Savior" that we'll look at next Christmas. My "gift" was was to spend at least 15 -30 min each day reading from the scriptures. So far I have worked really hard to make sure that I do this daily, and I have REALLY loved it. This week as I have read, I have thought about my testimony. I've been reading about Ammon's mission to the Lamanites and King Lamoni's conversion. It's really made me think about my desire to gain a testimony. Why am I not more like him? He was so willing to give away all he had to come to know the Savior. I also read today about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's who literally gave their lives, because they didn't want to sin and risk loosing eternal salvation.

I love how reading from the Book of Mormon helps me to desire to be more like those righteous examples who have such solid testimonies and relationships of/with the Savior. So grateful that Heavenly Father knows us so well, and that he gave me the amazing gift of scriptures.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Birthday Trip 2011

The gorgeous gals, waiting for the adventure to begin...

I'm turning over a new leaf, and have set a goal to blog on Sunday mornings, since my church starts so late...
Recap of the best "birthday vaca" ever! Well, this one was "FUN", last years trip to NYC was just plain cool. Both were enjoyable for different reasons... anyway.

For the big B-day celebration this year (and yes, it looks like we would like to make an annual B-Day vaca trip... at least until one of the 3 of us get married) we decided to go to DISNEYLAND!!! Luckily Kerri has an Aunt and Uncle that live near Disneyland, and were kind enough to let the 5 of us come crash at their place for the 5 days. Here's what we did.

Flew in Friday night, got to Claire and Jim's and I basically passed out, while everyone else chatted (don't really know why, but I was WASTED!)
Saturday we got up, Kerri made me run up and down the hills of Cali at 6:00 - which kicked my behind, but was good for me - and then we headed home to get ready to go to the temple in Long Beach.

Quade, Tricia, Olivia, & Kerri at the temple
We did a session, and then picked up Preston from the airport, had lunch with the Cosby's
and headed to the Santa Monica Pier.

We played on the beach for an hour or so, and then headed to Hollywood to see WICKED! Love, love, love it! Following this wonderful experience we headed home and hit the sack at a very late hour.

Sunday morning we got ready for church (yep, K-dawg and I had to run to Kohls, because she left her skirt in her parents car... and though she could have pulled it off, the shirt pulled down to the knees wasn't going to quite cut it), headed to meet up with Olivia's mission president, and then Preston and I went over to the beach, while Kerri, Quade, and Olivia had dinner with the pres. Ended the night with a little Disney Trivial Pursuit (which we weren't too hot at, ironically) and a game of picture emotions.

Monday meant another grueling run up and down the wet hills of Cali, and then we prepared ourselves for a day of DISNEY in the rain! Had poncho's and all of our warm layers on, and despite getting SOAKED, had a blast, running from ride to ride and basically walking onto anything we wanted! Oh, and Preston and I got birthday badges because well, it was our birthday week! By mid afternoon I'd finally dried out some, and was finally comfortable. The only bad thing about the day is that we found out (too late) that the park had closed early. NOOOOO! So we found a place to eat dinner and headed home.

Tuesday we got up, packed up and went back for another day of running around the park. We were happy to find that the sun was out to stay, and yet the park was still EMPTY compared to any other trip I've been on. Ran to any ride we wanted and never waited more than 7 min to get on it!

(So this is the awesome "Squatch" statue in front of Claire and Jim's = we've recently become interested in the idea of squatches due to a great television program on the Animal Planet Channel)


(This is us being really sad that it's all over!)

Pushed it to the limit, and still made it to the airport in time to make our 7:30 flight home. Wednesday was a blur, but it was sure a vacation to remember!!! LOVE MY TRAVEL BUDDIES!!! See ya'll next year! (Olivia, Quade, Kerri, and Preston - you guys are the best!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seriously So BLESSED

Today I was blessed to go with my roommate Kerri and new BFF Raegan to Ashton Idaho to attend my roommate Olivia's fathers funeral. It was a cold day, and an early start, but I'm very grateful that we could go and be there with her, and the rest of her family. The whole service was beautiful, and Olivia did a beautiful job expressing her love and appreciation for her father, and her testimony of the gospel and the opportunity she'll have to be reunited with him on the other side of the veil. With that said, there were a few things I thought about today that I wanted to jot down...

1 - It's amazing how much we can learn about someone by listening to their family talk about their parents. I learned so much about Olivia today just by listening to her tell stories about her father. It's amazing to me how much we are a product of our upbringing, and family experiences.

2 - Olivia's father died in a car accident, which means, they were not expecting him to go. I thought a lot this afternoon about whether or not I'm ready to return home to my Father in Heaven - and how I could prepare myself to be ready to do so. I don't know that you ever feel "ready", but I know that there is much more I could be doing to make sure that the meeting I have with my maker is one where I can report that I was in the process of reaching the potential that I have.

3 - I've been extremely blessed to have wonderful roommates over the past few years. In talking with Reagan and Kerri in the car, I realized that Heavenly Father has always provided me with the roommates I need at the exact times that I have needed them. Olivia has been a huge blessing in my life - it's been wonderful to have someone to talk about school with (since Paige up and got married!) and has been there for me during those times of trial in my life. I have also been blessed to have K-dawg here over the past few months, and am extremely grateful that I have not only 1 but 2 rock solid examples in my home.

4 - I've decided that I need to try harder to take the time to tell those around me how much they mean to me more often.

5 - I need to start keeping a journal... and write in it more than once every 5 years. :)

I'm feeling grateful for the opportunity that I have had to ponder on these things and hope that someday I'll be spoken of in a positive way when I pass on...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The small and simple things...

This past weekend I was listening to a talk from our most recent general conference. There was a story told that got me thinking about my life and how I so often forget to focus on the little things in my gospel life. As I was pondering this idea, I realized that perhaps I'm not actively seeking for the righteous things in my life with the zest that I could be. Not that I'm doing wrong, but that perhaps I'm not doing as much GOOD as I could be.

So, today I decided that I would like to re-commit to making scriptures a priority EVERY DAY. To re-commit to making daily prayer something that I really put my heart and soul into. And to attempt to find a real purpose in everything I do. (Sidebar) I think I spend too much time in my life doing things, but not really thinking about the purpose behind them - this includes both spiritual and worldly activities... What is my purpose in reading the scriptures. What is the purpose in teaching my kids how to add and subtract decimals... What would my life be like if I asked myself the purpose of all my activities? Maybe it won't make a difference... but I'm going to try it out!

And, though I'm horrible at it, a few things I'm grateful for right now are:

1. My awesome family, who love me even when I continually choose the "Y"... (inside family joke going on here...)
2. Wonderful roommates who really and truly set an example for me - it's amazing!
3. Being able to enjoy my job because I have a very uniquely FUN group, and am not spending all my time stressing about completing my homework! YEA!
4. The gospel - particularly the atonement - it' allows me to CHANGE who I am, in order to become who I WANT to be, and not who I "naturally" am. It's the power to BECOME and without it, I'd be a pretty lame person.
5. Revelation - what an amazing gift
6. Having a steady income.
7. My "healthy" body. (yeah, I could cut back on the sweets...)
8. Being an aunt. It's pretty much the coolest thing in the world.
9. Repentance.
10. Vacations - yes. I need one, and will have a short one this weekend!

Here's to a "fresh start" and choosing to focus on the little things - to see and seek for a purpose in ALL that I do, and remember that it's the little things that make life so much better!