Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday

This isn't a story about me.  I've temporarily run out of interesting stories about my past self to share with the internet and all it's wonderful users.  At least stories that would be interesting to other people.  

So this story is about my great-grandmother, Velda Hancock, from our family's Family History blog.  I hope those who are more closely related to her don't mind me retelling this story.  I cracked up when I read this the first time. 

It's fun realizing (sometimes again and again, as in my case) that your deceased ancestors weren't just old people or pictures of old people.  They were fun, interesting, entertaining people! I would like to think that if she were still alive, she wouldn't mind me sharing.

During the winter we needed our fruit trees trimmed.  Clarence was ill so I hired out little neighbor boy aged ten to help me.  He had finished trimming a partly grown apricot tree and done it just like I told him.

After he had gone home, I decided I had better put tree-heal on the ends of the amputated limbs.  So accordingly, I climbed on top of our seven-foot ladder to do it.  Somehow the ladder collapsed and I was left hanging in the top of the tree.  I had trousers on and a wool sweater which went partly over my head as it caught the scratchy, stickery limbs.  I yelled for help.  Clarence was just inside the house, but he was playing the radio and did not hear, so I finally got down by myself.

I was quite shook up as I went into the house to tell him of my predicament.  He arose and went to get his coat. I said, "I don't need help now, I am down."  Just then a neighbor came and I told him of the predicament I had been in.  He laughed as he said, "If I had seen it, I would have gone for my camera."  Fine thing!

The radio advertisement, which was playing said, "If you were in distress and called for help and no one came, what would you do?"  I mockingly said, "Oh I know, I would get down by myself!"

Remembered and compiled by Velda J Palmer Hancock

A New Table!

Sorry it's taken so long to post these pictures!  I know how you all have longed to see them! ;)

Well, here they are.  Derek did a pretty good job on the table didn't he?  When my visiting teachers came this month, they happened to see him working on staining it.  One thought that he was just refinishing their old table.  She was a little surprised when we told her he built the whole thing himself!

Derek and I set the table up Monday morning.
The inaugural breakfast.  To get everyone plus the table in the picture, I had to take the picture through the windows to the sun room.  And I forgot to remove the bottles causing weird reflections. :(
See that shine?  That's five coats of poly yo!

Newsworthy Tuesday

Everything in the news is too sad lately.  I'm boycotting the news, at least for a day or so.  I'm a news junkie.  So this week's Newsworthy Tuesday will be a little more specific to me.  I got tagged!  I've never actually, directly gotten tagged before.  Hooray for Hannah!


*10 years ago I:
1. was 14 years old
2. lived in Cary NC
3. went to Apex High School
4. went to my first stake dance
5. had a crush on a stupid boy, I won't name names

*5 things on my "To Do"list for today/tomorrow
1. take care of my Mom
2. call the bank
3. write a blog post
4. feed the cat
5. go on a walk

*5 snacks that I enjoy
1. fruit
2. chocolate
3. chocolate mixed with fruit
4. granola bars
5. chips and salsa

*5 things I would do if I were a millionaire
1. buy a house
2. invest for the future
3. pay for more college
4. donate to something?
5. pay for kids college

*5 places I have lived
1. Caldwell, Id
2. Sokcho, South Korea
3. Provo, UT
4. Cary, NC
5. Orem, UT

*5 jobs I have had
1. English teacher
2. care giver
3. uniform sorter
4. hostess
5. tailor shop

I tag...

Mishy (or Marisha, which do you go by now?)
Rachel W.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Television and Movies Monday - How the Earth Was Made

I think I'm drawn to contriversal things.  That might sound bad.  I am very careful about what I actually watch or study.  If it seems too far out there then I just don't go there.  For example, I like to learn about the Middle East and Islam because some people love it and some people hate it. 

This weekend, Derek and I watched the History Channel's, "How the Earth Was Made."  Doesn't sound to contriversal, but for many relgious viewers, it is.  I was interested in how the creation story would be presented.  And I'm always interested in how the scriptural account of how the Earth was made and the scientific account go together. 

Why some conservative Christians heatedly protest the scientific version of Earth's creation is a little confusing to me, I admit.  I understand they are upset with science taking God out of the picture.  No one should do that in any arena.  But what confuses me is why God couldn't have made the Earth scientifically? 

I was always taught to believe that there are certain laws of the universe that must be followed.  I'm not saying that someone else made the rules for God to follow, but maybe God made the rules for how the Earth and Universe would run and then had to follow them.  It's just like in a classroom.  The teacher makes the rules.  For example, I made the rule in my English class that Korean was not allowed.  Do you think that the students let me get away with saying even one badly mispronounced word?  Of course not!  It wasn't right for me to make a rule and then not follow it.

So who's to say that God didn't create the world in the way the scriptures AND science explains it?  Seems impossible, doesn't it?  Not so impossible in my mind.  People are imperfect.  I think we all know that.  Since people are imperfect, to me that means that our science and research (studied and theorized by people) is also imperfect.  Not everything lines up between scripture and science.  But that's not because one is completely right and the other is completely wrong.  Maybe we're missing some key evidence of how our planet--and the whole universe for that matter--was made.  Humans don't know everything.

Also, the wording of the scriptures can be a little vague at times.  The Bible uses days to measure the time needed for each step in the creation process.  Personally, I don't believe that the entire Earth was created in just 6 days.  But I do believe that God's time is different.  Maybe it was one day for him, but one day for him could be millions of years for us!  Who knows, I sure don't.  Another thing to consider is translation errors.  No matter how perfectly you would try to translate a document, it's hard!  Mistakes will be made, and mistakes were made--intentionally and unintentionally.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that I am religious and scientific all at the same time (notice I listed religious first).  And that we don't know all the answers, yet.  Someday, maybe.  And that the History Channel special was good.  A little off on the humans-came-from-monkeys part (that's one thing that I just can't accept.  Humans were made humans.  End of story.  We're really missing some key information if we think that humans came from monkeys!), but overall, good.  I'd recommend it to other docu-junkies out there!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Wow!  This week is really lacking on the links!  Sorry guys, but the ones I do have on here are really good!

Go Ahead! Arrest Me, I Dare You! Scribbit.  I read this story Monday morning and it made me laugh out loud!  Scribbit is so cool!

Dinner Turned Out Well (Not Well-Done), TJ Hirst.  This recipe looks great!  I think I'm going to make it this weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Handyman

My Handyman Built a Beautiful Table

... but it's not put together yet.

He finished putting poly on it this afternoon and now we're all just waiting for it to dry completely (3 days) to put it together.  Some of us have been waiting longer than others.  We made the table for my Dad. He has been waiting for a table he ordered through a STUPID, SHADY, online furniture company.  The name doesn't come to mind at the moment, I want to remember it so I can tell everyone how stinky they have been to my family.  I mean come on!  How much lower can you get than scam a family who's buying a new table for the sole purpose of handicapped accessibility!

Anyways, he's been waiting for the table since February.  That makes 8 months.  That's almost a baby!  His birthday was on Tuesday so I decided that we should make him a table because he's probably not going to get the one he ordered.  And when I say we, I mean Derek.  He's like Bob the builder, except more real and more attractive.

And what he's made looks great so far!

And here's where I put in a plug for my husband! He's a handyman and especially interested in building things like tables, beds, shelves, etc. Check out his website, www.derekofalltrades.com and call him if you need anything.

Thankful Thursday

My Thankful Thursday post this week comes in two parts.  I came across a set of 32 photos of North Korea this morning from the Boston Globe and just knew I had to share them!  I e-mailed and asked if I could put one or two up on the blog, and he graciously said yes!  They are amazing.  At least, I think so. The photographer, Eric Lafforgue was lucky enough to be able to be inside the extremely communist country to take the photos.  I use the word "lucky" very loosely.

I am thankful that I'm not North Korean.  I'm grateful that I don't live there. Not only are the living conditions HORRIBLE, but I'm the kind of person who can't handle complete conformity.  I mean, I'm usually the type that doesn't like something because everyone else seems to!  I think just that would drive me crazy!

Looking at these pictures reminds me of South Korea.  And I am SO THANKFUL that Derek and I had the opportunity to live there and experience everything Korea!   The people and the landscape all looked familiar.  We always hear about how North Korea is bad, part of the "axis of evil."  It was nice to have a reminder that North Korea has regular people too. 

I really hope you get over to the Boston Globe to see the pictures.  They really are great!  Especially the ones of the Mass Games.  Make sure you read the captions as well.

this woman is just gorgeous to me!
This is a propaganda village, but it so reminds me of the area around Sokcho!

This photo is one of mine.  It was taken in Seorak Mountain National Park in Sokcho, South Korea
From Cheneys in Korea

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Way Back When Wednesdays - I bumped my sister and a piece fell off!

This is another post from our family history blog.  My mom and I wrote it together. 

For Christmas, 1991, we traveled down to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Snowflake. It was a long drive, and PJ and I often got restless, and on this trip we started to play fight in the back of the van. PJ was in the middle row of seats and I was in the back row. We were both pulling on PJ's "green and purple rope" playing a sort of tug-of-war. At this age, we were pretty evenly matched as PJ was big for his age.

So they pulled back and forth for a while, and all of a sudden, I slipped, fell forward and hit the back of the middle seat with my mouth. It wasn't really painful because it was padded, but the impact was hard enough that it knocked out my loose front tooth!

Later, when we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, PJ jumped out of the car and exclaimed, "I bumped my sister and a piece fell off!" This phrase has become a classic in our family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

It's my Dad's birthday today!  Got lots of fun stuff planned for him!  Derek and I went to their house early this morning to bake cinnamon and orange rolls.  Rhodes makes it so easy!  Just pop them in a cold oven, turn it on to 350, and 30 minutes later, you have fresh, warm DELICIOUS rolls!!!

I also put some steaks in the crock pot for dinner tonight.  Steaks AND potatoes.  He's a sort of steak and potatoes kind of guy.

We gave him some kooky gifts too. Well, they were good gifts, just wrapped up strange.  What do you do when you have two small cord clips (They're so cute!  They look like mini handcuffs) and no box?  Put them in a mini tupperware and wrap it up, of course! :)  I had to use so much tape; he almost couldn't open it!  I also had the challenge of wrapping a baggie of Boston Baked Beans.  That ended up looking like a white, tissue flower...  Not the best for a Dad's birthday.  But it's whats inside that counts, right?

Got a couple other surprises in store for him, but I don't want to spoil them, so mum's the word!

And just for kicks and giggles, here's a blast from the past.  I think I'm about 3, maybe 4 years old? 



Newsworthy Tuesday - Anteater Escapes

Okay, so this also isn't breaking news.  But it is funny news!  It makes me wonder what kinds of stuff makes the news in Japan when they make special reports on anteaters escaping from zoos.  Maybe other, more dangerous, stuff happens in Japan, but that's not new and different!

The video is in Japanese, but I find them entertaining to watch even though I don't understand.

"Tae, an anteater that became famous in 2005 for escaping from her cage at the Sunshine City Aquarium/Zoo, seems to have escaped again

When Tae escaped back in 2005, zookeepers reacted quickly and captured her in the penguin area of the Aquarium. Since then, measures to prevent Tae from opening the door to her cage were apparently taken, but she somehow managed to escape again. Staff have been searching all over the Aquarium, placing avocados as bait for traps and sticking cameras into inaccessible areas. As of the time of this posting, Tae had not been found." -Japan Probe

And then they found her yesterday!

"Tae the anteater was found wandering under the floorboards of the aquarium. As the above video clip shows, zookeepers placed some avocado and a cameras in four locations as a trap, and Tae took the bait. She has been safely returned to her cage." -Japan Probe

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Musings

I should be in church right now, but I feel like a big pile of stink right now partly because I'm still getting over a cold, and partly because I haven't been sleeping very well lately. And it's a problem I can't seem to fix! No matter how hard I try to sleep--day or night--sleep teases me.

So here I am, tired, but can't sleep, reloading my backed-up iTunes music that's been spread out over my HD and external HD. Hopefully it works without too many troubles.

While I was waiting, I decided to check my e-mail and found this wonderful gem sent to me by my brother-in-law, Doug. The article, entitled, What if Mormons are Right and Catholics and Protestants Wrong? was especially interesting to me because it was from another country AND it discussed Mormonism, my religion! What more could I ask for?

Now obviously, I don't entirely agree with EVERYTHING the journalist writes, but for the most part, he's got a great idea! I've also always wondered why other religions, who think we don't have it right anyway, have a problem with us doing baptisms for the dead. If they don't think our practices do anything, what's the harm?

I personally am very grateful for baptisms for the dead. It's incomprehensible to me that people who have died without the opportunity to hear the Gospel will never have that chance, and will suffer for eternity for a choice they weren't able to make! No way! A fair, loving, just God, our Father in Heaven, would not do that to his children.

I know that Heaven is a place for families. Families are made forever in the temple. I am glad that I am able to do work for my deceased ancestors!

Oh look!  Just in time, my songs are all uploaded, and everything worked out great.  I don't have millions of duplicates.  Just a hundred or so...

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Many Faces of Willow

It's very rare to get good pictures of my cat, Willow. I finally got one without her eyes glowing florescent green, just faint green, so I tried a few picnik.com tricks to mask this problem.

You'll Never Believe What Happened Today!

So I guess there was one advantage to being home sick.  Today as the mowers were mowing and edging around our patio, they flicked a rock up and it happened to hit one side of our sliding glass door.  The vertical blinds were closed and I was sitting at the dinner table.  I heard it hit--it scared me half to death--but I didn't realize that it shattered.  Thank goodness it's double paned.  No glass in our house!!! 

I was just glad that I was at home to see it and call it in.  The landscaping guys were really good about it too.  They also called it in and someone from the glass company is supposed to come today and fix it.  Hopefully.

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment! :)  It's kind of pretty, if you don't think of it as being broken...

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

The Turkish, They Don't Care if Kids Shove Tampons in Their Ears, My Sweet Life. Funny, funny story.

Handmade Bookmarks, Skip To My Lou. So cute! Especially the sock monkey one. The only problem is, I don't know how to crochet that well! Anybody want to teach me?

I Blog Because Its Who I Am
, My Sweet Life. Great post on why this blogger blogs. I kind of feel the same way. I blog because I want a good, detailed record of my life. I've looked back on the sparse journaling I've done, and I'm heartbroken! I wish I had done better!

How Are Parents Supporting Teachers? Scribbit. Having once been a teacher, this post really hits home for me. I wish that all my former students' parents were like Michelle! But instead, I--or I should say we, my husband taught too--had to deal with parents who only believed what their kids said about class. They never took the time to try to believe us.

What's in a Name? Cake Wrecks. I'm a sucker for funny picture blogs and websites. This one is probably my new favorite! I mean, come on! When you've got, "Welcome Bundle of Joey," written in green cursive with fake plastic balloons for a baby cake, how much funnier can you get?!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday - My Cat

This may seem like a strange thing to be thankful for, but maybe not. I'll let you be the judges of that! So here it goes, I am thankful for my cat, or maybe it's that I'm thankful that I have a cat? I'm not sure which one...

It's so nice to have a cute kitten to snuggle with, especially when you're sick like I am today. I woke up this morning with a nasty cold, and who was there to look cute and give me snuggly sympathy? Well, Derek was at first, but then he had to go to work. And then there was Willow, my cat! Cats always seem to pick up on your feelings, and give you some sympathy in exchange for some petting.

I don't have very many good pictures of Willow because, well... she's a cat. They just don't take that many great pictures. But here's one I've doctored a bit so her eyes don't look so evil.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday - Getting Glasses in Korea

I started noticing Derek needed glasses just a little while after we were married and living in Provo, UT.  We couldn't sit in the back half of movie theaters, he was always squinting at menus in fast food restaurants, and he always asked me what the next street sign said.  His eyes aren't BAD by any means, just not that good.

So we priced around and found that Costco had the cheapest options.  We went, and they were pretty cheap.  I think the total cost for the eye exam, lenses, and frames was around $150-$200.  The only problem was, one lens wasn't quite right.  His right eye was always straining to compensate causing all kinds of discomfort.  He would tell me that if he wore his glasses for too long, his right eyeball (not the eyelid like one would expect, the actual eyeball) would get twitchy.  And therefore, he didn't wear them all that often. 

He continued to squint for the next two years or so.  Then we went to Korea and found their health care to be really inexpensive.  We talked about getting glasses for him a few times, but put it off for various reasons.  Mostly because doing most anything out of the ordinary was a lot of extra effort and often embarrasment. 

But finally, on our last weekend in Korea, we thought we'd go see how much it cost and how long it would take for the glasses to be made.  We walked down the Shi-ne (main street) until we got to a large-ish glasses shop called, Davici.  They had a cute jingle in which they totally butchered the pronunciation, "Bi-chi, Bi-chi, Da-bi-chi!..." and so on. 

We walked in and tried to blend in with the other shoppers as much as possible.  But being a white person in Korea makes that a little difficult to say the least, and in less than 2 minutes, a friendly salesperson came over to help us. 

This is where the interesting part starts.  We, or I should really say I, don't speak Korean.  Derek does pretty well, but often, Koreans don't know how to communicate well with someone who is only fairly proficient in their language.  Anyways, the friendly salesperson came over and asked if we needed help.  Derek told him yes, he did.  He needed new glasses.  One lens was good and the other was not good (I'm trying to translate exactly what Derek said so you can see how interesting it is to talk to Koreans).

The man told him to go over to one of the cubicle-like things to have his eyes checked.  I fully expected to see those huge circular-shaped things that optomitrists pull in front of your face and adjust to get your prescription, but not in Korea.  Or at least not in this particular glasses shop in Sokcho.

The salesperson sat him down in a chair and then asked him to read a chart just like they do in America, covering one eye then the other.  I was a little worried about a salesperson doing the eye exam, but then I remembered that EVERYTHING is different in Korea.  Maybe their optometrists operate that way.  Then instead of the big circular things, he put a pair of glasses on him.  Then he added extra lenses to them, all the while asking Derek to read the chart.

Once Derek indicated that he could read the chart clearly, the salesperson told him to walk around the store and see how they felt.  So now, imagine an already conspicuous white guy walking around with these huge, thick glasses with a bunch of tabs for each lens the doctor put in there sticking out.  It was pretty funny.  I was laughing pretty hard.  He tried to not get noticed, but that was hard for him in Korea. 

I started saying "wae-gae-in! wae-gae-in! (korean for alien)"  The doctor laughed and said, "E.T., E.T!"  Derek wasn't too impressed with our jokes.

After the salesperson finalized the prescription for his glasses, it was time to pick out the frames.  We looked around and quite a few that were hideous, a few that would have sufficed, and one or two that were perfect!  The trend for Koreans right now is to wear thick plastic frames in black, red, or even purple.  They kind of look like American glasses from the 60s.  We found a perfect pair that were thin, black, half-wire frames for, I think, the equivalent of $30 or $40.

We were so happy to find frames so cheap!  We asked what the total would be for everything including the exam and lenses.  The salesperson us told us that with those frames, it would be 70,000 won.  That's only ~$70!  What a deal especially if they turned out well! 

Then we got a little worried about when they would be done.  In America, it can take up to a week sometimes!  It was late on a Saturday evening, probably around 6pm.  Come to think of it, that was another difference in Korea.  Shops, all kinds, are open until 10pm or later!  Derek asked him if we could get them before Monday evening (We were leaving to go back to America via Seoul Monday night). 

The guy told him that of course that was possible.  They would be ready by 7pm that same evening!  We were shocked!   Really inexpensive glasses AND same-day service?!  How did we get so lucky!!  The salesperson told us to go wait in their little ice cream cafe.  Oh yeah, I forgot that part.  Davici had a cafe where they served ice cream to their waiting customers free of charge!

After he handed the information to the glasses-making technicians, We picked out our flavor of ice cream.  I chose chocolate and Derek chose strawberry.  The ice cream was stored in plain, little, disposable containers in a chest freezer.  I thought that we would just eat it out of the container, but no, not in Korea!  The sales person dumped the ice cream into a machine that squeezed it out in pretty pile in glass dishes!  Talk about service.  Koreans almost go overboard with it.

We waited for the exact amount of time they said, and his glasses were done!  They fitted them on his face, and they work perfectly!  He can see clearly and now wears them all the time!  Thanks Davici for your wonderful service!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Newsworthy Tuesday - YES Program

For today's Newsworthy Tuesday, we're going in a bit of a different direction. The article I'm linking to isn't breaking news exactly. It's just something I read, and thought I'd like to share it. It's about the US Department of State's program, YES (Youth Exchange and Study) program.

The YES program is an exchange program for students from Muslim countries to come to the US to study and for US students to go to Muslim countries to study! I really think this is a great way to teach each other about our cultural differences AND similarities! We aren't as different as we think!

It sort of reminded me of the book, Three Cups of Tea, which I love! Both the book and the article discuss different ways to counteract terrorism. War isn't the only way to defeat Islamic extremism.

I wish I could have done something like this when I was a high school student!

Cultural exchange: Egyptian students who studied in the US through the YES program, visit the National 4-H Center in Washington with volunteers. Photo Courtesy of the Youth Exchange and Study Program.Courtesy of the Youth Exchange and Study Program

Monday, September 15, 2008

Television and Movie Mondays

Here's what we've been watching...

Bones: I've been really disappointed with this season so far. I thought maybe it was just the season premiere going for the "shock" factor, but the second episode was just as bad. Bones still has all the good stuff from previous seasons, but you know that saying, "even one cockroach ruins a whole bowl of ice cream." There's just too much promiscuity in this season!

Eureka: Excellent as always. Sci-fi really did a good job appealing to a broader base with this show. Each show Sheriff Carter has to deal with some problem created by the super scientists working at Global Dynamics. It's definitely science fiction, but it's cute and funny!

: I've been a monk fan for years now! I think this show gets better every season. I've been impressed with how the producers have made a great crime show without all the gore, bad language, and inappropriate scenes! It's great! It's on USA

Psych: Another great USA program. A fake psychic detective? How much better can you get! I especially like how they do a flashback to Shawn and Gus' childhoods.

Burn Notice
: Also on USA. This is a new one to us. It's currently in its second season, but we're just catching up. I'm surprised at how many variations on the crime drama there are (if you can't tell, I'm a fan of crime or mystery solving shows). This one has an ex-spy who has been "burned," or fired in spy speak. He's trying to figure out why while helping out other people.

The Closer: I think this is my all time favorite show. It has just the right amount of drama, comedy and romance for a crime drama. My favorite part is that the boss is a woman, but she doesn't use her "womanly wiles" to move up in her career. I just wish TNT would put it online!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager
: This is my guilty pleasure. ABC Family seems to have a lot of guilty pleasure-type shows. I haven't decided if it's trash or "educational." There's a bunch of different story lines going on in this one. The main one is of a freshman girl who accidentally gets pregnant. I can tell they're trying to educate, but I'm not sure that this is quite the right way. There's a balance between teaching and promoting. This one's still up in the air.

The best part about all of these shows (except the Closer, I had to buy that one) is that they're online. I can watch them when ever I have the time. And there are minimal commercials. Still annoying, but at least there's only one each commercial break!

Friday, September 12, 2008

How Hard is it to Get Rid of Treats?!

A couple of days ago, I made some yummy chocolate chip banana bars. I'm usually not a fan of anything with bananas in it, but these weren't bad at all! My parents had three extra ripe naners, making the recipe 1 1/2 times larger, so we had A TON of C.C.B.bars as I affectionately call them.

My first thought was to give them to my mom's visiting teachees (In Mormon lingo, those are women that my Mom checks on and visits each month with another lady), so I wrapped them up and they were all ready to go. But those ladies don't live within our "rolling range" so we put that off for a day or so.

Finally, this morning, we decided that it was high time to deliver them to SOMEONE! We had already eaten the first pan, and weren't about to eat another! So my Mom and I went on one of our daily "rolls" (my Mom's in a wheelchair, therefore rolls), C.C.B. bars in tow.

We thought, we'll go around the block and give them to the people we know on the way. We got to the first door and knocked... no answer. Oh well, we thought. On to the next door. We knocked, dogs barked... again, no answer! This is unusual, we thought, but we kept going. At the next door, still no answer!

How hard is it to get rid of yummy treats?! It was bordering on the ridiculous! We laughed to ourselves, and kept going. On the next corner was a friend that my mom sometimes chats with as she passes by, Jodi. She was home! We had perfect timing with her because she was just going out the door to pick peaches!

Our original inspiration for making the treats was to give to a new friend we made this week who also has MS. But he wasn't home either. :(

So let's count. How many houses? 4. How many plates of cookies given out? 1. That meant that I was still carrying two plates of cookies and by this time--just about noon--the sun was coming out and the chocolate chips were starting to melt!

We stopped by another friend's house and thankfully, she was home! It was getting a bit hot to be out and about. But that still left one plate. What were we going to do with that plate? I seriously considered eating them on the way home, but our friend mentioned that another mutual friend was coming to meet her in just 5 minutes to go to an "empty nester's lunch" (again, very good timing). Ah, good! We thought, we can finally get rid of this last plate!

It was quite an outing! Usually, we're only out for 30-40 minutes. This time, with all the door knocking, it was closer to an hour or more! Who would have thought it would be so hard to get rid of treats?!

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Bug Chronicles, Overstuffed. Excellent bug story!

Blooming Without Color, TJ Hirst. Quite a good read. And although I'm not quite as fair skinned as this blogger is, I am REALLY white. I feel her pain!

Planting Fall Bulbs, Scribbit. I'm planning on planting some bulbs this year. These tips are great!!

Fabric Doll House Tutorial, UK lass in US. Cute, all I can say is CUTE!!

Let Freedom Ring!
, Tales from Oakbriar Farm. I love stories like this!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interesting Tips

I don't remember when or where I found these and I'm not even sure if they're any good. But I thought they were interesting. Have you tried any of these things? Do they work?

Airplane Tickets
When to Buy: Wednesday morning. 
Why: "Most airfare sales are thrown out there on the weekend," says travel expert Peter Greenberg, a.k.a. The Travel Detective. Other airlines then jump into the game, discounting their own fares and prompting further changes by the first airline. The fares reach their lowest prices late Tuesday or early Wednesday. 

When to Buy: Thursday.
Why: Price compare between major chains Borders and Barnes & Noble. The former releases its weekly sales and coupons on every Thursday; the latter, every Tuesday.

When to Buy: Monday.
Why: "Car dealers live for the weekend, which is when they make most of their sales," says Phil Reed, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com. "On Mondays, the low foot traffic makes it seem like the weekend will never come." That dealer desperation, paired with fewer consumers on the lot, give you more negotiating power.

When to Buy: Thursday evening.
Why: That's the day when stores stock their shelves for the weekend, and when many retailers — including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Express — start their weekend promotions, says Kathryn Finney, author of "How to Be a Budget Fashionista." You'll find great prices and the best selection. "It's an effort to get people to shop in the middle of the week," she says.

Department-Store Wares
When to Buy: Saturday evening.
Why: Department stores have a lot to mark down for their Sunday circulars, so they frequently start the process on Saturday evenings before store closing, says Finney. "They're preparing for the big rush," she says. Bonus: Even if the markdowns haven't been made, many employees will honor the sale price if you ask. Print out the circular preview from the store's web site, and bring it with you when you head to the mall.

Dinner Out
When to Buy: Tuesday.
Why: Most restaurants do not receive food deliveries over the weekend. "Sunday is the garbage-can day of the week," says Kate Krader, senior editor at Food & Wine magazine. "No doubt, they're cleaning out their fridges. Tuesdays, they're starting fresh." Dining out on that day offers the best odds you'll get a meal worth paying for, no matter your price point, she says.

When to Buy: Wednesday.
Why: Plenty of movie theaters, amusement parks and museums offer extra discounts to consumers who visit midweek. Six Flags theme parks offer a $12 discount to AAA members — three times its usual discount of $4. AMC Theatres offers members in its free AMC Movie Watcher reward program a free small popcorn on Wednesdays. (This summer, it's also the day select theaters offer free Summer Movie Camp screenings.)

When to Buy: Thursday, before 10 a.m.
Why: The price of oil isn't the only factor influencing costs at your local pump. Consumer usage plays a role, too — and weekend demand is high, says Jason Toews, co-founder of GasBuddy.com, a price-monitoring site. Prices usually swing upward on Thursdays as travelers fuel up to head out the following day. By hitting the pump before 10 a.m. (when many station owners change their prices), you'll beat the rush and the price jump.

When to Buy: Sunday — or Tuesday.
Why: Maximize savings by combining store sales, which run from Wednesday to Tuesday, with the latest round of coupons from your Sunday paper, says Mary Hunt, publisher of Debt-Proof Living, a money-saving newsletter. "It's a smart idea to wait until you have those in hand to match up with the week's sale items," she says.

To snag savings on items you don't need just yet, shop on Tuesday, advises Hunt. Chances are, the store will have run out of the sale items. "That means you can pick up rain checks, which allow you to buy those items later when you need them, and at the sale price," she says.

Hotel Rooms
When to Buy: Sunday.
Why: There are two kinds of hotel managers, and the kind that won't give you a discount on your room rate has Sundays off, says Greenberg. Call the hotel directly, and ask to speak with the manager on duty or the director of sales. These employees are open to negotiation, he says. They'd rather have a booked room at a discounted rate than an empty room. (The rest of the week, your call would get you a so-called revenue manager, who monitors profits — and is rarely willing to lower rates.)

Thankful Thursday

I was going to write this week's Thankful Thursday on 24 hour stores like Winco and Walmart. But then I remembered that it was 9/11, and that put things into better perspective.

So here's what I'm especially thankful for... my country. I am so blessed to have been born here! When I was a kid, I used to think that only America was a good country with the best government system and that all others were bad. I used to worry about other people in other countries, like Canada. I'm not sure why Canada. Seems kind of random...

As I've grown up, studied, traveled, and lived abroad, I've learned that not all countries and their governments are bad. There are a few that are, but a lot of them are really good, and people in foreign countries do have many of the same freedoms we enjoy.

But I've also come to know that there's no place like The United States of America! We are fortunate people, and shouldn't take our country for granted!

Photobucket Image Hosting

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Homemade Yogurt

My friend Tanya and I attempted to make our own yogurt from powdered milk.  For some reason, it didn't work so well, so we're going to try again.  And in researching what we might have done wrong, I found these helpful websites.





Five Stones

I found a cute tutorial on how to make the five stones for the game "Five Stones."  I've never played myself, but it sounds similar to Jacks.  Here are the instructions from www.mastersgames.com.  They sounded a bit confusing to me, but I got the general idea.

"To start a turn, the player throws five stones into the air with one hand and tries to catch as many as possible on the back of the same hand. The stones that were caught are then thrown up again from the back of the hand where they came to rest and as many as possible are caught in the palm of the same hand. If no stones end up being caught, the player's turn is over.

If, however, at least one stone was caught, the player prepares for the next throw by keeping one of the caught stones in the same hand and throwing all remaining stones on the ground. The player then tosses the single stone into the air, attempts to pick up one of the stones that were missed and then catches the stone that was tossed, all with the same hand. The player repeats this until all the stones have been picked up.

That done, the player throws down four of the stones again, throws the single stone in the air, attempts to pick up two stones with the same hand before catching the tossed stone. This is repeated again and a final toss sees the player picking up the last stone. The process is then repeated for three stones followed by one stone and finally, all four stones are picked up before catching the single tossed stone.

For skillful players, the game can continue in an agreed way with further permutations and challenges according to the player's whims. For instance, the other hand could be used to throw, the player may have to clap hands before doing the pick up or perhaps slap both knees."

And here's the link to the tutorial for making the fabric stones.  Sounds safer to me.  Tossing rocks, even up in the air, isn't the best idea for me.  I'd probably hit someone...

Way Back When Wednesday - My Special Temple

I apologize in advance for any confusion any of my non-LDS readers have about this post.  I probably used a lot of Mormon lingo.  If you have any questions about anything, don't feel shy, please ask!  Or visit mormon.org.  It's another excellent resource for information on our faith.

As many of you know, temples are very important to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You can find a temple just about everywhere you go!  LDS couples can be married in temples for time and all eternity.  There are also other sacred ordinances that we do for ourselves and our ancestors so that we can be with our nuclear as well as extended families forever.

This is the story of my special temple...

"I was 14 and I was excited!  On September 3, 1998, the First Presidency announced that a temple would be built in Raleigh!  This would be the first temple in North Carolina. 

Our assigned temple had been the Washington D.C. temple which was 5 hours away!  Nevertheless, we still made our quarterly youth temple trips.  Usually we left early in the morning, did baptisms for the dead, ate a late lunch, and then came back home.

I remember really enjoying the car trips up there.  Our ward would rent two 15 passenger vans and we would all pile in.  On the way up it would be girls in one van and guys in the other.  On the way back we mixed it up.  I'm not sure why.  There weren't any rules about it or anything; it's just what we did.  It was such a fun bonding experience for us as a ward.  But as fun as it was to go on day trips to the temple, it was much cooler to have one in our area. 

For a long time, everyone speculated where in our stake the temple would be built.  My dad was bishop at the time, so he had some insider information.  I remember him telling us about one proposed site for the temple before any announcements were made.

Soon the official announcement was made that the temple would be built in between the Apex Post Office and a park just off Highway 55, IN OUR WARD BOUNDARIES!!!  How cool is that, to have a new temple AND it's in your ward!  My friends and I were totally psyched!

It wasn't long after the initial announcement, that they put us to work clearing the temple site.  I felt so grateful to have the opportunity to help build the temple.  The youth in our ward and also in our stake gathered together and cleared out branches and other debris.

Then, on February 6, 1999, it was time for the ground breaking.  I had been asked to accompany the choir that would be singing!  What an honor!  There were only two problems, I had to play an electric keyboard because we were outside in the middle of a construction zone, and it was raining cats and dogs.

Now I'm sure you all know that when it rains on fresh construction, what do you get? Mud!  There was mud everywhere!  I got mud on my Sunday shoes that didn't come off for weeks!  But the spirit was so strong!  I was happy to play the piano.

One time for a Young Women's activity, we went to the temple site to walk through the construction.  The senior missionary couple that was specially assigned to the area for the duration of the temple's construction (Somehow they were in charge. They had a trailer on the construction site) took us on a special tour.  We even got to touch the Moroni statue that would eventually be mounted on the top of the temple.

It was nearly a year before the temple was completed and it was time for the open house.  The open house ran through December 3 through December 13, 1999.  I think one of the reasons it took so long was because the church had some trouble with getting permission to build a meeting house next to the temple.  The people who lived in the neighborhood behind the temple were afraid that the two buildings would create a lot of traffic going in and out that intersection (they shared the same road going out to the highway). After a while, that issue was resolved and both buildings were built.

Again, the youth of our ward and stake volunteered to help out in the open house.  We put blue booties on everyone going through the temple.  Again, what a special, spiritual experience that was. 

On December 18, 1999, my temple was dedicated.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be in the temple for the dedication.  There were just too many people that wanted to attend the dedication!  We watched a live video feed in another building.  President Hinckley dedicated my temple.  I was so happy!  I will always remember the special spirit I felt there. 

Fast forward to May 25, 2003.  Derek Thomas Cheney had just asked me to marry him.  I knew exactly where I wanted to be married, my temple, the Raleigh, North Carolina temple.  He had his heart set on being married in the D.C. temple, but when he learned of how special my temple was to me, he agreed to be married there instead. 

The Raleigh, North Carolina temple will always be my special temple.  I am so grateful for all the blessings it and all other temples have given me and my family!"

Glossary (Mormon.org has a great glossary with TONS more Mormon lingo defined! Check it out!)
Ward - Like a parish or congregation organized geographically.
Stake - A group of wards also organized geographically.
Bishop - The leader of a ward.  Similar to a priest or pastor.  Bishops in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not paid (all other leaders and teachers are not paid either).
Moroni - "A Book of Mormon prophet who was the son of Mormon. He received the record of his people from his father, and after writing a final message he buried the gold plates in a hill until they could be brought forth and translated. He appeared as a resurrected being to Joseph Smith and gave him the gold plates for translation, as well as instruction pertaining to the Restoration of the gospel. A statue of Moroni, with a trumpet to his lips, appears on almost all temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has come to symbolize the proclaiming of the gospel of Jesus Christ in latter-days to every creature."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I have taken your challenge!

My new blogger buddy at TJhirst.com (an excellent blogger I might add) put everyone to a challenge, make a list of five to ten books for your lifetime pursuit reading list and begin reading one this month.

Well, I would like to announce that I'm taking her up on that challenge and publicly posting my list of 5-10 books for my lifetime pursuit reading list.  Am I limited to only 5-10?  Just joking of course!  I do LOVE to read, but I think if I made a list longer than 10 would kill the reading drive in me.  At least for a few months.

So, as I am publicly posting my list, you all have license to ask me at any time, how I'm doing on my list.  Actually, please take that license and use it!  That will keep me motivated to get this list read!

Here it is...

  1. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  3. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Middlemarch, by George Elliot
  5. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
  6. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  7. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  8. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin
  9. Catch 22, by Joseph Heller
  10. ??? Any suggestions?

Which should I start with?  Have you read any of these?

Newsworthy Tuesday - Kim Jong Il

Sorry this post is so late in the day!!!  I've been trying to get them out in the mornings, but life, you know, gets in the way!

Missing Kim Jong Il Raises Health Questions

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this recent turn of events.  Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely NOT a supporter of the leader of the communist North Korean regime.  He's a horrible guy.  But what does his illness mean for North Korea? 

Here's the article about it from cnn.com 

And here's the article from my local newspaper, which, surprising for a local Idaho paper, was better.

I'm doubting that his change in health or even death will change anything within the country.  I wouldn't put it past him to have doubles going around long after he is dead.  Afterall, North Koreans still revere his father who died MANY years ago.

Having lived in South Korea, I kind of feel a strangely special connection to North Korea.  It's interesting, Americans see North Korea and South Korea as two different countries.  Koreans, or at least South Koreans, rarely ever say "South Korea" or "North Korea."  They only say "Korea," unless they need to make an obvious distinction.

It's tough for them.  Especially in the area I was in, which is close to the DMZ.  Many of their families were split.  And even those who were spared that difficulty still see North Koreans as their brothers, and should be reunited.

So, how do I feel about Kim Jong Ill's reported ill health, possibly stroke?  I say he had it coming to him.  Nobody's immune to old age and poor health, even if you've convinced your countrymen!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Must Really be a Geographer!

Is there a place you connect with?  I'm not talking about a place in your home, or town, or maybe even state.  I'm talking about a vacation-type spot.  Some place that you've gone to for a vacation of any length.

For me, it's Yellowstone National Park.  I'm kind of a freak for educational things.  I'm weird like that.  I think I'm IN LOVE with Yellowstone.  Who knows what it is.  I'm not an outdoor person.  Hiking really isn't my thing.  Derek and I did some hiking on Seorak Mountain in Korea, but those hikes were all paved, or had well worn paths that were super easy.

I might connect with Yellowstone because Yellowstone's just so NEAT!!!  There are so many different things to see and experience; so many colors, textures and smells!  I'm all for variety and uniqueness.  I don't think there's ANY place even remotely similar to Yellowstone.

It also could be because it's the first place where I really made a connection from my geography studies that I love so much with the real world.  Derek and I visited the first time right after I took a Physical Geography course at BYU.  We had studied a bit about the huge 1988 forest fire, and I was really excited to see first hand the things I had spent so much time studying.

Probably the major reason why I feel such a strong connection to Yellowstone is because I can really see how the Earth is formed; how God created our world.  I was in such awe at the waterfall in "the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone."  There was so much water going by!  Even with the loud rushing water sounds, I felt a quiet reverence for God's work.

Sometimes it's hard to see our Heavenly Father's hand in the natural world around us, especially when we live in a sub-urban area.  I catch glimpses of it at times, and then I try really hard to think about it more.  But in Yellowstone, it's in your face.  I don't think you can go there without seeing it!

Luckily for me, Yellowstone isn't too far away from where I live.  It's about 7 hours by car.  Well, maybe 7 hours.  I'm not so good at estimating numbered things, and I didn't pay much attention to the time last time we went.  And when we go, we have accommodations available for us.  That's probably the best benefit.  It's pretty expensive to stay in motels and especially hotels, and while I enjoy camping, I enjoy it for camping, not as a means of accommodation.

So anyways, how about you?  With what place do you feel a real deep connection?

Television and Movies Monday - Ratatouille

Derek's parents were here for the weekend.  It's been a lot of fun to spend some time with them.  And they are both Franco-philes so we just HAD to watch Ratatouille!  We couldn't believe they hadn't seen it yet!  No, there isn't any real French in it.  And no, none of the actors are French--at least that I know of.  Gusteau (the dead chef) is voiced by Brad Garrett, Robbie from Everybody Loves Raymond.  And yes, they all did have "dialect coaches" so they could speak in HEAVY French accents!

It was a total hit!  Ratatouille is a hilarious movie that is safe to show just about anyone.  Well, as long as they don't have an intense fear of or repulsion to rats...

After only seeing the trailer, I didn't think it would be much of a movie.  I mean, a rat who wants to become a cook?  Who wants to see a rat cooking in a restaurant kitchen?!  But it's become one of my favorites!  Actually, it's one of two movies that Derek and I laugh out loud at every time (Bruce Almighty is the other one).

My favorite part is when Chef Skinner is trying to get Alfredo Linguini--that is his real name, odd huh--to tell him where he's got his great cooking talent from.  Chef Skinner suspects that a rat (Remy), has something to do with it, and it's driving him nuts! He tries to loosen Linguini up with some fine wine (I promise, it really is a very family friendly film!).  Well, Linguini talks, but he doesn't give him any good info.  But there is this gem of a conversation...

Linguini: Hey, why do they call it that?

Skinner: What?!

Linguini: Ratatouille.  It's like a stew, right?  Why do they call it that?  If you're gonna name a food, you should give it a name that sounds delicious!  Ratatouille doesn't sound delicious.  It sounds like rat and pa-tootie.  Rat pa-tootie!

It's another excellent Pixar movie that appeals to both children and adults.  And for that matter, Americans and Koreans.  We went to see Ratatouille in a theater in Seoul.  We were two of the few Americans there and the ENTIRE audience was busting a gut!  It was great!  Have any of you seen it?  I'm sure you have!  What did you think?

We laughed especially hard during this part. "That's... strangely involuntary!"

Check out the Wikipedia article on Ratatouille.  It's where I got the images

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Felt Crayon Roll, Skip To My Lou.  Fun little craft!

A Conversation with Caleb, Higueria Family Blog.  This is my friend from college's blog.  Her little boy is so cute!  To see the picture, you'll have to see this post too.  It's uncanny how alike they look!

Another "Only in Japan," Japundit.  Evidently, I'm a sucker for potty stories... but only if they're, well... not disgusting.

Barack Obama on Japanese TV, Japan Probe.  This in no way indicates support for Obama.  I'm just surprised at how similar this Japanese guy looks to him!

Christmas is Coming, Skip to My Lou.  Sounds like she's got some great handmade ideas for Christmas gifts.  If you're anything like me and you're making handmade gifts, you'll need to start now!

High Hopes for Slam-Dunk Success in China, The Christian Science Monitor.  Cute story!  And as many of you who have been "the American" in a foreign country know, Americans can do anything (typed with heavy sarcasm)! :P

Monkey Captured in Oita City, Japan Probe.  This is kind of a funny story.  A wild monkey has been roaming around Tokyo for a couple weeks now.  It sounds cute, but I have heard that real live monkeys aren't as nice and cute and cuddley as Curious George... Here's the first article about him.

Tiny Terrariums, Mini Gardens and Victorian Warden Cases, Scribbit.  These look so cute, and like Michelle says, "puppies or poppies, small is cute!"  Her great pictures make me want to build one for every room in our house, but they'd probably all die.  I don't have green thumbs...

What I'd Like You to Know, living with a chronic illness, Rocks in my Dryer.  This guest blogging idea is great!  Every week, she has someone guest blog about what they would like everyone to know about something.  This week was living with a chronic illness.  Wow.

Palin! Palin! Palin!

My blogger idol, Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit, wrote an amazing post on Sarah Palin.  Michelle is from Alaska and has an "insider's view."  The thing that impressed me the most about her opinion was that Michelle didn't vote for Palin for governor, but Palin still won her over!

Read the post about Palin here!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Family History

I've been working on a little project this summer.  Well, make that a big project.  It started out as something that seemed fairly simple and easy and has become something not so simple and not so easy.  Don't get me wrong, I am REALLY enjoying this project and the change from being a small simple project to a big not-so-simple one is pretty much completely my fault.  I am no good at estimating, especially when it involves numbers, like amount of time, number of people.  Anything with numbers...

So what IS this project I'm working on you might ask.  I'm going to publish a book or two, or three, or more... family history story books.  Most of you who know me personally, or have been around me lately already know about this project, and you know how excited I am!  This has been one of my favorite projects I've ever taken on.

There are so many great stories about my relatives that I've heard over the years that I only know pieces of. I'm sure you all do, too.  I wanted to make a book that had those great stories in them that would be appealing to a wider demographic than dusty, fact filled, sometimes boring personal histories can be.  And in the beginning, that's all I really thought of, just the stories that I had heard and then add on 5 stories that my mom, my aunt, my uncle, and my grandparents knew too.

I literally had no idea that my relatives--living and deceased--did so much interesting stuff, and that my family would get so into this project!  I thought at most, the book would have 30-50 stories, or about 5 stories each  This project has exceeded my expectations.  The Chronicles of My Family now has 114 stories, with many more to come!  I told you I can't estimate!

Add to that, I decided to add two more family history projects to the mix, one for my dad's side of the family and one for my husband's family.  I think I might be going crazy!  But in a nice, doing something I love, way.

So anyways, here comes the part that I'm thankful for.  The reason this post is titled "Thankful Thursday - Family History."  It's about time, you might say!  I am so thankful for family history work!  It's sort of a two-fold thankfulness.

First, I am thankful for all the hard work that my family has done on my family history!  I've never really gotten into doing the research portion of it.  I took a couple of classes back in BYU, and all the work involved for those classes kind of killed whatever interest I had in it back then.

But all that work does mean that I understand and appreciate the amount of work that my relatives have done on our family tree.  The ones that have probably done the most work are my maternal grandparents.  Without all the work they've done, I probably wouldn't have even been inspired to make the books.  They are the researchers, I am just the organizer.  Which sometimes, when you look at the big picture, is just a waste of time!  But it's so much fun!

Second, I am thankful for family history work because it gives me a connection to my ancestors that I never really expected.  We all know the famous family history scripture, Malachi 4:6.  It states, "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers..."  I never really applied this scripture to myself.

Like I said, Family History work never really appealed to me.  But since I've been working on this project, I've really felt that connection.  My heart has truly been turned to my fathers.  They aren't just my "old, dead ancestors" any more.  They are real and I really admire them.

I have a follower!

Hey guys!  Look to the right!  I have a follower!  Hooray!

Thanks Devri!

If anyone else wants to be my follower, don't hesitate to click on "follow this blog!" :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday - Miracle Missionaries

This is a post from my blog, Cheneys in Korea.  It's no longer active because we aren't in Korea any more.  Living in Korea was a lot of fun even with all it's challenges.  This story is from one of the first few weeks we were there....

"The missionaries here in Sokcho are great!! They are really committed to their work and are always willing to help all of the members out--sometimes without even knowing it....

We finally got paid on Thursday. It's been a long month and by last Monday, we were only left with the equivalent of $2 and about a week before we got paid. We have been inviting the missionaries over for dinner on Sundays, so one of the elders offered to cook us dinner in return. We then made arrangements for all four of the missionaries to come over last Sunday to cook Japanese stew and eat together.

On that Sunday we realized that we didn't have enough rice to last us the rest of the week let alone to feed all six of us. We called the elders and asked if they needed us to make rice (hoping that they wouldn't), they sounded a bit confused, but they offered to bring some with them.

We cooked what we had and when they arrived, Elder Kochi (the Japanese missionary who was cooking) told us that he didn't put stew on his rice--his family ate stew with dinner rolls, but he'd make the rice anyways.

He had brought rolls to eat, and most of us ate the stew with rolls, so we ended up with more rice than we could eat in two weeks! More than enough to feed us until we got paid."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Newsworthy Tuesday - McCain's Pick

McCain picked a running mate, Sarah Palin!  I don't know that much about her yet, but from what I have read she seems like a mighty good pick!

I am impressed with her morals.  She is a real example of a pro-life believer. During her last pregnancy, she found out that her baby would have down syndrome and she chose to have the baby.  This seems like a natural choice to me, but for the rest of the world, I think it's unusal.

It is also said that she fights corruption.  I haven't read a whole lot about this (and you'd better believe I will), but it sounds great!  That's what we need in the administration! 

How much farther outside of Washington can you get than Alaska!  I am sick and tired of these life-long D.C. politicians.  I don't think it's right that they make a career out of being an elected offical.  I get that being a national politician isn't for everyone, but it should change up more than it has.

I think the best part is Alaskians love her!  Every article I've read so far has multiple quotes of adoration.  I haven't heard any negative ones!  She's got to be great!

I'm proud of McCain for taking the risk of choosing a relative unknown, with a bit of a lack of experience.  Fame and experience don't always make great politicians.

Check out the article the Christian Science Monitor published about Sarah Palin.  I think you'll be impressed too!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rachel needs...

I found this on my friend Jodi's blog, who found it on her friend's blog, who probably found it on another blog and so on.  Anyways, it's pretty funny.  Search "(your name here) needs" in google and type the first few things that come up!

1. Rachel needs a reason to believe.
2. Rachel needs your help.
3. Rachel needs fixing.
4. Rachel needs help when she enters Manhattan's meat packing district.
5. Rachel needs us!
6. Rachel needs to refer to web sites, manuals and a variety of documentation.
7. Rachel needs a hero.
8. Rachel needs your votes.
9. Rachel needs no signs to unite with Yaacov.
10. Rachel needs to learn more about using her powers to their full potential before she could take down X-men.

So, what do YOU need?

Television and Movie Mondays - Holmes on Homes

We watched Holmes on Homes this weekend with my parents.  It's Derek's favorite TV show.  The host is named Mike Holmes.  He goes to people's homes that have been destroyed by shady contractors and fixes them up.   We all had a great time watching Mike and his crew make the homes even better than they would have been in the first place!

The best part of the show is that it doesn't play on your emotions.  Mike and his crew show all the mistakes the bad contractor made and all the steps to fix them.   Extreme Makeover: Home Edition does great work, but they emphasize emotions.

We love Mike Homes!

Check out his website!