Friday, October 31, 2008

This one is especially for Amber and Devri

I've been scanning in my parents' photo albums and came across this gem.  I believe that Devri is sitting on the far left and Amber is on the far right.  I'm somewhere in the middle.  Good times!  Enjoy!

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

I miss Jesus, Winters Wonderland.  This has to be the sweetest story I've heard yet!  I wish we could all keep our sweet childhood spirits with us throughout our lives.  I guess that's why God sends us kids, to remind us!

Blogger Archive Calendar, Phydeaux3.  Found this widget hack from a Google search.  The end product is pretty cool.  Check it out, it's to the right!

Mummy Treat Containers, Skip to My Lou.  It's about time I posted a great Halloween find!  This is so cute!

Dangerous, Our Ridiculously Interesting Lives... No, Seriously.  My friend Caroline has the funniest kid I think in the entire world!  And this story isn't even the best one!

The Issues, Wonder Years.  I wish everyone reacted to abortion in the same way these children did.  If they did, I think things would be different in the world!

Where Korean Prostitution, Motocross, and Jesus Meet, The Marmot's Hole.  What a bizarre news article!  It's not quite as sacrilegious as it sounds...

Trunk or Treat, The Dusty, Crystal and Avery Show.  Cute, cute pictures!  Reminds me of the time my brother was that cow... 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Laughing

I am so grateful for deep down, throw back your head, belly aching laughs!  Especially the ones that make it difficult to breathe!

I had one such laugh yesterday night.  The Country Doctor's Wife had this video on her site and I laughed just about until I peed my pants!  Watch it and laugh!

What I want to know is how did she get him to do it?

Way Back When Wednesday - My Story

"You're adopted?!  I don't believe it!  You're lying!" she exclaimed

"I really am, I promise!" I replied.

"NO WAY! You look too much like your Mom!  You must be joking!" she continued.

"I'm not!  I'm really not!  I am adopted!" I answered, getting a little frustrated.  Nobody ever believes me, I thought!

This conversation has been repeated in various ways probably a MILLION times over my lifetime.  This particular conversation took place with my friend in her mom's car after school one day.

Almost every time I share that I am adopted, I almost always am asked, "how did you find out?"  And honestly, I can't really answer because I don't remember being told I was adopted.  I think they expect me to have a dramatic story of how I felt discarded and unwanted, or that I have this overwhelming desire to know who my "real" parents are.  I don't have either of those issues.

My parents did an excellent job of explaining how they got me without making it seem unusual or strange. I think part of the reason they did so well with this is because they both have brothers who were adopted.

And I know who my "real" parents are.  They are Bruce and Karen Nay.  Many people don't understand, at least at first, that there isn't any difference between being raised by biological parents or adoptive parents.  Unless of course, your parents stink and make it different!  I don't feel like my experience with my parents has been or is any different from other people who were actually born to their parents.

In fact, in some ways, I think our relationship is closer.  My parents had to go through a lot before they got me.  They had to wait 8 years before my adoption went through.  Half of that time was spent trying to conceive.  They both went through a bunch of various, unplesant, medical procedures to help with that.   I think that those trials it made getting me just that much more special!

So I am always confused when people make adoption such a large, controversial issue in life.  Maybe I'm just a lucky one, and extremely blessed, but I've had no issues with it in my life.  Maybe other children aren't as lucky as I am to have as wonderful parents as I have!

So disappointed!

** I tried to make this as family friendly as possible.  Sorry if I failed.  I felt that my feelings on this was important to get out there.  Maybe if enough of us voice our opinions and beliefs, we can make a change.**

I am so disappointed with the FOX show, House!  Usually I love every episode.  This week I was sorely disappointed.  I had been looking forward to it this whole week.  I missed it on TV last night, so I wanted to watch it online at my parent's house this morning.

The first scene, the one that introduces the patient, was of Thirteen (one of Dr. House's assistant doctors) kissing another woman in her apartment!  And they made it clear that wasn't all they were doing.  I tried to skip the scene as I could because I was hoping that the rest of the show would concentrate more on the sickness. 

But again, I was disappointed.  Dr. House's first reaction to the new case was delight because of his assistant's relationship with the sick woman.  I knew right right then that there would be so many references that I wouldn't be able to comfortably watch the show.

I should have seen this coming!  It has been stated in the show that this is her choice.  But that character's personal choice hasn't bothered me until today because it wasn't highlighted.  Plus, House has always been "controversial," but never this much in your face, accept this lifestyle and watch it.

I'm all for free agency.  The freedom to choose is a wonderful thing.  I have no problem with people who make this choice.  What I do have a problem with is when someone else tries to force its "okay-ness" on me.  What people do in their personal time is personal.  I don't want to see it on television!

And for that matter, since when does anyone's "private time", regardless of their preferences, fictional or not, have a place in our homes on our televisions?!

Newsworthy Tuesday.. no wait, it's Wednesday!

I put off my weekly news post yesterday because I couldn't find anything to write about. I've been feeling that way a lot lately. There just isn't any new news around lately with the election coming up!

But this morning, I had a stroke of genius... look on's Newsroom site!  There's always great stuff there!

This week, an article in the Economist was spotlighted in the Newsroom.  It's title was "The Mormon Work Ethic."  And it was totally positive! 

You always hear about how great us Mormons are.  Well, either that or you hear we'll never make it to Heaven.  But never mind that!  In this article, it explained some of the reasons why the economy in Utah was so much better than those states all around.

It talked about the housing market.  "Utah’s housing market is relatively healthy, largely because it did not heat up too much in the middle of this decade."  It went on to say that forclosure rates were much lower than in the surrounding states as well.

Utah's natural resources have also helped.  The article discussed Ogden, a city who was once in big trouble, has turned it's economy around and now has "become the world centre of winter sports equipment. Mike Dowse, who oversees brands such as Atomic and Salomon for Amer Sports, gives three reasons: 'the mountains, the mayor and the money'."

A large portion of the article was devoted to what is sometimes called the "Mormon culture."  The first example is the demographics of the state.  The article reported families are started younger so the "echo boom" started earlier in Utah (the 80's) in stead of now like in other states. "One reason unemployment is rising across the West is that a wave of teenagers is crashing onto the job market. Utah, by contrast, has few teenagers and lots of productive people in their late twenties and early thirties."

Also as the article states "conservatism" is huge in Utah.  The example was Utah's budget. "It took the state legislature just two days last month to plug a $272m hole in the budget. By contrast, California’s budget was 85 days late. Nevada’s politicians are preparing for a nasty fiscal fight next year."

There was a lot of other great things said about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I highly recommend "the Mormon Work Ethic."  We have to get more good things circulating about the church!

Picture of the Angel Moroni taken by Philipp Spinnler, 9/2005

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Try it With Me Tuesday: Book Group - Walden

My blogger buddy over at TJ had a wonderful idea: a blogging book group!  This month was Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. 

I had quite a bit of trouble reading it.  Actually, I was only able to read about 20 pages before it became clear to me that I would not be finishing it.  Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book.  I'm sure it's a very good book and that lots of people love it.  I just had a lot of trouble reading it because it's really not my style.  I'm more of a book with a plot line, dialog, and characters kind of reader.

But I can appreciate the value of this observational kind of book.  There's a lot to be learned from Walden.  Even spiritual and religious things.  In our last Semi-annual General Conference, Elder L. Tom Perry used Walden extensively as he spoke of simplicity as a necessity in our "search to obtain relief from the stresses of life."

Here's part of what he taught...

"From his experiences at Walden Pond, Thoreau determined that there were only four things that a man really needed: food, clothing, shelter, and fuel. I would like to expand on each of these four basic needs of life, as well as the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle.

The first requirement is food. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we possess sacred knowledge from revealed truth about the relationship between the body and the spirit. Doctrine and Covenants 88:15 states, “The spirit and the body are the soul of man.” To bless us both physically and spiritually, the Lord also revealed to us a law of health, telling us which foods and substances are good for the body and which are not. With these instructions comes the promise found in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

“And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
“And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
“And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them” (vv. 18–21).

There is no better counsel concerning the Word of Wisdom than that found in the booklet For the Strength of Youth. It states:

“The Lord has commanded you to take good care of your body. To do this, observe the Word of Wisdom, found in Doctrine and Covenants 89. Eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. When you do all these things, you remain free from harmful addictions and have control over your life. You gain the blessings of a healthy body, an alert mind, and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. . . .
“Any drug, chemical, or dangerous practice that is used to produce a sensation or ‘high’ can destroy your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. These include hard drugs, prescription or over-the-counter medications that are abused, and household chemicals” ([2001], 36–37).
We do not want to harm our mortal bodies, for they are a gift from God, and part of our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness is the reuniting of our immortal bodies with our spirits.

Another basic necessity is our clothing. A simplified life that brings spiritual blessings requires the wearing of simple and modest clothing. Our dress and grooming send a message to others about who we are, and they also affect the way we act around others. When we are modestly dressed, we also invite the Spirit of the Lord to be a shield and a protection to us.
Worldly trends in women’s fashion are always inviting extremes. With their latest styles many fashion designers appear to be trying to make two or three dresses out of the amount of fabric necessary for one. Mostly, they are taking too much off the top and too much off the bottom of women’s clothing, and occasionally they scrimp in the middle too. Men’s fashions are also adopting extreme styles. In my day they would be called sloppy and inappropriate. I believe very casual dress is almost always followed by very casual manners.
Many of you are trying too hard to be unique in your dress and grooming to attract what the Lord would consider the wrong kind of attention. In the Book of Mormon story of the tree of life, it was the people whose “manner of dress was exceedingly fine” who mocked those who partook of the fruit of the tree. It is sobering to realize that the fashion-conscious mockers in the great and spacious building were responsible for embarrassing many, and those who were ashamed “fell away into forbidden paths and were lost” (1 Nephi 8:27–28).
President N. Eldon Tanner once cautioned us with these words: “Modesty in dress is a quality of mind and heart, born of respect for oneself, one’s fellowmen, and the Creator of us all. Modesty reflects an attitude of humility, decency, and propriety. Consistent with these principles and guided by the Holy Spirit, let parents, teachers, and youth discuss the particulars of dress, grooming, and personal appearance, and with free agency accept responsibility and choose the right” (“Friend to Friend,Friend, June 1971, 3).

Now let us turn to Thoreau’s third requirement, that of shelter. Newspapers are filled with reports of the current housing crisis. We have been encouraged at almost every general conference of the Church I can remember not to live beyond our means. Our income should determine the kind of housing we can afford, not the neighbor’s big home across the street.
President Heber J. Grant once said: “From my earliest recollections, from the days of Brigham Young until now, I have listened to men standing in the pulpit . . . urging the people not to run into debt; and I believe that the great majority of all our troubles today is caused through the failure to carry out that counsel” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1921, 3).
One of the better ways to simplify our lives is to follow the counsel we have so often received to live within our income, stay out of debt, and save for a rainy day. We should practice and increase our habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality. Members of a well-managed family do not pay interest; they earn it.

Thoreau’s final necessity was fuel. We have been hearing a lot about fuel and energy—about their high cost and limited supply, our unsafe and unpredictable dependence on their suppliers, and the need for new and sustainable sources of energy. I leave the discussion of these complicated issues to leaders of government and industry. The fuel I want to discuss is spiritual fuel."

The above quote was only part of the talk he gave.  Be sure to read the rest of it and all the other wonderful talks from October 2008's General Conference!

Monday, October 27, 2008

3rd folder, 3rd file thing

I got tagged by my great friend Hannah to do that 3rd folder, 3rd file thing with my pictures.  Well, the only problem is that I have MULTIPLE picture directories!  I've got at least 4 projects going right now and I like to keep them all completely seperated.  So, I picked the directory for the project I'm working on right now, then the third sub-folder, then third picture (I'm sure you're all throughly confused by now, sorry).  And here it is...

It's me with my cake on my 2nd birthday
This is fun!  Thanks Hannah!

Television and Movie Mondays - The X-Files

This weekend we finally finished the first season of the X-Files.  And we LOVED it!  I've been wanting to write a T&M Mondays about it for a long time, but I didn't want to write it until we were finished.

The X-Files is one of those shows that I didn't really get into while it was on TV or even in the re-runs.  If it was on and I was flipping through the channels I'd watch it, but it's usually on the Sci-Fi channel and I don't get that one.

It's weird that I never got into it.  I really like any kind of mystery or crime show.  So when I saw season one for cheap at Costco (love me some Costco!!), I decided to give it a try!

The best part about it for me was that there were no inappropriate parts in it.  I think I'd feel comfortable watching it with or recommending it to anyone.  Well, maybe not kids... But that's only because the risk of alien nightmares are higher in children than adults. :)

So watch it, and check out the interesting wardrobe Scully wears.  I am so glad that I wasn't a young professional woman in the 90s!

What the heck is she wearing?!!  A wedding dress?  She wore it on a first date in that episode!

Hmm, a little high waisted maybe?

I'm more than a little glad that's not my blazer.

Don't get me wrong, I love Scully!  Just not her 90's era wardrobe!

Killer Soup

For dinner on Sunday, I made some pretty awesome soup and biscuits!  If I do say so myself. :) Derek even declared it to be his "new favorite soup!"  How exciting!  I even made it mostly from scratch.

Here's what I did.  You can try it if you want.  It's pretty darn easy.

1 can Minestrone Soup
1 can green beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
1 can red kidney beans
Beef Broth to taste (I think I added the equivalent of 2-3 cans? I used the bullion cubes)
2 cups of whole wheat penne pasta.
Some red pepper powder
Garlic Salt

You can use fresh veges if you want.  I have before, I just didn't have any at the time.  The minestrone had carrots, celery and I think potatoes.  I would have added more to the soup, but sadly, I didn't have any of those either.  Oh, drain most of the liquids out of the cans or you'll have weird tasting soup.  Yuck!

Derek and I are HUGE fans of red pepper.  We picked it up in Korea. You don't have to put it in.  It's probably fine without it.  Just a little more boring.

Also, this "recipe" made copious amounts of soup.  At least it did for us.  There's only the two of us.  If your family's bigger, it probably would feed you just fine.  It made at least 6 regular sized servings, maybe more.

Another cool thing, I got all these ingredients out of my food storage!

So there you have it!  If you're lucky and ask really nicely, I'll post the recipe for my signature biscuits.  They turned out pretty well for that dinner too!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Carving Pumpkins!

Derek and I were invited to a pumpkin carving bash at the Mooso's house this weekend.  They had tables set up in their backyard for us to carve however we wanted to.   It was so cold, but so much fun!!!

We brought five pumpkins-I know a little ambitious-but only ended up carving three.  My fingers were frozen in the holding-the-knife position by the time I finished one, my spider pumpkin.  Derek was awesome and did two, a ghost one and a cyclops one.

Unfortunately we didn't have our camera with us to take great pictures of us carving pumpkins or us with our friends.  Sad! :(  So this is the only picture we have, taken the day afterwards, in the light...

They still look cool though!

4 Food Storage Related Blogs

I was talking to my friend Kristi last night and she reminded me that I hadn't actually linked to the other two food storage blogs that I found.  Silly me, here they are!

Everyday Food Storage

Food Storage Made Easy

The Obsessive Shopper
Sorry no cute button. :(  I love cute buttons!

Safely Gathered In
Safely Gathered In
Got this one through a comment!  I love comments!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Japan is a Fun Place...

Case in point...

In case you missed it (I did the first time), the English translation is at the bottom of the lower yellow box.

I got these posters from the Tokyo Metro website.  I found them through

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Book Report, Rocks in my Dryer.  I love finding new books.  The only thing I love more than finding new books is someone finding them for me!!!

Royal Icing, Joy of  Ok, so this isn't a blog, but it is pretty interesting... if you're into icing.  I remember my Mom using royal icing to decorate cakes.  She always told me not to eat it because "it would give me the poops!" :)

Emergency Plans and Disaster Kits, Food Storage Made Easy. Emergeny plans and disaster kits have always been too freaky for me to even try to figure out.  Plus, they seemed so vague.  People always tell us to have a plan, but then don't help us figure out a basic outline for what we need to have and do.  This post lays it out very simply!  Yay!

How to Define Acronyms Within Your Content, Performancing. This has to be the coolest thing ever!  I had no idea that I could make those cool tool tips on my very own blog!!! Let's test it! LDS, MSG, TNT, MFEO.  Yay!  I can do it!

Woman in jail after killing her online husband, Japan Probe.  Ok, so she's not really in jail for the murder.  It's more for the computer hacking she had to do on her "husband's" account.  You can read more about her murder on Yahoo News. Oh, and not that this matters to most of you readers, we heard about this game all the time in Korea.  From elementary aged students.  Older students thought this game was to "baby" for them!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

The Earth, it's beautiful!  And amazing, wonderful, delicate, unique, fresh, complicated, miraculous, and many other adjectives.  But I'm sure you all know that.

I've been watching "Planet Earth," an excellent documentary done by BBC.  Discs 1-4 were amazing!  The last disc was also very interesting, but really depressing because it was all about extinction and conservation.

Anyways, this post isn't supposed to be a plug for "Planet Earth" or BBC.  I am just grateful for the Earth and the TV show reminded me.

I consider it a personal gift to each of us from God.  There is no way that its creation just "happened."  Way too complicated.  Way too cool.

I think I might go outside and hug a tree now.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nunchaku Baseball

Yeah, I have no idea what they're saying... but it looks so cool!  I want nunchaku!

Homemade Fudgesicles? Chocolate Pudding? YUM!!!

I found through Kristi's blog a food storage blog, and then from their blog another food storage blog, Everyday Food Storage, and then on that blog, this fudgesicle recipe!  Awesome!

And she also had a delicious looking chocolate pudding recipe too!  How I love pudding!

I think I'll be making yummy stuff this weekend!

Royal Icing

My Mom and I looked up her favorite Royal Icing recipe today.  Tanya and I tried to make it the other day and it worked pretty well, but was still fairly soft after a few days.  As I remembered, Royal Icing is supposed to get really stiff really fast.  One trick my Mom told me was to make sure there was no oil of any kind anywhere on the mixer or in the bowl.

Royal Icing:
1lb. powdered sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 t. cream of tartar

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff, then add sugar.

It seems like that's what we did to make the icing, but something was a little off.

I also found this information on

For Royal Icing with Egg Whites:  In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

Royal Icing Using Egg Whites:
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

For Royal Icing with Meringue Powder: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.
The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
Makes about 3 cups
Royal Icing Using Meringue Powder:
4 cups (440 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
3 tablespoons (30 grams) meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla, lemon, almond)
1/2 - 3/4 cup (120 - 180 ml) warm water
Note: Food Coloring (I use Gel Pastes that can be found at cake decorating and party stores or else on-line)

Way Back When Wednesday - Superman

From the time I was about 3 until maybe 5 years old, I loved Superman.  So much so that I even had my Mom make me a Superman cake for my 4th birthday.  AND I had Superman pajamas... with a detachable cape.

Don't ask me where I got this un-girlish obsession.  I didn't have a brother back then, he came later. 

It could have been from my neighbor, Steven.  He and I played quite a lot back then.  I'm not sure who started the Superman thing.  But I do remember arguing about which superman toy we would play with.  I had two.  One was more of an action figure with a clip on cape and knee joints!  The other was a clip on handle for a cup.  He always stood on the edge of a plastic, yellow circle with his legs about shoulder width apart and his arms straight out in front of him, his hands in fists. 

Can you guess which one I always played with?  Of course!  The much cooler, movable one! 

Then once I had more girl friends, and discovered Barbie, Ken (as seen in the picture), and all of Barbie's other friends and relatives, I kind of left Superman behind.  I mean really, how can Superman compete with someone who can change clothes and hairstyles? Superman can't always be dressed in his super-suit all the time, can he?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Fast Are You?

Found this test on my blogging buddy Lara's blog, Overstuffed.  Check her out, she's got great stories, interesting insights, and cute kids!

Newsworthy Tuesday

I can't take the credit for finding this interesting article on technology bringing families closer together.  It was on Monday's The Cheerful Scoop.  If you haven't read this blog yet, try it!  They post happy news everyday!

We never think of technology bringing families together.  At least, that's not what we think of first.  We first think of all the bad things out there.  The General Authorities have said many times that there are great things out there, but also many, many bad things.  I always just thought of  Silly me! 

My first thought should have been like this article!  While we were in Korea, the internet was an invaluable tool.  It really brought our family closer together because we were able to communicate daily!

Anyways, I really loved how positive the article was.  There is bad stuff with the internet, cell phones, and the like, but we can use them to strengthen our families.  And let's face it, we really need that these days!

Monday, October 20, 2008

October Happenings

It's been a while since I've posted pictures. At least pictures of me and things I've been doing lately. So here they are!

My Birthday

Me and my birthday cake.  
It's triffle, not really a true cake, but no less delicious!
Derek hanging up one of my presents.  He's so cute!
Some of the cool things that Derek got for me.  
Notice the "poo" behind the kitten.
50's Dance
We went to a 50's themed dance this last weekend.  
I got pictures of him, but none of me.  
And I looked cute, too!
Halloween House
We made Halloween houses! It was so much fun! 
It was sort of like making gingerbread houses, but "scarier." 
Some of our roof fell off. :(
Side view. 
I planned that porch in my head all week!
I was so happy with my pumpkin patch!

Television and Movie Mondays - Twilight Samurai

This weekend we watched one of our favorite Japanese movies, Twilight Samurai, with our good friends, the Ortons.

We love Twilight Samurai!  It's really unusual to find a Japanese movie that isn't too violent, or too scary, or just plain weird in some other way.  Twilight Samurai is so good because it portrays the way life really was in that time period, and to me it shows that culture doesn't define you.  I'll explain...

In Japan, there are very strict, traditional male-female roles.  Men are the bread winners, and women are expected to take care of the house.  As it is anywhere, more and more women are out working.  But that hasn't changed the expectation for them to do all the housework.

Japanese men also are expected to put work and relations with co-workers first.  This makes them class-A workers, but not great family men.  Men will often work 10+ hours a day and then go out at night with their co-workers.  This creates "unity" within the workplace, and they are never at home.

In Twilight Samurai, the main character, Seibei Iguchi (I know, I know! I typed it backwards, but I didn't think the non-Japanophiles would get that), is a recent widower.  He has two children and an ailing mother with Alzheimer's.  He is constantly trying to balance home life with work life, and he chooses home life!  It's amazing!  At one point, his uncle comes to his house and very rudely tells him he should marry someone, anyone, so that he won't have to do the housework anymore.  Seibei refuses to marry just to have a house keeper and then says something to the effect of, "Watching my daughters grow up is like watching crops grow to maturity.  It's very satisfying."

To me this shows that good values are not always culturally influcened.  They are universal. 

Twilight Samurai is an excellent movie.  I highly recommend it.  It's not really a kid friendly movie though.  It is in Japanese so you have to read the subtitles, and there are a couple fight scenes that kids probably wouldn't understand.  They're nothing too violent or gory like a lot of samurai movies.  Throughout the entire movie, Seibei is very hesitant to use violence to solve a problem.  And when he has to fight, tries every other option even as he's fighting.  But he is pretty awesome at sword play.

PS:  The actor who plays Seibei Iguchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, is also in several other popular movies such as, Speed Racer, Rush Hour 3, The Last Samurai, and Ringu (the original, Japanese movie, The Ring).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

3-Dimensional Pumpkin Card, Skip to my Lou.  So cute, now if I only had orange tissue paper...

Free Skeleton Printable, Skip to my Lou.  I'm a BIG fan of Halloween stuff.  Especially cute Halloween stuff!

And hmm, again I am seriously lacking links! Anybody find anything interesting this week?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I don't know if I say it enough.  Maybe I do, and you're all tired of hearing it.  I am so thankful to be married to an amazing handyman husband!

When I was looking for Mr. Right, I didn't think put "handy around the house" on the checklist.  I thought that just came with the man package.  You see, my Dad is super handy.  He's an engineer and LOVES to make things.  Especially things that make his family members' lives easier.  We haven't lived in a house yet that he hasn't built shelves in, and he did numerous home improvements to our home in North Carolina to help out my Mom.  But that's enough about my Mom's Mr. Right.  Suffice it to say, I thought "handy-ness" was natural came naturally to men.

So as we adjusted to life together, I could tell he was really good at home improvement type work, but I sort of took it for granted.  It wasn't until a few years in to our marriage that I realized that not all men are as good as my man is with tools. 

So now I'm especially grateful for his talents.  Grateful because those talents can bring home the bacon.  And grateful because he LOVES to be a handyman!  He absolutely loves to go to work!  At one point, while he was working on a bathroom remodel, he turned to me and said something like, "I really want to go back and work some more.  Not because I need to go back to meet a dead line, but because I'm really having fun!"

I've also caught him a few times day dreaming about tile!  How cute is that!  He's so lucky to have found a line of work that he loves and daydreams about.  I mean, how many of you daydream about your job while you're not there?

I love you Derek!  I promise I won't call you anymore cutesy pet names from across the store in Home Depot!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday - Teacher, you have a perm!

I don't remember exactly how this conversation started, but it ended up really frustrating.

Here's a little needed background information.  I have naturally curly hair (see picture at left).  Koreans don't have naturally curly hair.  Nobody does.  But everybody--including men--has a perm.  Well, not everybody, but there are quite a few perms out there.  So it's not unusual to see curled hair in Korea.

I was teaching a class one day.  It was my favorite class.  The kids were 10 years old, and they all spoke English well enough to have interesting conversations with me and with each other!  One student, Min Young, turned to me and said, "Teacher, you have a perm," very matter of factly.  Actually, it sounded a little more like, "Teacher, you have a pama."  Many Korean students have trouble with the English "r" and ending some words without a vowel.

I turned to her and said, "No, I don't.  My hair is naturally curly.  It grows this way."

She replied again, very matter of factly, "No, you are lying.  You have a perm."  Min Young was a very precocious kid and very sassy.

I tried again to explain to her that I did NOT have a perm, my hair was naturally curly.  She looked at me like I was insane or stupid.  She told me again that I was lying, and that I had a perm.  No matter what I said, she would never believe me.  I even tried to appeal to her senses and ask her why I would lie about a perm.  It seemed ridiculous to me, but evidently not to her.

In the end, I had to pull the hierarchy card (which almost always works in Korea) and tell her that I was the teacher, and that she, the student, should not accuse the teacher of lying!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Michael Hughes - Souvenirs

Check out this Michael Hughes' Flickr set, Souvenirs!  He takes pictures or souvenirs in front of the real deal!

Newsworthy Tuesday - Fun Stuff

I found a couple funny news stories.  And I apologize in advance for yet another Japanese story!  The news is just so much more fun there!

Story #1 - Spiderman a robber?  I found this news article through  Evidently, someone is using a Spiderman mask to rob people!  Bad Spiderman!

Story #2 - Mickey Mouse Tries to Register to Vote, but Florida officials denied him.  Supposedly, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) tried to get him a vote!  I've heard of them before.  They've had a bit of contriversy surrounding the legality of their voter registration programs.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Television and Movie Mondays

It was my birthday this Friday, and it was an excellent day!  I woke up rather early that morning because I heard a commotion in the box just outside our bedroom.  My first thought was, that might be Derek setting up something for my birthday or it could be Willow falling in the box (she has a thing for dark, inclosed places).  Either way, I could go back to sleep.  Derek can take care of himself, and the box just had trash and give away stuff so no big deal if Willow made a mess in it.

But then after a few minutes, I thought, I should be a good kitten mommy and check to make sure my kitten was safe.  So half asleep, I opened the door, and there was Derek with that caught red handed look (so it was Derek getting in the box!).  He was making a trail of Reeses going from our bedroom door and down the stairs!  So Cute, right?

I gave him a big hug and he told me I had better hurry and follow the chocolates because Willow kept batting them around and messing up the trail.  The trail led to the kitchen where he had set up some special Halloween decorations; a haunted house lantern, a ghost lamp, and a scary tree that holds candy!  My man knows what I like!

And he wasn't done yet.  I opened my card and inside was a note promising a $30 trip to a used bookstore :) and the first clue in a treasure hunt!  He had set up an elaborate treasure hunt for me to find 3 DVDs, PS I Love You, the Princess Bride, and Blades of Glory.  This is where the Television and Movies Monday comes in, but there's more to my birthday day, so we'll get back to it later!

Then he told me that he had asked my Dad if he could take me to three used bookstores in Nampa for a couple of hours during work!  What a surprise!  Then we went over to my parents' house and they had presents waiting for me there too.  My parents are so great!  They always get me good stuff.  They gave me a gift card to Old Navy and some money to help us out on our cruise!!!!!  A 16GB flash drive was also on its way; the UPS guy was a little late.

The used bookstores were great!  I found some great old books.  None of the stores had the book I was really looking for, well one did, but it was $8.00 and the cover was wrinkled and damaged!  Derek took me to 4 stores!!!  I have a major jones for comfortable old books!  Derek is so good to me!

After helping my parents out and eating some amazing triffle, Derek and I went to Old Navy and then to the Olive Garden.  My grandparents gave me a gift card!  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!  I ate some yummy beef ribs and tortelloni marsala.  YUMMY!!!  What a great birthday!!!

So back to the TV and Movies thing.  Derek and I had been wanting to watch Blades of Glory for quite a while.  The previews were hilarious and I was interested in seeing Jon Heder in a mainstream Hollywood movie as a main character.

It was HILARIOUS!!!  You know the kind of comedy where the humor is almost painful it's so ridiculous?  Derek and I were laughing out loud almost the whole time, and I when I wasn't laughing, I was smiling.  I smiled so much that my face hurt.  I usually don't have that much of a physical reaction to a movie.   There was also an excellent friendship theme going on as well.  The two main characters started as enemies, and then in the end really came through for each other, in a ridiculously ridiculous way.  The only drawback to the movie was it had some pretty crude humor.  It had Will Ferrell in it, what could I expect?

PS:  Sorry for the lack of birthday pictures.  They're still on my camera, and my camera's at home.  Darn!

PPS:  And I almost forgot to mention the Television part of the post!  HGTV now has full-length episodes of many of their programs on their website.  Derek is in heaven!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ugh! Another Cat Picture!

I know you're all probably getting tired of pictures of my cat.  Other people's pets are never as cute as your own, aren't they?  Sorry about the overload.  I just can't help myself!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Grandma's Chocolate Pie , Homesick Texan.  I think I'm going to HAVE to make this.  Just looking at the picture made my mouth water!  Maybe it will be my birthday pie.  My birthday is today.  I should probably figure out what oleo is first...

First Try-It-With-Me-Tuesday Book Club, TJ Hirst.  This is excellent!  I'm looking forward to my first online book group!

Joseon-Era Hangeul Letters, The Marmot's Hole. It was Hangeul Day (The anniversary of the creation Korean alphabet) on the 9th.  I love Hangeul.  It is beautiful!

What I'd Like For You To Know: An American Mother Overseas, Rocks in My Dryer.  I love this series that RIMD does each week!  Here's another guest poster whose experiences overseas almost mirror mine!  I think it would be a lot of fun (mixed with a lot of trials) to make a career living overseas. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Family

I am so grateful for family this week!  My parents were lucky enough to have my brother AND my Aunt and Uncle come to visit.  It was exactly what we needed, fresh blood to liven up our lives!

I already posted about my brother coming.  In short, it was GREAT!  He's always a ton of fun to have around.  Good for some laughs.  He's probably going to kill me for posting this next story, but then again, maybe not he has a good sense of humor about himself and I'm not sure he knows I have a blog! 

Anyways, we were all sitting in the living room watching Conference this last weekend.  PJ got up to get something out of his car.  When he came back inside, he stood facing opposite of us and put on his hoodie.  Or rather tried.  As he was putting it on, my first thought (and everyone else's in the room) was, huh, he's got a pocket on the back too?  Then he laughed a little and turned around to face us.  He had put his hoodie on backwards and the hood was over his head completely covering his face!  We all laughed long and hard about that one.  We didn't let him forget it for a while either!

I love my Aunt and Uncle!  They are both so easy to be with and so funny!  We are lucky to have them in our family! 

It's a tradition in our family that whenever any family members on my mom's side get together, we always play cards.  Usually Sets and Runs  It's a nicer version of Phase 10. Over the years my liking for the game has fluxuated.  This visit I wasn't feeling to into it and Derek and I had just learned a new game called Descending Rook and I was excited to teach it to my family.  Turns out they already mostly knew the game, just needed refreshers.  It was SO FUN!  And it was much, much, MUCH faster than Sets and Runs! :)

So there's what I'm thankful for.  Quality family and quality family time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday - Halloween's Coming!

I love Halloween.  I have for as long as I can remember.  I always dressed up as a kid.  I wore a witch costume for a couple of years then I grew out of it.

This year I got really excited early in September because we had a cold spell for a weekend.  Then it got hot again.  Now it's cold again, so I'm ready to celebrate!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Newsworthy Tuesday - My Brother is Visiting!

So my Newsworthy Tuesdays are becoming more Newsworthy to Me Tuesdays and ths week is no exception.

My brother is visiting!  He was lucky enough to get Saturday-Tuesday off.   He got here in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  It's been great having him here!

As per tradition, we all had to take a picture together.  And with three of us having cameras, all trying to take pictures at the same time using our timers, it made the experience, well... interesting!  Believe it or not, this was the best one from my camera.  Maybe my mom or brother has a better one.  But I do kind of like this one....

AND my brother got me a great b-day present (it's a little early, but he'll be gone on Friday), some cool cat toys! He bought me a dangler, catnip, catnip bubbles, and a laser pointer. Willow loves them all!

Check out the back of the laser pointer package...


Yes, it has a picture of a shark, owl and dinosaur.  Now those are all common household pets.  Maybe they were trying to be exotic.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Television and Movie Mondays

As a lot of you know, this past weekend was the 178th Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It's a wonderful 5 part conference where the leaders of our church teach and instruct us and the world.

LOVED IT!!!  Especially the two Saturday sessions.  I was so grateful for all the talks on hope in troubled times.  It was especially comforting because few of them specifically mentioned the state of the economy, and NONE of them said, told you so!

We were also able to spend time with friends and family during conference.  Saturday morning we spent with my parents, and Saturday afternoon and evening we spent with our friends the Ortons.  Tanya was so kind to teach me and Derek how to make and can applesauce!  So much fun!  Then, after the afternoon session, we made an apple pie.  Derek was VERY happy to say the least!

On Sunday, we had a nice relaxing morning watching Conference in our pjs.  It's nice to have mornings like that.  Then we went back to my parents' house hoping to catch the Bodilys (friends from when my family lived in Orem, UT), but they had already left. :(  But my brother was there visiting from Rexburg!  Yay!  We all watched the last session of conference together.  Very inspiring.

Its always interesting that even though the speakers are not assigned a topic, they never speak on exactly the same thing.  Each talk is different, but are often related.  I really heard this on Saturday.  It seemed like all the speakers had gotten together beforehand and said, let's all talk about hope but not say the same thing.  Did any of you who watched it hear that as well?

I am definitely going to go back and read all the talks all over again, and again when the Conference edition of the Ensign comes out in November! 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Project Gutenberg

I had heard of Project Gutenberg before, but I hadn't looked at it seriously until today.  It is great!  There's so much stuff!  You can read e-books online or download them for free!  There's also audiobooks, classical music, and sheet music! I am impressed.

Reading books online isn't my favorite thing to do.  I'd much rather hold a book, even a super-heavy, hardback one.   But the audiobooks will be great!  The only drawback with Project Gutenberg is the number of books.  There aren't THAT many.  It's kind of like Netflix's watch instantly selection, not too hot, not too cold.

I'm thinking this will be great for TJ Hirst's reading challenge

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sorry, last one... for today.

Here's another Japanese cat video. It's a little more ambiguous if you don't know any Japanese. I don't really know all that much, but I can tell that the cat is agreeing in the end. In Japanese, a casual agreement sounds a little like "ung." That's probably confusing too...

Strange Obsessions

For those of you who know us well, you know that Derek and I have a strange obsession with Japanese cat videos on YouTube.  We just can't get enough of them!  So for your enjoyment, or maybe just mine, here's another Japanese cat.

All you really need to know is that this cat eats bean sprouts and then rubs it's face and teeth all over an electric toothbrush.

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Do I Believe? TJ Hirst.  A great reminder.  I think we all need to believe a little bit more.

It's a Wrap, Skip to my Lou. I don't think I'll ever need wrapping paper again!

Like a Child, Japundit. All I can say is, AMEN!  I felt the same way in Korea!

THAT...Doesn't Look Like Dirt, Cake Wrecks. I really, really, LOVE this website.  Anything with bloopers is my friend.

What I'd Like For You to Know: Adoption, Rocks in My Dryer.  Excellent!  I'm so glad that more and more people are talking about adopting and being adopted!  I'm adopted. The only time I feel weird about it is when other people act weird about it, and even then, the weirdness is about them.  Does that make sense?

Tutorials, The Princess and the Monkey.  So many tutorials, so little time!

US Senator wants Wall Street Executives to Deliver Japanese-style Apologies, Japan Probe.  This just makes me laugh!  I would LOVE to see this, but I don't think it will EVER happen!

Endless PeriPeri , Japan Probe.  I think I should be Japanese.  I love popping soybeans and bubble wrap AND opening those cardboard boxes!  Make sure you watch the "music video ."  But be sure to read the background first.  It will seem just bizarre if you don't.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for prayer and natural sugars.

I have been having some irrational anxiety lately, and for a couple of days this week, it's been quite overpowering.  It's a little frustrating because there isn't anything TERRIBLY wrong in my life.  I have your normal, average trials at the moment (is there a normal or average trial?), nothing extremely overwhelming.  So I couldn't figure out why I was feeling SO UPSET!

While I was on the verge of tears the other evening, I realized that I hadn't prayed specifically about my anxiety, and BOY, should I have done that sooner!  Almost imediately, I felt no anxiety. 

And then again, yesterday, I was starting to feel a little crazy, like everything was impossible, and there was no way to move forward.  Then I saw a big bowl of red grapes.  I ate some.  I felt better.

So, moral of the story?  Next time you feel sad or upset, pray and eat grapes!

Photo courtesy of, Editor At Large, Wikimedia Commons, CCL

Huh, who would have thought?

How long would it take for a Tyrannosaurus Rex to digest your corpse?