Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Sorted Books Project, Blurberati Blog.  This is another one of those cool projects that I wished I thought of first (remember the pictures with the record sleeves?)!  So cool.

And sorry my Friday Finds are a bit late.  But this link is still a Friday Find.  I found it at 10:30 pm Friday night! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for holidays that bring families together.  And I'm thankful for families who get together.  And I'm thankful for family.  Especially cool family, which is all of my family.  Hopefully, I'll have photos to share later.  I'm a lazy photographer...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday

Another ancestor story.  This story is written by my great grandma on my mother's side.  She is remembering her father who happened to be really, really short...

Our parents really tried to teach us right from wrong and they not only tried to teach us, they set the right kind of example for us to follow.  On day Brose and I were helping Dad haul hay out in the field by staying up on the wagon and as he would pitch the hay up on the wagon with a pitch fork, we would tromp it down so it would pack and not fall off the wagon.

We were near the fence line, an Dad had gotten up onto the wagon to shift the hay around a little bit so the wagon would hold more.  One of our neighbors was just over the fence, irrigating.  For some reason he had become angry at Dad because of the water or something and called Dad a bad name.  I remember Dad jumping off that wagon load of hay in one big jump and was over that fence and had grabbed that man and tole him if he didn't want the beating of his life, he had better take that back.

The funny part of it was that Dad was a very short nman and this guy was a prettygood sized fellow but Dad was not afraid of the devil himself if he became insulted or angry.  They guy apologized and cooled off immediately.  So far as I can remember my Dad never was afraid of anything even though he was small.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Willow in a bag

Willow got stuck in a bag this evening and she wouldn't take a picture, so I had to take a video.   Sorry it's so dark.  When you're in our living room it really doesn't look that dark.  I guess it's just not photogenic.

On to the Willow video...


And please ignore my obnoxious, talking-to-Willow voice.  I swear!  I don't sound like that in real life!!!

Holy Pie!

My legs and feet are killing me!  I've been standing in the kitchen all day.  Here's what I made

1 pumpkin roll
2 apple pies
1 key lime pie
1 batch of raspberry-chocolate cobbler cupcakes
1 raspberry-chocolate cobbler cake.

And yesterday I made two strawberry whips, a pumpkin pie, and a dud key lime pie (hence another one today)

I think I'm ready for Thanksgiving

Newsworthy Tuesday

Say wha? 

Russian Scholar Predicts Economic Crisis Will Rip America Apart, Fox News.

I couldn't believe someone would actually write up this article!  I don't think it will ever happen.

Premature Rant

So I prematurely ranted yesterday.  Right after I posted my disappointment, I talked to my Dad about APIs.  He knows all about them because he's a software developer and he said that this happens all the time and it does take time to fix code.  And that more than likely blurb will fix it eventually.  The beginning of next year isn't that far out in these sorts of situations.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Somebody needs to get their act together!

Because I'm mad!  For some reason having to do with APIs, Blurb's Booksmart can no longer slurp Blogger blogs.  GRRRRR!!!  I would assume that Blurb should be the one to try to fix the problem, and maybe they are.  They're losing a lot of business by not supporting Blogger or Word Press.  They fixed Typepad and still support LiveJournal and another one, but some of those cost to blog!  Grr!

Just thought I'd put my two cents in about the situation.  Everyone else seems to be doing so also.

PS:  Thanks Lara for letting me know about this!  I thought that it was me or maybe my internet that was giving me trouble... Silly me!

I went on vacation and....

got all out of whack on blogging.  Sorry guys.  Today is supposed to be Book of Mormon Monday.  I've been thinking all day and haven't gotten any great ideas to post.  So the Book of Mormon is great.  Everybody read it.  And if any of you have any thoughts or insights from what you've been reading lately, please leave it here.  If anything, it will help me!  I'm always wanting to hear what others think as they're reading.

In other news... I've got all the stories that have been posted so far imported into a book!!!  I thought it would take ages, but it only took a few hours.  Well, ok, maybe like 6 hours over a 2 day span.  Now I'm just waiting for the last minute posts and then I'll put pictures in it.  And then I'll put it in the bookstore!  Hooray!!!

Also, I've been a busy photo organizing girl.  I got all my cruise photos into an inkubook. Now I'll I need is for my husband to proof read the text I entered.  GO ME!!!  And I've finished up through 1999 of my parent's family photos!  Whew! *wiping sweat off my brow* Only eight more years to go, and the year 2000's the year we sort of slowed taking 35mm photos!  Hooray!  Maybe I'll be finished early next week!

And now, to embarrass my little brother, here's a great little brother photo...

Isn't he cute?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cruise Day 4

Nov 13th - Belize City

The day of our big excursion!  Since it was an all day thing we had to get up early and eat the buffet breakfast in the Windjammer so that we could meet our group by 7:45 am.

Oh, and before I forget, we had somewhat of a scare about this day.  On Wednesday night, during dinner, Becca told us that when they had checked on their excursion (theirs was cancelled on Wednesday and they were told to visit the excursion desk to get a refund and 50% off the next day's), the were told that our original excursion--to the Mayan ruins with a lunch--was cancelled.  We were all a little upset until Becca found another ruins excursion for about the same price and it had a river boat trip!  We just had to wait until after dinner to get it all set up. 

The most outrageous thing was that the ship didn't have a public announcement about it.  They were just going to call each room that evening to inform all those who were signed up for the ruins w/lunch.  The only problem with that was the exursion desk (where everyone would reschedule) closed at 8:30 and a lot of people wouldn't be getting back to their rooms until after dinner and the shows which would be around 10:00 or 11:00!  Meaning they would all have to reschedule early, EARLY in the morning!  But we were fortunate that Daryn and Becca were there earlier in the evening and found out about it!

Back to the story.  So we ate breakfast quickly and headed to the theater where we were told to meet.  There were a TON of people there!  I thought that they were all going to be in our group, but it turned out that there were multiple excursion groups meeting there.  They had us all meet there so we could be tendered (the water was too shallow for the cruise ship to dock, so they had speedy boats taking us back and forth from the boat to the dock) seperately from the rest of the passengers who didn't have planned excursions.

Once we got ashore, we waited with our group until our tour guide came to take us to the bus.  I was worrying a bit because we didn't have any bottled water.  It was $1.95 to get it on the boat so we didn't want to buy it there.  We found a cafe place that sold it for $1 a bottle so we bought two there hoping the tour guide would give us some as well.  It was a HOT and sunny day!!

The bus ride was great believe it or not!  It wasn't the best bus, but I was really happy to be able to see the actual country, not just the shops around the port.  That was one thing I had to get past going on a cruise.  I felt like I was cheating by visiting countries on a cruise.  It's so touristy!  So it was nice to take the bus and see things.  Plus, I got to take a nap.

Our tour guide was great, but had one flaw.  No, not her English.  English is actually the official language of Belize (it was a British colony); her English was accented, but great.  She was TOO WORDY!  It was nice to hear about the country on the bus, but once we got to the ruins, we wanted a short explanation, and then time to explore!

But our guide was very into educating everyone about her country.  I guess that's admirable.  The only problem we had was that we were standing in the middle of an open, grassy area between Mayan buildings under the HOT sun!  And to top it off, she had suggested that we don't put sunscreen on unless we were "highly allergic to the sun."  I thought that meant that we wouldn't be in the sun for most of the time.  But we were.  Needless to say, I got burned, but not too bad, and I actually tanned... minimally.  So now I really have a farmers tan.

After she finished telling us all about Altun Ha (that's the name of the place we went) we climbed to the top of one of the buildings and took some pictures.  At this point I had to pee so bad (I had downed two bottles of water thinking I would be dehydrated if I didn't), I couldn't enjoy it much, but I got some good pics.  I scooted down the steps as quickly as my fear of heights would let me--the stairs didn't have much by way of a railing and they were really steep stairs!

I ran to the bathrooms and then looked for my Belizian (sp?) souvenier.  I know, cheesey right? I found a cool wooden carving that the seller's husband made.  It's pretty solid, so I didn't feel ripped off.  It reminded me of some of the faces and stone carvings on the buildings.

We went to eat lunch after the ruins.  I thought we were going to a restaurant, but we ended up at someone's house and we ate in their courtyard.  Maybe that is a restaurant in rural Belize, I don't know.  The food was good.  And we had some shocking entertainment.  There was a guy who sat at a table behind me who's plastic chair's legs broke out from beneath him!  They were those cheap patio chairs, but still!  Plastic went flying out from both sides of him!  Thankfully, he wasn't hurt.

After lunch we got on a small-ish boat to take down the river and back to the port.  Here's where our tour guide lied again!  She said we didn't need bug spray because there weren't any mosquitos.  Well, there might not have been any mosquitos, but there were sure some other kind of blood-sucking, itch causing insects!  I got bit at least 10-15 times, and they're still itching!  When we got back to Idaho and told our friends about the dumb bugs, their response was maybe those same bugs bit the Nephites! :D

The boat ride was nice and relaxing--other than the bug bites, but they didn't itch then and the fact that we were crammed in there like sardines, good time to make friends :)--and we saw a bunch of cool animals!

The entire excursion took about 7  hours, so when we got back on the boat, we had just enough time to get ready for dinner.  Yummy, yummy dinner and great company!

We should have realized that each show wasn't as good as we hoped.  I kept thinking maybe this show will be better, but sadly, no.  Thursday night's performance was Broadway show tunes, which could have been great, but they chose weird songs from risque shows.  :(  By the end of it, we were closing our eyes and trying to sleep so we didn't have to watch it!

I think it was this evening that all of us went on deck to play shuffleboard?  I know we all went one night, I just don't remember which one.  We had a lot of fun and we took a crazy picture of the guys posing with their shuffleboard pucks.  As soon as I get it, I'll post it!

Tomorrow: At sea, the last day on the boat.

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

Jesse Tree, Rocks in My Dryer.  I thought this was another excellent way to make the Christmas season more Christ centered.  You can find the daily devotionals here, and you can find patterns for the ornaments within the RIMD Jesse Tree post.  Exciting!!!

Sour Cream Apple Pie, Blissfully Domestic.  I'm not a big fan of apple pie, but I know that anytime you put sour cream in something it makes ANYTHING to die for.  Especially french toast (We put sour cream and jam on french toast, not in them. De-licious!).  I think I'll be making this for Thanksgiving.

Pies Baked in Tiny Jars, Not Martha.  These have to be the cutest thing ever made!  I'm making them!

Saving Money with Powdered Milk, Hillbilly Housewife.  Don't remember if I've already posted this site.  If I have, I found it again and with all the Thanksgiving treats I'm planning on making, these tips will really help and save me some money!

New Fabric? Ooh-La-La!, Blissfully Domestic.  Cute fabrics with links to buy them!  Hooray!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Buttons, buttons, who's got a button?

Thanks to Lara from Overstuffed for gifting the great blogging buttons to EVERYONE!!! I've always wanted a blog button!!

Cruise Day 3

Nov. 12th Cozumel, Mexico

We docked in Cozumel early in the morning, but we woke up with barely enough time to get breakfast!  We had planned to meet the brothers in the Windjammer (a buffet), but we must have passed them coming down as we went up.  They all had excursions so they were off early.

Since we hadn't planned anything for the day, we took it easy lounging around on the boat and took a few pictures of Cozumel from the boat.


Then we wandered down around the dock to the shops.  Most of the more serious shopping was to be found a few minutes away, but we would have had to spend a little extra on a taxi and we figured they'd have about the same touristy stuff near the docks so we stuck around there.

We found some cool stuff!  Derek started a collection of masks.  We got our first one in Korea.  At first, I thought it was ugly, but the more I think about it, the less ugly it gets.  At one of the kiosks, a seller was selling a variety of colorful Mayan masks.  She told us that they retailed for $60 but she would give us a deal for $45.  After bargaining a bit, we still thought it was too expensive so we started to walk off.  She called out after us telling us to come back and that she would sell one to us for $30.  A much better deal.

We also got a Mayan and Aztec circley thing.  I think it's a calendar?  I'm not sure, but it looks cool.  And we got a cute little Nativity scene.  Good stuff!!


While I was waiting for Derek looking at something, a guy came up to me with a beautiful parrot!  He transferred the parrot to my arm, SO COOL!  Then he took the parrot off my arm and then laid it in my hand like a baby then walked a little ways off.  I was just standing there holding the bird in my hand.  After a bit the bird starting air cycling, so I gave it back to the man.  We tried to take a picture of me holding the bird, but the guy told us that it was $5 to take a picture!!!  Way too expensive, so we didn't take one.


Enjoying a cool lemonade while we waited for the others to get back
We met up with Daryn and Becca, and Doug and Melanie and went swimming on the ship.  I wasn't too excited about getting in the pool.  It was a little cold and I still had my make-up on, but it was nice to cool off after getting all sweaty shopping.

Once Becca heard that we got a Nativity scene for a good price, she wanted one too so we all went back ashore to look for more and t-shirts.  It was fun going shopping again with them!

Derek with a cool mariachi band.  Did I spell that right?

We got back on board just in time put away our treasures and get ready for dinner.  Derek had fun posing with his new mask.  He was so excited to get it!!!

Dinner was great as always.  The food is amazing and I am starting to understand how much fun it would have been to grow up in the large Cheney family.  And only 4 of the brothers were there!  There's 6 of them!!!  Our big, round table was perfect for conversation.
After dinner was another show.  This time it was better.  The Platters, with an original member Herb Reed, came to perform.  They were great!  We were all shocked with how OLD Herb Reed was!  I mean, he had to have been because the Platters' first hit was back in the 50s and he has been a member from the get go.  They sang a lot of their old hits along with some from the temptations.  Great performance.
Again, my memory is a little fuzzy on what we did after the show.  Probably played some games like Backgammon or shuffleboard.  Does anyone remember specifically?
Tomorrow: Belize City

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thats how I feel sometimes

Epson Printer, my entire Christmas list

The Epson Artisan Series All-in-One Printer  is on my Christmas list to Santa as it is WAY out of our budget.  Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!

Today, I defeated my enemy!

You all will laugh at me for my sillyness by the end of this post.  I am a wuss.  There I said it.  A complete wuss.

I try to walk to my parents house each morning.  And I fail completely for two, no three, reasons.  One, I'm lazy in the mornings.  I like to sleep.  Therefore I don't usually have time.  Two, I make excuses easily.  It's too cold to walk, or it's too hot, too windy, too sunny, too wet... You get the picture.  But the biggest, most embarrassing reason I don't walk is because of a stupid, shrimpy dog.

This dog, I swear, tracks me down.  Only me.  Nobody else.  And then he "chases" me.  He howls, barks, and growls as he runs after me.  His legs are I think 3 inches tall so when I'm walking, he has to run.  Plus he's right at my heels.  It's not that I'm scared of dogs.  I just don't like a dog I don't know "chasing" me and barking.  What's he going to do?

So usually, I avoid walking to my parents house because he can find me on almost every route I've found to get there.  I thought I had found one that was relatively safe, but as of today, it's not.

I don't know why his (I'm going to call it a he because I think of boy dogs as meaner than girl dogs) owners don't keep him penned up or on a leash or something!  Not that they have to coop him up in a kennel, but come on, every house in that neighborhood has a back yard!

Anyways, today as I was walking, I saw him about a block and a half away.  He saw/smelled me and came running.  At first, I got really nervous and thought about running away.  But then I remembered what Caesar always says, "calm, assertive energy" and "own your space."

So I stopped, faced him exuding calm and assertive energy, and told him to "go home!" And then pretended like he wasn't there.  I owned my space yo!  The dumb dog kept barking for a couple more minutes and a couple cars drove past us and I'm sure they were wondering what I was doing.  After a little while, he quit barking and I walked on, owning my space along the road.

I looked back after I got a ways down the road and he was still there, standing in the same place but NOT barking.  When I got to the corner, I looked back again and he was gone.

So yay for me!  And now you can all laugh because the dumb dog was a basset hound.  One of the least threatening dogs on the planet!

And for the record, this is not the dog that was chasing me. I found this pitiful pooch picture on

Cruise Day 2

Nov. 11th

We got up around 7:00 AM so that we could eat breakfast in the dining room.  On our way down there, we met up with Daryl and Kim which was nice because even though there was open seating (meaning not our assigned dinner table) in the dining room for breakfast, you still had to sit where they told you and with who you came in with.

Daryn and Becca were already eating when we got there so unfortunately, we weren't able to sit with them.  But the four of us made some new friends, Brian and Eunice, but we didn't know their names for a few more days.  We called them our "breakfast buddies" and we saw them EVERYWHERE!  You know how when you learn something new, like a new word in a foreign language, you swear you've never heard it before, but now you hear it all the time?  It was like these people!  Most of the time it felt like we never saw the same people twice, except Brian and Eunice!  Good thing they were friendly!

Since we had only planned on one excursion, we didn't have any specific plans in Key West, our first port of call, and neither did Daryl and Kim.  We spent the morning with them shopping and walking around town.  As we got off the boat, they gave us all kinds of coupons so that we would spend a lot of money.  The one that I was interested in was a $5 pearl pendant necklace.  So pretty!  Daryl and Kim wanted to find t-shirts for their kids and parents so we followed them around while they looked.  Key West is full of tourist traps and bars so once we found what we were looking for we moved on out of the central shopping area.

The one thing that I knew I wanted to do in Key West was see the Ernest Hemingway house and museum.  Not because I love his work, but because the place is full of polydactyl cats.  I am officially a crazy cat lady.  Thank goodness I have a husband and that he is equally crazy about cats.

The house was beautiful and the cats were nice and friendly so it was a success all around.

Derek and Daryl in front of the "Cheney Bros. Inc." truck we saw along a street in Key West

Us in front of the Hemingway House

More Hemingway House

I love to take pictures of Derek, not of myself.
Someone said this cat was 20 years old and REALLY cranky.  There was a Japanese group there who thought the cat was cute (so did we) so Derek said "Kawaii desu ne?" Meaning, "it's cute right?"  At first the lady acted like it was completely normal to have a white guy speak Japanese, but after a couple seconds, she realized the amazingness of the situation and exclaimed, "Ah nihongo o-jouzu desu ne!" Or "your Japanese is so skilled!!!"  The typical response from a polite Japanese person.  I was never prouder of my husband! :)

This is one of our signature poses. Derek is the master at self photos.

His eyes were a little closed, but he's so cute!

The bench I sat on was a little wet, darn!

All the cats were friendly. This one especially!

This is an example of a polydactyl cat. They have 6 toes instead of 5. All the cats living at the house are descendents of Hemingway's original pets who were polydactyls.

Derek and Daryl posing next to a HUGE ice cream cone. I guess Derek really wanted some.

Us in front of our boat.
We got back on the boat just after noon and went to have lunch.  We met up with Daryn and Becca and had an AMAZING lunch in the dining room.  They had the best salad bar I have ever tried!!! You go through and tell them what you want--they had a gazillion choices--they even picked out all the nasty, crunchy, white parts of the romaine lettuce for me (I am a picky eater)!!!  Then after you have everything, they toss it in the big plastic you start with and then transfer it to a more manageable, clean bowl!!!  They also had the most amazing blueberry cheesecake.  I would have eaten 10 if I had the chance!!!!!
The rest of the afternoon was spent being lazy and getting ready for the formal night.  For dinner, one night everyone was supposed to dress more formally.  I stressed a bit before the trip, trying to figure out what to wear.  It's hard for a girl to find an appropriately formal outfit.  I had heard that some people dress super formal and others dress more casually.  So I shopped around a bit.  I didn't want to buy something that I would only wear once; I also wanted to be able to wear it to church.  But I didn't want to get anything too casual.  Agh!
Finally at Dress Barn, I found the perfect outfit.  A new, nice looking black skirt and a gold, satin shirt.  I even found a casual summery dress for only $14!!!  Yay!!
Here's some of the pictures from the formal night.  Somehow I didn't end up with any group shots, but Kim said she'd share what she has with me! :D
Derek and me after dinner. You can see my pretty pearl necklace!
Each night they had a show on board the shipThe first night was the dumb comedy thing.  The second night we hoped would be better.  The boat had some singers and dancers who performed throughout the week.  This night the performance was titled, "Can't Stop the Rock."  Sounds good, right?  Well, it wasn't so hot.  They chose songs out of all rated-R movies and most of the costumes and dance moves were well... petunie.  Just ask Jane what that means.  But it was fun to hang out with the family!!!

Kim, Me and Derek waiting for the show to start.  Everybody else was there too, they just weren't in the picture.

Another of our signature poses. This time, Derek wasn't all in it...
Derek posing with a statue. He's so good about doing all kinds of weird things in pictures for me! :)

My memory is a little fuzzy on what we did after the show.  Probably looked for our pictures on the picture wall.  Photographers took our pictures everywhere we went it seemed, and we were supposed to find our pictures on the wall.  If we liked them, we could buy them for a whopping $20 a photo.  If we didn't, we were supposed to throw them away in a special box.

We might have also played shuffleboard.  Derek and I played it a few times with different couples.  I don't remember which nights we did, but I do remember I LOVED IT!!!  I want my own shuffleboard in my backyard!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where have you been?!!

So I kind of forgot to tell anyone--except the people who were taking us to the airport--that Derek and I were going on a family cruise this last week.  Sorry everybody!  I tried to pre-post for the whole week, but I ran out of time.

This week for your enjoyment and for my record keeping needs, I'll be posting day by day what we did.  It was a ton of fun for us for two reasons, we LOVE to travel, and we LOVE to hang out with Derek's brothers and their wives.  The whole week we were trying to invent some word that meant "Derek's brothers and their wives" because "Derek's brothers and their wives" is too long and hard to say.  The best thing I could think of was "Chibrives" and that obviously stunk so I quit thinking about it.

November 9th
Our flight left Boise going to Ft. Lauderdale via Seattle (I know, CRAZY, right?!) and Atlanta at 9:30 PM.  I purposely picked an overnight flight because one, it was cheaper, and two, we wouldn't be wasting day time.  I mean, what do you do on a plane anyway?  Sleep!

Thanks to the Tuft family for taking us to the airport!  It was really nice of them and even though Boston screamed and cried half the way there (Nathan dropped him and Shauna off at Gma and Gpa's house part way through), it was way cute in a really pathetic baby's-got-a-cold sort of way.

November 10th
Our flights went pretty well, or as well as overnight flights go.  Daryl and Kim came to pick us up the next morning and the four of us found a nice beach to spend time at.  The weather was SO NICE!  I was genuinely shocked at the heat!  I had heard of places that were warm year round.  I've seen them in movies and television (Ernest Saves Christmas comes to mind), but I never personally experienced it.

The beach was pretty and it was just fun to hang out, talk and spend time together.  Here's some pictures...

 Derek on the street right next to the beach.

 Palm trees, obviously..
I tried and tried and tried to get a decent picture of a little bird digging for food.  It was hard because the sun was bright and I had sunglasses on, making it hard to see the little screen on the back of my camera.
Derek and a palm tree on the beach
Another palm tree.  I think I need one in my yard.  Do you think they'll grow in Idaho?

Unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures with Daryl and Kim.  Maybe they have some of themselves on the beach they would like to share? *Hint hint*

We met the rest of our family group at the dock around 1:30 or 2:00 PM that day.  All the passengers needed to be boarded on the ship by 3:30 for some official reason.  It was great to see everybody!  Four of the Cheney brothers were able to make it on this vacation, Doug and Melanie, Daryl and Kim, Daryn and Becca, and Derek and me.

We were--or I should say I was, Derek never stresses about anything--a little stressed getting on board because before we left, we weren't scheduled to sit with the rest of the Cheney clan at dinner time which really stunk because that is the best quality chat time on the boat.  Plus, I wasn't on the ball and didn't schedule our excursion online early enough.  After boarding, it was first come, first serve for the tickets. So we rushed on and got everything taken care of easily.  No need to stress.  I had called ahead about the seating thing a few days earlier and they had already taken care of it.

Us on the boat after getting nicer looking

The rest of the afternoon was spent being oriented by the cruise staff, getting to our staterooms, completing a muster drill (It was quite an experience! Almost worth its own post.  We'll see...), getting showered (at least Derek and I, because we took an overnight flight, it had been 24 hrs since our last showers), and getting ready for dinner.  Fortunately, all eight of us were seated together at our own table!

Let me tell you, a cruise is worth it just for the food!  Great stuff and you can try everything on the menu because the cost is included in the ticket price!  Our servers, Devang Agrawal from India and Mauricio Gonzales from Panama (?) were so friendly and nice.

About half-way through the meal, I started getting really sleepy.  Really, REALLY sleepy!  I was trying not to blink because when I did, I fell asleep a little each time.  By the time we were finished eating, I was ready for bed.  I didn't know if I'd be able to make it through dessert!

After eating, I tried to go to the comedy show, but that didn't work.  It wasn't all that funny and I was tired!  I think I was asleep by 7:30.  I'm not quite sure what everybody else did.  Derek said that most people did their own thing and went to bed early.

Great first day!

Tomorrow, Key West!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday - My Great Grandmother

This account of my great-grandparents, Vernon and Vessa, meeting and marrying was written by my great-grandfather, Vernon. 

It was shortly after school started (1925) when my interest began to turn toward a certain young lady by the name of Vessa Hanchett, of the Thatcher Ward.  Bishop Hanchett had assigned me to do ward teaching at his home, so to make a good impression, I became a very devoted ward teacher.  Vessa seemed to return the interest and it wasn't long before we started going together.  The young lady in Tempe seemed to fade from my mind completely.

Along toward the end of school, it became increasingly apparent that I was being considered for a mission call.  My interest in Vessa having become quite definite, we talked together about the idea of a mission.  She definitely said "Yes," to the mission idea, so I went ahead with preparations.

I graduated from Gila in May (1926) and my mission call came through the latter part of June, to the Netherlands Mission, which headquarters in Rotterdam, Holland.  this was quite a blow, as I had been expecting a call to some mission here in the states.  Vessa and I, together with our parents, decided we would get married before I left--not too smart a decision, but it has really worked out for us.  We were married at Vessa's home in Thatcher by Stake President Harry L. Payne on July 2, 1926.  we returned to Franklin after the wedding and made preparations to leave the next morning for Salt Lake City, where we planned to be married and sealed in the temple, and I was to enter the Mission School.  My mother accompanied us.

We took the train from Franklin [at] about 8:00 AM the morning of July 3, 1926.  During the night of July 2, someone stole all of our money, my traveler's checks for the trips to Holland, [and] all of our funds somewhere between Tuscon and Colton, California.  It had been in the my coat pocket, hanging over our heads in the upper berth.  During the night a wind had come up and evidently blown the coat into the aisle where it was found by someone.  When we discovered the loss, we immediately reported it to the train officials and they tried to find it but it was impossible.

On arrival at Colton, we wired my father [in] Franklin to have payments stopped on the money order and traveler's checks and to wire us more money so we could go on.  That was a very memorable, sad 4th of July we spent in the station at Colton waiting for more money.  more money arrived and we proceeded on to Salk Lake (A year later father recovered the money-order and traveler's checks through the Post Office Department and the bank.).  Upon arrival in Salt Lake we found we were a day too late to get through the Salt Lake Temple so the Mission School Officials sent us on to Logan.  There we obtained our endowments and were sealed on July 7 1926.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Newsworthy Tuesday - Mormons and Prop 8

I don't know about all of you, but I have been SHOCKED by the riots around LDS temples in California as a result of Prop 8 passing!  I understand that there are some very upset people out there and they have a right to express their feelings, but they way many are doing it is just wrong!

I am glad to see that there is someone else who isn't LDS who shares my feelings about the situation.  By no means were we the majority of voters in that election or the only religious group that encouraged people to vote for Prop 8.

Read this article, Former Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City Decries Religious Bigotry in Political Ad; Defends LDS Role in California Ballot Initiative Protecting Traditional Marriage.  It's nice to get some support!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Book of Mormon Mondays - Pride

Hmm, I think the Lord is trying to tell me something about pride and judgement.  Pride isn't something that I thought I had a huge problem with.  I mean, everybody has pride, but I guess I thought I had worse problems than that?  As for judgement I, like every woman out there, compare myself constantly to others.  I know that's bad, but I thought... well... never mind what I thought.  I guess the Lord is showing me who really knows! 

This is the second insight (or more accurately, personal revelation) about pride.  The second insight out of three that I think I've ever gotten out of reading the scriptures my entire life!  Honestly, I've never been a very insightful scripture reader.

Alma 9:12-17
 12 Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all—he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly adestroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his banger, and in his cfierce anger he will not turn away.
  13 Behold, do ye not remember the words which he spake unto Lehi, saying that: aInasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land? And again it is said that: Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
  14 Now I would that ye should remember, that inasmuch as the Lamanites have not kept the commandments of God, they have been acut off from the presence of the Lord. Now we see that the word of the Lord has been verified in this thing, and the Lamanites have been cut off from his presence, from the beginning of their transgressions in the land.
  15 Nevertheless I say unto you, that it shall be more atolerable for them in the day of judgment than for you, if ye remain in your sins, yea, and even more tolerable for them in this life than for you, except ye repent.
  16 For there are many promises which are aextended to the Lamanites; for it is because of the btraditions of their fathers that caused them to remain in their state of cignorance; therefore the Lord will be merciful unto them and dprolong their existence in the land.
  17 And at some period of time they will be abrought to believe in his word, and to know of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers; and many of them will be saved, for the Lord will be merciful unto all who bcall on his name.

To me, this scripture is telling me that I should not judge unwisely.  I should repent of my own sins and not even think about anybody elses, and NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO ANYONE ELSE!  Easier said than done right?

Everyone has their own reasons for doing (or not doing) what they do.  I don't know those reasons.  Only the Lord does.

The Nephites and Lamanites had a common beginning.  At one point, they all had access to the same information, the same teachings.  After a long time, the decendents of Laman and Lemuel fell away "because of the traditions of their fathers."  Their decendents had no control over what their ancestors did, and the decendents of Nephi had no right to hold that against them.

That lesson can be applied to so many things in our lives; in our families, in our wards, in our stakes, and beyond.  We are all taught basically the same thing at church and in our homes, how we all take those teachings and use them in our lives is different. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

The Power of a Loving Wife, Modern Molly Mormon. I found this excellent blog this week and have LOVED every post so far!  This has been my favorite.  Read it, and you'll love it too!

Open Adoption Success Story, Blissfully Domestic.  This blog is so amazing!  There are so many different authors and so many different topics that you perhaps spend the rest of your life reading just this blog!  Just kidding of course!  This post especially spoke to me as it was about adoption.  Great story!

My Favorite Ways to Save Money, Scribbit.  These are GREAT ideas!

You Can Make Yogurt in Your Crockpot, A Year of Crockpotting.  I've tried to make yogurt 4 times and failed each time.  My friend Rachel tried it this way and it worked so I think I'll try it too!

Japanese Counters (the free e-book), Tofugu.  Okay, it's been a while since I've posted anything Japanese.  At least it's felt like a while.  I've been holding back.  I thought of Jessica when I saw this.  It's pretty good.  And I'd recommend that anyone look at it and be thankful we speak English and not Japanese.  I mean Japanese is cool and all, but come on!  WAY TO MANY COUNTERS!!!

November Book Choice - Anna Karenina

My friend at has picked a great book for this month's book group, Anna Karenina!  I am so excited!!!!  I read it forever ago and have been wanting to read it again!

Photo from

Thursday, November 6, 2008

For all of you who that you were bad about putting up Halloween photos...

Here it is 20 minutes until November 7th and I'm just posting my one Halloween picture.   Pretty sad, huh?  I guess I'll have to add a couple more to go with it.

The puking pumpkin.  By far the best pumpkin I've ever carved.  The kids who rang the bell were never looking at us.  They were all looking at the pumpkin!
Pretty leaves next to my parents' house.  The leaves finally turned colors here!!!
Some of Derek's recent work.  He embellished the ceiling and added crown molding
Derek surprised me with knobs for our kitchen today!  Hooray!  The edges of the cupboard doors were a little on the sharp side believe it or not.  I've broken quite a few nails trying to get things opened.  Not any more!  Derek-of-all-Trades to the rescue!

My First Thanksgiving

This post was inspired by Scribbit's November Write-Away contest.  The theme is somewhere under the heading of Thanksgiving and the judges can choose whether it's the "F" in first or the "F" in Family, or both!  This is my first attempt at any kind of writing contest so wish me luck!

My first Thanksgiving was a really special day.  I know Thanksgiving is a special day.  Thanksgiving is a national holiday, often a three day holiday for schools and businesses.  It's a day we celebrate the first shared harvest in America.  A day we celebrate with families and remember what we are thankful for.  I know that there are a lot of families who don't see each other much, maybe only on Thanksgiving or Christmas.  But most people don't think of Thanksgiving as being a really special day.  I didn't either.  That was until I started doing a family photo project earlier this fall. 

My family, like every family, has a ton of photos.  My brother and I were cute little kids in the 80s and 90s; back before digital cameras.  We've always enjoyed looking through them back when we were kids, and now that we're both "grown up" and out of the house, there's only one problem.  There's only one copy of them.  I decided to start digitizing them so we could all have a copy of each picture, and so that we could use them in various projects.  I had no idea how much work it would be, how much fun I would have, or how much I would learn from them.

As I was going through all our old photos, I came across a bunch of my baby photos that I hadn't seen in years.  They were tucked away in my baby book.  I avoid looking in that book because of the envelope with my hair from my first haircut.  Its fairly disgusting to me.  I just imagine feeling hair on every page.  But that's another story.

On the back of one of my baby photos it says "Thanksgiving, one day before the big day! (at "grandmas")."  That big day was the day my parents would adopt me.  I'm guessing the grandma in quotation marks is my foster mother's mother.

My parents had received a call that I was ready for them earlier that week, but that they would need to wait a few days because of some minor paperwork and then the Thanksgiving holiday.  What torture that must have been for them!  I had no idea that Thanksgiving 1983 was such an important day for my family!

My first Thanksgiving was a really, really special day even though I didn't know it at the time or for many years afterwords.  From now on, I think I'll think a little bit more about what I have to be thankful for each Thanksgiving.  

I'm sorry to my faithful readers for yet ANOTHER adoption post.  I've sort of been on a talk-about-my-adoption kick lately.  It's been on my mind and I really am so thankful for the decision that my birth mother made to make such a huge sacrifice to make my life better, and to my parents for not giving up on having a family and making the daily sacrifices it takes to be a parent!  I love you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Way Back When Wednesday - My Adoption Story Part II

This was taken from an interview I had with my Mom for a freshman English paper.  Having said that, I had to change the some of the grammar because my Mom obviously didn't adopt all of you readers, just me.  I'm debating whether or not to get rid of the [] marks showing the changes I made....  You'll get it when you read it.  It gets a little overwhelming by the end.

We first went through a lot of medical testing to find out what the trouble was and what could be done about it  Needless to say it wasn't successful and I don't want to go into that.  It wasn't fun.  All of my sisters-in-law and my sister were expecting.

After four years, we came to the realization that we were supposed to adopt.  I don't recall how we came to that except that both of us in our lives had been prepared to do this.  Both having brothers who were adopted made it very natural to have happen.  It wasn't an accident, adopting was the way things were supposed to happen.  We are ever so glad to have had it work out the way it has!!!

We began making efforts toward adopting while we were in Provo.  We went to one interview and both came home feeling "this is right to do, but not yet."  So we waited.  Soon Dad was offered two jobs, one in Michigan and one in San Diego California.  We prayed and decided we were to go to the great unknown (to us) the Midwest!

We headed to Michigan.  We arrived there and about one month later, I was called to be the Relief Society President.  I attended one of my first welfare meetings and the bishop read a letter he had received from the LDS Social Services there.  It said they needed "more adoptive parent applicants."  Can you imagine!!!!  They have more babies available than adoptive parents!  That just doesn't happen.

As RS President, I was supposed to make that announcement in RS.  I don't think I ever did, because I knew who that letter was for.  Heavenly Father was saying, "NOW!"  It was time to get busy, and so we did.  We called the next day and made an appointment.  We got all the paperwork that needed to be filled out.  This took some time--several months, maybe a year.  Finally we got it complete and began our waiting time.

During that time as the RS President, I went to a welfare meeting regarding LDS Social Services.  One of the speakers that day was Brother Bunch.  He told about several different situations--no names of course--of teenage pregnancy, birth parents, unwed mothers, etc.

But the story that I remember most was one about a young woman who was not a member of the church.  She wanted to place her baby for adoption.  Her mother didn't want her to go through LDS Social Services because she didn't want her grand baby to be raised Mormon.  She did say it was okay to place a baby somewhere else or get an abortion.

But the young woman didn't want to get an abortion.  To please her mother, she investigated a few other adoption agencies, but they didn't feel right.  So she returned to LDS Social Services and decided that it felt right.  She signed up to get the services there which included counseling and other benefits.

Later after we got Rachel, as I remembered this welfare meeting, I had a special feeling.  We had few details on Rachel's birth parents, but several of the other things about this young woman lined up.  And I felt like this story could have been about her birth mother.

In those days, the policy was a year minimum waiting time.  By this time it had been a year since we had moved to Michigan.  The first year we didn't expect anything to happen because we knew--and they kept reminding us--that there was a year minimum wait.  After the year was up, every phone call made us hold our breath.

Dad wouldn't believe that anything would ever happen, so he didn't want to buy anything to prepare.  But I did get a few things anyway.  A package of diapers, a bottle, I made a blanket, etc.  It was very exciting, but hard to wait.  And after one and a half years, [Rachel] came to us!

Waiting for PJ was totally different in that [Rachel] kept us having fun.  It wasn't so hard to wait because of [Rachel].  Also we were in Orem and had many friends and family around us.  In Michigan life was different without familiar people.  We did have our ward, but we didn't know them very well.  In Orem, we had adoption classes to help us prepare to be adoptive parents.  There weren't classes like that in Michigan because the LDS Social Services there was so much smaller than in Utah.

One thing that is worth remembering may go down under the happiest moment of my life... or one of them.  That is the two times that those babies were put into my arms.  [Rachel] had such a sweet cherubic face!  Little fat cheeks.  [She] was angelic and [her] foster mother said that is what they called [her], not knowing [her] name... Angel.

[Rachel] was so sweet until [she] got hungry.  Then [she] went from asleep and quiet to screaming in a matter of a second.  Screaming at the top of [her] lungs as if [her] life depended on it!  [She] screamed as if [her] life depended on it!  [Rachel] screamed until the bottle was in [her] mouth and then [she] would drain it in about 15 minutes and go back to sleep.

Now PJ was different, I guess he knew he was the second child.  He was much more patient to wait for food.  He would start fussing a little. They [Rachel] would entertain him and I could fix a bottle.  He was very easy to take care of.  Course by then I had a little experience and that helped a lot.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Newsworthy Tuesday - Netflicks for Macs?! No Way!!!

Now this truely is a Newsworthy Tuesday!  On Friday, Macworld reported that Netflix will be relasing a beta version for Mac users!  HOORAY!!!

My husband and I have been debating whether or not to keep our Netflix subscription as we both have Macs.  We enjoy the DVDs that come to our house, but as of now, we can only watch instantly at my parents' house. 

So HOORAY for Netflix!  I'm checking it out as soon as I get home this evening!

Monday, November 3, 2008


We read next week's RS/Priesthood lesson for FHE today.  It was "Stand Fast Through the Storms of Life."  Excellent lesson.  These paragraphs really stood out to me. 

On December 5, 1833, the Prophet wrote to Church leaders presiding over the Saints who were being persecuted in Missouri: “Remember not to murmur at the dealings of God with His creatures. You are not as yet brought into as trying circumstances as were the ancient Prophets and Apostles. Call to mind a Daniel, the three Hebrew children [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego], Jeremiah, Paul, Stephen, and many others, too numerous to mention, who were stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, slain with the sword, and [who] wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains, and hid in dens and caves of the earth; yet they all obtained a good report through faith [see Hebrews 11:37–39]; and amidst all their afflictions they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to receive persecutions for Christ’s sake.

“We know not what we shall be called to pass through before Zion is delivered and established; therefore, we have great need to live near to God, and always to be in strict obedience to all His commandments, that we may have a conscience void of offense toward God and man. … 

I had never really thought this way.  I guess, like many people, since I know the outcome of the story, the trial part doesn't seem so hard, especially as most of the main characters in the great stories are prophets.  They can handle it, right?  Ha.  They're still human.  It's still hard for them.

My Crayon Color

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.

While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.

Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.

You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.

New Stuff for Mondays

The last few weeks I've felt a little stretched about what to write for Television and Movies Monday.  I mean, we watch TV and movies, I just haven't felt like I've had much to actually say about it.  I'm not that great at writing reviews.

So I'm changing Mondays.  Now Mondays will be Book of Mormon Mondays.  I usually have some sort of insight at least once a week from reading in the Book of Mormon.  AND isn't writing about the Book of Mormon a much better use of time than writing about television and movies?  I thought so.

So here we go!  Derek and I made a goal to read scriptures together each morning.  We were reading together just before bed and that was a disaster.  We have a bad habit of staying up until we're falling asleep and never planning enough time for reading.  It was a struggle just to stay awake long enough to read any number of verses.

Thinking it over, we decided that mornings would be better.  We'd still be half asleep, but we'd be waking up.  I think that's the lesser of the half-asleep evils.  And sometimes it's just one of us reading while the other gets dressed and ready, but hey, we're reading consistently!  And in our house, that's improvement!

And on to my insight this morning.  It was one of those I'm getting ready while Derek's reading mornings.  We're in chapter 9 of Alma.  It's one of the Alma and Amulek sermons.  This is part of what we read...

 1 And again, I, Alma, having been commanded of God that I should take Amulek and go forth and preach again unto this people, or the people who were in the city of aAmmonihah, it came to pass as I began to preach unto them, they began to contend with me, saying:

  2 Who art thou? Suppose ye that we shall believe the testimony of aone man, although he should preach unto us that the earth should pass away?

  3 Now they understood not the words which they spake; for they knew not that the earth should pass away.

  4 And they said also: We will not believe thy words if thou shouldst prophesy that this great city should be destroyed in aone day.

  5 Now they knew not that God could do such marvelous aworks, for they were a hard-hearted and a stiffnecked people.

  6 And they said: aWho is God, that sendeth bno more authority than one man among this people, to declare unto them the truth of such great and marvelous things?

  7 And they stood forth to lay their hands on me; but behold, they did not. And I stood with boldness to declare unto them, yea, I did boldly testify unto them, saying:

  8 Behold, O ye wicked and perverse ageneration, how have ye forgotten the btradition of your fathers; yea, how soon ye have forgotten the commandments of God.


During verses 2-3, I was thinking, what stupid people!  They shouldn't doubt that "the earth should pass away!"  Everybody knows that once you start thinking that, God will send some hardship, big or small!

And then I caught myself.  How many times do I start thinking that way.  I've been thinking that lately.  Even with the economy being in the state it's in now, I'm still thinking, no way things won't get that bad, really bad things won't happen to us!

How stupid am I?!!!  I can't believe it!  I should know better!  I've read the Book of Mormon; I know about the pride cycle.  And I'm afraid my friends that we are in the beginnings of the crashing phase.  We shouldn't worry too much or be afraid.  We just need to be doing our part to be prepared and be good!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Righteous Traditions Family Home Evening

My friend and Relief Society teacher Hannah (She's awesome!  Check out her blog!)gave an excellent lesson last week in RS.  It was on creating righteous traditions in our homes.

She did a great job of incorporating the sisters in the ward by asking a few of them to share some of their righteous traditions in the areas of Sabbath day observance, family prayer, family scripture study, service and activity in the Church, and patterns of respect and loyalty in the home.

Hannah also gave out a great chart for us to fill out righteous traditions that we have, that we see in others, and that we would like to improve on.  I heard lots of great ideas from my sisters in the ward and decided that Derek and I would do this for FHE the next day.

It's unusual to find an activity that works well with just the two of us.  We often feel silly or awkward when we have a formal FHE with an opening and closing prayer (We dispense with the song.  Derek doesn't like to sing and I refuse to do a solo!).  But we know it's something we need to do.

Anyways, the FHE was a smashing success!  Thank you Hannah!  It took us a while to get our creative juices flowing and think of new (or new to us) righteous traditions for our home.  Most of the ones we thought of had a lot to do with Sunday things like cleaning the house BEFORE Sunday, cooking a large meal and having it to eat througout the week or sharing with someone, reading the next week's lesson, or writing an e-mail or letter to family or friends.  But the one that I'm most excited for is our new food storage tradition.

We decided that it would be a good, righteous tradition to start buying just one extra food storage item each grocery shopping trip we go on.  That way we can be building up our stores without feeling too overwhelmed.

So far, it's worked out great!  We went on our first grocery shopping trip and got extra powdered milk.  We use it often in cooking anyways so we got a huge box of it while we were at Costco.  Half of it is for current use, the other half is for food storage.  It wasn't at the cheapest price we could have bought it at, but it was a great brand so we know it's quality.  And it was still cheaper than buying a gallon of regular milk!

The FHE picture is from a great LDS resource website I found through a Google image search,  For a FHE lesson index, click on the picture.  For some reason, I couldn't find it when I went through their new website. 

Marion Jones

On Wednesday, one of the best episodes of Oprah I have ever seen was on.  She was interviewing Marion Jones after her release from prison for lying to federal agents about using an illegal performance enhancing drug.

Oprah has a lot of great shows, and she always tries to help people and influcence society in a beneficial way.  With this episode, I really felt like Oprah was promoting good, upright behavior.

I feel like many times, people who get caught doing something wrong, they never accept responsibility for their actions.  They seem to want to do whatever they want, when they want, and then experience no consequences.

Marion was the exact opposite.  I'm not sure I believed everything she said about the situation surrounding her usage of "the clear," but I really felt she was being genuine when she said that her punishment was fair.  She didn't try to blame anyone for her actions (of lying, she did say that she didn't know she was taking the performance enhancing drug and that  her coach gave it to her and told her it was flax seed oil).

She said it over and over, that she had made a choice and now she had to deal with the consequences.

I also appreciated how she made it clear that being an athlete does not define who she is or was.  She thought it did and that was part of the reason why she lied.  Now that her titles, records, and medals were removed, she saw that she was so much more than that.

I highly recommend the video clip of the interview on, Marion Jones' Letter to Her Sons, and the article.

It was really sad to see how just one little mistake can affect your life and those around you, but I was so impressed with her attitude!