Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Cottages, Modern Molly Mormon.  An excellent article!  And I really liked the metaphor.

Glass Jar Frames, Be Different... Act Normal.  Cute idea!  Too bad I don't have any extra jars...

Why do Japanese Say "Moshi Moshi," Tofugu.  Probably not interesting unless you're into Japanese stuff.  His explanations are pretty funny though. It gets a little weird in the middle so beware! :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Ramen

Or as they say in Korean, ra-myun.  I love the stuff!  And I recently had a re-awakening of my love for ramyun.  But only for Asian ramyun.  The American stuff just isn't quite as good.

I ordered a few different kinds of Korean ramyun a while back and now they're all gone!!!  What am I going to do?!! :)  Good thing there's a decent Asian market in Boise.  There's another thing to be grateful for!

Image from Love that

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Way Back Wednesday - Playing Under the Sink

I was a Barbie girl when I was a kid.  Big time.  I had tons of Barbie clothes and dolls.  I think I had six to eight Barbies, two Kens, an Ariel doll, one Kevin, and five Skipper dolls (Identical, and all from the same birthday party).  And I had a friend, Amber, who was just as equally into Barbies as I was.  At least that's how I remember it.  Is that how it was Amber?

We would take our Barbies on vacation to a swimming resort which happened to be the bathroom in the real world.  The counter and sink was the pool area, and the cupboards underneath were their hotel rooms.  And we fit inside too!  Somehow that made it feel more real to me?  Maybe I'm just odd...

The only problem we had was that it was a little dark.  So we'd push out the drawers to give us some light and more head room.  I'm sure the scene would have looked pretty bizarre to anyone just walking in.

But it was so much fun!  We would start playing in my room--home in Barbie Land--and then our Barbies would go on vacation.  So we'd "travel" to our resort, set up pretty cool hotel rooms in the cupboard, and take our barbies swimming in the sink!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Newsworthy Tuesday

I've been lazy lately.  I didn't write anything yesterday.  At least nothing for Book of Mormon Mondays...  Sorry guys, I'll try to do better!

But on to Newsworthy Tuesday.  Derek and I took a greatly needed break and spent the weekend in Provo!  It was really nice to see Derek's family.  We stayed at his parents' house--thanks guys for being so hospitable--and had a great Saturday going to a nephew's b-ball game, going out for lunch, and then going to see another nephew in Seussical the Musical

We also got to see our friends Yi and Sarah.  They taught us how to play the real Chinese Mah Jong!  I've been scouring the web for a cheap set.  I haven't found anything under $29.95, and Yi swears he can get it cheaper for us in China when he and Sarah go in April.  We are SO JEALOUS!  They are going to Japan too!

It was a great trip!  Nice to get away from real life for a while and just relax!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

An Uplifting Thought or Two, Modern Molly Mormon.  I've heard many versions of this story, but reading it this week gave it special significance.  I guess I haven't had any really tough trials until lately!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I have so much to be thankful for this week!  This last week and a half has probably been the hardest week and a half I've ever experienced!  Thankgoodness things are looking up!

All I can really say is that have a whole new appreciation for those who work with, live with, and take care of mentally ill patients.  I am so grateful that my mom's symptoms were/are temporary!

I also have a new appreciation for family.  Trying times can really bring families together or tear them apart.  My family has been great, and I think that we all have grown quite a bit!

Setting up hospice care a few weeks ago was probably the best move we've made yet in our journey with MS.  Our nurse Sandy, and all the other great nurses and aides at Heart 'n Home have been a God-send and we love them all!  I'm not sure how we would survive without them now!  It's hard to remember life before them

And I can't forget Hannah Hamilton.  She is great!  She brought me a loaf of homemade bread.  Delicious, wonderful, warm bread!  She is the first person to bring something specifically to Derek and I.  All the other help we've received has been more geared towards my parents.  Which is great!  I'm not complaining.  Derek and I really don't have it quite like my parents do.  They need all the help they can get, but it was so nice to feel like someone was thinking of us and wanted to make our lives a little better.  And Hannah, your bread really brightened my day!  Thank you so much!

So anyways, there's what I've been grateful for this week.  My mom woke up a lot better today and is pretty much back to her normal self.  It's wonderful!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - First Piano Lessons

In honor of teaching my first piano lesson this evening, I'm writing about my first lesson.

I was turning seven and I had been bugging my parents about learning to play the piano.  At least that's what they tell me.  I don't remember asking.  Maybe it's one of those repressed memories.  I wasn't a huge fan of lessons as a kid.  Playing the piano was great; practicing... not so much!  But I'm definitely not sorry my mom wouldn't let me quit!

Anyways, my parents decided that I was ready to start learning, and for my seventh birthday, I received piano lessons!  There was a single lady in our ward that lived nearby, Sister Valentine, who taught lessons.  I was so excited!

For some reason, I remember a lot of green related to those first lessons.  As I remember, my first lesson book was green and I think even the carpet or wall paper in her piano room was green too.  I don't exactly remember.  But I do remember her having a nice, big piano--probably a baby grand--with some chips in the ivory keys.  Real ivory, what a shame!  She said her piano tuner chipped them and would replace them soon.

I didn't take lessons from her for very long.  It was probably less than a year, maybe only a few months.  She moved away somewhere.  Good thing there was another piano teacher in our ward!

Mom update:  Our hospice nurse (Her name is Sandy and we LOVE her!!!) decided that my mom's interesting behavior is because of the medication the doctor prescribed her, and ordered another.  We're hopeful that the change will be for the better.  We're seeing some better times, but the problem is the first medication will stay in her system for about a week.  Meaning she's still going to have some odd behavior for a while... 

It's really tough for all of us, but it's a real blessing that there's the five of us to help share the burden.  And in this case it's a blessing that she's not very mobile.  I can't imagine how much harder it would be if she could get up and get around! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Newsworthy Tuesday - Need a Kidney?

Fiancee Kidney Donor: "Of Course We Were a Match!" CNN

This has to be one of the best news stories I've ever read!  The odds of these two people meeting, falling in love, and then being matches for a kidney donation are amazing!

I'm really inspired by this woman's love and courage.  She's a great role model!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book of Mormon Mondays - I need some help

I'm doing something a little different with my post today.  Instead of writing about what thoughts I've had, I need some of yours.

It's been a trying week this last week.  On Tuesday morning, my mom went from being completely normal (well, her normal, she has pretty severe MS) to completely non-responsive.  We were worried that she had a stroke.  My dad called her hospice nurse, who then called the doctor, and they said to take her directly to the emergency room.  They did a few tests, ruled out a stroke of any kind and determined that some of her blood levels were off.  Way off.

We decided to put her in the hospital for a couple of days to even out those levels and then try out some new medicines for her mental state.  To make a long story short, they were able to get her levels back up to normal--strange how little things can make a big difference--and they were able to start her on a new medication.  She didn't have any adverse reactions so we took her home on Friday evening.

And things have kept going down hill. The medicine has her pretty drugged up so she's not really her self.  She's doing a lot of weird things.  Some of it is pretty disturbing.  We're hoping that once the medicine has a few days to level off in her system, she'll start improving, but she's been a little unwilling to take any pills.

So here's where the Book of Mormon Mondays comes in.  I've never been really good at studying the scriptures.  I read them often, but I'm not very good at studying to find an answer.  What are some scriptures (from any volume of scripture) that you have found that have given you strength or comfort in trying times?

PS:  In the time it took to write and post this, my mom has perked up quite a bit!  It's pretty encouraging!  There's still a ways to go, but I think things are going to be a lot better than we originally thought! :D

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Weekend

After a crazy week, this weekend was almost relaxing.  As many of you who me locally, my mom was in the hospital this last week.  I've got more about that in my next post.  Suffice it to say, our world was turned a little upside down as we took turns spending time with her 24/7.

But she came home Friday night, so Saturday was a fairly normal day for Derek and I.  We slept in, and Derek made me heart shaped pancakes!  I was tickled pink as my dad would say.   I so wished I had my camera available!  Somehow my memory card got corrupted and it's my only one (Anyone have any suggestions on how to fix it?  I already reformatted it in my camera and that didn't do anything...).

Then we ran a few errands.  Derek helped out our friends the Ortons. I delivered some valentines and then met my new piano student and his mother at the music store to pick out some lesson books.  My first piano student!  Thanks Tanya for suggesting me when Crystal asked for someone!  I'm so excited!  Wish me luck!

After our errands, we watched a couple of Law and Order episodes.  I have a weakness for crime shows and L&O is our favorite.  It was just so nice to relax and watch TV!

And Derek's E-mart watch died.  E-mart is the Wal-mart equivelant in Korea.  It's been going for some time now and finally completely died.  Good excuse to go to Wal-mart for some shopping.  Not only did we get a stylin' watch, but we got some Cheetos Puffs and Sweethart conversation hearts.  My favorite!  I can already feel some sore spots on my tounge from too much sugar!

Saturday evening was a little rough for my dad.  He called us to see if there was anything we could do to help the situation any.  There wasn't anything we could do.  My mom was just having a really rough time, but I think it helped my dad to have someone else there with him.

Today was a little rough for me.  A lot of what's been happening around here is just setting in.  Sacrament meeting was great.  Both speakers talked about very timely topics, finding blessings in adversity and prayer.  And the hymns were just perfect too!  After the first hour, Derek and I mutually agreed that we needed to be at my parent's house to keep my dad sane and see how we could help my mom.  It was a good choice.  She's come around a bit and act a little more like herself.

And that's where we are as of now.  A little frazzled, but we're doing okay.  And surprisingly, we're happy.  Not happy with the situation per se, but we've been blessed with some feeling of happiness.

And PS:  I can't post this without giving a shout out to our amazing ward, the Caldwell 3rd Ward.  Especially our Relief Society President and Compassionate Service Leader.   They've really took the bull by the horns and have some great plans to help us out.  And thank you to everyone else for your kindness and concern for my family.  We really appreciate it!  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Finds - A Link Round-up

Personal Study in a Digital Age, Modern Molly Mormon.  Within this post is a link to a great personal scripture study tool.  I'm excited!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday -

I know I already posted about the resolution of my bank woes, but I'm feeling REALLY grateful about it!  I am so happy to have our money back!  You don't know how hard Derek and I prayed for a positive resolution.  We are so blessed!

And you can bet that I will be checking my account much more often to make sure it doesn't happen again!!

PS:  Thank you for all your kind words and support!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Way Back When Wednesday - Shorts Phobia

When I was a kid, probably around the age of 6 or 7, I was afraid to wear shorts.  I would wear pants everyday even on warm days.  Except Sunday of course.

But anyways, I was afraid to wear shorts. Why you ask?  Well, that's what my dad finally asked me after weeks of me wearing pants.  My answer was I was worried about falling and getting my knees all bunged up.  According to me, nobody else ever had bunged up knees. 

My fear of shorts may have come from a field trip. My class walked over to a garden in a backyard somewhere.  I don't remember much about the trip other than all the bees (I hate bees), and slipping off the curb and skinning my knee.  I was embarrassed to tell the teacher, so I didn't get a band-aid.  A couple of people pointed my bleeding knee out to me.  Ha ha!  As if I didn't know. 

Later that day, I tried to sit next to my friend in music class.  She she took one look at bleeding, half scabbed-over knee, squirmed around squeeling, "Ew!  Look at your knee!"  She refused to sit next to me and ran away (To her credit, it was pretty disgusting.  Since I hadn't put a band-aid, my knee had gotten pretty nasty).  I walked over to my teacher and told him that my friend wouldn't sit next to me.  He asked me why and I said, "because of this," as I raised my injured knee.  He got me a band-aid and all was well.

Eventually, my dad convinced me that there are lots of people who fall and have skinned up knees.  I specifically remember him telling me that if we lined up a bunch of the students at my school and checked all their knees, a lot of them would have bunged up knees.  And I imagined a bunch of kids lined up with skinned knees. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Newsworthy Tuesday - Sharkwatcher

What a cool job this guy has!  Patrick Davids' life used to be full of drugs, alcohol and crime, but now he's a hero!  He's a shark spotter in Capetown, South Africa.

It's a pretty cool story. He was able to turn his life around and start anew.

A refreshing article to read!

Meet South Africa's Top Shark Spotter, the Christian Science Monitor

Oh, and what do you think about thee Suleman Octuplts?   I agree with a quote I read somewhere.  I'm not sure if it's in the article I linked to, but the person basically said, if there are rules, guidelines, and regulations for adoptions, there should be some for IVF too.  I know the two situations are very different, but in many ways they are also the same.

Anyways, what are your thoughts?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Book of Mormon Mondays - We Must Be Watchful!

I don't know how many times I have read the war chapters in Alma.  Each time I have, I've always thought, why are these in here?  I'm not learning much from them beyond the obvious!

But then today, I had a thought.  As I was reading Alma 47, I was amazed at the cunning-ness (Is that a word?) of Amalickiah!  He was so careful not to appear suspicious.  I don't think anyone suspected his treachery to gain the Lamanite throne.  But in the end, he did.

It reminded me of how watchful we need to be to prevent and avoid the evils in our world.  They are so pervasive and seemingly unsuspicious!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


We got our money back!!! Yay!!!

I checked our bank account this afternoon and there it was!  I am so glad not to be $2500 lighter!!

Now I just have to reset all our automatic bills...  That might take some time...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Finds: A Link Round-up

PicMarkr.  Found this through an other blog.  Maybe Blissfully Domestic?  Not sure.  Anyways, it's perfect for putting your name on photos if you don't have your own watermark.  I haven't quite figured out how to do it with PSE, so I think I'll be using this until I do.

Scrapblog. This is a fun, easy scrapbooking site.  My only wish is that I could print them off from my computer.

Bake Your Own Peanut Butter Treats, TJHirst.  I will be making this for desert tonight!  I can't wait!  I looks so delicious!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Blogging Buddies

I am so thankful for blogging buddies!  It's so great to be able to connect with other women and share life's experiences.

Also, I've learned quite a few new things through my blogging buddies.  Like today, I found a cool scrap booking site called, Scrapblog.  I would have never found it, and it's great! Look what I made!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I got tagged by a bunch of people on facebook to do this list thing, and thought I'd kill two birds with one stone.

1.  I am a Geography freak!

2.  I tend to have big dreams about craft projects, start them totally unprepared, hurry through it, and then hate the end product.

3.  I was adopted as a baby and I love that about me!  It was probably one of the two best things that ever happened to me in my life!

4.  I really am married to my best friend.  Everybody says that, but I don't believe most of them.  My husband and I are a match made in heaven!

5.  I am a relatively recent cat lover convert.  I never really hated them, but it wasn't until I was married that I really found my love for them.  We've had 4 cats in our 5 years of marriage (no, we didn't kill them, it's a long story).

6.  I talk to my cat like she can really understand, and I think she does... usually.

7.  I do a lot of weird dances.  But only in front of my husband. 

8.  We lived in Korea for a year and a half.  Half loved it, half hated it while we were there.  Now I really REALLY miss it and would move back in a heart beat if everything was just right.

9.  I've tried to learn German, Japanese, and Korean, but haven't really made much progress in any of them.  But by trying to learn another language, I have a real appreciation for those who are bilingual and especially trilingual!

10.  I'm a picky reader.  The books have to have substance.  I am NOT a fan of Twilight, and love books like Anna Karenina.

11.  I'm a picky movie watcher.  They can't have any substance.  Serious movies don't hold my attention.  Unless they're documentaries

12.  I have all kinds of opinions on all kinds of current events.  Don't get me started on any of them.  Unless you're really interested.

13.  It's my dream someday to take a 'round the world trip via plane, train (Trans-siberian Railroad) and boat.  We almost did coming home from Korea, but it ended up being a little expensive and scary.

14.  I have only recently discovered my love for the X-Files and Alias.  I can't get enough of them now.  Good thing Derek likes them too.

15.  I love to play the piano, but I hate practicing.  Good thing I'm decent at sight reading.

16.  I love to do cross stitch, but hate displaying them.  I also don't like giving them away so I end up storing them.

17.  Digi scrapbooking is my new creative outlet.  If only I had the money to print the stuff!

18.  When I was a kid, I wanted to have green eyes and my name to be Epiphany.  I saw the word on a calendar and thought it was pretty.

19.  I have a fear of heights and open backed stairs.  But I'm getting over them.  I did a hike by myself in Korea that involved climbing over 100 open backed stairs and some crazy bridges bolted to the side of a cliff overlooking a stream.  Sounds crazier than it actually was, but it was pretty scary for me.  I had to sing Primary songs to myself to keep calm! :)

20.  I'm addicted to traveling now.  I've got probably a dozen trips planned in my head.

21.  If I could, I would get another two cats, but I can't afford another pet deposit, and three pets aren't allowed in our apartment complex.

22.  I will be an East Coaster forever.  I loved living in North Carolina!

23.  I own the cutest cat on the planet!

24.  Much to my husband's chagrin, I keep calling the clip on a gun "that little handle."  It makes sense to me.

25.  I always have a desire to spend time outside, but I'm really disappointed when I actually get out there.  I hate too much sun, wind, heat, cold, etc.  I'm definitely an indoors person!

Way Back When Wednesday - Umbrellas

I used to be afraid of umbrellas.  Well, actually it was just closing them.

When I was a kid, my parents had a big, black, manual umbrella.  It probably wasn't as big as I remember, but it was scary.  I specifically remember one time pushing the wedge to collapse it, and it pinched my finger.  Boy, did that hurt! 

So from then on, I avoided closing umbrellas no matter what.  Eventually, the fear spread over to opening umbrellas too.  I was so glad when automatic umbrellas were invented.

I don't have a fear of pinching my fingers in an umbrella anymore.  Most of the fear came from an irrational child's brain.  But even now that I'm an adult, the first thing that I instictly think when I'm opening a manual umbrella is, "Don't pinch your fingers!"

Way Back When Wednesday - No More Tonsillitis!

All through my early elementary school years, I was plagued with sore throats.  From the way my mom describes it, I always had a sore throat.  I don't really remember it being sore, but maybe that was because it was so normal for me.

After a while, my doctor and parents decided that it would be best for me to have my tonsils removed because usually, I had tonsillitis.  I was a little excited because I was the first one I had heard of to have a tonsillectomy.  Except for my dad.  But being like my dad made it even cooler. 

Plus, my parents tried to make the situation seem better by telling me the surgery would hurt a lot, but I would get to eat ice cream and jello, stay home from school, and watch tv and movies in bed!  Yipee!

So the day of my surgery came.  Luckily, it was a day surgery thing, so I didn't worry about staying in the hospital over night.  They gave my my I.V., and soon I was under anesthesia.  Evidently, the tonsillectomy went well because there weren't any negative effects... except for the pain.

My parents remember me giving them the look of death when they came to see me after the surgery.  I don't remember being so mad, but maybe I forgot because I was in so much pain?  Who knows.

All I remember about that day after surgery was waking up in the recovery room.  I didn't really remember where I was, and I thought that the nurse sitting next to me was my mom.  I asked her to scratch my back.  She did, but as she reached over, something got caught on the tie of my hospital pants  Maybe it was a fingernail or a watch or something, but my most memorable memory of surgery that day was of getting a major wedgie!  Because you see, patients don't wear underwear underneath hospital clothing!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Newsworthy Tuesday - Michael Phelps

Have any of you read in the news about Michael Phelps smoking pot at a party in Columbia, SC?  I couldn't believe it!  He's such a nice, down-to-earth looking guy!  And an Olympic athlete!  Disappointing to say the least.

The Associated Press quotes him saying,

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."

Well, I'm glad that he admits to doing wrong.  So many celebrities try to get away with... well, murder!  And I'm also really proud of Sheriff Lot of Richland County, South Carolina for pursuing the case even though Michael is a well loved celebrity. Nobody should be able to get away with illegal actions even if they aren't super serious!

Monday, February 2, 2009


I had a nice howdy-do this morning!  I went to check my account balances online this morning and found that someone had spent around $2500 on our debit card today, putting us quite a ways in the hole.  Big, red numbers are NOT my friend!

I immediately contacted the bank and signed the dispute forms.  I looks like things are going to ok... in about 10-15 days (meaning we get the money back).

Until things get worked out and we get new cards, numbers and stuff, our checking account is frozen.  Which means that I had to contact all the places that I have automatically withdraw payments from my account, tell them my sob story, and then see if there was anything to be done about paying them.  Most of them were really easy to work with and I was able to change most of them to paper billing.

We were also able to pay rent from our savings (Yay for savings!), and I checked our credit report, and things look good on that end too.  Looks like someone just stole our debit card number and went to town!

So for now, things are okay.  Hopefully things will turn out alright and we'll get refunded all the money.  I'm hoping it will get resolved even sooner than the 10-15 days!

Book of Mormon Mondays - Fighting the Good Fight

Derek and I were reading Alma 43 yesterday, and was particularly struck by these two verses...

Alma 43:30, 45
30 And he also knowing that it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their lands, and their liberty, and their church, therefore he thought it no sin that he should defend them by stratagem; therefore, he found by his spies which course the Lamanites were to take. 

45 Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church. 

I was impressed with how slow the Nephites were to go to war, but when the Lord told Alma that it was the right thing to do (defend their homes and families).

I was even more impressed with the wording, "therefore he thought it no sin that he should defend them by stratagem," in verse 30.  To me, that means that it's important to stand up for what's right; to fight for what's right, if you will. And I don't mean in a violent way.

There are many times in my life where I'm afraid to fight for what's right, for big things and for small things.  I think most of the time, my hesitance is because I'm worried I'm going to offend or bother someone.  But this scripture story has inspired me to do more!