December 30, 2009
"Storm Women Weekend" I was rummaging through my parent's garage. I came across a box of old photos, some of which I had never seen before. I found some old wedding photos and started thinking of how I had never seen a wedding album of my parents.
So for their Christmas gift we decided to make them a Wedding Album along with including pictures and letters from my siblings and their families. The book was titled "All because two people fell in love..." so each of my siblings wrote a paragraph or two about all the blessings they have received because my parents got married.
The book turned out beautifully and made my mom cry (not very hard to do).
December 29, 2009
Unfortunately, when family lives a state away we can't always spend the Holidays with them. However, Pat's family went above and beyond to make Christmas feel as though they were right here with us. A week before Christmas, the Koelling sent us a HUMONGOUS box full of presents. We couldn't wait to see what was inside.
Thank you so much Koelling family for going above and beyond and making our Christmas wishes come true.
It was so much fun to have a date with Patrick and to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Thanks Meghan!
December 28, 2009
December 27, 2009
It was so fun to catch up and see each other again. Even though we only live 30 minutes from each other, we do not get together nearly enough.
These are my best of friends. Even though we don't see each other that often, whenever we do get together we never skip a beat.
December 21, 2009
We sent out our Christmas Postcards this year, so if you didn't get one, here they are (just a little update on our lives and some pictures to go along with it).
We are so very blessed and recognized the Lord's hand in our lives on a daily basis. Merry Christmas!
December 20, 2009
You might be wondering why a 26-year-old women, without any children, would be reading the childrens book "The Indian in the Cupboard." As you might remember from my past book review posts, I hated reading as a child. I didn't pick up reading as a hobby until college, and now it is one of my favorite past times. Because I hated reading, I missed out on reading the classic books that every kid should read. So now, I feel like I have to make up for lost time and educate myself, even though I am a bit old for these type of books.
I bought this book at D.I. because I remember my older brother, Justin, reading it and liking it when I was a kid. I thought I would give it a go.
Omri sometimes finds his best friend Patrick a little tiresome, but he shows nothing but loyalty to his best friend. When Omri is given a cupboard for his birthday, he’s happy because he likes things that lock with special keys, but he’s overjoyed when the cupboard turns Little Bear, his plastic figurine, into a real live Indian brave. When Patrick finds out, he wants a little man too, and without thinking of the consequences he uses the cupboard on his plastic cowboy. Now the cowboy and the Indian are really trying to kill each other, and the boys have their hands full keeping them a secret.
Just a little story: When I was on my mission, serving on Temple Square, I was giving a tour of Brigham Young's house. During the tour there were a few rooms where we talked about the great relationship Brigham Young and the early members of the church had with the Indians. I had given this tour hundreds of times before and had the information down pat. Then a young lady asked this question, a little annoyed: "I am sorry. But I just cringe every time you say the word 'Indian.' Is there a religious reason why your religion doesn't use the appropriate title 'Native American'?" I was a little embarrassed. I had never thought much about this before and the word "Indian" was how the script to the tour was phrased. I apologized and took the blame for my misuse of the word. Obviously, I never used the word "Indian" again within in this tour, and still to this day only use the title "Native American." In this day and age we are so politically correct; so the use of the word "Indian," when referring to a Native American, seemed a little odd to me and dated the book. I am not sure if they read this book in school anymore, but if they did I am sure they would have to change the title to "The Native American in the Cupboard." Anyways, that really had nothing to do with the book.
I really enjoyed the book. I think it is every child's dream to have their toys come to life. I remember pretending the same thing with my dolls and barbies. The book brought me back to that time in my life, where times were simple and exciting.
The book was loaded with educational facts about the old west and Native American culture. Someday I would like to read this book with my children and really engulf them in the culture as we learn about it in the book. It would be fun to make Native American dishes, make the clothes and the tepees they describe and so forth.
The author made learning fun, but also teaches children about responsibility in various ways.
As for pure enjoyment, there were times where I was getting anxiety over the situations the boy and his "Indian" were put in. What was going to happen?! I could only imagine how exciting a story like this would be for a child.
This is a classic that every child should read. It teaches many facts and good principles, and the reader can even take the information he or she learns and build upon it by exploring even deeper into the culture of the old west and Native Americans.
December 17, 2009
December 16, 2009
The day before Thanksgiving, Pat and I heard about how John Jones was stuck in part of the Nutty Putty Caves. Even though you hear horrible stories on the news all the time, for some reason this story really stuck with us and we were constantly checking for updates on his status. We followed his story up until the night before Thanksgiving, when we heard they had moved him 16 feet. Our hopes were high for his rescue, then breaking news hit explaining how some equipment had failed and he had slipped back into his original situation, however, this time he was upside down. Our hearts were aching for him and his wife.
How could a family outing turn so tragic. However, we still had high hopes of him making it out of the cave. Pat and I both felt guilty going to bed that night as John Jones was stuck; we prayed for him and his family.
The next morning we woke up to the tragic news of his death. I couldn't believe it. I really thought he was going to make it. I felt such sorrow for his pregnant wife and their child.
I don't know why this story affected me so much; we did not know them. We hear tragic stories on the news all the time and barely blink and eye. It might have to do with the fact that Pat and I have both been in the Nutty Putty Caves. Or that we are the same age as John Jones. Or that I am a wife to someone I love dearly and couldn't image losing him. Or that his wife is now a widow with a child and another one on the way. Whatever the reason, Pat and I couldn't stop thinking about him and his family.
The following Sunday someone in at our church talked about how they were able to attend John Jones' funeral. They spoke of the peace and comfort they felt while there. What a great blessing to we have knowing that this is not the end; that there is another life after this life and that we will be reunited with our families for eternity. I can only imagine how this knowledge gets John Jones' wife through the day.
It has been a little under a month since the tragic event. Yet, I still find myself thinking of John Jones' wife and children. I wonder how she is coping how she gets up in the morning. I still pray for her daily. I pray that Heavenly Father will take away her pain and replace it with peace and joy—I hope it is working. Often when I am with Pat, I think about how grateful I am to have him here with me. When I think times are hard, I think about how blessed I am to experience the hard time with my husband who I love so dearly.
So what is one to do? Just sit and think "How sad." I felt like I needed to do something. But what? It seemed that there was nothing I could do that would make much of a difference. However, that is where I was wrong. Two funds had been set up for the memorial they are going to build and also for Emily Jones and her children, I decided to donate. Even though I could not give much, I felt that I needed to give enough that it was a sacrifice for our family. His family went through and continues to go through such difficult times. I am so richly blessed and felt like I needed to show my gratitude for all my blessing by giving what I could.
This Christmas season we all have so many blessings; show your gratitude by giving back to those in need. Even if you can't give very much, every little bit counts.
To donate the "Emily Jones Children Fund" simply send a check to:
1060 University Ave
Provo, UT 84604
December 15, 2009
December 14, 2009
Well, it has been a while since I have completed a book. I have started a few but never could get through them because my friend told me about a really good book she just read "Mistborn." I was a little hesitant because it was a fantasy book (never read that genre before) and also over 600 pages long. However, she gave it such rave reviews, and I have always LOVED her recommendations in the past I had to read it.
The main character in Mistbornis Vin, a 16-year-old thief on the streets of Luthadel, the capital city of the Final Empire.
The story follows her life as she comes into her own as one of the Mistborn, people who can use ingested metal particles to enhance their abilities, both mental and physical. She begins on a journey to find out who she really is as she fights against the Final Empire and overthrowing the Lord Ruler. With her help, along with the "crew", Kelsier, Vin's mentor, plans to lead a revolution and save the world at the same time.
The book starts off being really confusing using words and creatures that only pertain to the book, so in a sense you have to learn a bunch of new vocabulary terms. I think this may be common among the fantasy genres; however, I kept getting confused and had to keep going back to remember who or what these words meant. Also, since it was such a long book it took a while until the story-line to get moving (about page 200).
However, I loved the unique story-line. It was such an original concept that I was in complete awe of how someone could think of such a story. Although, the book is not one of my favorites, I do appreciate the original plot. Also, the book ends with a bang as the author catches the reader off-guard. I love surprise endings and twists in the plot, however, I was a little disappointed that most of this and the action in the book happened in the last 50 pages. Lastly, there was a love story that started to develop half way through the book; yet, this went no where. It was rarely touched upon and could have been added to the story tenfold. I guess, a boy would not mind this being left out.
All in all, I would not recommend this book to anyone that does not enjoy fantasy. If you love "Lord of the Rings" I would definitely give this book a try.
December 11, 2009
I had a "professional" envelope that I have been keeping because I thought that way it folded up so nicely was cute. I adapted the measurements to fit in the box, made a template (so I could easily trace 12 envelopes). Then I went to the bank and got $100 dollars in one dollar bills (I split the cost with a friend) to divide up amongst the different dates.
I deco podged the box with some fabric I had (There are quite a few mistakes, I guess I need more practice in this area), then put them in the box! So fun!
I had a $100 budget for all the dates because I split the cost with my friend. However, this gift can be made totally free. You can think of date ideas that are free and fun, so it would be no cost to you and totally fun for the bride and groom to be.
Here are some of the dates that we had for Kylie:
January: You have just gotten married. Your wedding day is a day you never will never forget, however as time passes the details and feelings of the days sometime become hazy. Go to Target and pick out a journal to write down all that both of you remember about that special day. You may also want to include the events leading up to the day and the events after, such as the proposal and honeymoon. ($5)
February: It’s cold outside. Go to Redbox and rent a movie. Stop by the store on the way home and pick up some hot chocolate. Enjoy an evening cuddling on the couch, sipping hot cocoa, and watching a flick. ($5)
March: Go dancing in Murray at the Murray Arts Center. A one-hour dance lesson, live band and a lot of old people, the evening is bound to be a blast! ($14)
April: This month spend some time thinking of some songs that expresses how you feel or reminds you of each other. Go on iTunes and purchase 5 songs each and make a CD. Have a sit down dinner and listen to the songs you picked for each other and explain why it was picked. ($10)
May: Find a local photo booth at www.photobooth.net. Go take some fun pictures with each other. ($3)
June: Happy 6 months! Hike Ensign Peak just before the sun sets. Buy some cheese and crackers and your favorite drinks. Bring a blanket to set down as your view splendor of the city at sunset. ($10)
July: At the beginning of the month take $10 each. Purchase some inexpensive items that the other person likes (like their favorite candy or treat, rent a movie they have wanted to see, some bubble bath, flowers, etc). Throughout the month, surprise the other person by leaving them in unexpected places for the other person to find. ($20)
August: Is there a blockbuster summer hit you haven’t seen yet? Before the summer ends, go on a date to see a that summer movie you have been putting off at the gateway. One your way home stop by and play in the fountain and get totally drench! ($16)
September: Print out a map of the constellations and go stargazing. Make sure to bring some blankets to keep warm and candy to make you happy. Bring some wood and make a fire to have some yummy smores to enjoy under the starry sky. ($5)
October: Go to your local dollar store. Split up giving yourselves 5 minutes to pick out something that represents why you love the other person. Purchase the items without the other person seeing what you picked. Then at home present what you bought and how it represents your love. ($2)
November: Soon after Thanksgiving, the lights on Temple Square come on. Take a stroll at dusk and make sure to be there as the lights turn on. After enjoying the beautiful lights, show your thanks for all that you have this Holiday season, and walk around the perimeter of the gates and give this money to those in need. ($5)
December: Happy one year anniversary! Time flies when you are in love! Buy some nice stationary, something that you will want to keep forever. Separately, on your own piece of paper, sit down and write your most memorable experiences with each other over the past year. Then sit down, exchange letters, and read out loud what the other person wrote. Keep these letters in a safe place to read over throughout your marriage. ($5)
December 10, 2009
Pat was smart in staying home. After only about 5 minutes outside my fingers started to freeze (it REALLY hurt). Since my experiment wasn't really working the way I inteaded, I took off the "heart filter" and snapped a few shots of the lights.