Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We're back! We spent our holiday weekend hospital jumping, getting lost, and following lost drivers - sounds like fun huh? No, it's not an extreme new sport, (could be) but we had a great time and are glad to be back.
My sister was blessed with a beautiful baby on Friday - congratulations to her and her husband (who is in Afghanistan). He is a very good baby, beautiful, and he really loves his aunt (me).
 


We got to stay at a hotel and spend time with grandma and grandpa and our little cousin Lilly. Some of our trip highlights were the hotel pool, the Manitou (tourist trap) Cliff Dwellings, finally finding the church, bedtop balloon and legs only volleyball, the pool (again), Garden of the Gods, Costco, and fingerpainting.

 

The fire was also especially fun, but I'll treat that in another posting.
After initially going to the wrong hospital, then spending time with my sister at her hospital, we visited another hospital which my husband needed to see for work. We then traveled to Denver where we visited another friend who we tried to visit at the hospital here in town on our way out on Friday, but he had been shipped to Denver 30 minutes before we'd arrived. It was good to see him - he's my cribbage partner and I'm bummed he'll be in Denver for a while -I was really looking forward to spending time this summer playing games with him. Get well soon J!

After so many hospitals and so much driving, ahhhh...........we are happy to be healthy, and Dorthy was right - there is no place like home!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

DEGREE AWARDED!!

So - according to my unofficial transcript today (and the phone call from the graduation office):

DEGREES AWARDED
Degree Posted: Bachelor of Arts May 02, 2008

I am 100% fully finished with my degree. Sorry for stringing you along for so long but it is true...I'm not just maybe, hoping, or thinking that I'm finished. I'M FINISHED!!!
That is all - thank you.

For those that are in the area - thank you for your help, please watch for a party invitation in the near future! :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FHE

 


Here's our FHE from last night. The girls asked if they could do the lesson. They did the ENTIRE thing all by themselves. Honestly, it's the best FHE we've had in a long while. Even our adopted Monday night FHE friend Frank commented so (thanks Frank) :)

So - we all had to choose something that Nephi did and share it with each other. Then, we were given a paper and told we had to create the thing which we chose. My husband got to do killing Laban to obtain the brass plates. Frank did the broken bow, I did created a temple and buildings, one daughter built the boat, and the other made the kite. I'm not 100% sure that her choice has doctrinal basis, but they had to have fun sometime right?

After that, we had to look up the references to our story, write down the verses which pertained to these particular stories, and then we all shared them.

What a great FHE - I think these girls are hired. We definitely had a great time and I'm sure we'll all remember!
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Reflections of Christ

I received this forward from a friend - it is beautiful and I wanted to link to it on mine blog.
Before you link to it, you probably want to pause my blog page music (in the little music box upper left) so that you may experience the full beauty of this presentation.

Here is the Link

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Chersty!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Violin Lessons Contest - no experience necessary!

I have to tell my violin story. Here it is.

I have been teaching violin lessons for several years. Those of you who know me may ask... "How is it possible that I who do not play the violin am able to teach violin lessons?" I admit, it is a very viable question, however, I will not take the time to discuss the very intricate and detailed answer within this blog at this time. You may use your imagination.

Actually, I think I will sponsor a contest - to see who can come up with the best explanation for this conundrum, and the winner will win a prize to come stay at my house with me for free! The free part is the staying with me part of course -and is all inclusive as food and beverages will also be provided.
The contest rules are as follows:
1. All entries will be judged based on their merits of credibility and creativity - not necessarily in that order
2. All entries must be submitted as comments to this blog.
3. The entry cut-off date is May 22, 2008 at 5:00 pm.

Okay, back to my story now.

The funny part of the story might be the part about me (a non violin player) teaching lessons (yes I charge) using a very small violin (but it isn't), but yes, - not only do I not play the violin, but I don't even have one that is not a child's size - I have been using a violin which is 1/10th of a normal violin size. Yes, quite amusing , "Here Johnny, let me show you how that's done (on my mini violin)..." However, it gets even better.

On a whim, I decided that just maybe, I should look into getting a violin for myself. I know, I could consider it a business investment! I looked at the music store, but wasn't really impressed. I then considered Costco, but then, I just wasn't sure.

In the end I went where every savvy consumer goes - ebay.
Now, I had heard stories of ridiculously cheap violins. I have also seen some of them. Yes, they were a dollar, but their ribs were cracked etc, therefore the sound was awful, and they weren't really great. However, as I was glancing through, I found a violin - a full size, for $3.47. I couldn't believe my luck, and thought I might just take the gamble. The description also said "have case." The seller was from China. Hmmm I said to myself, the price is right - just maybe. So I bid on the violin and didn't get it for $3.48. However, the next day I received an e-mail for a second chance at $3.49. I checked out the shipping. The monetary value was C115 (or somewhere thereabouts.) So, I double checked to see where it would be shipped from. The address was someplace in China. I found a currency converter and found that the shipping was only $15 US. Wow- I figured that $18 for a violin would be a steal.

I made the bid.
Later, I found that I had won the bid. I was thrilled. However, I wasn't sure what the final total (in US) would be, so I sent the seller an e-mail. The response was,
"Dear Good Friend, You send the money now, OK?" and something else in Chinese.
Shall we say slight miscommunication? Finally, I found total invoice and couldn't believe that the 'C' in front of the shipping amount was actually Canadian (right - why wouldn't I have assumed this?)

So - I ended up buying my little violin for a little more than $18 US. However, (here's the fun part) I also bought a necklace for $0.60 from the same buyer, and sort of ran into the same problem, however it was considerably less expensive for the shipping and the shipping costs were from China.

Finally, after waiting for several weeks, I went to the PO, and found a package waiting for me. It looked a little bit like a small coffin.
I was on my way to a friend's house, so I took it with me. There, I opened it up, and inside was my violin.
Initially, I was disappointed that I only received the one package, and assumed the necklace would come in a couple of days or so. However, I found the necklace within the violin case!

In addition to the necklace (which was mis-beaded), I got some bonus costume jewelry. They threw in two bracelets and a really great adjustable ring (well, it would be great if I were a rapper, which I'm not.)
I thought it was the funniest thing ever - the extra jewelry and all. Also, I'm pretty sure the opals on the necklace are not really opal -they look like painted glass - I'm sure they were painted with lead.

Well - there is no moral of the story - you may wish to weave it into your contest entry, but in the meantime a word to the wise. "Beware of non-english speaking (and writing)violin selling Chinese Canadians!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hallelujah!!

So - for the past two weeks, I have been biting my nails (figuratively speaking, as I never really ever had any to begin with.)

I wonder if I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. Anyways, here's the saga if you are at all interested.

Last spring, I walked in my graduation as I thought I only had two more classes to take to finish up my degree. I had signed up for one as an independent study course at BYU, and then signed up for the other one to take over the summer. Since I could finish the independent study course anytime within a year, I really tackled the other course. That done, just as I thought that I could really jump in and finish my independent study course, my professor went to clear me for graduation, and informed me that I still needed ONE more upper division class for my major. I frantically found a BYU independent study course that was upper division enough to work, and fiendishly began to slog my way through. Once I finished that class, I began to work on that old outstanding independent study class. However, as I was teaching seminary, it really became difficult as I would fall asleep over my scriptures each night preparing for seminary, and in getting up at 4:30, I never really found the time to nail down that last class. As you may know, I finished with seminary during the end of March, and finished the class mid-April.

There's the history portion.

So, I contacted my major and minor departments, and they cleared me for graduation. My advisor said that it looked like everything had been met and I was good to go... I did an online graduation evaluation, and it kept stating that I was not meeting the upper division hours requirement for graduation...by 2.375 hours. I just about fainted. I mean, I don't think it would be possible to drag this out any further - someone within my immediate family would die.

I e-mailed my professor as the graduation office was stating that I needed 6 hours, he was stating that I needed less than 3, I talked to an adviser who got a different calculation. It was just everywhere and no one could reach a consensus on anything. Finally, my professor/counselor mentioned that a petition for a waiver process existed. I jumped all over it, and wrote a three page letter (yes, I begged) explaining my situation, and that if I did finish the requirement, it would have to be upper division in some random field of study, since I'd already finished everything for my major and minor, and boy oh boy, what a pain it would be for my family, so please just let's waive it and be done with it. Okay, I really didn't beg, but because I'd transferred credits from two different schools etc, I think it made everything a little bit confusing etc.

Two weeks ago, I called to check on the status, and after being told that the person was out of town, I waited until she came back and finally got hold of her. She said she'd call me on Friday and have someone look over everything so I would know whether or not I needed to sign up for another class, since they started on Monday. On Monday when I called her, I was "strongly advised" to sign up for another online class. I was completely crestfallen, depressed, heartbroken, disheartened (I can't think of any more adjectives, or I would use them here.) I looked at the online summer classes, and couldn't figure out how I could possibly make it work with my husband's school and work load this summer.

I called back today however, and she told me that my request had been approved!!! I think the neighbors could hear me screaming I was so thrilled, elated, overjoyed, and ecstatic.
So - that is the latest, however, now I have to wait for another week (for that person to process all 50 petitions,) and THEN I'll know if there is anything else I have to do. Talk about jumping through hoops - it shouldn't be so tough!
Anyways - I am grateful, and fairly hopeful that I really am done - it does remain to be seen until I actually have that diploma in my hand. At that time, I will invite all of my friends who have helped me through this ordeal (watching my kids while I took exams, my proctors, etc etc) and we will PARTY!!!!
Phew...
So once again, and for the record, I really think I'm finished!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Follow your nose

My husabnd had just walked in the door from running.

Daughter: Dad, I knowed you were back.
Father: Oh, how could you tell?
Daughter: I followed the smell with my nose
Father: Oh, could you smell me?
Daughter: Dad, YOU'RE STINKY!! You need a shower!

Apparently, she has some great olfactory sensors to sense his presence. Kind of funny anyways.

I have to say - this kid really cracks me up. On another note, she went mother's day shopping on Saturday. She was so excited about what she got me, and she knew that it was something that I REALLY wanted and needed. My husband said that she almost couldn't contain herself at the store she was so excited. She wrapped it and was sure I could never guess what it could be.

I am happy to say that I am now the proud owner of a new "Dora the Explorer" beach ball. That girl must be psychic! How did she know that that's what I've always wanted and needed? What a sweet gift!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Computer outage

Well, I haven't posted for a while. We lost our computer - figuratively speaking. I am using a laptop which my husband had to borrow from work since he's on call. We had a date tonight and went to Costco (he doesn't believe shopping is a date.) However, we looked at computers, and decided to not get one there, but rather order one to our specs of what we want rather than pay for useless bells and whistles. So - that said, I think we will be ordering one tomorrow. So - keep checking back. If I'm not blogging, it's because I don't have as much access to a computer...however, this one is finally working much better tonight than it previously has - it is actually letting me post!
By the way, our date wasn't totally lame. We went and got some wings, and watched the Jazz and Lakers game there at the restaraunt. It was actually pretty fun to watch - and GO JAZZ! They won this game...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spices and Intelligence Quizes

Did I ever tell you that I'm a borderline genius? It is true. I took an internet test once - I was within just a couple of points of being a real full fledged genius, but I'm okay with the borderline part, because it would be really intimidating to everyone else if I was a real genius...anyways, I found these fun little quizzes on a friend's blog, unfortunately, they aren't about being a genius - just what spice you would be and something having to do with your intelligence. I have to be honest - I took some of the quizzes a couple of times, answering differently - I could also be cayenne or cilantro, and I could also be a musical, or interpersonal intelligence - it all just depends on how you really want to answer - but I liked these outcomes and descriptors the best:




You Are Cumin



You are warm, unique, and pretty dominant.

It's also pretty likely that you smoke or like fire.

You are energetic and intense. You definitely stimulate people.






Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence



You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.



You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Hairbows and Pumpkins





Today, as I looked out the window, I finally figured out why the neighbors may think we are a little bit odd.
My child (yes mine) was wearing such an interesting outfit. Gymnastics leotard, covered with baggy shorts, covered with the pumpkin costume, and a yellow bike helmet. She was riding her bike (and getting piggy back rides) up and down the sidewalk in this get up. I thought it was a classic! And yes, she dresses herself!


Yesterday, we played with some friends...the kids decided they would try out some face paint - here are the results.


Finally, I copied something off of someone's blog. Except, their picture did not come out sideways. However, it is too late, and I'm going to bed after 15 tries to straighten this baby out. Regardless of my sideways photo, this was the most inspirational idea I've seen on a blog in a very long time. I have two girls. We are CONSTANTLY struggling to keep track of their hair bows, barrettes etc. For several years, I've had two drawers that were an absolute MESS (yes I should have taken the before picture, but once again forgot - or maybe I would have been too embarrassed to post it anyways.) Well, thanks to this revolutionary idea - and a cheap shoe organizer that I had on hand (yes the cheap wally kind) my hair accessory collection is an immaculate icon of perfection - check it out! I still get warm fuzzies every time I think about it...a practical organizational solution for something that has haunted me for years (yes with life highlights like this - how could life get any better?)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Baptism Weekend


This weekend our daughter got baptized. It was pretty amazing. Grandparents and an aunt and cousin came out on Friday. On Saturday, we finally had some nice weather and started the day with a soccer game. You know, she played, we watched. We then came home, and due to the urgency of getting our garden out, and finally having decent weather (snowed Thursday and Friday) and a little unexpected time, we got most of the garden into the garden. We still have approx. 20 more plants inside, but will get them out once we have more walls of water - hard to believe we ran out of them! Thanks to Grandpa for all of his help filling those babies up... what a back strain!

The remainder of the day seemed to be filled with the baptism. Since I'm blogging about it, I wanted to share a little bit about what we believe in regards to baptism:

Faith in Jesus Christ and repentance prepare you for baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ taught by example that everyone must be baptized of water and of the Spirit (the Holy Ghost) for the remission, or forgiveness, of sins. Through baptism by one who holds priesthood authority and through receiving the Holy Ghost, you will be spiritually reborn.

When you are baptized by one with the priesthood authority given by God, having repented you receive a remission of your sins (Acts 2:38). You make a covenant, or promise, with God to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, to follow Him, and to keep His commandments. In return, He promises to forgive your sins and let you return to live with Him, provided you keep your covenants. You are briefly immersed in water, as Jesus Christ was baptized. Baptism by immersion is a sacred symbol of the death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it represents the end of your old life and the beginning of a new life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

We must be baptized to become members of the restored Church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and to eventually enter the kingdom of heaven. This ordinance is a law of God and must be performed by His authority. A bishop or mission president must give a priesthood holder permission to perform a baptism or conferral of the Holy Ghost.

Little children do not need to be baptized until they reach the age of accountability, which is eight years of age, as they are redeemed through the mercy of Jesus Christ ( Moroni 8:4–24; Doctrine and Covenants 68:27.)

This information comes from www.mormon.org and similar information can be found at www.lds.org (and their explanations tend to be much more succinct than mine.)

After getting ready, we went to the church and had the honor of witnessing Carlie's baptism as she made special covenants with God. She was baptized by her father, and then confirmed by her father, while her grandfathers, a friend, and two members of the bishopric stood in the confirmation circle.
There really aren't words to express my feelings and emotions of this sacred event. We are so grateful to all who shared this special day with us. We are also very grateful to everyone who gave fantastic talks, played and led the music, and did the musical number - it was all very sweet. Everything went smoothly, and a very sweet spirit was there. We were pleased that some friends, two of her teachers from school, and some neighbors also attended.
After she was baptized, she said that she felt special inside - she felt something she'd only really felt once before (when she made a really good decision, when faced with a very difficult choice.) We are so proud of her, and her desires to make good choices.
Thanks to everyone for their love and support. It's been a busy, but amazing weekend!
I included a couple of pictures of the ladybug release - a friend gave her 300+ ladybugs to release after her baptism - what a thoughtful gift - she knows our daughter well!