Saturday, December 26, 2009

So, This is Christmas

Christmas has always been very exciting for me. I love seeing the first of the lights hung, the first of the trees decorated, and the first sound of music wafting from stores and cars. For a while though, Christmas was getting, well, boring. My mom is a nurse so naturally the hospital doesn't close on Christmas day and I got older and was more interested in getting money than presants. Eventually I was the only one in the house on Christmas so even though the tree was up, decorated, and lit, I would still sit and watch the Christmas specials or whatever was on TV and go back to school the next week.

When I started dating PJ, I spent Christmas with his family and even though they were very welcoming, it still wasn't my family. It's really hard to get into the whole Christmas spirit when it feels like you have no one to share it with. But this year, this year was different. This year, I have been in PJ's family for a year and a half not counting the 2 Christmases before that when we dated so people are used to having me around. Even though last year we had our own apartment, we knew we would have to move by the time Christmas came around because our jobs weren't working out, so this year we had more job security and that's a really great thing when you're thinking about spending any money on presants. Above all though, this year I really felt the Christmas spirit loud and clear. Every time I heard "What Child is This", or "O Come O Come Emmanuel", and especially the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, tears streamed from my eyes. I could feel the spirit testify of this child's miraculous birth, testify that He is in fact our Saviour, that this life is not for naught, and I could also feel that He knew I knew these things. This year, it really wasn't about the presants. I found myself telling PJ "it's okay if you don't get my anything" and meaning it. It's truly been a wonderful Christmas season. I am so thankful for the best presant of all; the Saviours birth. "Wonderful! Counselor! The Prince of Peace!"


I also want to add in a recipe I made for Christmas with PJ's grand -parents. Really easy and turned out really good! I got already made pizza crusts, cut them into circles and baked them for 10 min. to get them crunchy, sliced some tomatoes and fresh mozzerella cheese and assembeled it like this: some pesto brushed on the crust, layer a tomato, fresh basil leaf, and finally mozzerella on top. They were so good- even PJ liked them! Christmas colors too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What does wind, a mouse and cheese polenta have in common?

Disney World! For Christmas PJ's mom took us to Disney World (very generous) and we had a blast! We wore ourselves out for sure. Let me lead you through: Thursday after work we left and got to Orlando at 4:00AM (I usually go to bed every night around 9:30...) and got up around 9 the next morning to go to MGM or now known as Hollywood Studios. The Christmas decorations were very 50's inspired and somehow I got a sunburn in 70 degrees cloudy almost rainy weather. I finally got to see the car stunt show and it was amazing! We watched the HGTV special on Christmas at Disney before we went and we were so excited to see the streets light up with millions of lights and dance to Christmas music and at the end of the "show" it was supposed to "snow"! But because of the rainy weather the lights didn't dance nor did it snow, but I still got some awesome pictures of thousands, millions of lights!

This night we also got to go to our favorite resturant, The California Grill. It was amazing. We got some sushi for an appetizer, PJ tried the Ostrich filet (it was really good!) and I got their famous pork tenderloin. The first bite I could barely move because it was so wonderfully delicious. When I booked the reservation they asked me what we were celebrating and I said our anniversary since we went to Disney on our honey moon, so we got a special table with a view of the castle and fireworks while we ate. During the fireworks our waiter came up to us and asked if we were 21 and I said yes and then looked at PJ wandering why he had asked us this when not a moment later he brought out 2 on the house, $14 a glass champaign. I was so embarressed. We gave it away to the table next to us and went on with the night. Disney being wonderful also made a few things out of gingerbread and this was the display at the Contemporary Resort.

Saturday we went to Magic Kingdom and while it was beautiful, everyone and their children plus their uncles decided to go that day. It took us an hour to get into the park, an hour to navigate and get some lunch, 30 min. to get to see Philharmagic, and an hour to get out. Yes! It was really that crowded! We ended up napping until dinner with the family that night.
Sunday we tried to attend a local ward but good ol google gave us directions to the Orlando temple and it was beautiful! I only wish we could have walked around the grounds. I love how in any city you can identify a temple of the Lord. It was simply beautiful. After reading some Ensign, we trecked into Animal Kingdom for a little while then headed home. Like I said, we wore ourselves out, but it was great to see Disney at Christmas and take a walk down memory lane. A year and a half! Already! More Christmas stories will come, but I'm pretty sure this deserved it's own blog. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Was Warned pt.2

To sum up a lot of drama read this and then know that our van (yes... PJ has been driving it for the last month but! There was a problem with it before then so don't blame the PeeJ) is broken. Is it Christmas yet??

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Perfect Plan

LOST's last season is premiering in February, so to keep our minds fresh (and because we can't go 6 mos. without LOST) we have been re-watching all the past seasons. The huge theme within LOST is fate vs. choice or free will. We have also had a similar discussion with PJ's dad about whether we are free to choose, or since God knows how everything is going to end, has he already chosen for us? Of course there are great suggestions and scripture quotes for both, but I believe in the Perfect Plan, or better known as the Plan of Salvation. When we go teaching with the missionaries, this is my favorite discussion. In essence: we lived with God before the earth was built (Job 38:7, Jer 1:4-5, Eccl 12:7, Eph 1:4) and while we were there He presented a plan to become more like Him which required us to come to Earth to gain a body(Titus 1:2).

In this Perfect Plan, now that we're here and Jesus Christ our Saviour has already given His life for everyone's sakes, wicked and righteous (Acts 24:15), we now choose our destiny. We choose to give our lives to God and follow His commandments, for how else can we become like Him and come to know Him? (Romans 2:11-13) As we live our life, righteously or unrighteously as we so choose, we will eventually die and be judged. What I believe happens is we have "preliminary judgement" and are sent to either spirit prison or spirit hell. In the scriptures this is also referred to as Abraham's Bosom (Luke 16:22) where those who believe in Jesus will dwell in paradise and those who don't believe will dwell in prison. This is where those who don't believe in Jesus Christ, whether it's because they chose in this life not to follow him, or because they never heard of him, will be taught (1 Peter 4:6). Then eventually Jesus Christ will come again and it will be time for the final judgement. I'm going to sum this up really short- in short all those who live on the earth that don't commit the inpardenable sin (denying the Holy Ghost) will go to a degree of heaven (John 14:2, 1 Cor 15:40-41), where, there, in the highest degree of heaven, we will continue towards perfection- towards becomming like our Heavenly Father (Romans 8:17, John 5:19)

This is truly a Perfect Plan! All things are taken care of, justice and mercy both play a part, and best of all it makes sense. Now, alternatly in a Plan where we don't choose would be utterly pointless and unfulfilling. If God made us, chose for us our personalities, traits, habits, talents, it would be God's fault that we end up being murders, bad parents, drug addicts, good parents, the president, a celebrity, etc... There's no returning to God because you were never with him in the first place, and for those who got picked to go to heaven they would get to...

Now how this ties into LOST- it does! Either the consequences in life that come to us are of our own accord, or something or someone are choosing them for us. Either you can be a bum and change your life around (to give credit to God- with God's help) to become a CEO of a company or you must always stay a bum, knowing that's what destiny wants you to be. A theme in LOST is haveing a course correcter; if you walked out in front of a car and were supposed to die, but someone tried to change the charts and pushed you out of the way, then the next day scaffolding would fall on you, or if you escaped that, maybe your house would burn down and you'd be trapped inside. Common sense tells me if you walk in front of a car and died- survival of the fittest. In all seriousness, I hope we really will choose this day whom we will serve and take accoutability for our actions, and fit ourselves in with God's plan- the Perfect Plan.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Call it a Rope!

Happy Thanksgiving all! For thanksgiving, we went up to NC to see my family and it was as fun as could be expected. We ate a great Thanksgiving meal though so no complaints there.

While we were sitting around doing nothing we found the new Indiana Jones movie. I wasn't really old enough when all those movies came out to really understand all the things in the movies, but I watched them and enjoyed them enough. This new one- GAY! I don't like sci-fi and it was totally based around aliens. Indie gets in trouble with the Russian Reds and eventually leads them to aliens (summing up here because those who have seen it already know and those who havn't... shouldn't) hidden under Mayan ruins. The funniest part (for all those who know the Indie movies) was when Indie was sinking in the quicksand and his son Shia LaBeouf tries to grab something long to save him and he finds a snake. He throws it to him and Indie freaks out and Shia calls out over and over "grab the snake! grab the snake!" and Indie says "stop saying that! Call it a rope!"

We also went out on the town and saw Disney's A Christmas Carol in 3D. I have always watched a Muppets Christmas Carol every year since I can remember but this movie really touched me (and not in the 3D sense). I highly recommend it and am really proud of Disney for producing something on the Christian side of things. Some of my favorite lines are: "Well if they'd rather die than they'd better do it and decrease the surplus population!" Just because it proves where his heart is. When Bob Cratchet says "Tiny Tim said he wanted all to see him cripple so all could remember on this day who made lame men walk and blind men see". Also when Christmas presant visits Scrooge and is showing him around the town and Scrooge sees that the churches are closed on Christmas and thinking of his previous statement complains that should be one place where those people can go on Christmas and Christmas presant says "There are some upon this earth of yours,...who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all out kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us". And some fun ones: "There's more to gravy than a grave about you!" "What reason have you to be dismal you're rich enough" "Darkness was cheap, and Scrooge liked it". I learned a lot of things while watching this movie that I have never noticed before, and I am and hope to stay in the "spirit" of Christmas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Had to Do IT!

I couldn't wait, I couldn't hold back my Christmas cheer anymore! I did it. I (we) put up our Christmas tree. I pulled out my stalking and hung it over the closest thing we have to a fireplace- a candle housed in a gingerbread home. And- I listened to Christmas music the entire time. So Thanksgiving's next week- I am thankful for Christmas!










Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That Costs How Much?!

Lately the big gimick for restaurants is to serve meals for five dollars per person. It's really not that great of a deal though. Once in a while when I make a meal that really impresses PJ he'll ask how much it costs. Lately they've been around $5 so I thought I'd share some of the things I've been making. I'm not including the price for the spices I use, but they're not too expensive themselves.

Pomegranate Chipotle Pork
Marinade pork in pomegranate chipotle marinade from tastfully simple
Potatoes from bag (don't snub your nose-they're not bad!) loaded baked potatoe flavor
Peas

Shepherd's Pie
After browning hamburger meet, stir in 2Tbl ketchup, some Worcheshire sauce, and a little bit of hot sauce.
Add veggies (I used corn, carrots and peas)
Top with potatoes (once again I used from a bag- this time cheddar cheese flavor)
Add cheddar cheese on top and bake in oven until cheese is melted

Sundried Tomato Alfredo
This is really easy. Get pre-made alfredo sauce. They have all different types of flavors, we like the sundried tomato best. You can simply pour it over some pasta or I like to add a chicken breast. A dash of basil, pepper and salt all to taste and viola!

Tacos
Tacos are always really cheap, about $2 for hamburger meat and maybe $2-4 dollars for tortillas depending on how much you get. The toppings can make it go over $5, but I like to flavor the meat really well with things like garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, and cilantro. I also like to get the 50 pack of tortillas. Once again to buy it all at once would be a lot, but then you'd have it in your pantry for a lot of taco nights!

Breakfast Burritos
Once you have the tortillas, fry up some bacon, add some eggs and cheese (maybe jalepenos). Easy (and cheap)!

Spaghetti
They make so many different types of marinara sauce these days, spaghetti's a lot more fun. I like to brown the HB meat, add parsley, basil, oregano to season. Also, to splurge, romano cheese. I bought a real triangle of Romano cheese over the summer for about $4 and am just now using the tail end. It is really worth the money.

The thing I've learned is to build up your pantry. With every shopping visit, splurge for one new thing like really good cheese, a new spice, or something and soon you can spruce up just about anything. Tastfully simple has a lot of good things like that. I'm starting to get into more cassaroles and slow cooker meals now that it's cooling off outside- any suggestions would be great!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Glee for Me

How 'bout that rain huh?

Sunday night I got rather... testy and I was trying to fix some sandwiches for dinner. I couldn't get the mustard bottle open, so I figured out if you throw it on the floor it opens quite nicely. All over the floor.

In latter news I have heard all this hype about Fox's new TV show Glee. People at work talk about it, people I went to school with talk about it, there are posters everywhere... So I checked it out. I watched the first episode some time ago and I thought "this has the potential to be good, but I'll give it a few episodes to see where it's going". The other day, to follow up, the oldest episode available was episode 4 "Preggers". Remember it? I was disgusted. PJ thought some of the things I was grossed out by were funny until I asked him "How would you react if your 14, 10, 7 year old son asked you about what you just saw". Call me a prude, but I definately wouldn't want the Savior catching me watching that. The music is fun and I like the idea of the Glee club itself. All the other story lines can... well we'll let the Savior finish that sentence.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Speaking Of...

Speaking of better and worse situations; as previously posted we have been going through a "worse" situation with our beloved mazda miata. I always wanted a convertable and when I saw that PJ had one I was amazed. I learned how to drive a stick by driving the miata and felt all too cool cruising with the top down. Unfortunatly, after 221,000 miles of cruising with the top down, our beloved miata has had it. So! As of yesterday we became proud new (co) owners of a 2001 Volkswagon Passat, a car that is way too much fun to drive being that it is also a manual but includes turbo. We're getting started a little early to celebrate the new year but: Out with the old, in with the New!





Friday, November 6, 2009

Better and Worse

There are a lot of things to talk/blog about, but one thing imparticular has been plaguing my mind.

I currently work at Makita. If you don't know (because I didn't) Makita is a Japanese business. This makes for interesting chats at the lunch table. One of my bosses one day this week started asking people around the table if each person had a gun. Of course we all answered "yes!" and he was shocked! Apparently it's illigal to have guns in Japan and it's taught that guns are very dangerous. It's also important to note that after WWII the treaty we wrote up was that Japan was not to have an army... but that's besides the point.

So eventually he asked what the age limits were to have guns and we told him 18 for rifles and 21 for hand guns. He told us that was too young and it needed to be raised. I spoke up and said "if I can get married and vote at 18 I should be able to own a gun of all things". Well. Apparently I opened Pandora's Box because everyone chimed in "18 is too young to be married" and one girl even said "they should make laws against it". I proclaimed "The government should have nothing at all for any reason to do with marriage!"

Today I also read a blog by a preacher how he wants to get married but gets discouraged when he hears people talk about marriage. With the previous wound still fresh, this certainly encouraged me to speak up and tell him what I thought about marriage. I LOVE IT. I love being married. It's not because I'm a newlywed and because we're "so in love" or because we don't have kids yet. I do love my husband. More importantly, I like him. I respect him. I respect the person he was when we were married, I've grown to respect even more the person he's become. Do we argue? Of course. Do you argue with your best friend? Do you argue with your parents? Just because people have disagreements doesn't mean the relationship is over. We were counseled over and over again about marriage while we were preparing for it. One thing the preacher asked when he was interviewing us is "why do you want to get married?" All we could answer was "we know it's the right things for us to do". Simple and true. When I took out my wedding vows I did not promise before God and everyone else to only respect PJ when he was doing what I asked him to do, I promised for better or for worse. I didn't promise as long as he looks attractive, I promised for better or for worse. I didn't even promise as long as he does anything for me, once again, for better or for worse.

While I will still detest people at the lunch table joking me for being married and loving it, I also understand that they have not tasted true joy. They want all the better without the worse. "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness, nor misery, neither good nor bad."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Less than moral women, Honey, Hair

The last part of this week has been rough. Nothing imparticular I can point out, but it seems like as soon as it got to Wednesday I was walking through a bog to get to Friday. Yesterday, PJ got home at 7:30 and asked if I would go home teaching with him. I was playing The Sims3 and he had yet to eat dinner, but if he was willing to go after working a 12 hr. day driving around all over metro ATL, I knew I couldn't come up with a good enough excuse. We like the family anyway ;)

PJ shared a message about compromise and used Sampson as an example. He was a very righteous man and he had to follow the covenants God had given him so he could continue to be blessed with the blessings which made life easier to live. For a refresher course, the covenants were to not marry outside the covenant (or outside Isreal), to not eat certain things and to not cut his hair. Being beguiled by the infamous Delilah, he broke all these covenants and the scripture that stood out to me was that he didn't know the spirit had left him after doing so. PJ also pointed out Sampson thought he had his strength up until the Philistines poked his eyes out and bound him up to two columns.

It is of interest to note that these covenants are not very different from the things we are asked today. We are asked to marry within the church for the eternal blessings promised, to eat a nutritional diet and keep our bodies as fit as possible, and in place of hair, I'll go out on a limb and say we are asked to be modest. Such easy concepts, but also very easy to find a way to not follow them whole heartedly. At the root of these thought processes is selfishness. "God will understand if I can't make it to church, he knows my heart." "I don't think God really cares if I drink every once and a while." "Why would God care if I showed my shoulder." "I know I shouldn't do _______ but God understands". We are told over and over again the commandments God has given us are not to hinder ourselves, but to set us free, to help us live a blessed life, and to be able to help others do the same. The actions in themselves may not be sin, but going against God's word and will is. Sampson didn't think he was in any trouble until he was neck deep in it.

How long will we linger in darkness? How long will we cling to that which has no eternal value? How much will we compromise?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Praises

I really want to appreciate some of the things I love. Praises for:

~ PJ!
~ Coca cola. Cold. Coca Cola.
~ QUEEN.
~ interstates
~ clean clothes (using Tide)
~ the cool weather and sunny skies
~ the Gospel (all inclusive including Jesus the Christ)
~ home cooked meals
~ work
~ families

I got to see my new little neice this weekend and it's wierd how much I love and care for her and she has done nothing in return but spit up and poot on me. Same for my almost 3 year old nephew but not the spit up and poot part. He's just so darn loveable! My sister's doing a great job.

Also, I got a new boss at my work and have been told I will be taking on more responsibilities. Yipee!

Finally, on news talk 750, there's a preacher that gets on and shares a spiritual message and usually he has the right idea and pretty interesting rhetoric. Today he tried to give proof of why Jesus is who he said he was. At the end of his devotional he said "the apostles all died preaching of this truth- that Jesus Christ died and was resurrected and no one would die for a lie. Someone would have squeeled". I thought "awesome! If that proves Christianity you just proved that Joseph Smith indeed told the truth and that the Gospel is true!". Word Up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Was Warned

When PJ and I first started dating, he told me he had horrible luck with cars. I didn't really (want to) believe him and I brushed it off.

Soon after we started dating, we got in his car one night to go somewhere and it wouldn't work. I can't explain it because I don't know much about cars but basically his clutch was stuck and it wouldn't work because it was stuck in a higher gear... or something. He got it fixed.

Then we were out of school for the summer, so he came down to GA and I went back to my mom's house. We would meet up at school and visit with our friends occasionally. On one such occasion right near the end of the summer, I was driving to go meet PJ at school after working until 10 or so when I got a message that he had a flat tire and needed me to come get him. So off I went to try to rescue him. Except it was bell cher weekend and traffic was horrible. So in short, my car overheated and completely shut off. 3 hours, a tow truck, and a borrowed car later, I was off to look for PJ. He (driving 10 MPH on the interstate) got his car to a tire place, parked it, next day we drove down there, got a new tire, got to school, life went on. (with out big red, may she rest in peace)

In the winter, I was off campus and relied heavily for PJ to come pick me up in the morning and take me to class. His car started acting funny however. Some days it would need a jump to start. His lights would get really dim, and forget turning on the heat. We finally figured out that he had left the oil cap off one time after putting oil in his car, oil got everywhere, including in the alternator and he needed a new one. Check, NEXT!

Fast forward to our honey moon. We got in a wreck. A big white van rear ended us and drove away. Insurence paid for that one. Whew!

Then comes last winter. We heard something squeaking every time we drove his car and his belt that turns the alternator kept on popping off. It has been an ongoing problem, cheap enough to fix, until you find out the alternator is no longer attatched to the car! SO, most recently PJ has been trying to rig some bolts up to where the alternator will stay in place so the belts can turn properly. Which is why I was stranded in my previous post, because a bolt had come out, a belt was loose, no longer turning the water pump.

Which leads me to last night/today. Yesterday, as soon as I got home, I got a call from PJ asking me to come get him. Apparently the bolt he used to replace the last bolt that fell out, fell out and the alternator was no longer charging the battery which means no juice for the car. We got a battery, rigged the alternator (PJ worked on it all night last night poor thing) and if history serves us right we should have another 6 mos. until the next breakdown right? Nope take this morning- the tire to the van completely flat. SO! We have: rigged the alternator, bought a new battery, fixed the tire, got a new light covor for the miata... Dang it. I was warned.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Did You Know?

I've been using proactive for a little over a year now and it worked decently well. My skin cleared up, not as well as in the commercial, but I didn't exactly expect it to. Then I spoke to a friend (Hoyle) and she told me about basically an off-brand proactive that was a lot less. So I recently cancelled my account with proactive and am now using Acne-Free and it works a lot better! Within the last week my skin has cleared up so much it's amazing. I don't feel like a zit faced teenager anymore. I might actually look 21!

I always thought when you went to buy a car/house you basically gave the car dealership/house seller an "IOU" of sorts. Only recently did I find out that someone else (a bank) buys it for you and you pay them back. Good to know.

Pregnancy's Gross.

I'm still learning how to spell. Most recently I am proud to say I know how to spell receive. "I" before "E" except after "C".

I'm also learning that outside the church, the lifestyle I live and want to live is really wierd. I had a woman (same as in my previous post) ask me what my career was going to be. I said "a mom". She looked at me and said, "but what are you going to do for a living". Oh I dunno, have kids, give them to someone else to raise, have a career that I don't even like, be surprised when my 2 year old calls the teacher at the day care mommy instead of me... People were also shocked to find that on my 21st birthday I was more excited about shopping than drinking. Get a lot of clothes I can wear over and over, or throw up all night on my nice clothes and have to go shopping anyway. So that's what it means to be a peculiar people!

Lastly, the chicken did indeed come before the egg.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

On a Personal Note

A woman pulled me aside yesterday at work and we chatted for a bit. She has her own real estate business outside the job she works with me and she was telling me about how in her experience women don't like to see woman succeed. She started into examples, and I said "Oh, I know exactly what you mean". You see, having a major where everything matters, I know all to well experienceing people not wanting you to succeed. I miss acting and dance class and learning new songs, but I don't miss college.

I am in no way being overdramatic or exagerating when I say in the first 2 weeks of college I was deemed untalented, rude, and less than moral (all by my peers mind you). This is a big deal because there were only 13 people in my freshman class in the department, maybe a handful older than us also in the department. I had always considered myself a nice person, could always make friends easily but that came to a screeching halt. By the 2nd month of college I was dating PJ- everyone loved PJ, so that just made people hate me more.I have to admit I'm still a little bit scarred from it. When you find the only reason people talk to you is to get information from you, and then talk to everyone else about it, you stop wanting to talk to people. I tried everything to please these people, but of course, nothing worked. By my 2nd year of college I was off campus and I was still in a soririty, but that wasn't very long lasting once I found that even my "sisters" were talking about me. So I detached from everything. I went to class, went to rehersal, then went home. One girl started to befriend me and told me over and over again "I had no idea you'd be so nice!". And also while performing the last play of the year before I transferred out "I had no idea you could act as well as you do!".

I always asked myself what am I doinig wrong? Why am I not good enough for these people? But I see now that nothing is good enough for them. The "friends" they have/had aren't really friends- they do the same thing to them as they did to me, but they actually put up with it. I always heard in High School "real friends won't want you to feel uncomfortable or do things that would hurt you" and I have to say I didn't find this out until college. Now that we're back in the real world, I still have my gaurd up. There was a lesson a couple Sunday's ago about friendship and people were sharing wonderful messages about them and their friends and I just sat and thought "that doesn't really happen" but really, when people come up to me even at church and try to talk to me I think "what are they trying to get. don't tell them everything April, just keep it on the surface." People talk about how we have a "sisterhood" there and I think, "yah, I had a sisterhood once- very exclusive and it didn't work out very well".

But I would like it to work out well this time. I would like to be in a functional sisterhood. So this is a public, and formal apology to any of you who might have been snubbed, or got their feelings hurt by anything I might have said or done. It's nothing personal and in no way intentional. I simply have baggage that is taking longer than I would like to admit to get rid of.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Practically Perfect in Every Way

I love, LOVE General Conference weekend. I have the ultmate reason to stay home and do nothing from 12-6 both Saturday and Sunday. Some people really don't care for 2 days of church, but I'm not complaining about sitting on my couch watching my computer all day. I even cleaned Friday night so I really could do nothing all weekend. And hearing from the General Authorities isn't bad either :).
During one of the breaks between conferences, I flipped by the foodnetwork channel and caught Paula Dean making her ever famous, ever fatning, ever yummy looking desserts. One that really stood out to both me and PJ was her Cookie Dough Truffles. Luckily, I had received cookie dough as a presant from a wonderful sister I home teach and I had some unused chocolate morsels sitting lonely in my cubbord, so I thought "Why not!". All I had to do was melt the chocolate, roll the dough up in little balls, dip them in and viola! Let them cool in the freezer for the last session to snack on. They are too good too. PJ actually said they were a bit too sugary for him, but hey more chocolate for me always makes me a happier person. They don't look so pretty in this picture, but you've just GOT to try it! 15 stars for Paula Dean- the gold ones too!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

If it's Not One Thing...

As I'm sure most of my audience knows by now our basement got flooded with the massive ATL rains. It wasn't horribly bad, just inconvenient enough to creep under your skin and almost make you crazy. You see, we live in our house. We watch TV, are computer junkies and have furniture to match. I cook dinner every night, make our lunches and eat breakfast at home. I had even started a new internet video excersice routine. Living without all these things for almost a week is a burden. To some, a vacation (i.e. PJ) but after eating out for the 3rd time, I miss my awesome home-made cooking. (and we ate out much more than 3 times)

So as the carpet was finishing getting put back in place and drying from shampooing, I happily drove off to work today knowing we would have our furniture back in place when we got home. Except when I was a good ways on the interstate I saw steam coming off the hood of our cute little banged up miata. No, April, it wasn't steam, it was def. smoke. I pulled off the side of the road, made the necessary phone calls and tried to make it to the exit that was 1/2 a mile away, pulled into a gas station and sat. I wish I had a twitter because it would look like this: 8:00AM- sitting at a gas station. 9:00AM- sitting at a gas station. 10:00AM sitting at a gas station. And on and on until my white night came at 2:00PM to rescue me in his grey charriot from said gas station. It wasn't that bad. I actually fell asleep for most of the morning until it got too hot to sleep. We did get the furniture back in place and the car fixed and groceries bought and half the laundry done. It's been an eventful day, but let's keep it plain and simple heh?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Berfday to Me!

Not to brag about it or anything, but I had an awesome berfday! With the flooding of the basement starting out the week the only place to go was up right? We were very fortunate to have the Latchaw's let us stay with them when the world or at least Atlanta was ending Monday (all day). I mean it took me an hour to get half way down Pleasant Hill. Usually only a 10-15 minute road all the way down. Not so pleasant people. But! The water started drying and while all of the carpet is still not put together, you have to "Count Your Blessings" right? So I know you all are dying to know... we stayed with PJ's dad Friday night and PJ planned a whole awesome surprising day for me. I know you wish you had him but he's mine :). He took me to get my hairs cut. Okay! side note time. When we lived in Cornelia (northern GA) I knew a lady who was PJ's friend's mom who had her own business and was very good at cutting/ styling hair. I tried to call her all month to schedule an appointment for her to cut my hair (kind of the whole point of staying at PJ's dad's house an hour and a half away) so we got to the place 10:00AM on a rainy Saturday morning and it was under new management! So we scrambled to find another place...

And we're back. So After that experience he took me shopping and then I got my hairs cut by an awesome lady named Shelby (i know I said pictures would come... but no thanks) and then he took me out to dinner! *sigh* Twas a lot of fun. Sunday we were supposed to start our temple prep class but it was cancelled so we left after Sacrament and relaxed. And in case anyone is interested Jan 8&9th are the special dates! Colombia, SC here we come!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bed Time Stories

Yes. After watching The Office every night, it's very hard to wind down. So one night I asked PJ to tell me a bedtime story so I could get bored (really) and stop my mind from thinking enough to go to sleep. So the first night I tried this, he told me a story about a monkey and a man who went to the circus together and he listed all the animals and acts they saw and it worked! I was really sleepy by the end of the story and went right to sleep. The next night I tried this, he told this story:

"So there was this mouse who was really really big..."
"So it was a rat?"
"No it was a mouse. So this mouse was really big, like human-size and he was so big he walked on two legs. And since he was so big he had a big tail but he would always hit people because he couldn't see where it was and people would complain and get hurt because the rat tail..." (apparently it was a rat...) "would swing all over. So this doctor came and said 'hey why don't we fix this. Let's move your tail from the back to the front so you can see where it is all the time'. So the doctor moved his tail from the back to his chest and he stopped hitting people. But since the tail was so big he kept tripping over it so he went back to the doctor and said 'Hey this isn't working I keep tripping over my tail'. So the doctor gave him a wheel chair and the rat stopped tripping over his tail. But since the rat stopped walking his legs got really weak and he couldn't walk anymore so he went to the doctor and said 'Hey my legs are really weak now and I can't walk' and the doctor said 'well you shouldn't have been so lazy and used the wheelchair all the time'."

Needless to say, I did not fall asleep as easily that night. The bedtime stories have since stopped.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Getting Down to Business

Today we have three matters of business to discuss. First: We went to go see "9" Friday night and I give it 2 stars. It wasn't too long, the picture was clear, and it was very Tim Burton-esk. I would venture to say it was a mix between Edward Scissors Hand and Coraline. The plot wasn't really there though and in fear of giving too much away, it would make a better game than it did a movie.

Next! I used to straighten my hair every day. Then I went to college and got lazy and the curls kind of took over my life (especially once I moved to humidly hot hot-lanta). I've attempted to straighten my hair and it just turned into a big frizzy mess so yesterday I splurged and got a non-conair straightener and it's AWESOME! I give big props to my new Remington straightener but I now realize my hair is untamingly long and it will soon be chopped. Pictures to come ;).

Finally courtesy of Rachel Ray, we found a recipe which combines my two favorite types of food. Italian and Asian! Last night we tried this Thai pizza recipe and it was wonderful. I was unsure about it because... it's a Thai Pizza, but it was so good I mean really you should try it. We left off some of the toppings and I think the next time we make it I won't add the red pepper. It was spicy hot, but wonderfully yummy. 3 Thumbs up!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

At Long Last...

Through Labor Day weekend traffic, 3 trips to Fry's and a slow internet connection the ever so long awaited birthday pictures! PJ mixing up the cupcake mix:

Our "LOST" themed cupcakes. I have to brag embarrassingly and say I did these with on exception. The stations are The Arrow, The Pearl, The Swan, The Flame, LOST, The Hatch (AKA The Swan), The Staff, The Hydro, The Looking Glass (supposed to be a bunny...)
The Lamppost. I'll just continue to list what they are although some are obvious. PJ, 22, Polar Bear poop (yes there are polar bears on a tropical island in LOST) Choice vs. Fate, Mr. Clean (PJ's favorite nickname for John Locke, his favorite character), a "sun" for the character Sun, a palm tree, Oceanic 815, and a plane...
Said polar bear, 4-8-15-16-23-42, a submarine..., the two islands (hydro/main), the imploded hatch, the caves, and a fish cookie.

(Once again) Happy Birthday PJ!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Good To Know!

Fry's is an electronic store with really good prices coming only second to Ebay. They always have clearance bins in the front of the store with really, really good deals! While perusing said clearance bins we found pepper spray. I got really excited because it was really cheap and there has been quite the rise in crime in Gwinnett and surrounding counties. SO! we bought that and a camera cord (camera cord doesn't work, hopefully pictures to come soon!) and I wanted to try the pepper spray out in the parking lot to make sure when it got down to it I knew how to use it. In case you don't know, pepper spray comes in a leather casing and I always thought you sprayed it from this leather casing so I tried and red spray went all over my hand. I acted quickly and squeezed some antibac on my hands trying to wash it off fast and tried the pepper spray again, taking it out of the leather casing and it sprayed in a wonderful stream of burning. I didn't think much about my hand and apparently I scratched my upper lip and while browsing in Hal-Mark my lip started burning. We tried to hurry to the bathroom as quickly as possible to wash our hands and I tried to scrub my lip but no such luck. Soon after that my hands started burning and even the acid corroded hands of PJ were burning pretty badly. When we got home I used all the burn cream in our first aid kit and spread it on my hands. Funny things about burns- they burn worse when you try to treat them with aloe. So now I know first hand the effects of pepper spray and trust me, I won't be using it on a whim ;).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Laugh or Not to Laugh...

PJ will laugh at anything. We watch shows together and I think "slapstick comedy was made for this guy!" Me, not so much. Sometimes I wander if I have a sense of humor. This sneaking suspicion came forward the other night as PJ and I watched The Producers. He laughed the whole time. Through the old granny's playing the milk maids, through Mathew Broderick freak out and grasp his baby blanket, to "Ula" getting it and flaunting it. I just sat there for the whole 2 1/2 hrs and thought "this musical is so weird".

Fast forward to last night and (or rewind..) I decided to take a gigantic leap and watch The Office. I'm not fond of what I call stupid funny. I think Will Farrell is idiotic and annoying. But! This show is hilarious! We only watched the first two episodes but I actually laughed along with PJ. Finally we have found something we can both laugh at. And yes, I do have a sense of humor! However small it may be.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More gratitude, trust, meekness, HELP give me! (Please)

Because PJ and I got married so young, people were naturally concerned and wanted to put their 2 cents in. We got a lot of advice, some through family and friends, some through the books they gave us. While making the 8-hr drive to Orlando for our honeymoon, we decided to read one of these books. While not by an LDS author, I think she had the right idea. The book is called "Called to be his Help Meet" and it gave a lot of good insight into how men think and what they expect, and how women can achieve pleasing their husband while not loosing themselves. I felt very enlightened and have tried to use a lot of the ideas during our whole one year of marriage. (Gosh I must be a pro by now!)

And yet still being so young, I still wander, what am I supposed to achieve in life? How can I fulfill God's purpose He has for me? I've been told a lot to use my talents. To develop them and use them to help others and in High School I was convinced that meant to major in Musical Theatre to enlighten the world with how awesome I was (am). I thought Heavenly Father and I were like 2 peas in a pod and he got me. He understood me so it was okay to take pleasure in Musical Theatre. He unterstood me so it was okay to miss church for rehersals or performances. After all I was showcasing the talents He gave to me.

I've since learned I had it backwards. While studying the scriptures, I came across a revelation given to Emma Smith (summary here, click here if you want to read the real thing) in short stating that she should not question the things she could not see and that while she was a holy woman, her purpose was to help the Prophet. She needed to console him, comfort him, support him. Could you imagine having the world come against you and your own spouse wouldn't even be there to sustain you? Just like it wasn't up to Emma if Joseph should through inspiration translate the plates, restore Christ's church, be tarred, have her children die, and eventually her husband die (that's truly for better or worse), it isn't up to me to tell God how I'm going to run my life. Another scripture states "For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance". This makes me think of excuses that are so popular now. "We shouldn't have sex before we're married, but since we're in love, it's okay" or "I can drink in 'moderation' as long as I don't get 'drunk'" or "It doesn't matter if I go to church because God knows my heart" and the list goes on. I can just imagine when it gets down to it it's going to be very much like a parent scolding their child. "What did I say about going outside?" "you said not to do it" "and did you?" "Yes! But..." "Did you or didn't you?".

For right now I feel like I need to heed the counsel given to Emma. I don't know if I have this grand purpose outside motherhood, but isn't that great enough? I know I get true joy out of serving my husband, cooking for him, cleaning up after him, choosing to focus on the good in him instead of complaining about the .. not so good. Through serving him I really do feel like I'm serving the Lord. I think "now, is this going to strengthen our relationship, or weaken it?" Should I constantly tell him if it wasn't for me we'd have cereal every night? Should I constantly tell him he smells, he needs to stop playing video games, he needs to do this or that? It's very much like counseling God, no? "Heavenly Father, I'm really tired of this, you need to help me out here!"

I want to approach my Heavenly Father with meekness and try to see what He wants me to do. I want to strengthen our relationship by doing my part instead of just assuming He's going to do His. I want to spread the joy of what a woman was sent here to do. And just want to mention only 4 more months until December! Woot and Amen.

2 stars, 3 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars!?

Last night I really wanted Chinese buffet. I mean huge room full of foreign food all at my disposal. So after making a few phone calls (thanks Hoyles!) we were directed to a restaurant which we were very excited to try. Alas, while the General's chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and LoMein were all very yummy, I couldn't stomach anything else (and a plate full of chicken does not a W.O.W meal make). And for $12.60 a person, it's hardly worth it. They had a sushi bar which was exciting, and having the sushi pro's (LatchAW's) there to explain that it was pretty good was even better. They had snow crab legs there, some snails, oysters, an assortment of different authentic dishes. I tried the various dumplings whether it was the meat dumpling, chive or custard, but that was definitely the end of my meal. I think I'm going to stick to Thai restaurants from now on.

Speaking of, since we've moved here we've had a lot of great advice for restaurants to try out. Starting with Thai suggested by no other than Sis. Garner, this restaurant for all you Lilburn-ies is really great! The atmosphere isn't that spectacular, but the food and service are fabulous. Located off River Rd where River meets Oak Rd- give it a try! 5 stars! (because I can't even try to cook this type of food at home)

Next in line is the ward favorite here (thanks Boot!) for mexican. Los Hermanos in the Wu-Mart shopping center off Lawrenceville Hwy is so good. Their $3 tacos will not make you sick and they're so yummy. 4 stars! (because I can still attempt to make this kind of food at home, but splurging every once and a while to get a real one won't hurt the bank too much)

Going on to Vietnamese with aforementioned Hoyles was yet again surprisingly yummy! I was expecting cow heads and chicken feet with blood soup, but it was actually on the verge of fine dining for fairly low costs. I wouldn't mind going again (Hoyles...?) 4 stars! (cause I'm still not convinced somewhere I didn't eat a cow brain or something)

For PJ's birthday the LatchAW's treated us to an all you can eat trial dinner at Buffalo's in Buford. The guys enjoyed it, the girls didn't. To get all you can eat wings is about $12.00. On the regular menu I believe wings get to be about that much near the 10 or 15 mark so you have to eat more than I'll say 20 to make it worth it (which is far too much for dainty me). So for the guys- probably 4 stars, but for me 3 stars (because the atmosphere was cute and they do have other things than wings- but also because Wild Wings is better) with no intention of going back.

Lastly Super Grand Buffet (1st paragraph). As you can tell I wasn't that thrilled. 2.5 stars and I won't be going there again.

Any other suggestions? We'll take 'em! Oh, and I'd like to give a shout out to Oodles in Gainesville. If you're ever up there it's off I believe Pearl Nix in the Best Buy shopping center. All time favorite restaurant! They have pasta bowls from all different influences, American, Italian, Asian... Yum! Definitely 5 stars! Any takers?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Berfday!!

Wednesday was PJ's birthday (berfday as we like to call it) and he turned the big 2-2! To celebrate we made bunches and bunches of cupcakes (thanks Boot!) all in a "LOST" theme. Originally I was going to try to plan a LOST party for him, but we realized a lot of our friends have kids, and our humble basement wouldn't be able to house safely those little dumplin's. So we made cupcakes and decorated them with our interpretation of LOST symbols. I took pictures, but apparently we've lost the camera cord for the camera to hook up to the computer... so those are soon to come.

We also went out to Red Lobster where his friends and family met us and we had fun catching up. Unfortunately we ate kinda late so everyone stuffed themselves and didn't want any cup cakes (we brought 24 and came home with prob. 18 with another dozen in the fridge...). Ah well, Happy 22nd Berfday PJ!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SO not PC

Disclaimer: This is my blog so I am voicing my opinions here. I'm not being "PC". So here goes! :)

I've recently talked about a Pampered Chef party I went to and abbreviated it to PC. That's not the PC I'm talking about today. Politically Correct. I don't appreciate it. Here are some things I've been thinking about.

I hate the whole going "green" movement. Especially after reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (see my Reading List), my eyes were open to the scams. Why should I buy a more expensive bottle of cleaning solution because it's "green"? Why would it affect the environment to use a "green" dusting solution? Or a "green" shampoo? The only thing I could imagine would be if I was washing my car and the run off affected my lawn. The worse thing for the environment are the plastic bottles all these "green" chemicals are sold in. I call it a scam because I have to pay more for something that doesn't really make a difference in cleaning or the environment. I mean saying that you're not for the "greens" is construed into saying things like you don't support Oprah's school in Africa.

I also don't understand why the "PC" name for black people is African-American. I mean when I fill out a census there's not a "Welch-American" spot. I have to circle I'm white. Why then is it offensive for a non-white person who isn't actually Asian or Mexican to be called black?

Did you know? It's also now not "PC" to call sitting down on the floor with your legs crossed Indian style because it's offensive? I think if Indians can get over white I mean Euro-Americans killing their people and stealing their land they can deal with the fact that a sitting style is named after them. The substitute? Criss Cross Applesauce. I always knew applesauce was good for something!


Monday, July 27, 2009

KFC, Long John Silvers, and other fried attractions

I grew up in NC near the beach/outer banks. After my 7th grade year, we moved to the mountains of NC and I just knew the first day of school would consist of overalls and straw hats. Continuing into high school, I tried as hard as I could to not get a southern accent. I started my own dialect with "ahvahcahdoe" (avacado), and "k-awch" (couch). I even wrote a journal entry to my English teacher about how stupid I thought the south was and as soon as I could I was going to go to the better places like New York or California. I pictured southern people sitting around eating KFC or other fried food, rocking in their rocking chair on the front porch with straw in their teeth. For some reason I didn't look around me and realize it was all in my head. I'll blame it on teenage hormones.

As I've studied more about politics and histories, I'm becomming more and more proud of the south. I realize there are some real idiots around here, but there are idiots everywhere. I'm sure every once in a while I'll slip up and act like one :). I'm starting to see that family is one of the most important things among southern folks. I'm starting to see that southern folks care a lot about their liberty and want what's best for America, not whoever will pay them the most. I'm relieved that I can carry a gun with me for protection, that I have the ability to go and catch meat for myself if I... hunted. I'm learning that a "slow" lifestyle doesn't mean stupid, but that life moves fast enough. I love the true kindness I come into contact with. And dagonit, I'm even starting to laugh with Paula Dean instead at her. I'll never be a country girl, but I'm starting to be okay with being a southern one.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stories to last a Lifetime

In waiting for my new (temp) job starting next week (YAY!), I watched some TV today. While flipping through the channels, the new Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva was on. I've seen bits of the pilot episode and it was somewhat interesting so I decided to watch the next episode. If you're not familiar with the show, the basis is that an upcoming model (Deb) gets in a car wreck, goes to heaven but it's been a mistake and gets put in a plus sized lawyer's body (Jane). So of course there's the theme of how she's trying to diet and excersize and all that. Being a lawyer, she had a case of an overweight cocktail waitress being fired because, well, she gained weight. Besides the fact that in the contract it stated if you change your appearence you will be fired, Jane (the overweight but has a "skinny girl" mind character) argued her closing statement basically saying it was discrimination and just like work places shouldn't discriminate against race, sex, etc... they shouldn't discriminate against body size.

I've thought most of the day as to whether or not I agree with her statment. The end result? I don't. Your race and sex (within reason) cannot be changed. You cannot help the fact that you were born into an asian/jewish/black/etc.. family. You cannot help the fact that God made you a girl/boy. I would argue to say you can help your body size. Especially considering the circumstances of this "court case", the woman who had been fired gained 50 lbs while working there so at one time she was smaller. Especially if she signed a contract stating if she changed her look she had grounds to be terminated, there should be no further argument. Private companies should have a right to hire whom they choose.

My opinion on the show? I think it could be cute. I'm not going to lie and say I hope the show lasts 8 series and she continues to change people's view on overweight women. In the show,I don't think overweight women (in my short experience with the show) have been rightly portrayed. There's a lot of "cookie jar" jokes and everyday for breakfast Jane has a chocolate covered doughnut with sprinkles. I hope they change her diet (or she, the character...whatever) to say that sometimes seemingly overweight women are rather healthy. Bodies are just built differently. Who knows. It's Lifetime. I haven't heard of anyone watching Lifetime since... well... ever.

Dollar Movies and Beef Jerky

You would have never thought that dollar store beef jerky could be tasty, but it is! And there was a lot in the package!

Okay, so last night we went to go see Angels and Demons at the dollar theatre. Of course the book is going to be better so it's really hard to rate the movie by itself. It was O.K. I would give it 2.5 stars. First for the positive things: I liked the woman who played Vittoria in this movie better. A lot of the scenes were the way I imagined. I like that the places and buildings held true to the main story and it's very suspenseful! A part from the book, they made a pretty good attempt at making it a concise movie (3 hrs).

Of course the things I didn't like is they threw out the first 100 pages of the book, made up a begining, actually changed a lot of information. This will sound... well what's it's going to sound like, but in the book the killer or assassin had more personality defects. In the movie it wasn't believable that he would have really cut out an eye ball to get into the vault to steal the anti matter. In the book the assassin is a predator. After his first kill he ends up going to some sort of brothel and it explains how he deserves a reward for his kill. Also at the end he ties up Vittoria and talks about how she will be a great reward once Robert is out of the way. The movie's ending was waay different and just kind of seemed to end. Another thing that's going to sound odd, is I liked the darkness of the book. Dan Brown went into a lot of detail to explain how each person died and what the body looked like. In the movie they captured it, but for me it didn't show how merciless the killer was.

All in all, a good story is a good story and this movie was better than DaVinci Code movie. But with these stories, you really do need to read the books. Dan Brown writes almost in the technique of word vomit with every sentence packing in more and more details and facts. The last thing I noticed is the movie had no down time. Dan Brown is really good about suspending you from the fact that another person is going to die in 5 minutes to tell you something about this character or that one. The movie just seemed to be screaming at you the whole time which can have the opposite effect of being boring.

I think the whole "based on" is really lame. It reminds me of the tortillas commercials when the bag has a "hint". Does "based on" mean I kept all the names the same but decided to place it in Africa instead of Antartica? I mean could The Producers be based on WWII because they write a play about Hitler? They should just go ahead and change the name of the movie. Like Adventures of Robert Langdon based on the book Angels and Demons. But the beef jerky was seriously really good- def. earned 5 stars in my book. Yum!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Eats


I didn't want to combine the two posts since they're two completely different topics, but in further news I went to my first non-hosted pampered chef party today. 'Twas fun and I really enjoyed the company (thanks Boot!) but I have to give my ever so few complaints. I think the owning the own business thing is a good idea and very attractive to people. I mean what a better business plan, let's make food and show people how easy it is to make and supply them with really great items to help them make it for their family. But I took the training to be a consultant and this is the way I would do it. (You see, PJ's mom got into it last Christmas and wanted to win the trip to Disney World so she asked me to be a consultant to get her some more points, but she's since stopped, so I'm not under any pressure to do it anymore. Thus I threw my books away and kept the supplies. Awesome!)

I would have friends come together, already have the food made, have the books ready for them to look at, give some demonstrations, and let people talk. I also wouldn't be able to stick solely to the recipe's from PC. What can I say, I'm a little rebellious? The recipe we made was really nice for summer:

1 LB jerk chicken (supposed to use PC spices, but you can decide how you're going to flavor it)
1 box small bow tie pasta
1 bell peper
bundle of green onions
1 can of black beans
1/2 pineapple (prob. a med. sized can if you're like me and want to cheat)

Dressing:
Juice from 2 limes
1/3 cup mayonase
2 Tb pineapple perserves

Mix it all together and what do you get? Good Eats. I would suggest to add something salty to counterbalance the acid. Romano cheese is at the top of my list, but salt would work too.

I have also started to make my own sauces and it's a lot of fun! Tonight's dinner is one of my fav's so I would like to share the recipe from that too. Saute mushrooms (about 6oz) and sundried tomatoes (however many you'd like, if any) in about 1 tsp butter. Once the mushrooms are soft, take off heat and add 8oz milk with 1 Tb flour. Stir in really well, put back on about med-low heat. Season with salt and pepper (and I added some garlic too). Serve over ravioli and yum yum!!Needless to say, Good Eats!! So... What are some of you's guy's favorite recipe's??

Airy Potta

Welp, I've been trying to think what we've been up to and I realized I missed a completely perfect opportunity to let you all know about Harry Potter! We went to see it with the LatchAW's :) on opening night and it was really good! Now, I'm not a book reader so of course things were left out or added or changed, but a good movie it did make. I don't want to read the books yet so I can enjoy the movies. I would give it 4.5 stars on a 5 point scale. Mostly because The Dark Knight is a 5 star-er and it doesn't quite compare with that.

As far as Harry Potter goes, the story was very clear, not too predictable (once again, not a book reader), effects were right on, acting was mahvelous, and very clever writing. I think acting in the nude show in London (Equius) really helped Daniel Radcliff catch onto timing and such. Because you won't hear this often, this is a movie I would definetly suggest to see in the theatre or if you have awesome home theatre surround sound, wait to rent or own it and watch it there. Brava!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hooked on Epiphanies

For our anniversary a little while ago where we were, we weren't really close to a ward. So we had church on the front porch, or rather we read scriptures together on the front porch of our little vacation cabin. I was reading in Galations when Paul speaks about the blessings of the spirit. After all theological questions are at least attempted to be answered when other people talk to us about our faith, the argument of faith vs. works comes. The scripture says:

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, bariance, emulations, wrath...But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:against such there is no law."

I paused after we read this and thought if we could be perfect, if we could always love and have joy and be peaceful etc... then we wouldn't need guidelines or what other people see as "works". We are asked to visit sisters in the ward once a month so that we can learn to love people that we usually don't come into contact with and learn to love to serve. We have guidelines to help us become perfect in the things which are of God. It would be unfair for God to tell us to be perfect, tell us the end result of when we get there, but not how we get there. I have become thankful more than ever for small things about the gospel like the organization. I am so thankful that God thought of everything. It's all so organized!

In latter news, my regular nintendo still indeed works and PJ and I played for hours this weekend. I got a new high score on Dr. Mario and I'm pretty proud that I have one of the original gameing systems. Yup, we're pretty much that cool. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

FIsh Eggs

To join to everyone else's awesome stories of the fourth, PJ and I went really low key this year (considering last year we spent it in Disney World!) and went fishing with his dad. I caught the first bass and it was the biggest, only to find out when we were cleaning the rest that she had eggs ready to lay. Sorry fishy!

I also cut and cooked the 3 fish we kept which made me feel handy dandy and they were pretty good! I think I will start eating fish, but only the fish either we catch and eat within 24 hrs or at beach restuarants. WOOT!

Then for the fireworks portion, we shot off PJ's guns while his little 6 yr old step bro was around and he thought it was awesome. Well, until one of the rifle shells shot off and hit him in the neck. Heh heh. I also made another "April comment" as I'll start to call them. I shot off the first gun and said "yah! That's what PJ's grandad will hear one night..." Of course what I meant was when and if anyone ever broke in.. yah there's not a good way to dig yourself out of that one.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Uh Oh

My mom tells me my first word was "uh oh" and rightly so. I seem to "mis-hear" things a lot. These are a few examples of what I always thought people said and until recently found out I was wrong.

"Little Miss Muffit sat on her tuffet eating her terds away"

alligator instead of escalator

"Went to bondage inside your kiss" (Want to vanish inside your kiss)

"Did he just say 'May your first son be a Mexican?'" (in response to PJ's grandad toasting to our first son being masculine)

"With the butt stains on the carpet" (M.J's Smooth Criminal with the blood stains on the carpet)

Seriously, the last one I just figured out this past week. UH OH!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Memories

This past weekend was our anniversary and it brought about a lot of reflection. We've come a long way since we've been married and especially since we started dating. Even though everyone (rightly so) thinks their mate is the best ever, I am convinced that PJ was made for me and vice versa. He is a wonderful man and it's been such a blessing watching him grow closer to his Heavenly Father this year and becoming an example for me. Even though he's only been a member for 6 months, people think he's been a life long member. We (of course) started out a little rocky and didn't really plan things out. I was going to try to finish a degree in Musical Theatre while he worked and then when I finished it would be his turn but it truly wasn't in the cards to do that. Closer to Christmas we had 3 jobs and 20 hrs to share between us, but paid tithing and always had enough. We didn't eat out every night or have real food (a lot of Hamburger Helper) but we ate! Then PJ got his job down here and as much as I hated moving down here, I love it now. I love the ward here and how everything is at our finger tips. We have saved up enough money for PJ to go back to school so he should be starting that in the fall and going to the temple in December!

PJ's grandma also passed away on Fathers Day so we get to share our anniversary with memories of her. Even though it sounds morbid, it was a very spiritual experience watching her die. She was asleep on her couch and her breathing slowly stopped and laid there peacefully. I felt an overwhelming feeling of the spirit there and after a while I knew that she was safe in her designated area ready to learn about the gospel and I felt at peace. She was a lovely lady and amid a lot of scrutiny and complaints from the other side of the family, she always welcomed us.

So this next year (hopefully) holds school, temple work, new promises, more fights, more growing, more family. I have also learned that I have a lot to learn. Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"More Than Meets the Eye"

Last night we had the pleasure (thanks Latchow's!) of seeing Transformers II. PJ and I talked a long time about it last night afterwords and we come up with 2 stars. It didn't have much of a plot even though they tried to pack a lot of information in and there was a lot, A LOT of exploding, banging, screeching metel. We sat on the sides next to the speakers and it was almost unbearable how loud it was. It had everything in there that people go to see movies for: fighting, sex, and some funnies.

That was a redeemable part. Especially in the begining there were very clever jokes but it got to the point that they were rambling off and would sneak jokes in there while things were blowing up and eventually there was major lag as to where you were understanding the "story" and where the "story" was progressing. For 3 hrs. Yes it was 3 hrs long. :0

Overall I am thankful we could go and hang out, but I wouldn't buy it nor would I suggest you see it in theatre. It will make a perfectly good dollar theatre movie.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fun Facts

So this one's going to be a little bit more random, but still informative!

TMI alert!! So this week is sugar pill week (is the most modest way I can say it) and it always helps us breath a sigh of relief. I live another month not being preggers. As much as I've talked about this to my sister (her constantly telling me I'm fine, I shouldn't worry) I've worried about it every since I realized that's what my "visitor" meant. I started having my "visitor" kinda young, but even still I always feared I was pregnant right before she came, and once she was here I would always breathe a sigh of relief. Strange but true

Also, last night PJ and I took a date to the dollar theatre to see Knowing. Spoiler alert (although I don't reccomend it) it's totally a Sci-Fi movie and from previous posts you should know how I feel about that. The premise? At the end of the world aliens will come down, take two "special" children to a new world to begin another non-important existance. The really disturbing parts? It referenced the Bible! There was a reference to Ezekiel and the 2 wheels he saw which was explained as that was the portal the aliens took the kids in. The dad (Nicholas Cage) and his son would also always say that they were going to be together forever, although old St. Nick didn't believe in heaven and aliens took his son. Lastly, when the kids got dropped off on their new planet to do their deal, there was a tree of life! Choose one Hollywood. Either there are aliens taking care of it all and we lead a useless existance, or God is in control and there is a rhyme and a reason. sheesh. I'm speculating Tom Cruise was the executive producer.

Lastly, I hate sweating. While I'm working out I love it because I feel like I'm getting some headway, but while grocery shopping? I had to cool down with ice cream and a nice cold coke. There's just nothing like sitting down during a hot summer's day and drinking coke. My exersize might be to no avail this summer...

And finally, I can't spell. Please don't hold it against me. It has been a family joke ever since I started reading. PJ brought to my attn. that in the last post capitolism was spelled wrong... sorry. Many more mistakes to come!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Modest Proposal

"Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed." -Charles Darwin

"Let us but extend our vision from immediate suffering to the prospective suffering of the countless unborn descendents of our present unfit and ask ourselves the question, why should they be born? Havelock Elis well says 'The superficially sympathetic man flings a coin to the begger; the more deeply sympathetic man builds an almshouse for him so that he need no longer beg; but perhaps the most sympathetic of all is the man who arranges that the begger shall not be born'." -Michael Guyer

Eugenics. While it can be explained in a both positve and negative way, either way it's sick. Definition: the study of, or belief in, the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits.

During the depression is when eugencis first became wide spread. Scientists decided that insanity was inheritable and as an attempt to have a perfect society and stop the assylums from becomming over run, scientists decided it would be best to sterilyze these people. Then it spread to those in jail. They believed that feeblemindedness was inheritable and criminals would only raise criminals so these men (mostly) should be sterilyzed. The first of supreme court hearings about eugenics involved a teenage girl who had been raised by foster parents since her mother was sent to an insane assylum. The teenage girl was raped and ended up pregnant, but her foster parents said that she was feebleminded and uncontrolable and sent her to the assylum. As the nurse was examining the 7 month old baby, she described the baby has having a strange look to it and was convinced that the "feeblemindedness" was passed down to the third generation.

Most times eugenics is only talked about because of Hitler. Hitler wanted the perfect race in his country as well, but we were actually one of the first to pass laws to allow sterilization of those deemed unfit for society. A new york times paper actually reported "the Nazi program, upon examination, turned out to be little different from those advocated in every civilized country. Germany is by no means the first to enact laws to permit or compel sterilization of hereditary mental defectives. Some 15,000 unfortunates have thus far been harmlessly and humanely operated upon in the united states to prevent them from propagating their own kind." One of the major proponents for eugenics in America was Margaret Sanger who started birth control programs so women could have "more control" over their bodies. "Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924."

So what does this have to do with today? Allow me to 'splain. In a recent discussion with Congressman Fortenberry, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State appointed by Mr. President Obama stated that she admired Margaret Sanger. Besides her wanting to promote "planned parenthood" and the bringing up of the perfect race, she was also an avid socialist, blaming what she saw as the evils of contemporary capitalism for the unsatisfactory conditions of young white working-class women.

She is not the only eugenicist against capitalism. Actually most who support eugenics declare "democracy dangerous and dream of an America which would approach more nearly to the ideal aristocracy of talent which Plato dreamed than any previous civilization has." They insisted "without a new reverence for superiority, a new application of the technical methods of science to their social and political affairs, they will not, because they cannot, rule themselves wisely and well."

So let's tie this all together. Secretary of State supports and admires Margaret Sanger, a euginicist who, like her fellow euginicists, support a doing away with "bad society" (whether it be killing them off or sterlizing them [as a side-side note Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger to try to influence the poor to not reproduce. When an undercover student went into Planned Parenthood they immediately referred her to a doctor to have an abortion. And not just one clinic, all clinics she went to, which was about 30]) and support the doing away with Capitolism since capitolism in itself is the devil. Where this really comes into play is with Universal Healthcare. I kid you not. Government (including Roosevelt) has supported euginics in the past. They already have shown their inability to handle money. In every other country where healthcare is universal, they government runs out of money and waiting lists for treatment for a finger run years. So what do you think will happen when Universal healthcare is in place and government sees that their running low on money? Well, we can pay for your first pregnancy, but after that your on your own. Or we see that your child will have down syndrome and we can't afford to have another "flawed" child so you will need to abort. As recently as the 1970's, 100,000 people had been sterilized under federal health and welfare programs. Doctors told some women in labor that their babies would not be delivered unless they consented to sterilization; welfare authorities inisisted that, if their young clients were not sterilized, they would lose their welfare benefits. If government has control over your life, your very health, they are entitled to do whatever is necessary to save them the most money possible. Just like Communist China can control whether or not their society can even have children, a socialist health care system can control what you eat, how you excersize, and especially what you will create for their community.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Signs Clovers and their Blue Moons

Sunday night PJ and I stayed up and watched the only close to wholesome movie we could find on TV: Signs. I really liked the movie when it first came out because I liked that someone was saying things are not left up to fate, things are not coincedences, things happen for a reason. But this time watching it with PJ, I couldn't stop asking questions, mostly raised by the alien sci-fi nature of the movie. I have never liked Sci-fi things because aliens, well talk about ubserd theories. Yes I believe that it is very probable that life exists beyond this planet, but I don't think life is any different anywhere else. The laws of nature as I see it would exist the same billions of lightyears away-and if history repeats itself on this earth, it'll repeat itself on other earths. If God created everything, created us in His image and we look like we do, then if He were to create life in other places, He would use the same formula. Then there are those who don't believe in God and believe in Aliens. What makes more sense. That is how I'm approaching things these days, because people... just get carried away.

In case you don't know, the basic theory of aliens is that they are a supreme, supernatural life form who are more intelligent than us. Since they are so intelligent, they then fly through outerspace to Earth and mess up people's crops by drawing cirlces in them. This is supposed to be away to communicate. :/ If Aliens are more intelligent than us why would they draw in our corn? There's another theory: that aliens created us. Yes that's right, Aliens came to Earth, sprouted seed with monkeys, and that's how we were formed. Once again though, I must reiterate. If Aliens created us... why wouldn't they be able to speak one of the hundreds of languages we have? Also that as we evolved from monkeys Aliens look differently because they evolved from some other life form. The most suggested is... dinosaurs.

The last theory also brings to mind a similar theory: Evolution. I don't doubt that things evolve after time, that survival of the fittest is natures way of correcting itself. It is plausible that modern day reptiles evolved from dinosaurs, thus there aren't any huge lizards marching around the earth. But if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why are monkeys endangered? Why can't smaller monkeys evolve to gorrillas and help them to stop becoming extinct. Why don't we throw fecies at people to get away from us? Now that, that makes some sense.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spring Creations

Being inspired by spring/summer time (and also not having any work...) I have been working on some crafts. One of the most exciting, I finally scrapbooked our wedding! I only took one picture, but it's really awesome, you should come visit and see!

Also, some may remember my ever fabulous Ariel purse, but being almost 21 and after having taken it everywhere, it was pretty dirty and WNTW host Stacey would say that I had out grown the "disney purse" thing. So I made this!


And I finally painted our kitchen/laundry area ... yellow. We're in a basement so I figured it'd brighten it up. I was right!


And just for fun:

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Once Upon a Time
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ice, Water, Air

I have been studying a lot recently on topics of the Gospel that to some are very hard to grasp. Things like Pre mortal life, Eternal progression, and the nature of God. I don't write this post with the intent to convince, but really to find out how and why people do not belive God and Christ are seperate beings. I have been reading the Gospels recently and I have made it to John and it seems so obvious that Jesus and God or Heavenly Father are two seperate beings.

John 5:19-20 "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel"

John 7:16 "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me."

John 8:29 "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him"

Obviously these are only a few of references Jesus makes to him being the Son of God, but these especially have been getting me thinking. Jesus speaks of him being obedient to God's will, that it is His Father's gospel, His Father's work. To me, if Jesus and God are the same person, then Jesus is lying. He is speaking about himself when He refers to His Father. I've heard the comparison of the trinity being like water. Water has different forms but it's all still water. I can understand how this can ease some people's minds but for me it doesn't work. All three forms cannot eternally dwell together. The water will either freeze and no longer exist. The ice will melt and become water. Or both will melt and become air.

Besides the fact that Jesus constantly speaks of His Father, and claims to be the Son of God, there's the fact that Jesus has a body. But from what I understand about the "trinity" God doesn't have a body. Wouldn't that limit God? It wouldn't seem so until you really think about it. Why would Jesus have a body and God wouldn't? If they're on the same playing field that gives Jesus something God doesn't have. Also, if we were created in God's image, which can understandably be a vague statement, what does God look like? If He doesn't have a body, how did he know how to create ours and after what to model it after? And then there's the life long question; why are we here? Why would God give us bodies if he didn't have one himself, just so that we would be resurrected to live with... what exactly? Once again, I'm not writing this in an attempt to put down any theologies, I just simply don't get it. Any further explination would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Food for Thought

With this last Sunday being fast and testimony meeting, I do what probably most people do and sit there thinking about if I have anything to say. Someone encouraged me to say what the kids say, the simple "I know the church is true, I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, name of Jesus Christ Amen." but I've always thought that was too simple and un-inspired. But really, simplicity is the basis of Christ's message. I don't have to have some inspiring story or clever whit in order to get up in front of 400 people and simply state what I know to be true. I do need nerves... but that will come in time. Actually, I have recently sung one of my favorite songs "Oh Lord My Redeemer" and that is my testimony. I find it easier to take what other people have written and sing it from my heart than to try to actually put into words how I feel. Just to put it on paper: I do know firstly that Jesus is the Christ. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us and He sent His son to save all of us from the begining to the end. It saddens me to know that there are some who believe Jesus only died for a few people, that His grace doesn't extend to everyone. The more I read the scriptures the more I see the plainness of God and how easy the Gospel is to follow. I am so thankful for the commandments and laws God provides us to live by and especially for missionary work. I have been afriad of the missionaries for a long time , so having them over in our apt. to teach PJ wasn't just scary for PJ. But seeing the change the Lord has wrought in PJ over the past 4-5 months since he's been baptized is amazing. I have even had people ask me when I joined the church because they thought PJ was a life-long member. :\ Woops.

So with this new focus of missionary work, and with PJ and I being ward missionaries, I have decided to use facebook to further our missionary outreach. Every morning I have decided to post a BOM scripture and (I just started yesterday) already I have received positive feedback from some of the strongest opposers of the Church. My hope is that these scripture bits will spawn more and more of an interest to where PJ and I can invite them to our little basement home and begin to share the love that we feel and have received. As my mom always would say: "We'll see".

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is it an Omen?

So I had a dream a while ago that I didn't really think about until Sat. when I was mindlessly i mean doing a service project of pulling weeds. Here goes:

(Just to explain my sister is currently about 4 mos. pregnant) So I was pregnant in the dream and my sister and I were giving birth at the same time. Except if I were to get pregnant now and then have the baby at the same time as her (yes i reason these things out in my dream) I would be delivering at least 2-3 mos. early. So needless to say I was having complications with my birth and I kept on saying "why can't you do a C-section!" but the nurses, who were also nuns, said that since I was at a Catholic hospital they don't perform C-sections. Also the hospital room we were in was a relief society room. Eventually the nurses brought our babies to us and they looked really wierd (mine was the size of a 2-3 yr. old but really really skinny) and later in the dream we found out that both of our babies had died but the nurses just gave us some babies from the orphanage.

Just to let everyone know before the questions come rolling in- I'm not pregnant. ;)

Friday, April 24, 2009

One brave-heart

Okay okay, so it's another political opinion blog entry, but I'm getting interested! I have spurts of things that I really want to learn about, and once I'm satisfied that I've learned all that I can handle, I move on. Before this it was outer space- and even Wikipedia is a better source than me to try to learn about all the novas and galaxies and so on.

So getting to the point: with all the hype around Obama talking to the Castro's and with N. Korea announcing their bombs, I've started reading up on communist countries (well.. USSR, N.Korea and Cuba...) and there's one overriding theme. In idea or on paper, the things they do for their country seem to be really great. In N. Korea there are uniforms and some women would rebel, but think about being able to always afford your office attire and you don't have to worry about going out of style! There's also filters on radio and TV which I'm sure mothers would say there needs to be so their kids won't get "infected". The last one I can think of right off the top of my head is in Cuba they were (are, I'm not sure) taking in all the homosexuals to be tortured which a lot of right wing conservatives would say great! protect us against those "homos". But here's the problem I have. Isn't it people's right to be able to wear whatever they want? Isn't is people's right to listen to people critisize the president, a church, or Brittany Spears? Isn't it people's right to choose their sexuality? Hear me out on this.

Growing up I learned about Satan's plan vs. God's plan. In a heavenly counsel God and his spirit children were sitting around discussing what was going to take place and I can see it like it were a Mel Gibson movie; Satan (or Lucifer at the time) speaking up and saying "hold on a minute. Why make people choose? Let's choose for them, everyone will return to you, and they'll say 'Man Satan/Lucifer, that was one great plan!'" Of course we know what happened from there, but in idea it was a great plan. Why make people have to deal with temptation, sadness, all the bad of the world. Why not make them be baby making machines, gain a body, and come back? The problem is there's no choice. Being able to choose is one of the sole things God wanted for us (Along with us worshipping him, not Satan..but that's another story) and that's why it's bad for anyone to choose for you. This whole politically correct stuff is rediculous. At least before, people could learn tact and manners. Now you have to say "African American", "pleasantly plump", and the list goes on.

The princible behind censorship is the same regardless of the "good intent" behind it. This is a little extreme, but if actors want to cuss to express themselves on TV, change the channel, or don't watch TV at all. If actors don't want to cuss, watch that TV show. If you know there's a "personals" section on Craigslist and you don't want to look... don't look. If you don't want to pray during a "silent moment" in school...I think you can see where I'm going with this. I don't agree with gay marraige, but I don't think the government should govern who should get married. This country was founded on religious freedom first. Just as I want to be free to worship in the beauitful wards here in America, Baptists should be able to worship, contemporary people should be able to throw their hands up and worship, and yes, as scary as it might be, Athiests should be able to worship. The whole idea of freedom or "free agency" is that everyone has a right to do what they want to do- as long as it doesn't affect the free agency of others. I read a great book by Elder Talmage a couple of months ago called "The Great Apostasy" which addressed free agency. He said (something similar to) those who want to choose good have just as much right to do so as those who choose sin.

God would never inflict His will on others. When people were dying from the snakes, his counsel was to look at the brazen serpent so that they could live. He wasn't just going to save some that didn't look. Even now, the NT paints a picture of him knocking at the door, all we have to do is answer. He's not going to bust down the door and inject you with a "God listning virus". He waits for you to choose to follow Him. The famous scene in Braveheart says it best: FREEEEEEDOM!