Sunday, December 13, 2009

Honor Code video

This video is one my old ward made for their Stake's FHE Honor Code Video this semester. I pretty much cracked up. Hope someone else finds it as funny as I do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #12

There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary and the triumphant fact of the resurrection. - President Gordon B. Hinckley

Conversation about Cami

Mom: "Guess what your dog did today."
Me: "I don't know."
Mom: "Guess what she had in her mouth when I came home."
Me: "Umm . . . her Christmas present?"
Mom: "YES!"
Me: "Why'd you leave it where she could get it?"
Mom: "It was in a cardboard box!"
Me: "So?!"
Mom: "Who knew she'd get it?"
Me: "I did! That's why I guessed it."
Mom: "She shredded the box."
Me: "I can't believe you left it where she could get it."
Mom: "She was really proud of herself, prancing around with a reindeer in her mouth."

What you have to understand about this to get the full gist is that this dog is surrounded by boxes. We move so much, she is really used to it, and she never touches anything. But when my mom brought that box in from the mail the yesterday and then left it where she could reach it, she got into it. She has this uncanny, yet irritating, and also adorable way of knowing whenever we have a toy even if it is new and hidden. She is so cute. But now she doesn't get a gift on Christmas. Jacoba does. She's a good dog and left her new tug toy alone.

Christmas Contemplation #11

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by,
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the Everlasting Light,
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

I've developed a new appreciation for this hymn this year as I've really listened to the words. In the dark, the Light of the World is born and in Him are met all the hopes of fears of all eternity as only through Him can they all be resolved.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #10

Following are the lyrics from one of my most favorite songs on the playlist currently on my blog. You can scroll to the bottow and play "Happy Birthday, Jesus" or click on the link to play it on You Tube.

Happy birthday, Jesus, It's that time of year
All the lights on the tree say Christmas time is near

Another year's behind us, You helped us make it through
So happy birthday Jesus, this song is just for You

We all get so hung up, on material things
At times it seems like we forget what Christmas really means

It should be thanks we're giving, that's why I wrote this tune
Happy birthday, Jesus, this song is just for You

There's a gift for everyone but You underneath the tree
No it's not much, but I hope You like this song to you from me

Happy birthday, Jesus, that's why I wrote this tune
So happy birthday, Jesus, my song is just for You

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #9

I wish I knew how to add videos to my blog. Like from You Tube. But I don't, so a link will have to suffice.

I heard the song The Rebel Jesus for the first time today. Jackson Browne clearly states in the song that he is "heathen" and a "pagan." A listen to the lyrics however shows that he is being sarcastic- kind of- he really doesn't believe in Jesus Christ in the Christian, Savior of the World sense- he is apparently a believer in the "social gospel" (so maybe satirical is a better word)- but he does believe that all of us who profess to be Christians are doing kind of bad job of living like the Savior.

Jesus came to the world to help the poor, the downtrodden, and the helpless. For those of us who do believe He is the Savior, we have a responsibility, as followers of Jesus Christ, to help them too- at all times but especially, especially, at this time of year when we celebrate His birth.

This Christmas season, it is my prayer that we all remember Christ and choose to serve those to whom He would pay the most attention were He here. I know I at least have much to learn from the Savior's example.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #8

Do give books-religious or otherwise-for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal. - Lenore Hershey

Good advice! I bought my niece a series of books that I absolutely adore and I hope she falls in love with them too. I also hope we get some time to start reading them together before we head home (we're only going to be in Oregon from the 24th-29th, not very long). I can't wait for Christmas and am super excited to spend it with family.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #7

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. - Charles Dickens

Christmas Contemplation #6

Behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed unto Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. - Matthew 2:13-15, KJV

For some reason that I really can't explain, I really felt the Spirit when reading this today. I am grateful for the tender mercies the Lord gives to me in allowing me to feel Him confirming the truthfulness of the gospel. I am grateful for the sacrifice our Savior made on our behalf and for His Father and ours allowing Him to do so.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #5

True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service. It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men. - President David O. McKay

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #4

For the Spirit of Christmas fulfills the greatest hunger of mankind. - Loring A. Schuler

Christmas in Hale Nalimanui

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #3

I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day. We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year. As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year. And thus I drift along into the holidays - let them overtake me unexpectedly - waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself: "Why, this is Christmas Day!" ~David Grayson

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Contemplation #2

Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for - I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times. ~Kate L. Bosher

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Contemplation

Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. ~Carol Nelson

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26 Things I'm Grateful For

1. My Ward family
2. My cell phone
3. The Scriptures
4. Mail
5. The Ensign
6. Chickens in the Road (truly hilarious, you should go to her website and follow her directions to vote)
7. Colored pencils
8. My niece and nephew
9. Christmas music (enjoy my new playlist!)
10. Milk
11. Hot chocolate
12. People that support me in everything I try to do
13. My camera that allows me to capture special moments
14. Facebook that lets me see the special moments other people manage to capture that I don't
15. Good literature
16. The time to read
17. A love of cooking
18. Good people
19. Soap
20. Expressions of love that others give me
21. Opportunities to express my love for others
22. hydrogen peroxide (I have a strange obsession with pouring it on open wounds and watching it "fizz")
23. Deoderant
24. A living prophet
25. Heavenly Father
26. Jesus Christ

On an unrelated note, once again it is difficult to read old posts due to my new layout, so just highlight the text to be able to see it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Do people have no standards anymore? I cannot believe the extent to which people will go to refuse to take responsibility for their actions. I am actually so disgusted by this that I'm at loss for words.

Read it here.

No offense to any smokers out there- that is your choice and you have the right to make it. But that's the point- it is your choice. I know most people, including smokers, agree with this and it's the few who don't that make it in the news, but I'm so disappointed in the juries who award money for this.

I fell off. . . again!

And I'm gonna jump back on, but I'm not gonna catch up. Meaning, I'm skipping 16 and 17 and starting again with 18.

1. Thomas
2. Susan
3. Nozomi
4. Cory
5. Carrie
6. Yoko

OKAY, I'm totally cheating because I am grateful for these six people all for the same reason: helping me run my research tonight for four loooonnnnggggggg hours. We're manipulating our independent variables trying to figure out if we can make the placebo effect stronger depending on certain things we try, which I'm intentionally being vague about. We should know soon how our data turned out.

7. Booyoon, my coworker who covered at my desk for me today so I could have the afternoon off, since I knew I had four hours of research to run.

8. Contacts. I don't like wearing glasses in the heat.

9. Glasses. Haha. Not having them, and being forced to wear my contacts as soon as I got up and until I went to bed was getting really old after like ten years. I'm relieved when I can take my contacts out at night.

10. My well equipped desk in my apartment. Most students out here aren't as well prepared as I am.

11. All the great educational resources I have available to me here.

12. That laundry at the school is only $1.50/wash & dry instead of like $10/wash & dry at the shopping center.

13. That my new haircut didn't turn out like the last one that might have made me a little paranoid. That's saying a lot too- I am very much one of those "it's just hair!" type of people, so if I was nervous, it must have been bad . . .

14. The smell of rain.

15. The smell of fire. I love it when they're burning something over at the PCC.

16. Jesus Christ. I know I already mentioned Him. But He will be on my list every day for the rest of my life.

Being grateful is great.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

11, 12, 13, 14, & 15 Things I am Grateful For

The last half of my week was kinda crazy so I kinda fell out of this a little bit. But I didn't forget. However, I'm cheating a little bit in my makeup work, posting them all at the same time and no explanations.

1. Veterans like both my grandfathers and my dad.

2. My doggies, Cami and Jacoba.

3. My temporary doggies: Beverly, Cascade, Phantom, Patriot, and Megan.

4. GDB.

5. My boss who is kind and generous. I forgive her for the times she gets snappy. Her job can be stressful.

6. Trans Siberian Orchestra- some of my most favorite Christmas music.

7. Christmas music in general. I know, I know. I gave into early. It is not yet Thanksgiving. But I won't listen to it loudly until then.

8. My first 4H leader who's name I don't even remember.

9-11 ran away.

1. My Patriarchal blessing.

2. That in a month I'll be able to go to the Temple whenever I want without buying a plane ticket.

3. Craigslist.

4. Photographs.

5. Other blogs.

6. Camp Bloomfield.

7. Camp Bloomfield staff.

8. Camp Bloomfield puppies.

9. Leather leashes.

10. Dishwashers.

11. Electric outlets.

12. Homemade bread.

1. Ryan & Irene.

2. My education.

3. That things always manage to work out.

4. My ingenious cardboard box under the bed idea.

5. The wind.

6. Lotion.

7. My bug-bite meds- a clear winner!

8. Harry Potter.


10. How could I leave out Wicked?

11. Gordon B. Hinckley.

12. Institute.

13. Relief Society. Seriously this time.

1. My computer.

2. Tacos.

3. Okay, all Mexican food.

4. Cold Stone.

5. Bend, Oregon.

6. Mr. Harris.

7. Mrs. Cardiff.

8. Mr. Lund.

9. Dove ice cream that I just discovered this week.

10. Homemade salsa.

11. Homegrown tomatoes that I can just eat by themselves.

12. My cozy apartment.

13. Sleep.

1. Hot chocolate.

2. Big, cute mugs.

3. Disney. Love it. Too much.

4. That my room smells good.

5. The great deal I found on a rental condo and paid for yesterday that will allow both my mom, my sister, Stephanie, and me to stay in the same place rather than broken up into three places.

6. Q-tips. :)

7. Bath and Body Works.

8. Hand sanitizer. Deja vu again.

9. Surge protectors.

10. My newly found flashlight! If there's a power outage, I'm prepared. Again.

11. My three hole punch.

12. Costco.

13. Naps.

14. Brownies.

And finally, today.
1. Church.

2. The great talks given today.

3. The really cute boy that spoke last. Too bad he's engaged.

4. Oh My Gosh! The super hot boy that stopped at our Stake service project car-wash yesterday. That is a member and goes to BYUH. Since his ward didn't tell him about the car wash, clearly he comes from an inactive ward. I should have invited him to Church with me. I would have sat next to him. I could have made that sacrifice. You know, for the Lord.

5. The dart game my mom gave me for Easter. It helped me to find my long missing flashlight.

6. Jessica.

7. The chicken tacos I'm going to have for dinner tonight.

8. My nice clean section of the fridge.

9. A&W root beer. It's recently become my drink of choice.

10. Job Offers!

11. Vizlas.

12. Vizsla people (Judy).

13. The Holiday season. What could be better?

14. The Sabbath.

15. Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten Things I am Grateful For

1) My new reading glasses. Yes, now I wear distance glasses (well, ya know, contacts usually) and reading glasses. And I'm very grateful that I should be able to see my books and computer screen from now on. Since normally without any correction, I can't see a book at arm's length, it's quite a weird sensation to be wearing them and have everything up to about four feet away be clear, but anything more than a few feet away is super blurry.

2) The amazing new Christmas music I bought on iTunes today.

3) The job (paid eight month internship) I got offered at Disneyland today.

4) The knowledge that the Lord will help me, within the time frame I've been allowed, make the right decision on whether or not I should take said job.

5) Carrie.

6) Shawna (I love you!).

7) The wonderful A&W root beer sitting on my desk right now.

8) The reassurance I have that even if it rains and rains and rains and floods this weekend like is anticipated, I'm prepared.

9) Did I already tell you how amazing psychology students are? I'm grateful for all my "major" friends.

10) That Jessica is going with me to the New Moon release so I will not be the only one going with the sole purpose of making fun of the whole thing. Okay, maybe that's not my sole purpose. I really do like the series, A WHOLE LOT, but seriously the movies are terrible. I've never before in my life repeat watched a movie with such bad acting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nine Things I am Grateful For

1) My FHE (Family Home Evening) "family."

2) The Bishop. I know I already said I'm grateful for him a few days ago, but I'm thankful again. Or still. We had a great FHE at his house tonight.

3) My cell phone that lets me easily stay in touch with my family.


5) That I'm still caught up on schoolwork!

6) My hilarious Educational Psychology class. We are so much fun!

7) My fan. It's great.

8) That my new slippers are not too slippery (for all you mainlanders, in Hawaii, "slippers" refers to flip-flops).

9) Faithful examples of the kind of woman I want to become, from Sister Tueller (Bishop's wife).

I have an amazing life.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Eight Things I am Grateful For

1) The Sacrament. Basically I'm grateful that I get a chance every week to start again, to 'fess up to my screw ups, wipe the slate clean, and try to do better.

2) General Conference. I just got my conference issue of the Ensign this week (did I already say I was grateful for this 'cause I'm kinda feeling some deja vu . . . ) and began digging in last night. I always love re-reading the talks over and over again and finding new meaning. This issue is a little more special than normal because I was as sick as a dog conference weekend last month and I slept through most of it, so for many of the talks, this is my first exposure. I decided from now on, rather than just highlighting, I'm also going to write three things, right there inside the magazine, on each article, that I can do to apply the teachings from each of the leaders of the Church. I think this will bring me many more blessings than simply reading and trying once in awhile to remember what I read will. Taking action is always a good thing.

3) That things at home are going better.

4) Relief Society. Okay, honestly, I might have had a "I'm bitter towards RS" moment today, so this is my attempt at one of those "live like you believe" things. If I publicly express my gratitude for RS maybe I'll get back to my normal state, which is gratitude, much faster. I really do love RS, just not for an hour or two today. I love it that the Lord has provided us with an organization to help us grow together as women in the gospel.

5) My toothbrush. Maybe if I publicly declare how happy I am with my toothbrush, the batteries will maintain some sense of loyalty and decide to hold out until I'm able to make it to Walmart again.

6) The cute earrings I wore today. I bought them back in June and wore them for the first time today. I really like them. "Mahalo, Target."

7) Monk. Such a good, clean show.

8) That I am feeling well-rested for the first time in weeks. How fantastic is that?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Seven Things I am Grateful For

Today was good day. Still a little stressed about my failed midterm yesterday, but I didn't think about that today so I could focus on everything else.

1) I am grateful that when I prayed feverently yesterday that I would be able to focus on my schoolwork all day today and that the Lord would help me to ignore distractions, that He did. I got a lot done today and I am sooo grateful.

2) I am grateful that my mom paid $4,000 for my braces when she could have paid for her own instead.

3) I am grateful for a clean apartment.

4) I am grateful for an amazing bishop.

5) I am grateful for the opportunity to relax with fun friends on stressful days.

6) I am grateful that at a time when buying "local" has become important to me, ways to do so in my community have really opened up.

7) I am grateful for my many, many different colors of highlighters. They help me to stay organized.

This has been fun but I'm definitely starting to run out of "unordinary" things to be grateful for. This list is going to be getting much more typical and ordinary.

Have a great Sabbath.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello Blog (and Six Things I am Grateful For)


This has been one crazy week. Some really good things have happened and it's also been one of the most stressful weeks I can ever remember. I don't think I've actually ever cried while taking a test before, and I totally did tonight while I was failing my social psychology midterm.

But I am still grateful:
1. It's the weekend! Yay. Now I have, from this point, 28 hours and 15 minutes to sit in my room and do homework and not have to worry about interruptions from work, classes, and teachers trying to assign more to the pile.

2. For Tillamook Cheese in Hawaii (I'm trying really hard to eat locally, but I allow myself this splurge, purchasing cheese shipped from the mainland- I'm pretty sure all our cheese, at least at our grocery store out here, is shipped from the mainland anyways).

3. For the great mentors I have at this University.

4. That the Hale will be pretty quiet tonight. Or at least until a bunch of love-drunk and infatuation high girls return from the Fall Ball.

5. Our surprisingly fantastic library on campus that allows me to escape from reality for a bit once in awhile.

6. Is it lame to say "the weekend" again. Probably- okay then- my two copies of the General Conference issue of the Ensign that just arrived this week and I can start studying this Sunday. I'm particularly excited because I was really, really sick Conference weekend and I missed a lot of it, so this will be my first exposure to some of these talks.

Now, to get to my remaining 28 hours and 8 minutes for homework . . .

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Five Things I am Grateful For

I have this feeling that as I start to list more and more things my explanations are going to get shorter and shorter and my items probably sillier and sillier.

1. My coworkers, especially JiNah, Anna, and Rachelle since they are the ones I sit with.
3. My computer. It has truly been a lifesaver. I am so glad I was able to afford it.
4. A roommate who is very much "go-with-the-flow" and puts up with my opinionated inflexibility.
5. The cooler weather.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Four Things I'm Grateful For

Today was a BAD day. So it's kind of tough to write four things I'm grateful for, but I'm going to try.

I ran a psychology experiment today. I have two teammates that help, but we also had three other people come help. I'm grateful for Thomas, Kazumi, and Cory. They made it go so much faster. They willingly gave their time to come help with a project that they did not have to do. I appreciate their Christlike examples of service.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the research teams. Though they might stress me out a lot, not a lot of undergraduate students have these research opportunities, especially at such a small university. I'm grateful that I was prompted to go to school at BYUH because I am receiving an excellent education.

I am grateful for my family. They stress me out too! But I love them. My mom is having a really tough time right now and I desperately wish I could be home with her.

I am grateful for prayer. Sometimes, even when I don't perceive an answer, just knowing the Lord is listening is what gets me through. How lucky I am to know that my Heavenly Father is aware of every petition I make and of every grateful thought I have. I love what Abraham Lincoln said: "I have been driven many times to my knees by an overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." That's how stressed I am now. I am grateful for a God who loves and listens.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Three things I am Thankful for

Since today is the 3rd of November, a list of three things I am thankful for.

Rainy days:

Okay, I know it doesn't look very rainy but it is. It's not as bright as this picture makes it look.

Fablehaven books to read on rainy days:

And my old roommate, Carrie, who gave me my first Fablehaven book (not pictured, it's on the mainland). Seriously, though, I love these books and if you are at all into fun (not dark) fairy, dragons, and other fun magical creatures fantasy, they are fantastic and very well written. I'm sad that I finished the fourth one (for about the eighth time) today. I'm excited for the release of the last book next spring.
Thank goodness (I'm listening to Wicked right now) for small blessings.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This is what happens . . .

When I'm told on Monday that I have a Friday deadline for a PowerPoint that I was unaware had a deadline at all.

I work on three research teams here at school, doing marketing research for the Polynesian Cultural Center (my role there is pretty laid back, just data collection, not analyzing), the Student Development Center (I'm in charge of an "occasion-setting" project- how does the therapist set-the-occasion for a relationship between a student who is working through academic issues, and the student's professor(s) and an ethnic specific student development project looking at whether retention rates of Polynesian students improve when they are placed in an academic skills class specific to their ethnicity- I actually presented this at a regional conference earlier this year and am hoping to present at a national conference next May). Finally, I lead a team as part of my stats profs "personal lab."

One of the six projects I'm currently working on is pure lit review which is a little unusual for us since we do empirical, quantitative research, so it's new territory for me. I'm writing a paper on cultural views of science and how different people around the world view science and research in different ways. I just found out on Monday that Dr. Miller wants to talk about this project with some PhDs from Purdue on Tuesday. And I have to have a PowerPoint for them.

Did I mention I'm currently working on six projects for this team- me and my two team-mates? We have a ton to do so when we were given this deadline, do you know how much writing I had done for this project. That's right- none. Thank heavens I had done most of the reading! Though I'm still trying to do some more.

Anyhow, since Monday, I've been getting up at 5:30-6 am and staying up till 11-11:30 at night. Now, that might not seem too unusual for a college student (it is for me), but what is unusual is that I have been working constantly! Except for this blog and when I'm at work, where I also have a few minutes to blog and get on facebook.

So I'm kinda going crazy. I'm in science, culture, journal article, PowerPoint, APA overload. And I think it might be making me lose my mind. I'll be glad when this is done. I'm going to try to finish by mid-Friday afternoon to submit to my "boss"- he supervises all the team leads and we'll discuss and make improvements Saturday (well, he will- I'm going to the Kona temple) and Monday.

Pictures of my night follow. I'm getting a little loopy.

My desk with all my journal articles, my APA publication manual, and the title page of my powerpoint.

I want another piece of cheese.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maika'i Hawai'i

Even though it remains difficult to be so far from friends and family, I love Hawai'i. She has treated me well these two years and I will miss her when I go (except the humidity; I will never miss that). I only have 56 days left to enjoy this lovely place. And I'm afraid I may be a little homesick when I go. My one consolation is that I will always have many friends and connections here, so there is always a reason to come back.

Aloha au iā 'oe, Hawai'i.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Living the gospel makes me happy. I may not be perfect at it yet, but I will be someday and I'll have eternal happiness. How amazing is that?

So funny story from a fireside tonight (a fireside is kind of like an informal church meeting; it's not church but similar-ish). Elder Ritchie (he's here on a mission, that's why he's called "Elder"; he's a "senior" missionary, meaning he is married and he and his wife are serving together) was our fireside speaker. He told about a fast and testimony meeting (in the LDS church we refer to the first Sunday of every month as "fast" sunday; we abstain from food and beverages for 24 hours and pray for a specific need or blessing for ourselves and/or others; we also have a testimony meeting in church, where rather then the two or three scheduled speakers, anyone is free to get up and bear their testimony- we also use the word "testimony" a little different then the rest of the Christian world does) where his then seven year old son brought along a few seven years old friends. They had never been to an LDS chuch before, but one of them quickly got into the spirit of things and before they knew it he had walked up to the stand. When it was his turn to bear his testimony, the Ritchies were praying for him that it would be a positive experience for him, but as he wrapped up, it was clear he wasn't sure exactly how to finish (it is normal to conclude by saying something like, "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen"), so he paused for a moment and then said, "Holy Moses, Amen!"


Thursday, October 8, 2009

My new "must have"

At work this week we got new widescreen monitors on some of our computers. Only one of the computers I use has one (yes, I have two desks which is an extremely frustrating situation but not really the point of this post) but it's amazing. While I've always wanted to have a monitor and docking station for my laptop, this cemented that desire- need, shall we call it. I cannot believe how much more I can see compared to my laptop. Even though it (laptop) is widescreen, it's not doing the true widescreens justice.

So, if you're trying to decide what to get me for Christmas, well ya know. And if that seems a little expensive for a Christmas gift, don't forget- I graduate in December too!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

For the Record

I was just randomly watching a New Moon trailer. Now, I am an Edward fan through and through and think that if you thought Bella was ever going to end up with Jacob you are just as dense as the Harry Potter fans that thought Harry would end up with Hermione.

That being said, when it comes to the films, Taylor Lautner is so much more attractive than Robert Pattinson that it's ridiculous.

Taylor (Jacob)

Gosh is he attractive. And, unfortunately, far, far too young for me.

Robert (aka Edward)

He just doesn't do it for me. And he's supposed to be the most gorgeous guy walking the planet!

If they were gonna go with Harry Potter stars for Twilight, my vote would have been for Sean Biggerstaff who played Oliver Wood and didn't get nearly enough screen time.

I should be a casting director . . .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Somebody got this wrong!

This is my last semester and I'm only taking 12 credits. Let me put this in perspective for you: during Spring term, which is half the length of a semester, I did 12 credits- so I did a semester's amount of work in half the time and in Winter semester, I took 21 credits (12 is full-time).

So why am I so busy? I'm supposed to have senioritis right now. I'm not supposed to be slaving over papers and projects in all my free time and falling asleep over my homework at my desk.

Someone, somewhere, got this wrong!


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bountiful Temple

While I was in Utah, I went to the Bountiful Temple one afternoon. It was Sunday, so we went to take photos, not to enter the temple (for non LDS readers: the Temple is different than Church; we got to Church every Sunday and anyone can go; the Temple we are encouraged to go to once a month, or more if possible, and we can go any day but Sunday or Monday, and only worthy LDS members can go). The grounds were lovely and so was the view. I couldn't believe how high it was.

Wouldn't it be incredible to live right across the street from the Temple? The blessings found in the Temple of God are amazing. I pray that everyone that hopes to be able to enter House of God will either set their life straight or keep it that way so that they can receive the blessings found there.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Summer

So, I know that there are people that keep up their blog as things happen. I am clearly not one of those people. But at least I try. Unfortunately, I don't really have a lot of photos from the summer. If you want to see more, look me up on facebook. There are a lot there.

After our adventures at Disneyland, Sea World, and everywhere else all over southern California, we headed to camp for a weeks worth of staff training. When you've been there three years, training can be kinda boring, but I suppose I learn new things anyways.

In the dining hall:

Dolphins we saw the morning of our staff overnighter:

Whale "playing:"

Me looking strange as usual:

We started the session off with buddy camp. Sorry, no pictures. Buddy camp is actually for our sighted kids who come during the sessions with the blind kids. In theory, Buddy camp is supposed to teach them how to help the blind campers, as we teach them proper sighted-guide techniques and have them do all the activities blind-folded. The buddies who did well were invited back to another session with the "campers" (for our purposes, "campers" are only the blind or visually impaired kids/adults- everyone else is a "buddy" or "family").
Next was Family Camp #1. Again, no pics. Family camps are always interesting because it is hard to figure out what our place, as staff is, in the dynamics of the family. But, I almost always learn the most during family camp. That is where I really figure out how to modify activities and make things more interesting for the blind campers.
Adult camp was next. It is always a very short session. I'm not gonna lie. That's a good thing. But the campers enjoy themselves and we survive. Hopefully, for their sakes, they get some more of their friends to come in future years.
Following Adult, we had Elementary camp. It was SOOO much fun. We just had a great session. The kids were amazing. This was the first year we had a buddy camp and we felt that being able to invite back specific kids after having worked with them for a week already made our other sessions go so much better. The buddies were amazing. And we always love the campers.
During Elementary, we had "The Reptile Family" come into camp. They are a family that keeps reptiles- many of them- and then uses them in educational shows in the LA area. Only "reptile Mom" came to Bloomfield, but man, did she know her stuff. It was really interesting (in fact, they were so so good that we actually asked them to come back for junior camp).

We also went to a Dodger game. I didn't realize how much I knew about baseball until I had to explain the game and everything that was happening to group of blind kids. The game was an incredible amount of fun.

No pictures of it, but one night we also celebrated "Christmas in July," complete with carols, candy canes, presents, and a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by yours truly.
After Elementary camp, a group of 14 of us went up to San Francisco. The original plan was to go up there to see Wicked, but in the end only three of us went. Of course I did! Our seats were way better. And I bought Wicked stuff this time. I simply can't get over how fantastic it is. The day after Wicked, almost all of us went to Alcatraz. That was really interesting. Only problem was, by the time you're done with the cellhouse tour, you're so tired that you don't feel like doing any of the other cool stuff there is. The views of the city were gorgeous.

When we got back to camp, we had multi-disabled camps. MD is always one of my favorites because the campers are so much fun and so funny. Unfortunately, their aides can be difficult, but the campers make up for it. We did some really great arts and crafts projects that session.
Following multi was Junior camp. That's a hard age, but again, thanks to our fabulous buddies and CITS, the session turned out really well. I have absolutely no complaints, but it still wasn't quite as much fun as Elementary session. We didn't have any "all camp" field trips, but rather two smaller ones that some of us got to go on. I went deep sea fishing (for the third year) and finally caught a fish after three years of trying. The Halloween dance was fun too. Someone had a brilliant idea to hold it outside on the slab rather than in the hot dining hall. That really improved things. I dressed up like a dalmation- but I was liver dalmation, as were the originals in the novel, The 100 and One Dalmations, though I only actually did that because I didn't have black pants. Elphie, Marley, and Fullerton dressed up as dalmations too. Ivy was Cruella de Vil.
In between Junior and Teen Camps, I took the GRE again. I improved both my verbal and quantitative scores drastically, but I actually scored .5 point lower on the written section. How lame is that? But, I'm happier with it this time around. Now I just got to hope it's enough to get me into graduate school.
Teen camp has always been my most favorite session, and it was a lot of fun again this year, but was definitely rivaled by elementary camp. We had a lot of good activities and I really, really thought our arts and crafts projects worked out great.
My sister came the last day of teen camp. Mule and I picked her up at the airport and then later that day, Ivy, Penguin, Koala, Lilo (that's my sister- she has a camp name because she worked at camp last year), and I went to spend the break at Penguin's house. At least, that's what we told my sister. We really did sleep at Penguin's, but we were going to Disneyland. We got two day park-hoppers off of ebay. We had a blast. I had never been to California Adventure before, despite going to Disneyland at least two times since Ca opened. I really enjoyed it, but anyone who knows me shouldn't be at all surprised. I'm addicted to all things Disney. Truly.

Our last session of camp was Family Camp #2. It's pretty much like the first except even more laid back. Our arts and crafts activities were a combination of my favorites from the summer and what we had left over. The last day, the wall people,
Elphie and Hercules left the burma bridge open for me to try. When I got there and saw how high I had to climb just to get up (really, only about 8-10 feet), I almost wimped out. Then I did wimp out while I was climbing. And then Elph and Herc made me feel guilty because they had waited for me. So I did it again and got on the bridge this time. I didn't make it very far- it WAS SOOOO SCARY! But I'm glad I got to try it. My favorite part- when I was walking backwards to get back (because I was afraid that if I turned around I would fall off- not that I'm afraid of falling off- I'm afraid of trying to get back on if I fall) and screaming: "WHY DO THE KIDS LIKE THIS?!?!?!!"
Afterwards, I was really tired. It was exhausting physically and mentally.

Camp ended a little differently this year. In the past we only had a few hours after the families left the last day to be out ourselves. This year, however, we had till the next day which gave us plenty of time to clean and organize our areas really well. That night we were free to go to dinner together. And then the next day we had our staff bbq. One of the families makes lunch for us and the food is the best I have all year.
And then we leave. Overall, it was my favorite summer at camp. I loved the other staff and the dynamics made being there so easy. On the other hand, I'm excited for new opportunities next summer. I'm anxious to see what I'll do.

San Francisco, Wicked, Disneyland, Sea World, Four Temples, & Camp, Among Other Things

I predict this post will take me at least two hours to write. Should be fun.

I mentioned on my blog forever ago that Memorial Day weekend I was going to San Francisco for the APS (Association of Psychological Science) conference. Well I did and it was fun. It was a great experience to be there with so many good scientists. There's an
article on the school newspaper site that kind of explains what I did while there.

Of course, while I was there, I saw Wicked. I was so excited. I had never seen it before but was addicted to the music anyways. Now I'm part of the Wicked cult. I have plans to see it two more times in the next two months! It was simply amazing. So good- I could not believe it. We had horrible seats, but I'm gonna have better ones next time.

We also got to go to the Oakland Temple while we were there. It was the first time in two years I had been to any Temple besides the Laie Temple. I forgot how different and how much larger the more modern temples are from Laie! And since the Laie Temple has been closed since December, I hadn't been in awhile anyways, so it was nice.
The weekend after that I went to the Kona Temple. It was my first time on a different island. We didn't really do anything, after the temple, which was a little disappointing, but only a little because I was so tired. The temple was great and has beautiful grounds.

My last week and a half at school were uber stressful. I was sick to my stomach the whole time but I managed to pull off my "almost 4.o" again- just one A-! So lame. Classes ended on June 3 and I flew to Utah to meet Lindsey on the 4th, got there on the 5th. We hung out Friday and on Saturday packed the car and waited until her roommate, Lacy, got off work, then drove to Lindsey's parent's house. Lindsey went to a friend's wedding reception and then we went on a nice walk around the neighborhood. Lindsey knows every single freakin' person in her neighborhood and what they do in church.

Sunday we left for California. We survived the drive and stayed with Melissa, who is partnered with Lindsey's second (?) puppy, Anya. On Monday we went to Disneyland. We got to go to the front of every line so we had done the whole park by five. We had dinner reservations at the Blue Bayou and after that we did a little shopping and then left at nine. It was actually quite nice to be done so early because I was tired! Just before our dinner reservations we decided to take the train around the park. We overheard one of the employees talking to another guest about the caboose car and how you had to have reservations to ride in it. We started talking amongst ourselves and she overheard us and came over and started answering our questions. She then went and talked to the employee in the car and came back and told us that the people with reservations hadn't shown up and there was room for us. So we went. Apparently it's a car that Walt Disney had built for his wife, Lily. It hadn't been used in a long time and when they put it back in service, it used just for VIPs. Now it's open at other times to other people too- and we were lucky enough to get on!

The next day we went to the Los Angeles Temple. It is gorgeous. It is old and therefore throughout the temple ceremony you travel to different rooms for the different presentations. The murals on the walls are gorgeous!

After the temple we headed to San Diego and stayed with a friend from camp at her aunt's house. On Wednesday we went to Sea World. It was loads of fun. We watched the Shamu show twice and sat only about four rows from the front the first time and in the very front row the second time. It was amazing. I found it incredible when I learned about the swimming requirement for most of their positions. You must swim like 250 feet, 1/2 of it underwater, retrieve a weight from 27 feet deep, and then get out, do push-ups, and then speak in to a microphone to test voice clarity after all that exercise. If you pass that, they might invite you back for an interview. Anyhow, it was a good time.

On Thursday, we got up and went straight to the San Diego Temple. While the temple architecture is amazing, I actually think that overall, the LA Temple is more beautiful, because really, it's the inside that matters.

From the temple, we headed back up to LA and picked up Shamy, another camp staff who had been in Santa Monica with the organization that arranges her stuff so she can work at camp (she is international- from Ireland). She had been there re-certifying to be a lifeguard and was done so she hung out with us that afternoon. We all got pedicures and manicures. Dangerous stuff! Now I'm addicted.
That night we stayed in Santa Monica because Shamy wanted to spend the last night with the people she had met at her training. The next morning we headed to camp. While on the way, Blue Jae (assistant director) called to ask where we were (She knew that we were coming early). We were just about 45 minutes from camp. She said "Good, I'm going on the airport run [to pick up international staff that were flying in from their orientation in New York - Shamy is the only one that went to LA]. I was supposed to leave already but I'll wait so you can go with me." We got to camp and left immediately. Two of the international staff had already arrived so they came too. And that was about the end of the week before staff training. That post and the summer are up soon.
One more thing. Remember how at the beginning of this post I predicted it would take me at least two hours to write? Yeah, that was in June. I don't know why but I could never get blogger to work for me over the summer. I know the internet at camp is terrible, but other people had some success. Oh well. So I'm writing this now at Lindsey's (Tonks) house, two weeks after camp ended. Go me. Tata for now.