Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010

I really enjoyed Christmas with my family this year. It was full of wonderful presents, great food, and relaxation. My family was very generous with presents- I definitely got way more than I deserved. (I will have to post pictures soon).

I'm still listening to Christmas music!

I received
The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook for Christmas and my sister and I have been baking and cooking up a storm this past week.

Can you believe it is already (almost) 2010?!? Where has the time gone? It is crazy to think that just 10 years ago it was 2000.

What are some of your resolutions? Do you follow through with them? Or bother to make any to begin with? For me, I think I will be starting a diet...next year. :)

I hope you bring in the start of this next decade with a bang! Happy New Year, my friends!!!





Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas to you and yours.
May you all have peace in your hearts and hope in your lives.


Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the Soul Felt Its Worth



What can I give him

Poor as I am

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb

If I were a wise man

I would do my part

Yet what I can I give him

Give my heart.


Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Traditions/Memories

I wanted to post about my favorite Christmas traditions.

This year, for some reason, I've been having a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. I don't know if it's because I'm away from family or I'm not giving enough service, but I don't like it and so I decided to post about past Christmases in hopes that I would have more of that Christmas spirit.

Growing up, every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we would venture out to cut our Christmas tree. We had a place that we went- Taylor Tree Farm. It usually took a while to find one, because we wanted the "perfect" tree. I have many good memories of those times. One year the tree we got had bug eggs in it and once the tree was in the house all those little buggies hatched! We were more careful the next year about which tree we got.


We also had a family tradition of going to Ohio Village (sadly it is now closed). I looked forward to going every year at Christmas. (We would also go on Sundays during the year, but Christmas time was especially nice there). They had a group of carolers (a choir) that would always sing Christmas songs. Since the village was a recreation of a mid-19th century village they didn't have electricity, so candles were used. I remember sitting in the cultural hall listening to the carolers surrounded by candlelight, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and my family and feeling secure and peaceful. It was enchanting.

Doorbell ditching. Most years growing up, we would pick a family in our ward that was struggling or were newly married or had young children and buy them food or bake cookies. We would leave the items on their porch, ring the doorbell and run. This was such fun and really brought the spirit of Christ into our home.

Another Christmas memory is of Christmas morning. We didn't open any gifts on Christmas eve. My sister and I would usually wake up before our parents and we were allowed to open our stockings. Once our parents were awake we would pass out presents so everybody had one, open them one at a time and then start again until there were no more presents.

And cookie baking. How could I forget that? We would bake cookies every year and give them away. We still do this, but somehow it's not quite the same as when we were living at home. Sampling was always a part of the process!

OK, these are all the Christmas memories I can think of right now.

What Christmas memories do you have?

*****
I leave for home tomorrow after work! My sister is flying in at night so I will get there and we will all go to the airport together to pick her up. Honestly, I think this week has been the slowest in the history of my life. On Tuesday I thought it was Friday...

I found this blog and she has many nice Christmas craft ideas. I think I will try some when I get home. Hint...hint...

Here is a wonderful video to get you in the Christmas spirit. Enjoy!



Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Craving

I'm feeling better. Meaning, I'm not fully recovered from that nasty cold/flu/sinus infection/whatever it was that plagued me over Thanksgiving holiday. But, I am better.

Right now I am craving:

~Chocolate babka from Great Harvest.

~Family time to watch movies such as While You Were Sleeping and Home Alone and A Child's Christmas in Wales and Little Women and The Santa Clause and, well, I think you get the picture.

~Christmas decorating

~Spending time with family

~Cookie baking

and, last but not least....

~Snow days! (Is it too early to be craving this? I really hope not, because I am!)

*Post note: Sadly, my computer is still on the fritz which makes me sad, but I just didn't have the money to have it fixed right now when the person was charging $85 an hour to repair it. I will use the library's for cheaper, even though it means I have to give up procrastinating. Well, at least give it up temporarily.

Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!



I hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends, and turkey!

Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What I'm Thankful For

Well friends, Thankgiving is just around the corner.

In recognition of this wonderful holiday, here is some spiritual upliftment for you.
This video is a new favorite of mine and my thoughts definitely echo those expressed.



I am very excited to go home for Thanksgiving.
I have so much to be thankful for- my family, the gospel, and temples among the top of the list.

"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action."
W. J. Cameron

If you can’t be grateful for what you have, at least be grateful for what you have left.

What are YOU thankful for?


Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not So Good News

Booo. I like technology, except when I don't. Right now, I don't. I was working on my computer on Thursday and the screen froze up, then a black screen came which was followed by this message: "Error loading operating system." Oh, no! I took the computer to a friend and asked him if he could fix it. He tried everything to get it to work but, sadly, nothing helped- my hard drive crashed. He couldn't get any of the data off the hard drive either. :-(

This news makes me very sad. So, the point of this post is to say that I will probably be MIA from the Internet world for a while.

In other news, this is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street.

Here is a short video of Teeny Little Super Guy! Remember him?



Copyright © 2009 by Natasha M.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yay!



Congratulations to my wonderful, talented, kind, extraordinary, beautiful and, might I add, smart sister!

She was accepted into the nursing program at BYU-Idaho!!! Whoo-hoo!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Your True Reflection

I really, really liked the CES fireside tonight by President Uchtdorf. He gave great counsel and really knows what young adults are concerned about. I definitely received some answers to things I have been struggling with lately. So wonderful!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween

I conquered The Beast...


Arguably the greatest wooden roller coaster ever built it unleashes its awesome power on the unsuspecting. This coaster sprawls across a densely-wooded, 35 acre site. It is topographical, so the rugged, natural terrain adds to the excitement. The Beast is the longest wooden coaster in the world at 7,400 feet (1-3/4 miles); travels at speeds approaching 70 mph and has a ride length of nearly four minutes. It features two incredible vertical drops (135 and 141 feet) and has three dark tunnels, plus a spectacular 540 degree helix turn at the end.



killed the Diamondback...


The tallest, fastest, and meanest roller coaster to ever strike Kings Island. Diamondback stands 230 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 215 feet at a 74 degree angle and snakes its way around 5,282 feet of track in excess of 80 miles per hour! The ride features 10 vertical drops overall including drops of 193, 131, 129, 110, and 106 feet, two helixes – one at 323 degrees and the other at 287 degrees – and a spectacular splashdown ending.






and evaded the police on the Backlot Stunt Coaster (formerly known as The Italian Job Stunt Track) in a Mini Cooper!


Plus about seven others....

all at Kings Island on Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Late Night Thoughts

I know this is two posts in once day and I probably shouldn't be writing this this late at night when I should be in bed. I don't really care if people read this or not. I just need to vent somewhere and this is as good a place as any.

Some days I hate life. I'm tired of feeling alone all the time. I'm tired of not having a job that I love that is close to my major. I'm tired of being stuck in a singles branch when I want to be married. I'm tired of messing things up with people that I love. Somedays I just want to crawl in a hole and sleep for years and not have to interact with people. I think others would be so much better off without me around messing things up.

Also, I hate my body. Did you know that? If not, then now you do. I know things could be horrible. I could be disfigured or be in a wheelchair or be missing a limb, but I still hate it. I want to be skinny and beautiful and dainty. Like, oh, I don't know...somebody other than me. Sometimes I just want to crawl under a blanket and cry. I look at other females in my branch and feel so ugly compared to them. And it's not that I haven't tried exercising and watching what I eat, I have. But then I realize that the results will never be what I want them to be and I give up.

I feel like I don't "fit in" in life. Sometimes I think that I was born in the wrong time period. I don't feel like I'm making a difference and if I were to leave people wouldn't really even notice that I'm gone.

I should just be happy with what I am and have and most of the time I am. But days like today, I just feel sad. I don't want or need advice either. I know what I need to do to be happy...giving service, reading my scriptures, praying, going to the temple. I know that...blah, blah, blah. Somedays I just feel sad and alone and need to write it down. Don't judge me.

Two Months!

Guess what?! Christmas is exactly two months from today! Whoo-hoo!



And I posted this picture because it's a great Christmas movie. If you haven't seen it, you definitely should. I try to watch it every year. Plus the little boy gets a nose warmer as a gift! (-:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Are You Happy?

If you're reading this- I'm sorry for posting every day. I do tell myself that I shouldn't but then I think of something else I want to say and I just feel like I want to post it.

*****

First of all...This little flow chart represents how I evaluate many situations in my head.



*****

Second of all...9 Ways to Know if You Have "Estrogen Issues" (sorry in advance to the men who read my blog).

1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You 're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: "How's my driving-call 1- 800-".
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from "outer space."
8. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
9. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.

I think I do.

*****

Third of all...I really like this new Dove commercial (minus the fact that it's also a half commercial for Wal-Mart).



*****

Fourth of all...I really like this quote.

"This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.

"We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the
realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of
gratitude
. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues."

Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Start


I saw it and thought it was good. The ending was sweet but not typical of what I've (maybe most people) come to expect in movies. The movie was sad and one of the wild things had something akin to an anger management problem.


I really liked the costumes for the wild things. The scenery was beautiful and so was the music. And Max was good- very cute boy. I would recommend seeing it.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Winter Must be Cold for Those With no Warm Memories

I have been thinking about this quote (below) by President Monson a lot lately.

"If we live only for tomorrow, we’ll have a lot of empty yesterdays today."

Sometimes, I feel like I am living in the future. That I'm not making use of the time that I have here, now. I'm dreaming of some future event or great life solution rather than being happy with what I have right now. I am being acted upon rather than acting. I don't like this but I'm not exactly sure how to change.

I think part of my problem is that I procrastinate. I need to stop putting off those things that are important and do them now. I spend too much time doing things, that in the end, won't really matter that much. I need help. I feel like I'm standing in my own way of progress and it frustrates me. I mess things up despite my efforts. I'm in a rut and I hate this feeling.

Also, I've been thinking about change and impact. Am I really making an impact in the world? Am I being the change that I wish to see? I'm not so sure I am. I want to be consistant in my service to others but I think my frailities stand in the way. Those times that I wasn't quite good enough, or didn't do it exactly the right way come back and haunt me and prevent me from acting when I really should. In these cases, I do nothing since I'm afraid of messing up again and making the same mistakes. This shouldn't be the case.

"A mansion on a hill or love like in the movies, perfect little world where no one has a problem. Instead of all these things I thought I really wanted, I've been given what I need."

I have, I just need to recognize it and stop dreaming of those things I really want.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You probably think this post is about you...

but it's not. It's about her. My wonderful, talented, kind, extraordinary, beautiful sister.



And I miss her very much. She is my favorite sister of all and I hope she knows it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween Contest

Prudence Pennywise is hosting a giveaway and also included yummy recipes. Click here to enter!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dirty Laundry

I heard about this CD "Nearer" with a new collection of beautiful hymns coming out through Deseret Book. The songs sound beautiful. Check it out.

I have a major problem with ice cream. I just can't stop eating it. I love it so much that I hate it. Does that make sense? Anyway, that's just how it is with me and ice cream and I need it to stop.

The cheap movie theater near my apartment offers "Stimulus Tuesdays." Their movies are $1.50 and they sell a small popcorn and a small pop for $1.00. So, I can get a movie, pop, and popcorn for $3.50. I can't tell you how happy this makes me!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Really?!

What has Obama done to merit the Nobel Peace Prize? Gandhi has done (did) more than Obama and yet he never received it! Crazy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Fall

I love Autumn!!

I love how the crispness in the air signals the changing of seasons.

I love watching as the trees forfeit their beautiful, colorful leaves.

I love apple picking.

I love pumpkin pie making.

I love taking walks and watching the harvest.

I love watching as nature prepares for winter.

I love giving thanks for what has been.


NATURE, XXVIII, AUTUMN.

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.


- Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just Breathe


Somebody hit the school bus today. Now I have a huge headache. I'm trying to stop shaking.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quotes of the Day

"To accept the responsibilities of being a child of God is to accept the best that life has to offer you."
~Stella Terrill Mann

"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."
~Paul Hawken

"Never suppress a generous thought."
~A friend of a friend

Friday, September 11, 2009

Everyone Needs Validation

The other day a friend said to me: "You're awesome, Natasha!" I thought of this video. Then I thought to myself, now I have something to blog about!



It's a bit long, but worth it.

(Thanks again for all the birthday wishes! You are awesome!!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09.09.09 OR (One Year Older)

One year ago today, on my birthday, I moved to Lexington. It's been a year of challenges, growth, and fun times too.

I went home over the weekend, for Labor Day, and my mom made a birthday cake. We ate some then (I blew out the candles!) and I brought the rest back to Lexington to eat. It is very, very delicious! You just have to be happy when you are eating a chocolate birthday cake. It's a true fact! We went out to eat on Saturday at a seafood place in Columbus. And I will go out to eat with my roommates this coming Friday or Saturday too.

I think my birthday numbers this year are pretty cool. It would be even cooler if I were turning 9 or were born at 9:09, but I'm not and wasn't. (I am glad I'm not turning 29 though. Then I would just be sad).

The kids on the school bus sang happy birthday to me in both English and Spanish. It was cute!

Tonight, we (a group of friends and I) went to see the movie UP. It was funny, especially the talking dog. I highly recommend it. It was a little bit sad, but other than that, good movie.

If you want to see birthday pictures you can go to my mom's blog and look at the cake.

Birthdays are much better when they are spent with family and friends. Thanks to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday... I definitely feel loved!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Love to See the Temple!


On September 4-5th, 1999 the Columbus Ohio Temple was dedicated by President Hinckley. Today, 10 years later, we commemorated the building of the temple with a fireside here in Columbus. How I love the Columbus Temple!

Before the temple was built, I remember fondly the days of family and youth temple trips to the Washington, D.C. temple. We would leave early Thursday morning and travel all day, then spend most of Friday doing temple work- I would do baptisms (my sister wasn't old enough to do them yet) and my parents would do endowments. Then Saturday, we would do some touring of D.C. and drive back home. But, we were also looking forward to the day when a temple would be at our doorsteps.

I was in attendance when President Hinckley came to the Polaris Amphitheater to announce the temple on April 25, 1998. How excited we were for that announcement! Little did we know, but we soon found out, that it would be built right next door to the building where we attended church. We would be getting a temple right in Columbus! Gone would be the days of driving 8 hours to attend the temple- we would literally have one right at our doorstep.

Each week, after the groundbreaking, we would watch the progress on the temple. How great it was to see the construction on the temple.

A little over a year later, on August 21–28, 1999, the public was able to tour the temple during the open house. I remember that as young men and young women, we took turn helping with the open house by putting booties on those touring it. Any little thing I could do to help, I wanted to be a part of it. I was just so excited for the temple. Then, on September 4-5, President Hinckley came back and dedicated the temple. What a wonderful experience. We had our very own temple, right here in Columbus!! I have great memories of the dedication. As we were waiting outside, preparing to enter the temple, the car that President and Sister Hinckley were riding in, drove up to the front of the temple. As they got out of the car, President Hinckley turned around and waved at us! I could feel the love that he had for us. It was definitely a great experience.

I will forever remember the feeling that I had as the temple was dedicated, knowing that anytime I wanted, I could enter the temple and partake of the sweet spirit that resides there. How grateful I am for the faith and dedication of those who paved the way for us to have the temple here in Columbus.

My heart is joyful.

{Image via}

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Can Hear the Bells

As my co-worker and I were at a school dropping off children, we saw a couple walking up the sidewalk holding hands. As soon as she saw them, my co-worker J. said: “Aww, isn't that sweet? I just want to throw a rock at them. If I had a rock, I would throw it at them.” I laughed, but understood her feelings.

Now, J. is a year older than me and single. What causes single people to say things like that? Jealousy? Anger? Resentment? Frustration? All of the above?

I'm guilty of it as well. People in my branch who are dating or engaged will hold hands, rub each other's backs, hug, kiss, etc. I think to myself: “Eww, please stop.” Am I just jealous that it's not me? They have a right to be happy and show their affection. It shouldn't bother me but, for some reason, it does. Maybe it's just that they are so public about it. And I think they are rubbing it in my face- even though they aren't trying to. Any thoughts?

She also commented that some girls have this feeling about guys!


(Okay, that's not Nikki Blonsky singing, but I couldn't find an actual clip with her in it).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'd Like to Make Myself Believe

I have this anger building up inside of me because of these reasons: the way the old landlord treated us before we moved out; for the new landlord for not cleaning the apartment before we moved in; for the people who lived here before us and didn't clean up the place before they left. It's one thing to clean up your own mess, but an entirely different thing to clean somebody else's mess. I need the anger to stop. And I'm working on it.

So, beacause I'm having trouble stopping the anger, these are things that made me happy today. Here is what they are.

1. This song:



2.


3. This song:



4. Talking with my mom and sister on the phone.

5. This recipe.

6. Not seeing any ants or centipedes in the apartment.

7. Not being injured when the bus broke down on the way to pick up the kids from school.

8. This blog.

9. This song:



10. Sleep.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is why I love summer...

(Photo via Google images)


Grown in my father's garden.


Picked and canned from the cherry trees in my parent's backyard.


(Photo via Google images)


(Photo via Google images)


(Photo via Google images)


(Photo via Google images)


(Picture via)


Boy, do I wish it was next week already. I'm so sick of packing, I'm ready to pull my hair out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dolphin

One of my friends on Facebook posted this video. The music is wonderful as well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Things to Say

Get your socks ready, guys, 'cause I'm about to knock them off (name that TV show)!! OK, you ready for this?

Are you sure?

Muffins spelled backward is....sniffum! Isn't that so funny? And cute too. For some reason I picture a little muffin with a nose sniffing itself. "Mmm-mm, I smell good, a mix of cinnamon and sugar." It sounds like a little conceited muffin, but that's OK, because it's cute!


In other news:

* We found an apartment. It's not as nice as the one where we are living now, but they will do a six month lease and it's a pretty good neighborhood and is closer to church and work.

* The bane of my existence will be gone. Hopefully.

* I won tickets for that new movie Julie and Julia. When I registered for them, I thought the tickets were good anywhere in the US. When I won the tickets, it said that I had to live in LA., as in Los Angeles. And I don't. So I had to write back and say that I couldn't accept the tickets. Which just made me sad.

* I'm not looking forward to packing and moving.

* I'm not looking forward to being at work at 5:45 am every morning starting on Monday, but at least I have a job.

* I really like Hugh Jackman. And David Boreanaz. And Josh Groban. And that's just all there is to it, I can't help myself.

* That's all for now...I was going to write something else but I forgot what it was so it must not have been that important.

Happy Weekend Everyone! (All three of my readers!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Money Can't Buy Me Love

New research show that apparently your brain thinks money is a drug. They say money replicates the same feelings that love creates in social situations. Their experiement to test this: they had people count either currency or plain paper, then some of them were asked to stick their fingers in a bowl of 122 degree (hot tub hot) water. Those who had been counting the money did not feel as much pain from the water.

Maybe money is the new morphine.

Money=love? OR Money>love?

Perhaps it's more of a Pavlov's dog type reaction: we see money; we envision the things we can buy with the money; and that makes us feel better. Or it could be the smell of money. Money has a distinct smell and certain smells can definitely elicit strong emotional responses. As the people were counting the money, I'm sure they could also smell it and maybe that caused the decreased pain from the hot water. Hmm, interesting research.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ode to BB

In my bowl,
upon my spoon,

sweet Bunny Tracks,

you make me swoon!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rainy Day

Today was one of those days.
You know the kind I'm talking about?
The one where it's raining outside and all you want to do is curl up on a couch and read a good book or watch a good movie.
Or maybe take a walk or sing in the rain?
Since the rain (and cloudy days in general) tends to make me sleepy, I had to pull myself out of bed. Yeah, it was that kind of day.

I got a second shower because I forgot my umbrella and had to walk in the rain. I like it though. Rain is refreshing and cleansing. And it makes the earth smell good.

I woke up this morning thinking I had overslept because it was so dark outside. It literally looked like it was 9 pm.

This photo was taken in downtown Lexington at 2:30 pm!

(Photo taken by Caren Beatty)
See what I mean about it looking like 9 pm? Pretty dark, huh?


Also, I think walking in the rain would be much more fun (I was about to say -write - funner, but that's not a word) with these Wellingtons:



Don't you think so? They can be found here. They cost £29.99! They're British after all.


As a child, my family would sit on our big porch swing during thunderstorms and watch the rain and thunder and lightning. I miss those days. I loved the mist of cool rain on my face as I saw the lightening crash down and the boom of thunder rumble in my chest.

What do you like doing on rainy days?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Joy Comes in the Mo(u)rning

Despite the tears at Belinda's funeral, there were also smiles and laughter. It's amazing how we can experience different emotions at the same time. I don't think Belinda would have wanted us to cry for her. She's in a better place, it is only hard for us here on earth- but we still miss her.

Belinda loved laughing and playing jokes on people. The pastor told the following story about her: Her father wore dentures. One day, (it was actually his birthday!) as he was sleeping, Belinda took the dentures and set them in a container of jello (which then became harder as it set). When her father woke up and realized his dentures were gone, he found a string that led him on a goose chase all over the house. When he came to the end of the rope, he finally found his teeth encased in the jello. He laughed about it...eventually. That was just the type of person Belinda was- she loved to laugh and help others to smile and laugh as well.

I've decided that "laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." - Name that movie. (Picture a Dolly Parton southern accent, it might help you remember).

By the way, I helped my mom start a blog, which will mainly include photos and stories from our family history. Be sure to check it out. It makes me very happy that she now has a blog!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dirt + Wet Dog Nose

(Photo taken by Nancy Messier)

= Mud!

Lovely, lovely mud.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Obituary

Belinda L. Litty (nee Dray) 60, of North Olmsted, most loving wife of David; the best mom of Mike (Jamie) and Stacey Church (Jonathan); her 5 grandchildren were the light of her life; beloved daughter of Doris and the late William Dray. Passed away Wednesday, July 22, 2009. Memorial donations to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 23297 Commerce Park Dr., Cleveland, OH 44122. Celebration of Life Service at 6:30pm Tuesday, July 28, at Bay Presbyterian Church, 24515 Lake Rd., Bay Village . Friends may call at the BUSCH FUNERAL HOME 21369 CENTER RIDGE RD., FAIRVIEW PARK, OH from 2-4and 7-9 on Sunday. VFW Auxiliary 1974 Service will be conducted at the funeral home from 7:30-7:45pm.

I will remember Belinda for her laugh, her great smile, and her love of animals. (She was my second cousin, first cousin of my mother). Despite her 6 year battle with lymphoma, she was still optimistic whenever we visited.

I still can't believe she's gone. The last time I saw her, she was in relatively good health (despite the lymphoma) and now, she's gone. I miss her.

God be with you till we meet again, Belinda. Rest in Peace.

Monday, July 20, 2009

This advice column was written by Regina Brett who is 90 years old. She wrote it for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.

She writes: "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer recently rolled over to 90, so here is the column once more."

I thought she had some really good advice and because this is my blog and I can do what I want, I'm sharing it on here. Take it or leave it.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh!" he whispered. "Yes, Piglet?" "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."

A.A. Milne

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Addendum

I have an announcement to make...

According to a comment by an "anonymous" person (ahem, my mom, ahem) in the last blog post (right below), I neglected to tell you about Snickers Pie.

A little background information...our family had (notice past tense...for some reason I really like parentheses today...and ellipses) a favorite restaurant in Columbus named Josiah's that we frequented- may it R.I.P. (it was a very sad day when it closed). Anyway, they had this dessert there that we ordered almost every time and we would share a piece of it. It was called Snickers Pie. We tried very hard to pry the recipe from the owner, but she refused and wouldn't share her secrets (my dad even offered to work there washing dishes for her in exchange for the recipe, but it was a no go) - the restaurant was closing, but she wouldn't budge about sharing it. So we set out to find the recipe for the peanut butter part on our own. We tried one or two recipes but they just didn't cut it. The consistency or taste wasn't quite right.

Then we found this recipe. It sure tastes really close to the one that the owner used at Josiah's. Here's how you make it. First you need to buy the ingredients: you will need the ingredients that she mentions for the pie itself but you will also need peanuts (salted and roasted work just fine - really any kind but raw) and caramel apple dip.

First, you make the crust (you can follow along with The Pioneer Woman's nice pictures). After the crust has cooled you add the caramel. I don't remember if we used the whole container, just use your best judgement. Next, you add a good layer of peanuts, but the actual amount depends on how much you like peanuts. Then you add the peanut butter topping from the recipe. Lastly, you dig in and eat it! Oh, wait, first you should probably chill it, but you might not be able to wait that long.

It's enough to send anyone into a diabetic coma, but it's oh, sooooo good!! Happy eating!

Monday, July 6, 2009

"I'll lick the bowl" OR "How did those disappear so fast?"

Today I made Granny's rolls.


Not my Granny, but someone's granny. The recipe made 22 rolls. Yup, go ahead and count 'em.


How many do you think were left after dinner?

Yes, that's right.....








there were only three left!

Yes, we ate nineteen of them. Granted, guests did make an impromptu visit and their children ate several of them. But, believe me. They are just that good. Now you're probably thinking "but bread takes so long to make." Trust me, this recipe is easy. They do rise twice but other than that they are really easy since you can knead the dough right in the bowl. Go ahead and make them. You will be happy! (Note: the first time I made them I cooked them for 20 minutes as it says on the recipe and they were kind of burnt. This time I cooked them for 10 minutes and they turned out fine).

My mom and I also made peanut butter pie today. I took pictures, but I will just let her pictures speak for themselves. If you love (or even like) peanut butter and butter and oreos and cool whip, you need to make this pie. Really, your tongue won't regret it, even though your hips probably will. Ooops, did I just say that?

On Sunday we also made chocolate babka. We started on Saturday morning and then finished on Sunday. The recipe takes two days since you have to give the yeast time to rise, etc.

First you roll out the dough


and then add the chocolate mixture


next, you roll up the dough


and then measure it to make sure you have 12 inches...is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure was...


and then you cut them into two inch pieces


and set them in the pan to rise.


Just look at all that chocolatey goodness. Yum!



After they have risen in the pan, you toss them in the oven (just kidding on the toss part) and set the timer and out comes....wait a minute, why are there two pieces missing?


The recipe said we needed to wait one hour to eat them. Do you really think we waited that long? Noooo, as evidenced by the picture, we didn't...and they tasted just fine. Phew, that was a lot of baking.

Now, don't you wish someone had invented scratch n' sniff internet just for occasions like this? Don't deny it, I know that's what you're thinking... But, what are you waiting for? Get baking and you can have your own smells!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

America! America!

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." Elmer Davis


"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"



"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Happy Independence Day!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thou shall not steal

...is it still stealing it even though it was free? The neighbors must have suspected that we were using their wireless internet and password protected it. Voila, no more internet at the apartment. I would have shared with them if it were my internet.

On another note, I think it would be very nice of companies for them to have one huge job application that all hiring companies could look at. If I have to write my education and work background one more time, I might just scream.

So, as a diversion I borrowed Meet Me In St. Louis from the library and watched it. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Does thinking make it so?

I thought I was too young for them, but I'm having hot flashes. Or maybe it's the weather. Either way, it's too hot. I'm trying to think cool thoughts, but it's not really working. Bring on the otterpops.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's made from milk...

I ate an ice cream cone for breakfast. It sure tasted good!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wait for it....Psych!!

I think this is one of my new favorite shows, thanks to my friend Becky. It is so funny!



Oh, and happy National Donut Day!! Here's a little information about the day (from Google). "Did you know...National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday in June? In 1917, Salvation Army female volunteers known as “lassies” prepared thousands of fresh donuts to the homesick soldiers that served in France during World War I. National Donut Day was officially established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression."

But wait, there's more! Wouldn't you know...this description actually connects to the above video from Psych. The police detective, Carlton Lassiter, (the one who is getting the prank calls) is nicknamed "Lassie" by Shawn Spencer, the psychic. Perfect tie-in don't you think?! And I didn't even plan it that way, it just worked out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorial day and blog birthday

May 25th of last year was when I started my blog. Happy 1 year Birthday, blog! (A few days late).

Also, since I didn't post anything for Memorial day which was May 25th of this year, I wanted to post this video:



I think it's a wonderful reading of In Flanders Fields.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I can handle it in moderation

It's June already. Where has the time gone? Christmas was just last month, wasn't it?

I can live through June. Despite the hot, humid, mosquito laden, sunburn-producing days. I will survive (cue the music. C'mon sing the song. You know you want to. . .), with the help of ice cream sandwiches, otter pops, ice cream and fresh produce.

On another note, though slightly related, the media seems to have died down a bit about the Swine Flu (a.k.a. H1N1). I'm still somewhat sick of hearing about it. Think of the things that we (the world, the U.S.) have gone through, and lived, just in the past decade.

1999: Y2K
2001: Mad Cow Disease
2002: West Nile Virus
2003: SARS
2005: Bird Flu
Now, 2009: Swine Flu

I think we will live through this, meaning June and Swine Flu, too. It's not the end of the world, though it may feel like it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

All is well

I like Nauvoo.

No, let me rephrase that. I love Nauvoo. This past Thursday through Sunday (the 21st through the 24th) we had a regional young single adult activity in Nauvoo.

Wow, what to say about it. Really, if you haven't been to Nauvoo you should definitely make plans to go. Soon! You really don't know what you are missing. The spirit is so strong. The testimony and faith of the early saints is still very much alive. I'm grateful that I was able to attend an endowment session in the temple, it is so beautiful. I echo what Joseph Smith said as he was leaving Nauvoo to go to Carthage: "This is the loveliest place, and the best people under the heavens...."

(Photo taken by Jim Carlton)

As I walked along the sacred path known as the "Trail of Hope" located on Parley Street, which the saints walked as they left Nauvoo and crossed the Mississippi River onto the journey west, I read the accounts from the jounal entries of some of those early saints. What faith they had, knowing that they were leaving behind their beautiful temple and the city they had built to go west. I learn much from their example.

I love the quote by Bathsheba Smith on one of the plaques: “My last act in that precious spot was to tidy the rooms, sweep up the floor and set the broom in its accustomed place behind the door. Then with emotions in my heart, I gently closed the door and faced an unknown future, faced it with faith in God and with no less assurance of the ultimate establishment of the Gospel in the West and of its true enduring principles, than I had felt in those trying scenes in Missouri.”

They had faith in God and with the power of their temple covenants burning in their hearts they knew all would be well despite the unknown hardships that were to come.

This is a scene similar to which the saints had as they walked down Parley Street and looked back on their beautiful temple for the last time.

(Photo taken by Jim Carlton)

The senior missionaries serving in Nauvoo are wonderful. When I'm older and I serve a mission, I'm going to Nauvoo. Not that I really have a choice, but if I did, I would go to Nauvoo. Actually, I would keep sending in my mission papers until I got called to Nauvoo! The two performances that we saw, we actually saw three, but the two main ones "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo" and "Sunset by the Mississippi" are both wonderful. Rendezvous is performed by the senior missionaries and is a musical comedy and drama about life in Old Nauvoo. Sunset is performed by both the senior and young performing missionaries (who are in Nauvoo only for the summer) and is hilarious by the way, just in case you need another reason to visit. It is a show of songs, music, stories and dances of the Nauvoo era. Really wonderful!

As Elder Taggart, who is an area authority seventy, said in a fireside to us "You can't have a fond memory of something you never did." I will definitely cherish my fond memories of Nauvoo.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

“I have learned to place a high estimate upon the love of mother. I have often said, and will repeat it, that the love of a true mother comes nearer being like the love of God than any other kind of love." Joseph F. Smith

The words of this song reminded me of my mother:

Her Garden
She moves her hand along the ground
Beneath her fingers silent sounds
Of living seeds finding their way
Through fertile soil to light of day

Then as the sky rains heaven's glow
She toils at weeds that seeds may grow
And she is sure beneath the earth
Her tiny seeds will find rebirth

In every task she undertakes
She cultivates a seed of faith
Within her garden grows a world
For she's no more a little girl

And with each dawn she understands
Why heaven's love gave her the land
For now her offspring in full bloom
Embrace the earth creating too

In earth's expanse she'll never know
The endless seeds her life has sown
Yet love still blossoms by her hand
She loves her life
She loves the land

(EFY 2000- Forward with Faith)

I'm grateful for the influence of my mother. I'm grateful for her faith and determination to keep going when things have not always been easy for her. I'm grateful for her love and acceptance of me. I'm grateful for her example of Christlike living. I'm grateful for her sacrifice. I'm grateful for the light of Christ that I see in her eyes. I'm grateful to have a mother that knows. Happy Mother's Day! I love you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Victory

Let me just begin by saying how much I dislike centipedes. Dislike. Them. Immensely. Not that they have ever done anything to me, but they are just gross. They have so (too) many legs and run really fast and are the same color as our carpet, which poses a problem because they can hide. (If you're interested, you can see a picture and read about my previous griping on centipedes here).

This afternoon, as I was going downstairs to get something to eat, I noticed a dark spot on the dining room floor. I stepped closer to get a better look...and lo, and behold, it was a centipede. Great. Once I realized what it was, I backed away. No sudden movements, lest he see me and turn and run towards me. I had flip-flops on and I was not about to step closer in case he ran onto my feet. I was not going to take them off to kill him either. So, I grabbed a book from the book shelf and held it, planing my attack. I needed to get around to the other side of the table to slam the book down on him. The problem was, I just stood there. I was so afraid, I was frozen in place. I ran (at this point, I didn't think he could see me) back upstairs, trying to calm myself down. I hoped when I went back downstairs he would have moved.

I still wasn't sure what to do, so I took the next logical step. I called my mom. She said that I should use a shoe to kill him. I finally decided to go back down with a shoe and use that to kill him. He had moved. This time he was between the table leg and the chair leg. My shoe wouldn't fit in there to get to him. My mom suggested I use the chair leg, but I didn't think I could be quick enough. Over bouts of laughter from my mom....I took deep breaths and used the chair leg. I wasn't fast enough. At this point I was almost hyperventilating. He was still alive and moving away very fast. I quickly ran over and used my shoe (which was on my hand) to kill him. Finally. I had to take several seconds to compose my self together again. Phew! As of right now, my shoe is still on the dining room floor, covering up the dead centipede. I didn't have the nerve to lift it up, in case he was still alive. One down, how many more to go? Until next time...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Being Frugal is Fabulous giveaway

I love this blog! She gives such good ways to be frugal and sends such great deals for groceries and other things. This week she has a giveaway for a Betty Crocker gift basket.

How do you win? Good question... Go here to comment and enter for your chance to win!

Here are the rules that she gives:

"Leave a comment telling me what your favorite kitchen gadget is. My favorite would have to be my cheap plastic mixing spoons from Walmart. I am always melting them, but I hate using wooden spoons, so I could not live without them. A close second would be the new metal measuring cups that came with the gift basket. I always buy plastic ones because they are cheaper, and the numbering always rubs off and you don’t know what size you are using!

For extra entries, do any of the following and then leave me a separate comment for each extra entry letting me know what you have done for extra entries.
1. Follow me on Twitter and then Tweet about this giveaway.
2. Subscribe to my blog. Already a subscriber? Just let me know.
3. Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link to your post.

This giveaway is open from today, May 5th to Tuesday, May 12th at 1:00 pm, Pacific Time and is open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen using random.org. If the winner does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen."

Friday, May 1, 2009

A little Friday gratitude

I worked every day last week which will be quite nice for my paycheck two weeks from now. But, rent was due today and I was a little concerned about how I would pay it. Two days ago I received a call from my mom and she said that my federal tax refund had come in the mail...just in time for me to pay rent! Today, I'm grateful for small miracles.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"...God is the ruler yet."

I love this quote by President Monson. It gives me comfort when something goes differently than I had planned out in my mind. I need to have the faith that Heavenly Father is in charge and knows what is best for me.

"Often doors have closed before you that seemed to lead to opportunities you thought you had to have. You may have assumed that the closed door was a reflection of some inadequacy in yourself; but perhaps the closed door had nothing to do with whether you were good or bad or capable or incompetent. Rather, even now a loving Father shapes your path according to a prearranged, premortal covenant; the opening or the closing of these various doors is dependent on the Lord's perfect perception of your developmental needs... He says that he does nothing save it be for the benefit of the world. He has promised that, if you will be faithful, all things will work together for your good in order that you may be conformed to the image of His Son."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

I'm currently working in the school district here in Lexington. I had the following conversation last week with a little 7 year old boy in the first grade.

J (the boy): When we get married we can move to Florida.
Me: When who gets married?
J: You and me.
Me: Well, I don't think I can marry you.
J: Yeah, you can. When we get married I can also kiss you.
Me: Stunned silence *and laughing inside my head.*

I sometimes wonder where kids get their ideas. He would probably want to go to Walt Disney world everyday, and I just don't have the money for that!

Today, I found out that he now has a "girlfriend" in the class. But sadly, for him, she whispered in my ear that she doesn't like him. Ahh, the trials of young love. Just imagine what he will be like when he's older...already so focused on marriage and girls.

This same little boy said to me yesterday, when I asked him to put the crayons back in their container and he refused, "you can't change my mind, because I have the wizard power." No, I can't change your mind, but I have the teacher power...

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

It's not very often that I watch shows such as America's Got Talent or Britian's Got Talent, but I do enjoy the results and stories that come from these shows. Susan Boyle is one such lady. The reaction of the audience and judges is priceless. It seemed they were almost expecting her to fail, based on her appearance. She just blew them away. It goes to show that dreams can come true. Also, check out Paul Potts. I really hope these two make your day.

P.S. I found this blog post (yes, I admit it. I blog stalk) that is really wonderful. Please read it! Please. I think you will more fully understand how great this is.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen...

"Because He lives, we too shall live."



Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Although I may appear to be harmless, I've been trained in the ancient martial arts of the Orient

Have you ever had those times where you lack confidence? Or do you ever have trouble encouraging yourself to do something? Specifically, asking someone out for a date? Well, don't fear, you can take comfort from this boy and learn karate. Apparently it helps. "Just do it. Tell yourself you can do it and do it."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice

Today I had the opportunity, for about three hours, to help campus contact with the elders here in the branch. We (several others in the branch, the elders, and myself) passed out invitations to General Conference to students on the University of Kentucky campus. I had a lot of fun, but realized how rusty I was as far as talking with people about the church. Several of the people I talked with seemed genuinely interested in coming. I would ask them "How would you feel if you knew there was a prophet of God on earth today?" Often their answer was, "Wow, that would be so cool" or "awesome." Then I would invite them to come and listen to a modern day prophet's counsel. The warm feeling and happiness was worth standing out in the cold and windy weather inviting others to come. It definitely caused me to miss my mission.



I am so excited for General Conference. What a wonderful blessing it is to have a modern day prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the true prophet here on earth today. I know that the direction and guidance we receive from President Monson and the other General Authorities is specifically for us. They tell us what we need to hear. To get ready for conference, I often read the previous conference issue of the Ensign and prepare specific questions I have which I hope to receive an answer for during the conference sessions. Do you do anything to specifically prepare for conference? Only one more day!!

You can find more information here. (Thanks, Sam, for letting me know how to add a link!)
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