Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some Photographs

Here are some of the pictures that I have taken over the last couple years. I’ve decided to put up some of the most artistic ones for all of you to see! I would love it if you would let me know which ones you like the most! Just leave a comment and tell me which numbers you like! [P.S. Please forgive the black and white: I always seem to like the pictures better when I take them in b&w- maybe it’s the lighting].
1. Train Ride: I took this picture when we were riding the Train to see Brooke’s parents for Thanksgiving in 2008.

2. Observation: This otter from the Idaho Falls zoo was just as interested in us as we were in it.

3. Fountain: This is a black and white picture of a water fountain in a park.

4. Ducks on Water: From the 4th of July in Idaho Falls. They escaped to crowds by going out onto the river.

5. Light and Dark: From Lava Beds National Monument.

6. Coastal Sunset: A lonely pine on the Oregon Coast

7. Fire: This picture was taken in my closet of a small statue.

8. Toy Soldiers: I don’t know how I got my camera to focus on the commander in the back, but the way this image turned out still amazes me.

9. Water: The way that the light shines off of this glass almost makes you forget that this picture is in color!

10. Telescope: This is of a neighborhood tree through the lenses of my old telescope.

11. Monument: These are my Mission Scriptures.

12. Leading the way: This is a picture of Sharon as she was walking down a dirt path ahead of Brooke and me. You would never guess, but we were right in the middle of Klamath Falls when I took this picture.

13. Overlook: Some pines around the rim of Crater Lake

14. Natures Window: This is from an area just to the south of Crater Lake

15. Skyward: I got some strange looks from Brooke as I lay on my back to take this picture, but it turned out pretty good! 

16. Old West: From the train museum in Sacramento 

17. Sacramento Sunrise: This is a picture of the State Capitol in Sacramento as the sun was rising.

18. Prophets and Temples: This is a statue of Joseph Smith with the Salt Lake Temple in the background.

19. Fog: This sad little pine tree was growing up in the shadow of its older sibling, but it looked really cool in the mist coming up from the ocean on the Oregon coast.

20. Cornerstone: This is a nighttime picture of the old Zion’s Bank building in Downtown Salt Lake City.

21. Serenity: the small pond at Coos Bay State Park. This is probably my favorite spot in the park.

22. High Tide: Shore Acres, Oregon

23. Fire in the Sky: A spectacular sunset from outside of our apartment.

24. Two Paths: This is on the way up to Timpanogos Cave. I would like to think that the picture symbolizes the two paths that are always in front of us: up or down.

25. Classical: This is the side of the Old Zion’s Bank Building at night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

50 Things I’ve done for Christmas Break so Far

Here is just a small sampling of the things that I have done since school got out last week.

Driven to Idaho Falls

Eaten Blueberry Pie

Eaten Eggnog Ice cream

Eaten Pumpkin Pie Ice cream

Eaten Oatmeal Cookie Ice cream

Eaten Cookie dough Ice cream

Eaten my weight in Clementine Oranges

Lost at Super Smash Brothers to my wife

Made my own small Pizza and eaten it

Driven back from Idaho Falls in dense fog

Rediscovered my passion for oatmeal

Bought Raisins in bulk

Prayed for Snow

Wished that I hadn’t prayed for Snow

Slipped in the snow

Got lost in the Marriot Library

Read Twilight in less than 48 hours

Read the December issues of National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine [Thank you for the early Christmas presents Brooke]

Played Civilization IV

Finally beaten the last challenge on Peggle

Bought lots of presents

Decided that I really don’t like shopping our local Wal-Mart [it’s always VERY crowded]

Discovered how cool Whole Foods is

Went shopping at the mall without complaining

Saw Santa at the mall and was sorely tempted to get a picture with Brooke and Santa

Done Yoga with Brooke

Decided that I need to do more Yoga

Fought an unsuccessful battle with the cats to keep the ornaments on the tree

Listened to some of Brooke’s Russian Drive-time music podcasts (“Road Radio” something like FM100 for St. Petersburg)

Decided to write lyrics for “Slushy the Snowman” [Frosty’s Hillbilly cousin]

Panicked when I heard one of the cats fall with a box of cereal from about 10 feet off the floor.

Laughed at the expression on the cat’s face

Slept in much more than I should

Finished creating my first Board Game

Tested my First Board game

Ate at a Greek Restaurant

Bought more acrylic paint

Saw an awesome Christmas exhibit at the Museum of Idaho

Attended a performance of The Nutcracker by Mountain West Ballet

Discovered that my hair is now long enough that I can’t get away without using conditioner

Bought nice, quality Incense

Made the bed!

Wrapped a pipe cleaner around one of the cat’s paws and laughed as she chased it around.

Had our landlord fix the leaky faucet in the bathroom

Laughed at Brooke’s funny video (see the last post)

Wished that we would have written more Christmas cards so we would have gotten more

Listened to tremendous amount of Christmas music on the radio
Realized how much I like Oh Come all Ye Faithful, Do you Hear What I Hear & In the Bleak Midwinter.

Decided that 12 Days of Christmas and Little Drummer Boy can get on my nerves

Made a mini-snowman

As you can see, we’re having fun. I hope you have fun as well and that you have a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crazy Weather!

Last night, it started raining quite a bit.  Then when I woke up this morning, it was still raining!!! It hadn't melted all the snow on the ground though. Later in the morning, the rain turned into snow and kept snowing for the rest of the morning and much of the afternoon!  So Taylor was getting ready for church and stuff and looked out the window. There was a lady on our steep driveway area walking carefully towards the sidewalk. Then she almost slipped!!! So she looked back up to where she came from as if she wished she could go back or something. Then she just stood there for a minute and looked around. Then decided to keep going and then started sliding down towards the sidewalk as if she was skiing!!! Then the poor lady lost her balance and landed sitting on the ground and slid the rest of the way down to the sidewalk like that!!!! I missed all of that, but Taylor told me about it. So I looked out the window and she was just standing there and looking around and looking at her hands as if they kind of hurt from falling down. She just stood there for a little bit then tried to go on. She almost slipped with every step she took!!! She only took a few little steps. She stopped and looked around again. The sidewalk she was on is VERY downhill ( for the direction she was going.. uphill if she was going in the opposite direction). So she was just standing there for a while and then I think she called someone on her cell phone or something. Then she tried to take some more steps. She slipped all over the place!! It was truly hilarious to watch!!! I felt kind of bad for her though. Haha. So she made a smart decision and headed for the snow covered grass just to the left of the sidewalk to walk in the snow instead of the ice covered cement! She slipped in the slippery snow too and it was hilarious. But then she got too far away so we couldn't see her anymore. So by being able to observe that lady's funny situation, we were able to be warned that the sidewalk and everything was extremely slippery!!! Taylor had to go to church early (he's the ward membership clerk) so he was going to walk on he slippery ice to church!! (He didn't want to attempt driving on it!!) We probably wouldn't have been able to get the car out of the steep (going uphill-ish) driveway anyway! I was worried Taylor would slip all the way to church like that lady so he wore his hiking boots. I watched him out the window until I couldn't see him (which isn't very far because there are a bunch of bushes that get in the way really fast) and he barely slipped a little bit on the way to the sidewalk then he just walked in the snow next to it. I got ready for church and stuff and Taylor was thinking he'd walk back and then drive us back to church at 11:20. ("No way am I walking in that ice with my church clothes/shoes on!!") Later, it started snowing quite a bit. I would look out the window often to observe people driving/walking on the ice. People driving down the hill would have their brake lights on and their wheels weren't turning at all but they were sliding down the hill anyway!!!& Scary!! And people trying to drive up the hill would have lots of difficulty as well and several people changed their minds and turned around and went back down the hill!!! So I texted Taylor about my observations and told him that he didn't dare drive! So I stayed home from church today!! Haha. (Except for tithing settlement, which I just took a skirt with me and we walked there and I changed into my skirt and then changed back into my pants afterward.)

Here is some actual footage of some people on the road!!!


Snowy weather doesn't bother Helen anymore!  In fact, it even bores her and makes her yawn a lot!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You!!!

I found this hilarious website the other day!!!


How to Tell Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You

Drawn by Matthew Inman, Founder & Designer of Mingle2

How to Tell Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You Kneading on you - your cat is checking your internal organs for weaknesses litter

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Care to share your thoughts?

I’m way to busy to blog, but I have been pondering a thought from my Roman Republic class for a while now, but instead of going on and on about it, I was wondering if you would share your thoughts with me.

So, here is the question: What is the difference (if any) between Freedom and Liberty?

Of course this presupposes that there are more than a couple people who read this blog and are willing to post a comment on such an obscure question… but it’s worth a try!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Something I’m Grateful For

There are so many things that I’m grateful for: Brooke, Family, Friends, Freedom, Health, Home and Happiness. But there is one particular thing that I am grateful for that I want to share with all of you.
While I was on my mission I purchased a CD of some Opera music. I still remember the chills that I felt when I first listened to Wagner’s Pilgrim’s Chorus from Tannhäuser. Later I found out that the Tabernacle Choir had recorded a version of the song. Here is a video of that arrangement. I hope you enjoy it!
So this Thanksgiving, I have to say thank you to all of you who share the gift of music with the rest of us.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Helen vs. Winter

The other day when it was snowing a little bit, I walked into the living room to find Helen looking out the window. She had never seen falling snow before! She seemed quite confused and was watching as many snowflakes as she could as they drifted through the air!! It was so funny!!! She seemed to wonder where they were coming from.

Helen started to get a little worried, so she thought that maybe by not looking, the snow would stop!! [She was actually just washing her face!]

Then she decided that the snow wasn't so bad after all and just enjoyed observing the unusual phenomena.

Here's a little video I took of her watching the snow!

We started decorating our apartment with Christmas decorations!! Helen is very excited about Christmas! She really likes the Christmas lights and bows on the staircase railing!!!

Hector was really excited when we put up our artificial tree! Helen was a bit confused and tried to help us set it up while Hector played in the Christmas tree box! Hector decided he just wants a big cardboard box for Christmas. Helen is still trying to make up her mind about what she wants for Christmas!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Armistice Day

I wanted to start by thanking all of you who are serving or have served in the military who may have a chance to read this. You deserve much more credit than you are given, and much more gratitude than we can offer.

I read a very powerful article in the Deseret News yesterday. It told the story of a soldier who had served in the German army during WWII and his suffering in Stalingrad and a Soviet Gulag. Finally he was able to return home to Germany and escape to the United States, arriving on Veterans Day in 1954. At the end of the article the man was quoted as saying “I have respect for every solder, wherever he served, whoever he served for”.

One of the greatest moments in human history was when Soldiers replaced Warriors, when peace became the goal and not merely a period to prepare for war, when more glory was found in protecting the innocent instead of vanquishing the enemy.

Now tomorrow we will celebrate the 91st anniversary of the end of the Great War. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of that war is simply the fact that it’s name had to be changed within a generation to the “First World War”. As we remember the more than 20 million individuals who died in that war and the millions who have served, sacrificed and died since, I think that it is appropriate to quote two of the most powerful poems coming from that war. One was written by a Canadian Medic working on the front lines, the other by an American woman responding to his plea:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-Lt.Col. John McCrae

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

-Moina Michael

I hope that all of you take some time tomorrow to remember, and if you get a chance, to thank somebody who is serving in the military.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Milkshakes and More: Random Thoughts from a Sunday Evening

So here are some of the random things that I’ve thought about today and decided to share with all of you.

1) Milkshake recipe:

Four parts Ice Cream and One part milk, put it in a blender, and when thoroughly mixed pour out and enjoy! Warning: these are pretty addicting, so you might want to have plenty of Ice Cream on hand when you start making them.

Great, now I want a chocolate MILKSHAKE

2) Proposing on bended knee:

Any of you ever wonder where the custom of men kneeling down with his intended’s hand in his when he asks her to marry him comes from? Well, it’s an old Feudal ritual that knights would use to swear allegiance to their lord. So, ladies, is he really your knight in shining armor? And guys, do you know that you're telling her you’ll go into battle if she commands it, and that you are promising to attend her court (i.e. parties, mall excursions, etc.) when you kneel down and give her a ring?

File:Hommage au Moyen Age - miniature.jpg

3) Fuzzy wake up call

No alarm clock is quite as efficient as a hungry cat. Hector and Helen decided that they needed attention and food when their humans slept in a bit too much this morning. A loud purr and a wet nose in ones ear is very effective at waking one up!

4) Doing is better than Debating

In Sunday School today we were talking about the Nobleman’s Vineyard. (If you want to read it for yourself you can follow the hyperlink). The Lord of the Vineyard commanded his servants to build a tower, but they started arguing about whether they really needed to or not. Eventually an enemy came and destroyed the vineyard. What I had never realized until today was that the tower was not build because “while they were at variance one with another, they became slothful.” This would mean that some were arguing that they should be building the tower- but that they chose to make an argument rather than an example. I tend to imagine that Heavenly Father would rather have us do what he’s asked us first instead of trying to convince other people they need to help us.

5) Old Cartoons are still fun!

Ok, I have a confession to make. I checked out the first season of Tale Spin from the library this week. It’s not as cool as I remember it being, but it’s been tons of fun to relive a small bit of my childhood! Can’t wait to find some other old cartoons on DVD!

Well, now that I’ve bored you with all my randomness, I guess I’ll finish for now. Hope you all have a great week!