Friday, June 26, 2009

Salt Lake City Sunset!

This was one of those weeks where I was just grateful to make it to Friday! As if as a reward for making it this far we had one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen here in the Salt Lake Valley tonight!

On my way home from work we started to have a really big thunder storm. I ducked into a grocery store to buy things for dinner. While I was in there it started to rain really hard! I finished shopping and drove home in a hurry. Right after I got back the rain let up and there was a fantastic rainbow and a very pretty sunset!

Things just kept getting better from there! The sunset was so beautiful! Brooke managed to snap some pictures on her phone at Temple Square while I rushed over to try and get some pictures before driving her home (the silhouettes are Sister Fan and Sister Pomeroy)!

I got these pictures of the Temple on my digital camera before the batteries died. Then I took some on my phone before trying the regular camera again and got this last picture of the Seagull Monument!

This was definitely one of those tender mercy moments for me! What a fantastic way to usher in the weekend!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Rainy Saturday

Today was a beautiful rainy day!! Taylor woke up early to go help clean the church building. Then we went to the Farmer's Market at Pioneer Park!! It was so much fun!!! We got some really nice tomatoes and some honey!! Besides fresh fruit and vegetables, there was also a lot of jewelry, home decor, clothing, snacks, purses, and places to get a meal! The honey we got is sooo delicious!! The flavor is Clover & Orange Blossom! We also got some Orange Blossom honey for Taylor's dad to give for Father's Day tomorrow!!

We had some new neighbors move in about a week or so ago! We saw that they were unloading a moving truck as we were getting home from work one rainy night so we offered to help! They really appreciated the help! So today they came over and gave us some beautiful flowers!!! How nice of them!!!

We went to Smith's (grocery store) to buy some rubber gloves so we can wash dishes more easily! As we walked into the store, we saw strawberries on sale for $5 for 2 pounds!!! So of course, we just had to get those!! They looked/smelled so wonderful!!! Then we decided that we should use them to make jam!!! So we got some freezer jam pectin and some containers as well. So we went home and Taylor tried out the new gloves!

Then I made him stop because I wanted to get started on the strawberry jam! It was so fast and easy to make!!! First, I washed the strawberries and cut off the leaves and sliced them up a little bit.

After that, I put them in a bowl and stirred in some water and the pectin!!

Then I put the jam into containers!! Then I put the containers in the freezer! And that was all!!

And, of course, I wanted to try some right away!! It was so DELICIOUS!!!!!

Hector was just bored while we were busy making jam!!

Align Center

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple and Church History Library!!!

This week Taylor and I went to the Open Houses for the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple and the Church History Library! It was so much fun!! Both places were very beautiful!!

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple is the 130th Temple in the world, the 13th in Utah, and the 4th Temple in the Salt Lake Valley! In fact, South Jordan Utah is the only city in the world with more than one temple!!!

The word Oquirrh has two meanings from different Native American tribes: it is Goshute for “wooded mountain” and Ute for “glowing mountain”. Both of these beautiful meanings apply to this gorgeous temple and the area around it. Although some of the design elements are similar to the Draper Temple, it is unique and extremely beautiful on both the inside and outside. In particular there is a very nice, large tall hallway in the center of the temple that has two large staircases on either side.

There is also an area on the highest level of the temple where the Sealing rooms are located. Taylor commented that that it is fitting that such an elegant setting should be set aside for the most significant ordinances of the gospel. Also, I noticed that there was a lot of pretty stone tile floors and not so much carpet!! It looked really nice!!!

The Church History Library houses the collection of all of the Church’s records produced by both the church itself and by individual members. There are so many significant and inspirational stories available in the history of the church that we are unfamiliar with only because they are not widely available. Now this facility will be digitizing many of these volumes and making them available for members worldwide and future generations. Also, they preserve and collect items of significance to the history and development of the church and manage church history sites around the world.

At the end of the tour there was a collection of rare items that are on display before being put in the vault (and probably never being brought out again!), including Journals by Joseph Smith, Wilford Woodruff (who had incredibly small handwriting and not only wrote in his journal every day, but also decorated the pages!) and Spencer W. Kimball, original editions of the Book of Mormon, manuscripts from the original translation of the Book of Mormon, and other interesting bits of history from other regions of the church (such as Ghana, Germany, Thailand, and Japan). Taylor was very impressed with two items in particular: a Hebrew bible owned by Hyrum Smith, and a hand written copy of the Book of Mormon made by a lady who could not read because of a brain injury. Since she couldn’t read she chose to hand copy the entire Book of Mormon letter by letter and then presented the entire manuscript to President Monson after 18 months of work! Taylor said that it was touching to see an item that represented such personal devotion included in this wide ranging collection.

We had another really cool surprise at the end of the tour! We got to see Alexis and her new companion They were there looking at the displays too!! Her new companion is Sister Fan from Taiwan, but she and her family moved to California when she was 17! She went to UC Davis before her mission. She just got back from her time outbound at the Boise Idaho Mission!! She is so nice!! And she and Sister Pomeroy unintentionally wore matching clothes today and yesterday!! Their hairstyles look similar too!! How fun!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Taylor's New Blog

Hey everybody! I have launched another blog and thought I'd mention it here. It's mostly a book review that I'll be writing to spare Brooke from having to hear endlessly about everything I read!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Walking to Work

Yesterday morning I had a small little adventure. (I firmly believe, by the way, that such little adventures are needed once in a while to keep life interesting and fun). Anyway, for some time now I have been using my very long lunch break to take increasingly long walks in various directions near the office where I work. I used to take time to hide in a corner and read a book, but now that I have discovered podcasting (particularly the new Mormon Channel podcasts) I have started to put podcasts and audio books on my mp3 player and go on a little walk while listening to these productions.

Well after doing this for a while I decided that then next logical step was to try and walk to work some day. I picked yesterday after I had switched schedules with another employee so he could have the day off to try my little expedition.
For those of you who know me well you will hardly be surprised that I didn’t just do this off the cuff. Brooke helped me find a rout using Google Maps and I even checked the weather forecast to make sure that it would not be raining. The rout was about 6 ½ miles long and Google suggested that it would take about 2 hours!

Anyway, I woke up early yesterday morning and looked out and it was an amazingly beautiful day! So, I got dressed, ate breakfast, fed Hector and kissed Brooke goodbye and set out. At first it was pretty easy going because it was mostly downhill and in a familiar area with very little traffic. I was listening to an audio book on Naval History and was happy as a clam. Soon I came to Liberty Park, and I decided to try and cut across it. And I saw all kinds of interesting people! There was a lady in a burqa who was jogging, a very skinny guy jogging along with a very fat dog, a bunch of people preparing for the National Psoriasis Walk for Awareness and an older gentleman feeding a huge flock of Canadian geese.

After Liberty Park I turned down 1300 South and walked past the Baseball Stadium and TRAX station, and then under the freeway. This had been my greatest concern about the trip and the real reason that I had got directions in the first place. As all of you who are familiar with Salt Lake City well know, it is very difficult to get lost if you know the number address of where you are going. However, I was worried about finding a place that would let me go under the freeway without making me backtrack to try a different rout. Anyway, it went off without at hitch.

Next came perhaps the most interesting part of the trip. 1300 South turns into California Avenue somewhere on the west side of State Street and I found myself in residential area. I walked past old established homes with beautiful flowers (and yes, I am proud to say that I did stop to smell the proverbial and literal roses!), new Mc-Mansions, and some old run down and even abandoned homes. In some places the sidewalk was so overgrown that I had a hard time getting through without getting bits of grass and seeds all over my pants.

I saw all kinds of interesting things on this part of the trip. Roosters and chickens running around front yards, horses in a field, and even a car with a Hawaii license plate! Eventually I turned south and then west again on 1700 South and continued walking. Then I was suddenly I was back into familiar territory again! There was the Arby’s on Redwood Rd. that I had walked to a couple of times during my lunch break! Now it was only about another 20 minutes to pass the post office, go under the onramp onto the freeway and make it to work!

In total the trip took me just under the two hours needed to complete the trip. Now undoubtedly most of you who are reading this are wondering “why?” and “what did you hope to gain?” Aside from the exercise, fresh air and sunshine that I got I really don’t have an answer. Maybe it has something to do with the Clear the Air Initiative from Governor Huntsman that I had been hearing about on the radio. Maybe it was just to prove to myself and my coworkers that I could do it. And maybe it was just so that I could do something unique and somewhat strange!

I think thought, that I was motivated by one of my occasional moods where I need to do something in a self sufficient way. It reminds me of my first trip to Hawaii with my family when I used a kit consisting of two nails, a compass, a wristwatch, a straw, a protractor, a piece of floss and a lead weight to make some crude navigational equipment and try and find the longitude and latitude of the place where we were staying. (Incidentally I was within 90 miles- not very accurate, but not bad for an untrained 16 year old using home made instruments!). Not that I will ever need to walk to work every day or find my longitude and latitude, or any other of pretty useless but interesting skills and bits of information that I have accumulated. But it sure feels good to know that I can if I need to!