So many of my friends change up their blogs, and I admit... I am JEALOUS!

Back in Oct 2007, I asked an old friend how she completed this feat. She got back to me with a promptness I'd never have been able to show. I was so grateful and excited.

Now more than a year later, I had to send her another email, to which she will most likely respond with the same amount of promptitude. :-)

I look forward to her assistance.

However, if any of my other readers happen to know any quick tricks to changing background and pictures, etc, I'd appreciate any and all help I can get.

Thanks for reading...and Happy New Year!

Do I have a LIFE??

I found this on my friend's blog.

Lists are fun, right? So, I thought I'd check to see how many movies on this list I'd seen. Apparently, if you've seen more than 85 (out of the 237 movies), you have no life.

Let's see how I did. I've marked the ones I've seen.

(X) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(X) Grease
(X) Pirates of the Caribbean
(X) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(X) Fight Club
(X) Starsky and Hutch
(X) Neverending Story
(X) Blazing Saddles
(X) Airplane

( ) The Princess Bride
(X) Anchorman
(X) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
(X) Anger Management
(X) 50 First Dates

(X) The Princess Diaries
(X) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
(X) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
(X) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(X) American Pie

( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
( ) Harry Potter 1
( ) Harry Potter 2
( ) Harry Potter 3
( ) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(X) The Wedding Singer

(X) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(X) Lilo & Stitch
(X) Finding Nemo
(X) Finding Neverland
(X) Signs
( ) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) Butterfly Effect

(X) 13 Going on 30
(X) I, Robot
(X) Robots
(X) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
(X) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(X) Along Came Polly
(X) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(X) Never Been Kissed

(X) Meet The Parents
(X) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
(X) Joe Dirt
(X) A Cinderella Story
(X) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(X) Dumb & Dumber

( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(X) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
(X) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
(X) Surviving X-MAS
(X) Flubber
( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

(X) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
(X) Secret Window
(X) I Am Sam
(X) The Whole Nine Yards
(X) The Whole Ten Yards
(X) The Day After Tomorrow

( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(X) Ten Things I Hate About You
(X) Just Married
( ) Gothika
(X) Nightmare on Elm Street
(X) Sixteen Candles
(X) Remember the Titans
(X) Coach Carter

( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(X) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(X) Ocean’s Eleven
(X) Ocean’s Twelve

(X) Bourne Identity
(X) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
(X) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(X) Ice Age
(X) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(X) Curious George

(X) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(X) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(X) Maid in Manhattan
(X) War of the Worlds

(X) Rush Hour
(X) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(X) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(X) She’s All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(X) Ever After

(X) Wizard of Oz
(X) Forrest Gump
(X) Big Trouble in Little China
(X) The Terminator
( ) TheTerminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
(X) X-Men
( ) X-2
( ) X-3
(X) Spider-Man

(X) Spider-Man 2
(X) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(X) Catch Me If You Can
(X) The Little Mermaid
(X) Freaky Friday
(X) Reign of Fire
(X) The Skulls
(X) Cruel Intentions

( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(X) Shrek
(X) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street
(X) Old School
(X) The Notebook
(X) K-Pax
(X) Krippendorf’s Tribe

(X) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
( ) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
( ) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
( ) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(X) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(X) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(X) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
(X) American History X
( ) Three

( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(X) Monsters Inc.
(X) Titanic
(X) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension

( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(X) Hook
( ) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(X) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
(X) Waterworld
( ) Kill Bill vol 1

( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
(X) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace

(X) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(X) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(X) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(X) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(X) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
(X) The Matrix
(X) The Matrix Reloaded
( ) The Matrix Revolutions

( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
(X) Red Dragon
(X) Silence of the Lambs
(X) Hannibal

Apparently, I have no life.

Of course with only having seen 116 of these movies, I haven't even seen half the list...

That should say something, right?


Nap Time!

I have always loved taking naps! Now, I have a little dog to curl up with me.
I love that she loves taking naps with me!
In this picture, I laid down for a little nap on the couch, and she jumped right up and snuggled in tight.
Sometimes, she doesn't make it up on the couch with me, but she is asleep nearby!

This was probably the funniest of all! I was lying on the floor, and she just crawled right up on my back! I know she's not sleeping in this shot, but I am, so it still counts.


Thanksgiving Humor

Recently I received a parrot as a gift.

The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.

I tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else I could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, I was fed up and I yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. I shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder.

So, indesperation, I threw up my hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet.

Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that I'd hurt the parrot, I quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto my outstretched arms and said,

"I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

I was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As I was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued,

"May I ask what the turkey did?"


I received this in an email from my Dad.


Thanksgiving is next week...

I've been trying to think of ways to spice up our Thanksgiving. It's usually just a lot of food and good conversation, but, I guess, I've been longing for something more.

So...I hit the Internet to find some ideas. I only found three that I really liked.
  1. I don't really like the tradition of everyone going around the table and saying one thing they're thankful for, so I liked this twist on that old game. Name Exchange: Toss everyone’s name in a hat, then have each person draw one name. Allow some time for thought, then have everyone take a turn finishing this sentence, “I’m thankful for _[name drawn]__ because ________.”
  2. Even though it will probably be extremely cold here in MN next week, I though this idea was very fun as well. Take a photography walk — burn off the extra calories from your feast, yet pause long enough to capture the beauty of late autumn on film. I discovered a great trail near my parents house (where dinner will be) that I will definitely bring my camera and suggest this activity. The dogs will love it, too.
  3. StoryCorps. The Day after Thanksgiving is the first annual national day of listening. There is a link at the top of my website for more information. Basically, they're encouraging us to interview someone about their life or remembering someone who has died. They even have a question generator to help decide on some good questions. I don't know if I'll actually do this, but I thought it was a very intriguing idea!

If you have any fun, unique ideas that you do on Thanksgiving, please share! I'm especially interested in ideas for families who don't really like ideas. :-) Sitting around yapping is what we do best! Oh, and eating lots of pie!!


Photo Tag

My friend Lara tagged her sister, Kristina, (and apparently me, too, but I first saw it on Kristina's blog today. Sorry, Lara!), and Kristina tagged anyone who'd like to do it. I thought it sounded like fun, so here is my 6th photo from my 6th album.

This is from my good friend's wedding in Aug 2004. Don't they look incredibly cute and happy and in love?? He's from Mexico, so they had a mariachi band at their reception. Very fun!



Yesterday, I taught for the first time in a high school.

I was SO nervous!


when I stood up and was teaching and interacting with the students, it was exhilarating!

Of course, I still have a lot to learn to become a great teacher, but I could see the beginnings. Plus I had a wonderful dialogue with my St Thomas supervisor. She helped me recognize my strengths. We talked about things I would do differently. It was very, very helpful...and just the confidence builder that I needed.

This experience combined with what I'm learning in my courses is making me even more excited about my future career.

(My lesson was introducing an Urban Geography unit to a class of 9th & 10th graders. I taught my lesson twice.)



Sallie was welcomed into our home on Saturday, September 13th.
She is 100% adorable, and I love her so much. I have never, ever described myself as a dog person--or even a pet person, but Sallie has captured my heart. She is one-year old, and she does the cutest things.
  • When she is excited or begging, she stands on her back legs, with her front legs up close to her chest.
  • I love her floppy ears that don't flop in the same way.
  • I love her cute little face, and sometimes she puts both paws over her snout.
  • I love to watch her sleep--sometimes curled into a ball, sometimes all stretched out.
  • I love it when she cuddles up next to me on the couch or the bed. Yes, we've even broken down and let her sleep with us.

It's amazing to me how quickly I came to love this little sweetheart.

  • I talk to her all the time. (I used to make fun of my dad for doing this.)
  • I try to take her for a walk twice a day.
  • I hold her.
  • I miss her and feel bad when I have to leave her in her crate for a few hours while Jeff and I are at school.
  • I worry about her, and get pretty nervous, when she plays with the big dogs. My parents have a Mountain Ker mix and a Black Lab mix. They adopted the lab the same day we got Sallie, so there are some dominance issues, etc.
  • I always want to protect her a keep her safe.

All that being said, I'm having some serious difficulties adjusting to life with Sallie.

  • We kept her in the crate the first few nights, and I would worry about her when she was whimpering. Now that she sleeps with us, she stretches out and kicks me out of my spot. :-)
  • We were told that she was not housebroken, so I feel like I constantly need to keep my eyes on her and know where she is and what she is doing at all times--especially since we are not in our own place, but staying temporarily with my parents. It's exhausting being on high alert all the time.
  • She wakes up earlier than I'd like to at times, and I need to feed her and take her out to do her business.
  • She yelps and whimpering when she plays with the big dogs, and that makes me nervous that she might be getting hurt or that they won't know when to stop.

Of course, all the loves that she gives me makes up for everything! She is definitely a welcome addition to my life!!


My Own ABCs

My friend, Lara, listed this on her blog, so I thought it would be fun to post it to mine as well!

A-Attached or Single: Attached
B-Best Friend: Jeff
C-Cake or Pie: Cake (except at Thanksgiving)
D-Day: Sunday
E-Essential Item: Cell phone
F-Favorite Color: Orange
G-Gummi bears or gummi worms: Gummie bears
H-Hometown: Alexandria, Minnesota
I-Indulgences: Facebook, chocolate
J-January or July: July
K-Kids: Not yet
L-Life is incomplete without: Jeff
M-Marriage Date: December 21, 2004
N-Number of Siblings: 11 (1 sister, 2 brother, 2 half-brother, 3 step-sisters, 3 step-brothers)
O-Oranges or Apples: Apples
P-Phobias or Fears: Falling in the shower, Failure
Q-Quote: Nothing's jumping out right now...
R-Reason to Smile: My new home--closing on Sept 30!
S-Season: Autumn
T-Tag Three: Marla, Elizabeth, Jill
U-Unknown fact about me: I share WAY too much information, so I can't think of anything.
V-Vacation destination of choice: Dubai or London
W-Worst Habit: Procrastination
X-X-Rays or Ultrasounds: X-Rays.
Y-your favorite food: Grilled Pizzas
Z-Zodiac Sign: Leo


Wanna Bet?

Isn't it nice to know that there are people out there who know your values and help you to uphold them?

I don't remember what it was in reference to, but yesterday, my boss started to make the comment, "Wanna bet?" He stopped himself when he remembered that I was LDS, and we don't gamble. He quickly followed his question up with, "Wait...you can't do that [gamble]?

It was a nice gentle reminder that others are aware of who we are and what values we try to uphold. Sometimes it is easier to withstand temptation when others surrounding us encourage us rather that provoke us.


Two-Year Olds

I love two-olds!

They are experiencing/learning so many new things! I love listening to the fun things they say as they learn to talk. I think it's definitely one of my favorite ages (coming from an aunt/cousin perspective, I've heard it might not be the same case from a mother's perspective).

Yesterday, I was walking through the skyway with a co-worker. As we were walking, a very cute little girl walked up to me and stuck her hand out, as if I were her mother. It was adorable. I let her take my hand (well my little finger), and she gripped it tight.

We walked for awhile like that.

She didn't have much to say, but she did mumble a little gibberish to herself. She was downtown for lunch with her dad. He said that she had been quite shy at lunch with some of his friends, so it seemed a little odd that she reached out to me.

I have to admit, I enjoyed every moment walking around aimlessly, carelessly, with this little girl.



The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.

How did you do?
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Star the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 **Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

How about you? (I got this off my friend's blog. She said, "The Big Read is legit, but who knows if the list is, but it was still fun to see what books I'd read on "someone's" list!" I agree!)


Banana Blueberry Muffins

I made these muffins last night to enjoy for breakfast this morning. I was looking for a healthy banana muffin to use up some frozen bananas that have been in my freezer for quite a long time. I was a little hesitant to make these, as there were quite a few negative reviews. Overall it was still rated with 4 stars, so I decided to give it a try.

They turned out to be delicious and filling! I even brought a couple into a co-worker, and she agreed that they were yummy. This is definitely a recipe I will make again and again.

My frozen bananas were about 2 cups, so I decreased the egg whites to 3 instead of 4, but that was the only change I made to the recipe.


Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe

Anyone remember this song?

Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe
With the moon shining all around
And they paddled and they paddled so
You couldn't even hear a sound
And they talked and they talked till the moon grew dim
He said you better kiss me or get out and swim
So whatcha gonna do in a little canoe
With the moon shining all around

Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe
With the moon shining all around
And they paddled and they paddled so
You couldn't even hear a sound
And they talked and they talked till the moon grew dim
He said you better kiss me or get out and swim
So whatcha gonna do in a little canoe
With the moon shining all a-
Boys swimming all a-
Girls paddlings all a-round

Get out and swim!

I have no idea why, but this old song from Girls' Camp years ago popped into my head a few days ago--only I couldn't remember all the words. I googled them and found a variety of versions, but this is the one most similar to what I remember.

I asked my niece, who just returned from Girls' Camp, if she'd learned the song at camp. She said no, and I was so disappointed. :-( It's a fun song with fun hand motions to go with it.

Maybe next year...
Or maybe I'll just teach her it myself...


Best Birthday Gift!

I already received the best birthday gift I could've asked for!

Yesterday, the bank accepted our offer on 1323 Randolph Ave.

Whoo hoo!!


Birthday Wish List

Yesterday, Dad asked me for a birthday wish list. I took some time to put together a fairly comprehensive list. I've listed some specific items at three different stores. They are priced low to high. While I would enjoy anything from this list, these are also there to give you ideas of what I might like. (I found all of these items online, so I am not sure what will be available in stores.)

Ultimately, I'd love some new clothes--particularly tops. I've listed a few from Land's End below. I generally wear a Medium or Large.

I'd also like a watch, things for the kitchen, games, charms for my Italian charm bracelet, girlie bathroom things (body spray, bubble bath, etc), or whatever you think I might like.

Land's End (located near the Best Buy that Anika works at)

Women's Regular Long Sleeve Embroidered Border Tunic TopSoft Jade, Size M
$12.99 on sale
Women's Regular Cotton Jersey Embroidered Tunic Top
Gray Heather, Size M
$14.99 on sale

Women's Petite Extended-tab Stretch Chino Crop Pants
Black, Size 12
$29.99 on sale

Women's Petite 7-day Twill Elastic-back Cropped Pants
White, Size 12

Women's Regular Fine Gauge Cotton Essentials Low V-neck Sweater
Parrot, Size M

Women's Regular Curvy Classic No-waist Boot-cut Stretch Jeans
Dark Denim, Size 12

Women's Boot-cut Everyday Chino Pants
Shale, Size 12

Women's Regular Dotted Poplin Tie Shirt
Admiral Blue, Size M


Women's Xhilaration® Offset Squares Watch - Black (or in Silver)

Oval Bangle Cuff Watch - Silvertone



KitchenAid 3-pc. Mixing Bowl Set - Red

Electronic Catch Phrase Game - 2nd Edition

KitchenAid Red Salad and Fruit Spinner

Double Dry Food Dispenser - Red

Best Books & Gifts (LDS Bookstore near temple)
Add-a-Charm: LDS

Link Charm - CTR - Green

Fun Never Stops: Games for Families, Groups & Special Occasions

Seek - The Original LDS Quiz Game

Please Pass the Scriptures

21 Days Closer to Christ

Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: D&C Edition

Doctrine & Covenants Encylopedia - Paperback


Ever Wonder...

Have you ever wondered how you can figure out the nutritional value of your favorite home cooked meals?

Check out this link:

It is the easiest way to do this analysis. I've seen other links around where you need to tediously find the ingredients from your recipe in their database. Not with this one! All you need to do is type in your recipe, enter the servings, and hit ANALYZE RECIPE.

If it doesn't recognize your ingredient, it will display a red or orange flag next to that item. You can re-word your ingredient, so that it can be found in their database.

Happy analyzing and healthy eating!


I finally got around to finishing the scrapbook pages from when Brian & Nancy & family stopped in Minneapolis on their way to Boston.

The first page was featured in "My First Attempt." I've since created two more scrapbook pages on the events and put all three together in a slide show.

Let me know what you think.


Temptations are like Tornadoes

  • We can often feel them approaching
  • Sometimes they are so fascinating that we don't seek shelter or make proper preparations
  • Lots of conditions need to be in place for a tornado (humidity, wind, other meteorological conditions)--this is also true with temptations (i.e. not praying or reading our scriptures)

I thought it was a great analogy when I heard it in a Sacrament talk a few weeks back.

May we all be prepared for the spiritual (and physical) tornadoes that may blow through our lives!!


My First Attempt...

I've gotten a bug to become a digital scrapbooker. I've never been into scrapbooking, but I thought doing it digitally would bring my pictures to life in new ways.

I did a little research, and discovered that I really needed some good photo editing software, so I purchased Photoshop Elements 6. I figured I was pretty good with software in general. Boy, was I wrong!

I finally figured out some VERY BASIC things. I definitely have A LOT to learn, but I'm hopeful it will get easier, less frustrating, and more rewarding as I go along in my newest hobby.

Here is my first attempt at a scrapbook page.

Comments are welcomed. Please let me know what you think.


Final Grades

I just looked up my final grades.

4.0, baby!! Whoo Hoo!!

TEGR501 Circ of Adv-Compet Assmt I S
TEGR510 Educ's Place in Society A
TEGR511 Field Exp I : Exploration S
TEGR512 Human Rel & Multicul Educ A

I was really nervous about TEGR512, but it looks like I pulled out an A in the end. It was a tough semester getting back into the swing of doing homework and studying and writing papers, but I pulled it off!

Now, let's hope that I'll be able to maintain a 4.0 for the next 3 semesters.



I was bored at work, so I Googled my name followed by wants and needs to see what I found.

What Clarinda wants...

...the 1.9 millions as per immediate.
...to be.
...to build the Mangrove Village.
...to buy a note book.
...to provide the best customer service in every way possible.
...to tap into a known market.

What Clarinda needs...
...to focus on recruiting.
...to focus on attracting businesses.
...to be included in the current IDOT 5-year program.
...no more than to belong to you.
...a way to advertise their community.
...to own forty percent.

Of course, there is a town in IA called Clarinda, and it's not that popular of a name, so the results are a little skewed toward what a town might want/need.
Still a fun exercise and way to kill time...


Prove It

Yesterday, at Ramsey Junior High (where I've been observing an 8th grade English class) my host teacher was asked to substitute in a Science class. The class was in Day 2 of watching Contact. I've always really enjoyed this movie.

When watching yesterday, I got to see one of my favorite scenes:

[Ellie challenges Palmer to prove the existence of God]
Palmer Joss: Did you love your father?
Ellie Arroway: What?
Palmer Joss: Your dad. Did you love him?
Ellie Arroway: Yes, very much.
Palmer Joss: Prove it.

Science may not be able to prove that God exists, but it also cannot prove that love exists--yet no one ever challenges the existence of love.


This scene reminds me of an article I read a long time ago by Elder Boyd K Packer. It's called "The Candle of the Lord" and is taken from a talk he gave at a seminar for new mission presidents. It was published in the Dec 1998 issue of Ensign.

Here is a little excerpt:
What Does Salt Taste Like?
I felt perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then something came into my mind. I said to the man, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”

“Of course I do,” was his reply.

“When did you taste salt last?”

“When I just had dinner here on the airplane.”

“You just think you know what salt tastes like,” I said.

He insisted, “I know what salt tastes like as well as I know anything.”

“If I gave you a cup of salt and a cup of sugar and let you taste them both, could you tell the salt from the sugar?”

“Now you are getting silly,” was his reply. “Of course I could tell the difference. I know what salt tastes like. It is an everyday experience.”

“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”

After some thought, he said, “Well, I suppose you could say that it is not sweet and it is not sour.”

“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.” After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not explain, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to tell you in words how this knowledge has come to me than you are able to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”

I love this!

Love cannot be described with words.
Salt cannot be described with words.
God cannot be described with words.

Some things can only be described in how we feel.


Penny for a Poem

Yesterday, on my morning walk from the train to work, I saw a man on Nicollet Mall with this sign. Usually in this spot, there is a man just sitting with a sign saying he was homeless and asking for help.
Oddly, it made me miss NYC.
Folks asking for money in NYC were mostly doing something--drumming, singing, stunts, etc. It was often fascinating to watch. I rarely gave anything, but I would be more inclined to do so since I was being entertained.
Of course those who weren't entertaining, were a lot more in-your-face about asking for money. I remember one couple, who could often be seen walking back and forth on one of the train lines that we frequented, sharing their story with anyone (or no one) who would listen. Although annoying, this was still mildly entertaining.
Someday we'll be back in NYC!


Gas Prices

I received these in an email from my dad. I thought they were hilarious!


You Decide...

The only thing we have absolute control over is ourselves. Things will happen that are out of our control, and it is up to us to decide how we react. We can allow those things to drag us down and make us grumpy or we can choose to see the bright side.
This morning, I awoke to several inches of snow on the ground. It's been a tough winter! So cold! Now...two days into Spring, we get a good downfall! At least it's not bitter cold. And freshly fallen snow is so BEAUTIFUL! I love to watch it gracefully fall. So...even if it's supposed to be Spring with flowers blooming and sun shining, I love to see the snow fall!
I don't think the snow had anything to do with it, but my commute to work this morning was interesting...to say the least. I missed my train by about 2 minutes. Turns out, it didn't make any difference because that train broke down before it even entirely left the station. Everyone on it had to get off. Then we had to wait. After 5 or so minutes we were told that we would have to board the Northbound train on the Southbound tracks. We had to wait another 5 minutes or so on that platform.
By the time the train finally came and I was on my way, it was already the time I was supposed to be at work. Oh well. Of course, since we were travelling the wrong way on the train tracks, we had to go at a much slower pace that usual. Turns out, it probably would've been better to wait for the next train because I think the broken train and then 2 Northbound trains passed us while were were crawling along the Southbound tracks.
At least the conductor was in good spirits about it. He apologized over and over. He was sure to tell us that it was nothing he did, which got a pretty big laugh from the passengers. When we finally switched to the Northbound tracks, he told us that he hoped we would have a better day going forward. Another laugh. When we were exiting the train, he told us to enjoy the 2nd day of Spring (another laugh) and to have a Happy Easter! I think he really helped with the situation.
Still...to many, I'm certain this was a terribly frustrating way to begin the day! They may have a terrible day as a result.
I'm choosing to move on and not dwell on it.
The snow is still beautiful! It's still Friday!! We are having some friends over tonight!!! Easter is on Sunday!!!!
It's going to be a GOOD day...despite its rocky beginnings.


President Hinckley Dies at 97

This morning I was doing my cardio on the elliptical machine in the fitness room in my apartment building. At the tail end of the news, there was a brief story about the "passing of a leader in the Mormon church." With the noise of the machines, I didn't quite hear all of the pertinent information in the report. I was pretty sure that it was President Hinckley that they were speaking of, but I wasn't certain.
I had more than 10 minutes left of my workout. I couldn't wait to finish so that I could get to my computer and confirm the story. I began putting forth more effort, as if that would make a difference! I know it really didn't, but it did seem to make the time go by faster.
President Hinckley will be greatly missed. He became the prophet during my senior year of high school, so while I do remember vaguely Presidents Benson and Hunter, President Hinckley has been the prophet for all of my adult life. I know that he was inspired of the Lord and that he guided and directed the church according to the Lord's will. He committed his entire life to serving the Lord; he was great man and will always remain a strong example to me.
During General Conferences in recent years, I have always enjoyed his talks. I will miss his stories and his counsel. I will miss hearing of his travels around the world. I will miss hearing him testify of the gospel.
My prayers will go out to the remaining apostles during this time of transition.



One of my goals this year is to be healthier and get into shape. Part of that includes losing weight. I have gained quite a few pounds since I've been married, and I really want to shed some of that--get back into a "healthy" range.

I joined myfitnesspal to help me. This is a really neat FREE site that helps you track your daily activities and nutrition. There are a few sites out that that help you with this, but I really like this one because it is FREE (of course), but also because you can customize your own foods and activities.

Another site I tried, MyCalorieCounter, only lets you customize if you upgrade to a paid membership. Also, to get your food totals, you need to upgrade as well. This, I found wasn't very helpful. The other site I used to use was FitDay, and it doesn't let you customize your activities, and it doesn't have elliptical trainer in its database. That's what I use more frequently, so I found the site wasn't meeting my needs.

I just discovered myfitnesspal yesterday, and so far I love it! It is very easy to use! It even makes counting calories kinda fun. Hee hee...

Wish me luck on my goal. I'd like to accomplish this by summer, but if it takes longer, I don't mind--as long as the pounds are shed in 2008!

Calorie Counter

MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter


Well, I'm officially official...

Today, I received my PIN to be able to log into the online Registration system.

I am now registered for 4 classes:
  • Circle of Advocates--meets two Saturdays, 2/2 & 4/5
  • Education's Place in Society--every Thursday from 4:45 to 7
  • Field Experience I--Exploration--not sure how this works, but I need to do 30 hours in a classroom sometime during the semester
  • Human Relations & Multicultural Education--every Tuesday from 4:45 to 7
I even went to the bookstore and forked over $292 for the books for these courses!

Ouch!! Thank goodness for student loans! :-)

So I'm all set...now I just need to make it through the weekend, curbing my enthusiasm.

Classes start on Tuesday!!

Wish me well.


Jeff's the One For Me!

Okay, I've been tagged by my friend Lara! I figure it should be pretty interesting to read all about our better halves...so anyone who wants to give it a try. Just leave me a comment on my blog when you've done it so I can come take a look!


What's his name? Jeff
How long have you been together? We've been married for 3 years.
How long did you date? Let's see...dated 5 weeks, broke up for a few days, got engaged the following week, and were married 6 weeks after that...guess that would be 11 weeks give or take a couple of days
How old is he? 29
Who eats more? I'm afraid I do.
Who said I love you first? Honestly, I'm not sure.
Who is taller? Definitely, Jeff—by a few inches.
Who is smarter? I think Jeff is smarter about "things," but I think I may be more "book-smart."
Who does laundry? Mostly I do, but every once in a while he'll start a load. I definitely have to fold, though.
Who does the dishes? I do the dishes. Well, sometimes Jeff will empty the dishwasher.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do.
Who pays the bills? I keep track, but we both contribute the finances.
Who mows the lawn? We don't have a lawn!!
Who cooks dinner? Generally, I do; however, sometimes he will make some Spanish rice and tamales.
Who drives when you are together? Jeff drives, which suits me just fine!
Who is more stubborn? Hmmm....probably me...
Who kissed who first? Again, I'm not sure. It was probably a mutual thing.
Who asked out who first? Jeff asked me over to teach him how to make Hamburger Helper.
Who proposed? We don't have a good proposal story. I think it was more of a mutual thing. We just decided that we should get married. Although, I do remember one time we were at my parent's home and he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Do you want to get an apartment downtown with me?" Marriage was implied.
Who has more siblings? Definitely me! I have 11 siblings (mixture of full, half, and step); Jeff only has 1 sister, and 2 brother.
Who wears the pants in the family? Pants?! Who wears pants?! I guess I'm probably bossier than Jeff.


The wait is OVER!!

Last Friday, I received my acceptance letter to the University of St Thomas School of Education! Yeah!
My acceptance was conditional. To gain full acceptance, I needed to take the Praxis I test. I just took it this afternoon. The minimums for passing in MN are 173 for Reading, 171 for Math, and 172 for Writing; the highest possible score for any section is 190. I believe that my scores were 182 in Reading and 187 in Math. I am really pleased with how I did. My score for the Writing section will come later, as it included an essay that cannot be scored by a computer. :-)
I was kind of stressed about the test, but now I can sigh a HUGE sigh of relief.
Now I just need to turn some paperwork and register for classes. Classes start next week already, so tomorrow I'll be turning in that paperwork. Hopefully, it won't take too long for me to be able to register.
It will be a little weird to be back in school, but still, I find myself terribly excited about it. Wish me luck!



I've never really been all that great about waiting for things. I know patience is a virtue, but when I know something is coming that is very exciting, it's so difficult to wait!

Yesterday, the final piece of my graduate school application was submitted.

Now comes the waiting...

It should be too long of a wait, though. They keep assuring me that once everything is submitted, it doesn't take long for a decision to be made. I hope that's true because the semester starts in less than 2 weeks!

This is a big deal! Grad school! I never thought I would make the decision to return to school, but after much gentle prodding from my husband coupled with lots of prayerful consideration, I made the decision to return.

I've applied to the University of St Thomas School of Education. It will take a great deal of studying and hard work, but I hope to be a licensed teacher 2 years from now. My licensure will be in Communication Arts & Literature, which is perfect since my undergraduate work was in Communication Studies. My goal is to teach High School English.

I'm so excited to begin this next chapter in my life!

But for now...

I need to wait...


I just changed a setting on my blog to allow me to e-mail a post directly to my blog, without having to log into Blogger.
I wanted to test it out.
Here goes...



It seems that all I post now are other people's photographs. I should probably make a winter trip over to Minnehaha to take some winter pics of my favorite park.

In the meantime...here are some more photos I found online...Click on the pic to be directed to the original post...



Here are a few more photographs that I have recently come across online.

For more information on the artist and the photograph, click on the photo to be directed to the original post.


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