Archive for April, 2008


My sister, EmaLee, and I went to Disneyland yesterday. I think the actual quote refers to New York City, but I think it applies to Disneyland too….

If you stand (or sit) in one place long enough, the entire world will walk past you.

You know about all the different kinds of people there will ALWAYS be at Disneyland right?

Like the large groups of foreign tourists, each with their own expensive digital camera, speaking a language you can’t understand fast enough that you wonder if they can even understand it, pushing you in line and standing so close that you can smell what they had for lunch.

Then there’s the people that inevitably showing their support for the Cougars of Happy Valley. Whether it’s a hat, shirt, basketball shorts or (no joke) a wristband.

There’s the honeymooners that stand behind you in line talking about what they’re going to do when they get back to the hotel. And how much they love each other – “No, I love YOU more!”

The mom with the teenagers in front of you in line for lunch that pays with exact change from the bottom of her purse, the bottom of the kids’ backpacks – whatever will take longer.

Then there’s the graduating high school seniors that insist upon wearing shirts with ’08 plastered all over them and the graduation Mickey ears. Because it’s cool to be a high school senior.

How about the bands? And the cheerleaders?

And the ankle-biters!! The ankle-biters are the worst! They’re the ones that ram their 2-ton strollers into the backs of your ankles when you’re least expecting it. All the dirty looks, snide and low remarks and the firm planting of feet won’t even phase them. They’ll just keep pushing until they chop you off at the ankles and leave you bleeding and crying for your mommy.

Last but not least, there’s you. And the people you came with that make all the ankle-biters worth it.
Em and Erek - We had a blast!

Wii Love to Play

So, yeah… I’m excited. And yes, we’re dorks. But hey – who cares?

Mario Kart is coming out this weekend – for the Wii. There aren’t any other words but WIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!

Biggest Pet Peeves

My top three biggest pet peeves:

3. Stupid people that do stupid things naturally. Yes, it gets on my nerves, but they can’t help it.

2. Smart people that do stupid things by accident. Were you going to think about that? Oh. Guess not.

And number 1:

Smart people who do stupid things on purpose. COME ON!

Mmm… Cheesecake…

I hope to see lots of people at Saturday’s auction. I’m making three cheesecakes to try and lure people there.

Tonight I made a White Chocolate Cheesecake and bought some fresh raspberries to put on top. There’s an Orange Cheesecake with a Ginger Snap crust in the oven right now. Tomorrow I’ll be making “The” Cheesecake of all cheesecakes (according to Gregg) – Strawberry Hot Fudge Cheesecake with fresh chocolate dipped strawberries on top.

People Watching

So, I had to go to the DMV yesterday to renew the expired registration on one of our cars. There are so many stereotypes surrounding the Department of Motor Vehicles. Let me just testify to the fact that those stereotypes exist for a reason. Sitting there on the attached, dark navy blue chairs was like being a part of a Saturday Night Live skit.

First of all, the woman at the “Start Here” desk was just as burly as the man sitting at the desk behind her. Their hair was the same length, although his was cleaner and nicer. Like his personality. She gave me my two forms to fill out and the number to wait for, mumbled something about lunch and yelled “Next!”

I went over by the south wall and took a seat between a couple empty chairs and pulled out my book-club-book to try and get started on it because I suddenly had “free” time. About 5 chairs to my left was a man with a laptop and a cell phone. I know he had a cell phone because he was talking on it. Loud enough that I know his wife’s name was Barbara and that they were planning to go to Vegas this weekend. I’m convinced that the laptop was all for show.

There was a woman and her husband that came in and sat down facing me. There’s no way that Jon would let me out of the house in what she was wearing. And she was about my size so it probably would have fit me. He would just shake his head and tell me that some things are for his eyes only. Amen. Way it should be. I almost gave her my sweater… but it was in the car.

I was there for about and hour. The numbering system they have there is really making things better. On my way out, I passed a couple with a stroller. They were betting on which letter would precede the number that would be called next. She’d just won, apparently for the third time in a row, and was doing a little victory dance. He was handing her another dollar.

And I thought the airport was a good place to watch people. Some day maybe I’ll just go watch at the DMV and see what happens next.

Cutting in Line

Jon made a deal with my sister EmaLee on Friday that if her and Brian could go with us to take our Ham Radio Exam on Saturday morning, that we would go to Disney’s California Adventure with them on Saturday. I know, I know – Ham Radio Exam?? I have a geek for a husband, what can I say?

So on Saturday, we went to CA. First of all, it was about 100 degrees (literally, no joke). At least it was a “dry” heat (note sarcasm). At one point we decided that it was hot enough that we needed to go on the water ride – Big Bear Rapids or something like that – and ride as single riders so we could get through the line faster. Em’s friend and her mom were there too (Michelle and Linda, respectively). Linda took the baby into the hotel lobby to cool down a little ’cause the poor guy was miserable. Jon decided that he didn’t want to go on the ride so he went with Linda and took all of our cell phones. You see it coming, don’t you?

We went to the single rider line after they had gone only to find that the line for single riders was as long as the regular line. I probably should have mentioned that Fast Passes were not even worth getting because it would have meant riding right before the park closed. And it was only about 2:00 in the afternoon.

They (Em, Brian, Michelle) decided that we might as well go ride the Santa Monica Screamer (or something like that – it’s late and I’m tired). I don’t ride those rides because I end up wearing my stomach, contents included, on my shoes. Jon loves ’em though. I offered to go get him from the hotel lobby so he could ride with them. I got to the lobby and he decided not to go. I turned around and went back to the spot where they were supposed to meet me and they weren’t there. I had also grabbed my phone so that we could communicate somehow. I heard Em call my name, found her, and did something I wouldn’t normally do. Michelle and Brian were already in line so Em and I went to meet them.

I’m one of those goody-goody’s that gets stomach cramps when I get caught doing something wrong, especially when I get called out on it. Some junior-high kid about five or six people back told on me for cutting in line. Little punk. The “cast member” named Jeff then called me out on it. Luckily Michelle isn’t so much like me and told the guy that I had just gone to make a quick run to the bathroom. He didn’t even question it and moved on.

I ended up riding with a family that was all there together and “Dad” lost his hat on the ride. They were very nice to me.

Adventures in Seminary (part 1)

So many things have happened in seminary this year that I really wish I would have written down somewhere. I am not a good journal-keeper.

My friend Joan said to me at the beginning of the school year that “there is nothing better than a good day at seminary, and nothing worse than a bad day at seminary.” Over the past 7 months, I have found that to be a very true and accurate statement.

I was out of seminary for the first 4 days of April and missed my class like I would have missed my own kids. The next Sunday was General Conference so I didn’t even get to see them that day. By Monday I was ready to hear all about their week and to get back into the swing of things. I got my lesson all prepared and ready for Monday morning, got up and got to the church.

One of the things about seminary is that you can never really be fully prepared for what’s coming – the good or the bad.

The day started as they all do. Our class president asked for someone to lead a hymn and say a prayer. We sang. Someone prayed. Then we talked about the Scripture Mastery for the day, normal so far. Then we had a devotional. Interestingly enough, the girl that gave the devotional shared a scripture that talked about how God doesn’t leave us alone. When she was done sharing the scripture she said that she KNEW that her Heavenly Father loves her and that He will always be there for her, no matter what. Still mostly normal (devotionals bring out the best in them all). Then it was time for the lesson.

I thought that, before we got started, I would ask them about General Conference to find out what their thoughts and feelings were about the things that were said. I don’t know why I was so surprised at what happened next.

Before I get into that, though, I should preface with what happened before we even got started. Every Monday morning we have to set up all of the chairs for class. I try to get there early to do that, but it’s not easy to do. That particular morning I wasn’t early so one of the girls was in the room helping me. Her older sister then walks into the room and loudly proclaims that she KNOWS that President Monson is a true prophet of God. That’s it. No “good morning”, no “hi”, nothing else – just that she KNOWS that President Monson is a true prophet of God. Looking back, this should have been my first clue that this days wasn’t going to be just like any other day.

After I asked about General Conference, there was no way that we were ever going to get to the lesson material that I had prepared. I was so surprised and so thrilled to see how excited every single on of them was about their favorite talk. Some of them watched all four sessions. Most of the boys went to the priesthood session too. There were two themes in the things that they found to be their favorite:

1. Just as the girl had mentioned before class – they know that President Monson is a prophet and that he was called by God.
2. The importance of bearing testimonies and how they should be shared in sacrament meeting.

I thought that the first was a given. Per a previous post, I know that the succession of the Presidency of the Church was talked about repeatedly and in detail. I figured that they would have come up with that. I wasn’t as prepared for the second one. Thanks to the Spirit though we were able to carry on a very good discussion about testimonies. We talked about what Elder Oaks said about testimonies – what is appropriate to share and what is not. We spent a great deal of time talking about it. At the end of class I challenged them all to remember what a testimony is and what a testimony is not and to bear their testimony this week using Elder Oaks’ talk as a guideline.

Needless to say, I was humbled and overjoyed when two of my students bore testimony in Sacrament Meeting today, focusing on the things they’d learned from the Spirit that early Monday morning in seminary.

My Book

There’s a book in me – I just know it. There’s been a book in me forever and I’ve been trying to find it so that I can write it. To this day it continues to elude me.

The trouble is getting the book out before someone else does. I’ve had so many ideas and then I’ll be at the bookstore only to find that someone else has already written my book. Back to the drawing board…

Sometimes I think that my life has been interesting enough to write about. Then I realize that it really hasn’t, push the thought out of my mind once again and move on.


You parents out there… I don’t know how you do it. We had two boys (3 and 4) over for a good portion of the day yesterday and I’m still looking for the piece of gum that one of them left for me – in a place he couldn’t quite recall. Needless to say, General Conference was on… in the background.

Below are some notes I took from this morning’s meeting. I can’t type fast enough to quote word for word so I’ll have to come back and add links.

Brother Sheldon Child spoke on tithing. Paying your tithing will be the best investment you will ever make. He mentioned the children of Israel and what the Lord told them about paying tithing. He first told them that they had robbed Him. They didn’t get it so they asked wherein they had robbed Him. His response: “In tithes and offerings.” The Lord then made the Israelites a promise that if they would pay their tithing and offerings that He would then open the windows of heaven and pour out so many blessings that there wouldn’t be room enough to receive them. (Malachi 3:8-10)

Something difficult to remember is that the Lord blesses us in ways that He sees fit. It won’t necessarily be in a way that we expect or even hope for. To show faith by paying tithing and offerings and accepting the will of the Lord is not always easy, but will be the best investment we will ever make.

If nothing else, I know that Sister Tanner loves the Young Women of the Church. She is a great example of truth, righteousness, motherhood and womanhood. She KNOWS what it means to be a woman. She understands her role as a woman, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother. She will be missed as the Young Women General President.

She spoke of how we are blessed with miracles. They are real. They come in His way and on His timetable. Sometimes it is not until we have reached our extremity. Miracles do come, but they may not come until the fourth watch. As Brother Child mentioned, the Lord works in his time, not in ours.

Elder Packer, among others, spoke regarding the succession of the Presidency.

I’ve been amazed at the number of speakers that have testified of the way that the Presidency is called. There were also many who spoke of the type of person President Monson is. I think it’s amazing to me because of how long President Monson has been a member of the Presidency, allowing church members to get to know him. We should know President Monson as well as we knew President Hinckley. Granted, it’s very different to not see President Hinckley on the stand, to hear him speak during each session. He’s been the prophet since my sophomore or junior year in high school so he’s really all I remember listening to. During all that time, however, there has been a special place in my heart for President Monson. I love listening to his parables and stories. He knows because he’s been there. He’s been where I am. I know all of this because of the time that I’ve had to get to know him.

What I failed to remember, until early this morning, is that there are so many out there who have known no other prophet of God than President Hinckley. The number of converts baptized during the last 10 years, all members born within the last 10 years, those who are coming back into activity over the last 10 years, are all familiar with President Hinckley. They love him. He knew how to draw people in and make them feel loved. To those people, it’s important that President Monson be able to do the same. That he be able to reach their hearts and speak to their spirits the way that President Hinckley did.

It’s my testimony that any prophet of God will be able to do everything that President Hinckley did. We heard him speak many times of the fact that our Heavenly Father was making all of those things possible – that it wasn’t just the mortal man. He was merely a conduit for the electrification of the Spirit of God. He was good at being a conduit, and so is President Monson. President Monson is a man of God. He is a prophet. He loves all men, women and children. He understands the responsibility and the authority of the priesthood as well as role that all priesthood holders have within the walls of their homes and within the boundaries of their callings.