May I Introduce...Elphaba

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Isn't she adorable? We call her Elphie. 
We only have a few problems...for example.
My shoes were ready for the dump as it is, and I just haven't had the time to go shopping for new ones. But I have a funny feeling she's going to help them on their way...
She loves chewing on things. Unfortunately we can't exactly get rid of all the wires, considering that we have laptops and cords up the ying yang...but that's why we have a spray bottle. It's almost unfair, I don't think she can tell a wire from a string. Robbie says we should just let her until she learns her lesson and is electrocuted. I don't think so...
She's ripped up tables...
Squirt bottle.
Eh. I don't mind as much. Not as expensive as a table.
(You should see all the other pieces on the floor)
Who me? Yes you. 
She also likes to attack, and I mean full on attack, feet, hands, hair (you think she's all cute when she's climbing on your shoulders and then you realize she's eating your hair), couch, keyboards, books, phones, the spray bottle, elbows, clothing...Pretty much everything. Including the coffee table, that's her favorite. She plays on the ring (you can see it in the background of the third picture), and hits her head on the bars as she's running by too quickly. She's a little crazy.

I can't stand leaving her for most of the day because she just cries and cries, she doesn't want to be left alone! And I wouldn't either. I come home and she knows someones there and she just cries and cries to be let in. If you leave her sight for more than a minute she's crying and following after you.

She's only really calm when she sleeps. Which, as far as I can tell, is only from about 3-5 in the afternoon. I can't do anything without being interrupted, which is nice and so annoying all at the same time. 

She likes the bird party in the back yard from 5-7. It's the weirdest thing, we just get this huge flock of birds that sing for us every day. 

She loves to watch television. Weird, right?

I love her. She's driving me nuts, but I love her.
She was guarding it so I would stop squirting her...and she fell asleep, 6:30. She just goes and goes and goes until she poops herself out. 
Oh my dearest Elphaba.

Annual Pismo Trip

Monday, September 26, 2011

I love this tradition my in laws have...and I love my family...and Pismo.

They kinda speak for themselves.

 Just in case this one is not clear, our feet were blue.
 Can't you tell he loves me?

Good stuff.

Plan to Keep Your Faith

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday Forum was awesome. 

Bishop Tucker? from the Fresno YSA ward was awesome. He could have written a small book of all the little things he said in half an hour. What stuck out to me the most was

"We don't ever plan on becoming inactive"

For those of you who have no idea what that is, "inactive" or "less-active" is a term we use for members of the church that have fallen away and have lost or misplaced their faith. 

He told us stories of his six best friends, and how back in the day they were thick as thieves. They all went on missions except one, they all got married in the temple, and twenty or so years later three of them fell away. Two asked for their names to be removed from the records of the church. 

Did they sit down one day while they were young, planning out where they wanted to be in five, ten, twenty years and say: "When I have done this and turned this age I will abandon my faith and turn against everything I ever learned"? No. They didn't. But did they plan on keeping their faith? No, not exactly. 

I had never thought of that before. I knew that people usually stopped doing what they needed to, like reading their scriptures, praying, going to church, and such, that it's a gradual process of forgetting your faith and then eventually, losing sight of it completely. But I'd never thought of planning on when you would lose it, or that you could plan to keep it. Plan to do the things that will keep your testimony alive and well, not sickly and dying. 

Plan to keep your faith alive and well.

My 2011 Testimony

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For those of you who don't know, I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can find more information here, and I'm pretty sure there is an online chat to ask questions if you don't want to ask me or someone else you know who is "Mormon". 
Every Sunday we have church, and twice a year (I think) we have Stake conference right before General Conference. This year we are in the West stake, again, like I have been most of my life. I loved sitting with my parents, my sister, my husband, aunts uncles cousins grandparents...seeing old friends. One I saw was Kenneth Randall. He was a friend in high school, but we weren't close. Several times he asked me about the church, and I either ignored him or didn't give him the detail he wanted. My excuses were that I thought he was weird, and I had some really bad experiences sharing the gospel in high school. People are mean, and so I didn't want to open up a debate I guess... He had some family in the church, and what do you know. He found me on facebook after high school and told me he'd joined the church. I was shocked. He said he was going on a mission. I don't know how to express the emotion that came over me then and now when I think of all those times he asked me to answer a question and I didn't want to share. I had no idea that his intentions were such. I felt awful, and full of joy all at the same time. He's home on medical leave for a couple of weeks, he had a cancerous tumor they had to remove. He's going back, unlike some people who come home, find girls or other things and don't finish the work. I'm so proud of him, and so happy that he accepted the gospel with no help from me.

And then I was reminded during conference that we do not change people. Only the Holy Ghost can change people's hearts. We just need to invite, be open, and share our testimonies and the gospel which we know to be true, and the Holy Ghost will do the rest.

I was reminded that holding anger and resentment towards people that have wronged us is no way to live. No one has ever done to me what was done to the Savior, and so really, I have no need to complain. I need to forgive and forget, just as the Lord has promised to forgive, and forget, what I have done wrong. 

I was reminded of how important the Young Women program is, to build up the faith and skills of our future women. To strengthen and develop faith, to recognize their divine nature, to know their individual worth, to gain knowledge, to learn that for every choice you make you are accountable, to do more good works, to learn of integrity and virtue. I'm grateful, for my parents and what I learned growing up, how to be good, honest, hard working. 

I was reminded about faith, and how blessings don't come until after a trial of your faith. Trials...they kinda suck. They're hard. But miracles don't usually strengthen your faith, trials and a blessing? Much better success rate.

And then Brother Hansen got up. Now I have loved that man for as long as I can remember. Girls camp stories of trials and faith, star gazing, every harvest reminding us of why we're picking grapes. This time there was no talk of grapes. He's a seminary teacher in Madera, and they're studying the Old Testament. He told us about the people that tell him he's going to a hot place because he reads the Book of Mormon, another scripture other than the Bible. He asks them if they've read their "Bible", and the usual answer is no, not really.  The Old Testament is full of amazing stories of faith, obedience, and love of our Savior and our Heavenly Father for every one of us. 

I'm only in Genesis 20, and I've learned so much more than I ever though I could about the creation, Adam and Eve, and Abraham! Oh my goodness! Abraham is so awesome, I learned about how to resolve family disputes from his story, which I never thought would happen. Also, being rich isn't awful, Abraham was rich, and he did good things with his wealth. It's the love of money that is evil, new testament. I've learned a lot more, and I can't wait to keep learning, especially about my Savior. Many Christians don't know or realize that Jesus Christ was put in charge of the creation, under our Heavenly Father's direction, and so is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament. There is so much evidence, in the old and the new, but the translators kinda messed it Elohim. The him or im is plural in Hebrew, meaning Gods. If people took that into consideration, it would mean the destruction of many churches and what they believe to be true. That's why we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. 

Anyways...sorry about that ginormous and a little random and unorganized paragraph about the awesomeness of the Old Testament. 

Saturday session I was working, so I missed conference. But Robbie said they said it over and over again, go to the temple. We've been "busy"...what an awful excuse. 

To sum up I guess, what I wanted to say, is that I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, he lived, died, and lives again for me and for you. I know my Heavenly Father knows who I am. I know that he calls prophets on the Earth to guide us and give us His direction. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet, that he translated the books written by prophets of old called The Book of Mormon. I know President Monson is our living prophet. I know that God is unchanging, and so are His methods to lead and guide us home. I know that the priesthood and truth are restored to the Earth today, and I am so grateful.

What a wonderful weekend.