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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Youth Temple Trip

IMG_7425 I was going to go get some caramel highlights put in my hair this morning, but the girl that was going to do my hair got sick, so we had to reschedule. So, Autumn & I had a lazy day around the house. I made a big pot of Melanie’s hearty soup for lunch since it was dark and stormy out. We got some laundry done and a few other things. Then I took Autumn over to Nate & Riannon’s at 2:30 so they could watch her for me while I went on a youth temple trip. I had the Young Women meet at my house at 3:30 and we carpooled down together. I’m glad Sis. VB was driving, b/c it was SCARY w/ the torrential downpour we ran into. Luckily, we got to the temple safe and sound. We got there about 30 minutes early, so we decided to take a walk around the temple grounds. I just LOVE these incredible young ladies.

IMG_7422 Of course I had to take pictures of the beautiful hibiscus.

IMG_7423 I loved the bright & contrasting color of these plants. This is SOOC w/ no edits or filters.

IMG_7428 There were these strikingly vibrant plants in the flowerbeds near the entrance to the temple. Again, this is SOOC w/ no filters or edits and this was taken w/ my iPhone 4. Look at all that texture and color.

IMG_7430 This isn’t our whole group (some youth had already left), but I’m so proud of these youth (and leaders). We were able to do over 200 ordinances for people who have passed on and didn’t have the chance to be baptized. It was neat, b/c 20 of those women’s names were from my own family.

IMG_4762It’s tradition that after temple trips we stop and get Little Caesar’s pizzas and eat them in the parking lot while everyone just stands around and talks. But, the rain hadn’t let up at all and we all would have been drenched. Bro. F said we could go eat the pizza in his garage, and I thought that was silly to eat in the garage (I later remembered they have their house up for sale and have to do showings all the time, which was why we would have had to do eat in his garage instead of in his house). So, I said that we could do it at my house.

I hadn’t cleaned or vacuumed, I had dirty dishes in the sink, and I didn’t even have paper plates so we had to use paper bowls. But you know what … no one cared, and neither did I. It made me so happy to have my house filled w/ these great youth and leaders. Everyone had a good time talking and eating and laughing. When everyone left at 8:30 I hurried over to Nate & Riannon’s to get Autumn. I felt bad, b/c I had been gone way longer than I thought. But it was a great night and I just love our youth. Young Women’s is a very demanding calling, but it’s the times like this that all those hard times pay off.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sooooo Autumn

IMG_7417 Tonight for dinner we went to Taco Cabana b/c we had a coupon and we shared a Cabana bowl. I had to snap this picture b/c it’s just soooooo Autumn. Her unique sense of style (fluorescent shirt, blank pants w/ gold polka dots), she always eats w/ one of her knees up, her long eyelashes, her beautiful straight Indian hair & dark skin, etc. I look at pics like this and can’t believe she’s already this old. It seems like it was just last year that she was a little toddler and now she looks so grown up. I’m going to blink and she’ll be a teenager. I’m so glad she’s mine and that I’m hers.

After we ate, we went to the $1 Jewelry store when I found a few pieces of Type 3 jewelry. We also went to Cato’s to return some clothes that I bought last week that I decided I didn’t need. I found a great Type 3 purse there as well. We stopped by Nate & Riannon’s on the way home to see Sweet Olivia. She had tubes put in her ears today & also had her adenoids taken out. You would never have known she had surgery today b/c she was running around and playing just like normal.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dinner With The Dakins

IMG_7408 I saw this incredible wreath on someone’s door today and had to stop and take a picture. It’s made from small curled pieces of wood!

IMG_7410 We have been trying to get together w/ the Dakins for a few weeks, but something has always come up. Tonight we were finally able to make it happen. Autumn had so much fun playing w/ the girls. Deb made some delicious sandwiches, and I was in 7th heaven getting to hold 3 month old Max. It was great to snuggle the baby while we talked and laughed and caught up while the girls played outside. I’m so thankful for her friendship. She’s a wonderful woman.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Polynesian Dancing & Camp Certification

P1120706 Tonight for Activity Days the girls learned some Polynesian dances. 2 of the sisters in our ward are Polynesian. I’m sad I missed seeing the actual dance, and that I only got there once it was over.

IMG_7399 While I made dinner, Autumn went in her room and when she came back out she was wearing this. She showed me what they learned tonight, and that girl has got some moves! I’m glad that she enjoyed the dance so much, b/c before the activity she said she didn’t want to do it.

P1120709 Tonight for YW we had one of the guys in our ward come teach us about First Aid to certify for camp. He taught us a lot of things, and then he had the girls pretend to do the Heimlich maneuver on someone who’s choking.

P1120717 This was really cool … he showed us how to make a stretcher to carry someone out of a blanket and 2 big sticks.

cpr The best part was when he was demonstrating CPR on a poor & defenseless Care Bear. It was a great night and we learned a lot. We’re so thankful to him for taking the time to come and teach us.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

sLOVEnija Has My Heart

IMG_7407My boss is on vacation in Slovenija and Croatia for 2 weeks (I begged him to let me stow away in his luggage to go with him). He just texted me this picture, and it literally made me teary eyed and made my heart ache. I spent 8 months of my mission in this beautiful city of Ljubljana. I walked through this center part of town almost every single day. I miss Slovenija and the people there so much!!!!

IMG_7397 It’s been great having a way to track my Book of Mormon reading progress. It’s only been a few days & I’ve already learned some great lessons through my study.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Gracie’s Mission Call

IMG_7378Today after dinner we went over to see Gracie open her mission call. They had us send in our guesses ahead of time as to where we think she would go if she got called State side and where we guessed she would go if she went foreign. I guessed Salt Lake City, Temple Square mission (b/c they send the pretty sisters there) or Estonia or France. Autumn was SO EXCITED that Kylie & Kenzie were there, too.

IMG_7382 What a great group of gals!

IMG_7388 They didn’t do this on purpose, but look at that amazing Brian Kershisnik painting behind Gracie and how it looks like all those heavenly angels are coming down and blessing her and watching over what she’s doing. SO NEAT! She opened her call & she is going to the Salt Lake City mission (not Temple Square), English speaking!

P1120705We are so proud of her and know she will do great things. As we were leaving I jokingly told her she can try and find me a Polyneisan husband while she’s serving in SLC. LOL!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Barbie Beauty Shop & Bishop’s Book Of Mormon Challenge

IMG_7370 Today was a great Sunday. We talked to Mom & Dad for a little bit this morning before getting ready for church. I had ward council, and then during church they had an “instant men’s choir” where they had any of the men from the congregation that wanted to sing come up. They sounded GREAT and it was awesome to see the stage/podium area filled w/ proud priesthood holders. YW was good, and we got a new Laurel class presidency.

After church we came home, ate dinner, and then the new Laurel class presidency came over for a meeting. I told them I would have brownies for them, but I forgot I have NO eggs. One of the girls brought 2 eggs so I hurried and threw the brownies in the oven once I added those, and they were done by the time we finished our meeting. Autumn kept herself entertained during my meeting by setting up this Barbie beauty shop. She did their hair, changed their clothes, and set up a house for them to live in.

Nick got home from church and my Laurels and I went to the Bishop’s house for BYD (Bishop’s Youth Discussion). We watched parts of the Elder Bednar broadcast and then discussed them as a group. The Bishop issued a challenge for us to read the Book of Mormon over the summer. I usually just ignore those and don’t participate in them, b/c I like to do things on my own time and at my own pace. But, for some reason this tine the challenge really resonated w/ me and I decided I’m going to do it! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve read the whole Book of Mormon. Once I got home and got Autumn to bed, I got straight to it and read 3 chapters and took notes and highlighted things that stood out to me. I’m excited about it!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Service Project & Shopping Spree

P1120696 Our Saturday started early b/c we had to be to the church by 8:30 am. We helped Emma set up one of the rooms for a service project to decorate brown paper sacks w/ inspiring messages for the Salvation Army in Dallas to use. They give out 600 lunches a day to homeless people, or people who stay in their shelter overnight. They said it’s always nicer to receive a decorated bag than to have just a plain brown bag. Emma was in charge of this and did it for one of her YW projects. I was there to just help & support if she needed it. She rocked it and did a great job.

IMG_7349 I’m so glad that Shannon & her 2 girls were there so that Autumn had someone to play with since we were there for 4 hours. They also had a blood drive going on, so during a slow point I went to go donate. I have always used the excuse that I can’t donate b/c I lived overseas. But, I figured that it was so long ago that I could for sure donate now. NOPE! Just b/c I lived overseas from 1980-1990 I STILL can’t donate, which is silly since it was such a long time ago. Oh, well. I guess I’ll just have to keep giving my blood to the mosquitoes instead of the Red Cross. Autumn took this pic for us.

IMG_7354 I thought we were going to have a lot of people show up b/c a few of the outside service projects got cancelled due to inclement weather. But, we only had about 80 people show up over the course of 3 hours. But, we were able to donate 850 bags to the Salvation Army. I’m proud of Emma for stepping up and owning this project.

IMG_7355 Shannon had to stay at the church for another hour or so to help wrap up the blood drive. So, we brought her 2 girls home w/ us. We had quesadillas for lunch & they watched Teen Beach Movie. After that, the girls had fun playing Barbies and running around outside.

IMG_7359 I had planned on going to the temple, but it was already 4:00 by this point and that wouldn’t give me enough time to get down there, do a session, and get back. So, I went shopping instead! LOL! I have recently discovered a thing called “Dressing Your Truth” (DYT) by Carol Tuttle. I have never been a girl that has cared about fashion or what’s trendy right now. I wear what fits, what is comfortable, and what is not expensive. However, w/ this DYT Carol makes it so easy. It’s interesting to see how the 4 different “types” look on different women. Some of them you can immediately tell what they look best in.

Type 1 is bright, animated, and cute (like a hummingbird)
Type 2 is soft and subtle (like a dove)
Type 3 is rich, dynamic, and hot (like a peacock)
Type 4 is bold, striking, and exact (like a swan)

I’ve been watching a bunch of videos on youtube, and I determined that I am a “Type 3” woman. That means I am a strong, substantial, “get it done” type of person. That means I should be wearing rich warm colors. I was kind of bummed about that at first b/c I despise the color brown and other “fall like” colors, and I shouldn’t wear black anymore (that’s like 90% of my wardrobe). But on the upside, I get to wear lots of animal print and big chunky jewelry.

Anyways, Nate & Riannon watched Autumn for me and I went shopping in search of some Type 3 clothes. I hit the jackpot w/ this top, this skirt, and few other things I found. It was SO NICE to just take my time, try on a bunch of clothes, and not have to worry about keeping Autumn entertained or feel like I was rushed. I’m excited to try out this system and see how I feel when I “dress my truth.”

IMG_7360 After my shopping spree I went back to Nate & Riannon’s so they could go out on a date. Autumn & Olivia had fun playing together. Autumn is such a sweet & attentive & nurturing soul. We had dinner, played, put Olivia to bed, and then just spent the rest of the evening relaxing and watching TV. Nate & Riannon got home around 9:30 so we left and went home instead of spending the night.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Haircuts

IMG_7333 It makes me so happy that the magnolia tree Dad planted in our front yard last year is finally blooming. These are such beautiful flowers, plus they smell good, and they remind me of one of my favorite movies … Steel Magnolias.

IMG_7337 Autumn & I had dinner, washed our hair, and then went to Janice’s house to get our “hair did.” Autumn said she didn’t like how the ends of her hair looked “frizzy” (split ends).

IMG_7339 So, she got about an inch cut off and she also wanted it cut so that it has a slight “U” shape when it lays straight.

IMG_7341I got my hair cut shorter, especially at the crown of my head. Janice is very conservative when it comes to cutting hair, which is good b/c you can always take more off but you can’t put it back. I had to have her cut it 3 times, b/c I kept wanting more and more off. After our haircuts we stopped at Sonic to get half price shakes. When we got home I showered right away to get all the little annoying hairs off of me, plus I wanted to see how my new haircut looks when I style it. I kind of miss having long hair, but my hair just won’t grow very much past my shoulders anymore. I do like having a “short and sassy” look.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Choir Concert

IMG_7317 I have been wanting to see the movie, “Far From The Madding Crowd,” for months and months. FINALLY it came to a theater that was about 20 minutes away. Nick was off last night, and so I made a spur of the moment decision to go and see the 9:20 pm showing. I ended up going by myself, b/c it was so last minute. It was a really good movie from the acting to the cinematography to the costumes. I’ll probably buy it once it’s been out on DVD for a while. CAUTION: There is one brief naughty/inappropriate part. I just wish I had 3 good looking & eligible bachelors chasing after me like the main female character in this movie did! LOL!

IMG_7321 I got Autumn from daycare tonight and we went to WalMart to grab a few things and ended up just getting one of their chicken tender plates and sat in the parking lot and ate it. We went to one of the local high schools to listen to a few kids we know sing in their choir concert. Autumn & I gave the 2 girls these big Symphony chocolate bars w/ a note that said, “listening to you sing is like listening to a beautiful ‘SYMPHONY.’ Love, Lisa & Autumn.”

P1120694 Gracie sang a solo during a pre-show and did such a beautiful job. We’re going to miss hearing her sing and being in the plays. She also had a few solos during the concert. It was a really great evening and the talents some of these kids have is incredible.

IMG_7324 Jessie was in it too, and it was fun to see so many people we know from Mom & Dad’s ward. The show was like watching a bunch of live “Glee” performances strung together. I’m glad our local schools have such wonderful theater and music programs that we can go and enjoy. Like Ouiser from Steel Magnolias says, “You broaden your horizons your way. I'll broaden my horizons mine.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Senior Night & Minute To Win It Games

IMG_7294 Tonight for YM/YW we had “Senior Night.” In years past, this has been a big deal for our Seniors and something they’ve looked forward to. For some reason this year, our 4 Seniors weren’t very excited about it and we only had 2 of them participate. I am really glad I wasn’t in charge of the activity (the YM were), b/c I would have allowed it to frustrate me. I did offer to help by bringing some decorations that I found at the $1 Store.

IMG_7301 After the 2 Seniors told us about themselves and we asked them some questions we had a lot of time left over, so the YM came prepared w/ some Minute To Win It type games. This one was fun. The kids held hands under the table and if a coin toss showed heads, the person at the head of the table would squeeze the person’s hand next to them. Then that person would squeeze the next person’s hand, etc. When it got to the last person at the table they would have to grab the tennis ball. Whichever side of the table grabbed it first got a point. That was a fun game.

IMG_7303 Then we had a cup stacking relay game and it was boys vs. girls. The girls won by about 10 seconds.

IMG_7306 Then we did boys vs. girls again w/ the Oreo on the face game. You put an Oreo on your forehead & have to move & wiggle your face muscles to get the cookie to your mouth without dropping it or using your hands. It’s so fun to watch the crazy faces people make while trying to do this game.

IMG_7308 Plus, when they’re done they have little black specs of cookie all over their face. It ended up being a really fun activity, even if the Seniors were less than enthusiastic this year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Face To Face Fireside

IMG_7292 It has been raining cats & dogs here, and I am so thankful. I’ve heard a lot of Texans complaining about all the rain, but I think it’s great and it’s nice to have such a wet Spring after having been in droughts for so long. We’ve only been able to water our lawns once every other week (only 2 times a month) for the past few years. Plus, I love rainy days after having lived in the Seattle area for 4 years.

IMG_7289 Tonight I watched the Elder & Sis. Bednar online fireside. It was EXCELLENT and I loved so many great answers he gave to the questions that were asked. The Spirit was so strong, and I found myself crying a few times b/c I was so touched by what was being said. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful technology is … that he could be sitting in a room in Salt Lake City, UT and that I could be watching it on my laptop on my couch in Texas and that youth in the Philippines could hear him and ask him questions in real time. So WONDERFUL!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lessons That Last

IMG_7288 I have to brag a little about the scrumptious dinner I made tonight. I do NOT like fish, but I can stomach eating the tilapia fillets from Costco. Autumn said this dinner it was so good that it was “just like Mimi’s.” That is the highest praise ever!

IMG_7282 After dinner we had Family Home Evening. I ordered a used “Why?: Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living LDS Standards” book on sale on Amazon.com and it came in the mail. Autumn was flipping through the pages and was obsessed w/ this page when she saw it. I even found this picture she took on my iPhone. So, we talked about how drugs and any other type of addiction control your life and take away your agency. We talked about how sometimes laws & commandments seem to be restrictive, but really they allow us to be free and happy when we follow them. Hopefully this will be a lesson that sticks w/ her and keeps her from making some bad choices when she’s older.

Lexie called today to let me know that Andrew finished reading the Book of Mormon! I’m so proud of him.

IMG_7269 Nick found this caffeine free Downton Abbey tea at work & bought it for me b/c he knows I LOVE Downton Abbey. It’s funny, b/c the Season 5 DVD’s just came in the mail and I was watching it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother’s Day 2015

IMG_7285 I had a really nice Mother’s Day today. All the meetings before and after church were cancelled so we could spend time with our families. Nate was so sweet & got me the traditional orchid corsage since Dad wasn’t here to get one for me. After church we went over to Nate & Riannon’s and Nate had made a delicious pork roast w/ carrots and potatoes. It hit the spot and it was so nice to not have to make dinner or do dishes tonight.

IMG_7287 Nate & Riannon also gave me a super sweet card. Nick & his girlfriend came over and she gave me these beautiful tulips and some chocolate treats. Liz stopped by tonight at 9:00 and gave me some chocolate fudge and flowers from her Grandma’s garden b/c it’s my first Mother’s Day with my Mom being far away in Africa. I got to talk to Mom yesterday to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.

IMG_5527 Happy Heavenly 88th Birthday to my Rufio today, especially on Mother's Day! You are LOVED and MISSED more than you know! Thank you for raising your 3rd daughter the way you did so that she could be MY wonderful mother!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Camp’s A Comin’

IMG_7279 My Saturday morning started EARLY! I got up at 6:30 and went to the grocery store to get the ingredients for this breakfast casserole we love. I hurried home, threw it together, and put it in the oven to bake. At 8:00 the YCL’s (Youth Camp Leaders, girls 16-18) showed up at my house. We had breakfast and then went to the church for a camp meeting. They had these yummy “indoor s’mores & treats for us.”

We only had 3 of our 6 girls there. I can’t believe that camp is coming up soon! It was good to get some more clarification on what’s going to happen, what the schedule is, etc. I have to admit that I feel more than a little overwhelmed w/ the whole prospect of getting 30 girls/leaders from our ward along w/ all of our stuff down there and back. But that’s what my wonderful camp director is for … she gets to worry about all that type of stuff.

IMG_7281 I got home from the meeting at 11:30 and Autumn and I spent most of the day just relaxing, cleaning the house, and doing laundry. Autumn wanted to ride her bike, but she has a flat front tire so we just walked around the neighborhood instead. It was SO HUMID b/c we’ve had rain most of the day. I know a lot of people are complaining about how much rain we’ve gotten, but I’m so thankful for it. Our local lake levels are finally back up to normal.

We came home, had dinner, and then went over to the M Family’s house to watch the rest of Anne of Green Gables. Autumn & I were the only ones that came, but that’s OK b/c we still enjoyed it. We weren’t able to make it through Anne of Avonlea and had to stop at the part where Gilbert proposes to Anne before she goes to teach at Kingsport Ladies College. I just want to grab her and shake her shoulders for turning him down!