Monday, March 31, 2008

A Tribute

Dear Snow,

I would like to take a minute to tell you how much I appreciate you. You made this winter an actual winter! Previously we’ve had one or two good storms and that’s it. But this year you’ve blessed us with numerous huge storms! I’m SO grateful that we received the amount of moisture we did so that we don’t have to worry about a drought. And thank you for the new inches of fresh snow we woke up to this morning… what a pleasant surprise!

As grateful as I am for you, I must say that you’ve had your glory and it’s time to stop. Please note that tomorrow is April and snow should have been long gone a month or more ago. We’ve all put our snow shovels, sweaters, and car scrapers away.

Again, thank you for the enjoyment you brought many snowboarders, skiers, and snowman-makers and we’d love to see you back next December.


words, words, words

A friend posted one of these and I thought it was super fun. It takes words from your blog and creates a cool box for you.

Kinda fun, huh!

If you'd like to make your own, go here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Break!

My siblings had Spring Break last week so my family went down south. Ronski and I were able to go down and meet them Friday afternoon and stay with them until Sunday. It was SUCH a wonderful, much-needed break.

I honestly shrieked with joy when I saw these trees lining the road! There is hope for SPRING!!!

That afternoon, we went to a park in Springdale to celebrate the warmth! I can't tell you how exciting it was to be WARM in a short-sleeved shirt! I have to add in the picture of Aaron on the slide because it makes me laff every time I look at it! We played some beach volleyball, tennis, football, and then rode off into the sunset on a dinosaur! :) It wsa SO marvelous to be outside. I seriously am obsessing about how great it was.

And how about this for the view from the hotel?!?

The coolest thing we did on Saturday was hike Angel's Landing. You know it's going to be a great hike when the trail starts with a sign like this! The trail starts at ground level and there are switchbacks for a couple miles and then there is a section called "Walter's Wiggles". There are over 20 switchbacks in a row that are like 20 feet each. Those take you to the top of the rock on the left side of the second picture. From there you have to climb down and back up the "saddle" between the rock on the left and the rock in the middle. There are chains to hold onto for that part. At times the trail is only about three feet wide and there are 1000 + foot dropoffs on both sides!! There is only one way up and back so you also have to climb over the people going the opposite way of you! It was SUCH an incredible hike... definitely one of the coolest I've ever done.

Here are a couple pictures of the saddle. In the picture on the right, you can see the narrow strip you have to climb to make it to the top. And on the left is Ronski and I hanging on for dear life!

And here are a couple views from the top. Talk about cool.

Here's all of us that made it to the top! (Minus my dad who showed up like a minute later!) Gotta love Brad's pose...

After that, Aaron and I went on another hike to some waterfalls. Of course they were gorgeous.

And just because I was amazed by the beauty...

Saturday night we randomly decided to drive down to St. George to see the temple! It was gorgeous. Sunday morning we went to the Springdale Ward and enjoyed Easter. And somehow the Easter Bunny found us!

On our way back on Sunday we stopped at Cove Fort. I really enjoyed the tour and learned a lot about the Hinckley family and how they always did whatever the prophet or Lord asked of them. Brigham Young asked Ira Hinckley to construct this fort as a stopping place for the telegraph, mail, and travelers.

I do realize I've been incredibly picture happy during this post, but what can I say? I love them!

Here is the kitchen where the Hinckley family had new visitors every night. And I like this bed because of the quilt. I just might have to try to make one like that.

I really did feel a peace here. It was a calm refuge.

Well, if you can't tell, I LOVED the weekend. Love, love, LOVED it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Red Carpet Date Night"

Back in high school either I was a social reject back or the boys were intimidated by my beauty (ha!), but I was never asked to prom or anything of the sorts. So when I heard about this formal dance hosted by the U Institute at the State Capitol Building, I was super excited to get all snazzed up and go. There was a great turnout. The two funniest things were that ALL the lights were on the whole night and that the acoustics were so bad that you could barely understand what song was on! No worries though, we had a blast acting like idiots anyway.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where's Waldo?

Last night for mutual we had the 2nd Annual 'Where’s Waldo?' in the mall. Eight of the leaders dressed up and walked around and the youth had to find us. Last year I had the best idea and best outfit. This was me last year:

I shouldn't be prideful, but I am still SO proud of how good I looked. I even "accidentally" bumped into my own brother and he didn’t recognize me! I knew there was no way I could compete with last year but I still wanted to try. Instead of switching my race, I switched my gender. :)

I borrowed some clothes from a neighbor, plastered my hair to my head and wore a wig. I tried to disguise my face by darking my eyebrows, adding a little bit of a five-o-clock shadow, and by giving myself a serious acne outbreak with a red pencil. Of course I had to have 'the walk', had to pull up my pants every step I took and carried a “don’t mess with me because I'm too cool for you" attitude.

I still think I am the femmiest-looking guy out there, but I stumped quite a few of the kids and even had a girl tell me that she had considered hitting on me… yikes! We did have a few people who kept watching us and finally asked us what in the world we were doing. They found it pretty entertaining. One guy told us that his first thought of seeing us talking together was "They must be from out of town."!!!

It was a fun night and the kids laffed pretty hard at our outfits. I'm pretty sure there was no spiritual aspect to this activity... :) unless something like "good leaders are hard to find"?!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal our Hearts and Homes

This book by James Ferrell was given to me by Clint (THANK YOU!) as a follow-up to the book I read called The Anatomy of Peace. It furthers the fact that if there ever is to be peace on earth, we first must find it in our hearts and homes. The way to this peace is through the atonement. Through a story about a couple having a hard time with their marriage and stories from the scriptures, these are the points that touched me the most:

* We can receive the happiness, healing, and peace from the Lord’s mercy only to the extent that we offer it to others. If we withhold forgiveness from others, we are in effect saying that the atonement was insufficient to pay for that sin and finding fault in the atonement. Being mistreated is the most important condition of mortality because eternity depends on how we view those who mistreat us. We must repent of our own sins of failing to forgive, not wait for others to ask for forgiveness. The atonement is as much for the benefit of the ‘victim of sin’ as it is for the sinner. If we choose to dwell on the things others have done to us, we begin to see the world in ways that excuse our indiscretions and in reality offer Satan our heart. Our peace should be determined by if we come to Christ ourselves for only we can keep ourselves from Him.

* What is required is not just a cessation of sinful acts, but a mighty change in our hearts. We can have a new heart every time we come to Him repentantly, in faith, believing that we will receive. We need the gift of a new heart every day. When we repent of failing to extend mercy, the Lord supplies us with everything we need and more—His love, His companionship, His understanding, His support. The difficulty of life is a blessing for it initiates a desire within us to come to the Lord.

* In reality, we are each sinners who are entitled to nothing but hell. We are completely dependent upon the mercies of the Lord. If we are truly righteous, we will really realize how unrighteous we are and that we deserve salvation no more than anyone else. Because of this, we will have a deeper commitment to be better. What we truly deserve is to go to hell. We don’t want what we deserve. Our only hope is to receive what we don’t deserve.

I learned so much from this book and have SO far to go. This stuff is so deep!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Wealthy Barber: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent

I was required to read this book by David Chilton for the Personal Finance class I’m taking. I’m not going to talk much about it; I’ll just say that if you need a quick overview on a bunch of really important financial topics, this is a good, short, easy-to-understand book. It talks about stuff like savings, wills, life insurance, retirement, purchasing a home, investing, and taxes. Yeah, I know!—all the scary stuff… but it really is so important!