Monday, June 28, 2010

Manti & Miracles

This past weekend Casey and I decided to go watch the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah.  He had never seen the production before and I am pretty sure the last time I saw it, I was in high school with my ward's youth conference. 
We were able to go inside and do work for some of our ancestors.  I have decided the biggest blessing in my life is to be worthy to attend the temple, no matter where we are traveling.  All of the temples perform the same work inside however, they do not all look the same.  This temple was built by the pioneers and is *GORGEOUS*!!!!  Seriously!  It still looks like pioneer times too.  If anyone reading my blog has not been to this temple, highly recommended!!!
For dinner, we went back to Ephraim and ate at Fat Jack's Pizza.  Probably some of the best pizza I have ever had.  Unfortunately, because it is so delicious (and greasy--the real reason!) Casey had heartburn.  I am truly grateful to live in a day with modern conveniences (such as medicine and air conditioning!)  I was nervous going back down to Sanpete Valley because I hadn't been there for a while but it worked out very well.
We forgot our camera inside the temple.  In any other temple, we would have simply gone back in, shown them our recommend and gotten it.  However, the temple closed as we were leaving in order to prepare for the pageant.  So we called and arranged to have the camera taken to the east side so we could pick it up after dinner.  We had problems convincing the security guard of this because by the time we arrived back in Manti, only people performing in the pageant were allowed on the upper part of the temple grounds.  Finally after insisting (and begging) we were granted access to get our camera back.  This in and of itself was a miracle for us.  I really did not want to have to drive back down there this week to go get it!!
While we were waiting for the pageant to start, Casey worked on writing his English paper.  But we were also able to meet some of the cast members.  I have no idea who any of these people are but all of them agreed for me to post their pictures to our blog! :)
The Lamanite (on my right) has super cool makeup!  But since it was dark and they were up on the temple hill (we even had close seats) we couldn't see any of the painting details during the show.
Ignore the "sun" glow.  As soon as it began to get dark, they turned on these super bright spotlights.  The temple was still beautiful though! :)  And while we were waiting for it to start, the kids both in front and behind us were very comical!!!  The ones in front were wild, crazy and violent--made me question the parenting style.  The ones behind were trying desperately hard to see and kept kicking our chairs.
This was right before the pageant started and after the spotlight was dimmed.  I *love* it!  
We really enjoyed going together and experiencing our own many miracles!  I even learned that Casey's lap makes a great pillow! LoL!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

So Worth the Drive!! (SLC Temple Model)

On May 28th, the LDS newsroom announced a "Scaled Model Provides Salt Lake Temple Open House Experience" and I have been anxiously awaiting until the day when we could go see it! :)  Yesterday we went up to Salt Lake for Casey to sign a paper and the rode TRAX downtown.  The model is *amazing* and there is also a video behind it briefly explaining the rooms.  I would highly recommend this to everyone--including those who are not LDS.  It is a great learning opportunity to see into the building and to understand briefly about the special purpose of it.  The model is located in the South Visitor Center on Temple Square.  The pictures we took are not the best but more for our memory!  Please see the link above to view excellent pictures!

(This is the West side of the model.  
The "alcove" above my shoulder is where we stood to have several wedding pictures taken!)
(Gotta love the reflection...  The temple is so gorgeous and the detail is extremely accurate!  
I loved being able to see the 4th & 5th (I think...) floors because I have never seen it...)
(The walking around the rest of the visitor center right now, there are exhibits 
explaining how the temple was built and showing drafts and blue-prints and also 
cutting the granite, etc.  I loved this picture of the temple--although the picture 
isn't the greatest because it was at an awkward angle to take.)
(Of course we had to go take a picture in front of the real thing now!  
We were slightly in a hurry and having problems trying to take a 
self-portrait picture while using my camera phone. 
 I just love being here... especially with my sweetheart!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fill-in-the-Blank Friday!

So I saw this idea from a blog I was looking at and thought it was a cute idea...  Its "Fill-in-the-Blank Friday" :)
  • Where would you be able to spend hours and be happy? Almost any place, as long as I have my darling husband with me! :)
  • What’s your favorite kind of doughnut?  Cake Doughnuts
  • Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Nope!!  For sure no tats and I am way too scared of the piercing gun!!!
  • What is your favorite movie?  Probably Cars but I don’t know, I actually got sick of watching it over and over again.  I love clean chick flicks!
  • Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom—telling her about my success while shopping!  I save $19 with coupons!! :D
  • Are you still friends with the people you knew in middle school or high school?  Absolutely!  I am married now to one of them that I met in junior high!  (The picture was taken at our 9th grade promotion)
  • What is the last thing you ate?  “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake” Yoplait Yogurt
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?  A mom, a nurse, a teacher.
  • Name three things that are close to you:  Our beautiful, new flower tablecloth, my empty yogurt container, my keys
  • What was your best subject in school?  I really do pretty good at most of them.  But I for sure love FACS!  (Probably a good thing, considering I will be teaching it soon!!)
  • What is your favorite restaurant?  Maglebye’s Fresh Grill, anything that we don’t have to pay for! ;)
  • What is your favorite jewlery item to wear?  My engagement ring!!  It is SO pretty and looks like the math symbol for infinity!
  • Any hidden talents?  I can pop my ankles… I’m actually worried that this may not be a talent but might make them weak when I am old :/
  • What is your middle name?  Carol (after my mom)
  • What is your favorite website?  The ones I visit the most are gmail.com, facebook.com, websuduko.com, coupon/ freebie places (too many to list!)
  • Chocolate or vanilla?  Honestly, most things I prefer Vanilla—except for my love for brownies and chocolate milk
  • What is your favorite girl’s name? Favorite boy’s name?  I haven’t thought about this for a long while… I have no idea what I would pick right now.
  • Favorite store?  Bath and Body Works! 
  • Would you rather be a rock star or a famous athlete?  Oh probably athlete…
  • Favorite food?  Pumpkin!!! (like cookies and bread and pie and I found a yummy recipe for a pasta sauce and etc!)  Pasta!  (That is why the pumpkin sauce is so delicious!  It combines my two favorites!)
  • What are you wearing right now?  A BYU t-shirt that says “Cosmo is my hero” and khaki shorts
  • What is your favorite animal?  Cat
  • Did you graduate from college?  I will be!!!  :D
  • What does your last text message say? The Weather Forecast
  • What is a song that always makes you smile?  "Lucky" by Jason Mraz.  It doesn't matter what is happening or where I am... I always stop and dance and remember the day I was sealed to my best friend for eternity! :D <3
Now It’s Your Turn:
Three questions for you:
  1. What is the last thing you ate?
  2. What is your favorite website?
  3. What is your favorite movie?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a quote to remember!

When life becomes more than you can stand, KNEEL!
Truly am grateful for this wonderful blessing in my life!!  I know prayers
are answered and miracles are witnessed every single day.
And today, I am grateful for our own miracle which involved my
dear husband finishing his first block at UVU!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Goin' Campin'


Recently, Casey and I enjoyed our first camping trip.  It was very beautiful and we had a memorable time together! :)  We picked the camp site because Casey had fond memories of this place while he was in scouts.
Stuffing our queen sized air mattress into this tent proved to be slightly interesting.  Casey was taller then the tent was and therefore had to sleep curled up.  It was so very cold that night though that I greatly enjoyed the super close cuddling!
We went camping with some of our dear friends and enjoyed being together.  We all just shared everything and switched who brought which meals.  It was great!
Casey and Brandon starting the fire... Casey is holding a hatchet that used to be his grandpa's.  We were all grateful to have it so the wood could be chopped smaller.  Casey *loved* starting the fire!!  And all of the smoke was a very common theme for this camping trip; we kept rotating and walking around the fire in attempts to leave the smoke.
Best friends!!  Hannah and I are so close... it is crazy we have only known each other for around 2 years now!
Casey finding more wood.  Because it was so cold, we burned through tons of wood and were surprised.  We used 3 entire bundles!!!  I really like watching the embers as it goes out--so beautiful!
While Casey was starting the fire, I was assembling our tin foil dinners.  The soup came out much faster than I anticipated--so I improvised!  We were camping and I used my hand to "spoon" it out... :)
We decided to go on a hike in the morning.  I unfortunately did not wear the best of shoes and then we were sloshing through mud and standing water...  This part of the mountain will be so beautiful once the leaves are growing.  There are so many trees!!
So normally everyone tries to focus on the scenery in photographs.  I loved the clouds though and decided to aim up towards them!!
We were standing on the edge of a drop off cliff... I was slightly nervous to say the least!  We had lunch up here and it was very pretty looking out but also extremely windy because we had nothing protecting us.
This was probably one of our only kisses the entire camping trip--sad, huh?!  I broke out with a few bad cold sores the night before and we really didn't want Casey to get it.  We had to be really careful to not share anything like cups or forks... so weird because we are so used to sharing everything now! :)
I love this picture!!!  As you can see, it started warming up and I had shed my multiple layers of jackets.  And Casey was so sweet!  My backpack was drastically lighter than his because he was willing to carry so much!  I am so grateful to be married to such a sweet husband! <3


Homemade "Oreos"

I made these for our ward FHE the other day and then again for our family dinner yesterday for dessert.  I have had multiple people ask for the recipe so decided to share it here!!  They are way simple and so, SO yummy!!!  


1 box Devil's Food Cake mix (or any flavor)
2 eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil (I poured in a little extra because it was too dry)
4 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 - 1 c. powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, stir together cake mix, eggs and oil until moist. (Dough will be really stiff!) Using teaspoons, form into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Using either a wooden spoon or electric mixer, beat the warm cream cheese and powdered sugar together until it resembles frosting/ icing. Make a cookie "sandwich" using a little bit of icing and two cool cookies. Should make about 16-18 sandwiches.


Note:  I made these a couple days in advanced because it was cooler so I would not die of heat.  I put the sandwiches in a container and stored them in the fridge.  This is a HUGE improvement and I would for sure recommend it because the cookies were softer and the frosting didn't gush out when you ate it.


Below is a PowerPoint presentation (let me know if it doesn't work... :/  I have never embedded a PP before...) I made for one of my education classes.  I had to teach the class on something I enjoyed doing.  I might use this someday while I am student teaching--we'll see!



Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Great Reminder!

Elder Bruce R McConkie counseled, "The most important single thing that any Latter-day Saint ever does in this world is to marry the right person, in the right place, by the right authority." (“Agency or Inspiration?” New Era, Jan. 1975, 38)  TWO-HUNDRED and TEN days ago I married my best friend, in the Salt Lake Temple by a sealer called of God.  Today, I look admiringly at our "cake topper" as a great reminder of the covenants we shared.  And although it is just an object, seeing the Salt Lake Temple in the heart is small representation of our eternal love--which will continue forever!
(BTW:  the picture does not do this justice... the temple is really 3-D and the lace thing is green--our wedding color.  It really is *beautiful*!!!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Blessings of Service!

Yesterday and today, BYU is hosting the State FACS Conference.  Teachers from the entire state come and go to workshops and hear speakers.  Next summer, I will be attending it for reals because it is one way that I can help to renew my teaching license....  (Crazy that I don't even have that thing yet but I am still figuring out ways how I can keep it current!)


Anyway, I volunteered to take a group of teachers to the BYU Preschool where someone would meet us and then take us on a tour of the preschool.  Well, the lady in charge of the entire conference saw me volunteering and decided that she wanted to give me a meal card for my efforts.  I was very grateful and completely surprised.  


So, I took all of the teachers over to the JFSB and learned some interesting things--like the carpet can peel away so it is super easy to wash and the building is made of this really expensive Italian stone.  Unfortunately, the 5 year old building is already beginning to crumbled because the stones are really porous and when water/ ice get in there, it then makes them crack.


The girl who was supposed to do the afternoon tour to the BYU clothing preservation never showed up.  So I went on that one as well.  It was really cool because we had to travel off main campus in the BYU vans and I finally learned what the mystery building was near University Ave. and 2300 N.  We were able to see a wedding dress that was from 1805 and tons of hats from the 1900s-1950s.  I wish there would have been more time to open up lots of the boxes and see more items.


Last night, Casey and I shared my generous reward by going out to eat at the Creamery on 9th.  We both had bacon, cheeseburgers and shared spicy fries and only paid 7 CENTS!!  I know normally the blessings from service are not normally so obvious but last night, we were both deeply grateful.  (And BTW: the hamburgers and fries were delicious!!  I think we might go back in the future sometime and definitely recommend it to others!!!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Updates & Exciting News:

School news:
  • I just barely found out where I will be student teaching during fall semester!  YEAH!!  My first half of the semester, I will be at Lakeridge Junior High School in Orem and the second half I will be at Payson High School (in Payson).  I am very excited because there were some hang-ups with my placement!
  • Casey is getting ready to take his first finals as a student at UVU.  He is doing really well in his classes but still has a lot of studying time to feel ready to ace his finals.  He has philosophy and political science right now.  Second half of the summer he will have English and photography. 
  • I will be walking in August and graduating in December.  December still seems so far away that I don't think the reality of the end being so near has really sank in yet.  My dream to become a BYU graduate will soon be a reality!
Job news:
  • Casey has begun donating plasma.  It works out great because he is able to study/ read his textbook while he is there and help others.
  • I have a job to work for one day!  I have filled out countless applications and I know one day is not very much but it is certainly better than nothing!!  I will be working the Stadium of Fire as Gate Security (meaning I get to check bags).  This also has the possibility of turning into a seasonal fall job in that I would work the home football games.
  • The most exciting job news is that I am waiting to hear back from Stevens-Henager College.  I applied to work as an Admissions Consultant though they might start me as a part-time receptionist because of my super busy fall semester.  I am really excited and hope it works out because I felt so comfortable and welcomed during my interview.  I sent a thank you letter yesterday and am now just anxiously waiting and praying!!!
Life news:
  • We went on our first camp-out.  We had a two man tent and a queen size air mattress.  We had to kind of stuff the air mattress in and then sleep curled up because the tent was too short.  I didn't mind the cuddling though because I was very, VERY cold.  Hopefully soon, I will be posting pictures!  (We went with a friend & her husband and some of the pictures are on her camera.)
  • Utah Lake was having a festival day and free admission.  We went there one Saturday morning for our weekly date.  There were lots of booths to walk around and a free lunch.  I didn't realize how much sun we were exposed to until we got home and saw my bright pink neck.  Fortunately, the sun burn wasn't too bad!!
  • Casey is so super talented and was able to fix the apartment's broken swamp cooler.  I am very grateful because the few days it has been hot so far this summer we have had that thing blowing strong.  If it weren't for that, I'm pretty sure I would be dripping sweat constantly.
Grateful news:
  • My parents gave us one of their old (but still in good condition) family sized tent after we told them about our cute two man tent experience.  It has a few minor repairs but will be great!
  • My aunt and uncle decided to buy some new furniture and we were the lucky (and very blessed) recipients to receive their old glider rocking chair and foot stool.  We placed it in our bedroom and it has become Casey's study spot.  It is by the window (well, all three windows) and he is able to study comfortably while I do things/ make noise in the living & dining room.
  • My parents found a solid wood table listed on KSL classifieds and decided to buy it for us.  They tried to call but we were in the temple when they saw the ad.  It came with 6 comfy chairs.  I love having a sturdy table now instead of the wobbly card table.  
Church news:
  • Because we go to a married student ward, there are no Aaronic Priesthood holders to prepare/ pass the Sacrament.  Casey just got a new calling as the Sacrament Coordinator and I love watching him prepare it.  Taking the Sacrament really is the most amazing blessing and gift!
  • I was also recently given a new calling as the assistant compassionate service leader.  I was overwhelmed at first because this makes 3 callings for me plus visiting teaching.  It is working out really well though because everyone is so willing to serve one another.  It is amazing to watch because we are all in the barely married stage and in school and poor but none of the reasons stop anyone from serving.
  • Casey and I now teach the marriage and family Sunday School every other week.  It has been quite the learning experience for us both to learn how to teach together because we have such different styles.  But we have learned so much from it and have watched the lessons that we prepare mold and shape our own lives.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Flag Day!

I am not sure where I first heard this poem... but I really like it and decided to share it today on Flag Day.  I am so thankful to be living in such a choice land and for my freedom.  I love being able to go to the university of my preference and major in what I enjoy doing.  I am so thankful to be able to practice religion and to have been married to the man of my dreams.  It is easy to take such things for granted but today as I celebrate the flag, I am remembering not just the flag but what it stands for.  (Note: the poem is a little long... but very well worth the read!)


I AM THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICABy Howard Schnauber

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is "Old Glory".
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped -- I am saluted.
I am loved -- I am revered.
I am respected -- and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg,
Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome
and the beaches of Normandy, Guam,
Okinawa, Korea, and Vietnam.
I was there. I led my troops.
I was dirty, battle-weary and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me
And I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled
on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned, torn
and trampled on the streets of my country.
And when it's by those whom I've served in battle -- it hurts.
But I shall overcome -- for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness
to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips
and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms
of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.

MY NAME IS "OLD GLORY".
LONG MAY I WAVE.
DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN,
LONG MAY I WAVE


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ramen Egg Drop Soup

I tried this recipe last night because it was late and was really easy.  Also, I wasn't really in the mood for anything.  It turned out great (and really was so easy and also cheap!) that I thought I would share it!  I originally got the recipe from a dear friend who grew up in Japan.  


2-3 c. water
1 pkg. chicken Top Ramen noodles
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Some salt
Lots of pepper (to taste)
1 egg


Boil the water, the season packet from the ramen, ginger, salt and pepper.  Beat the egg in a bowl until scrambled.  Lower the heat from the pan and add the egg slowly while stirring in ONE direction. (This will break up the egg while it cooks).  Stir for about a minute then return to boiling.  Add the ramen for 2-3 minutes--continue stirring a bit to keep the egg from collecting at the bottom.


Note: The original recipe omitted the ramen and instead used 2-3c. chicken broth.  After the egg was added, stir in some frozen spinach and diced green onions and cook until hot.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flower Garden

I used my brand new tip decorating set for the first time today.  I did not really know what I was doing but am really excited about how my flowers turned out.  I am excited to graduate from college and be done with student teaching because I plan to take some cake decorating classes for fun, once I have the time.  
BTW:  The cupcakes are for my visiting teachee for her birthday! :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

10 Reasons today has been *Amazing*

My top 10 reasons (I could list more...) of why I have loved today!  These are listed in chronological order.  My absolute TOP favorite reason is #7!!!


1.  I happened to wake up even though the alarm didn't go off so Casey was able to go to school on time.
2.  I had an interview to work at Stadium of Fire as gate security (it will be even more amazing when I am hired!!)
3.  I earned $3 to eat scrambled eggs.
4.  I have a cold(ish) apartment.  (The swamp cooler in our apartment works thanks to Casey taking it apart and figuring out what was broken!!)
5.  I got a package of lobster for 18 CENTS!!! (It is kind of small but for sure at least enough for one or two meals for both of us but for reals, 18 cents...)
6.  I got a free package of hotdogs, hotdog buns, tortilla chips and Shasta today.
7.  I listened to our wedding song while I was shopping!  (This totally made my day and I was SO excited to hurry home to my darling husband!) 
8.  I made sugar-free maple walnut pie for Family Home Evening Treats and didn't even turn on our gas oven.
9.  I love social networking because we figured out when Casey's mission president will be speaking for their homecoming.  (We are both excited to go to this and until today, no one knew when it would be.)
10.  The pilot light on the water heater stayed lit!  (This means hot water for washing dishes and my hair!!!)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Remembering the Welcome Home

One year ago today, Casey was riding in an airplane (he thinks probably Delta).  He was wearing his black name tag for the last time after two years of daily use.  He was sad to be leaving the people he had learned to love so deeply.  His whole life, as he had come to know it, changed drastically (but only for the better) when he was released from serving in the Virginia Richmond Mission and became an RM.

Since very few pictures have ever been posted from his mission, I decided I would pick some of my favorite to share... (be warned, missionaries take lots of pictures!!  I am trying to pick only a select few but I have a feeling there will be a lot...)
(opening his mission call to the Virginia Richmond Mission)
(at the MTC)
(arriving at the mission home)
(going hiking on a P-Day)
(funny tombstone showing Casey as the jr. companion)
(beautiful Virginia)
(Celebrating Halloween/ Casey's Birthday at a ward party)
(this tree is gorgeous)
(first Christmas with some members)
(State border)
(his district in Staunton/ Waynesboro)
(transfers while it was snowing)
(baptism)
(baptism)
(funny picture with the Rivanna District)
(in front of Monticello--its on the nickel)
(baptism at Rivana... I LOVE seeing Casey in white!!!)
(at Scotchtown)
(pointing to the Burkville Ward)
(Blackstone district)
(baptism)
(at the ocean near Currituck)
(This is one of my favorites... Casey with Elder Richard G. Scott)
(Deep Creek District)
(Deep Creek)
(at the Mission Home with everyone that was being released)