Saturday, August 28, 2010

Casey's First Impressions... (written by Lisa)

I seriously *love* that I married a computer genius!!!  I set a password on my little netbook computer.  Starting next week, it is going to be trooping back and forth to school with me and I wanted to make it so my students couldn't just use or touch it.  Well, I am sure that I knew what my password was but there was no way it was logging me in.  :(  I didn't know what to do and Casey was gone doing laundry!  (He really is AMAZING!!!)  Luckily for me, he knows how to hack into the computer and reset the password.  It only took about 1-2 hours but hey at least we are able to recover my computer!! :)  Thanks sweetheart! <3
at the desktop
With other news, Casey seems to have enjoyed his first (half) week of school.  He is already swimming through homework!  And beginning on Monday, I will be joining him....  He really seems to like his "Information Systems and Technology" class as well as "Web Design Application."  It always is such a relief to be able to take classes you enjoy instead of just chugging through generals.  


Side note:  I remember one time in my class the teacher wanted to know why we were taking the class and when I said it was required for my major he just blew me off like it was a have to class.  The teacher didn't get it though--just because it was required for my major does not mean that I was in the class by force!  I picked my major and enjoyed (most) of the classes required.


Anyway, back to Casey.  He says his Ethics and Values class is kind of interesting.  The teacher is bright, cheerful and on the ball.  He says the first day of class she decided that she wanted all 40 desks to be turned into a huge circle.  Casey says that experience was very interesting because it was a very small classroom and it was rather difficult to cram all of the desks into the circle.  He says her notes/ papers are like staring at Greek and a lot of his classmates were lost when trying to decipher the code.


Now onto his biology class.  Biology classes are known for being extremely difficult on campus.  His textbook even looks intimidating....  Casey has decided that he can NOT miss this class if he wants to pass.  Just looking at the syllabus, I tend to agree.  Here is to hoping that we will not collect any of the sharing cold germs this season!!!  His biology teacher is a Veteran and Casey views him as a grumpy, impatient person but is grateful for the jokes he cracks.


When Casey speaks about his Information Systems class, even though he has only attended class once, his voice lifts and his eyes begin to sparkle again.  I guess anything is more interesting than biology....  He first impression of the teacher was that he is great and seems fit for the job.  Casey appreciated that he is in-touch with technology--we would hope so since that is what the class!  He is anticipating the work load to be challenging but is looking forward to learning a lot along the way.


The web design class has an interesting yet delightful teacher.  Casey had a really hard time coming up with a way to describe her.  She is very up-to-date with the internet and therefore a great teacher for the class.  She has not taught in person for awhile because she was only teaching online sections but Casey thinks it should work out.  He is already certain that he will enjoy it and he is grateful that it won't be quite as challenging as the other computer class.


Casey is also taking a Book of Mormon institute class this semester.  I was able to go with him to class on the first day of school.  I am slightly sad that I won't be able to return again throughout the semester but oh well....  I was impressed by the preparation this teacher had spent--and it was only the first day.  He jumped right in with both feet.  He had a great teaching method for playing a game with the students on the first day.  It was a great ice breaker and I may copy his strategy here soon.  Casey was surprised to see how small the class was when we walked in but loves the teacher's strong testimony!


This semester is going to be a learning one for the both of us, that is already certain.  But thankfully, we are in this together and I know we will survive.  I truly am thankful that this is our first and last semester with us both going full time!  Even that will be a learning curve for us... but with the Lord's help, we know all things are possible!!!
studying at his "office"
P.S. I love his widows desktop!!!  And he has a picture of me
(hard to see but its a bridal picture in the frame) next to him!! :)



Education Week



I thought I would share a few thoughts about Ed Week so when we have our blog printed into a book, this week will be remembered! :)


My absolute favorite class (by far!!!!) was called "Help Me Teach with Inspiration."  It wonderful because the teacher was doing exactly what his topic was.  I am very motivated to improve my teaching skills and hope that I will be able to remember everything I learned.  I took frantic notes and am so grateful because I can go back and review them any time I want!!!  I feel like I finally understand the difference between Doctrine, Principles, and Behavior/ or Application.  It is easy to teach to the behavior level but the lasting impressions come from teaching the doctrine.  There is also a need to be involved in the class.  A student rarely learns from endless lectures.  And in a religious class, the students need to be involved physically, mentally and spiritually.  I also learned a lot about asking good questions.  These are vital and most people know that but rarely are the questions asked actually used to facilitate learning and promptings from the spirit.  I know I have fallen trap to this before and then wonder why no one will answer my stupid questions.  This truly was the highlight class for me.


Casey and I kind of wandered around to different classes and sometimes our schedules would match.  We were also there with my parents and it was nice to occasionally run into them too.  All four of us were normally together to listen to Marvin Goldstein play the piano.  Wow!!  He is so very talented!!!  I love hear the piano and especially when the musician is so great!


I also realized that you can't take everything you hear literally and especially if it is someone's opinion.  There was one teacher that I didn't agree with some things she would say and I concluded that was fine.  Since she was teaching about her opinion and how to make self-improvement, I have no problem disagreeing with it.  I just took what I liked and was applicable and then left the rest.  It turned out to be a great strategy.  


We also had a wonderful time eating with my parents that week.  On Monday, we invited them over for dinner.  I made Crock-pot Cashew Chicken and then we had family home evening together.  And for treats, we went to SubZero ice cream!!! (YUM!!!!  Probably one of my top favorite ice cream places because you can literally make ANY flavor combination you want because they use liquid nitrogen to freeze it after you decide on all of the--unlimited--flavors you want.)  It was also nice to go out to eat at Smokehouse BBQ, Arby's (still one of my favorite fast food places!), and Dominoes.  It truly was a wonderful week.  I learned a lot.  I felt the Spirit testify of the truths.  I was with the ones I love!


Swimming at my parent's motel pool!
xoxoxoxoxoxo!!!

We're Famous!

My parents and little sister recently returned from a trip to California.  They visited all sorts of places and seemed to have a really good time.  It was fun receiving picture messages of their goings and comings.  My sister took some pictures walking up an down the Hollywood stars and I love this one!!! ;)


Friday, August 27, 2010

Student Teaching Challenge

So I know from the sounds of the title, it sounds like I am already having a challenge while I try to student teach.  Which is kind of true--I came home with a headache today and fell asleep on our couch.  But that is not was this post is about!


I was remembering 5 years ago when Pres. Hinckley offered a challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.  It was the coolest thing to have everyone reading it at approximately the same pace because we were supporting each other.  It touched my life and I still remember talking with my friends about it and us encouraging one another and talking about where we were at.  More importantly, we began to share our testimonies with each other.  I ended up reading the Book of Mormon twice that school year because we were studying it in Seminary.  Once I finished it in December, I started over again in January.  That truly was a choice experience!


Anyway, I have decided to begin the same challenge again while I am student teaching.  My goal is to start reading now and finish on the day I complete my student teaching.  I realize my life will be very busy but I also know that when I put the Lord first, everything else will fall into place.  So I am extending this challenge to all of my blog readers.  If you start now and finish on December 9th, you have to read just a little over 5 pages a day.  (I did a trial run last night to gauge the time, it took me about 17 minutes.  Totally doable!!!)  This would be one of the greatest ways you could support me this semester--knowing that we are all reading together.  The best thing about this support though is that it will touch all of our lives and we can grow together.


I want to end with Pres. Hinckley's testimony and promise.  I believe it is still true today!
"Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the Son of the Living God."


P.S.  If you decide to take the challenge, I would love to know about it.
P.S.S  Click HERE of HERE for a sweet printable Book of Mormon reading chart.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Break Time!

I have spent nearly the entire day working on my Teacher Work Sample....  I want to have section 1 done before I start school so I will stay motivated to keep working on it the rest of the first block.  I want to get it DONE because I don't want to be dealing with it during the holidays, including OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY!!!  Anyway, during the middle of the afternoon, I decided I needed a break.  I found out today that I have to create a title sheet for my student teaching binder to be turned in.  Well, I didn't want something that was boring so I decided to draw it by hand.  I really enjoyed myself (I love coloring!) and then once I was finished I went back to my TWS...
BTW:  Ignore the "fake" looking part of Mrs. Lisa.
I didn't want to post it with my last name so I erased it in Paint.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Romance!

Yesterday, Casey planned a romantic date night to celebrate the last day of our summer vacation together.  (He started UVU today! I start officially next Monday.)  We dressed up and then went to a fast food restaurant.  It was fun because we were together! :)  The hamburgers were so big and extremely tasty!  I am definitely a fan of Five Guys.  Casey used to go to Five Guys occassionally while he was on his mission.  I had never been.  I was impressed with the way you can order as many toppings and sauces as you would like.  They had some creative additions like mushrooms, hot sauce, and jalapeƱo peppers.  I opted for a more traditional hamburger but was adventurous by adding grilled onions.  It was very tasty!  Casey's order was simple.  He added cheese and BBQ sauce.  It looked delicious; it reminded me of the "man burger" commercials. LoL!

We then headed up Provo Canyon to Bridal Veil Falls.  I was surprised with how much water was rapidly flowing considering how we are at the end of August.  I don't know if the amount of falls was normal and I am just clueless or if it really was a large amount.  I saw two different girls taking bridal pictures while we were traveling.  I thought the pun of  bridal pictures at Bridal Veil Falls was kind of cute!  
This picture really does not do justice for how beautiful it was!
...so romantic...
Then we headed up the steep, windy Squaw Peak road.  The road was narrow, I could see over the edge of the mountain at times.  It was frightening as we drove around a very steep corner only to have to hit the breaks because a bicyclist was coming down on the wrong side of the road.  Great lesson to be learned here--don't cut corners.  The bicyclist was trying to save a few seconds of time but in reality, it could have cost him his life.  Luckily for us, we weren't going very fast because the incline was sharp and Casey was able to react quickly.  It still shook me up and every time we faced another blind turn we proceeded with caution because there were plenty of super fit people making the journey on bike.

As we finally neared the top, I saw plenty of pull out places where we could have stopped and watched the sunset.  I would encourage Casey to stop at every pull off because I could tell we were near the top and this was probably good enough.  He kept at going to the top though.  I didn't realize how beautiful the very top would be (neither did he).  A few hundred feet really did make a huge difference in the amount of scenery to admire.  Another great lesson was learned--always keep going.  Even when you think you are close enough and view is pretty.  Keep going because the top will be gorgeous! 
Waiting for the sun to set...
(I wished for clouds--sunsets are SO much better with
big fluffy clouds reflecting the pink and oranges!)
We met some new friends while we were up there.  I am not big on conversing with strangers but a lady asked us if it was Lake Utah we were looking at.  Casey responded that it was but we call it Utah Lake.  Obviously she wasn't from around her so I quietly urged Casey to ask them where they were from.  I wasn't brave enough.  My whole life I have been taught to not talk with strangers and yet suddenly, its ok....  I am certain that serving a mission would have been an adjustment for me!  

Anyway, we found out that the lady (probably in her mid to upper 30s) was from Florida and the young man (probably around our age--likely slightly older) was from South Carolina.  The two of them had just met in their meeting at APEX security systems; they were here for training.  Neither had been to Utah before and decided to take in the surroundings in the evening after their training had finished for the day.  They asked what were some good things to go see  for the next few days and we came up with a list.  Our top "attraction" for them to visit was Temple Square.  This allowed us to talk about our beliefs a little and I liked it!  Though, at times, I felt like I had NO idea what to say!!  I am grateful to have such a wonderful companion!! :)

Sunny (the lady) then randomly took a picture of us both while we were still waiting for the sun to set.  I had my sunglasses on and was looking away but caught a glimpse of a flash out of the corner of my eye.  As I turned my head, she realized she had been caught and quickly said that she would delete the picture; she was worried.  I didn't mind at all and stood up and took my sunglasses off so she could take a better picture of the two of us together.  Sunny was so surprised by my generosity.  It didn't bother me at all.  (Funny how I changed from being so hesitant to talk to strangers to being comfortable letting them take our picture!)  I hoped she saw something deeper in us and wanted to remember the way she felt from interacting with us.  It was obvious in our short conversation that our lifestyles were completely different and I really hoped she was touched by something deeper than just our communication.  (Casey concluded the reason she took a picture is because we were both dressed up-ish.  We have been fancier at times but we still looked really nice!  Great... so much for her feeling something different around us, according to this philosophy, she would think we were crazy, probably especially me because I was in a skirt.)
We are glowing--literally!  This was just as the sun was setting.
Sunny wandered off.  She was trying to chase down the deer to take their picture.  I personally doubt she was successful because they tend to run off the more you chase.  Another lesson learned--you can't force things to come to you.  You have to let them go and be patient and then they will come naturally.

We then had a chance to talk with Billy a little bit more.  He was a bit more quiet when Sunny was around.  He said something that really touched me; his comment more like he was talking to himself and we were merely eavesdropping.  He wondered how anyone could ever be depressed with a view as great as this.  I realized at that moment how easy it is to take things for granted.  How quick we are to rush around in the frantic of life and forget to take time to pause to enjoy the moment.  Its easy to be so caught up with the missing button that you forget to notice the beautiful dress.  (Wow!  Its obvious that clothing must really be on my mind.  I recently learned the first half of my student teaching experience is going to be sewing oriented... I'm nervous!)  It was another great lesson (or great reminder) to make time to enjoy the simple things in life and to not take huge blessings for granted.  (By the way, I am not suggesting that looking at the mountains everyday will be a cure-all solution to depression!)
I love this!!!
This picture shows a little bit better of us matching--Casey's shirt and my skirt! :)
Despite the lack of clouds, the sunset was still very beautiful!
As our final goodbye to summer, we stopped at McDonald's on the way home and shared a sundae.  It really has been a wonderful first married summer adventure--even though Casey was in school for most of the time.  Although I am sad to see the season come to a close (though not the extreme hot--that I am just grateful to let go of!), I am eager for what the future holds.  I am really looking forward to student teaching and Casey is excited to actually be able to take classes of his choice (meaning in his major) instead of just generals.
It is hard to see but our arms are linked--it was romantic! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Fair--an exceptional date...

For our date "official" date this week, we went to the Utah County Fair.  Our entire experience cost only $1!!!  Seriously!! :)  The event was free and we decided to ride the bus to the fair grounds.  Riding the bus together is becoming a highlight in my life.  I love having someone next to me that I can rest my head on his shoulder!  We thought we missed the bus coming back so we started walking through town hoping to catch a different one.  It turns out that our "missed" bus was just really late.  Fortunately when we saw it approaching we were near a bus stop and quickly hopped on and welcomed the refreshing air conditioned temperature.

While walking through the fair, we saw Charlotte's Web but unfortunately didn't think to take a picture.  Well, it wasn't quite as cool as Charlotte's Web because the web was wordless but it still hung over one of the pig cages.  I guess this is why we didn't take a picture--I am not a spider fan!!

We then wandered into a sheep judging contest.  I learned a lot from watching these young children try to control their sheep.  The kids ages were between 4-8 and they were judged at how still they could hold their sheep.  The first lesson I learned was how grateful I am to be a city-girl.  I am not sure I could do the country/ farm life.  The smell was strong.  It wasn't uncomfortable but it was unfamiliar.  I watched people kneel down it the saw dust and their cowboy boots were dirty.  I like to be clean.  I loved the cock-o-doodle-dooing and bbbaaaaaaing and cooooing; it was a beautiful farm orchestra to my ears.  It was a vivid reminder of a drastically different life than my upbringing.

As I thought deeper though, I finally began to understand the importance of a shepherd.  The sheep (generally) responded to the child trying to make it stand perfect.  They knew who was boss and the sheep obeyed.  I loved the analogy I saw of having a shepherd take care of the sheep one by one.  I thought of this in comparison to how Jesus Christ is my shepherd and He truly has come to find me personally.  Even when one of the kids lost control of her sheep and it was running around the arena, there was someone their to help her immediately.  It was a thought provoking moment for me as we watched the judging! :)
On a not so serious/ thought provoking note, it sure was entertaining watching these
small children control their sheep!  Some sheep definitely responded than others!
And allow me just to state that the sheep are really NOISY!!!  (BBbbbaaaaaa!!!!!)
We strolled hand-in-hand through the 4H and Open Judging "craft" entries.  I am really excited for 4H and hope to be able to teach my classes something that they can enter.  I saw clothes, pillows, food samples, interior design boards, quilts, ETC! and these are all things that I have a vast knowledge in and I can't wait to share it with my students!
Moseying through the crafty entries.
Casey was much more interested in the photography section and so we leisurely wander up and down looking at the delightful talent.  I wasn't really paying attention to the names of the photographers and was honestly kind of becoming tired of looking at all of the pictures when Casey lingered and continued to look at a few.  I went back to him and took a deeper look and happened to find some of my cousin's entries near where Casey standing.  She took my bridals and did a superb job!  She is definitely talented!!
All 3 of her entries placed!!!  Two 1st places and one 2nd!!!  CONGRATS Joce!
While wandering around, we saw a lot of commercial displays and entered several different drawings!  *crossing our fingers!!!*  We won freshing popsicles from playing Plinko and were deeply grateful for the free water given out by the health department--even though we took two 32oz water bottles with us!!  Casey bought me a wooden "Peace" rose so I could have a thing to remember our excursion by.  It was such a sweet offer on his part.  His generosity is what changed our date from being free to $1.  The lady was out of "Peace" roses so I patiently waited while she searched her boxes.  I love that color and was so excited when she found one bundle left!  The lady said, "Why is it that I find the color of rose you want in the last box I look in?"  I wanted to reply, "Because you found it obviously so you quit looking through the rest!"  But I resisted and instead thanked her for searching.
My *beautiful* Peace rose with some champion cow in the background!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Great Newlywed Advice!

Today is our 9 Month "Anniversary"!!!! :D  I love that each month is better than the one previous--not because our life is easy or problem free but because we continually work to make it better.  To celebrate this momentous occasion (it is our last single digit month anniversary), we are going to the temple and then later to the fair.  For breakfast this morning, I made Egyptian Eggs (I have heard them called SO many different things) with the center cut out into a heart! <3


Well, I thought I would share some excellent advice we heard about marriage.  I have heard a lot but this was probably some of my favorite and it really helps...  


Advice to the Newlyweds:
1. Divorce is NOT an option!  Never even mention the "D-Word" in your home or toward each other.
2. Drive to the temple!  Solve your problems there together.
3. Date your spouse every week!  Keep the love and excitement alive!


Happy 9 Month Anniversary!  I love you FOREVER!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer?

The reality of summer coming to a close and student teaching starting just hit me like a heavy worn-out backpack being placed on my weary back.  (Luckily, for the last time!)  Where have the days of flip-flop tan lines and laying on the floor melting in the humid heat gone?  Reading the e-mail from my mentor teacher was a black and white reminder of my new shoes to fill. What if the shoes are too big or not comfortable enough?  Or what if the shoe is a perfect fit and compliments every outfit?  I am going in with my head held high--I have experience (substituting) and wisdom (BYU... and SLCC... and life!) and support (Casey, Mom, Hannah... just to name a few!  The list is countless!!!) and faith (this is the key--I know I would not survive without a loving Heavenly Father!).  


I remember walking up and down the halls, looking at the thin, yellow lockers, and interpreting my class schedule for the first time at my 7th grade Back to School night.  I was so unsure of what the future would hold.  Would I make any friends?  Would I get lost in the school?  Would I be swamped in homework?  Would I have time for hobbies?  And now 8ish years later, I am faced with my first Back to School night again next week.  Although the roles have changed, the questions remain.  Will I earn the respect of my students?  Will I understand my classroom?  Will I be successful in composing elaborate lesson plans?  Will I ever see my husband?  


Although there is no way to know what the future holds, I can reflect on my 7th grade experience with the hope of being able to draw the same conclusions.  I fell in love with it!  I met my (eternal) best friend.  I found the shortcuts through the building.  I scheduled my time.  I participated in so many extra curricular activities.  I have full confidence that my future of being a teacher will be equally rewarding to that of being a student!


It Still Exists

Chivalry


chiv-al-ry [shiv-uhl-ree]
noun
the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, includingcourtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms or gallant gentlemen


I thought chivalry was going out of style but I have been proven wrong.  I am used to my husband and very grateful for his generous and thoughtful actions but I didn't really think I would see many others using it anymore.  While we were riding the bus up to visit my grandparents and help them with yard work and vacuuming, a man left his seat for 3 women entering the bus so they could sit together.  I thought it was very gracious but then I realized that one of the women was blind and I kind of just blew off his noble action because of the disability.  Later on the same bus, two other men gave up their seats when a group of three teenage girls entered the bus.  This time really was impressive because their was no disability to involved--just the kindness of two strangers.  Later on TRAX, I watched a similar thing happen.  There were still some seats on the train but one lady was standing in the middle.  The gentleman sitting near her gave up his seat and then stood.  I thought this was so thoughtful because their were still some seats at the far ends of the train.


Yesterday at my first day of Education Week for this year, I walked into a class and it was very full.  I saw my husband and was trying to find a seat near him or two together so we could enjoy the class by each other.  (He is my best friend after all and I *love* spending time with him!!!)  Well, there was a seat behind him and that was about all I could find.  I told him I Love You in sign language and was sad that I would have to sit a row behind (but still grateful for a seat!).  Well, the person sitting next to Casey stood up and climbed over everyone so he could sit in the seat behind us.  It was so thoughtful of him and meant so much to me!


So thank you to the chivalrous men in the world.  It means a lot to me and I notice your  gallant efforts.


My Knight in Shining Armor! <3



Saturday, August 14, 2010

Graduation! :D

At Commencement:
The Processional March!  I was lucky to be able to sit on the front row!
This picture just makes me laugh with my mom taking it on her phone at the same time!
My Family! :)
With my parents.  Both are BYU graduates themselves--my dad with his Masters!
Giving my Stole of Gratitude to my mom!  She has supported me so much during my college experience!!!
awh!!!  I love this picture!
Placing the Stole of Gratitude around my dad.  (My parents are sharing the same stole.)  I am very thankful for all of my dad's help!  He has sacrificed a lot by helping to pay for my schooling!
Placing my second stole around my husband's neck.  If you look at previous pictures with me wearing the stole, you can only see one.  That is correct because I wore this one under my robe so it would be next to my heart!  <3  Casey has been a huge support in my life throughout all of my college--his weekly letters while he was on a mission meant so much but coming home to him every night now means so much more! :)
I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!! xoxo

At Convocation:
Walking into Convocation.  I liked sitting on the floor so much better!!!  While looking at the picture, the girl to my right (her head is half way shown) is the only person that I really knew that was graduating.  We had several classes together and will both be student teaching in the fall.
Casey went early to save seats and ended up sitting directly behind me!  It worked out great for taking pictures and sending love messages back and forth! ;)
Walking across the stage as my name was read.  The School of Family life is the largest school in the university.  I think 1 in 10 (though it might have been 1 in 4, I don't remember!) BYU graduates come from SFL.
Walking off the stage.
Casey was waiting at the bottom in a roped off area and taking these pictures.  My favorite part was Casey kissing me as I walked towards him!! :)
Family and Friends.  Both my mom and Casey are wearing the Stoles today.
With my family minus my Aunt.  She had to leave immediately following the ceremony.  I was so grateful that she came!!!
With my Mother-in-Law and Aunt.
With my best friend from college!!!  Hannah is *amazing* and I hope that we will be best friends forever!  She has been a huge support in my life too--either as we studied together for several different tests or hanging out or talking on the phone of etc!  My life would be seriously lonely without her!!!
With my grandma!  She is a BYU graduate too in Elementary Education!!!  I'm carrying on the tradition with being an education major! :)
With my siblings!  (Yes, my brother really is that tall!!!)
With my sweet (and super handsome!) husband!!!
My parents gave me some beautiful roses!!!  When I saw them, I started grinning! :)  My favorite roses are the small yellow ones with red tips (my mom knows that) but she wanted to get some red ones too and then she liked all of the variety of colors so I ended up with a super beautiful bouquet!  I love looking at all of the flowers (and smelling them too!!) on our table now and hope that they will last for a long time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

sneak peek...

Today has been pretty special... and one that I hope to remember for a very long time!!  (And I know if I write something down, then the likely hood for remembering goes up significantly!!!)

6:18 am--stumble out of bed (I have not woken up this early all summer!!!), head to the kitchen and wash dishes.  After I finished with the dishes, I glanced over at the stove and saw it was a mess.  The thought from Enchanted came to my mind of how this will just not do.  Proceeded to throughly scrub the stove and thanks to superb investment in S.O.S. pads, the burner racks (gas stove) actually look clean.  I also washed the sinks really well and swept the floor.  Why I am doing this today, I don't really know!  I also ironed everything!!!

But really the important part of the day is not so much the cleaning (though coming home to a completely clean house is such an amazing feeling!) but rather that I graduated!!! :D  I walked for commencement exercises today and it was great!  I was lucky that I happened to find a couple of girls that I recognized and my co-worker from Stevens Henager College (for the short time that I worked there).  I liked not having to be with complete strangers.  Elder Whitney L . Clayton spoke!  Afterwards I met my family by Portal W and my sister was the first person I saw.  I was giving her a hug when I saw my sweetheart come out from the portal and I ran to him and jumped into his arms!!!  Afterwards, we took lots of pictures and enjoyed a lovely dinner at a yummy Mexican restaurant.

I promise to post more pictures and details later but wanted to give a short sneak preview!!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Price to Pay

Recently, I was pondering about the price you have to pay in order to gain anything.  When shopping at a store, the price is (hopefully) listed obviously on the shelf.  When going out to eat, the price of the food is listed on the menu.  But I'm not just talking about a physical price and spending money.  If you want to become a skilled seamstress then you have to sew.  If you want to become a master pianist then you have to practice.  If you want a rock solid testimony then you have to study.

When the May 2010 Ensign arrived at our apartment in the mail, I made a goal to read through every talk.  In the past, I would skim the talks and pick out my favorites to read and then kind of set it aside and use it as a great reference.  I have always listened to all of conference and I may have ended up reading the majority of past Conference issues.  This time though, I decided to do something different--I was going to read it "cover to cover."  (And by "cover to cover" I simply mean read every talk... I read them out of order and would jump all around the magazine.)

Some days I would read a couple of talks, others only a small section of one talk.  But, I did it! :D  I read through the entire magazine and just finished the last talk this morning.  The cover fell off--I repaired it with masking tape.  The pages are water stained--I smoothed it out the best I could.  The green highlighter is now dull--I learned to press hard so the color would show.

The stories and precious words became a part of my life.  It has changed me for the better and strengthened my marriage.  I feel so blessed and uplifted.  Listed below are some examples of how the words from the living apostles and prophets has touched my life.  (Warning: My favorite quote list is long but I will try to pick only the very best!)

I have reflected on the blessing given from President Thomas S. Monson, "Thank you, [Lisa,] for your faith and devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for all that you do in your ward... and in your stake....  You serve willingly and well and accomplish great good.  May the Lord bless you as you strive to follow Him and to obey His commandments" (paragraph 3).  Wow!!!  I feel like he talked to me directly and am now ready to conquer the world.

I love the gentle reminder from Sis. Julie B. Beck, "A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do....  But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently" (paragraph 4).  Um, talk about needing to hear that!!!  I always feel like I should be doing more.  This was great reassurance to just do my best!

I am grateful for the advice from Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Look to your mother.  Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness.  Listen to her.  She may not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page (side note: my mom has figured out both!!).  But when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge.  As you approach the time the time for marriage and young motherhood, she will be your greatest source of wisdom" (paragraph 8).  Wow!  My mom is more valuable than books or even the internet!!!  I am so grateful she is one of my best friends!

I learned an important key from Elder David A. Bednar, "Regular reading of and talking about the Book of Mormon invite the power to resist temptation and to produce feelings of love within our families" (paragraph 12).  We could always use more love and protection in our lives.

I made a goal to become more like Elder Jefferey R. Holland.  He said, "True love must include the idea of permanence.  True love endures....  True love we are absolutely giddy about--as I am about Sister Holland; we shout it from the housetops" (paragraph 6).  This is 100% my dream!  I want to live to be a ripe old age and still feel giddy about my darling husband! :D

I think I might have a better understanding on patience now from Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  "...Patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen--patience requires actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort" (paragraph 13).  Still easier said than done but at least I know that patience does not mean I am merely waiting!

I have a better vision of what I want my home to be like thanks to Elder Richard G. Scott.  "...Resolved to make the Lord Jesus Christ the living center of your home.  Be sure that every decision you make, whether it be of a spiritual or physical nature, be guided by the thought, 'What would the Lord Jesus Christ have me do?' (side note: I totally like this question better than WWJD?!!!!)  When the Savior is the center of your home, it is filled with peace and serenity.  There is a spirit of calm assurance that pervades the home that is felt by the children and adults alike" (paragraph 22).  This is my top goal!  And something I work at everyday and could still greatly improve.  I really do want to make Christ the center of our home!!

I was reminded how to face opposition from Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the Young Women General Broadcast.  "My dear young [Lisa,] you need to know that you will experience your own adversity.  None is exempt.  You will suffer, be tempted, and make mistakes.  You will learn for yourself what every heroine has learned: through overcoming challenges come growth and strength.  It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop" (paragraph 26-27).  Such a great reminder!  There are so many different and trying situations that we face.  It really isn't the trial but how I react to it.

The price to pay to have a testimony of the Living Prophet and Apostles is PRICELESS!!!