Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hymn Update

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am attempting to write and compose a hymn. I have completed my first draft. It was a lot harder to write tenor and bass than I thought it would be, but it makes sense. I have never song bass or tenor, so I don't pay nearly as close attention to those parts as to soprano and alto.

I was so excited to have finally gotten something down, and I wanted to take it to Church to see if any of my talented friends with piano skills would play it for me, but sad day. We have no ink in our printer. Isn't that tragic? We were going to buy more ink, but the semester is almost over, and we decided it was cheaper just to print on campus and wait to buy ink.

So. Excitement killed.

But progress has been made, and that's always good.

I did run into a few problems, due mostly to my inexperience. I don't know how to get Finale Notepad to allow for verses and to not say "Soprano" or "Bass" next to my staffs. So, haha. I did it the hard way. I turned my Notepad document into a PDF, opened it in Photoshop, cropped each staff separately to get rid of the S and B markings, saved them as Photoshop documents for future editing purposes, opened them in Photoshop again and saved them as jpgs, and then opened all the jpgs and dragged them into one document. Then I typed in the second and third verses in between the pasted jpgs of the staffs.

Oh my.

And after all that I found a mistake and can't even print it.

Oh well.

Today has been very nice. Jeff and I went to the grocery store, and then Jeffrey cleaned the stove, oven, and outside of the fridge. He even scrubbed the kitchen floor on his hands and knees and then mopped it. My kitchen looks amazing. I meanwhile made deviled eggs for a Group 1 and 4 (my ward is split into groups) BBQ. I made deviled eggs two years ago, but I boiled them wrong, and that's as far as it went. Since then I have made them at my mother-in-law's house, but it's hard to mess up when someone is telling you what to do. :) I haha almost messed up a few times, but with help from the internet, my mom, and my mother-in-law, I was successful. Jeff and I thought they tasted a bit off, but Jeff ate seven I think, and the ones we took to the BBQ disappeared quickly, so they couldn't have been too bad. If you're wondering how you can mess up deviled eggs, picture letting the water boil before adding the eggs and various other things that are so obvious to you that you would never do them. :)

Then I had another get together with friends from Indiana. I forgot to take pictures. :( For this, I provided leftover cupcakes from the ward BBQ (thank you, Christine!), fresh strawberries, juice, and pasta salad. I was going to buy a box pasta salad mix, but Jeff was all "why don't you just make it from scratch?" This intimidated me, but he's a persuasive man. So, I did, and it was almost entirely finished off, so I guess that worked too. Now I wonder why I ever bought the box mixes. It's not that hard, and this way I can put anything in it I want. I used Ranch, Spicy Ranch, corn, pepperoni, and cheddar cheese. Yummy stuff.

For my friends from Indiana who do read this blog, Suzy and Julia Boyce, their cousin Matthew, Robbie Bullough, Paul McGrew, Valerie Selvey, and David Zato were there. I think Zato is correct. He was from Ft. Wayne, not Muncie, so I did not know him very well, but others did, and it was fun to have him come, I'm just not sure if I got his last name right. Cough.

The evening was capped off with a men's volleyball victory of BYU over UCLA. We choked last night and lost, but we pulled through with a win tonight. It was pretty exciting. The teams were very evenly matched. I don't remember the exact scores, but the first three sets were all within two points of each other. Then in the fourth, we won with a margin of 4 or 5, so that was nice.

I never knew I enjoyed watching volleyball games until I married Jeff. So this is one of the things that was brought into my life through marriage and I am very appreciative of it. :) It's always good to think of the new things Jeff has brought me.

Speaking of Jeff, I feel like I don't mention enough how wonderful he is, so here is an example. Every time it has snowed in February and March, he has gone outside early and scraped the snow and ice off the car for me. :) This is really nice of him, because I leave the house 45 minutes later than him, so I actually have more time than he does, because we wake up at the same time, but I have shorter arms and I get cold easier, and he's just a sweetie, because he started doing it without being asked (without it even occurring to me to ask him) and has continued doing it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Get Fuzzy—Gnome Confusion

So, I love Get Fuzzy as some of you may know. Jeff has never really fully appreciated it. This all changed this week. For some reason, he just all of a sudden decided they were funny and read like the last four months' worth. And then the next day he read them again. Awesome, eh? It's always fun to have something new in common with your spouse, even when it may be as silly as enjoying the same comic. It gives us something new to laugh about and quote to each other. :)

The thread below is from January. It is hilarious. You might pee your pants if you think they are as funny as I did. :) I found a friend/coworker's blog and it had gnomes on it, and it made me think of these comics.

So . . . enjoy!

Click on the pictures if you would like a bigger version of the hilarity.




Send Obama A Red Envelope for Life

My intent with this post is not to offend any of my friends who are pro-abortion. My intent is to share something that is important to me. I believe that easily accessible abortion teaches Americans that actions need not have consequences, and I believe that new abortion policy will make it too simple for women to make abortion decisions without adequate education on all the possibilities. Abortion is the ending of life and should only occur after careful consideration in very few situations. The future I hope to avoid is one that is creeping closer and closer, a future where abortion is a readily accepted form of birth control.

Special Appeal
Something everyone can do

to help protect unborn children

Sharon Slater, PresidentI hope you will join us in the “Red Envelope Campaign” that FWI and other groups are supporting to send over a million empty red envelopes to President Barack Obama on March 31 with the following message on the back and your signature:

Dear President Obama:

This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception. I urge you to change your position on abortion and respect life!

This is the idea of a man named Christ Otto, and so far, at least 750, 000 envelopes are pledged to be sent on March 31.

There is no question that Barack Obama is the most anti-life, pro-abortion president we have ever had. We have summarized his positions on life-related issues on a special “Send a Red Envelope for Life” Web site we have created for this campaign, but consider just several items:

  • He opposed banning partial birth abortion, the barbaric practice where an infant who could live outside the womb is mostly delivered alive but then killed by the abortionist at the last second.
  • During the presidential campaign, he said one of the reasons he favored liberal abortion policies was that he would not want his daughters to be “punished with a baby” in the event that they became pregnant outside of marriage.
  • He twice opposed legislation as a state Senator, legislation which would require that infants who are aborted but born alive must receive medical treatment.
  • During the presidential campaign, he also said that the first bill he wanted to sign as president is the outrageous “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA) which effectively eliminates all state and federal restrictions on abortion, including parental notification requirements and the prohibition on partial birth abortion.

  • Shortly after taking office, he reversed the Mexico City Policy which prohibited U.S. international aid from going to organizations that promote or perform abortions.

The Red Envelope Campaign is a simple but potentially powerful way for anyone who cares about life and unborn children to send Obama and his pro-abortion allies the message that we oppose his abortion agenda. It is also an easy thing to get others to do as well. You will find some suggestions on the sendredevnvelopesforlife.org Web site. A million or more red envelopes for life flooding into the White House will certainly get attention!

On our “send a red envelope for life” Web site, we give you more background information on this project and even a template you can use to easily print out your own red envelopes with the President’s address and the message already preprinted on it.

March 31 is the day when most of the envelopes will be sent, but you can certainly keep sending them throughout the Obama presidency to remind him that more babies are dying every day from abortion. Someone in the White House mail room will count how many come in each day and report to one of Obama’s staff members. The more that come in, the more of an impression it will make, and the more lives we might be able to save.

Please take a few minutes and prepare your red envelopes to send on March 31 if possible.

Also, please forward this on to as many others who you think would participate as well.

Thanks for whatever you are able to do for these children.

Sincerely,
Sharon Slater
Sharon Slater
President

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yay for Annibelle!

My niece Annibelle has moved from NICU to the heart center and tomorrow will get to go home with her parents!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Annibelle's Recovery

As some of you know, I have a beautiful niece named Annibelle. She was born with a heart problem, tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). We had hoped that she would make it to 9 to 12 months before needing heart surgery, but she went in on Wednesday.

The good news is that she made it through the surgery and is recovering well. :) What a blessing!

I know that many of you have included her in your prayers and some have even fasted, and I wanted to let you know that she is doing well so far. Thank you for your love and support. I know Mindee and Peter (my sister-in-law and brother) have felt the effects of your prayers and love.

She's a trooper! Just after the surgery. 5 months old.

2 1/2 months old
We love you, Annibelle!

Please continue to include her, Peter, and Mindee in your prayers as they enter the next stage of recovery. It must be awfully scary for Annibelle to be in the hospital on all the machines instead of at home and in her mommy's arms. Your prayers, well wishes, and love really do make a difference.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jeff's Personal Duty

Whenever we are with babies, Jeff sees it as his personal duty to try to teach the baby how to roll over or walk or crawl or whatever the next stage in development may be. :)

Ryan is currently an excellent scooter and really will be crawling in no time (we think haha). Here is a video of Jeffrey trying to get him to crawl. :) You can decide for yourself whether it's a success or failure.

video

If you get points for humor, I'm going to say it's a success. :)

And I apologize for my apparently very high pitched laugh.

Bellows!

Well, Jeffrey got to see Zach Bellows last weekend when he went to visit him in Las Vegas, so it only seemed fair that I got to see Brooke. Lucky for me, she came to Utah!

Brooke and Ryan had been in Virginia visiting her family. Her sister, Anne, is going on a mission to serve in Nauvoo. Anne went into the MTC on Wednesday, and I live conveniently close to the MTC, so I benefited greatly from all this!

It was a pretty great day. I went to work and then left early taking a half day. Brooke and her mom picked me up, and Sister Bailey treated us to lunch at Rumbi Grill. Yum! I can't believe I ate my whole salad. I did eat it slowly though. :)

Then we went over to the mall to find a change of clothes for Ryan that had been forgotten and to buy some chocolates for Brooke's other sister, Lindsay.


Poor Lindsay is quite a trooper. It is her birthday tomorrow, and she is home alone in Virginia. Everyone is here for Anne, but Lindsay is still in high school, so she can't miss that much school.

We went to See's Candies and were given free truffles. Score! Does anyone know if that is common procedure? I might need to walk through that store more often. Yum. To top off the delicious, Sister Bailey let us pick out a little chocolate cup to enjoy too. I pretty much felt like a princess today.

We then split ways with Brooke's mom and came home to my house. It was kind of weird to be back at Royal Oak with Brooke with her not living next door anymore. We had been next door neighbors for over two years.

We hung around at the apartment for a little bit and enjoyed seeing Jeff. :)

Well, I enjoyed seeing Jeff in the middle of the day at least. Hehe. And I know Jeff loved seeing Ryan again! He was convinced he could get Ryan to walk. :)

Ryan hadn't slept well the night before (or Brooke either), and he hadn't had a nap yet today, so I got to take Jill's stroller out on its maiden voyage as we went on a walk. It was another absolutely lovely day, and I am happy to say the stroller performed quite well!

We walked over to 7-11 and then down the Provo River Trail for a while. Luckily, Ryan did fall asleep, so he got about an hour nap, and we got slushies. Sounds like a good deal all around, eh?

We spent more time at my apartment just chatting and watching Ryan do funny things. Then we went over to Panda Express, where Brooke treated us to dinner. See what I'm saying about the whole princess day thing?

All good things have to come to an end, and night was drawing near. We drove up to Thanksgiving Point where we met Brooke's mom and grandma to give her and Ryan back.

It was wonderful to see one of my best friends again!

Oh yes, I do have to add that one of the most amazing parts was that Brooke painted my toes for me! :) It's getting rather impossible for me to do that, so I definitely appreciated it!

Here is one of my favorite pictures from the day. Ryan has recently learned how to give kisses. I love how in the first shot, he is not sure which is more important to him—looking at the camera or giving me kisses. Giving me kisses definitely won out though, and he got me!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lyrics

So, I'm going to attempt to write a hymn. Here is my first try at lyrics.

I love thee, Lord, and thank thee,
Thank thee for my blessings abundant.
Grateful for joy, for peace, and to be free.

I worship thee, Lord, and praise thee,
Praise thee for thine atoning sacrifice.
Thankful that thou died for all and for me.

I adore thee, Lord, and need thee,
Need thee to show me thy way.
Needful of thy grace, Spirit, and mercy.

So . . . I have no idea what key to put it in, whether to write a chorus, or how I'm going to figure out parts for 4-part harmony, but lyrics are one step in the write direction! I'm thinking 4/4, but I don't even know that either. Right now, I have it plotted to have each line of text take up 10 beats. So, to make it fit 4/4 or 3/4 (I'm not going to touch any others!) I'd have to stretch some of the words out even more, or shrink I suppose.

Any suggestions? Any advice? On the lyrics or on how to compose music? Do you know of helpful websites that teach why it would be better to choose C major versus . . . E major or something? I'm going to stay away from minor I think. I'm so ignorant. Sigh.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Relief Society Birthday Party

We had an enrichment activity this morning. It was a birthday party for Relief Society. We learned about Relief Society all over the world. There were presentations on Malaysia, Cambodia, Argentina, China, Italy, some Baltic Sea countries, and other countries I can't remember anymore. Sigh. It was a really wonderful activity, and I learned a lot about what the great sisters of our Church are doing all over the world to offer relief, love, and learning.

I was pretty impressed with the birthday cake.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fun Game

I went to Jessica Bryan's baby shower a Saturday or so ago, and Sam Brown had created this really fun game.

I'll put the answers in a comment if you're interested in playing. :)

(I was awful at it, but perhaps you are more knowledgeable than I!)

Match the TV moms with their TV children. :)

TV Moms
1. Amy Matthews
2. Carol Brady
3. Carol Lambert
4. Claire Huxtable
5. Estelle Costanza
6. Harriet Winslow
7. Jane Jetson
8. Jill Taylor
9. Jordan Sullivan
10. Judy Geller
11. June Cleaver
12. Laura Petrie
13. Lily Munster
14. Lucy Ricardo
15. Maggie Seaver
16. Marge Simpson
17. Marie Barone
18. Marion Cunningham
19. Morticia Addams
20. Samantha Stevens
21. Sandra Bennett
22. Sookie St. James
23. Vivian Banks
24. Wilma Flintstone

TV Children
A. Bart, Lisa, and Maggie
B. Brad, Randy, and Mark
C. Carlton, Hilary, Ashley, and Nicky
D. Claire and Lyle
E. Dana, Karen, JT, Al, Mark, Brendan, and Lilly
F. Davy and Martha
G. Eddie
H. Eddie and Laura
I. Eric, Cory, and Morgan
J. George
K. Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, and Cindy
L. Jack and Jennifer Dylan
M. Judy and Elroy
N. Mike, Carol, Ben, and Chrissy
O. Pebbles
P. Pugsley and Wednesday
Q. Richie and Joanie
R. Ricky
S. Ritchie
T. Robert and Raymond
U. Ross and Monica
V. Tabitha and Adam
W. Theo, Sandra, Denise, Vannessa, and Rudy
X. Wally and Theodore

Click on the comments now for the answers.




If you'd like a little more help . . .
TV Shows
1. Amy Matthews—Boy Meets World
2. Carol Brady—Brady Bunch
3. Carol Lambert—Step By Step
4. Claire Huxtable—Cosby Show
5. Estelle Costanza—Seinfeld
6. Harriet Winslow—Family Matters
7. Jane Jetson—Jetsons
8. Jill Taylor—Home Improvement
9. Jordan Sullivan—Scrubs
10. Judy Geller—Friends
11. June Cleaver—Leave It to Beaver
12. Laura Petrie—Dick van Dyck
13. Lily Munster—Munsters
14. Lucy Ricardo—I Love Lucy
15. Maggie Seaver—Growing Pains
16. Marge Simpson—Simpsons
17. Marie Barone—Everybody Loves Raymond
18. Marion Cunningham—Happy Days
19. Morticia Addams—Addams Family
20. Samantha Stevens—Bewitched
21. Sandra Bennett—Heroes
22. Sookie St. James—Gilmore Girls
23. Vivian Banks—Fresh Prince of Belair
24. Wilma Flintstone—Flintstones

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mormon Missionary Diaries

A Sunday or two ago, we had a wonderful lesson by Martha Birk on missionary work. It reminded me of the job I used to have, because part of her focus was on early missionary work by the Church.

So, I used to have this awesome job. (I still have an awesome job, just a different one.) I got to type up journal entries by early missionaries from the 1850s to 1930s or so.

Anyway, in case you'd like to read some of them, here's the info on how to get there . . . :)

http://www.lib.byu.edu/dlib/mmd/

That link will take you there.

Alternatively, go to byu.edu. Roll your mouse over "Students," roll your mouse over "Libraries," and click "Harold B. Lee Library."

A new page will load. On the right, near the bottom, under "Unique BYU Collections," click "Digital Collections at BYU."

A new page will load with tabs. Select the tab for "Text Collections." Scroll down until you see "Mormon Missionary Diaries."

You can search by geography, diarist's name, or mission. You can also do a keyword search, like if you think your ancestor may be in one of the journals or if you know that the town you grew up in was one of the sites of early missionary work and you think maybe one of the journals would mention it. That kind of thing.

Once you've chosen a journal, a viewer will load. On the left side, you can click through the different pages of the journal and on the right you will see a scanned image of the journal page. If you have difficulty reading the journalist's handwriting, you have two options. You can scroll all the way down on the left bar and click Printing Version. Then you'll get a PDF of the typed version of the journal (without the original images). You can also change the view. This is in the left side bar as well, above the individually listed pages, next to "view." Select "page & text" and click go, and a new window will pop up with the original image, as well as the typed text from the journal.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TV Guide page 46

For those who had trouble downloading the TV Guide PDF because it was too big, I just went in and cut the part that was relevant. You don't need the other 68 pages. :)

Please Protest Continued

For those who are curious what the Church's standing on the Big Love issue is, here is what I have found from lds.org's newsroom.

Here is the link to the full article about the Church's response to the TV Guide's report about what will be on Big Love.

Here are some highlights if you don't want to go read the whole response.

"Certainly Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding. Last week some Church members began e-mail chains calling for cancellations of subscriptions to AOL, which, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner. Certainly such a boycott by hundreds of thousands of computer-savvy Latter-day Saints could have an economic impact on the company. Individual Latter-day Saints have the right to take such actions if they choose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution does not call for boycotts. Such a step would simply generate the kind of controversy that the media loves and in the end would increase audiences for the series. As Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Robert D. Hales of the Council of the Twelve Apostles have both said recently, when expressing themselves in the public arena, Latter-day Saints should conduct themselves with dignity and thoughtfulness.

Not only is this the model that Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated in his own life, but it also reflects the reality of the strength and maturity of Church members today. As someone recently said, 'This isn’t 1830, and there aren’t just six of us anymore.' In other words, with a global membership of thirteen and a half million there is no need to feel defensive when the Church is moving forward so rapidly. The Church’s strength is in its faithful members in 170-plus countries, and there is no evidence that extreme misrepresentations in the media that appeal only to a narrow audience have any long-term negative effect on the Church."

Here is a link to what the Church said about Big Love when the TV show first came out, if you are curious for more information.

I feel very strongly about this, not just because my Church is being targeted. I think that it is innapropriate whenever any religious or ethnic group is targeted in this way.

Please Protest

As you know, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Despite our vigorous missionary attempts, many people do not understand our religion or respect our beliefs. We are often subject to incorrect or defamatory information being broadcasted on the media.

The show Big Love that airs on HBO is going to run an episode that is very disrespectful. This episode shows blatant disregard to the sacred beliefs of people of my faith. Imagine something that you hold dear, that you hold precious. Then imagine that people who do not understand your beloved thing/belief hired someone who once shared your beliefs and turned his/her back on them, so these people can exploit and misrepresent them to the world. This is the pain that I, and other members of the Church are now feeling. HBO/Time Warner is showing complete disregard to the feelings of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Something sacred to us is being displayed to the world in a completely inappropriate way.

Please help me by not watching the show, specifically the episode airing March 15, and by contacting HBO and sharing your displeasure through their feedback forms. You don't have to understand what I believe, but I hope you at least respect me and my beliefs.

The rest of this post provides information on where you can go to file a complaint. It was written by someone and forwarded to me by a friend.

You can find information on the TV Guide link here: http://www.tvguidemagsales.com/WeeklyIssues/TVG030909.pdf. It's on page 48 of the pdf or page 46 of the actual TV Guide. (Note from Mimi: For those of you who have trouble downloading the file, I opened the TV Guide PDF in Photoshop and turned the article into a jpg and uploaded it on my blog. You can see it if you'll scroll up two entries.)

Take a look at the attached pdf and consider writing to HBO. This is pretty appalling: On Sunday March 15, the HBO show Big Love is showing an episode containing an excommunication as well as temple ceremonies. They hired an ex-member to help create the ceremony, rooms, and clothing.

HBO is owned by Time Warner. Send your emails, snail mails, phone calls, to both companies to show HBO that we won't stand for the use of things we consider sacred on their show Big Love, which is using a replica of an endowment room and celestial room to how what happens in the ceremonies there! Just keep it within Church standards please!

If you would like to protest, I recommend complaining to both HBO and the FCC.

HBO is owned by Time Warner:
Time Warner Inc.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY10019-8016
212.484.8000

http://www.hbo.com/apps/submitinfo/contactus/submit.do?title=GeneralInformation&questiontype=generalInformation&questiontype=general

Here are two things your want to RESPECTFULLY say in your own words to HBO:
  • I believe it is wrong for HBO to publicly air portions of sacred ceremonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints without permission from the church and based on information given you by someone who has left the church and may harbor bad feelings toward the church and wish to do it harm.
AND THE BIG ONE THAT WILL ALWAYS GET THEIR ATTENTION
  • If you air such an episode, I will cancel my subscription to all HBO channels (if you have them), and will not purchase HBO DVDs or any other HBO entertainment products or packages ever again. Furthermore, I will encourage my friends and associates to do likewise.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO
The FCC is the government agency that regulates all broadcast and cable television. File a complaint expressing your shock and dismay at HBO treating the sacred ceremonies of any religion with such mockery and disregard, and that it is shoddy work hiring excommunicated members/enemies of church and giving them a public pulpit to hurt the church.

To file a complaint with the FCC go to http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm.
  • Choose "Broadcast (TV and Radio), Cable, and Satellite Issues" and then click "NEXT."
  • Choose "Broadcast programs showing obscene, profane, and/or indecent material" then click "NEXT."
  • Click on "ONLINE FORM" Fill out the form with your complaint and submit.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

7 Months!

Today is March 8! I have officially completed seven months, and I have only have two more to go before it is Jill Time! :)

I was thinking about the pregnancy woes and joys I had catalogued in an earlier blog post, and I have a few to add now that I am four weeks into the third trimester.

Pregnancy Woes
• Swollen ankles
• Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome
• Jill's increased strength and activity

Pregnancy Joys
• Jill's increased strength and activity
• Having baby clothes (picturing Jill wearing them)
• Seeing not just like random pokes, but actually watching her move from one side of me to the other

Basically, I'm just happy to know she's alive and coming. :)


It is a little crazy to think about how different my life will be in a few short months: baby, nursing, no sleep, Jeff graduating, moving (somewhere), etc.

As someone who likes to plan every detail and be in control of everything (I even calendar past events, just so they're on my calendar!), it has been a test of faith to kind of sit on my hands and accept that God can do a much better job with my life than I can, and I need to just move forward in faith even though I am marching toward so many unknowns and uncertainties. I can do it though! :)

The Quote My Online Scripture Reading Gave Me Today
"You exercise faith by . . . making your mind accept or believe as truth that which you cannot, by reason alone, prove for certainty."
—President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, November 1994, page 60.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bucky Katt Calls 'Em Like He Sees 'Em

Photos from comics.com.

So, as many of you know, I pretty much love Get Fuzzy. They've gotten me through some hard times in the past. :) This past week's strips made me think of national anthems in a whole new light. Oh, Bucky. You went there!

I would like to say that I personally do not dislike the national anthems of any of these countries. I had actually never heard Italy's, Japan's, or France's before these comics came out. So, while Bucky is insulting, he has raised my awareness, and I take him for what he is: a little ignorant bigot, so please do not take Bucky's opinions for my own. My feelings run closer to Rob's.

Click on them for a larger image.

Click here to read the lyrics of Italy's national anthem and hear an instrumental sound clip.

Click here to read the lyrics of France's national anthem and hear an instrumental sound clip.


Click here to read the lyrics of Japan's national anthem and hear an instrumental clip.

Click here to read the lyrics of the national anthem of the United States and hear an instrumental clip.
How many of you know all four verses?


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Food Storage

“Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their . . . supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”

—President Thomas S. Monson, “That Noble Gift—Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7.

That quote was shared by Megan Roberson in her food storage class at Best of Enrichment in January. I've been trying to find where it was from ever since, and I finally did, so I'm putting it on my blog, so I'll have the citation. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog

I saw this on my friend's blog and had to share the joy. :)

This is a dog that only once would you make the mistake of trying to cuddle with during a nap . . .



What is he dreaming about?

Reading List :)

My friend Meg Larsen had this note on Facebook, and I thought it was kind of cool. I'm not following the official rules. :) I just thought it was interesting and thought that some of the people who read my blog might want to do a mental check list on this, too. ;) Or a blog check list. Hehe.

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have read 6 of the 100 books here.

Instructions:
Look at the list below and put an 'x' before those titles you have read.

X 1 Pride and Prejudice—Jane Austen
X 2 The Lord of the Rings—JRR Tolkien (this is actually three books . . .)
X 3 Jane Eyre—Charlotte Bronte
X 4 Harry Potter series—JK Rowling (ALL 7!)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird—Harper Lee
X 6 The Bible
X 7 Wuthering Heights—Emily Bronte
X 8 Nineteen Eighty Four—George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials—Philip Pullman (I've never actually heard of this book . . .)
X 10 Great Expectations—Charles Dickens

X 11 Little Women—Louisa M Alcott (like 20 times!)
X 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles—Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22—Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (whoa. I've read over half of his plays, but I never enjoyed his poetry too much.)
15 Rebecca—Daphne Du Maurier
X 16 The Hobbit—JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong—Sebastian Faulks
X 18 Catcher in the Rye—JD Salinger
X 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife—Audrey Niffenegger
X 20 Middlemarch—George Eliot

X 21 Gone With The Wind—Margaret Mitchell
X 22 The Great Gatsby—F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House—Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace—Leo Tolstoy
X 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited—Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment—Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath—John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland—Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows—Kenneth Graham

31 Anna Karenina—Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield—Charles Dickens
X 33 Chronicles of Narnia—CS Lewis
X 34 Emma—Jane Austen
X 35 Persuasion—Jane Austen
X 36 The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe—CS Lewis (I have a feeling this list wasn't really written by the BBC) :)
37 The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin—Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha—Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh—AA Milne

41 Animal Farm—George Orwell
X 42 The Da Vinci Code—Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude—Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney—John Irving
45 The Woman in White—Wilkie Collins
X 46 Anne of Green Gables—LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd—Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale—Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies—William Goldingx
50 Atonement—Ian McEwan

X 51 Life of Pi—Yann Martel
52 Dune—Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm—Stella Gibbons
X 54 Sense and Sensibility—Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy—Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind—Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities—Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World—Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time—Mark Haddonx
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera—Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men—John Steinbeck
62 Lolita—Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History—Donna Tart
64 The Lovely Bones—Alice Sebold
X 65 Count of Monte Cristo—Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road—Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure—Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary—Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children—Salman Rushdie
X 70 Moby Dick—Herman Melville

X 71 Oliver Twist—Charles Dickens
72 Dracula—Bram Stoker (Started it, but it didn't capture me)
73 The Secret Garden—Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island—Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses—James Joycex
X 76 The Bell Jar—Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons—Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal—Emile Zola
X 79 Vanity Fair—William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession—AS Byatt

X 81 A Christmas Carol—Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas—David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple—Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day—Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary—Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance—Rohinton Mistry
X 87 Charlotte’s Web—EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven—Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection—Enid Blyton

X 91 Heart of Darkness—Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince—Antoine De Saint Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory—Iain Banks
94 Watership Down—Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces—John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice—Nevil Shute
X 97 The Three Musketeers—Alexandre Dumas
X 98 Hamlet—William Shakespeare
X 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—Roald Dahl
X 100 Les Miserables—Victor Hugo (Haha. I should have read the condensed version. I've been reading the original (but in English) for like a year now.)

I've read 38 from this list. How many have you read?

Are any of your favorites missing from the list?

I would add The Host, A Wrinkle in Time, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Hiding Place, The Giver, Number the Stars, and . . . Jeff is rushing me. I'll think of more later.

Feel free to comment with what you would add or how many you have read or to let me know you did it on your blog, so I can check it out. :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Dress

I was organizing Jill's clothes and other baby items, when I noticed this dress did not have a tag or any commercial things. I realized that my mother-in-law had also made this beautiful dress for my Jilly Bean! :)

Jill's Blessing Dress

As some of you know, Jeffrey is one of five boys. He actually does have a sister, Jill Marie Collett. She, sadly, died a few days before she was born. Jill would have been about eight years younger than Jeff. His family has been waiting a long time to get to have a little girl. When we found out we were having a little girl, it seemed appropriate to name her Jill as well, in memory of her aunt whom we are all eager to meet some day.

Jeffrey's mom asked me if I would like to use her Jill's blessing dress for my Jill if she could find it. She hadn't seen it in almost two decades. She looked, couldn't find it, and decided she must have given it to someone who could use it. She decided to make a new one for my Jill.

I knew that Jeff's mom could sew and had made a lot of his clothes when he was growing up, but he does not have particularly fond memories of those outfits. :) I didn't mind though and told her I would love it if she made a blessing dress for Jill.


Well, as you can see, she definitely outdid herself. It's beautiful, long, and white with over 7 yards of lace. It came in the mail yesterday.

It is absolutely gorgeous, and I am so excited for Jill to be here and wear it! I know that the blessing is still months away, because Jill is still 7 to 11 weeks away, and then she'll be one to three months old by the time she becomes officially known in the Church as Jill Halley Collett, but it's definitely a date I look forward to!

Thank you Mama Collett for the beautiful dress!