Sunday, September 30, 2007

Forest Gump thinks the world is like a box of chocolates. I say it's like a circle, or at least it's a much "kinder, gentler" place as a circle.

I've discovered I not only get nauseous when I ride in planes and back seats in cars, I also get queasy when I listen to books on tape with earphones! Darn, it was really hoping to listen to some books while I'm out walking (which I actually haven't done in a long, long while, but am trying to start to do again.) Anyway, I did manage to listen to the beginning of "The 7 Habits" book before I felt like puking. I managed to get through the part about "interdependence."

I've thought a lot about that word and what it means. Hopefully we grow through dependence to independence to interdependence. I don't know if this is exactly what Stephen Covey had in mind, but saw a little of it in action today.

Tierra and a friend of hers from church decided they want to play a violin duet at the Primary Talent Show in December. They need help. One of the Primary teachers plays violin, and when she saw both of the little girls at the church during choir practice, and realized they were working on a song, she offered to go help them for a few minutes. She also offered to help them as much as is needed until the performance. Her talent and help is freely given.

Tierra may or may not do something specifically to help or serve this lady, but she does help play with other ladies children during choir, thus rendering service to someone.

I don't believe our service needs to only be directed back at the person who first rendered it to us in order for the circle to be completed. Simply "passing it forward" in whatever form, and to whomever requires the service is all that is needed. In fact, sometimes performing an act of service anonymously brings greater personal satisfaction. I believe that the more we serve the more we become more connected through service, and we have more of a stake in reaching out because in doing so hands will be reached out to us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Matt and Raquel

This is a picture of Matt and Raquel at their ward party. Raquel is working one full-time, and a part-time job so Matt can focus on school this semester. He's hoping to get an internship with the FBI in Washington D.C. next summer. I'm hoping he gets it so we can go and visit him, and see some of the cool sites D.C. has to offer! We love Raquel and her family, and I love having them close enough to see often. Ryan actually sees them the most, as he spends a couple nights a week with them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

International Night

What do you get when you put hundreds of people from matt's ward in one cultural hall? A great time! Matt invited us over Saturday night for his ward's annual International Night. Groups from the different central and South American countries put together displays and finger foods from their countries, and came up with some kind of talent, mostly dancing. There were about 15 countries, and can those people dance! I was very impressed with the number of young children and youth that participated. I don't think you'd find that anywhere other than a Spanish ward. Some of the costumes were very detailed and beautiful. The man at the front of this pictures is Raquel's brother Miguel.

Matt and another couple of people were in charge of the "American" table, so Matt asked that I bring over anything patriotic I had. Since that's the theme of my living room I found quite a bit to take over. Hot dogs seem to be as American as baseball, but didn't want to spend that much money making 200 hot dogs, so took over a crock pot full of little smokies in b-b-q sauce.

Ryan had his final interview with the Stake President Sunday morning, so hopefully he filled out his part online and actually pressed the "send" button. Everything is done online now, so we're crossing our fingers that he'll have his call within a few weeks.

Alisha is excited to be playing the piano for her school's jazz band! She's actually sitting down to practice the songs on her own!! I think this will really help her improve much faster than just the regular old piano songs. You have to really "count" and "think" when you're playing jazz.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Whew! We just made it, getting all the food canned at the Bishop's Storehouse Friday night. Thank goodness the girls were with me, and another couple from the ward were just finishing up as I got there so they stayed to help me. Otherwise I'd have to make another trip over in the next week or two to get it all done. They did everything except run the canner. They learned how to tape up the boxes, fill the cans, and even loaded all the boxes (15 of them) in the van while I was paying. Tierra especially liked filling the cans. I wasn't sure I wanted her help when we were doing the Moo Milk, but she did great. Alisaha's job was writing the product on the cans - she was quite creative in her doodling!

The man in charge there said they received a letter saying they weren't to allow outside food brought in to can after Sept 1, but he knew about the big Walton order people from central Florida were getting and held off on that directive until the end of the month. Some things, like wheat, it doesn't make money sense to put in gallon cans. Other things, like the Moo Milk and Oatmeal, that it takes us a while to use up makes a lot of sense, especially here in bug country. Now to figure out where to put all these cans. All the kids beds either have drawers or bins underneath so can't put the stuff under there. I'd like to build some more shelving in the laundry room. Hmmm, maybe it's time for dad to come for a visit?!


Thursday, September 6, 2007

A canning we will go!

I've been told by a reliable source (our ward food storage chairman) that of the 1,500 or so canneries in the U.S. ours is the only one that allows us to can outside items we've brought in. However, that comes to a screeching halt the end of September. Good thing our big Walton Feed order came in this week! I had to drive to St. Cloud, about an hour away to pick it up, so hopefully next time we can have a big enough order that they'll drive to Titusville to make the drop.

The girls and I will be going to the storehouse Friday after school to can Morning Moo Milk, 7-grain mix, pancake mix, and whatever else I ordered from Walton. Plus, hopefully there will be some dehydrated refried beans on the shelf we can buy, as they will no longer be carrying them. This will be the girls first experience at the cannery, so hopefully they'll have fun doing it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Alisha at Blue Springs on Labor Day

The water was cold, but that didn't keep us all from enjoying the water. We just had to watch out for logs and trees under the water as we floated down the river.

Labor Day at Blue Springs

We spent Labor Day at Blue Springs - it was wonderful! Matt and Raquel came over, and several families from the ward went as well. The water was freezing! But once we caught our breath, and believe me, after jumping in it took a minute or so, it was actually refreshing. There is a long walkway through heavy vegatation that leads to the top of the springs where you can jump in. There's a large swimming hole, and if you're cave certified, you can scuba down quite a ways. We took goggles and a snorkle, and it took me a while to get used to not breathing through my nose. I'm claustrophobic, and it took a few minutes to get the hang of breathing through my mouth only. Matt and Lynn rented canoes and took the kids out in another area and they all saw alligators and manatees.

The Bishop's family went, and her daughter that is just younger than Tierra rode with us. Three little girls sitting in the back seat means lots of laughing! After we got back Beckie (Bishop's wife) invited us over to their house for dinner (yummy Indian fry bread) with the missionaries. One of the Elders father has a slaughtering business in American Fork, so we heard lots of stories about animals being slaughtering!

I'm off now to run to pick up a large food storage order from Walton Feed, that's coming to our Stake Center.