Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday/Baptism Girls!

This was an exciting week for my primary class - two girls are having birthdays and another girl is getting baptized! To celebrate, we had a party for our activity this week. The girls love playing outside and since it's just now warming up, we played outside! Here are some pictures.
I made a crown cake and taught a quick lesson about being a Daughter of God. I don't think any of the girls heard a word of it, but I was pretty proud of my cake.

Here's the whole group!

What fun girls! I love working with them and seeing them learn and grow. It's a difficult age, and that makes class hard sometimes. They are all great girls and make such good choices. Happy Birthdays/Baptism!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I've had a lot of cute pictures that I've been meaning to post for awhile now. So I decided to do a 'this year so far' post. So... this year so far...

We wrecked our cute green car (not our fault) and replaced it with the exact car, only blue. Thankfully, the insurance was really good and we didn't loose much in the whole ordeal.

I made some cute bean dip for the superbowl. We went to a small party at a friends house. We brought it and I think Calder and I ended up eating almost all of it ourselves. Yum!
(and yes, the sour cream football on top did make it taste better)
We bought a 6 game package to the Timberwolves games. As you can see, our seats were nothing to be proud of but we still had a lot of fun. The team is so terrible they actually gave away some more tickets (which were a lot better than our original ones) so we had better seats to a few more games.
I made gumbo and it turned out DELICIOUS! I was scared of burning it so I had the heat for the roux a lot lower than probably necessary, so it took forever. In the end, it was all worth it. I sat on the counter and stirred, stirred, stirred while Calder kept having to bring me water because it was burning up in there. Notice the cute apron I got for $2 at Target. You can't really tell in this picture, but the red parts are heart shaped pockets.
We survived -13 degree weather. Notice that this wasn't the temperature in the middle of the night, it was 11:05 in the morning. Sadly enough, I don't think this was as bad as it got.
Along those same lines, snow. Lots of snow. It snowed mid-December and didn't melt until a few weeks ago. I loved when the snow was pretty and fresh, but wasn't as thrilled once it got dirty and icy.
April Fools Day!
I tried to buy curlers for my hair. Once I took them out, my hair was just as straight as it was before. No curl at all, not a single one. I then bought a curling iron (yeah, I didn't have one before.) which worked a little better, but the curls still fell about an hour later.

Calder shaved. He had cut it into some weird beard which wasn't very professional the day before an interview, so he had to cut it all off. It's all grown back by now of course, but I'm looking forward to working at the temple together - he'll have to be clean shaven for that!

And finally, this was taken yesterday. That's right, April 26. I know it's not much snow, I got out after most of it melted (there was about an inch covering everything) but it's more the fact that snow can still happen in late April that amazed me. I've decided this is probably the last snow of the year.

A Garden!

In case anyone was wondering the fate of the flowers that I mentions a few weeks ago...

A clear failure.

So today we decided to plant a garden... on our balcony! We bought some baby plants (seeds seemed like too much to take on, and apparently if we wanted to grow seeds, we should have bought and started them a long time ago). We're trying some tomatoes, red bell peppers, and strawberries.

The tomatoes said they could grow in a pot or containter, we're not sure about the rest. I'm excited to have some home-grown vegetables this year - hopefully they live a better and longer life than those silly flowers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Spring!

There's so much I've been meaning to blog about - I just haven't gotten around to it.

Last Sunday we had stake conference. We actually had Elder Bednar come and speak as well as a member of the 70 (ok, so it's been 4 days and I forgot the name). We got there about 30 minutes early hoping to get a good seat, but it was pretty full by the time I got there. Towards the back I saw two of the girls in my primary class whose families were sitting together, so we sat with them. I kind of wanted to sit further up but decided it would mean more to the girls to have me sit with them than for me to be 15 rows closer.

Our stake president gave an excellent talk about how God is a 'fourth watch God' - how it's not until we have struggled and can't endure any long that he comes and helps. He gave some examples from the scriptures, and it made me realize that if it is the fact that God lets us struggle and suffer for as long as we can endure that allows me to feel the strength of his love when I am miraculously rescued from whatever trial it may be.

After he spoke, some people bore their testimonies. My favorite was that of a man who had recently joined the church. He was talking about how the gospel has changed his family, and he told a story about his 3 year old daughter. She was being a 3 year old and he was at a point where he didn't know what to do and she was driving him nuts. Finally he asked her - what can I do to help you, since I don't know. She responded by asking him to give her a blessing. I love how in the church children are taught as such a young age the things they can turn to when they are having a hard time. Sometimes children's problems seem so silly and small to adults, when to the child it really is a big deal. I love that children are taught that Heavenly Father loves them and cares about every problem they have, no matter how small or silly.

Follow that and a few other testimonies, the next guy spoke. The one whose name I forgot. I don't remember much of what he spoke about. I remember him telling stories, about his dad dying, then his grandson being born on the one year anniversary of his dad's death. He talked about how on that day as they were welcoming the new baby into the family, he imagined his dad standing with Jesus and them both kissing the baby goodbye and sending him to Earth. It was a great talk and focused on the amazing love Heavenly Father has for each of us.

Elder Bednar was the concluding speaker. He spoke about how when we have trials that are too much for us to bear, the Lord helps us, not by taking away or lessen our burdens, but by making us stronger and more able to bear them, so that they seem less.

The entire meeting was very inspiring and the spirit was strong throughout the entire time. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

So many blessings!

We have had a really great week. The highlight of it all - Calder found out Friday that he got the summer job here in Minnesota! He sent his resume to a ton of different places and only got one interview. It's at a small firm called Holstein Kremer that is located in one of the downtown towers - in the penthouse! If he had not gotten this job, he would have taken one in Vegas and stayed with his parents. I have a job here, and would risk losing my residency if I left, so I would have stayed here. We would have managed the summer apart, but boy am I glad we don't have to!

Second, as everyone probably already knows, Taylor arrived in France this week!

Here's a picture of him with his colleague Elder Clyde (they aren't called companions there - that would be taken to mean something else!) and his mission president and wife. For anyone who doesn't know, Taylor is the second from the left. I'm so excited for him and thankful for his example for the rest of our family. I know he'll have many great experiences in France, and I'm excited to hear from him. His p-day is on Tuesday, so we should get the family email then.

Another great thing that happened this week, didn't actually happen this week. A few weeks ago we got a call from the temple asking us to come in and meet with the temple president. He asked us if we would be able to be temple workers! Since Minneapolis doesn't have much a retired community, they rely on a lot of young couples who don't have families yet to work. We weren't able to give him an answer at that time, since we weren't sure Calder would be here over the summer. Now that Calder got the job offer, we know for sure we will be able to do it. We are required to do at least 2 shifts each month, and with Calder's limited time, we probably won't get more than that in. I'm really excited for the opportunity and know that we'll both learn a lot.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Scuba Man

We got the CD in the mail a few days ago with the pictures that Calder's dad took on their trip. I wanted to post some of the right away, but there were so many great ones, I was having a hard time deciding which ones I liked most. He had a great time, and I'm sure someday I'll get to go scuba diving, whether I want to or not. I'm no so sure I do, some of the fish look scary, and I think I get seasick. However, I would LOVE to take a vacation where he could dive and I could sit on the beach.

My Scuba Dad - He's talked about scuba diving, watched ocean documentaries, and subscribed to scuba diving magazines as long as I can remember. He finally got certified last year and this was his first big trip. I'm so glad he finally got to do it!

Those fish were HUGE!

The eels - they remind me of Flotsam and Jetsam from The Little Mermaid - Yikes! I heard these guys were much friendlier.

Calder and my Dad

And Here's Superman!

Now that he's back home - it's back to the books!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fools Dinner

I was feeling a little creative yesterday and found some great April Fools ideas on the Family Fun Website. I decided to make some Colorful Cupcakes (meatloaf cooked in cupcake things with mashed potato frosting) and meatloaf that was actually chocolate rice crispy treats! I had a lot of fun making it all, but Calder wasn't fooled even for a second.

He took one look at the 'meatloaf' and told me that he was not eating rice crispy treats for dinner. Apparently the lack of meat juice on the plate was a dead giveaway.

"Ok babe, would you like a cupcake?" Only if it's made of meat he says. The cupcakes did throw him off a little. See, after I boiled the potatoes I realized we had no milk. I mixed some sour cream in the potatoes to make them somewhat creamy, but they had the consistancy of play-dough. He thought I had cooked play-dough as a trick! That wouldn't even be funny.

Anyway, it was a fun meal, I really enjoyed eating the meatloaf cupcakes.

On a not so happy note, the beautiful spring flowers that I bought a few days ago aren't doing so well. I think I jumped the gun a little with spring, and possibly they aren't getting enough sunlight. I also think I gave them a little too much water.

I think they'll be fine, it's supposed to warm up soon, so once that happens I'll stick them outside. That should make them happier.