Monday, December 12, 2011

A Little Hebrew

I speak Hebrew. Just a little. I've taken 5 semesters of it at BYU and absolutely love the language. For the class I'm in this semester, we made a video for our final. It's full of lot's of vocabulary and inside jokes. The plot is simple, but it makes us laugh.

Take a look (there are english subtitles if you turn them on).

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Husband is My Hero

Last night, we saw a mouse in our apartment. It was 11:30 at night. I was already tired and worn out from a long day, behind on several things that had to be done before I went to bed, and this furry little addition put me over the edge. I was passed the ability to act rationally and started to cry.

My dear husband offered to run to the store to buy some mouse traps and other pest eliminating things. I didn't want to be left behind with the possibility of seeing that little guy running across the kitchen floor again, so Chris patiently bundled me up, drove us to Walmart, left the car running and warm while he ran inside to buy a few things, and then gently put me to bed as soon as we came home while he set up the mouse catching/pest control things he had bought.

What a man! What a hero!

He's my favorite.

By the way, he also checked to make sure no mouse was in the kitchen this morning when I was too scared to leave the bedroom.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This weekend Sarah celebrated four and a half years of performances in fabulous BYU Choirs. We had three performances of the annual Celebration of Christmas.

She'll be student teaching at Timberline Middle School next semester changing children's lives, so she won't be singing in a choir for now. What's clear, though, if you've ever heard her sing, is that she has become a sensitive, profoundly artistic musician with a beautiful voice. Perhaps more importantly, she has a gift for recognizing truth in music, and bringing spirit to the things that she performs. I'm grateful for all that she has taught me.

Dr. Ron Staheli, Sarah, me, and Rosalind Hall

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I want to be like the Provo Tabernacle (now being affectionately called the Provo "Tempernacle").

Really, that building lived a good long life. It was over a hundred years old when it died. And boy had it lived a good life. I've only been a Provo-ite for a few years, but even I had fond memories of choir concerts, stake conference, and friends recitals that all took place there. More permanent residents of the area recall graduation ceremonies, funerals, numerous stake conferences, etc. etc. etc. Needless to say, that building had worked valiantly throughout its whole life. And then in one night, it burned down. By all accounts its death was brought about by accident. No one was to blame, but nevertheless it died.

And now?

Could their be any better resurrection for a building than to become a temple? To literally become the house of the Lord? A place where thousands (if not millions) of souls will be given the saving ordinances of salvation?

This is why I want to be like the Provo Tabernacle. I want to live a good long life serving the people around me. Then I want to die (through no fault of anyone else), and then be resurrected. And I don't want to be resurrected to just any old state. I want to be like a temple: someone who helps other souls come unto Christ.

Well, I better go start living that kind of life right now. I've got a lot of work to do.

Architectural rendering of the finished temple

Monday, September 26, 2011

Family is the best

This morning, I read a woman's blog post about LDS women. Though I think her intents were good, I was uncomfortable by some of the impressions I got from reading the post. On and off all day I've thought of the oft repeated words of a prophet, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

In that light I just wanted to share a few thoughts from General Authorities on family (click on the speaker name for a link to the source of the quote).

President Eyring:
"Our most important and powerful assignments are in the family. They are important because the family has the opportunity at the start of a child’s life to put feet firmly on the path home. Parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles are made more powerful guides and rescuers by the bonds of love that are the very nature of a family."

President Eyring (again): 
"the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows we experience are in family relationships. The joys come from putting the welfare of others above our own. That is what love is. And the sorrow comes primarily from selfishness, which is the absence of love."

Elder Bednar:
"Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God. Such love is a source of strength and casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul."

President Monson:
"Near the end of his life, one father looked back on how he had spent his time on earth. An acclaimed, respected author of numerous scholarly works, he said, “I wish I had written one less book and taken my children fishing more often.”
Time passes quickly. Many parents say that it seems like yesterday that their children were born. Now those children are grown, perhaps with children of their own. “Where did the years go?” they ask. We cannot call back time that is past, we cannot stop time that now is, and we cannot experience the future in our present state. Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present."

My prayer is that all of us, including myself, will seek to gain a greater testimony of the importance of the family. All of us can do that regardless of our age, gender, marital status, etc. I hope also, that with an increased testimony of the family, we will then change our behavior to more fully align with that divine standard: "faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities"
My Family
(minus everyone who isn't in this picture)


Note: I originally wrote this back in May, but I forgot about it. I decided to post it now.
Last weekend, Chris and I drove to Logan and did a session up there. After the session, Chris made the comment that the outside of the temple looked like it was built in Pioneer days and the inside looked like the 1960s. That's pretty much accurate. The temple was originally finished in 1884 and the outside walls are still the original walls. The inside was completely gutted and renovated in the 70s.

My parent's were married in that temple, and even though I'd never been inside it before, I felt like I belonged there. This is the temple where my parents began their life together. It's the place where my Grandparents spent hours upon hours serving a temple mission. Something about losing a loved one makes you love the places where they spent time. Being in that temple, I could imagine my Grandpa sitting in thoughtful silence in those rooms.

I am thankful for temples. They are the houses of God. The saving ordinances are found there. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I made my first ever tutorial today. It's for work so I put it on my office's blog. It teaches you how to make really cool gradients in Adobe Illustrator. I tried to keep it simple (hopefully I didn't go overboard), so if you know Illustrator try it out and leave me a comment (on this blog) about what you thought.

Here's a picture of the finished product.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


So for father's day, I got Chris a little grill from Walmart. We tried it out later that week, and it didn't work so hot. As in literally, it didn't get hot enough to cook the patties. I was kinda bummed, but knew I couldn't have expected much from a little grill that was so cheap. Even so, I knew that Chris liked to grill things, and I knew that I liked eating grilled things, so I did some research.

I learned that one of the biggest problems was probably caused by our use of charcoal. The grill had come with some charcoal that said it didn't need lighter fluid because you just lit the whole bag on fire. Well, they didn't really light. So Chris pulled out the lighter fluid and got 'em cooking, but it never got hot enough. In my research I also learned that that little bit of charcoal was probably not nearly enough to cook the meat.

So on the fourth of July weekend, we decided to try it again, this time with Kingsford (not the inneffective brand of charcoal that came with the grill) and used a lot more briquettes this time. The result: some first rate burgers! My man can really cook, and those were some tasty tasty burgers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Last night I took a leap of faith in my cooking. As a rule, I don't cook very well. I can whip up some awesome Mac 'n Cheese (from the box), my microwaved baked potatoes are the best in town, and I've even attempted to make Yucatan chicken (kind of like taco salad, but with a tomato-ey chicken sauce instead of beef). But other than that, cooking stuff takes me forever. I'm a perfectionist, and I take a long time trying to make the food right. It's mightily discouraging when I spend all that time working and only come off with a mediocre dish. My husband is incredibly supportive and joyfully eats anything I make, but it's still disheartening to spend so long and have it taste so bland.

A couple of months ago, I realized that one of my problems was that I didn't know much about cooking principles. Things like, "If you boil chicken too long, it gets all tough and chewy," or "You're not supposed to hold the knife like your going to hack at something. Hold the blade itself." or "Margarine doesn't always work in place of butter... even though it's cheap." So I began to look for some help. I found it in two places: my good friend, Lee Spindler, and

Lee has his own catering company and studied at Le Cordon Bleu (I think he studied at both the Paris and the Oregon campuses). He's a good friend of ours, and Chris and I decided to invite him over for dinner one day to help me us learn (Chris is really good at cooking, so he doesn't really need the help, but he still likes learning and we both like Lee). While making the meal he taught me us about the 5 french mother sauces: bechamel, veloute, espagnole, tomat, and hollandaise. He also explained about the different kinds of roux and how to make them, and made a veloute for our dinner. Since we were working with a master, it was divine.

A few weeks later I came across the Stella Culinary site and fell in love. Here. Finally were all of those cooking principles I wanted to learn. Podcasts, blog posts, vlog posts chock full of tips that I needed to know. As the owner of Stella Culinary says himself,

Before I started culinary school, I realized there were many books, websites and shows devoted to cooking, but very few ever teach you how to cook. Every one of them was “a pinch of this, a teaspoon of that, simmer for 20 minutes and it will be the best (fill in the blank) you’ve ever tasted. ”

For me, that just wasn’t enough. I had to know the whys and hows of cooking, and if it meant dropping $60,000 on culinary school so be it.

Wow. This was the site for me. The site is still growing, and the owner loves getting questions and ideas for what to teach. I'm in love.

So with these tools in hand and much encouragement from my hubby, I made a veloute yesterday. And you know what? It was pretty good. A veloute is made from a blonde roux (equal parts fat and flour) and then some kind of stock, and then you add what ever spices or things you want to finish off the sauce. Mine was made with chicken stock and then I added sun-dried tomatoes, some spices and a dash of lemon juice, and let it cook for a long time. I cooked some pasta and poured the sauce over the top.

Chris liked it. A lot. He even licked his bowl clean.

I think there's hope for me yet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Easter Eggs

So I know Easter was almost a month ago, but I didn't want to post this until I had pictures to go with it. The evening before Easter, Chris and I dyed easter eggs. We just bought the cheap-o box of dye. It looked something like this (except newer):

Notice the contents of the box. We knew what the color tablets, the egg dipper, and the egg holders were. We even understood that the egg drying tray was just the back of the box that had some holes you could punch out, and it made a nifty little egg stand. But what were the silly circles? Well, you know how the holes you punch out of the back are circle-shaped? Apparently Paas thinks of those circles, not as something to be thrown away, but as a feature of the product they're selling you. Nice, huh? They even had some tips of how to make the most of your silly circles by turning them into a necklace.

We had a lot of fun dying our eggs. We even got creative with a little tape. Here are some of the results.

This one dried with that cool crackly effect
(don't know how to recreate that)

A purpley, speckled one

Having fun with tape

More fun with tape

One that looks like it could be a logo of some kind

All of the Easter eggs we made

Now all ready to be turned into egg-salad! (which we did)

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Five months tomorrow

Five months tomorrow will mark the anniversary of when I married this guy.

He makes my heart go: WOoHoO! (especially when he makes silly faces). Marrying him was the best decision I have ever made in my whole life, and I get to spend the rest of that life (+ eternity) with him.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Chris and I got to serve for just a few weeks together in Nursery at Church. We helped out in the older Nursery class in which most of the kids are 2 going on 3. We only got to be in Nursery for about 6 weeks or so before we both got other callings, and we miss it a lot. Those kids have a way of working themselves into your heart really fast. Here are two of my favorite Nursery stories:

1.We were having play time and one of the girls grabbed a dinosaur and a little Princess Belle figurine. She proceeded to stick Belle's head inside the dinosaur's mouth and started walking around the room screaming on Belle's behalf. It was really hard not to laugh as we tried to help her use her "inside voice".

2. At the beginning of class we had a picture for the kids to color of a little boy that said things like "I have two hands like Heavenly Father" and "I have a face like Heavenly Father." Two of the boys in our class were tired of coloring and had moved over to the tubs of toys trying to hint to us teachers that they were ready to move on. I grabbed one of the drawings and went over and sat by them and started saying things like "Look! This says, 'I have two hands like Heavenly Father!' Do you have two hands?" And they'd hold up their hands and show me. One of the boys stood up, grabbed my hands, looked right into my eyes and said in a happy voice, "I like you!" and then ran off to play. Wow. What a special thing to be liked by a two year old.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Four Months Tomorrow

Four months ago tomorrow, this picture was taken. It's been an exciting four months full of moving and working and studying and eating and churching and learning and growing and buying and loaning and pbbbbing and cooking and breaking and filing and driving and walking and shopping and singing and teaching and talking and laughing and watching, and chalk throwing, and visiting, and General Conferencing and and and... Pretty much, married life is the best. Here are a few pictures we've taken since we got married:

Nauvoo - under the old bridge

Nauvoo - Outside the Sarah Granger Kimball home

Our apartment with all its beautiful furniture

Valentine's Day Flowers

Checking out the snow in Provo Canyon

Our rental car. This thing is funny. There were all kinds colored of lights inside to make it a "party car" (it's a Ford Fiesta). Our new car has a much more conservative interior and was much cheaper.

Think this guy, but with some hail damage on the hood and roof (and with a less dramatic spoiler).