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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Girls Camp 2012

My 3rd year as my ward's camp leader is officially OVER. If you don't count sorting through 1045 totes full of stuff and finding places to store a whole lotta camping gear ;). This year was GREAT, as usual. Every year seems so different from the last it's fun to see how the girls have grown and how their friendships evolve over time. They are all friends but at camp I think they grow closer and closer every year. We had 10 girls this year which is the most we've ever had attend camp with our ward in many many years. It was so fun, we had 3 non-member girls there and one new girl who just moved into our ward 2 days before camp. Every girl was so great and helpful. They seriously are the best girls that we could ask for. We didn't have any drama or fighting, just laughing and talking. Many girls from other wards hung out at our campsite which happens every year and it's so fun. They had so many free time activities planned for the girls this year but our girls chose to stay at the campsite with Nicole and I. When you'd look around all the other campsites were empty but ours :). I think that's a fun sign. We kept trying to convince them to go do the fun activities but we had lots of fun stuff and they wanted to stay so it was all good.

I'm not posting any pictures tonight, I'm exhausted. I got home. Sat in silence for a few minutes to just relax. Got in the shower then with my wet hair still wrapped in a towel got into my clean bed and tried to sleep. Then tried harder. It didn't work. I got up and my entire body felt like it couldn't move. I wasn't feeling good anyways before camp and it just seemed to get worse. Combined with the smoke inhalation from the fires I sound like some sort of dying sea otter with bronchitis. Whatever that means. Each cough takes so much out of me and hurts really bad (worse than it probably should). While I was out there, it was not comfortable but I didn't notice it as much because I was focused more on what the girls needed and where they needed to be but now that it's all about me again (HA!! just kidding) I'm feeling every bump, bruise, scrape, bite, cough, burn, etc. I'm like an old lady, ironically one of the youngest leaders at camp but I still feel a little old.

The best part of camp was seeing the girls everyday and learning more about them. Seeing them be such good friends and people to everyone and helping out however they could. We had a little camp journal I made up for them and it was awesome to seem them bringing that with them and madly scribbling down every word they heard, especially the girls who aren't members. They all asked such great questions and nobody would have ever known that only 5 out of our 10 girls are actually members/active in church. They were all great and wonderful. Camp was a success!!

It helps to have a great "assistant" like Nicole who just does stuff and knows how to do everything. She's much more patient and organized than I am and it was a big help/relief to have her there this year. We kept talking about next year this, next year that, but who knows what will happen, our ward might wisen up and realize that I'm a little eccentric and not a great camper, but maybe they won't?! :) It's already been 3 years and nobody's said anything yet, fingers crossed!!

Overall, worth the 200+ emails, 50+ store trips, hours looking over ad's and making shopping lists, prepping, planning, packing, unpacking, repacking, etc. Very worth it.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Oh no!! I just barely got over a nasty cold like a day ago and today, a little over a day before camp, my allergies started. UGHHHH. I can't breath out my nose at all, my eyes are on fire and so so itchy, my throat and ear itch like crazy. I just took some allergy pills which work well but make me fall asleep. I might nee to invest in some non-drowsy allergy meds before spending the rest of the week in a field. For now I have an endless supply of kleenex and eye drops.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Girls Camp's Eve's Eve's Eve

I'm excited for camp. It starts Wednesday. I'm not too excited for the early hour which we will have to depart but I'm excited to just get there and get started already. Planning and organizing has consumed my life for the past several weeks months. It's hard to believe that it has already been like 5 months since our camp kickoff. CRAZY. That's like half a pregnancy, it feels like it's flown by.

Tonight I was just working on my Lehi's vision pages for my scripture journal. At one point I needed a break so I started to make a YW directory page to go in the YW binder I made for our new Bishop. This binder has all our calendar stuff, certificate stuff, personal progress tracking stuff,etc....Now I'm working on making a few pages that have pictures of all our YW with their info to include in this binder. I realized I didn't have any photos of them on my laptop so I went to Facebook, makes sense right? Well I quickly decided I should just take individual pictures of them to use but I looked through old camp photos. I got so excited for camp this year after looking through them. I'm grateful that we have such a great group of YW, they are fun and silly but also serious and caring. They are just good girls.

I started thinking back over the years I've been in YW (I think it's been 5+ years now, WOW). There have been SO many YW come and go, some I totally forgot about, some I'm sure I don't remember but there has always been a 'core' group of girls who have always been active and have been in our ward forever. While All the YW I've taught are great, I'm thankful for those 'core' girls who are such good examples to everyone around them.

I actually get a little sad when I think of all the YW I've gotten to work with over the years. Many have made poor choices and fallen away from the church, made up their own life paths. Some of them I still see and keep in contact with and I see how much harder their lives are than they need to be. Sometimes I feel guilty like I should have been better or tried harder to make them learn gospel principles but then I realize I shouldn't feel that way. Agency is what it's all about. I can't go to church for other people, I can't follow the commandments for other people, I can only do it for myself. I can try hard to be an example and teach those I get to be around what's right and wrong but ultimately it's up to each individual to choose the right or not.

As I've been typing this I've thought of more and more girls who have graduated or moved away in my 5 years and remembering really fun times we all had together. Wednesday night activities seem so easy and so relaxed. Sometimes I don't think they can really make a difference because it's just a 'fun night' but it really does make a difference. The girls are able to connect with their church friends and have good wholesome fun, or learn a new skill. It is important. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all the stuff that my calling has involved over the years because it seems like the girls don't understand how much WORK and effort and thought goes into each activity, each sunday lesson, each attempt to go support them in their various activities/sports. Then I realize that's not the point. I don't need to tell them that I spent 2 weeks preparing a lesson that is getting eaten through by random chit chat before the lesson starts, I don't need to tell them that we stayed up until midnight packing girls camp totes, that we spent 15 minutes trying to label one of those totes. When they grow up and are leaders, they will realize how much their leaders did for them and they will (hopefully) be thankful, just like I am for the leaders I had. I never realized how much work they put into everything. I hope I'm being a good example to them and that they can learn just one thing from me. They are worth all the time I've spent and all the energy I've put into this calling.

That's why I'm grateful to go to camp again this year. Even though I have some issues with different things and sometimes would prefer to stay home, in my sweats where I can have my own 'space' I'm able to overcome that a little bit at camp, forget about how uncomfortable or tired I am and make sure they are ok, that they are well cared for and are having a good time.

I'm so excited for camp!! I get a little nervous for all that still needs to be done (cleaning/packing/loading/grocery shopping/food prep/cleaning.....) but I know it will get done and it will be a great time.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Well it's not even my birthday, that's still several weeks away :) but did that stop me from buying myself a birthday gift? Nope. Not for one second.

I decided to sign up for a new college program that our area is going to offer starting in the Fall. It's BYU Idaho courses online for like $60 a credit, good deal eh? Since my NY Photography thing sucks and I couldn't stand Skagit College, this was a good option. Since I decided to start that, I needed a laptop so I can work on call stuff anywhere. More specifically when I'm at work at night, I can be productive instead of just watching Netflix on my iPad.

This got here today:

Ahhhhhhhhh. It's nice. Since making the switch to Mac about 2 years ago, I've been really happy with their products and have decided to streamline everything and just convert all my electronic devices to Apple. In August we will be getting iPhones after Ty gets home from Chile (in 54 days!!) then the Apple transformation will be complete.

I really did everyone a favor because now when they ask me what I want for my birthday, I have a small list of macbook pro accessories I'd like to have ;) I've started a Pinterest Birthday Board 2012. I'm always over ambitious with my lists but it's ok, I forgive myself.

PS Girls Camp= 6 days away!! We have LOTS of fun planned for next week, I wish it was here already so we can stop preparing/emailing/buying/packing and just be there!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Remember Lot's Wife

I started a new scripture journal today. Now I have my "Topics" interactive journal and a "Scripture Story" journal. My topics journal focuses on doctrine or principles taught throughout the church. My thought behind my scripture story journal is to find stories and scriptures that stand out to me and study them more deeply. Sometimes when I'm working on these journals I get overwhelmed because of the amount of information available but it's also what's so cool about this time we live in.

My first Scripture story I'm going to focus on is Lot and his wife. They lived in Sodom and when they were commanded to leave, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. You can read about this story in Genesis 19. Luke 17:32 is the 2nd shortest scripture in the Bible and it simply says, Remember Lot's wife.

While reading about it, I've read a really good devotional given by Jeffery R. Holland to a group of BYU students back in 2009. I'm going to post my few favorite parts of his talk here. You can read it in it's entirety here.

So, if history is this important -- and it surely is -- what did Lot's wife do that was so wrong? As something of a student of history, I have thought about that and offer this as a partial answer. Apparently what was wrong with Lot's wife is that she wasn't just looking back, but that in her heart she wanted to go back. It would appear that even before they were past the city limits, she was already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her. As Elder Maxwell once said, such people know they should have their primary residence in Zion but they still hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon. It is possible that Lot's wife looked back with resentment toward the Lord for what He was asking her to leave behind. We know that Laman and Lemuel did when Lehi and his family were commanded to leave Jerusalem. So it isn't just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin.

To yearn to go back to a world that cannot be lived in now; to be perennially dissatisfied with present circumstances and have only dismal views of the future; to miss the here-and-now-and-tomorrow because we are so trapped in the here-and-then-and-yesterday -- these are some of the sins, if we may call them that, of both Lot's wife and old Mr. Cheevy.

There is something in us, at least in too many of us, that particularly fails to forgive and forget earlier mistakes in life -- either mistakes we ourselves have made or the mistakes of others. That is not good. It is not Christian. It stands in terrible opposition to the grandeur and majesty of the Atonement of Christ. To be tied to earlier mistakes -- our own or other people's -- is the worst kind of wallowing in the past from which we are called to cease and desist. 

When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound which the Son of God Himself died trying to heal. Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change, and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is it hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all it is charity, the pure love of Christ. If something is buried in the past, leave it buried. Don't keep going back with your little sand pail and beach shovel to dig it up, wave it around, and then throw it at someone saying, "Hey! Do you remember this?" Splat! Well, guess what? That is probably going to result in some ugly morsel being dug up out of your landfill with the reply, "Yeah, I remember it. Do you remember this?" Splat. And everyone comes out of that exchange dirty and muddy and unhappy and hurt, when what our Father in Heaven pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing.

Such dwelling on past lives, including past mistakes, is not right! It is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is worse than Miniver Cheevy and in some ways it is worse than Lot's wife, because at least there he and she were only destroying themselves. In these cases of marriage and family, and wards and apartments and neighborhoods we can end up destroying so many, many others. Perhaps at this beginning of a new year there is no greater requirement for us than to do as the Lord Himself said He does: "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more" (D&C 58:42).

Like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies of the Book of Mormon, bury your weapons of war, and leave them buried. Forgive, and do that which is harder than to forgive. Forget. And when it comes to mind, forget it again. You can remember just enough to avoid repeating the mistake, but put the rest of it on the dung heap Paul spoke of to those Philippians. Dismiss the destructive and keep dismissing it, until the beauty of the Atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future, and the bright future of your family and your friends and your neighbors. God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are, and with His help, where you are willing to go.

...and every day ought to be the start of a new year and a new life. Such is the wonder of faith and repentance and the miracles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ is the "high priest of good things to come."


Maybe somebody will like that as much as I did. The Lord is the only one who holds the right to pass judgement. "I the Lord, will forgive whom I forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all." REQUIRED. That's a big word eh?

Now I'm off to work on my journal entry and study Lot and his wife a bit more.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hold to the Rod

The pretzel rod that is.....

Sam's seminary class ended last Friday. He wanted to get his seminary teacher a gift to say thank you. He couldn't think of what he wanted. We were all brainstorming. Finally one morning at 6am I think I was driving home from work (usually when I have my best/worst ideas). I remembered that TheBilly (seminary teacher) puts a homemade iron rod in the hallway by the door where the students enter the church for seminary. So I started thinking along those limes, I thought I could find or make some sort of iron rod, then I thought, I could make pretzel rods.

So that's what I did. Thursday I went and bought all the supplies (large pretzel rods, almond bark in milk and white chocolate, toffee bits, and other toppings.) That night I melted the chocolate in bowls then lined a few cookie trays with waxed paper. Dipped the pretzels in either white or milk chocolate then rolled them into whatever topping I wanted. I ended up having crushed oreos, toffee bits, chopped white chocolate. I was going to do coconut and dark chocolate but couldn't find either of those things.

I did all sorts of combos. Then let them harden on the waxed paper which only took about 10 minutes. Afterwards, I was going to package them all cute in pretzel bags but didn't have them (shocker) so I put them into a large ugly ziplock.

Late that night after I got home from a 'camp finalization meeting' I found a fun printable of Nephi saying, I want you to hold to the rod. I thought TheBilly would get the humor so I went with it.

Here is the final result:

Friday, June 15, 2012


With this music video. No joke.
It would be nice to be so talented!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

National Peanut butter cookie day

Hooray!! I have a love hate relationship with this nationally acclaimed 'holiday'. I wasn't aware today would bring forth such bountiful PB cookies but it did....fortunately....and unfortunately.

I made the Betty Crocker recipe (the one in that big red checkered beat up cookbook I'm sure you have on your shelf) but I used 100% whole wheat flour with no other substitutions. They were good.

Maybe they were too good.....

I might have licked my kitchen aid paddle attachment when I was done. No judgement zone mmmmk?

I left the last pan in a little longer than normal and I figured if they were burned it would be ok because my dad likes burned cookies and it would be less cookies that I would eat ;).

I might have had two for lunch.

No judging.

They were so chewy and soft just like they should be. Mmmmmm

My stomach is not very happy with me at the moment, silly little (big?) stomach. We all have to make sacrifices for national peanut butter cookie day.

Don't worry stomach, tomorrow is national sewing machine day so you'll be safe from the ill effects of eating cookies for lunch.

In a few days it's national ice cream soda day, and let's not forget national sauntering day and national splurge day. I think I already know how to celebrate national splurge day, I'm really good at that.

What's your favorite national day?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pinewood in Style

The young men were in charge of our June mutual activity. They decided to host a Pinewood Derby for the entire ward. The original plan was to cancel our regular Wednesday night activity and just meet on Saturday with the ward but our youth love getting together so they took it upon themselves to plan a regular Wednesday night activity where they played Just Dance and played outside. It was so funny to watch them dance, we only had 4 wii remotes but we often had 6+ youth dancing, even without remotes. It was so fun, the older boys were 'too cool' but the younger 12 yr old boys really enjoyed dancing, they were good sports.

Anyways So Saturday I spent the day cooking for the party that night. We met at the church and weighed our cars in, I followed the rules almost too closely and got my car right at the 5 ounce limit. I had to get creative in how I placed my weights and didn't have a chance to do a test run. My weights drug on the track so in my first 'heat' my car didn't even make it half way down the track, LLLLAMEEEE. So I hammered off a few of the weights under the car and glued them haphazardly on top just in time for my next round, which I got 1st place in. I got either 1st or 2nd place in all the other rounds. Not too bad for someone who has no knowledge of pinewood derby cars. We had help cutting the cars out after we traced our pattern on them then we sanded and painted them. I did the wheels without any instruction which might not have been the best idea :).

So here it is, my car, formally named, The Pink Zebra or the PiZe as I like to call it.
 Hip right? haha it's fun anyways. I painted the car white, then painted the bottom BRIGHT pink with a black glittered A. Then I painted zebra stripes with a small paint brush then decided I wanted them with glitter so I repainted over the zebra stripes and poured glitter over the wet paint as I went. (this was before I had to add all the weights to it). Then the wheels couldn't be left out so I painted those bright pink too :).

It was a really fun activity, I had a good time watching all the cars. It got pretty intense ;)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This is a story of a girl.....

Who cried a river and drowned the whole world..... Just kidding I just like that song.....

This is really a story of a girl (me) who has become totally and utterly obsessed with books by Jane Austen and the bronte sisters. No joke. I'm even reading books about people who like these books.....ridiculous. There might be a few movie adaptions thrown in for good measure too.

I might need someone to come talk some sense (and sensibility?;)) into me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

D&C 75:16

"and he who is faithful shall overcome all things, and shall be lifted up at the last day."

D&C 6:5

"therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you."

D&C 6:22-23

"verily, verily I say unto you, of you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things."
"Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"

Can't sleep again so I grabbed my scriptures and opened up to that first scripture which led me to D&C 6 and those verses stuck out.

I should be better, I should be more willing to help, better at seeing the needs of others, I think if we can forget about ourselves and serve those around us, our trials will be easier to overcome. If that makes sense, it is almost 1am and I'm exhausted. My alarm will be going off in about 6 hours and I'm of no use unless I sleep at least 8 hours so I should try sleeping again. I love to sleep.


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