Chad, Jessica, Jet and Aijiahlyn

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Patch, Chad's job

Chad got a job! Hurrah! It wasn't what we were expecting, but it could end up being a really great opportunity. We'll see. Only time will tell.

But, onto more fun things. We went to the pumpkin patch at Herrick Farms. FAB!! Free hayrides until 6:00pm. We ended up only buying a small pumpkin for $1. I felt kind of bad, as if we were cheating them, but um....we'll buy more in a few years...promise!

LOVE this picture. I'm trying to improve my photography. Lizzy explained that the best time to take photos are dawn and dusk, so we went at dusk, and I love the golden lighting. All warm and fuzzy and MMMmmmmmness. Thanks Lizzy!

So the hayride. The wagon is pulled by a really loud tractor. Jet had a panic attack. Is it bad that we thought it was a bit funny? He was just so freaked out.

Isn't that the cutest pic?
Fire and ice

Do you like our red ball motif?

Jet loves to pick up things that are way too heavy for him, especially balls (like my dad's 5 lb. exercise ball). He didn't manage to get this one off the ground though : )

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I love my callings!

I am so grateful to be able to serve in the gospel. I have been so blessed. The past several callings I've had, I have learned so much from. A few years ago I gave a talk about service, and I learned that when we give service, the person doing the serving is blessed more than the person receiving the service. After my past few years of service, I know that is true.

Two years ago, I was called to be the Primary Chorister. I was excited but nervous, because I had never felt comfortable in front of a group of children. I felt fine teaching adults, but teaching children was very new to me. I remember it took me so long to prepare, and when I first started out, sometimes I would be so nervous that my voice would shake...totally embarrassing, but the Junior Primary couldn't tell the difference : ) I remember I would be so anxious about having everything in order and ready to go. I would literally write out everything I was going to say, sing, and do. When I came home from church, I would be exhausted, because I was concentrating so hard. After a month, I wasn't nervous anymore. After a few months, preparation became a lot faster. After a few more months, I could wing things so well, it was really fun, and I could communicate with the children better. I better understood how to captivate them. I was released when we moved to LaPine, and by then, I was so comfortable in front of the children, and more confident in myself as a teacher. Such a blessing for myself, and my family.

In LaPine I was called to the YW's. This calling really changed my life. The YW president was truly one of the most amazing women I have ever met, and I feel privileged to have been her friend. I miss her terribly. I have never seen someone serve others so much. She was ALWAYS lending a helping hand, even though her husband had to work out of town, 4 out of the 7 days a week, and she had 4 children. She was full of love, and was so selfless. We were able to show the young women how much we loved them. We all bonded together. I felt like I was in YW again, but better. Everyone supported each other. We laughed all the time. It was wonderful to live the gospel together. They reawakened my youthful self. I learned how important it is to love those that we serve. If we do this, those people will respond. They will recognize that someone cares for them, and their hearts are likely to be softened toward us, and more importantly, the gospel.

I recently was called as a Primary teacher for the 5-year-olds. This is actually the same calling I had after Chad and I got married, and let me tell you, I was terrible! I didn't know how to keep the kids from misbehaving, I didn't know what types of things kept their attention besides coloring (which doesn't keep their attention that long anyway), and I didn't know really anything about teaching children. Now, after having my calling as Primary Chorister, I am SOOOO much better. The children and I had so much fun today, and they learned a lot. I was SO happy. I have learned how to keep them on task, I have learned what types of activities keep them engaged, and I have learned how to show my love for them. I am so grateful for these blessings, because I have so much more confidence in my abilities to teach Jet, and my other future children. Before, I was scared out of my mind, and lacked confidence in my abilities. I also feel confident in being able to teach in general, like teaching piano lessons, which I will likely do sometime in my life, and instead of being scared about it, I know that I can be a really great teacher.

The truth is, even if I didn't receive any blessings, I would still serve happily. I just wanted to share my gratitude for my opportunities to grow.

Friday, October 8, 2010


It’s official. I went dumpster diving. I found food from a dumpster, and I ate it.

It was late at night; Chad and I were a bit loopy at the time, after having run through sprinklers at a nearby middle school. We were driving home, and I begged him to stop by the back of a certain bakery so I could simply peek in their dumpster. I tiptoed out of the car, opened the lid, and it was empty. Bummer. I went to the next dumpster, and there it was, gleaming like gold. Bagels. Bags of bagels in their original wrapping, right on top. I grabbed them, laughing giddily, and ran back to the car with a devious smile on my face. Ah ha ha, FREE FOOD, that someone was just going to throw away, and I rescued it! I felt such a sense of victory. Since I was on a roll, we then drove past a place with tons of mint growing, (I had scouted it out a few days prior) and with my new expertise, I jumped out of the car, snagged a few lengthy sprigs, and that was that. We came home, and reveled in our loot. Well, at least I did. Chad thought I was uh…psycho…but he doesn’t care, as long as I’m happy. And, I was beaming. I checked the bags, and some were expired, and some weren’t. I chucked the expired ones ofcourse. The next day, I made bagel chips. A few weeks later, I found more, and have since had many bagel sandwiches and bagel mcmuffins.

I’m a 25-year-old bad lady, people!

Let me explain myself. It’s not as bad as you think.

A few months ago I read a book called, The Art of Eating In. LOVED IT! It’s a memoir about a woman in New York who doesn’t eat out for 2 years. No fast food, no restaurants, no pre-maid meals from the grocery store. This is apparently EXTREME NY living. She ends up learning all kinds of things, how to make no-knead bread in a dutch oven, how to forage for wild greens, how to run an underground supper club, how to cook great food in a flash, and how to dumpster dive.

To learn how to dive in the dumpster (not that it’s hard, but there are tips), she went along with a freegan group. The term, freegan, comes from a combination of the word, “free,” because they take food and items from the dumpster, and “vegan.” Not all freegans are vegans, but in general, that is the case. Why do they do dumpster dive? A few reasons. They are anti-consumerism. It’s green. They are using things that have already been made and discarded, instead of buying new. They’re saving things from going in landfills.

Here is why it’s not so gross. Think of all those big grocers out there. They guarantee freshness. In fact, I was just in Safeway the other day and they had tons of big signs in the produce section saying if you buy any produce that isn’t as fresh as you like, you can return it. With their high prices, it’s practically like buying insurance for your food. Well, what happens to an apple with a bruise? It goes in the dumpster. It’s not a bad or moldy apple, but it’s not perfect. What about those sealed salad mixes that have a few wilted leaves? Dumpster. What about 2-day-old bagels? Dumpster. They aren’t moldy, they just don’t have fresh legs. You could say they’re in their late 30’s, but they’re certainly not ready to bite the dust. It’s kind of sad actually. Think of all that food that could go to needy people. The author could understand why freegans do what they do, but she only went dumpster diving once.

So, I’ve been checking around town trying to find grocers that don’t have locked dumpsters. Can you picture me driving around the back of grocery stores, checking out their garbage situation? Unfortunately, all the best candidates like Albertsons and Market of Choice have garbage compactors. Which makes sense. So, you have to find the small establishments. I’ve only found one place that doesn’t lock their dumpster. And, I’ve only gone twice. I really just wanted to try it out, but I may go again. But, maybe I shouldn’t since it’s illegal. Tehe.

But don’t worry, if you ever come to my house (aka, my in-law’s garage) I won’t feed you food from a dumpster. PROMISE.