Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some of My Favorite Photos

Matthew, Paul, Michael, Arthur and my dad at Mikey's graduation
My cousin Jay and I - we went 4-wheeling through the mud
This is Michael's favorite picture - we had a great time at the Giant's game
Michael and I at the zoo in New Mexico

Me with a jersey calf at the county fair

Michael and I at the zoo
Michael and Novalee carving a pumpkin
Dallin, Sean, Daphne and I playing in the leaves together
Bet you didn't know I knew Batman.

LeeAnn and I.
Mark and Brycers
Michael doing smart stuff.
Michael making fire.
Michael and Matthew a the Made Out of Babies concert in S.F.

Michael and Novalee playing 
Michael and I with Dallin and baby Sean
Novalee at the park
Jenae and I hanging out


What is TOFW, you ask? Time Out for Women! My friend was having her birthday and invited a bunch of us girls to go to Sacramento with her, stay in a hotel and attend the Time Out for Women conference (it is a conference with LDS speakers and musicians). We had pizza in our rooms, stayed up late talking and had such a wonderful time listening to the spiritual messages the speakers and musicians shared. It was so much fun I forgot to take many pictures - the ones I did take were not that interesting so brace yourself :).

Our Favorite Concert

Every year the Modesto Symphony Orchestra puts on the Picnic at the Pops concert at the Gallo grounds in Modesto. It is an outdoor concert that is always so good. We take a picnic, sing along and enjoy the fireworks show after the concert. This year we were fortunate enough to get tickets in the "reserved lawn" section (fan-cee). We were front and center for the action. This years performers were an ABBA cover band. They rocked!!

Football Fun

On Saturday August 13th Michael, my dad and I were able to go to the Fresno State vs. Wisconsin football game in Fresno. It was packed, a sold out crowd. I had so much fun cheering on Wisconsin with Michael. Wisconsin creamed Fresno. It was a beautiful thing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Big Rasin

We are in Fresno. We don't have a way to post new pictures yet. Mikey is doing great at school!! Way to go Michael! :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Book Club Books I've Read

  • Left to Tell
  • Breaking Dawn
  • Confessions of a Jane Austin Addict
  • The Host
  • Rebecca
  • Hearts in Hiding
  • Princess Academy
  • Angels and Demons
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Eclipse
  • New Moon
  • Twilight
  • The Secret Journal of Brett Colton
  • Shoeless Joe
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • I Am a Mother
  • The Road
  • The Diary of Anne Frank

Michael's First Day of Graduate School

Well, it was really Michael's first week of graduate school since he was staying in Fresno from Monday thru Friday and I was left back in Modesto to work. This experience really illustrated a lot of things to us. First, and I'm sure we all already know this, the Lord works on his own timeline. Michael and I prayed and prayed about how we could afford to move to Fresno for graduate school. In the end we decided that we could not afford an apartment in Fresno and I could not find a job that paid anything close to what I was getting up here. Which meant that I was to going to have to stay in Modesto and work and Michael would stay with roommates in Fresno all week. We have been counseled to stay out of debt, so this arrangement was GOOD right? On the day before school started the guys he had arranged to room with months ago called and said they did not want him to live there. Luckily our friend Lew has family in Fresno and they allowed Mike to stay with them (for free) that first week. Michael got to stay in their son's Star Wars room (their son is on his mission right now).

Second, to help me deal with being apart and pass the time while Michael was going to be away, we decided that it would be a good idea for me to sign up for classes at MJC. I only needed 21 units to finish my associates of foreign language and most of those were elective units. So I signed up. I was getting my education, Mikey was getting his advanced degree, that was BETTER right?

The third thing we learned was that (and this is exactly how Michael put it) "It is not good for man to be alone." Michael and I were only apart for 5 days but it was terrible for both of us. We kept journals for each other and read the same FHE lesson on Monday night, Michael called home at night and we got to talk to each other for a few minutes but it was still aweful. By Thursday, after a week of working from 8 to 5 and then going straight to school until 10 each night I was ready to have a melt down. At the same time Michael had found a place for us to live, with two LDS return missionaries - renting a room (and bathroom) for $350 a month. It is not the ideal situation, but we have learned that what is BEST is that we live together. I have no idea what I'm going to do for work but I'm sure I'll find something. I cancelled all my classes at MJC and my last day at work is September 12th. I can't wait to be in Fresno with Michael.

Michael, a few minutes before he left for his first week at school.  Go Bulldogs!!

                                               One of our Journals and FHE lessons.

Proposition 8 Walk

On Saturday August 23, 2008 Michael and I had the opportunity to participate in a walk to collect information regarding Prop. 8. If you are not from California you still have probably heard that the California Supreme Court overturned the people's majority vote from Prop 22 a few years ago and have begun allowing gay marriage. Prop. 8 will be on the ballot in November and it redefines marriage in the California State Constitution to read, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." One of the major benefits of Prop. 8 passing is that the public schools would not be forced to teach that same-sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage. Proposition 8 does not take away any rights or benefits from gay or lesbian domestic partners. They just wouldn't be called "married."

Michael and I were assigned to walk a precinct and contact registered voters. We asked them if they had heard of Prop. 8, if they had to vote today how would they vote and if they were voting "yes" if they would want a sign for "Yes of Prop 8" for their yard. We contacted 96 registered voters, 47 households and were only called idiots once :). It really was a great experience!

A shot of some of the group returning from their assigned precincts. 

At one point during our walk Michael and I were a little worried because a man in a big white truck had been following us for a few blocks. It turned out to be our Stake President, he was looking for an address and had spotted us but didn't want to stop us until we came to the end of the street.

Me with Jeff and Sherry Vail. He is the first counselor in our Bishopric and Sherry is our Young Women's President. They are so fun to be around :). We all ended up going to lunch after the walk at this yummy Mexican restaurant in Riverbank.

Barber Shop Quartet Dessert (Thanks Sharee!)

A few years ago, when we went to visit Arthur, Sharee and the kids, Sharee made this dessert for us and it was incredible! She gave me the recipe but I had not tried it, until a few weeks ago. It was a huge hit. Even Michael, who doesn't like nuts, loved it.

Barber Shop Quartet Dessert:

1st Layer:
1 C Flour
1 C Finely Chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1 Stick of Butter, melted

Mix all together and press into a 9" X 13" pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool while you are preparing the other layers.

2nd Layer:
1 8 Ounce tub of cream cheese (the whipped kind works great)
1 Cup of Powdered Sugar

Whip and spread over cooled crust.

3rd Layer:
3 C Milk (or Less)
1 Small Package Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 Small Package Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 and1/2 C Cool Whip

Blend together, then fold in the Cool Whip. Pour over Cream Cheese layer.

4th Layer:
Top with remaining Cool Whip.

Cool in fridge for 2 hours. It gets even better if you let it sit over night.

Thanks for sharing Sharee. You always know the tastiest recipes :).

New Member Discussions

One of Mike's favorite callings so far has been Ward Mission Leader. We live in a very small ward that was split from a very large ward. They actually called Michael to be Elder's Quorum President when we moved into the ward. A few months after that the Bishop really needed a ward mission leader. We went to the temple with the Bishop and his wife and the Bishop said he knew he wanted Mike to head up the Missionary work in our ward. A few weeks after that Michael was called to be the Ward Mission Leader. Bishop said he had to go rounds with the Stake President to get Mike released - he's such a kidder. When the Stake President called us in to discuss Michael's release, he told us not to worry, that he was sure that Michael would be called to be Elder's Quorum President again (I think that made Mikey even more worried. Hahaha j/k). Michael has done a great job of coordinating all the missionary efforts in our ward, and thanks to our faithful brothers and sisters, there have been 3 baptisms, tons of lessons taught with member's present and we are starting our 3rd 40-Day Fast for missionary work (unbelievably successful).

Michael all prepared to teach his final new member lesson.

Two of the most recent converts. Mike Ahrend and Matt Page. They are awesome!! Matt has even been bringing a friend with him to church on Sundays.

Michael loaned them the Joseph Smith Tapes by Truman G. Madsen. They are so excited to learn about the Gospel.

Michael and our friend Lew Winter. Lew is (was, he was just released yesterday) the first counselor in the Bishopric.