31 May 2008

The Host

This book is awesome! I started it at the end of last week, and finished it on Thursday. I gave it to Brooklin to read on Thursday night (right before bed time) and she had it finished by 7:30 Saturday night. It's no short book either...619 pages! I really enjoyed this read, more than the last few books I've read. It is really hard to find a great book, that is also rated "PG" and is still entertaining to adults...ie little to no bad language, no sex, nothing gruesome or overly violent... just a really good story. I usually don't read any of the bestsellers, because I don't like reading anything with those type of things in them. Mostly I read Young Adult level books, and even some of them are a little questionable. The last two series I read were not that great. I read the Uglies series by Chris Westerfeld (Uglies, Pretties, Extras, and Specials) and they were ok, but I really wouldn't recommend them. The first two were pretty good, but then the other two got really into the characters cutting themselves to feel high. The whole story line of the series was thought provoking, and it was a "survivors after earth was destroyed" kind of setting, so that was interesting...but they were just ok overall. The other series I just finished was The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). I enjoyed the overall story and the first book was good, but it was very "girl power" and the author again had one of the characters cutting herself, and two others she made gay, and one of the character's father was molesting her. I don't understand why a book set in 1895 and about a magic world, would need have to have lesbians, molesters, and cutting as side themes. It really made me angry, because most of the side stories came up in the final book...they didn't really contribute to the overall theme of the book...to me...and you had to read through them to find out what happened in the main story.
Anyway, The Host is a really, really great book, and I would recommend it to everyone. Stephanie Meyer (the author) also wrote the Twilight series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn...which come out Aug. 2nd). I read the first three this summer and they were amazing as well....vampires (who are "vegetarian"...they only eat animals, not humans) werewolves, a vampire/werewolf/human love triangle. Funny enough, the author wrote the Twilight books for young adults, and The Host was marketed as a book for adults. I won't let Brooklin read the Twilight books yet, and I let her read The Host...mostly because of a few steamy (albeit very moderate for today's standards) scenes between the vampire and the girl. We decided they would be more appropriate for her when she is a little older (maybe 15 or 16) when she can relate a little better with the feelings involved between the characters. We are really excited for the Twilight movie...it opens Dec. 12th. I just watched a preview for it, and it looks exciting! You can watch it by clicking on the hyperlink.

Adoption Contact for today

Today, I IM'ed with a girl who is 15 and pregnant with twins. She said she lived in NY, and was 7 1/2 months along. She had to go after a few minutes, (and so did I), but she tried to contact me again while I was out. Maybe she will try again tomorrow.

29 May 2008

My next project...well one of them

This is the beginning of my next quilt. I am making this quilt for our birthmom. I got the idea while I was reading another couple's blog, and the wife made a quilt for their birthmom. I went out that same night and bought my favorite fabric at the "expensive" fabric store. I am using the design my mother-in-law used on the quilt she made for us for valentines day, because when I was telling someone what the design was, I said it had hearts and leaves on it. When I said it outloud, I thought wow, I guess that would be how a birthmom would feel when she placed her baby in the arms of another family...like part of her heart leaves. London was asking me why I was making the quilt for the birthmom, and I told her that there would be days when the birthmom would be really sad, and sometimes when your sad, it is nice to be able to wrap up in a blanket. London asked why she would be sad, and I said, "Well, she will probably be sad that she couldn't keep her baby, and she will probably miss the baby as well." London got kind of concerned, and said, "Why can't she keep her baby?!" It was kind of a realization for her...she made the connection that if we got to have a new baby in our house, that it meant that another girl would have to give her child to us. I told her that sometimes the girl isn't ready to be a mom, because she is around the same age as the girls who come to babysit for us. She didn't know that they could have babies at that age. I also told her that sometimes that is the best plan for the baby, even if the mom is old enough to have a baby. Anyway, this is the beginnings of the quilt. I don't think I will get it done before we move, but I have started it and will be working on it until they pack up my sewing machine.

The layout

There will be dark brown lines inbetween all of the white blocks and around the edges.

A neat little trick
This idea was in the book with the pattern in it. I am kind of a perfectionist with my crafting (not my housework...lol) and this saved me a lot of time with getting the spacing just right. Seriously, I would spend hours trying to find the middle, aligning all the pieces, and getting frustrated. I was totally excited that this little tip was in the directions!

Once everything is laid out, there is heat n' bond on the other side of the shapes, and I just have to dry iron them into place. The next step is to make a sandwich (top, batting, backing) with each block and applique around each piece, so it doesn't wash off...and it looks better that way too. After all the blocks are appliqued, then I just quilt the rest of the white space, and put in the dark brown lines (quilt as you go strips) between each block, and bind it....aww if it were only really that simple. =)

27 May 2008

Another blanket done

This is a blanket I made for a friend who is having her baby in June. I made it the end of April, but I let it sit wrapped and ready to mail, on my desk for 6 weeks so I couldn't post pictures of it. I finally mailed it last week, so now I can post the pictures. =)
I went to a class at the mall to learn how to do this. It is similar to a rag quilt, but it is using a chenille technique. Basically, you take four 1 yard pieces of flannel, make a sandwich out of them, and then sew on the diagonal every 1/2 in. of the fabric. We used a really cool product called 505 spray to keep the fabric from shifting. It is like a spray glue, and it was applied to each layer of the "sandwich". Anyway, after you sew every 1/2 inch, there is this cool cutting tool (called a chenille cutter) and you cut the first three layers of fabric between the sewing lines, making very sure you don't cut through the last layer. It ends up showing the middle colors of the blanket in a fuzzy kind of pattern. On this one, I made the diagonals go in two directions and only sliced every three lines, but some people made theirs look like a checkerboard...one square blank, and the next with the fuzzy lines. After all the sewing and cutting, you have to wash it and dry it, and that is what makes the cut lines get their fuzzy look. This was a fairly quick project. I got the whole thing sewed and almost all the way cut by the time the class was over, and when I got home, I finished the slicing and washed and dried it. I finished it by sewing around the perimeter, and snipping it, but you could also bind the edges.
Finished blanket

Close up

Front and Back

26 May 2008

Brooklin's 1st talk

Brooklin gave her first talk in Sacrament Meeting this past Sunday. She has only been 12 for three weeks, and bishop gave her the assignment on her first week in Young Womens. She told me that during the opening of Young Womens meeting, Bishop came in and handed her a 3x5 card, asking her to speak in church in two weeks on the topic of "The Articles of Faith". She didn't even know what the card was at first, but of course every other girl knew (and were probably glad it wasn't them!) They of course have all had the opportunity to speak, and as with most of us, public speaking is not our favorite thing to do. Anyway, she did awesome. Darwin gave her a few places to look to research for her talk, but other than that, she wrote the talk all by herself. She asked me to read through it for her, and I felt so proud to be her mother. I could not have come up with this much on my own at her age. She has prepared several talks for primary, but you only have to deliver those to the little kids, not the whole congregation. She was really cute on the way to church too. She asked me if she was supposed to sit on the stand, or just go up when it was her turn. I told her that usually when you speak, you sit on the stand. She didn't know where to sit, so I told her to sit next to the pianist (who is 16) while she wasn't playing. She went and sat up on the stand, and then came back down and said, "What do I do when I'm done? Do I stay up there, or do I come back and sit with you?" I told her that usually you stay seated on the stand, until the end of the meeting...which is what she did. We forgot to tell her that she needed to occasionally look up from her paper at the audience, but she did such a good job! I have copied her talk below, for those who would like to read it. Also, she didn't mention all 13 of them, but she did memorize them all herself. They are listed here ... http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1
Articles of Faith

Good afternoon my brothers and sisters and ALOHA! A couple of weeks ago, I went to young women’s for the first time. Soon after we started, bishop walked in and gave me a piece of paper. Everybody kept on saying things like, “Wow...that was quick....” and “He sure doesn’t waste any time.” At first, I had no idea what was going on and what the small slip of paper was for, but, as you can see, I do now!
My topic for today is the Articles of Faith. The articles of faith were first made when Joseph Smith was a prophet. He first wrote them in a letter to a man named John Wentworth, who was a newspaper editor, in response to his request to know what the members of the church believed.
The articles of faith are the thirteen basic points of belief in our church. Each one outlines one of the doctrines that our church teaches to us.
Right now I’d like to talk about a few of the articles of faith. The first one I’d like to share with you is the fourth one. The fourth article of faith goes like this, “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first, faith in the lord Jesus Christ, second, repentance, third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, fourth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.” My sister, London, is getting baptized soon, and after that, she will get the Holy Ghost. This article of faith talks about the four most important steps that we need to take to live with our heavenly father again. Over the past seven and a half years, she has accumulated faith in abundance, and we also accumulate faith and a testimony, when we follow the commandments and choose the right.
The last one that I’d like to talk about is article of faith number one. I know that you think that I’m doing everything out of order, and that I should have done number one, well, where number one usually goes, at the beginning, but bear with me. The first article of faith is “We believe in god the eternal father and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the holy ghost.” This means that we believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three different personages. Many churches believe just the opposite, and that they are one all person. We know this is not true and that they are all separate beings. When Joseph Smith saw the first vision in the sacred grove, he saw not one being speaking to him out of the light, but two.
As I was preparing for this talk, I came across a story from the October 1978 New Era. It was written by President Spencer W. Kimball. Here is how it goes.
“Some time ago, there was a young boy who was traveling by train to California. He sat all alone across the isle from a man who was also going to California. When he saw the little boy, who was traveling alone, dressed quite neatly and behaving very well, he was impressed by him and went across the isle to talk to him.
He asked how the boy was doing and where he was going. He soon found out that the boy had family in Los Angeles, and was going to visit them. When the man asked where he was from, he answered, “Utah”. “Oh,” said the man, “You must be Mormon.”
“Yes” said the boy with pride in his voice.
“That’s interesting.” The man said, “I’ve been through there once or twice and noticed the beautiful buildings tree lined roads, lovely homes, and wondered what they believed.”
The boy quickly said, “I can tell you!” then recited the first article of faith.
The man was slightly surprised, but listened to the boy as he went on.
Then the boy went on to say the second article of faith. The man thought, “It is quite unusual for a boy of such a young age to know all this.”
He went on to recite the third and fourth articles of faith, and with some encouragement and praise, went on and recited number five.
“That is wonderful. I am amazed that you know so much about the doctrines of your church!” Said the man. To which the boy answered, “Do you want to know more?”
As the man listened to the boy recite numbers six through seven than commented, “It sounds as if you believe in the bible!” “We do” said the boy, then recited number eight.
The man listened to him as he told him the rest of the articles of faith. When the boy finished, he relaxed and the man was very excited.
“When I'm done in Los Angeles, I’m going to stop in Salt Lake to learn more about the gospel” said the man. And he did.
Have any of you had this kind of experience? Have all of you memorized your articles of faith? If not, I encourage you to do so now because you are always prepared to teach the gospel and do missionary work when you know your articles of faith.

(Bear testimony. )
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

25 May 2008

Adoption Contact

We got an email from the website from someone today. The person wanted to know if we would adopt a boy from 15 to 18. I replied that we were looking for a child under age 10.

24 May 2008

Water balloon fight

Dar got a container of water balloons for his birthday last week, so this morning we filled up a bunch of them, and had a water balloon fight. It was short, but it was really fun.

22 May 2008

Wildcat of the Month

Caleb made student of the month! He is the only one of our kids to make it this year. The First year we were here, only London made it. Last year, all three (Brooklin, Caleb, and London) made Wildcat, and this year the teachers were told to try and recognize different students...because the same few kids were making it each year and the "regular students" were not being recognized, so the teachers tried this year to pick some of the students that hadn't had a chance, and really were doing a good job, but maybe not shining as brightly as the stellar children. Anyhow, the woman who is speaking is the principal, and the woman who is handing out the goodie bags is our PCNC (which I can't remember what that stands for, but she works for the school and is in charge of a lot of the extra stuff...fund raisers and such). Anyhow, we are very proud of Caleb for making Wildcat of the Month. He got a goodie bag with candy and a gift card to Borders Bookstore in it.

20 May 2008

Another weird adoption contact

This one was sent through the IM, but I wasn't online, so it just popped up when I signed in this morning, and I wasn't able to copy it. Basically, it was a teenage boy who said he had a sister who was 14 named "IVY" and they were refugees and hoped to hear from us. Well, I don't think they will hear back from us.

Instead of sending a forward...

My mom sent this to me, and it was funny, so I am posting it...I am an Idaho girl, just so you know! =)


Three men from Texas were sitting together one day bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

The first man had married a woman from Illinois and had told her that she was going to have to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple of days, but on the third day he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away.

The second man had married a woman from Michigan . He had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking. The first day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married a girl from Idaho. He told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little bit out of his left eye, enough to fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher.

17 May 2008

May Day

The kids (except B) had their May Day preformanceon Friday morning. Isaiah's grade danced to Pearly Shells. London's grade danced to the Electric Slide. Caleb's grade did a hula to Kananaka (by Keali'i Reichel). We recorded it, but it may take awhile to get it onto the blog. We did it with the regular video camera, and it may not work to put it on here, but I will try. In the meantime, Darwin took these pictures, while I was recording them.

Isaiah's Class

This is Isaish's class. If you look carefully, you can count three little mohawks. The blonde boy sitting next to him, is the one who started the "craze". Isaiah's teacher is the Japanese/Hawaiian lady facing sideways.

London's Class
London's teacher is in the white dress with the blue lei. The kids were so funny doing the electric slide. They were all very stiff legged, and over accentuated all of the moves. When it got to the part where the song goes "boogie-woogie-woogie" the kids all did a little boogying and a little hop. Her partner in the dance was the ladies man of 2nd grade....Jennifer, you'll know him, he was in your class last year. Very charming

Caleb's Class

Caleb's teacher is wearing the orange lei. He had a partner in the dance...the blonde girl with braides. He said she wasn't a very good partner, because she didn't do the dance right. When I asked what it was that she didn't do right, he said she didn't shake her hips! Very cute! The very beautiful Samoan/Tongan girl with the curly hair in most of the pictures is a girl in Caleb's church class.

PS: Gas went up on Saturday again. Now it is $4.37 a gallon...up $.10!! Luckily, after driving by 2 gas stations with that price, we found one that hadn't changed yet, so I got it for $4.27. And Prince Caspian was really awesome!!

15 May 2008

Gas went up again

We are now at $4.27/gallon for gas...uhgg!

The real spear fishing video

Sorry to any of you that watched the other 10 minute video of the ocean! This is the real spear fishing video!

My second quilt is done.

This is my second quilt. I started it the first week of March, and it was finished the first week of May. I couldn't post it earlier, because I made it for my mom for Mother's Day, and I didn't want her to see it. She collects frogs (her name is Rana, and that means bullfrog in latin) and I found some cute frog fabric, so I decided to make her a quilt. I traced the frogs from one of London's Littlest Pet Shop coloring books...hence the giant heads and tiny bodies!



Close ups

Close up of back

Front and back

1st shipment gone!!

Our first shipment of HHG (household goods) has been packed up and shipped to Juneau. We are allowed to send 500 lbs. ahead of us, so that when we get there, we have some of the basics to live on. It went mostly good. The movers tried to say that everything was scratched and dented...to cover themselves, but one of the items they listed as scratched was brand new and still in the original packaging! Dar set them straight on one or two other things as well.

Tomorrow is the school's May Day preformance. Isaiah's grade is doing a hula, London's class is doing the electric slide, and Caleb's class is doing a chant and a hula. Brooklin's school doesn't do May Day. She wanted to know if she could skip school and come to the preformance, but I told her no. Mostly because I am mean, I think. =)

House hunting is giving me an ulcer...not really, but it is stressful. We have decided to sell Darwin's Ford Exploder, and just buy a different car when we get to Juneau. It was going to cost roughly $3000 to ship it, so it really isn't worth it. We are still deciding if we should sell some of our other furniture before leaving, or just keep it. We are definatly going to sell the computer desk though. It is too big, and we have never had a desk make it through a move yet. It is difficult to get reimbursed for things they break...they make it that way, so you get discouraged with the amount of paperwork, and just give up I think...so we are just going to cut it off at the source this time and sell it here. I'm not really sure how we are going to even get it out of the house, because it is so big, but I guess we will figure it out.

I think that is all of the updates for now. I'm going to post pictures of my second quilt now, and try and upload the real spear fishing video.

13 May 2008

Happy Birthday Brooklin & Darwin

I never did get around to posting a birthday message for Brooklin. Everything seems to be going really fast now. Our first shipment of stuff leaves for Juneau Wednesday afternoon, and I have been running all over (mostly the house and the internet) trying to get things in place...besides the actual things we are packing, I'm trying to figure out rental cars for 4 different cities, hotels for three cities, looking for a house to buy, celebrating/preparing for four birthdays, mother's and father's day, trying to find furniture that will fit the house I like and deciding which furniture has go to, wondering whether or not to ship our second car, or just sell it and get a new one, clearing out the garage, volunteering, driving our dear friends in Juneau mad (I'm sure) asking them to look at houses for us (sorry guys!), and trying not to think about the fact that we are leaving Maui in less than 8 weeks. Some times I just want to hide in a closet and come out and have it magically all done with.

Now...on to the birthday wishes! Brooklin turned 12 on Friday the ninth of May. I so cannot believe that I have a child that old. She is an inch taller than me, and her feet are a tiny bit bigger than mine too. Luckily, her bum is much smaller than mine is! =) For her birthday, we bought her a scrapbook and developed all the pictures she has taken since Christmas. I sewed her a letter "B" pillow, and crocheted her a fuzzy purse. We also got her a CD. She chose to go out to IHOP for her birthday dinner, so we all had breakfast for dinner that night. On Friday night, her activity day leader (my friend with the post-it notes on her car) threw her a party. I took her over and we ate pizza, watched "The Three Musketteers" and the girls made beaded necklaces for their moms for Mother's Day. We all had a lot of fun. Brooklin is amazing to me. She has no fear in her body, and is very athletic without trying very hard. She is not worried about what others think about her, and she has a lot more fun with life because of it. She is a great help to us around the house, and always trys to do the right thing. She is also a beautiful young lady. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent her to us.

Next, Happy 36th Birthday to my very best friend, my companion, my love. I actually started this post on his birthday, but I ran out of time, and now it is tomorrow. I love my husband more than words can describe. I appriciate that he loves me, even when I am a cactus, and that he still opens doors for me, and treats me like a queen. I am so grateful that he holds and honors the priesthood, and is able to bless our family when we are in need. I love that he loves his job and that it makes what we need, so I can be a mom. I am grateful that he encourages me to reach my goals and learn new things. I enjoy his sense of humor. It's funny to watch peoples' reactions to him when they really don't know if he is being serious or making a joke...although I do have to get after him for it a lot. I am thankful that we were married in the Lord's temple for time and eternity. Knowing that gives me such peace in my life. I am glad that he is an awesome father to our children. They know that he is always up for playing outside and going on adventures with them. I think I'm one of the luckiest girls around, to have found my truest friend in my husband. We will make 14 years this July, and through all the awesome and wonderful, hard and rocky, lean and plenty of it, I am still madly in love with him. Thank you for loving me...I love you more!

Ok...to the presents. Darwin got a container of water balloons from Isaiah, a rubber shark and a pocket knife from London, a set of Nerf guns from Caleb, and a kite from Brooklin. I got him a book called "Mormon Scientist" by Henry J Eyring, a movie called "Return with Honor", and an ipod case and headphones. His ipod got stolen at the LAX airport on his way home from Florida, and he has been begging unmercifully for a new one. He actually used it every day, so the need was there, but I didn't want to shell out the dough for a new one. Anyway, if you noticed, I only bought him a case and headphones. He was kind of wondering what good they were going to do him without an ipod to attach them to. I told him there might be one more present, but he would have to look through all the dresser drawers (12 of them) to find it. He found an ipod in the 10th drawer he looked in. It said "To: Darwin From: Your Girlfirend (because your wife wouldn't do this)" The kids all asked who his girlfriend was! I said, "Well, I am" Being his wife, I would not pay this much for a present...not because I don't love him, just because I pay all the bills and am keenly aware of all of our expenses. Girlfriends on the other hand never nag about money and just want to get what their man wants...so I decided to I would be his girlfriend and not worry about the cost (this once). He hasn't put it down since. =) For his birthday outing, we went out to see "Iron Man". I wasn't really excited to go and see it, but it turned out to be pretty good.

Look how happy he was just to get the case and the headphones!! He will always make a goofy face when I try to take a picture of him, and he forgot and actually smiled for this one!

12 May 2008

Turtle video

Darwin took Gary (a friend from Juneau who is here visiting) out spear fishing today. No luck, but they got some good video of a turtle.

10 May 2008

Quick post

I am going to do a better post for Brooklin tomorrow...she turned 12 yesterday and is going to Young Womens for the first time tomorrow. Also, today I GOT MY UAS ACCEPTANCE LETTER!! I am very excited! I have to go now, but I wanted to write that really quick.

07 May 2008

Today's adoption contact

s*: Hi!
MeJ: aloha
s*: i found your profile on parent profiles and i really like you guys!
MeJ: oh! How are you?
s*: very goo dthanks, you?
MeJ: do you have any ?'s for us?
s*: yes actually,
MeJ: shoot....
s*: are your children homeschooled
MeJ: no
MeJ: they all attend public school
s*: great
MeJ: I also volunteer all day every Wed at their school
s*: thats very nice
MeJ: did you have any other questons?
s*: also, if we were to choose you would you prefer an arangement where we would get pictures or no contact or the "auntie" thing or what?
MeJ: we would be open to any of that...we plan to make a plan that is good for both us and the birth family
s*: okay and last question
s*: I live in Hawaii and I was wondering if we would meet before the birth or if you would come after? I am 18 weeks by the way.
MeJ: That is up to you. We would love to meet you....what island are you on?....and it would be nice to get to know you a little, so if we were to raise your child, we would be able to tell them about their birth parents and such.
s*: I live on Maui
MeJ: oh wow! we are in Wailuku...but I will be up front right now....My husband is in the Coast Guard and we just got our moving orders, and will be moving back to Juneau, AK on the 4th of July. We are able to come back here, but I just wanted to let you know now, so it isn't a suprise.
s*: thats okay, i appreciate you letting me know!
s*: well thank you very much for talking to me but i do have to go to sleep, I'm in transition between major ebergy and dead tired right now and im just starting to show and i have to study for university finals tomorrow morning!
s*: Thank You !
MeJ: can I add you on my friend list?
s*: yes of course you can
MeJ: well, goodnight...and thanks for the contact
s*: thank you! good night!
s* has signed out. (5/7/2008 7:44 PM)

04 May 2008

Melissa recital

Brooklin's video

Piano Recital

Well, we had our piano recital last night. It was really fun. It was Brooklin's 3rd recital, London's 2nd, and my 1st. London played "I Am A Child of God" from the red Primary Partners book. She did a great job. She memorized her song as well. Here is the video of her playing.

Brooklin played a song from The Little Mermaid..."Part of Your World" by Alan Menkin. She also memorized her piece...which was over 4 minutes long! She did awesome. She said that the whole time she was playing, her fingers and legs were shaking a lot.

I played a song from the Disney version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"..."God Help the Outcasts" by Alan Menkin. I didn't think I was going to be able to do it. My hands and legs were shaking so much, it felt like my body was experiencing an earthquake. I played it better than I ever have though. The video camera ran out of batteries just as I sat down at the piano, so we missed most of the first page of the song...so I had to preform it again for the camera at the house. I didn't do as well playing it at the house, but you get the general idea. We had a lot of fun, and I am glad I got to do it. It is a lot different than playing on occasion in Primary!

*** If the videos of Brooklin and I are not on here yet, it is because they were too long for the blogger way of posting them, and I am waiting for them to download on YouTube, so they will be on here shortly...so check back later.***