Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Holy Night

"O Holy Night" is my favorite Christmas song.

It wasn't always that way however.

When I was younger there was a woman in my ward, Sister Halula who ALWAYS sang that song for Christmas. And I HATED it! It wasn't that she was a bad singer, it was the fact that it was long and boring and I had to sit through was seemed like an eternity of a song, every single year.

But I've come to love it, no matter who sings the song. Its such a pure song. Its beautiful and peaceful and reminds us of the Savior, his birth and the Real reason we are celebrating this time of year. Not just that he was born, but that he was born to save us from "sin and error pining."

Here are the lyrics and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing their version

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
So led by light of A star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men From Orient land.
The King of Kings Lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials Born to be our friend.
He knows our need, To our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us To love one another;
His law is love And His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break For the slave is our brother;
And in His name All oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy In grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us Praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.

Enjoy :) and Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Tree!

So I learned how to do this when I spent the weekend with a friend my first semester at college. I then showed my mom how to do it, but I haven't done it since, and so if my instructions are a little off, feel free to mention how it should be done. But my tree turned out pretty great so, I'm not worried too much about my methods.

Any way, to start, this is what you need.
6 Wire hangers - It is Crucial that they are either Exactly alike or very similar in size... I learned that the hard way and had to jimmy rig a solution to my lopsided tree. When I made these the first time, they had wire hangers at the Dollar Tree in perfect bunches of 6. When I went looking the other night none were found. Luckily I raided my closet. Another source is dry cleaners. Just tear out that paper middle and you're good to go. (Free!)
Approx 30 feet of green garland - Dollar Tree again! I went with two different types this year and while it was a pain it was worth it. The coiled stuff in the right hand corner is from the dollar store the stuff on the left, from Walmart. In the past I've just used tinsel and thats a fun way to make an unusual tree that is still cute. I went with traditional this year. (Total: $4)

Wire - I used green floral wire, the thickest I could find. You'll see why in a bit. ($2 at JoAnn's)

A box of 100 lights - (Walmart, $2)

And of course, my handy dandy wire cutters...okay....scissors, don't tell dave...

First things first, group the hangers into groups of two and arrange them like so:
Attach the hooks at the tops to the middle of the bottoms with green wire. They will slip around a lot but just make it so they won't fall off and it'll be okay.
Do all three sets of hangers this way. Do NOT attach the tops.

Next you are going to take the sets and place them inside each other.
I wish I could've gotten a better picture but... this was the best I could do.
Are you starting to see it?
Once all three are put through each other like a giant tripod with 6 legs, you attach them all together by weaving green wire through the top a gazillion times so everything stays the way you want it to.

Next is more wire. Start at by securing some at the top and just start winding you way down, occasionally wrapping the wire around one of the hangers for more strength and support.
This provides a base for the lights and garland so they don't just slip off. You may think I'm weird but it works.
Now start with the lights.

Obviously you want to tuck the RIGHT END in to the inside of the tree. You can secure its place with more wire and then just start winding.

I like putting one up there at the top, especially because I didn't get a star.

While you may see 100 lights and think thats a lot, trust me, its perfect. You want go kinda sparse on top and save your lights for the bottom. You'll see later that i didn't really do that with my tree and while I didn't take pictures, my husband can attest to the fact that I unwound the lights several times because I put too many up top and didn't save enough for the bottom.

This was obviously one of my not so good attempts.

Next is the garland. Just stuff an end in somewhere and start wrapping.

Next, plug it in and admire. But then flip it over and look inside while it is still plugged in before you start moving things around. There will be tons of lights that need to be redirected to the light. Just grab and poke through and I promise your tree will start looking a TON better.

Then, when thats done, decorate to your hearts content and you are done!


An update :)

So here are a few things that Dave and I have been up to lately:

We got back from Tennessee in the beginning of August, just in time for Dave to start a semester at Mesa Community College. I searched high and low for a job and just when it seemed that we weren't going to make another month with out asking for help, I got a job.

I started as the afternoon receptionist for a loss mitigation company called Loan Resolution Corporation. What we do is work with large mortgage companies and we facilitate their short sales.
Short Sales are, by Wiki definition "A sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed on the property's loan. It often occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage loan on their property, but the lender decides that selling the property at a moderate loss is better than pressing the current debtor. Both parties consent to the short sale process, because it allows them to avoid foreclosure, which involves hefty fees for the bank and poorer credit report outcomes for the borrower."

Because we facilitate these for home owners all over the United States we are under a contract to have someone at the office to answer the phones from 5:30am to 5:30pm. that is WAY to long for one person to work and so there are two shifts, 5:30am-noon and 11:00am to 5:30pm with an hour of overlap. Fortunately/Unfortunately I was chosen for the afternoon shift. Fortunately because thats REALLY early to wake up, especially since I have a 30-45 min commute but unfortunately because not only did the afternoon shift stick me in evening traffic, but by the time I got home, it felt like I'd been away all day.

Then, after about a month of working there I was offered a chance to apply for a full-time position that they had just created. So I went for it, and was offered the position. I make really decent money and now that I'm someone completely trained, I'm busy most of the time. What I do is just mostly double checking that a request for an appraisal or payoff or a credit report is valid so we don't waste company money. I also make sure that when any of those things comes back, that it gets to the right person in a timely manner.

Dave is just finishing up his semester. He took Latin (to help him out with all of those fun medical terms) and psychology. And other then that, he's been learning how to be a house husband now that I'm the bread winner. He enjoys having a sugar mama :) For now anyway.

We both have callings in the ward, I'm a Beehive advisor and he's in working with the Varsity Scouts. Mutual is on Wednesday nights and that is when he has Latin so he hasn't been able to go but Latin officially ended this last week so he gets to go this week.
The ward is so great and the Bishop definitely understands that everyone needs a calling to be involved and so there are 3 advisors for the Beehives, plus the 2nd Councilor in the YW presidency and there are only like 6 girls (which is big for beehives but theres a leader for almost every one of them). But one of the leaders, (whos husband just happens to be the current Varsity Scout advisor) is working on buying a house in time for their baby to be born so, we're kind of the fill ins for when they leave.

So yeah, thats what we've been up to lately. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Okay, okay, okay. I am definitely the worst blogger ever. I knew I was going to have a problem with this when I started this blog, but its such a great way to keep in touch with people... Mostly i just check all my friends and various crafting/decorating sites and get on with my night.

But anyway, I really need to blog about all of our current adventures and stuff like that. Unfortunatly this weekend won't be super optimal but i'll see what i can do.

I promise to at least blog about something this Saturday!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A GREAT book

Okay, so I just finished this book and it was so great i just Had to write about it.

This book is really two books put into one, centered around one story, sorta. The book starts out with a woman, Jordan, who is not only a 54 year old married woman with a 21 year old son who lives at home, but an established writer as well. She gets hired for a teaching job at a local community college and jumps at the idea. During her first class she is met with awe and respect by all buy one. A boy around her sons age who criticizes her previous books saying they have no personal blood and sweat in them.
She heads home in a little bit of a funk over this young mans comments to find her troubled son slumped at the front gate of their home, drunk, again.
That night she comes up with an idea to teach her class by writing something she's never written before, an allagory, and also to write something for her son.

The book is Christian based, though not LDS, though it could've been written by and LDS author and just generalized in order to get more readers. I can't remember there being a single foul word, and the whole thing is very clean.
The allagory that she writes is woven into the book and the story of her and her hardships. Honeslty, I finished it today because it was definitely the kind of book that got me thinking about our Savior and all he has done for us.

I know i didn't give a great book discription so you're just going to have to go and read it yourself. :) Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shaving the Beast!

Before we left for Tennessee Dave decided he was going to grow out his goatee again, one, because its fun, and two because he wanted to look older and there by get some respect from otherwise very unrespectable people. And both goals were accomplished.

Then, after he got a picture of his younger brother Steve's beard growth, Dave decided it was time to just let himself go. ;) So he stopped shaving. I didn't mind because not only was it fun, and definitely less annoying then kisssing fresh stubble, but the bathroom was Much cleaner.

So then we came back to AZ and Dave is all set to go to school in a few weeks. He was due for a haircut pretty bad anyway, and so, this time to appear younger then his 24 (almost 25) years he decided to start shaving again. These are picture from that historic moment.

This is the full beard and shaggy hair

Starting to trim
Ah yes... the whatever these are called...
The handle bars with a little more umph at the bottom...
Another handlebar view, this time with a little more side burn
Dave being a Frenchie... I thought it kinda looked more wild west on him but...
Another one
Dave's goat beard... ;)
My handsome hubby :D

Thursday, August 13, 2009


So, we're back in Tempe. Which is great except that our tiny little side of the triplex was a TON messier then I remembered. Plus, we only managed to come home, with more stuff.

On our way in, we stopped by Dave's parents house for a quick refresher before heading home. While there my mother-in-law showed me this great packet of information that was compiled by a lady who was on the Church's welfare system for years because she really needed it, and this packet was her way of giving back. It was mostly quick and easy meal and snack ideas, that used all of the available church warehouse resources, but it also had great cleaning tips.

There was one tip that I'd never even heard of before (and trust me, my mother knows most of them). So when we got home and had a little down time, I decided to give them a try.

Here's the first one :

What you will need:
1 lemon or lime (any citrus fruit will work really)
a microwave safe bowl
a clean rag

Cut a lemon or lime in half then squeeze the juice from both halves into the bowl. Go ahead and toss the juiced halves in the bowl. Fill the bowl with water and place in your microwave. Then microwave cook on high for about 10 minutes -- long enough for the citrus mixture to boil and let off lots of steam. When finished cooking leave the bowl inside the closed microwave for another 10 minutes. Then using a clean rag and the warm (be careful it may still be hot!) citrus water wipe down the bottom, sides, and ceiling of your microwave. Rinse the rag as often as needed. Cooked-on food splatters will easily wipe away and unpleasant odors will be neutralized. Plus it leaves the kitchen and sometimes even the whole house (if you are as lucky as me) smelling like lemon bars. Its just lemon and water and the smell made Dave look up from his game. Needless to say, we'll be doing that a Whole lot more often

The next one is for the fridge, which, as my in-laws know, we forgot to clean or leave open. So the black mold moved in. It definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and after I was done, the mold smell was gone, but the bleach smell wasn't. So I went online and used another lemon for this.

1. Slice a lemon into 1/2 inch this pieces and place in a small shallow dish or plate

2. Sprinkle 1-2 Tbs of table salt onto lemon pieces

3. Sprinkle 2-3 Tbs of baking soda onto lemon pieces

The combination of the soda salt and acidity in the lemons will make it sizzle, which is pretty cool. Then you just put it in the fridge, uncovered for 4-6 days.

My version has been in the fridge for only a few hours and it already smells less like cleaner.

Give it a try!

PS - The Return from Tennessee and Shaving the Beast will be coming shortly. :D

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Church today

So today at church there was a really great story told in one of the talks! It was also a really great teaching idea so i'm writing it down more for the future then anything else.

The speaker told a story about one of his sons when the son was about 17. The speaker and his wife had gone to a ball game and one of their teenage sons had the car. The son was told specifically to give them a call when he got home after work around 7:30.
Well him and his wife lost track of time at the ball game and forgot all about the call. But when they got home around 9:30, their son was not home. This was way back when cell phones weren't as common and so he did not have one.
They waited and thought well maybe he needed to stay late at work. So they called where he worked. No he's not here, his boss said, and he left right on time. This worried them even more so then they started to call friends. Nope, we don't know where he is, they all said.
By this time it was 10:30 so they called the house where his older brother was hanging out that night. Nope, the friend said, they just left and they said they were going to go to Walmart and a few other places before they headed home. This made the parents pretty upset because not only was the closest walmart 20 mins away from their home, but they had an 11 o'clock curfew, and now there was No way they were going to make it home in time.
Now knowing where they were the parents hatched a plan to teach their boys a lesson. The husband drove to the walmart with a spare key and found the family car they had loaned the boys for the evening and moved it to the other side of the parking lot behind a huge semi truck. Then he walked back and waited.
Sure enough there were his two boys sauntering out of Walmart and then they saw the space where the family car used to be. The father let them freak out for a minute or two and finally walked up to them and dangled the spare keys in front of them.
After the releif had hit them, he asked them how they had felt when they saw an empty space where their car once was. Oh dad, they said, it felt like someone had thrown a rock in my stomach, i felt like i was going to puke.
Then the teaching moment came. How did you think your mother and i felt sons? he asked. When we had no idea where you were? The same... the sons replied.

...anyway, i'm not a very good story teller, but dave and i both decided we're going to do that to our kids if we have to.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Annoying Bugs :P

So we are here in Tennessee, and I don't know if Dave has experienced these bugs, in fact he's probably to busy to notice, but I am starting to go insaine.

There are these bugs here that make the most annoying screeching noise at dusk from around 7-9:30 and they drive me crazy! It honestly sounds like a car thats trying (and failing) to start, but in a very high pitched way.. almost a screaming way. These things are worse then cicadas people...

I googled it, but I didn't get anything back. :P I want to kill them all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hope You Know

So today, I wasn't particularly having a bad day, but there had been some bad instances. I was feeling kind of down because I don't feel like I'm really contributing much at work or filling my whole job description, sometimes it seems like all I'm doing is sweeping the hair up of the barber shop floor. I know someone has to, but I wish I could do more sometimes... and Dave was frustrated and I didn't know what to do to help him not be.
And I've been jealous because we didn't get to go on a honeymoon, and while we're having an adventure, we aren't going to make near the money we'd hoped, and I was scared for a few days that I was pregnant and I didn't want to be pregnant and not excited about it... Just down...

Then today I was just browsing friends blogs and I randomly clicked on a friend of a friends blog (I know its kinda creepy, but it helps me to ignore my troubles if I read about someone elses). And I came across a woman who was on her 4th pregnancy, she'd lost the 3 previous. And this video was on her sight.

Sorry, i couldn't figure out how to add it as a video... But it really struck me. Hopefully it will have the same effect on you as it did on me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is it bad?

Is it bad that I already wish I could redo my entire wedding day? Not relive necessarily, but redo, entirely?

I wouldn't redo Dave though. I would never redo dave.

I'm over it, but I guess this should be a lesson to all you non marrieds out there... do your wedding planning on Seriously.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fun Knoxville Facts!

Well.. I figured since I'm going to be living here for a while and this weekend officially marks the longest I have EVER been outside of Arizona, I'd better get to know my new surroundings.

Knoxville was settled in 1791 and established in 1792.

The City of Knoxville was incorporated in 1815.

Knoxville was named after Henry Knox, President Washington's War Secretary.

The first train arrived in Knoxville in 1855

When it hosted the World's Fair in 1982, Knoxville was the smallest city to ever host an International Exposition. It was the last successful World's Fair held in America.

Knoxville is 20 miles south of Oak Ridge National Laboratory which was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb.

The inventor of the Dempster Dumpster, George R. Dempster, was Mayor of Knoxville 1952-1955.

Downtown Knoxville is 936 feet above sea level

The soft drink Mountain Dew had its beginnings with Hartman Beverages in Knoxville in the late 1940's.

In 1974 Walter Cronkite designated Knoxville as the "Streaking Capital of the World." It was in the spring of that year that an estimated 5,000 people on Cumberland Avenue took their clothes off... stripping on the "strip".

In 1933 during the Great Depression, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was founded by the U.S. Government to help create jobs, attract manufacturing, and provide electricity for all.

Still on the law books: It is illegal to lasso fish in Knoxville, TN.

Knoxville Zoo is the Red Panda Capital of the World, having the greatest success in breeding and survival of baby Red Pandas.

Knoxville is home to cable TV's HGTV, which is one of the fastest growing networks in cable history with nearly 84 million households in less than nine years.

Bethel Cemetery on Mabry Hill contains the remains of approximately 1,670 Civil War soldiers.

The major Hollywood feature film "October Sky," was shot in and around Knoxville. The 1999 film starred Laura Dern and Jake Gyllenhaal.

In 1978, the Knoxville Zoo had the first African Elephant bred and born in captivity in the Western Hemisphere. Her name was Little Diamond.

Still on the law books: All businesses must have a "hitching post" in front of their buildings in Knoxville, TN.
After we got through mini Vegas and finally got into the mountains it was pretty late in the day. So we opted for a pretty close and pretty short trail that offered beautiful views. The only this it didn't advertise that we got absolutely free was a nice shower on the way up. :) We get wet.

Because it was a shorter trail, it was paved, and very close to all the nearby towns, it was very popular. But the rain washed out all but the most hearty and so we had an enjoyable time.

We walked down to stand at the very bottom of all the falls and Dave pulled out my camera and started working on his photography skills. He did a very good job and I'm sure the centipede appreciated the positive attention.

This is just the bottom half of the falls. The first few picture are at the top, and now we're at the bottom. :)

There was a wild turkey on the side of the road as we were driving away and I tried to get a picture, but instead just got a picture of more green. So I found a nice picture on google to give you an idea of what we saw.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Exploring this new Green world

So after catching up on some much needed sleep and a day of lazing around, we were tired of being indoors. So Dave looked up a near by park and we went exploring.

The Tennessee River runs right through Knoxville and there are a few islands that are almost entirely parks and REALLY nice homes. We went and explored some of the parks. Needless to say, everything is green here.

Here's us by the water.

We went off on a little overgrown side path to see what we could find, and I was a little freaked out over the possibility of running into poison ivy. Luckily, I had my trusty husband who, having lived in a green places before, protected me very well from the could be dangers (Even if he did scare me once when I was in front, but thats okay).

Then on Saturday we were thoroughly bored and done relaxing and on our drive up we'd seen our first real mountains since Arizona on the horizon, so we decided to go and see what trails we could find.

We stopped at an information place to get a map and an idea of trails and things like that. And we found out a lot more then we expected to.

It turns out that the only way to get to Smokey Mountain National Park was to drive through three tourist towns. And these weren't the typical base of the mountain tourist towns with quaint shops and restaurants that one would expect. Nope, the apartment lady was right when she told us it was like a mini Vegas.

This picture is of a hotel where it is Christmas year round. Literally. It may not look like it, but I saw the brochure. Here's the website, I'm not joking.

Here are just a few pictures of some of the things that we saw along our way. We did think about stopping at some of them but they all looked kind of expensive and Dave really wanted to get to those mountains. It was worth it!This one was my favorite so we stopped and took a real picture. It was a museum and we almost went but we stopped after our mountain exploration and decided not to (and it seemed it was more kid oriented). But it was super cool to see.

My favorite part was the little fed-ex box in the upper left hand corner. You can barely see it but... its there.