Tuesday, March 29, 2011

General Conference Links

Hello, friends! Just a friendly reminder that General Conference is THIS weekend. Below are a few links I used to make up our booklets delivered by our General Conference fairy :). Enjoy!


I was reading on the Sugardoodle page about all these wonderful ideas to prepare for General Conference. One person talked about learning about the different apostles and doing things they liked for family home evening (like baking or football or music or painting). Another lady wrote that they do "conference candy" by putting out a candy dish and each session and when you hear a preselected word (ie: Book of Mormon, missionary work, prayer, etc) you can help yourself to a piece of candy. Several shared that they like to have a pot luck lunch between sessions with another family or with several families. Several shared that they put up a tent to come and listen to the prophet (at the Nephites did for King Benjamin).

I'm wondering what YOU do to prepare for conference? I'd love if you'd leave a comment and an idea:
  • What do you do to prepare yourself or your families for General Conference?
  • What traditions do you have centered around conference?
  • What do you do to make it a special or memorable experience?
Don't forget to leave a comment and I'll be sure to include all your ideas for my next post in October!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Treasure Hunt

Saturday, my friend, Marci, called and asked me if I wanted to go geocaching with her family. I've never been before but always thought it would be cool, and it is! They picked a spot approximately eight miles to the West. So we took Highland Avenue, and then drove through Heyburn, and then through Rupert, and then followed Baseline out toward the freeway.  How about that for ironic?!  It’s fun, though, to drive through the country. We saw winter wheat as well as both cows and horses.  It was really a pretty evening even if it was a bit overcast.  Once we got about a mile away from the geocache we started winding our way back and forth and round and round on some dirt roads. In the meantime, I got some pictures of our group and passed the camera around for the little girls to take a few too :). We finally found the right road when we turned towards a little pond.  We had to crawl into a clump of trees and I found a box at the base of a particularly branchy tree.  The girls got to trade some knick knacks we brought for some new toys in the cache.  Ellie picked a little book and Amber found a little Care Bear key chain.  I sure had a great time! Thanks for having me :).

Photography by Amber
Photography by Ellie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Idaho History Day

I love reading kids' writing! I took a job reading standardized tests one summer after finishing college and read some of the most hilarious essays. I have a friend that every year goes to Boise to grade the Direct Writing Assessment and blogs about the awesomeness of 7th and 8th grade essays. I love reading about all the great observations the kids make. After experiencing so much joy from children's point of view, I figured I'd share this year's gems from the 4th grade essays of Idaho History Day.

The Cassia County Museum goes all out for Idaho History Day! They have 15 stations and the kids make it to at least 10 of them. There's the presentation at the school house where they learns such interesting facts like the teachers weren't allowed to marry or date and couldn't wear any colors. There's the Black Powder demonstration about trappers and Indians. There's both a cheese making station and a butter making station. They pan for gold/ pyrite, watch a movie about irrigation in a old train caboose, and eat chili and Dutch oven cornbread for lunch.

I've been volunteering-slash- roped into being on the reading committee for the past several years, and I've love the mixed nuts hour d'oeuvres, translating 10 and 11 year old handwriting and their inventive spelling, debating which kids are the best, and every wooden chair bum-numbing minute of it! I figured it was time to share some of the love :).

On September 16th the fourth grade attended the Cassia County Fairgrounds to participate in Idaho History Day. Think of two stations that you enjoyed the most and write a short personal narrative on why you admired them. Include important information and details so that the reader feels like he/she is experiencing it firsthand. Your narrative should be no more than one page front and back.

  • "faveret stashon"
  • "On the bus ride it was really long. We had to sit by a boy."
  • "Idaho is my favorite state because it is famous for it potatoes and [I] love potatoes."
  • "[The homemade cheese on crackers] was so good.  I had 10 of them.  My teacher din't believe me that I had that much. It' was really yummy."

  • "On September 16, 2011 it was Odaho Histery in Burly on the fair grounds."
  • (For his 2nd paragraph) "Hey guys! Its me agin Boy! This stations make you say wiky tidy did list."
  • (For her conclusion) "You guy put together a really good day of Idaho history."

  • "Next I am going to tell you How people lived back than in the ninteen hundred in Brooklen were pore peaple married pore peaple and rich peaple married rich peaple at fancy wedingings with a big cake and a yard for the weding and all the gess and brothers and sisters and that is all."
  • "I also learned the children had to eat out of the same bucket of food."
  • "I liked looking in the classroom and wondering if it looked a little newer back then."

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Tour of Rexburg

I hope you had a great weekend; I know I did :). Tricia texted me on Wednesday and asked if I wanted to come visit to go to Guitars Unplugged. I went to visit her two years ago and we went and had a blast, so I guess it's just natural for her to think of Guitars Unplugged and having a blast and then think of me :). On Friday, I totally rocked the Modification of Deed and Promissory Note I was writing at work, so I was able to get off early. I got gas, cash, dinner, and some new tunes and hit the road by 4:30. When I got to Rexburg, I called Tricia to talk me through how to find her apartment. She told me where to turn and where to go straight and then she said she was wearing a green shirt and asked if I could see her. She hopped into my car and gave me a twisty turn tour through her apartment complex. It's some beautiful new housing and still smells like new carpet! Apparently, I'm easy to please especially after my house hunting in Boise :). The best joke of the weekend was when we went to dinner. We were visiting with her roommate and a friend about places we should go to eat and I swear they suggested Virginal Tai. Didn't make sense to me, but I thought Tai sounded good, so we went there. I had a good laugh when I learned the name is actually Original Tai. I had the Drunken Noodles which the menu described as "intoxicated with Tai flavors." They were tasty, but by far the best were the Spring Rolls. Yummy in my tummy!

Saturday, we went to campus and picked up our tickets for Guitars Unplugged, visited the art exhibit in the Spori, and toured the new BYU Idaho Center. Tricia said some people call it the BYUIC (sounds like Buick) and some call it the I Center, but whatever you call it, it's HUGE. It's like a mini Conference Center where ALL the student body can attend devotionals on Tuesday. It has some really great art, which is what Tricia wanted to show me. Since we just went to the Carl Bloch exhibit in Provo she showed me some of the Bloch prints they have there and this wonderful collection of paintings of scenes from the Book of Mormon. I'll have to find out the name of the lady that did them because they were so cool! I loved the art exhibit at the Spori. They were displaying classical style paintings and I found one I really liked so I took a picture with my phone. I hope it turns out.   I like all the different styles and colors of stone and I thought this courtyard looked peaceful. 

When we were walking around on campus it started to hail. They were tiny but they got stuck in Tricia's braids and got in our pockets and somehow down my shirt. I felt like Rexburg was welcoming me back with open arms :). Later, we went to lunch at Sammy's. I think it's my new favorite place. It's a diner like atmosphere with burgers and shakes but they play cool music, and Tricia said at night they have live bands come and play. We got the peach cobbler shake and sweet potato french fries.

That night for Guitars Unplugged we went to the Hart. It has bleachers, which is what we sat in, or you could bring a blanket and sit on the basketball court. They had some really great groups. My favorite was a girl that sang a song she wrote herself called. Basically, it's about her dad's beat up green truck and how when guys came and picked her up for a date, then he made them take his truck and when they brought his daughter home in one piece he'd give them back the keys to their car. That's the idea anyway, but it was written really clever. Like, the first boyfriend showed up in shiny red Camerro. The next boyfriend got the same story but he drove a black T-bird. The only problem with original music at a concert is that I can't sing along and if I liked the song then where can I download it?!

Sunday, I had my Sunday School lesson to teach, and I promised a friend that I would substitute for her in Relief Society. So, I got up in the morning and drove home... in my pajamas :). It made for a long day, but as I was getting ready for bed, I couldn't help thinking about how great it was to spend time with Tricia at her home, visiting campus again, and exploring Rexburg. Lots of fun! Thanks, Tricia :).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I hope you don't mind, but I thought I'd go ahead and tell you about my trip to Boise for house hunting and meeting with the department chair for computer science.

Mom and I drove up Wednesday morning and met my realtor, Jennifer. She works in my office in Burley but has family in Boise, so she went up the night before. Then she and her daughter went with mom and I to check out some houses. What I've discovered is that it's actually cheaper to buy than to rent as long as you can get the loan and down payment. The main idea of the trip was to see if there is anything clean AND safe for my budget. We had three appointments but one fell through, so I was able to look at two town homes. I really hate the stairs, but there doesn't appear to be anything one level or at least not in my price range. However, I like the idea of a town house or a condo because I simply don't have the ability to maintain a yard with my arthritis, so association dues are a good idea in my case. 

The first one we looked at was a 850 square foot, two bedroom, and 1 bath town house, but it came with a garage. It hasn't been on the market for long, and I think the price is a little high but thought it might be negotiable.

The second one we looked at has been on the market for longer, and they've dropped the price a couple of times. I really, really liked it! It has about 1400 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and 1.5 baths. You walk in and the main floor is all done in laminate flooring. There is a small living room, small dining room, a medium sized kitchen with lots of cupboards, and a powder room. Off the back is a tiny enclosed patio that I could barbeque but not much else. The stairs are carpeted and a little too steep for Mom's liking, but all the upstairs bedrooms have the Pergo again. The one bathroom as an en suite entrance from the master as well as a door to the hall. It only has only one sink, but it has nice square footage as well as a bath/ shower combo. The master bedroom is HUGE (16'x15'). The other two bedrooms are very nice sized. 
Living Room

The drawback to house hunting now is that I'm not ready to make an offer, and I've never been a particularly good window shopper. I've got to get my ducks in a row and find out if I can even get approved for a loan.  Most of the properties being listed are foreclosures and short sales, which aren't impossible but it's complicated and loads of work for the realtors. I have to remind myself that the trip was about research and not buying. I guess I'll just have to see if what's still on the market in a couple months after I can get pre-approved and can get a little closer to moving to Boise (my loan would require I move in within 60 days of closing). I'll meet again with the bank in a few weeks after I receive the statements I need to send to the underwriter, and I guess we'll go from there.

I also met with the department chair for Computer Science (CS), Dr. Medidi. He was able to give me a list of classes that I need to take and a map of when I should be able to take them. Most of the classes are prerequisites for later classes which are prerequisites for more classes. They build on each other, so the University assumes that you'll only take 2-3 CS classes a semester and fill out the schedule with generals. The down side is that means I won't be able to pile them up in a semester and rush through them like I was hoping. Plus they don't offer CS or math classes during the summer because they believe you need more than eight weeks to learn the topic. But, the up side is that they'll take all of my generals from my earlier degree (except they'll require me to take a philosophy and communications class). Dr. Medidi says that I should finish in six to seven semesters. I was hoping to go year round, but I'm going to have to rethink things since that's not possible. I can still get student loans if I maintain six credits, so I'm trying to decide if I want to try to get a part-time job and go to school part-time (and not attempt to take Calculus this fall), or go full-time and try to finish up a little earlier. There is just so much to consider that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I feel like it's a good decision to go to school, but trying to figure it all out is going to be an adventure!

So, really long post! Sorry about that. I guess I had a lot on the brain and figured I'd just get it all out on "paper." Oh, by the way, I just realized that I went to Boise on Wednesday, Rexburg on Friday, and in two weeks I have a doctor's appointment in Salt Lake! I haven't had an oil change on my car for five months because I was way low mileage and now I'm going to put on over 1,000 miles in less than a month :). Life is funny.