Do you want to build a snowman?

If you speak a foreign language, whether it be you learned it in high school, on a mission or just out of pure desire, watching some of your favorite movies in another language can be a fun way to review or even learn different aspects of the language you didn’t know.

A little bit ago, a dear friend (and former Hong Kong mission companion) shared this adorable video with me & not only is the little voice just the CUTEST, I loved being reminded of how much I love Cantonese and want to SYL more.

So no matter what other languages you speak, or even if you don’t, I’m certain foreign language Disney can bring a smile to your face.

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The 7th Sister

Going from a steady diet of yogurt and wheat thin crackers to being married and wanting to be sure I made edible meals that my male counterpart would enjoy seemed like an incredible feat 6 months ago.

However, my mom introduced me to the world of the Six Sisters Stuff & it helped me change the way I looked at cooking! Full of easy, quick and above all DELICIOUS recipes they have literally saved me in my kitchen. Since I am borderline obsessed with all their recipes Thomas frequently refers to me as the 7th sister.

(check out some of my favorites here and here and here and here)

But this happy eating after story doesn’t end there. You see, the Six Sisters have made my life even easier and have come out with a program where they email you a weekly menu plan every week with 6 main dishes, 2 side dishes & 2 desserts (complete with a shopping list)  every week for only $5 a month! When I found out, I thought it had to be too good to be true! But i’ve been using it for a month now and while I don’t use every recipe they send out, it does give me lots of good ideas for planning the meals for the following week.

Give it a try/check it out here.

You won’t regret it.

Tenacity

Recently, Thomas and I were thrown a curve ball that we weren’t expecting. The kind of curveball that makes us wonder how it will all work out. Deep down inside, my faith knows that Heavenly Father will make it alright, and if it’s not okay it’s not the end.

While I was still struggling with wondering how it would all work out and feeling sorry for myself, Thomas shared with me THIS TALK.

Whether you’re going through something hard right now, or not, I would encourage you to read/watch/or listen to it. I hope that it can help you, like me, realize that I need to be more tenacious. To not give up when things seem insurmountable and challenging. The world needs more individuals who stick to a task and will follow through.

Miracles come not by sitting around hoping something will occur. Miracles come by going to work and having the faith that it really all will work out.

The Windows of Heaven

In a recent General Conference address, Elder Bednar said, “Spiritual and temporal blessings come into our lives as we live the law of tithing.” Thomas and I recent had an experience that reminded us of God’s love for us and that spiritually  and temporally we are two very blessed people, and that Elder Bednar’s promise is true.

  The story takes place in a month not so long ago in the year we are currently in. We recently purchased a 2010 Honda CR-V at the end of August, just a couple of weeks after we were married. It had been running great and we had no complaints. We soon found, however, that our front tire pressure was depleting at an unusually quick rate. We finally relented to taking it into the shop, but I made Thomas promise me that he wouldn’t purchase new tires because who just has $500 laying around? Not us and we would need to save for such an expenditure.

Well I knew that was wishful thinking when Thomas called with the diagnosis that 4 new tires were in order thanks to the baldness of ours and a nail that had caused this whole upset in the first place. So I said let’s do it. As I got off the phone and saw our bank account, I was glad that we weren’t in any terrible financial distress, but $500+ would put us in a pinch for a little while.

We picked up our car with it’s new tires that night and feeling extra frugal made sure that we only had a $12 pizza box from Pizza Hut for our date night and purchased our next week’s groceries with a gift card from our wedding.

A natural worrier, I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious about what felt like was a dwindling bank account the next morning. I also  wondered what we were going to do about our already planned trip to Moab for the following weekend. We had friend’s over for breakfast that morning, and then after taking dinner to some friend’s that night, we stopped by my parent’s house in Pleasant Grove to pick up a few things.

There was a stack of mail waiting for me on the counter and I began to thumb through the usual junk mail. Earlier this year I worked at Deseret Book. While working there I had put money into some investments that the company had matched. Because I no longer worked there, they had withdrew the investments and sent us the check. The amount on the check practically covered the amount for our tires. I couldn’t believe it! Jumping up and down ensued while my younger siblings looked at us like we were crazy people.

I always wondered how people in church would share a tithing story and then say they had forgotten about money and then miraculously got a check in the mail. I knew this incredible blessing had come at the precise moment we needed because we had kept the commandments. But it wasn’t so much about the money for me that was the miracle. It was that God cares about our problems because they matter to us and we matter to him.

  

 I couldn’t help but feel God’s love for us that day and have meditated on this experience in the weeks since. His love is real. Whether your worries are of a financial, spiritual, emotional or seem mundane in nature, God cares and he is there. God is good.

Story time

Some might call us Amish, others might refer to us as pilgrims, or some might even think Thomas and I live in the Stone Age. However, none of those are true. Our little house on the Provo just happens to not have wifi and we don’t have a TV. 

Some friends and family members wonder how we survive, what we do with our time, or how we manage to have fun without Netflix or Thomas watching endless hours of Sports Center. 

  
But we have found that we really enjoy reading together. Thomas has yet to read the last 3 Harry Potter books, so Thomas can often be found reading aloud in the kitchen while I make dinner or bribing me to get ready for bed faster–promising that he will read 1 whole chapter to me if I get ready fast. 

  It’s really like magic to re-read them with him and hear all the different voices complete with British accents that Thomas uses. (His Dobby voice is one of my favorites.) 

It’s been a great hobby for us and just another thing we can add to our list of mutual hobbies that we enjoy together. 

Ellsworth

This semester, I have the chance to take a media & the family class. Recently, one of the lectures was on the power of music. It’s interesting that before my mission, I felt the need of constant stimulation from music. I would spend hours making CD’s of 20 or so songs to jam out to in my car for a particular month, or I might need to take a dancing break in the grocery store if the correct tune roared on the overhead at just the right second. My roommates and I would dance in our apartment to get away from schoolwork and I found my iPod to be my only source of refuge as I trained for a half marathon.

What I find interesting, is how that’s all changed. Since my mission, I feel that sometimes I prefer silence in the car just so I can have a few moments of quiet to think. The other day as I was driving and thinking about music (but ironically not listening to it) I was reminded of a song by Rascal Flatts called Ellsworth. The song is a story about an elderly lady who has Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I remember this song came out and then a few years later my sweet Grandma Palmer was diagnosed with AD and I just felt a connection to the song.

 I watched as my Grandma who I had loved to sit and talk to for hours, who had perfect penmanship, and was an immaculate homemaker– overtime forgot who I was, couldn’t write her own name and unable to even wash dishes or sweep the floor. My heart ached for her and my grandpa. They had lived such good lives and I remember being angry and sad that AD had chosen them as victim.

The silver lining in my Grandma’s story was that while the disease took over her brain and she had the hardest time remembering things or doing even the simplest of tasks, just like the song says, “..but bring up Grandpa, it’s like someone flipped a switch.” She always remembered my Grandpa. So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I would often think of that song and be happy that she always remembered him. This song gave me courage to go over to their house once a week and know that while my Grandma might think its December in July or that we were conspiring against her in another room, that deep down, she really did know who we were. She loved us and always would.

After a long fight with AD & Parkinson’s disease Grandma (as Judy Seegmiller says in her book) graduated from this life. To this day, whenever I hear that song it brings tears to my eyes and helps me remember that she fought a brave fight and while we can’t choose our trials, we can choose how we react.

I’m grateful that while music may not be such a a center for me, that music does help elevate my mood, help me relive past memories, & help me connect with loved ones.

The Y Ball

Thanks to a friend in our ward, we found out about one of BYU’s long standing traditions (for married or engaged students only)  The Y Ball! 

Turns out that this totally free event has been happening for years, (and without the “word of mouth” publicity that seems all to fleeting these days thanks to the powerhouses & convenience of social media) Thomas and I were able to go to this last night! 

We had a lovely night dining on 2 types of chicken, took pictures in what seemed to be an ode to old high school dances & then danced to all our favorite (& laughed at some of our not so favorite) tunes. 

If you missed out this past year, mark your calendars for next year. After 1.5 hours of dancing we were exhausted but we were oh so happy!