Friday, February 27, 2009

Fatty-Pancakes and Tornado-Snow

Yesterday I made some rockin' pancakes. I just used regular pancake mix, then added:
banana slices
pb
milk chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
brown sugar
vanilla.
It was delectable. For reals. They were kind of hard to work with, but totally worth.

The snow was CRAZY here the other day. It came in spurts and didn't last very long, but it was insane. This video does not do it justice whatsoever. I hope you like Sara's narrative.
video
Sara had gone to class when it was like this. When she got to the building her whole front was white. By the time she got to class she was drenched. Crazy stuff.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pond Skimming and Intense Hopscotching

A couple weeks back we went to a pond-skimming school thing. It was crazy. I didn't know what it was, so for those of you who don't... there was a gigantic mound of snow on top of an already huge, steep hill (the same hill we went ice-blocking last semester). At the bottom of the hill there was a giant pool of water. The goal for all of the people was to make it to the end of the pool without falling into the water. Everyone wore costumes, there were different prizes for crazy things (e.g. making it across the pond, best costume, best wipe-out, etc.), there were over 100 contestants (we only stayed for the first hour and only around 25 people had gone), and people had a bunch of different modes of transportation (snowboards, skis, intertubes, garbage lids, and one guy was on a chair!). Luckily, it wasn't snowing and it wasn't near as cold as it could have been. I really don't know how someone didn't die or get frostbite or something. Needless to say, it was hilarious.
Sorry if the pictures didn't turn out too well.
Here are a few of my faves:

Meet Cupid (I think it was a week before Vday or something).
Cat in the Hat.
Whoopee-cushion Man
There was an insane amount of people there. This is only one of the corners of people.
Here is my favorite run. We saw them walking up the hill with this chair, so we waited for this guy before we left.
video

We have some pretty awesome new neighbors: Chelsea, Claire, and Becca. They are crazy, loud, laughy, nice, and just overall very entertaining. They decided that we should make a hop-scotch on the balcony outside our dorms. The weather was super nice to us yesterday (yet again :) !!!) It took a pretty long time actually. We were quite creative with it, so it turned out pretty intense and tiring. Here is Sara making the first run. The other girls are behind her. Oh, and you might want to turn the volume down before you watch this, it sounds a little obnoxious. Enjoy :)
video

Sara's Got Skill



Are you impressed? I sure was.

Pizza Pull-Aparts

My mom had sent me the recipe for pizza pull-aparts a good while ago, but I think I deleted it from my email, so I kind of had to wing it. I used 3 tubes of 10 mini-biscuits. I pulled them apart before baking, but my mom told me afterwards that you are meant to pull them apart after, but oh well, it still turned out beautifully. Then, I covered them with jarred spaghetti sauce, a layer of shredded cheddar cheese, layer of pepperoni, another layer of cheese, and on one side I added ham. I baked it at 400 degrees (what the biscuits called for) for I don't know how long. I took it out 2 or 3 times to check the biscuits in the middle. I'm sure there are a lot of ways to make this dish better, so go at it!!

Sara, Whitney, and I probably ate a good 3/4 of it, and the rest was eaten a bit by our neighbors and later as left-overs for Sara. Everyone said they really liked it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Spring is Upon Us"

That's how President Clark opened the past devotional on Tuesday. I didn't believe him at first, just thought it happened to be a non-windy/snowy/ridiculously-chilly day. But I was wrong! It's starting to get so warm! I am so excited.
I drove to Provo this past weekend with 3 of our neighbors. On Monday, when we were getting ready to leave, I said that it was really warm. One of the girls replied, "I know! I keep on seeing people wearing jackets and I just think, what the heck are they doing?!" It was probably around 38 or 40 degrees. Pretty awesome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Break-ups and the Atonement

Disclaimer: This might be hard to understand. I can be a bit confusing. It's a little tough to put into words.

Tonight was a tough night for Sara. She has been seeing an RM, Zach, since the end of this past October. They weren't taking it too seriously and were taking it slow. He is a super good guy; I approve, that accounts for a lot. Not divulging or going on with too many details, she broke up with him tonight. She didn't feel he was the right one and she didn't want to lead him on, he felt it was right. He was completely crushed and she is heart-broken. She came home tonight, right afterwards, and broke out into tears. She is always smart and strong, even now she is, but she is hurting.

I talked to her for a little bit after she had been alone in our room for about ten minutes. After I left the room for her to call her mom, I let my tears flow. I just feel so sad for her. I wish she wouldn't hurt so bad. I wish Zach wouldn't hurt so bad. It wasn't some big, dramatic event or mistake. Sara felt it was right, and she thinks Zach eventually will, too, but for now it is painful.

This is such a miniscule event compared to all the hurt in the world, but it has made my mind race. Thinking about how much I love Sara and wish I could take her pain away, it only brings me to think about Christ. This break-up has caused a lot of sadness. It is nothing compared to losing a loved one, or a failed marriage, or sickness, or tough situations or choices, or injury, or abuse, or a boatload of things. There is so much pain everywhere. There are so many constant hardships all around us. The love I have for Sara and how much I wish she wouldn't hurt or how I would rather take on that pain for her, I can't imagine how a mother or father, or just someone closer than Sara and I, feel for their children or loved ones and hurt so much more than in this situation.

I can't imagine how many times stronger those feelings and desires are in Christ. How could Christ have suffered so much pain? How could He have done what He did for every single one of us? How could He have loved us so much? How can He love us so much? How can we even begin to contemplate or imagine as powerful of an event, as the Atonement? How could He have come down to this place from His throne above? How could He have given up His life for us? How could He suffer through people like us tormenting and persecuting Him to such a great extent? How can He have so much love for us individually after our negligence, our unbelief, our constant veering from the path, our weakness, our pride? How could He have been so willing?

I have been so curious about the Atonement this semester. My mind is constantly being driven to it. I have not even begun to understand the power of it. My prayer is that I will always focus my mind and heart on Christ, His love, His sacrifices, and His ultimate sacrifice. I pray that I might always build upon my faith and knowledge and everyday be able to understand it just a fraction of a bit better. I pray that Christ will always be the center of my life.

A hymn in relation.
We sang this at the end of Devotional today. It's absolutely beautiful.
Number 129
"Where Can I Turn for Peace?"

Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease
to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart,
anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know,
where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand
to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.

He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane,
Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds
for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

Kissing Help!!!!

Help!!!!

Please, please, please.
This is ridiculously important.

I need to find a poem that I can't remember too well.
It's at home...
on my computer and printed out in a box somewhere.
But that doesn't really help me out here.
I am employing everyone's help in this quest!!

It's about kissing.
About not giving your kisses away.
Something having to do with a dollar.
I'm sorry I can't give that many details or remember it that well.
It's driving me crazy!!!!
Help, help, help!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rexburg Happiness

Two theories:

1. This is a very, very mild winter and we are very blessed.

2. I was so frightened before I came here, people were saying things like:
"It feels like your face is going to fall off"
or
"Your nostril hairs will freeze"
or
"The wind makes you wish you were dead"
or
"No, no, no, you don't even understand how cold it is. I mean, really"
or
"You're going to have to wear three thick jackets, two layers of pants with long-johns underneath, four pairs of socks with heavy fur boots, a scarf for your neck, a scarf for your face, a good, strong hat, earmuffs, and a hood"
I think I was so scared, and so many people said so many things like this that it has just turned out to be a bit better than what I was expecting.

I'm guessing it's the first theory, because people were pretty serious.
Don't get me wrong... it's pretty nice and freezing, but it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Last week it got down to -25 degrees, last week was probably the worst. This week is supposed to be grand... it's supposed to get above freezing!! Fantastic! The lows are still supposed to be in the teens, but that's okay!!

I'm staying nice and warm with my nifty hat. No worries :)
This was before devotional. I was uber warm and cozy!!
We had Elder Christofferson visit us and speak! It was fantastic.
That post will be coming shortly.
(Sorry for the Myspace-esque pictures.
Kind of conceded, I know.)
This is how not to stay warm.

Oh, and only nine weeks until this semester is done.
Don't get me wrong. School is going great.
But I am super looking forward to the summer :)

Mmm... Taters

Ok... if any of you are like me and had never had nor heard about tater-tot casserole, then this post is for you! If you have had it, then I guess you can just completely disregard this. Sara and Kayla had both had it before, I guess I'm just lame.
Mmm mmm mmm. It is delish. My mom gave me a recipe for it forever ago and I didn't try it until tonight. It is super easy and yummy. Oh, and I'm pretty sure it will clog your arteries quite nicely.

Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained (I just used beef)
3 two-pound bags tater tots
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Directions:
Brown meat and place in large casserole dish. Cover with tater tots. Mix soups and milk together. Pour over top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

I halved the recipe. And it actually turns out I quartered the amount of tater-tots (didn't mean to do that, but it was still bien).The three of us got super full from half of what I made. Sara says it is her new comfort food and I have to make it for her whenever she is sick. I had some corn on the side, and it's super good mixed in. :)
Later days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Step: Tolerance

My Developing World teacher brought this article to our attention a while ago. It's a "This I Believe" article. Pretty interesting. I really like his closing remarks, I think everyone can learn a bit from it... I know I sure can.
You can find the full article here.

"I have long believed that it is unnecessary to understand others, individuals, or nationalities; one must, at the very least, simply tolerate others. Tolerance can lead to respect and, finally, to love. No one can ever really understand anyone else, but you can love them or at least accept them.

Like Tom Paine, I am a world citizen. All human history is mine. My roots cover the earth.

I believe we should know each other. After all, our lives are all connected."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Your Bday Song

You need to check out this website.

Put in your birthday and it will tell you what song was number 1 on the billboards on your birthday! Isn't that exciting?? Mine was "Girl, I'm Gonna Miss you" by Milli Vanilli. Special, huh?