Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 a year of change

2013 has been an interesting year. It was full of ups and downs. The second half of the year has been very difficult, hence the lack of blog posts, but I have learned and grown so much. Events of the summer really started me thinking and set me on a path of self discovery. Most of my life, I have focused on making others happy. I always put other's wants and feelings above my own. After the summer, I decided that I need to do things for me, which is why I decided to go back to school.
It has not been easy! The first course was a life skills class. The work itself has been very simple. The challenge has been the time and commitment. We meet every Thursday night in Philadelphia. When I began the school year, I was working as an assistant manager in West Cape May. In the past, our trucks always came on Tuesdays during the winter. So naturally, this year our truck day was moved to Thursdays. Luckily, our deliveries came early in the morning so I left work in time to get to the gathering. I would wake up sometime between 3:30-4am to get ready for work. I would leave work and get home around 3pm. I needed to leave my house at 4:30 to get to my ride's house. I wouldn't get home from class until 11-11:30pm. Let me tell you, waking up at 3:30am and getting to bed at midnight is rough. Thursdays soon became dreaded. I so badly wanted to quit school.
When an opportunity arose at CVS to become a manager, I jumped at the chance. My DM sent me to a store to run it as the manager for a few weeks as a trial run. This store still got truck on Thursdays, but instead of the morning, it would come at night, between 7 and 8 pm. My class starts at 7pm.
The manager that had been there had been looking for another job for a while and really stopped doing the work in the store that needed to be done. The store was a train wreck. I was worried that now I needed to choose between Pathway and work. I have never not been at a delivery. It was a difficult decision. I had not been officially promoted and needed to prove myself at work before I got the job. I felt that not being present during deliveries would hamper my performance, especially because of the state that particular store was in. An area that it was really struggling with was putting away deliveries in a timely manner
I chose to continue to attend class. Work continued to get harder. I would go in the office and cry everyday. During this time, my father had major open heart surgery. When I was at work, I worried about him and wanted to be at the hospital to support my mom. When I was with them at the hospital, I was worried about work. I stopped being able to sleep. I had a very difficult time falling asleep and would wake every two hours with horrible nightmares. I also stopped being able to eat. I would be hungry, but the thought of food made me nauseous. When I would try to swallow, my gag reflex would kick in and I would throw up my food. I lived off of Gatorade and lost over 10 pounds. I was starting to seriously lose it. 
 I then came across a scripture in The Book of Mormon that really struck me.
Mosiah 4:9: “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.”
I needed to put my trust in Heavenly Father. I know that He has a plan for me and my life. I may not understand what that plan is, but I trust that He does. This experience has helped strengthen my testimony so much. I truly depended on my father in heaven to get me through every day.
In my mind, I had two choices, I could move forward and become the manager of this store and be miserable or I could give up this opportunity (not knowing if or when another would present itself) and remain an assistant manager. Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, something happened at work that made the decision easy for me. I spent Thanksgiving day praying to know if I was making the right decision. Friday, I met with me DM to talk about my progress and discuss whether or not I got the job as manager.
I went into the meeting completely committed to asking to remain an assistant. My boss had other plans. He promoted me to a store manager of a different store, the 34th street Ocean City store. I never dreamed that was a possibility. This is the store I was hired in as a cashier 3 and a half years ago. It is also less than 5 miles from my house! I had been traveling 30 miles. 
Ocean City has been a good change for me, but the stress and anxiety hasn't quite left and it has continued to wreak havoc on my body. After a trip to the hospital, I am on medication for gastritis and acid reflux. My family doctor has also suggested that I start seeing a counselor about my anxiety.
As difficult as this year has been, I am honestly grateful for the challenges I have had. I have grown so much. These struggles has forced me to face things that I have run away from in the past.  I know that 2014 will continue to challenge me and that I will need to make some difficult decisions. Decisions that are hard and painful but will continue to benefit me in the long run. Had I not experienced everything that I did in 2013, I don't think I would have the strength to make these plans and decisions.

Sorry for being so cryptic. I want to use this blog as a release for me and a journal, but some details are too personal to put out there for anyone to see. Especially while I am still trying to figure everything out.  But thanks for reading my ramblings :)

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

How can I become more Christlike?

It has been a stressful summer. Sorry that it's been so long since I posted. In my Pathway Program this past week for school, we talked a lot about technology. We talked about the benefits and dangers of the internet. The whole week I have thought about this blog. I came up with the idea to post a spiritual thought each Sunday. This week it was my turn to teach YW. Here is what I did for my lesson...

How can I become more Christlike?

I copied the Attribute Activity out of the Preach My Gospel page 126. I gave a copy to each girl for them to evaluate themselves.
The Christlike attributes focused on in Preach My Gospel are faith, hope, charity and love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence and obedience. I wrote each attribute on a piece of paper and had the girls each pick one. I gave the girls a couple minutes to study their attribute in Preach My Gospel and in the scriptures listed in the section. Then each girl took a turn at explaining what her attribute was and why it is important.
We then combined with the older girls and showed a few videos.

The second video is one I came across last winter that always stuck with me. I have been waiting since then for an appropriate chance to share it with the YW.
I also really love THIS story but I didn't have enough time to share it.

Want to learn more about my faith? Just ask me or visit THIS website

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The other night, Pat comes home craving a panini. We decided to order from a local Italian place. After a solid 30 minutes of debating what to get, he changes his mind about ordering because they didn't have an Italian panini on the menu. They do have Italian subs and a note at the bottom of the menu saying the chef would take requests if ingredients are available. I told him to just request it cause I was hungry and craving Italian. But he didn't want it anymore.
 I suggest making spaghetti at home (I really wanted Italian now). But E News was on and Kevin and Danielle Jonas were announcing their pregnancy and I really wanted to watch the interview (don't laugh at me). I told Pat to go start the water. He got all whiny so I just ran and did it. I noticed before I put the pot on the burner, there was a tiny spill at the edge but I was in a rush and ignored it. A few minutes later I start to smell a little burn from the kitchen, i assume its just that spill. Shortly after that I hear Pat screaming. He can be a little dramatic so I thought he was overreacting but I walk out to a kitchen filled with white nasty smelling smoke.
Turns out I turned on the wrong burner. I had a lid laying upside down. The plastic top had not only melted, it was boiling on the flat top burner. I was scraping it up with a metal spatula (I was scared my plastic one would melt) while Pat opened all the door, windows and turned on the fans. After a couple minutes I couldn't stand the smell. It burned my eyes and throat so I sat outside and got eaten alive by mosquitoes.
I was really upset and Pat knows to leave me alone to let me cool down. When he came to check on me, I asked what he would do the next time I asked him to boil water. "Not let you do it!"
Naturally it rained for two days afterwards so we couldn't keep the windows open to air it out
We are still trying to get the burned plastic smell out of the house.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I have had emotional/stressful few weeks. There has just so much going on in my life, a lot that is out of my control. I started to have major anxiety and panic attacks. My typical stress reliever in these type of situation is to organize and cleaning out because it gives me back a sense of control. But after a weekend full of trash bags, I wasn't feeling any better.
I realized I needed to go a step further. I spend so much of my time doing things for other people. I put so many other people first and I need a change. I need to do things for myself and put myself first for once. Which leads me to a major decision I have made...

I am going back to school!

BYU-Idaho has a new program called the Pathway Program. It is an online program. The first year, you go all three semesters taking 5 credits each semester. Once a week we meet for a couple hours. Since there are not many signed up in the area, the meetings will be in Philadelphia. After that first year, you no longer need to go to weekly meetings, everything is still online and it only costs $65 a credit!

I am so excited!!

Additional news: My lil bro Will has recieved his mission call. He will be serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for two years in the Reno Nevada Mission. He reports to the Missionary Training Center on October 2.

Monday, June 24, 2013

April, May and June catch up

I have been a bit of a slacker on this blog lately, sorry.
Lets catch up

Birthdays and Anniversary

I turned 23 (seriously starting to feel like an adult, scary)
Pat had a birthday too, 28 years old
Pat and I celebrated 5 years together. I honestly can't remember what we did to celebrate
Pat had several friends from high school visit. About one friend a week. It wasn't really planned that way, it just worked out. One of the visits was a complete surprise. It was really nice to meet his friends and hear all the reminiscing. I really hope our kids take after me when they are teens or we will be in BIG trouble

Spring Fling
I was in charge of the Spring Fling at church. It was really fun and quite a bit stressful! I learned to accept help and it was a great party! We had a carnival theme. Some of the games were bean bag toss, hula hoops, build a tower, pick a duck and eating a donut on a string. We also had a "photo booth" with fun props provided by a sister in the ward and a jar full of jelly beans to guess how many jelly beans there were for a top prize. Someone guessed it right on the nose too!
I went a little nuts with the prizes! I got lots of mini pillow pets for $3 each along with big playground ball cheap at CVS. My mom made fudge and I got TONS of little prizes and candy from the dollar store and Walmart. I kept thinking, "we aren't going to have enough" and in the end we were just giving them all away!

Audra, Trevor and Caiden came to NJ to visit. After a week, Trevor had to go back to Dallas for work but Caiden and Audra stayed for another week. It was great to be able to spend time with the family. During their visit, we went to Smithville. Caiden went on his first ride, he wasn't amused
Towards the end of May, I flew out to Dallas for a long weekend and stayed with Audra. We went to a Taylor Swift concert at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It was sold out (55,000 people). It was a great show

Caiden turned one in May so he had his one year pictures taken while I was there. He was a grump but we got some good ones

We also went to the Dallas Aquarium. It was super crowded so we didn't stay long. To be totally honest, I wasn't impressed. It was small, not a lot of space to walk (especially with a crowd) and not a lot of animals. Camden Aquarium has it beat! But I still liked it, until I got sick. I swear I had some vertigo. After getting out of the elevator I got SO dizzy! It lasted on and off for a few days.
Right before my flight home, I went with Audra and Trevor to Audra's ultrasound to find out what the sex of the baby...its a girl :)
Paul graduated 8th grade last week. Its crazy to think he is old enough to go to high school!
Chris graduated from hair school in Utah
Well that's about it!


Monday, April 8, 2013

The Good, The Bad and The Guilty

It was murder mystery time again at my place Friday night. Last time I hosted, I didn't play. I was glad that I didn't have a part so that I could cheat and see who the murderer in advance and help everyone along. But this time I wanted to play, so I bought a new kit, this time with a western theme...How to Host a Murder- The Good, The Bad and The Guilty. I read the reviews and it sounded fun.
Last time, I left Pat and I out so that if a couple cancelled, we could fill in, which was good because one of the boys couldn't make it so Pat played. But like I said before, I wanted to play so I had no back ups. So naturally, something came up and my parents weren't able to come leaving me a couple short. I didn't want to insult anyone by inviting them last minute as a back up guest. So I sent a message to the girls that came to the last one asking if any of them would be willing to fill in. I figured since they had been guests already, they wouldn't be upset to not have been originally invited to this one. And lucky for me, the Swans were more than happy to fill in.
I was really happy with the way the table looked
 I hit up Fro Me a Party and got a plastic brown tablecloth (the table was borrowed from church and I don't have table cloths that long). I found the super cute napkins half price! and plastic cowboy hats and spurs. I cut up brown paper bags from the grocery store to be my place mats. I used pie pans for the salad plate and red paper plates for the main meal. The toy guns and cowboys and Indians were from the local dollar store.
I didn't do a murder scene this time but I did decorate the door :)
Appetizers: BBQ meatballs made by the Swans
Salad (basic bagged salad, nothing exciting)
Dinner: Ham (I got one free from shoprite for Easter)
Baked Potatoes
Hobo Beans
Homemade Potato Bread
Dessert: Cake (with pudding layer) from the Kirks
Last time, I had dinner ready by the time the guests arrived and it was soooo cold by the time we got to eat. This time, I picked out things that took along time to cook and was low maintenance. I timed it all to be done an hour after the guests arrived. But it was still cold by the time we got to eat. It was warmer so I am getting there. I did buy one other kit, a Vegas wedding themed one. Hopefully I will get it all right by then!
My character was a saloon girl and I went all out on my costume. Some of the other costumes were entertaining! I wished I got a picture!
It was a really fun night!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Place

When Pat and I moved into our three bedroom apartment, my plan was a room for us, a guest room and a room for Pat's gaming. But Pat decided he would rather take over the living room so I had an extra room. I thought "Hey, if he doesn't want a man-cave, I'll make that room mine" but I couldn't quite make it work. I took the little room and put in all my hair/make up and giant mirror I use to get ready. It turned into more of a junk room. Then the bigger room became the guest room. The problem was that we have more junk then what fit in the little room and the guest room was basically empty except for a twin bed. So I switched the two rooms.
A few months later, we had a roommate move into our guest room. The junk room/my room turned into an even junkier room. So when our roommate finally left I decided to take over that little room once again and really make it MINE! I am soooo excited at how it has turned out.
I have been able to do things during this make over that I had been wanting to do for so long.

I updated my childhood dresser
You can see why it needed an update
I painted it a grey color that has a hint of blue
The wooden knobs were replaced by plain nickel knobs on clearance from Target
$8 for a pack of 10

I updated a desk I got from my grandmother's upstairs apartment.
 Part of being a newlywed is taking what you can get as far as furniture is concerned. Basically everything we have has been borrowed. I knew I could keep this so I wanted to make it my own.


Handles removed and drawers sanded
The desk was painted the same color as the desk
I wanted to replace the handles with simple silver pulls but because the desk is so old, I couldn't find pulls that were the right distance to match the holes! After looking in 5 different stores, I gave up.
 Filling in the old holes and drilling new ones seemed like a lot of work, so I ended up using the old pulls. But after painting the desk, the rusty metal look wasn't going to work. Luckily I had some metallic spray paint from a different project.
Even though it wasn't what I originally planned, I love the outcome.

This desk has become my vanity. I have always done my hair and makeup while sitting on the floor, so having a vanity is exciting. I love how organized it is! Separate drawers for everything, face, eye, lip, nails, hair accessories, hair appliances and products.
The mirror I had been using is ridiculously big and too heavy to hang. I got the one in above photo for $30 at Marshalls. The frame was black, so I painted it grey to match everything. but the more I look at it, the more I want to change it to silver. There is too much of the same paint color.
The lamp was $20 from Marshalls
Moroccan Accent Rug was $30 from Target
Jewelry tree $20 Target
Vase for make up brushes $2 Ikea
I want to get a plain comfy white chair to replace the chair I have in there now


Curtain $30 JC Penney
 (I want to get a sheer white panel for underneath now that I tied it up)
Curtain rod $14 Target
(There was some strange plastic thing before that had no purpose)

The wing back chair is a loaner that I have a love/hate relationship with.
After mom bought us the recliner, I had no where to put this chair and I thought it would be nice in here. I love the shape but I am not a fan of the fabric at all. I have seen tutorials on reupholstering a wing back chair as well as a tutorial to pain the fabric, but this is a loaner. It belongs to a friend of my mother-in-law. That same friend lent us a couch (both had been in storage for years). When we replaced the couch, she didn't want it back. I am not sure if same goes for the chair, so I don't want to do anything drastic. I am going to but my sewing skill to the test and attempt to make a slip cover...
And last but not least....my favorite part of this room that has made this truly My Happy Place!
I have seriously wanted to do this forever!

I got these bookshelves from Ikea for $60 each

Of course not all of my shoes fit so I just put up my favorites

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I have had many requests for the Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies I make. The truth is I often make these purely so that I can eat the dough. Its is sooooo dang good!
They are called M&M cookies, but I don't add M&Ms :) The original recipe makes an obscene amount of cookies (12 eggs, 8 c. peanut butter 18 c. oatmeal...) So I cut it down so the measurements are more reasonable

3 eggs
1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1.5 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 T vanilla (i never measure)
2 tsp baking soda
4.5 c. oatmeal

1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. M&Ms
1/2 c. walnuts
(I never add walnuts and I hardly ever have M&Ms so I usually just do a cup of chocolate chips, I find if you do more than one cup of add ins- the cookies don't stick together well enough)

Bake at 350 for about 12 min. My oven seems to overcook things and I like my cookies chewy, so I just eyeball it pull them out after about 10 min

Enjoy :)

Friday, March 8, 2013


Yesterday, my mom called and asked me if I would be home today. She said that she just got my birthday present in the mail and she was too excited to wait and wanted to swing by and drop it off the next day around 11:30 or noon (My bday is in april). I said sure and thought it was kind of funny but didn't think much of it.
This morning she called and was just chatting. She told me about Paul not having school yesterday because the storm had knocked out the power but everything was fixed. He wasnt too thrilled about going back and was complaining about a stomache ache. Paul is known to be a little bit of a drama king/ overreactor, so mom sent him off to school. Then she asked if we were still on for today.
I go about my day and get a call a little after 11:30 from mom. She said the school had just called her and Paul had thrown up and she needed to go get him, but she still really wanted to swing by and drop off my gift. I felt bad that she felt she had do drive around leaving her sick son alone to give me stuff when I am doing nothing. So I offered to swing by the store and get ginger ale and drop it off and pick up my present then. She told me she would call after she picked up Paul and let me know.
At 1:30 she calls and tells me Paul is settled and asked if I was still home. When I said I was, she said that she was leaving now.
I was on my computer and saw a truck pull in to the lot. There is an office under us that gets UPS and FedEx deliveries daily so I assumed it was them. But then I saw a random guy walk up the steps to my door.
Confused, I open the door and he asked "Is this apartment E?"
"Um, Yes"
"Are you expecting a recliner?"
Wait, what?
"I guess so, my mom did say she was bringing me a birthday present"
"Oh its your birthday? happy birthday!"
They bring in the matching recliner that I had raved about to my mom after Pat and I picked out our couch. I loved it because it is oversized, super comfy and reclines really far back. You could easily sleep in it. And the best part is that it is a rocker too! I wanted it because it would be perfect to rock a baby in the middle of the night. But never in a million years did I expect her to get it for me. I was in complete shock!!!!And I just couldnt stop smiling! Mom showed up just after the guys left. She TOTALLY got me! Everything about Paul being ill was a lie to cover the three hour delivery timeline. And I totally belived her! I am not someone who is easily surprised but I never ever expected this! It crazy how spoiled I am! A new couch for christmas was over-the-top AMAZING and the recliner for my Bday! Life is GOOD!!!!
PS If anyone is a size 10 and like the shoes pictured here, let me know!
I like them but they just aren't "me"  but they were a final sales item so I cant return them
She said that when they were picking it out, they started to look at dining sets. She said That should be next because that is the last major furniture item in the area of the house that she sees. That is the next thing on my list too and I am saving up for it. 


One of my goals that I have been working really hard at is sticking to a budget. I have had the hardest time until I came across this website/app EEBA. And when I find something I really like, I want to share so here is how it all works.
It is set up using an envelope method. You can have up to 10 envelopes free. (If you need more you can pay $3, $5 or $8 a month depending on how many you want). I have it so each envelope represents some form of bill, ex: groceries, cell phone, gas (for car), spending money, American Express etc. Then you set the budget for each envelope. And you set a time length for the budgets, ex: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. The key is you don't spend more than you have in an envelope. Once my "spending" envelope is empty, I stop buying stupid little things.

Originally I thought that it had to be monthly. So I set each envelope to what I would spend in a month for each category. The problem was that I get paid bi-weekly, so I never had the full months budget to start the month and always felt behind and discouraged.  Then I realized you could change the time length so I switched it to bi-weekly. It makes more sense because that's when I am paid. I set each envelope up to what i should spend in that 2 weeks time. Some of my bills are monthly though. So in that case, I split it in half. Ex: My car insurance is $140 a month. So I set my envelope for $70. I don't touch the money for the two weeks time and at the end of 2 weeks I still have $70 in that envelope. When I get paid again, I add $70 more. I have twice as much as budgeted, but the full amount for my bill each month.
 There is the website EEBA and an app for your phone. You can sync up to two phones for free, more cost money like more envelopes. You can add money or add a transaction from either the site, or your phone. They all sync together.
You add money at the start of your month/week etc to each envelope (filling it to the amount you had budgeted works best). You can add money in the middle as well if you get paid extra for something. And you add a transaction to the appropriate envelope to subtract money.

The app shows each envelope as a bar. The green portion is the amount of money you have. There is a little black line through the bar that is a guideline to help pace you. If the bar represented the timeline of your budget, that line represents today, with the left side being time left in the month.
Some of my envelopes have more than I budgeted because it was left over from last time.

 When adding money, its your choice whether you want to add the budgeted amount to an envelope, add enough to bring it up to the budgeted amount or add any amount you choose. I add the budget amount and let everything roll over.

I seriously love this! And I recommend it to everyone!!! Right now I am using it only for my personal money and not our joint account. It has really opened my eyes at to how much I am really spending. I thought $100 would be plenty to last me two weeks for gas money, but after just one week, it was gone and my tank was only half full! That's how much i am driving! goodness!
I get a rush now seeing my savings account going up and having money left after getting everything I need.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Seminary Donuts

It was my turn to teach Young Womens this Sunday. When I found out that the topic was the atonement, this story came to mind. I heard it as a youth and it always stuck with me. Enjoy :)

Seminary Donuts
There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In Utah, Seminary classes are held as part of the curriculum. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules.

Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's Seminary class. Steve was told that he couldn't be late, so he would come in just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Brother Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?"

Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."

Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve." Brother Christianson said, "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Brother Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it." Brother Christianson said.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it."

Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts. They were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited - it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an extra early start on the weekend.

Brother Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"
Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Brother Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Brother Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes."

Brother Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups; Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle. Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Brother Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When Brother Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Brother Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them. "

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

Steve started to do ten push-ups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Brother Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it", and he put a donut on Scott's desk. Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down, and a little perspiration appeared around his brow.

Brother Christianson started down the third row. By now, the students were beginning to get a little angry. Brother Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Jenny said, "No".

Then Brother Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten; Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, and his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Brother Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. Robert began to watch Steve closely.

Brother Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Brother Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw that there were now 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Brother Christianson went on to the next person, the next, and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Brother Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Brother Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You can do them any way that you want." And Brother Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Brother Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him."

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in.“

Brother Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"


"Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down. Brother Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift him against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room. The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Brother Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a donut?"

Linda, too choked up to talk, just shook her head. Brother Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda. Then Brother Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Brother Christianson, can I help him?"

Brother Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?" As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, "Into thy hands I commend my Spirit." With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."



Sorry I have been completely MIA from this blog lately!
So here is whats gone down since December.
The whole family came for Christmas so I took the week off work

We visited the Herr's Chip Factory, Shady Maple Smorgasbord and Longwood Gardens

Caiden liked the pinwheel at the store under the Smorgasbord

For Christmas, I wasn't expecting anything gift wise because a month or two before, mom and dad bought me 4 new tires for my car. But they surprised me and gave us a $1,000 gift card to Raymour and Flannigan for a new couch. I couldn't believe it! And surprisingly Pat and I had no problem deciding on a new couch. I thought we would have a hard time agreeing because we have very different tastes and styles but we both fell in love with this one.
In the store

the gross nasty old couch shoved against the wall to make room for the new one

Also this Christmas I won $1,000 of a scratch off I was given. I was given two, one from my boss and one from my mother-in-law. The first was a dud and this was a winner! It was funny cause I had never gotten one and thought I was reading it wrong so I handed it to Pat and he had some choice words :)

In January, for New Beginnings we had a shoe/high heel theme. I asked mom to help me make these high heel cupcakes. We had a lot of fun and they were a hit! of course being the perfectionist that I am, I was bummed to run out of vanilla frosting and had to use chocolate for the sole. I wish I could have piped around the sole in the color of frosting to match the cupcake base.
Before the drive, I was nervous about driving with them so we set them up at church

I also hosted a Murder Mystery Party in January. I invited some couples from church that I thought Pat would get alone well with. I want him to get to know the guys better so that he feels more comfortable going to church stuff
It was a blast! I am gearing up to host another soon! Everyone I want to invite keeps going out of town!
The murder scene I set up outside, I forgot to take a pic of the table, I set it up real cute!

The gang all dressed in character, Pat is missing cause he took the pic.

In February, our roommate moved out so we have our home back to ourselves which has been great for our relationship. I was getting a little bitter towards the end there. Before, that was our guest room and the other room was my room/ the junk room. Now I am going to turn the little room into my room and have the other room as a junk/storage room because having someone live with us for 6 months when I only agreed to 2 months has made me not want to have anymore guests! If I must they can chill in the twin bed in the junk room!

So that's that!

Friday, January 18, 2013

YW Notebooks

"I thought it would be a good idea to give the girls a notebook to go along with the new youth curriculum, a place to write their thoughts on the lessons, glue in handouts and write their testimonies. Then I saw this link to an idea on sugardoodle and ran with it.

I found the chalkboard printable with this years theme here and used it as the cover.

Because my printable was black and white, I wanted to stay with that theme. At AC Moore, I found scrapbook paper in these elegant black and white patterns cheap.

Then in the ribbon department, I looked for all sorts of black and white patterns. I had Pat with me so I had to be quick. I got zebra, damask, checkered diamonds, glittery, polka dots ect.

I used spiral notebooks because they would be the most stable. After tying ribbons along the spirals and gluing on the background, I started thinking that I really needed some color!

A trip to Michael's got me cardstock in all sorts of colors and colorful ribbon to match. For the colored ribbon, I just wanted something simple and solid, the black and white patterns were busy enough. I mounted the theme printable on the cardstock and added it to the cover. I then cut out a cardstock square to be a backing for the nametag.

I printed out all the names but wanted the girls to pick their own notebook so I just brought their names and let them glue it on the notebook they picked. I made one for each of the leaders as well.

Inside the notebooks, I made a Table of Contents on the first two pages (front and back to equal four pages). There is a column for the page number, the date and the lesson or topic. This way when they are later asked to give a talk or want to look something up, its easy to go to a specific topic.

The site with the original idea suggested to number all the pages of the notebook. I started to, but that was a lot (especially after tying all those ribbons!), so I stopped at page 50. After three notebooks done and twelve more to go, I decided that 50 pages was still a lot to number! So I went to page 20 on each notebook and figured the girls can number the rest!

I seriously LOVE the way they turned out! And it went over great with the girls (of course I have only seen the leaders use them but its only been two weeks)."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Young Womens

"In December, I was released from my calling in church as a Primary teacher and secretary and called to be the secretary in Young Womens. I am so grateful for my calling but went through a lot of emotions to get here

When I was first heard that they were going to be switching up the young womens and primary presidencies in our ward I was excited. I had been in primary for at least 3 or 4 years as a teacher and was ready for a change. I either wanted to be in YW or be in the Primary Presidency but not teaching. Then the call came as the secretary in YW, and even though I was hoping for a calling in YW, I was surprisingly indifferent. I wasnt happy or sad or anything. I was just like "alright whatever"

But when my last Sunday in primary came, I was super bummed! I was going to miss all the kids. There were sundays that they drove me insane but more often, they were cute, funny, sweet and spiritual. I loved seeing the world through their eyes. I loved teaching/remembering the basic doctrines of the gospel. I was comfortable in Primary. I knew how things worked. I knew enough to easily answer the questions the kids asked. But I think Heavenly Father knew I was getting too comfortable, so he pushed me out of my comfort zone and into YW. And I was scared!

I never was a leader in YW before. I wasnt sure what was expected of me. And they have changed the curriculum so that there is no longer a really a lesson. Its more of a list of scriptures and conference talks and you just read over it and decide what is best for your girls. I was so nervous. I really dont know the girls that well and the leaders are all women that I have looked up to for a long time.

When I am nervous about something I try to do as much research as possible. So i dived into all things YW. I found some great blogs from pinterest. And the more I read and saw, the more excited I became.

I am grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and my needs better than me. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in YW. I am grateful to work with great women and serve great youth. I am grateful to delve deeper in the the scriptures and strengthen my testimony."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolutions 2013

I love New Years. Its nice to look back on the year, reflect on good and bad and start with a clean slate. I know that most people, myself included, set and fail to follow through with New Years Resolutions. I did set some goals for myself back in September that I have been doing really well at so hey maybe I will actually do these too
I've read that there are 7 asspects of wellness, so I am trying to set a goal for each

1. Occupational (I am taking this as financial)- Set and stick to a budget. Have a solid amount of savings- see this post

2. Physical- Take better care of my skin. (explanation post to come)

3. Emotional- Give myself "quiet time" to think/reflect with out distractions. I dont have any kids so know it the time to enjoy the peace and quiet instead off always having the TV on, or music or a book on cd playing.

4. Spiritual- Magnify my calling. Plan my lessons for Young womens early. Go to as many activities as my work schedule allows.

5. Social- Host dinner parties. Hopefully one every other month

6. Intellectual- Actually read each of the books from book club!

7. Environmental (This is supposed to be like water food/safety but I have that)- Make up a cleaning chart/schedule and stick to it. And clean out/organize the junk room


I tend to have an obsesive personality. When I like something, I dont just like something. I crave it. I love it. I overdo it sometimes. If you haven't noticed, I have an obsession with shoes. I could never gamble, because I would be that person that can't stop and loses everything. One thing that I could obsess a little bit more about is finances!

I used to be so good at saving money, until I got a job. Then I was like, "wow, now I have money/get money way more often, so I can spend it more often" Well, now I need to learn how to save my money and spend it more wisely again.

There are a lot of big financial goals that I have. 1. I want to start a family, but children are expensive. 2. We need to buy Patrick a car that was made in the 21st century. 3. Save for a downpament on a house. 4. Buy our own furniture! (couch, dining room table and chairs, bedroom set)... the list goes on.

So I have compiled a list of "tips" to saving money. Somethings I was raised doing, somethings I have done for years, somethings I used to do I need to get back to doing and sometihings I have recently learned and want to start doing.

1. You dont need to wash everytime- Growing up, we would reuse, rewear and recycle. We wore our jeans and other clothes (of course socks and underwear washed after each use!) several times before washing them. We would all pick a cup and keep it in the fridge. After we finished our drink we would just rinse it out before refilling it. After a few days, mom would wash it and we would pick a new cup. We also dont shower everyday. Some may find this gross but in my day to day life, I dont do much to become dirty. Every Saturday night, regardless of whether or not I showered the previous day, I take a shower and shave my legs. But other then that, I'll only shower when my hair is greasy, after a workout, or whenever I feel yucky. Basically about 3 times a week.

2. Carry cash- I am much more careful about spending cash then using my debit card. When I use cash, I can see my money disapear. When I was at BYU, I would take out $20 cash each week. That was the money I could spend on food and entertainment and that was it for the week. I could see it and ration it out accordingly. If I spent it early in the week, too bad for me.

3. Track spending- Similar with cash, I spend less and wiser when I can see the money disapear, but I never check the balance on my debit card so I tend to buy buy buy. If I keep a little notebook and write down every charge and subtract it from the balance, I am much more aware of my spending.

4. Don't be a snob- Be willing to buy off brands or store brands. 90% of the time, they work just as well as the national brand and they are much cheaper. And I have recently rediscovered Dollar General. I was bored one afternoon and had to go to Acme. Dollar General is right next door, so I decided to stop in and look around. They have tons of stuff! and its cheap! not "its going to fall apart in two seconds" cheap. They have lots of cleaning supplies, groceries, bath and body products that are name brands for less then you would find at the grocery store. I never thought to shop at a dollar store for regular everyday items, but if it saves me a buck or two...I will no longer be a dollar store snob.

5. Clip coupons- Every Saturday night, I stop by wawa on my way home from work to pick up a sunday paper. I clip all coupons that I would possibly use. I have them organized in a little book seperated by category. Then, I check the ads of the stores I shop most at (Shoprite, CVS and Acme) for the best deals. Remember, for the best deal, combine a coupon with the sale price.

6. Stock pile- When something you use alot (that doesn't expire or takes a long time to expire) goes on sale and you have coupons, buy a couple. I am not saying go crazy like that Extreme Coupon show and buy 50 bottles of BBQ sauce. But I do have about 6 or 7 bottles of laundry deterergent and a solid years supply of razors. So I dont need to worry about running out or paying full price later.

7. Use what you have- Say you go to a store and see an item on sale/clearance for $10 and its usually $50. You say to yourself, "wow thats a great deal! I am saving $40!" After buying said item, it sits in a closet for a year untouched. Did you really save $40? or waste $10? If you never use it, its a waste no matter what the cost is! Use what you have or don't get it. Think to yourself "Am I going to use it in the next two weeks (or month depending on what its for)?" If the answer is no, don't get it! And along with #6, slow down if you have a stockpile of it already. I have stopped buying razors because I have a ridiculous amount already. I am using what I have before buying more (unless with coupons and sales it is more then 80% savings)

8. Know what you have- this goes along with 7. Example: The other day I wanted to make snickerdoodles. I remembered that last time I made them (months ago) I was low on cream of tartar. I chacked the fridge and there was barely any left, so off I went to the store and bought some, full price around 4 bucks. When I got home after making the cookies, I was putting away my ingedients and found a full jar of cream of tartar in my cabinet. Apparantly I bought some months ago when I first realized I was low. Now I wasted $4 cause I know I am not going to be able to use up both jars before they expire seeing as Snickerdoodles is the only recipie that calls for it. If I knew what I had, this wouldnt be a problem!

9. Leave your credit cards at home- For a while, I needed to keep my credit cards at home in my sock drawer to keep me from using them. It was too easto swipe now and worry about paying later. But if my cards were not in my wallet, I couldn't use them if I wanted. This can go with your debit card too. Just take your licence with you one day and leave your wallet at home. You cant be tempted to buy what you don't need if you dont have money.

10. Avoid tolls- In NJ, we have tolls on our highways. On the way to work, there are no tolls for me, but coming home, there is a toll right before my exit. The toll is $1.50. I work five days a week, that would be $390 a year just for that one toll. That sure does add up! So instead, I get off the parkway at the exit right before the toll and take Route 9 the rest of the way. It is about 5 minutes longer but saves me money. To ensure I would avoid the toll, I went without EZ-Pass until this past December. It was a pain getting all those quarters! But now I am in the habit of taking the slightly longer/slower road and saving that money

11. Set aside money in savings- I have direct deposit. I set it up that a certain amount goes directly into our joint account for bills. Then, $50 from every check goes directly into my savings, where I dont touch it. The rest goes into my primary checking. $50 a pay check isnt much, but it adds up to $1200 a year

Do you have any good tips?