Wednesday, December 31, 2008

on each auxiliary has a website. on the Relief Society site, the presidency invited young adult sisters to participate in an act of service and tell them about it.

i met a new friend at my mission reunion a few weeks ago. we were both needing to get to utah county from salt lake so we went together. as we drove, i talked about my fears of taking the GRE that next week. go figure this new friend had taken it and had done pretty well. he had recorded a lot of the difficult vocab words so that he could listen and study. not expecting much since he had just flown in from chicago, i asked if he had a copy with him. =)

yep, because he is remarkable, he totally had them on his computer. so we went to my house and he downloaded them for me!! i listened to these words over and over the next 3 full days at work until i took the really fun test!

the reason i mentioned the call for service from the Relief Society site is because although this new friend is very much a man, he wins the service award for the year (nope, there isn't really an award that the presidency is offering, but if there were, i'd make sure it went to my friend . . . )!

let's just take a minute and list his great efforts in the last few weeks in my behalf:
  • GRE words
  • taught me that i don't need to pump the brakes on the ice - that was for the last generation of cars. who knew??
  • patiently editing my essay drafts.
    • he gives positive feedback and yet is honest with what should be deleted.
  • taught me how to play wii tennis.
  • let me knock him out a few times in wii boxing.
really, i have read all the service young Relief Society sisters have participated in, and this russian-serving friend totally wins.

thanks ty!

Monday, December 22, 2008

just a quick shout out to my beautiful boss!! she told the other secretary and i that we should stay home tomorrow!! HoOrAy!!! thus, the goal for the day will be to get my Stanford essays done!! well, done enough that i can ask people to read, and re-read, and re-read again. :) peace out Relief Society Building, hello HOME!!

the "prompts" are basically to prove how i - my background, my experiences, my culture - will add and uniquely contribute to the Stanford class. so i will be working on my word choice to explain why they desperately want and NEED me in their program!

if you have any ideas, feel free to holler!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

so a quick update:

last saturday, the 13th of december, we had a mission reunion. president and sister daetwyler were in town from switzerland. it's been about 8 years since i've seen them. love that they remember me so well. such a hidden blessing for coming home sick!! the BEST part was that em van dyke got to spend some time together!!

how lame are we both for forgetting that mike and i both served in st. petersburg!! i was standing there loving that i didn't know anyone and in walks mike!! i was ThRiLLeD!! THEN in comes EM!!!!!!!!! em and i were roommates before and during when she and mike were dating. needlesstosay, i LOVE and miss her lots!! mike was so good to be our apartment boyfriend and take care of things we didn't want to - taking out garbage, carrying heavy things, etc.

blessed, blessed reunion!!
me, em, and em's little girl aliva
me with president and sister daetwyler :)

Then - i took the GRE last night!! the best part is that i decided over thanksgiving weekend flying home from my friends house in california that i wanted to apply to grad school. but the application for Stanford (yes, you read that right!!) is due january 6th.

thus, i needed to do the speedy course of study!! so, like any brilliant person, i grabbed GRE for DUMMIES!! it became attached to my hip for the last few weeks!! but don't worry. because the dummy book and i became such great friends, i totally looked like this girl taking the test!! :)

we'll see if i really get in. i decided that even if i have to apply every year for the next 10 years just to show them that i am dedicated, i really want to get there. so, i may have no other life, but studying, but oh well!!

next, BECCA GETS HOME TOMORROW MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i bought 6 dozen cookies from the cafeteria today so that we can give all the BYU Jerusalem kids their first taste of home when they get off the plane (miss' idea!). i am so excited for her to be home. i have missed her lots and lots. AND miss and tillie get home tonight, well early this morning!! hooray!! i love having everyone home!!

finally, these were quotes that i found or were given this week. i referred to sister beck's quote in one of my essays for the GRE last night. :)


To nurture and feed your family physically is as much an honor as to nurture and feed them spiritually. A young mother will build faith and character in the next generation one family prayer at a time, one scripture study session, one book read aloud, one song, one family meal after another. She is involved in a great work.

Julie B. Beck, “A ‘Mother Heart’,” Ensign, May 2004, 75

"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at His feet." Harijan, July 21, 1940 Gandhi

Sunday, December 7, 2008

i often think the most annoying song at Christmas time is the "twelve days of Christmas". beautiful, yes. fun, yes. long, yes. we decorated the Christmas tree last Sunday and we have beautiful ornaments to represent each of the days, but i don't understand when the twelve days begin. is it on december 1st through the 12th? does is start december 12th and go through the 24th? or the 13th to the 25th? who decided it was 12 days? soo many questions.

BUT the snyder family needs to start a new song today - 12 days of becca!! because it is just 12 more days until she is HOME!!!! don't get me wrong, she has absolutely LoVeD her time in the Holy Land. and we have LoVeD hearing her stories and hearing about the new friends she has made. but we are more than excited to have her back, making new recipes, randomly giving lizzy hugs, and her just being here!!!

so my version of the annoying Christmas song - which does it really have AnYtHiNg to do with the Savior's birth? - which will not be annoying because it will be about BECCA is going to go something like this:

on the first day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her loving and adoring her one niece!

on the second day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 2 long, black, crazy, Sunday nap sox.
on the third day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her chatting with her 3 favorite sisters.

on the fourth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 4 sizes too big "house jacket" of mom's!
on the fifth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 5 american girl dolls (still dressed up for PEI).

on the sixth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 6 drawers of jesse (with all the random words everywhere that she loves!).
on the seventh day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 7 family members.

on the eigth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her love for 8 back-porch, bar-be-qued steaks (for the fam, not just her).

on the ninth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 9 money lectures.
on the tenth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 10 hundred scooter rides.

on the eleventh day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 11 crazy recipe experiments.
on the twelfth day of becca, our family has missed a lot, her 12 shrimps, and counting...

can ya tell we miss her?!?!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

before i start this entry - hApPy bIrThDaY jordan justin randell gardner!! i think i will forever feel bad that i ruined birthdays for many years with the haunting of the pine hollow balloon bouquet. truly a sign of a real friend - you didn't hate me for very long!!

okay, the post:

11 years ago, i worked at a boy scout ranch. philmont is the disneyland of camping - according to one of the head guys in charge when i was there.

i had applied to be an Academy for Girls counselor (the 12-14 girl's program that used to exist before EFY) for the summer after my freshmen year. i wasn't accepted and i was heart broken. my dad, being the wonderful heart healer that he always is, started helping me think of other adventures i could have that summer. we had a few ideas and was accepted at one, but it didn't feel right. time was growing short and we remembered philmont!

we had gone to philmont as a family a few years before and i loved it there. they had a church service on the site which was one of my biggest worries with the other job - no where to partake of the sacrament. i hurried and applied and was accepted!!

i headed out to cimarron, new mexico on the greyhound bus - for stories of one of my dad's favorite nights, just ask him how much he loved having his little girl on the bus for 16 hours straight!! =) with living in a tent, sleeping with a skunk, wearing scout shorts, and going to church EVERY SINGLE NIGHT - i think i earned enough time that i didn't have to go to church for 2 years after that - and not-to-mention having my first and then my second kiss, philmont was a grand adventure in my life!

one of the greatest realizations i had while wearing clashing green fabrics every day, was that people liked me just for me. it didn't matter if i had cute clothes, cute hair, great skin, thin legs, or that i was a nerd, people liked me just for me. nothing more, nothing less. it was a thrilled discovery.

there were a number of people that impacted my life and thoughts. one in particular shaped a number of my thoughts. i don't remember us hanging out lots while we were at philmont, but we wrote to each other - consistently - for quite awhile. i think we talked a number of times as well. the thing that i appreciated about him was that he was dedicated to religion and high standards. it gave us a powerful basis for out conversations. although he was catholic and i am mormon, we valued pretty much the same things.

i sent him a Book of Mormon and he sent me a Catholic Manual - a 100 year old book!! i was suppose to send it back to him. in the thousands of moves, it never happened. jerk, i know. i found the book again a few months ago. and guilt set in.

how could i have had this sooo long?? i tried to find him. facebook, google, white pages, etc. i even started calling people with his last name in kansas (where he is from) to see if they knew him. nothing. i just about paid for one of those searches that always pops up to find someone's criminal record and everything about them.

i had an old address of his parent's home. i sent a birthday invite to it, thinking it was probably a black hole of an address (i had tried the address on reverse look-up and it said it didn't exist!). i wasn't expecting to hear anything and i didn't.

last saturday morning, i checked my email and saw that an annoymous person had commented on my blog. i was a little nervous because someone wrote a not-so-nice comment on my sister's blog and left it as annoynmous. hestitantly i opened the comment. shut up - it was my friend from philmont!!!!!

he had gotten the b-day invite when he visited his parents house in september. he forgot the invite at the house. he called his mom to get the address two weeks later, but she had thrown it away. last saturday he randomly thought about it and thought he remembered something about wildflower. so he googled "snyder wildflower utah". TAH-DAH!!! he found dad's family page, which led to mine!!!

we emailed back and forth for a bit and now we are offical friends on facebook!!! wow. talk about fun miracles!!!

ps don't worry, i am sending the book back asap!!!
pps if i get brave, i'll scan in pictures from philmont. you'll see why it was so thrilling to think people liked me for me - the pictures are HiDeOuS!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

hooray for san antonio!!!
hooray for aaron and melisa!!
hooray for TiLLiE!!

i have been with the texas branch of the wood family in texas the last almost week - and talk about heaven! i overlapped with mom's visit for a day. i was going to go to a job fair - in order to have no regrets, even though i knew i wasn't going to try to teach (LONG story, but the reader's digest version is that texas said i wasn't highly qualified to teach. it cost me 200 bucks for them to tell me that, and if i want to be highly qualified, i'd have to pay more to take tests and then more to pay for a certificate for a year. joy). ANYWAY, i decided to skip the job fair and go shopping with the girls instead!! they weren't going to be able to go if i went to the fair, so i decided to be unselfish and go shopping ;-)

mom left that afternoon and miss and i went to enrichment. they were having a service auction. because i hadn't contributed, i wasn't invited to bid. that was fair. but the Relief Society president had contributed, but wasn't going to bid, so her daughter said i could bid for her. lovely! i won a pie from the very daugther that invited me to bid!!! and can we talk about a divine apple pie??? she is incredible and amazing.

the next morning, miss and i went to the Guenther House for breakfast. :) becca and i realized how much i love going out to breakfast while we were in PEI. it was heavenly! we had gone to the historic flour mill when the entire snyder clan had some to visit 2 years ago. anyway, yum!!
we then tried to explore the artist commune across the street, but weren't very successful. they were having a big show that evening so only one gallery was open. so our next attempt was to explore boerne! fabulously successful!! quaint and charming with gloriously fun shops. we explored and bought and explored some more.

that brings us to saturday. we all had the privilege of cleaning the church!!!! for an hour we joined the righteous girls who joined us and had it all done! then we stopped to grab lunch items at the grocery store, ate in the car, and went to SEA WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i LOVE sea world!!! i love the shows! i love to see how the magnificent animals are so graceful and awe-inspiring. it was wonderful!!

we stopped at Rudy's BBQ (running into marin and scott phillips - CrAzY!!) before meeting up with some of aaron's friends from dental school and their families.

sunday was a marathon day - church, a baptism, youth choir practice. we were worried that dinner in the crock pot was charred, but aaron was inspired and had set it to low :)

today was a nothing day - but miss and i made a magazine paper chain like the one we saw a at store in boerne (thanks Fly Paper!!), decorated glass ornaments, and made carmel apples :) all while eating papa johns pizza and watching stupid movies (so stupid we had to turn them BOTH off. sad.).

and tomorrow i go home :(

it has been sooooooo good to just be. sooooo fun to make tillie smile and just get to hang out with miss. how i love my sisters. love that they are the greatest friends. love that we are Little Women.

hooray for texas!!

(sorry the pictures are out-of-order. i'll fix them tomorrow!)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

i slept over at home last night. with mom gone to her quilting show in houston, i have gone down to be around to help with dinner and lizzy's costume for tomorrow!!

i "stole" this ribbon from a friends wedding last year and wore it around my waist last halloween. i liked the look and decided to do it again in preparation for tomorrow. with becca in jerusalem, i am sleeping in her big bed instead of the twin bed that i typically sleep in while i am at home. as i walked out of her this morning, i saw a flower in her jewelrey bowl. i figured it was close enough and thought i'd do something with it. it seemed a little more formal if i wore it on my blouse itself, so i threw it on the ribbon.

and can we talk about compliments!!! wow. a beautiful lady with blonde hair whose large office is just down from mine LoVeD it and said we were going to be twins! and the cafeteria lady thought it was great and the board did too!

so thanks becca!! hope you are okay that i didn't get a chance to ask you first!! ;-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

so i got to give a talk in the emc 19th ward on sunday. i have had a number of thought lately and it was fun to gather them together. i didn't share things the way they were formed in my mind, but oh well. i was sharing some of my gathered thinkings with a friend and she asked that i email the thoughts. HA! if you know me, you know that when i gather thoughts, they are in an outline form, so i hurried and typed things up.

here's where a few of my thinkings have been the last two weeks:

Characteristics of Conversion

I have thought lots about the “issues” with singles. It seems to come to 2 points: not converted deep enough to endure the hard things, or the speed bumps in life; and not getting and staying married. But then I wondered if these aren’t the issues with ALL members, and they are just highlighted with the large numbers of singles.

With that, I started studying Conversion again. The TG and BD refer to the story of Ruth. So I went there and reread the few chapters. Who knows all the meaning in chapter 3 and 4 when Ruth lies and Boaz’s feet in order for them to get married – I’ll have to study more. BUT I came away in awe that Boaz recognized Ruth’s characteristics of personal conversion. Ruth’s first husband, Naomi’s son, died just after 10 years of marriage. Ruth was converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the time. So converted that when Naomi told her to go home to her family, Ruth chose not to. I am sure that Ruth was aware of the life that Naomi would have as a older widowed woman. She would have no income, it would be hard to make ends meet, etc. I can image Ruth knowing this and choosing to take care of Naomi because of her depth of conversion. Robert J. Whetten, in “Strengthen Thy Brethren”, Liahona, May 2005, 91-93 said, “Isn’t the measure of the level of your conversion how you treat others? . . . Your continued spiritual growth and eternal progress are very much wrapped up in your relationships – in how you treat others.”

Ruth went and worked in the fields, gathering the left over barley grains from the early morning all day long. Boaz saw her and thought she was beautiful. Working in the fields that long, I can only image what she physically looked like. I know what I look like when I am out working in the yard – haven’t showered, no makeup, not cute hair, clothes than are grubby. I am guessing Ruth looked just about the same – no expensive make up, not clothes that flattered her figure, no yummy smelling hair products, no cute shoes. Boaz must have seen something through all that that was truly beautiful. I am sure that when he was a deacon or teacher or elder thinking about the girl they would marry, Boaz wasn’t thinking that she would be the poor girl gathering the left-over grains from his field. Ruth’s purity, her sanctification (BD: Conversion) had made her beautiful. Maybe all the prophets and leaders were right when they talk about beauty being a purity. The magic was that Boaz – my new boyfriend of life! – had developed an ability to recognize characteristics of personal conversion. He saw who Ruth was (not saying that she let herself go and just was going to be who she was the guy would have to see through LOTS of things to her “sweet spirit”) and knew exactly what he needed in order to form the eternal righteous family he was to create.

love that Boaz notices Ruth - even amidst the craziness around him, he saw her!

this picture is SOO not accurate! no way did Ruth look so good!

And that is huge! Ruth and Boaz were the great, great, great, grandparents of the Savior. Their depth of conversion was passed through their children and their children’s children. It was deep enough to last countless generations and be able to mold and guide the man and woman who would raise the Son of God.

It blows my mind to ponder what things the Lord could do with us – His people – if we truly CHOSE to develop characteristics of conversion and then truly and decidedly saw these characteristics in the people around us. If we were honestly seeking for those who have decided and proved their conversion and married them – WOW!!! Boaz knew he needed to form an eternal righteous family, and he sought out a woman, recognized her behaviors as proof of her conversion and formed that eternal family.

SOO many other examples in Issac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel. Wow!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

no idea of what to write an entry about, but because i have been checking melissa and aaron's about boston updates and becca's about life updates, i figured if there was anyone checking mine, i should write something about something!!

this weekend is miss chalk's annual HARVEST FEST!! it is truly one of my all-time favorite events! she and i decided long ago and the fall is the best season ever. so, she being martha stewart's more righteous twin (you'll never see miss with that "prison anklet"!)
i am sure miss and courtney's displays will look ten times better than this - no creepy faces on their pumpkins!! they always have a fabulous gift to make and take. AND the most divine food EVER! my goal is to make homemade rolls and grab Lehi bakery orange rolls for it. I'll make the rolls when i help dad pass out halloween candy friday night.

Liz is going to be a fairy. She and mom made a tutu on the way to cedar city last weekend. incredible hailee mae is home from milan and we went to see her and hear her speak at church. she in wonderful! dad is now sick and tired of the tutu. it has found it's way to most every room in the house and last night, he was ready to toss it! ;-0

the trip to cedar was fun. jesse drove down and saved me. i was so tired and he helped keep me awake on the way down and on the way home, he drove!!! love that! we talked lots and he shared lots of music that he loved. we are hoping to find a place to live together in a few months.

it's low income housing for poor people - that's me!! but it's in good sections of town. i have seen this building, and had no idea what it was. interesting. we'll see if anything can happen there. we'll see if jess can wait for me.

i go to san antonio a week from TODAY!!!!!!!! i get to play with miss and aaron and tillie!!! hooray!!! hopefully it will be full of seaworld, outlets, sleeping, holding tillie so miss can get whatever she wants done, and just FUN! miss said there is a single's conference, so if i feel comforatble, i might go. =)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

i need to apologize to becca - i know this is the main source of updates that you get in jerusalem, so for it to have been a month and a half since i did anything on here is not very nice. but i don't know if there has really be lots to report about - at least nothing to exciting . . .

i made a shirt like you!! i decided a few days before dad and i went to the BYU vs. UCLA game. Dad was wonderful because as i started, he came into the kitchen and said we were suppose to wear blue - but i was so excited about the shirt that day of, he wore a white shirt too so that i wouldn't stand out too bad. yep, he's the best. we rode the harley to the game and he bought the last car flag at the bookstore - he might have taken the one tapped with packaging tape to the shelf that was the display one . . .

sorry it's fuzzy! it's on the back in the top-middle.
it was my attempt to blanket stitch after i woner-undered the Y on.

i had a body scan to make sure thyroid cancer is still gone. it was an ordeal - note to self: don't try to be your own oncologist, the radiologists don't think you have the credentials. ;-) After finding a new oncologist and a few trips to provo for special shots, i had the scan and i am clear. i also had an ultrasound which showed freckles on my liver!!!!! don't ask me how in the world that happens. but i think that the newly married boyce campbell said it well when he told me, "you need to stop having weird things grow in your body!! They never know what's wrong with you!" :)

the greatest movie is out - Forever Strong. it has all that a girl wants - beautiful boys, inspiring story, tears, and a stipling warrior T-shirt!
it's good and clean and just makes your heart and eyes happy :) (AND it's based on a true story . . . the coach was a seminary teacher and truly coaches as Salt Lake's Highland High!!)

i am playing with the idea of going back to teaching - Junior High, in Texas.
Aaron, Melissa, and Tillie will be out there for one more year and i have been in utah for the last 12 years . . . i think a breather is a good idea. i am going out to visit the wood family the beginning of november. miss said we could go around to schools in san antonio and austin. i just spent $200 for the texas office of education to reveiw my utah teaching certificate and decide if i am qualified . . . i'll keep ya posted on the results.

other than that, life is pretty much the same old story. i don't get to be gospel doctrine teacher anymore because my last sunday in the EMC 19th ward is this week. i am pretty sure i will go to the university 41st - they take in the Brigham Apartments where i live on south temple. always interesting to start a new ward.

peace out.

ps becca!! great engagement photos of the couple in jerusalem!!!!!!! isn't there another couple too? do you get to do their photos also???