20 March 2010

What the ....?!?!

Here are some random sights I've seen in the past couple of months that made me do a double take, and fortunately I had my handy-dandy camera ready. The first three sights brought a chuckle, and the last one made me disgusted.

Perhaps these people were preparing for a performance of "The Princess and the Pea." Lissa and Jason just bought a house that doesn't have a basement. I wonder if I could buy this basement and have it shipped to Texas??
Rats! What was I thinking putting this picture in? Now the kids will know what they're getting in their stockings next Christmas. It's such a clever idea; everyone could use Fly Ribbon.
Please look carefully to notice the name at the top of this billboard in this picture I took in downtown Washington, DC. (It's not the greatest shot since I took it from the car as I was stopped at a traffic light.)

Can anyone give me a good reason why the President's name would be on the billboard at a construction site for a government building? Did he PERSONALLY provide the funding for it?
I suppose our tax dollars had nothing to do with it.

15 March 2010

We Were Going Green Before it was "In"

It's time the world knows that it was Kent and I back in the late 90's who started this "going Green" trend. Al Gore and his cronies are johnny-come-latelys. (BTW, the above picture is the front of the invitation I made for our party. It fit into a green business-sized envelope.)

We first had a branch party in March with the theme of "green" twelve years ago when we lived in Japan. Since then we've had green parties in Germany and Virginia. On the invitations it says we'd like to celebrate St. Patrick's day and the first day of Spring with a Green Party. The instructions are simple: everyone wears green and brings a green food item.
I originally created a quiz with every answer having the word "green" in it, but last year I upgraded it into a Jeopardy game so it's more interactive with the party attendees. Bet you never dreamed there were so many green trivia facts!
To give you an idea, some of the answers are: Anne of Green Gables, Lee Greenwood, Alan Greenspan, the Evergreen state, Green Bay Packers, Green Eggs and Ham, How Green was my Valley, Greensleeves, Greenpeace, Walgreens, Greenacres, Green Day.....you get the idea. I even use youtube and play snippets of songs in the "Name that Tune" category.
Since we've had our Green Party several times, throughout the year I keep my eyes open for green decor and food items I can buy and save for the party. Of course I've collected a few things to use over the years. This year I found some green serving bowls at Goodwill and a green tablecloth on sale for 80% off at an after-Christmas sale to add to my green supplies.
This is an ornament holder I found at Pier One last year at Easter time. I use it with snowflakes in January, hearts in February, shamrocks in March, and will hang eggs on it for April.
The following pictures show the food I provided at the party. Pictured below: green grapes, green olives (Kent was happy; I hardly ever buy them because I don't like them) and dill pickles. Green garden spinach herb wraps filled with cream cheese, spinach, dip seasoning and alfalfa sprouts. (They tasted better than they sound.)
Shamrock spritz cookies. I wish I'd done a better job of showing the cute green polka dot ribbon I laced through the outside of the cake plate.
Guacamole flavored tortilla chips with green salsa. In the background you can see that one guest brought shamrock cookies and cupcakes, and another brought spinach dip with French bread. Not pictured is the key lime pie another guest brought, and the spearmint green starlight mints I bought at Walmart. It was a well-balanced spread.
I offered prizes to the person wearing the most green and for the most unusual green food item. The prizes were a green plant.
Here's a picture of the table I have out on the front porch.
I found a green light bulb several months ago and saved it to use on the night of the party. Not sure it was that effective in the porch light; I may figure out somewhere else to put it in the future. (Note: Kent put in this new porch light on the day of the party since the old one was corroded and needed to be replace. Thanks, Kent!!)
As usual, it was a fun evening and I think everyone who came had a good time.

13 March 2010

Happy Birthday, Russ!!

Today is our son-in-law, Russell Lee's, birthday, so here's our tribute to him. He first met Adrianne when they were both RA's at Helaman Halls in 2007. Below is the first picture we saw of him from the fall of 2007. You may notice that Adrianne is NOT his date. They were just friends at first.
But over Christmas break of 2007 when Adrianne came home to Germany we noticed that she was spending lots of time every day on the web cam talking to Russ--her "just a friend like those I count in dozens". It wasn't too big of a surprise when Adri told us she was dating Russ, and then they were engaged. Below is one of their engagement photos.
Here's Russ outside of the Mesa, Arizona, Temple, in August 2008 on his wedding day with his parents. Russ is from Mesa.
Here are some cute photos from their honeymoon (not sure why we even have them on our computer) that show Russ's fun personality.

Russ came to spend Christmas with our family in 2008, and we went to see the lights at the DC temple.
The final photo is from April of 2009 when we went to Utah to attend General Conference, and we went to the Natural Science Museum at BYU with Adri and Russ.
Russ is a very helpful and generous man. He's always thinking of others, and the first to volunteer to give service. He's a good example to us.

I'll always remember that Adri said (after she'd been married for almost a year) that she'd never laughed more than she did after she got married.

Happy Birthday, Russ!

We love you!

05 March 2010

Recent Primary Projects in Numbers

In case anyone was wondering what I do with my time, I thought I'd show some of the projects I've completed (often with help from Kent) for my calling in the Primary presidency. These are all extras; not counting the sharing times I prepared, meetings attended, or the other little extras, like making birthday badges, and flyers to advertise the quarterly activity we have planned. 9 Birthday Blocks--I wish I could take credit for this very cute idea that I found on Sugardoodle.net. It's a pass along card mod-podged to a 2"x4" block of wood. The materials for the blocks had to be bought, the wood sanded, then painted (twice), then mod-podged. Kent cut the blocks into 5" pieces for me.

On the back I made a label that said this year's Primary theme: "I know my Savior lives" and the name of our ward. We're giving these to the children on their birthdays, so we'll need to be making more throughout the year. (Another sister in our presidency is working on the next nine blocks, then we'll need to buy another 2"x4" to make some more!)

70 Rice Krispie Treats shaped like Hearts-- I gave the sharing time on Valentine's day, and taught a lesson in junior Primary on the theme of how Jesus loves us. In Senior Primary the children scripture chased to find scriptures with the word "heart" in them. (another idea I got from Sugardoodle!)

So on the Saturday before Valentine's day, I made four batches of Rice Krispie treats with red food coloring in them to make them pink, then spread them in a pan a used a cookie cutter to cut them into hearts. I put them in cute heart bags I bought at Target, then made labels with scriptures on them to put on the bags.

There were enough to give to all the Primary children and teachers.

8 Invitations to our Baptism Preview Fireside-- Our ward had it's first Baptism Preview Fireside last year, and this year we basically followed the same agenda. I used the same pictures and materials as I used for the invitations that I made in 2009, so at least I didn't have to spend time shopping for supplies. I used a different picture for the girls and the boys' invitations; the boys' invitations have a picture of a boy being baptized.
7 Baptism Preparation Packets-- We gave these to the children being baptized. I made the packets the same as I did last year, so I just had to print everything out again. I sewed lace onto the edges of the socks I put into the girl's packets.

In case you're wondering why there were eight invitations and only 7 packets, it's because I gave an invitation to the Bishopric.
42 Primary Music CD's for 2010-- Most of the credit for making these goes to Kent, since he's the one who burned all the CD's with music from the LDS.org website. I created the labels and packaged them, then distributed them to the families in our ward.

30 CTR Canvas bags- The Primary presidency wanted to give out canvas bags to the children in Junior primary to carry their scriptures. We didn't worry about the senior Primary children since they mostly already have bags or scripture totes. I bought 24 bags from Oriental Trading Company, then found some more on clearance at Michael's, so we had enough for all of our junior Primary children.

I wasn't sure how to put the CTR on the bags, but wanted to try a stencil. I had a CTR shield pattern that I'd made years ago when I was the Primary chorister, and it was just the right size. I bought some plastic and cut out the CTR, not sure how it would turn out. I bought green paint and black fabric markers.
The Primary presidency came to my house and we had a work meeting to make the bags. We used my shield pattern and traced around it with the black fabric markers. Then laid the stencil I'd made over it, and used green paint to make the inside of the shield.
The bags turned out better than I expected, it was easy to do and didn't take very long. I wrote the names on all of the bags with the fabric markers. ( I didn't show all the bags we made, just a sample.) The Primary children were very excited about their new bags when I gave them out last week.
One Bulletin Board for the Primary Room-- Our presidency made the bulletin board in the Primary room last year, so we thought the presidency from the other ward who shares our building might want to make the bulletin board this year. They didn't, so it was up to us again. No one else in our presidency had any ideas of what to do, so I said I'd do it.
I had a Greg Olsen calender from a few years ago that I kept because the pictures are so lovely. The frames were ones we'd used on last year's bulletin board, and they were just about the right size for the calender pictures. The smaller (5"x 7") pictures are all from pamphlets the missionaries have, and I had the mattes.

18 Letters cut out by hand- There are some ladies in our ward who have cricut machines who I could have asked to make these letters for me, but I figured by the time I went to someone's house and explained what I needed, it would be easier to just do it myself. I created all the letters on word art and inverted them so they were backwards. Then I cut them out using scissors and an exacto knife. It took me just over an hour to do.
Kent came with me to the church late on Saturday night to take down the old bulletin board and help me get everything even on the placement of the new bulletin board. He's usually very supportive of my many projects, and always willing to help.
??? Hours spent doing all these projects-- I didn't keep track of the hours spent, but it was A LOT.
By now you're thinking that I didn't really have to do all this, and you're right. Our Primary would have gotten along fine without Valentine treats, and I could have bought some generic invitations for the Baptism Preview Fireside. As I've been writing this I've been worried that it sounds like I'm bragging about myself, which I don't mean to.
But..... I don't have children at home to give service to any more, so I have the time to do things for others. (For example, I also made Valentine's treats for my 16 piano students, my VT sisters, the neighbors, and the other members of the Primary presidency.)
And..... doing these things are a creative outlet for me. It's a way I have of sharing my time and talents in fulfilling my calling.