Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tie dye

My past has come back to haunt me. Let me explain... Throughout junior high & high school I was very much into the 60's revival; I listened to the Beatles, The Who & Janis Joplin and donned bell bottoms, colorful bead necklaces and tie dyed tees, I even went to a couple of Greatful Dead concerts before Jerry Garcia died. My senior year in high school, I got a job at Lerner New York and my 60's obsession was put into a memory box. This past year, Hans resurrected one of my Dead Head tee's for working out, it's a little tight, but still pretty cute. Now this summer, in our community, we had a tie dying activity and I was in full force. I made 17 shirts, none of which were for me. Conrad & Riley gave specific instructions on colors and Amelia was determined to help me with the permanent dying. (Not to worry, no fancy clothes were injured in this experiment.)
I must say that I
had forgotten how quick and beautiful the end result is of tie dying. I recommend this to anyone who need a fun and cheap family activity or for all you closet hippies out there. Not to fret, even a novice can dye like a pro by just google-ing and with a little research anyone can get some wicked patterns and tips on how to make your very own Deadhead jersey.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I was tagged!

Heavens, this is far too consuming, as if I needed to think about myself more than I already do.

3 joys
-Hearing my children sing the hymns in church
-Checking off everything on my to do list
-Seeing someone wear something that I've made for them

3 fears
-Completing a project that won't be exactly the way I had visualized it
-Having my car stolen again or getting in a car accident again or my car falling apart because the repairs weren't done correctly
-Becoming the person I least wish to become

3 goals
-Finishing my psychology degree
-Taking a picture of all 3 of my children that I will adore enough to put on my wall
-Becoming a vegetarian and enjoying every non-meat meal I cook

3 current obsessions
-Lost, I can't handle waiting for the next season, which doesn't start until January! aaahhhh!
-ebay, You can buy anything in this world with money
-The weather. I have to check it everyday and then worry if it's going to change and hope it will rain, so I don't have to water my garden and then check it again just to make sure. I think it's a Minnesota thing.

3 surprising facts
-I didn't learn how to cook until after I was married.
-I have had all 3 of my children at home, on purpose.
-In high school, I was Dolly in Hello Dolly, red hair and all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beijing Olympics Song

We would love to have attended the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, but we feel a little closer because our truly awesome friends Lane & Jenina Lambert, (who currently live in China) sent us the "official" Beijing Olympics Song Music Video. Although we only recognized Jacky Chan among the many popular Chinese celebrities, I must admit I get goose bumps every time I listen to it and our family loves watching the music video over and over, we even attempt to sing along with it. (You know how we love the challenge of a new language.)
The childlike sincerity of the song is so touching and the pictures of China, make me want to hop on an airplane and fly to that lovely country, maybe next year.
In any case, I hope you enjoy this little taste of Beijing as much as we did.

(Click below to see the video)
Beijing Olympics Song

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Monday, August 11, 2008

What is truly Important

Because I'm in the Relief Society presidency in my ward, every 3 month I write an article for the newsletter. The topic can be on anything I chose, (that ties into the gospel of course.) The only catch is that I must get it submitted before the end of the month. Now, one would think, I'd get it done early to avoid last minute procrastinations, but unfortunately I have yet to write that article... maybe next time. :)
I am grateful for this opportunity to express myself spiritually on paper. It's a very reflective process and time for me and I do feel my testimony grow as I contemplate what I really believe.
I'd like to thank Hans, my sweet husband, for his willingness to edit all of my articles with such ease and humor, you're the best.
New Brighton Ward Relief Society Newsletter
What is Truly Important

Monica Rawhouser

After our family van was recently stolen but never recovered, we purchased a newer minivan in great condition. Unfortunately four days later, a Semi truck spilled several 3’x 3’ sheets of steel on to our new ride. I was so angry at the driver. Our new van was not drivable and I was fuming. I walked over to the man I thought was the driver and as he was picking up the sheets of steel, I tried to yell over the passing traffic, “Your stuff hit my car!” The man looked at me, apparently not hearing my accusation and asked if I was all right.

I went back to my wrecked van and soon the police and driver came over, both asking if Conrad & I were all right. Of course we were all right; the metal hit my car not us. Then, while I was filling out paperwork the police officer noted that we were lucky to be alive and then I realized that it was a blessing that we were spared and that only our car was damaged. I had been so wrapped up in my van I didn’t even think how bad it could have been.

I suppose one could say I was being “stuff-ocated.” I was caught up in the many things I had acquired that I failed to remember what was most important, my family. It’s truly amazing that our car was the only thing damaged and that God had protected us from injury.

How can we, as members of the church, keep from being distracted? In 2007, Dallin H. Oaks discussed that we must prioritize our lives because there are many good and better things we can be focused on, but we must choose to put all of our energy into that which is best, first. Obviously that is easier said than done. How can we implement this counsel?

We recently traveled through Ohio, and I was moved by the simplicity of the lives of the Amish. They are a great example of this discipline. Their religion sets strict rules for everyone that limits all worldly aspirations. They must fill their time with work because they don’t automate their lives even though it would be easier. They are a simple and pure people, but their isolation also limits their influence on the outside world.

Our lives can be similarly directed, even in this modern world. In order to keep ourselves from focusing inwardly, we must avoid hoarding our time. The church gives us many ways to do this with callings. Because these are opportunities and not mandatory rules, we, individually must be proactive in setting personal goals. A great way of doing this is to write our goals down such as: stay for all 3 hours of church, attend the temple every month, and visit teach. Likewise we can avoid our tendency to amass “things” by paying a liberal fast offering and a full tithing.

In a recent talk by Pres. Monson, he quoted writer and philosopher C. S. Lewis who said: "If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them."

The former George Q. Cannon (First Counselor in the First Presidency), taught that “it requires
a very pure people to be as honest, virtuous, humble and upright when surrounded by luxury & wealth
as when they are in poor and destitute circumstances… Always remember that your lives, your ability,
the food you eat, the water you drink, the clothes you wear, the earth you tread, the air you breathe,
are all the Lord’s. . . You will look upon yourselves as stewards, and if you have a hundred dollars
in your hands, you will say, this is the Lord’s, and if He wants it, He can have it. If you have a
million dollars, you will feel the same. And where people have this feeling, riches cannot hurt them.
Latter-day Saints must have this kind of faith and feeling, or they cannot build up Zion and be the
people the Lord is desirous they should be."

I know from personal experience that this counsel is not easy, but becomes easier as we set goals and follow through. The Lord will bless us for our efforts and we will also be comforted in the knowledge that “where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.”

Friday, August 1, 2008

I almost forgot to tell you about the sweetest thing...

Girls can too
Laurie Hein

While we were on our Midwest trip, we stopped off at Mary Yoder's, an "Amish Style" restaurant. (The food wasn't anything to write in a blog about.) Our family scanned the menu, looking for something distinctly Amish and I always ask for a recommendations on what to order from the servers, so I thought I would ask one of the girls busing the tables that was really Amish. This was her response.

"Well, I have never actually eaten here, so I can't tell you what tastes good, but I can tell you what looks good. Hmmm. The cheeseburger, with lettuce and tomato, that looks good."

Maybe one would have to be there to understand that her response was the sweetest thing I'd heard in a long time. It was so sincere and honest, she wasn't trying to impress us at all and I'm sure the thought never even crossed her mind.

This girl wasn't the first person I've asked who hadn't eaten at the restaurant with which they worked, but her reaction was different from the others. Here are some examples of what Hans & I have heard while on our culinary journey:
"I've never actually tried anything here." long pause, crickets chirping, then they roll their eyes, and walk away.

Then their are the people that say:
"I've never actually eaten anything here." insert excuse.

-"I'm just doing this job for the summer."

-"I'm a vegetarian"

-"I don't really like ice cream, so what I like here is the bottled water."

and finally the one I dislike most:
"Well such n' such (which happens to the most expensive entree on the menu) is popular."

I wonder how I would have responded, I'm sure I would think,
"Yes, the cheeseburger looks good, but if I say that everyone will think I'm a dummy."

So I would respond,
"The organic, locally grown, free range, whole wheat, cage free, imported, fusion vegetarian tofu wrap looks awesome."
(Yea, I need to work on being a little sweeter & sincere.)