Sunday, August 24, 2014

Root Beer Contest

One of the nice things about living closer to family is that we can get together more often.  Recently we were celebrating the birthday of one family member, as well as "National S'mores Day".  One family member suggested that we have a root beer tasting contest.  My husband's brain loves tasks such as collecting different kinds of root beer, so he scoured the stores for as many different kinds of root beer as he could.  In all, they were able to find 21 different kinds!  I'm sorry my pictures turned out kind of blurry.  :(

 
Surprisingly, some of the most expensive ones weren't the best tasting!  One of the favorites was a 2 liter bottle that they bought at the dollar store!   Some of them were down right gross.  We had small cups and just took a teaspoon or so of each.  It's surprising how different they all were!  They don't really drink root beer in Asia because it tastes very much like a medicine they use.  But in America, it is a tradition!  And in case you are wondering, there is no alcohol in it.  We were thinking that next time maybe we could try tasting something else like cheese, or cheese cake, or maybe chocolate!  :D  We also talked about doing a salsa making contest.  We would make that ourselves instead of buying it.  Now that is something I would love! 

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You Can Never Go Home

You know that saying, "You can never go home"?  Most people use it to refer to the past.  Even when you go back to where you lived before, things have changed, and it can never be what it was.  I really agree with that thinking.  I believe we should just live in the moment, and make home where we are now.
That being said, it sure would be nice to be in our home.  We are buying a house, but haven't signed the papers yet, and can't move in until at least Saturday.  But we won't have our stuff from storage that fast.  We have been staying with relatives in the mean time.  We are so grateful for their generosity and hospitality, but I know it can't be easy on them.
There is one sight that always makes me feel at home.  The picture below is of the mountains in the town where my mother has lived for many years.  She grew up in this town, and after my father returned, they moved in to my grandparents house.  I may not live there now, but it still feels like home!  Hmmm, I can't seem to add a picture from my ipad.  Here is a winter one for now.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Limited Internet

I'm staying with my mother for awhile, but she doesn't have Internet.  I can drive over to the church parking lot to use their's, but I haven't done that much.  But I'm still alive.  :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

House Hunting

We've been house hunting the past few days:

House #1:  Built in 1958, and probably never had anything new added since.  Does that sound romantic?  Well, it might be, but actually it was a DUMP!  It would have had to have been totally gutted.  No thanks.

House #2:  I think this one was built in the early 70's.  There were some updates, but it was pretty much the same house as when built, with an orange sink and avocado green tub in one bathroom.  With a little work we could raise the property value, but I'm not sure we are up to the work.

House #3:  This house was BEAUTIFUL!  The only problem is that there was a big problem with the floors.  Everywhere we walked, the floor was unlevel.  I actually got kind of motion sickness walking in it.  It reminded me of the Mystery House in California.  Too bad, because it was a nice looking house.

House #4:  This house is an older house too, but had a gorgeous view of the mountains, and is a BIG house.  I keep thinking about this one, even though it is kind of expensive.

House #5:  This house was also built in the early 70's, and probably not changed much since.  It was just depressing.  Even the realtor suggested we just leave instead of finishing seeing the entire house.  And it was on a busy street.  Yuck..no thanks.

So the search continues.  We really need to find something too, so we are praying hard.  :)

Monday, July 07, 2014

Moving on Up!

We are in the process of moving back from China.  We are physically in the States, but some of our stuff is still waiting to be shipped over.  Not much, just a little, but it will take a few months to get here.  We have a storage unit of stuff here in California that we will move to our new home soon.  We have decided to move to Utah.  We have several different reasons for doing this.

I guess our biggest reason for moving to Utah is that we wanted a better environment for our teenage son.  I know what you are going to say.  You will say that you can find good and bad everywhere.  This is true.  But I want to do all I can to create the best environment.  Then if my son chooses wrong, at least I won't have guilt for leaving him in a bad environment.  In addition, I wanted a better schooling situation for my son.  Our school here is horrible.  It has horrible leadership, and there are so many behavioral problems that the teachers can't even teach.  Alot of those behavioral problems are demographic related.  We have kids who have moved in from the "hood", and have brought those kinds of behaviors with them.  I'm not talking color, I'm talking socially learned behaviors.  Anyway, so we are moving our son out.

Another part of our reasoning for moving is that our city has become more dangerous.  It is the number 8 most dangerous city to live.  I'm not going to sit around waiting for it to move up the list.

I have to admit that I'm not going to be sorry to leave liberal California.  My neighbors are rabidly liberal.  I like my neighbors, but honestly I can't stand listening to it anymore.  If Obama wasn't such a horrible president I might be able to listen to them.  But the more he tries to take away our rights, the angrier I get.  I just can't listen to my liberal friends glorify him and argue that socialism is good for our country.  I've lived in China, I know what socialized government looks like.  The Chinese love Obama because they recognize everything he is trying to do.  It fits in with their politics.  I'll pass thanks.

I have a lot of family in Utah, so that makes living there more attractive to me.  I have a sister, brother, cousins, inlaws, etc.  I look forward to being near them.

My husband and I owned a home there after he graduated from college, so we have roots there.  I know it isn't perfect either, but it feels like home to us.  Living there will bring it's own challenges, but I really look forward to going home.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Shut My Mouth?

Recently we have had a big hullaballoo caused by a group of LDS women who are seeking ordination in our church.  From my perspective, they have been given the answer, so I'm not sure why they think they haven't.  The leader of the group was recently excommunicated.  But the group continues to try to recruit from within the membership of the church.  They have developed 6 "discussions" or lessons, patterned after the way missionaries in our church teach.  They have also encouraged feminist LDS women who support them to create online profiles that speak about their desire to be ordained to the Priesthood.  I am troubled by this group because of their methods, and because they are causing divisiveness within the church.  But lately I'm equally troubled by those who try to make those of us who disagree and are vocal, feel guilty.

I have one particular Facebook friend who, in almost every single post she shares, says over and over in a hundred different ways that we should love each other and celebrate our differences.  We should be kind and tolerant.  We should try to understand each other.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  But the unspoken message is what bothers me.  The unspoken message is, "Don't say anything against what people do.  If you do, you are being unkind."  Her unspoken message hints that if you disagree with someone, you aren't being loving, or Christlike, or tolerant.  Perhaps she would like it if no one ever spoke up about any issue.  I mean, heaven forbid we should make someone feel bad!

What bothers me the most is that this kind of thinking hints that the people fighting for ordination in our church can be just as bold and outspoken as they want, that their voice is more important than mine.  They insinuate that if I disagree with them, I am being mean.  But I believe you can disagree and still love a person.  I was thinking today that even parents, who love their children more than anyone on the planet, would not be good parents if they didn't speak up when their children do something that they think is wrong.

Another thing that bothers me is that by telling me that I shouldn't judge others because it isn't loving, they are in effect making a judgment of me!  How do they know how much I love the other person?  Just because I disagree, and try to speak out in defense of my church doesn't mean I don't love the person.  I try not to use hateful words, I try to speak honestly.  In reality, part of me does this out of love for the women who could easily be deceived by them!  I want to try to warn others to not buy in to their acts of apostasy!

So let me just say that I will not be shutting my mouth any time soon.  I believe in speaking up for what I believe to be right.  You are allowed to disagree.  It would be vain of me to think that everyone will believe the way I do.  But I cannot stand by and not speak up for what I see is truth.  Sorry to those who might think this is an unloving act, but I won't be shutting my mouth any time soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jet Lag

Jet lag is such a weird phenomena.  My first day back, I couldn't get to sleep about midnight.  I slept until about 4:30 in the morning I think.  I got up and went about my day, but finally ended up sleeping for a couple of hours in the afternoon.  Once again, that night I couldn't get to sleep until about midnight.

The next day my eyes popped open at 5:00 a.m.  I got up, and later took a nap for a couple of hours.  I just couldn't stay awake....it felt like I was drugged!  I went to bed at 10:30 p.m.  This morning I woke up at 2:00 a.m................  I'm still awake and it's 4:25.

I'm not that impatient with jet lag, but some of my family members are, and seem to think I shouldn't sleep during the day.  If you have never experienced true jet lag, you can't understand how your brain just shuts down, and you can't stay awake.  But actually, I'm kind of glad that one family member keeps coming to wake me up after a couple of hours nap.  I'm hoping that this will help me sleep more at night.

I remember when we first moved to China and had terrible jet lag.  Our apartment there has good curtains and shutters on the windows, so the apartment was very dark.  For the first week, we just slept when we were tired and woke up naturally.  For days we didn't even know if it was daytime or night time, we just ate when we were hungry and slept when we were sleepy.  That week was a blur.  We were lucky that we had the time to adjust slowly.

I know this just takes time, but I'll sure be glad when I adjust!