Thursday, October 28, 2010


So Halloween is totally an American imposed holiday here. The kids do not dress up and go trick-or-treating, but all the stores still sell halloween decorations anyway.

Hooray for our ward that threw a Halloween party for the primary and youth so the kids did get to have a trick-or-treating experience. Mitch and I were recruited last-minute to help with the party since we are in the primary now. So we came up with very improvised costumes.

Mitch was a pirate. He had way too much fun planning his costume instead of doing homework. He used our umbrella for his hook and made a sword out of wooden spoons.
I was a cat with some creep gummy fangs. I made my ears out of our cereal box. The red eye makes me look scary! I bet you wouldn't like to get bit by me!

These are some of our cute primary kids getting ready to do the donut eating contest.

Mitch is trying his hardest.

And today, one of my supervisors--the sweetest lady, got me this chocolate jack-o-lantern stuffed with chocolates! She said she wanted me to enjoy this because she knew that otherwise I would be missing Halloween back home! Cute huh? It made my day!
Anyway, we are celebrating Halloween this weekend in LONDON!!!!!
What are you doing? HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tags and Little Women

Do you remember in junior high when you would get all those mass-emails that you had to answer a bunch of questions. And then at the end you had to forward it on to several other people in order for some special wish to come true? Sadly I think I gave in and filled one of those out once a upon a time, and I have regreted it ever since.

Well, this pretty lady decided to tag me in a question game. Since I know the intended purpose was not some mass email thing, and I love her dearly and the questions she asks, I'm going to answer them. But I'm not going to tag new people to answer these questions. Instead since I know there are about 7 of you who regularly read this blog, you can think of how you would answer these questions yourself (you don't even have to blog about it, but you are more than welcome to).

Okay, here we go:

1. Assuming your life had a soundtrack, what song would accompany the happiest moments and what song would accompany the most embarrassing ones? Why?

Answer: The two worst questions someone could ask me are 1. What is my favorite movie? and
2. What is my favorite song?. I never have a specific answer. I feel I am too complex of a being to get the full satisfaction of every aspect of life out of just one movie or just one song. There are simply too many good ones out there. Therefore, I have several favorite movies and songs. And on the mention of songs--I'm so bad at remembering all the words to songs, let alone know their meaning, to determine whether a song idealizes a part of my life.

Lame answer? tough

2. Would you rather live your entire life in Pocatello, Idaho or Beaver, Utah

Answer: Beaver--closer to Lake Powell. Enough said.

3. If you could travel through time, to which era would you want to travel and who would you want to meet?

Answer: This question does not say I have to travel BACK through I would pick to go FORWARD in time and meet two people 1. Myself as an old woman that has already lived a full life, and 2. Christ at the Millenium.

4. Which sister do you identify with most and why do you think that is?

Answer: Okay this question is why I even felt like this whole thing was worthy of a blog post.

Background information:
My Mother's favorite movie is Little Women.
I have 6 sisters

My answer to this question is totally lame again--I feel I relate to them all in a certain way. But that isn't what matters. I want to just tell you how much I love Little Women.

This story reminds me a lot of my life--growing up in a predominately female house with sisters of such different personalities but as the best of friends. My mother would also be the one, if I were sick with fever, to bring the fever down instead of the doctor.

Mitch is my best friend and the person I would pick to spend forever with; but there are some bonds that can only be made between girls. I think that is why only women truly appreciate masterpieces like Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice.

Cheers to my sisters and the special bond that we have--especially dear Katie who spent so many nights on the couch in the basement with me so we could watch Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, or Pride and Prejudice together.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Do you ever wonder where the world is going?

I do. Whenever someone brings up the second law of thermodynamics, or that the world keeps spinning into chaos, my head starts spinning into thoughts.
While I've been here in Europe I've been formulating pictures in my mind of where Europe is headed by observirng what is around me. For example:

Bikes. With the exception of smoking, Europe is going green. Bikes are the new cars. Not only are they cheaper, but they are easier to deal with in a crowded city and they save the air.

Public, open-air Urinals. Europe seems to have found a way to charge for all the necessities in life. Drinking fountains are unheard of, and public restrooms for free? Not a chance. But....boys will be boys, and as a way to keep 'em from just going in the streets, they invented these public urinals. You can find them in the middle of the sidewalk, which is most convenient as Mitch would say. So besides finding a way to charge for everything, the world is also becoming incerasingly innovative.

(Sadly this innovative idea is only for men. The elimination of gender discrimination is an innovative idea still needing improvement.)

Market Integration. As an economics student, I love this idea. I would argue that the pros far out weigh the cons for more market integration. A Domino's Pizza in Amsterdam is just another example of local companies expanding to other markets. Some people would call this "Westernization" but there is a lot more to it that they fail to mention. I won't dwelve into this topic just now but I'll just mention that I think it is a direction the world is headed--more cultural and economic integration. We are all entitled to our own opinions on this matter.

The world may be increasinly forward thinking, looking for ways to expand markets, or innovate, or save the environment, but the world is not forgetful. Most of Europe has different ideological views than I do, but understanding thier past makes me know why they view things differently. I observe that people in Europe do not forget the wars that have torn this continent apart. I admire them for their remembrance, for I truly believe that it is critical for the world to remember and learn from the past.

What have you observed?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Mitch and I got a calling in our ward--primary workers! We were excited but a little nervous because we were assigned to the french-speaking sunbeams (the youngest kids). That meant just Mitch could really communicate with them. So Sunday we went to primary for the first time, and when it was time for music time the Primary President said, "okay, you two are up!" What!?!!? We didn't know we were in charge of music time too! So we winged it on the spot. And to top it off the primary program is in a month--two Sundays of which we will be gone. So we have two more times left to practice with the children before the program. Don't worry, its not like we have to learn all these new songs in English; no we get to learn them in French too, and even sometimes in portuguese, russian, and sign language! (thank goodness I took ASL 101 recently). I'm sure the program will turn out great cause the children are so stinking cute, but it won't be because of my fabulous french pronunciation and conducting skills. Needless to say, Mitch and I will be praying for help the next few weeks! Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Half Way

We are at the half-way mark. We have used up half of our time here in Europe. Did it go by quickly to you? It did for me.
Now I wonder if the second half will feel shorter or longer. . .
what do you think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Amster, Amster

. . . . yes I know you were thinking it (Dam, Dam, Dam).

I got to go to Amsterdam!

Don't worry though, we avoided the Red Light district (the prostitute area of town) and did not go in this Sex Musuem. I found it amusing that all the people in line were men and this guy came out smiling so I took a picture.

We did get to enjoy the flower market however, and see all the fabulous bulbs on sale--unfortunately we won't be here in the spring to enjoy the tulips in bloom in the fields.

We loved wandering the streets here. It was so beautiful with the fall and the leaves changing and falling. The buildings are so picture-esque and EVERYONE rides a bike. I loved it here-but I would have to complain about the city not being very "pedestrian friendly"--I nearly got killed by a biker because I thought I was walking on the sidewalk and all of a sudden it changed into a bike lane! If I had a bike there, I would love it though.

That says "I am Amsterdam"

We got to go to Anne Frank's house (hiding place) and the Van Gough musuem. The Van Gough musuem was by far one of my favorite musuems ever--it may be because I love so many of Van Gough's works as well as Monet and Daubigny who were also featured.

It was a beautiful day in Amsterdam and we enjoyed ourselves immensely!
How was your weekend?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Sometimes I feel like I get a slap to the face that reminds me I am an outsider in a foreign land.

For example, when the young lady at the cash register tells me something in French and I have no idea what she is saying so she rolls her eyes at me and says something else to the customers behind me and they all start laughing . . . then I feel uncomfortable.

Or when the girl at the other cash-register asks me if I speak English, and then tries to pull the incorrect change scheme on me--at least I know I have some decent math skills--"non, non" I say to her when she tries to short me 5 euro. She glares at me and gives me the rest of my money. I look back and see everyone in line staring at me. . . I feel uncomfortable

Maybe I should just find a different supermarket. But they have my favorite cereal, so, for now, I'll suck up the uncomfortable, because it is worth it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


If ever there were a city to just drop your current life and run away to and discover the most blissful life, BRUGGE is the city! Oh man, please come visit me right now and I will take you here, I promise it won't dissappoint. And I was so relieved to actually discover that Belgium has a fall season (there are not enough trees in downtown Brussels to do fall justice). I think Mitch and I may retire here.

And, I'm still enjoying the frittes, waffles, and chocolate beyond measure. Please don't judge when Mitch and I come back heavier. We are doing our best to supplement our diet with some apples, broccoli, and lots of walking.