There is not enough purple in my world

Looking for some fun, family friendly ideas so make the summer months in Vegas go by quickly? Here are some of my favorite ideas to help!

1. Visit Disneyland!emma
Because it’s only 4 hours away, and it’s the happiest place on Earth! On. Earth. Why wouldn’t you go there?

2. Magic Mountain!
Perhaps now quite as “magical” as the name implies, but it’s got big rides and it’s much more budget friendly than Disneyland. Plus, it’s right next door to Disneyland, so you can just make it an extended trip!

3. Check out Oregon
Once you’re done with rides why not just drive on up on Oregon? It’s absolutely beautiful in the Summer and you’ll get to see a whole new color called “green.” It’s everywhere so you can’t miss it!

4. Explore Canada
Check to make sure you’ve got your passport, because once you’re through Washington (watch out for Vampires) you’ll be in Canada! Be sure to check out the igloos and whatever else happens to be in Canada.

5. Cruise Around Alaska
So now you’re tired of driving having driven from Nevada to Alaska, why not relax and take a nice cruise? Summer is the only time Alaska isn’t covered in darkness and ice, so it’s the perfect chance to view the scenery from on deck in your cruise ship.

6. Trek to the North Pole
Keep driving North until you can’t drive no mo. Then you’ll have to negotiate with a local fisherman to take you in his boat up north a little further. (You can save some money if you already know how to drive a boat) Make sure you bring comfortable shoes, because eventually there will be a lot of walking!

7. Scope Out Greenland
After the North Pole you can warm up by heading down to Greenland. In Plague Inc (a game where you try to destroy the world by spreading a disease around the world) Greenland is almost always the last place to be destroyed (if the disease gets there at all) so in the case of an outbreak it is definitely the place to go. While there, be sure to find a good place to live with your family should a move be necessary.

8. New York, Baby!
As the Summer starts to cool down you can head down to New York. See a show, Statue of Liberty, the works!

9. Bathe in Niagara Falls
Time to start heading back West to make it back for school. Why not pop back in to Canada for a minute to show under a water fall? It’s been about 30 years since I’ve been there, but I hear they’re still lovely and very refreshing.

10. If all else fails
And you can’t do any of the other things on this list, this Vegasite’s final recommendation for what to do in the Summer is to leave Vegas. It’s hot. Or just stay inside with good air conditioning.

Top 10 for 10 Years

This year marks the 10th anniversary of my dad’s death. There is probably a more politically correct way to say that, but there it is. I’ve been racking my brain to think of a good way to celebrate/commemorate it. I’ve already made a video so that’s done.  Then I started thinking about some of my favorite memories of him and how much I love to share them. So I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite memories with my dad. Here they are! These are ones that applied specifically to me. I thought of a lot of other great memories watching him interact with others, but these are special just to me.

10. Gum
A lot of my favorite memories are on trips I got to go on with my dad. He went on a lot of business trips to meet with clients, and if I wasn’t in school sometimes I got to go along. When I was young we didn’t always have a lot of money since there were 6 kids. One particular trip when I was very young we stopped and he bought me gum. I was so excited because I almost never got gum! As we drove along I fell asleep. Later when I woke up, I had a brief thought that I no longer had gum, but didn’t think about it until I later found it in my hair. I was scared to say anything because not only had a wasted the precious gum, but I had a mess in my hair. I finally fessed up about my sticky situation, but of course my dad wasn’t mad. He stopped at a store and bought some dissolve-it which took the gum right now! I was so relieved!

9. Pioneer Day
When I was probably around 12 we had a Pioneer Day Party at church. We played this game that was sort of like a real life Oregon Trail where you had to pick what supplies you had before hand, then as we got closer to Utah things would keep happening. My dad and I were on a team. I don’t remember a lot of what happened, but I remember at one point thieves came to camp, but if you had a dog it would scare them away. Well my dad had bought a dog so we were good! I cheered out “Go Spottie!” and my dad said, “Who is Spottie?” I just responded, “that’s what I named our dog!” He laughed. It was a great day:)

singing8. Singing
Obviously I cannot make a list of memories of my dad without mentioning his incredible voice. I have so many memories of him singing throughout my childhood, but I decided to share one that makes me smile (and occasionally cry) every time I hear the song. My dad was the chorister in our church for a while, but he had such a big voice you could always hear him above the congregation! Once we were singing “Count your Many Blessings” which starts out “When upon life’s billows…” however he started out with his loud booming voice singing “Count you many blessings…” then realized his error, gave a big goofy grin, and continued singing the right words. We all had a good chuckle.
Side note. I loved singing with him and always hoped I could be as good as he was.

7. I have to go potty
Remember those business trips I got to on with my dad? So once we were at a farm and while he was meeting with some people, I got to go out on some farm equipment with the farmers. Now I was really young, we’re talking single digits. So of course once we got to the far end of the field I announced that I needed to go potty. I don’t remember how they got me back to the house, but I do remember that after I had resolved the situation I wanted to go back out there. So my sweet dad took the time to drive me around to find where they had gone so I could continue riding with them.

6. My Daddy Dances!
nutcracker2
Some of you might not know is that there were daddy dances too! When I was really young I remember all the dad’s dancing in white shirts with sun glasses. It was such a silly dance and and one point they all lifted up their knee, made a fist and yelled “uh!” in unison! (Can you picture that?) It was hilarious! And I was so proud to have my daddy up there. Oh and let’s not forget he danced in the Nutcracker 2 or 3 years! And for those of you who knew him, he was not a dancer. He just loved his girls.

5. Halloween Candy
I love this story. When I was super young it was my turn to be the vampire for Halloween. This meant that I got to hide in our coffin (yes, we had one) and jump out and scare passerby’s! This year I was also throwing candy out before I closed the lid. I had been having a great time scaring the locals and throwing out candy, when all of a sudden after one scare, the lid was opened from the out side. There, standing above me, was a group of teenagers. One reached down into my bucket of candy and grabbed a handful of candy. I told them to stop, but obviously they wouldn’t listen and went away laughing. Well I was terrified and ran inside crying. I told the story to my family and my dad got very serious. He just asked “Which way did they go?” I pointed and said the guy who took the candy was wearing a skeleton costume. He left. A short while later he came back with the handful of candy. Now in case you didn’t know this, my dad was a big guy. He told the story of how he had caught up with the group of hooligans a short ways a way, walked up to them and said in a big booming voice “Who took the candy from my little girl?!” They all turned and pointed at Skeleton boy, who held out a handful of candy with a shaking hand.
Nobody messes with my dad. I felt so happy and safe knowing he was there to protect me!

4. Snuggle Bugs
I don’t have a specific memory here that stands out, but for years when I was young I would wake up to my dad calling upstairs “snuggle bugs!” My sister and I were both instantly awake and we would run downstairs to get our morning snuggles with daddy. Eventually it would be time to get up for school, but we would always say, “One more minute!” which would turn into 5 or 10, at which point we would say again, ‘one more minute!” but then he would kick us out. Oh we tried to hold him back, but we didn’t stand a chance.

wpid-20141207_150902-1.jpg3. Senior Pictures
This was the last trip I went on with my dad. We had found this great photographer to take my senior pictures. It was a few hours away (I don’t remember how many) I was upset because I had wanted my high school boy friend to come so I spent the first little bit sulking. He was very understanding and eventually got me to come around. By the time we got to the photographer I was happy to be there with him. We had a lot of fun taking pictures. He got to be the one holding up the sun shades, etc. At one point I saw him tearing up (he was such a softy) and he told me “You just look so pretty, I’m so proud of you.” I’ve always tried to make him proud as I am so proud to be his daughter. After pictures we stopped at Sonic for a bite to eat before heading home. I’ll always treasure that day.

2.Corvette Supercenter
When I was young I was in love with corvettes. I thought they were the most beautiful thing and I got so excited every time I saw one. So a few days before he died, my dad took me to a Corvette Supercenter. It was awesome! They had every model ever made! We had a blast going around touching them, taking pictures with them, I even got to sit in one! Dad tried to get them to let me test drive one..but you know..I was 17…lol. It was a lot of fun though, and I still have the business card.

1.When I got accepted to BYU
My dad died during my senior year of high school, so he wasn’t there when I got my acceptance letter to BYU. I was so excited since I’d wanted to go there since I was very young and it was the only school I applied to. I jumped around and cried and screamed with excitement. It had been a tough few months and this was a welcome relief. At some point after I had called everyone and settled down I went into the kitchen and opened the fridge to get something to eat. At that moment I was not alone. I felt an overwhelming feeling of love from my dad. I knew that he was there with me and that he was so proud of me.

Honorable Mentions (because there are so many more than 10 but I wanted to stay with the top 10 list thing)

A Vampire making home made Root beer
some of you may know that Dad would make his own Root beer and it was delicious. Well a couple of times he took it a step further for Halloween parties. He would dress up as an awesome Vampire, then stir his root beer in a cauldron. Of course his root beer was made with dry ice, so not only was there this epic vampire stiring a bubbly liquid in a cauldron, but it had a fog coming out of it! Just picture that. Yes, it was indeed legendary.

gardenGardening
Growing up we usually had some sort of a garden be it vegetable or flower. I was never a big fan of them because they required work, but my dad always enjoyed it. I remember one day in my early teens I was out there with him weeding in the vegetable garden. I wasn’t really enjoying the weeding, but I enjoyed the pleasant conversation with him. At one point he was talking about how the prophets have said we should have gardens and he said he thought they were more for growing children than vegetables. I always thought that was cute.

If You Make a Guy a Cookie

If you make a guy a cookie, he’s going to ask for a date.
When you give a date, he’ll probably think you really like him.
When he’s finished, he’ll ask you for a second.
Then he’ll want to look in a mirror to make sure he looks good.
When he looks in the mirror, he might notice he’s got a gut.
So he’ll probably ask if you want to go for a run with him.
When you’ve finished your run with him, you will probably know a lot about him.
You’ll start dating.
He might get carried away and sweep you off your feet.
You may not even end up dating very long!
When he’s sure, he’ll probably want to buy a ring.
You’ll have to arrange a big, fancy wedding with a big dress and some flowers.
He’ll move in, make himself comfortable and fluff the pillow a few times.
He’ll probably ask you to read him a story.
So you’ll read to him from one of your books, and he’ll think you’d be a great mom.
When you have a girl, he’ll get so excited he’ll want a boy of his own.
Then he’ll go to work all day. He’ll come home.
He’ll give you a kiss and play catch with the kids.
The kids will get A’s in school, and he’ll want to hang the papers on your refrigerator.
Which means he’ll need Scotch tape.
He’ll hang up the grades and and stand back to look at it.
Looking at the refrigerator will remind him that he’s thirsty.
So… he’ll ask for a glass of milk.
And chances are if he asks you for a glass of milk,
he’s going to want a cookie to go with it.

Inspired by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Autocorrected Love

Well I had a little crush
And I thought I’d say how much
So I grabbed my phone to send a little textie

I was nervous and unsure
As I tried to be demure
But instead I said “I drink the mind of Lexy”

“Who’s Lexy?” he replied
” I meant you’re sexy…” I half cried.
This wasn’t going quite as well as planned

Then what I meant to say was this
“I think you and I should kiss”
Instead it read “I like my tofu canned”

“Lol” I tried to cover
??? replied the other
I knew I had to fix the situation

“Well you see” I typed with care
Hoping he would still be fair
“This weekend would you like to try castration?”

Children vs. Easter

I had the most amazing experience in primary today.  We a very small primary–usually about 8-18 kids a week.  Most of them are 8 or under, but man are they smart!

Today we were working on the song “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” in preparation for Easter.  As we were reviewing the words, one of the lines says “And there were nail prints in His hands and a spear wound in His side.” and one of the kids asked what a spear wound was, which then lead to the question of why there was one in his side.  

I was a little hesitant because it’s such an awful thing, so I just said that when He was on the cross, they stabbed His side to see if He was really dead. Then other asked how He could die from just having nails in His hand. Again I spoke carefully as I explained how He had lost a lot of blood, it was excruciatingly painful, and they broke His legs so eventually He most likely suffocated to death. Another kid reminded us of the crown of thorns and I also said He had been whipped so His black was also all bloody.  Then the kid who had originally asked how He died summarized the whole thing very poetically. “That’s messed up!” 

I agreed the whole thing was very messed up, but I saw this as an opportunity to really get them thinking.  I started by reminding them that He was the Son of God and He didn’t have to die, but rather He allowed them to crucify Him.  Then I asked them why. I loved the answers that I got from even the 6-year-old! “He died for us!” “So He could pay for all our sins!” “He also prayed to forgive those who killed Him!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.  So after exhausting the topic of the Crucifixion, I then asked if they knew what happened on Easter Sunday. Without a moment’s hesitation they said He was resurrected.  I asked what that meant for us, and after some thought they of course responded that it meant we can all be resurrected, too (just like the song says!)

Now we’re getting to the really good stuff.

“I feel sorry for the people who lived before Jesus because they won’t be resurrected, right?”-9-year-old

“Well what do you think? Are only the people who came after Christ resurrected?”-Me

There was a general confusion, so I asked a few more questions. 

“Who does God love?”-Me

“Everyone on the whole Earth!” -Several kids

“That’s right, but does He only love the people who are alive right now?”-Me

“No!”-Kids

“Does He only love the people who lived after Jesus?”

“No…”

At this point I could see they were really thinking about it and trying to figure out the answer, so I asked them to think about who lived before Christ came.  The answers came “Moses!” “Adam and Eve!” When I asked if they thought those people would be resurrected they all said together, “Yes!” They seemed so excited at this realization.  I testified to them that everyone who ever has or ever will live on this Earth will be resurrected!

Then there were several questions such as “What is resurrection?” Which the other children answered on their, and “What about people on other planets?” and “What about animals?” Which I got them thinking about and hopefully had them come to a good conclusion. However, my favorite question of the day came from the 6-year-old.

“What if there wasn’t a resurrection?”

Oooooo such a good question!

We started talking about how death would be the end and how we would be alone and wouldn’t have a body.  It was so amazing to hear the questions and answers that came from these amazing kids.

After we finished our discussion we sang the whole song again, and let me tell you–the spirit was so much stronger.  They noticed it, too.  It was such an amazing way to start my Easter week. The funny thing was that this was not meant to be a lesson–we were just supposed to be learning the song, but I love when they are really thinking about the words and what they mean.  It makes a difference.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and remembers the true meaning. I know I will–thanks to these amazing kids.

Image

rapture

I begin by stating something that I saw recently that greatly bothered me. I may exaggerate slightly to really draw focus to what I believe to be the root of the problem, but say it in a slightly comical matter to keep the tone of my blog relatively light.  I reference the picture showing the event that inspired this post to make sure my readers know precisely what it is I am referring to. I then express exactly why this issue bothers me and express outrage that it is happening/has happened. I dive into a history lesson, which is most likely exaggerated again, to indicate how far we have come on this issue. I mention a few respected people who were once praised for holding my point-of-view such as Audrey Hepburn, Cookie Monster, or Ghandi. Once I have reached the present, I express what I believe will surely happen in the not-too-distant future if things continue on the current path referencing past tragedies that may repeat themselves such as the Holocaust, “The Cable Guy”, or Furbies.

Now that I have sufficiently painted a bleak picture, I begin to explain how things need to change. I lay out a vague yet detailed plan for how to solve this problem which will get a few people pumped up before they inevitably realize I haven’t really suggested anything helpful but rather I am just venting my frustration. This one sentence will be the subject of several very nasty comments. It may cause people to accuse me of something completely unrelated to the actual topic, nonetheless it will result in me being calling small minded/racist/sexist/stupid/a girl. On the other hand this statement will cause many people to wholeheartedly agree with me and they will congratulate me on standing up for my core values.

Feeling that I have stated my point of view very poignantly, I congratulate myself on a job well done.  However, deep down I realize the likelihood of actually changing anyone else’s mind on this subject is very small.  More likely it will insight a few angry blogs as a response.  Nonetheless I remind everyone again of what will happen if the proposed change does not take place. I call upon those reading to join me in the fight to right this wrong! I make  a slightly backhanded comment  about how those who don’t agree or don’t care enough to take part in this movement are entitled to their own opinion, but if it’s not directly inline with my own it is wrong.  I finish my blog post with an optimistic view of the future, if we can all just work together.

Opfer

I had a profound realization today. Like all profound moments, it started while I was thinking about Vampires. The Vampire Diaries to be specific. I was re-watching some of the earlier seasons on Netflix last night, and came across the episode where Elena gives her life to save Matt (this type of thing actually happens a lot in this particular show). Everyone is super mad at Matt because he survived and Elena died. Matt is also upset since he cares for Elena as well and says to Stephan, “that’s something I have to live with every day!” Then Stephen responds, “No, you don’t have to live with that, you get to live with that.” Then told him that he should remember that every day when he wakes up, it is because Elena gave her life.

I started thinking about how I would live my life differently knowing that someone I cared about had given their life for me. I thought of my Great Aunt Faye who saved her cousin from drowning, then drowned herself. He went on to become a member for the Quorum of the Seventy. He wrote my family a letter expressing how that affected his life. Then I had my profound moment (obviously that’s what you’ve been waiting for since I first mentioned Vampires)

Someone did die for me. But not just so that I would live again, but also so that I could be cleansed from my sins. Of course this is something that I’ve learned since I was young, but it just hit me hard. Am I living my life in a way that makes His sacrifice worth it? Did he die so that I could sit on the couch and watch an entire season of the Vampire Diaries in one evening? (Granted I’ve got a cold and have almost no energy).

And so I am renewing my efforts. With Christmas upon us it’s a good time to do so. I hope that I can live in a way where He looks down and feels that His sacrifice was worth it. I hope that He doesn’t think I’m ungrateful, even though sometimes I’m sure I act that way.

The End

Short and sweet, I know, But to me it was short and profound.