Saturday, 19 February 2011

A Year Ago This Weekend...

This is what Paul and I were doing a year ago over President's Day weekend (which coincided with Valentine's Day).

We want to thank Tami, publicly, for taking the pictures, free of charge, on a cold and bleak day when we're sure she had other things she would have rather been doing.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Bittersweet Weekend

This past weekend was a bizarre one to be sure. It started out with some slightly scary news. I was sitting in my last class before my weekends begin when I got a text saying that my nephew's body went into a panic when he went in for a heart cath. His oxygen stats went down to the 40s and the doctors put him in an induced coma where he would stay until surgery on Tuesday.
Well, after that news came great news. A month ago I took my Praxis test for teaching. I had had a terrible night's sleep and had to be to the testing center at 7:30am. When I got there, right on time, I realized I had forgotten my calculator. Well, I knew for a fact that behind some of those locked doors were stacks of calculators. Was I allowed to use one? No. Panic!! I am AWFUL at math and I forgot the stinking calculator. Well, if I left the center I wouldn't be admitted back in so I had no choice but to go it alone. When it was my turn to be checked in, The Witch decided it was me she would torture. She asked if I had a cell phone with me. I said yes and it's turned off. She said get rid of it. Where am I supposed to put my phone? She doesn't care, just get rid of it. I go hide my phone behind a garbage can. I come back. She checks my purse. She then tells me I don't look like the picture on my driver's license. What would you like me to do about it? Nothing, she supposes. I'm sure you get the idea...she consistently picked on me like this until the test started at which point in time she sat down right next to me and stayed there the entire two hours. Well, I felt horrible after the test. I was exhausted, calculatorless, and being watched like a hawk. Since that point, I was been in a bad mood waiting to get my test scores and was positive that I would have to pay to take it all over again. Friday night when I checked the mail there was a big, stiff envelope from the Praxis people. I was too terrified to open it so Mr. Mitchell did. Inside was a big folder with EXCELLENT written across it. I received a certificate for scoring in the top 15% of anyone who has taken the Praxis. WOOOOOOOO!!!!!! What a relief! ... ... ...I'm still upset I forgot my calculator.

The goodness continued when Mr. Mitchell began the Valentine's celebrations on Saturday afternoon. He was pretty cute about it. He brought home a couple of items and claimed they were non-Valentine's gifts, but I knew better. He didn't want to give in to the commercialism but he wanted me to know that I was worth it. What a sweetie! We also got a Valentine's package from my parents.

(Yes, there is a garlic press with our Valentine's goodies. If you want to know why, ask Mr. Mitchell.)
On Sunday we were having dinner with friends when I received news from my mom that my cousin had been killed in a car accident and that my uncle was handling the news very poorly. He wasn't talking to anybody and my parents didn't know much so I tried to find more information online about the accident. I found it upsetting that they never got her age right (as in they printed a different age in every article) in any of the articles I found online. (It doesn't really matter in this case, but what other information do they print incorrectly?)
If you believe in prayer, please pray for my uncle.
On Monday things picked up with a wonderful Valentine's Day for Mr. Mitchell and me complete with Olive Garden. On Tuesday my nephew had his heart surgery and is now doing awesome.

I know this post was really wordy, if you read all of it I hope that you can see in there that Mr. Mitchell and I are happy and doing well and are thankful for Heavenly Father's love.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Book Thoughts

For this semester I made it one of my goals to do some leisure reading. I tend to push leisure reading to the side during school because once I've read out of textbooks for 3+ hours I just don't want to read anymore. I have missed reading what I want to read however and thus the goal was created. Since I managed to read a few books during the month of January I wanted to share my thoughts on them.

The first book I read was The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I was a little hesitant about jumping into this one because the movie I watched based on her last book was filled with political commentary which I felt was inappropriate in a children's movie. I decided that since I hadn't actually read the book I should give this one a chance. I'm glad I did. It was a cute little story about a China rabbit (like a China doll, the ethnicity of the rabbit is not Chinese)who had to go on a long journey to learn how to love because he was a pompous tool who didn't appreciate the love he was receiving. It's a children's chapter book so it was a fast read.

The next book I read was The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Go ahead and laugh. I did indeed read a book by Dr. Lauara - it was a gift from my mother-in-law. I felt that sometimes she was a little repetitive in her advice or her reasoning for offering advice and I got a little tired of feeling picked on (because she was constantly calling out flaws of wives), but I would not discourage someone from reading this book if they had a desire to. She encourages God-centered, give-and-take, selfless relationships, and I can't recall any advice she gave that I disagreed with.

The last book I read was Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Please keep in mind that I have not seen the movie so this was a completely new story for me unmarred by the hand of Hollywood. I was amazed at how not sexually graphic the book was. I was somewhat convinced before I started reading that I would have to stop because it would probably be inappropriate. Arthur Golden took a topic that could be used as an excuse to write a pornographic book and instead wrote a book that shares history and a compelling story. I'm not saying that the book is completely clean of sex-related material seeing as how the book is about a geisha, but it is carefully done. Overall I enjoyed the book despite the fact that I really disliked the ending.

The last thing I read that I would like to share was the January Ensign. There were a few articles that I really liked but there was one that seemed to be written for me: Make Yours a Great Life by Elder Paul V. Johnson. He talks about how our futures are determined by our faith, choices, and efforts and he discusses being of good cheer even though the world is in turmoil and not living in your past. I found it very uplifting and would recommend it.

Thanks for listening even though I'm no expert on great literature. My current read is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I don't know yet what I'll read next. I am (almost) always open to suggestions.

P.S. What is the world's fascination with zombies? I found this picture while looking for Dr. Laura's book.
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