Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Tree of Life

I will never be able to write in words the feelings that the Spirit has brought to me in different points in my life.
But I would like to attempt to tell a couple experiences I've had.

In my institute class a few nights ago we talked about Lehi's vision.
We talked about how the tree of life represents the love of God. 
And then we cross referenced this with John 3:16 which says,
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
With this cross reference I learned that the love of God is partially that he sent his son to the earth to die so that we could come to live with Him again. 

Then my teacher asked us if we remembered a time in our lives that we realized the power of the atonement. 
I thought back to the summer before my senior year of high school.
A friend of mine was leaving on a mission and I had the opportunity to hear him sing in church a couple weeks before he left. 
He sang "I Stand All Amazed" (Hymn #193).
This was the first hymn that I learned to play on the piano so I had read the words time and time again but they hit me in a completely different way on this day and filled me with a feeling of indescribable love.
The love of my Heavenly Father and my brother, Jesus Christ.
I knew that despite any mistakes that I had made or would make in my life I would be able to repent and be forgiven and that my Heavenly Father would always love me. 
Thinking back to this experience and later that night going back to my old journal and reading about it brought back the feelings that I had had that day two and a half years ago. 

After talking about  our stories of gaining a testimony of the atonement my teacher told us the story "The Bridge". This story has a short film to go with it that we did not watch but I had seen it before. Here is the film: The Bridge. I can not tell the story as well as the film does so I recommend watching it but for those of you who don't have the time I'll try to paraphrase it.

There is a father who operates a bridge. He has to move the bridge so that the train is able to cross over the water safely. One day when he is moving the bridge it won't connect with the train tracks for some reason so he has to go and do it manually. While he is holding the tracks together his son comes running down the tracks looking for him. The man has to decide between saving his son or letting all the people on the train die. He decides to save the people on the train. (I know it sounds like a terrible story but there is so much that we are able to learn from it as we compare it to the sacrifice our Father in Heaven has made for us.)

This film helped me understand a TINY bit more of what our Heavenly Father must have been feeling when he let his son suffer and die for us. He chose to save each and every one of us rather than just save his son. 

The people on the train had no idea what had just happened just as many of us are ignorant as to what Heavenly Father has sacrificed for us. The people on the train went on to live their lives doing good and bad not knowing at all what that father had sacrificed so that they could live.
If the father in this film was able to see what each of these people had done with their lives in the future I am sure that there would be some things that would just be a stab in the heart to see as he had given them life when he let his son die.

It also hurts our Heavenly Father when he sees us make bad choices. Especially when he sees those of us who have a knowledge of the sacrifice he and his son made, straying from the path.
And yet our Heavenly Father continues to love us.
And he continues to forgive us. 
And he continues to bless us. 

 Having this realization that night through the help of my teacher, my classmates, and the Spirit helped strengthened my testimony in so many ways and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have to learn and feel the Spirit and grow closer to my Heavenly Father as I learn more about him and his continuous love.

I know this was kind of long but I would like to end with the words to the hymn "I Stand All Amazed":

Verse 1:
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified, 
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

Verse 2:
I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

Verse 3: 
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt! 
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

And if you want to hear the music here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it. 

Friday, January 22, 2010


So, I found a new love.
And that love is: WATCHES! 
 This is actually not a super new love.
When I was little I was OBSESSED with my dad's watch and always wanted to borrow it.
This didn't work out too great since  he needed it (this was before EVERYONE had cell phones).
So one year I got a watch for my birthday but it was never quite as cool as my dad's watch. 
Over the years I got over watches but they have returned to my life. :]
I have two now. A white one and a brown one and they are pretty dang awesome.
I feel really cool when I wear them. 
The funny thing is that I still check the time on my phone. 
The first day I had my very first watch (a cute white one) I was walking around downtown 
Flagstaff with my friend and staring at my watch since it was making my wrist look so dang cool 
and he asked me what time it is and as I stared at my watch I reached into my back pocket 
and pulled out my phone. Skilled, huh?
Even when I do check the time on my watch I double check on my phone since I'm not super great at reading the clocks with the big hand and the little hand.
That is an art that has been lost over the years with all the fancy digital clocks.
Now that I have a couple watches though I'll have it down in no time, right?
Here are some pictures of my cute watches:

Pretty dang cool looking!

So I figured that while I was on my blog I could write a little bit about what's been going on in my life as well as blab about watches and the like. 
So here goes! 
I am done with two weeks of my fourth semester of college. 
I just switched my major to Psychology although I am sure it will switch again before I graduate.
What I really want to go into is some kind of therapy.
Either Recreational Therapy or Occupational Therapy.
I really want to work with children who have disabilities.
If anyone has suggestions for other majors or anything I would love to hear them.
I need all the advice that I can get.
But anyway, this week barely even counted as a full week of school because...
We had MLK Day off. And then I went to school Tuesday.
Wednesday they cancelled all 8:00 and 9:10 am classes because of the snow.
And then Jasmine and I drove down to the valley with our fingers crossed that we would get snow days on Thursday and Friday.
And...those crossed fingers paid off! 
So, school was canceled for TWO days! 
And we are enjoying the nice-ish weather of the valley.
There has been a lot of rain but it's much warmer than the snow.
And rain in the valley is always a treat. :]
Of course along with nice valley weather I have been able to enjoy being home and having my Aunt Suzanne in town. So it's lots of good stuff. 
School this semester should be pretty fun.
I got into Spanish 201 which I was SUPER excited about.
I haven't taken Spanish for about two years but I remembered just enough to place in 201 (or the third semester).
And if I do well I can pay just a little bit of money to get EIGHT credits for 101 and 102. 
That was a happy way to start out the semester and so far Spanish is my favorite class.
I love the language and I have a fun teacher. 
We interact and get to know the other students which is different from most of my other college classes.
It is definitely a nice change and a nice way to start my day.
I am also taking a PE class again this semester and I learned how to use all the weight machines.
I also had my teacher tell me how many reps to do and all that fun stuff so I work out FOR SURE 
at least twice a week.
I am looooving feeling sore again. :] 
Life is good.
All is well.

And to end this all, a quick quote that includes my favorite word and some very good advice, "If you are waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? Because if tomorrow never comes, you certainly will regret for the rest of your life not having spent some extra time for a smile, a conversation, a hug, a kiss, because you were too busy to give that person what ended up being their last wish." --Elder Claudio R.M. Costa

"All is Well" -- Rancchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad

A weeks ago I went to the movies with my dad and a family from my home ward, the Clements.
We went to see a Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots,
and this being my first time seeing a foreign film I was not expecting anything too great.
The movie was so much better than I had expected!
Even after it had been talked up by the Clements!
You have to read subtitles but it is completely worth it.
I tried to find a trailer with subtitles on YouTube but I couldn't find one so
I'm going to put a link to the normal trailer and you can catch a glimpse
of what the movie is like even though you won't understand much.
I am not going to try and explain what the movie is about because it is
one of those movies you just have to see.
It is a bit goofy but definitely a feel good movie.
The main phrase that goes with the movie is "Aal izz well" or in other words
"All is well". I love this phrase and
I love the overall message this movie has.
So, if you find it in a theatre near you go and see the movie 3 Idiots!
(I saw it for the second time this week and it was just as good!
If not better...)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A 7-Year Olds Instructions on "How To Get a Boy to Like You" (Gelsey's)

So these are instructions my seven year old sister told Helena, my sixteen year old sister on how to get a boy to like you. They are pretty amusing and pretty on the dot for some. Helena originally wrote these down as Gelsey told them to her so that is who I am borrowing them from. Thanks Helena and Gelsey!!

**These are her exact words

Lesson 1-How To Dress Pretty
-Dress pretty and cute. Wear skirts with t-shirts that match your skirts. Wear high heels. And do your make-up pretty and cute. Do your hair the way cute girls do it, like down, curly. And I almost forgot, wear perfume.

Lesson 2- If You Like the Boy
-If the boy has talked to you at least three times, but then he stopped talking to you for a long time, try to hang out with him, like at lunch. Ask if you can sit with him (in case he has friends that might laugh at him).

Lesson 3-If You Don't Have A Phone
-If you don't want a phone, and you can't talk to him when you're at your house unless he is at your house, get a phone anyways. Tell all of your friends that will text you “Please do not text me. Please do not delete this message.”
-Then try to get his number.
-Oh, and get an iPhone. Then all the boys might think you're cool, because you'll have internet, and YouTube, and Facebook.

Lesson 4-How To Get a Boy To Go To Prom With You
-Wear a cute dress that boys might like and they might think you are wearing it to Prom, and then might ask you out to Prom.
-Then you might go to Prom with them.

Lesson 5-How To Get A First Date
-The boy asks you out. But then... he doesn't have a car. How do you get him to get you there? Then you buy a car so you can drive him there. On the way home he can drive you home. And then you can drive him back home.

The End. ( This is to make it a story, in case a teacher ever asks you to write a story about how to get a boy to like you. I don't know why any teacher would want you to do that for homework.)

My Comments on all of that:
Lesson 1: Pretty dang on the spot :) And good thing she remembered the perfume.
Lesson 3: I feel pretty good about this one seeing as I have an iPhone. (This is even being posted from my iPhone!) All the boys should like me now. ;)
Lessons 4&5: Hahahaha. That's about all I can say.

I love my sister and little kids. They give some of the best advice! I think I'll be turning to my sister for advice more often now.

Here is the gorgeous author of this good advice. :)

And here is the beautiful author with me. We got our hair cut the same. Cute, huh?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Grandpa Hogan

This is a picture of Helena, Grandpa Hogan and I over winter break this year. He's got a sweet headband, huh?

Here's my Grandpa a couple years ago wearing the same headband. This time we didn't tell him to put it on though. I just came down in the morning to find him wearing it and I snuck this picture in by using my phone. I was sneaky!

I love my Grandparents! :] Thank you for making me laugh and sharing your life wisdom with me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Location:Flagstaff, AZ

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick Pic

Here is a picture of the food that I made the other night looking all pretty when I had it for leftovers today! MMM! Doesn't that just look so good? Well, it is soooo gooood! :]

Happy Hair Day!

This is gonna be short but I wore my hair in a ponytail for the
FIRST TIME since I got it cut! :] YAY!
It was way exciting and so I took pictures.
It still falls out a little bit in the back...but it works!Good face, eh? Haha.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gooood Fooood!

I love cooking food! Especially food with lots of vegetables.
It makes me feel healthy even if it isn't SUPER healthy.
And I love the colors of the vegetables and all the different flavors they bring to meals.
Today I made a recipe that I have made once before.
It's called Ziti with Ratatouille except for this time
I made it with a different type of pasta (not Ziti).
This recipe serves four to six people but I made it tonight and there were four of us eating and there were TONS of leftovers! So I think it serves a little more than that.
Oh, and by the way this recipe is from a book called Food to Live By by Myra Goodman.

1/2 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup)
8 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium-size eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 3 cups) (I didn't end up using eggplant I used chicken instead)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 pound dried ziti
3 medium-size zucchini (about 12 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch thick quarter-moon pieces
6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped, or 2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 wedge of Parmesan cheese (at least 2 oz.), for garnish.

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onion is golden and the garlic fragrant, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl, being careful to remove all the garlic.
2. Add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. When hot, add the eggplant. Season it with salt and pepper. Cook the eggplant until just soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the onion. Add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and, when hot, add the yellow and red bell peppers. Season them with salt. Cook the bell peppers, stiring frequently, until they are soft, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bell peppers to the bowl with the onion and eggplant.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to bil over high heat. Add the ziti and cook according the the package directions.
5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and, when hot, add the zucchini. Season it with salt and pepper. Cook the zucchini until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the other vegetables.
6. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until hot, about 4 minutes.
7. Add the vegetables and any liquid in the bowl to the tomato mixture and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. There should be quite a bit of liquid in the skillet with the ratatouille.
8. Drain the ziti in a colander, setting aside 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
9. Transfer the ziti to the large bowl and add the ratatouille. Stir gently to combine. If the pasta seems too dry, add some of the pasta cooking water.
10. Transfer the ratatouille and pasta mixture to a serving platter or pasta bowls. Using a vegetable peeler shave curls of the Parmesan cheese over the pasta and serve immediately.

Here is me with lots of yummy beautiful veggies!

Here are the rest of the ingredients in all their beautifulness:

And here's me with some yummy dessert! Funny story about Milky Ways: My friend bought me an ENTIRE box of these for Christmas. I went to Flagstaff the weekend after Christmas and left my candy bars at home. BIG MISTAKE! I did hide them but obviously not very well because when I got back there were FOUR out of the original THIRTY-SIX Milky Ways! :[ Super sad story but I guess it's OKAY because I don't really need to eat thirty-six Milky Ways all by myself. Haha. But I swear my siblings have chocolate/candy sniffing noses because they find ANY HIDDEN candy in our house. My mom can tell you all kinds of crazy stories about that.
So, I forgot to take a picture of the delicious outcome of my food but maybe I'll remember tomorrow to take a picture of some of the leftovers and add them onto this post. We'll see. It was DELICIOUS! :] Try it sometime! And have some dinner guests over if you're a college student or something because food brings people together. I ate with one of my roommates and two friends tonight and it brought on good conversation and hopefully created some good memories. Although I'm not gonna lie, when we were all stuffing our faces with food we weren't talking too much. But, have some fun cooking and enjoy some good company and good conversation!

P.S. If anyone has any good recipes that are relatively easy and of course yummy then post 'em on here! I would love to try making some new food.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh, the Joys of Hair :]

So I love my hair. It is fairly easy to do.
Low maintenance and I think it looks semi-decent usually.
But, I get sooo bored with my hair. So I switch it up a bit.
My general pattern is to grow it out kinda long then chop it all off.
Then I grow it out to ponytail length again and then chop it all the way off.
I love doing this and although I haven't loved all of my hair cuts over the years it is fun to look back at them. So that's what I'm going to do in this blog.
I hope it's as fun for whoever reads this as it is for me!

This is August 2007 (Senior Year of High School)
Messy bed hair. But long (for me) and light brown and down.

This is June 2008 Summer before heading off to college. Loooong hair!
August 2008 First Year of College. Chopped it all off!
This is September 2008 and I'm back into my ponytail phase.

December 2008 a little longer hair and actually downish for once.

Here is me with my brand new bangs! And my hair down! :]
March 2009 Bangs again but with my hair back in the ponytail.

May 2009 And now my bangs are long enough to sweep to the side.

August 2009 Back to the ponytail and my bangs are finally long enough to put all the way up again.

October 2009 Hair getting long again and I cut my bangs back to sweeping to the side length.

October 2009 The beginning of the craziness!

October 2009 BLACK HAIR!! And my roommates taught me how to curl it with a straightener and it works sooo good!

November 2009 I do also occasionally enjoy having my hair done all pretty. Crazy thing: A BOY did this hair. Looks good, huh??

November 2009 Here's my looong black straight hair. Just before the BIG change...
November 2009 And here's my hair as it is right now. I loooove it and I think it makes me look a little bit older than the fourteen years old that people normally guess.
Well, that's about it for my hair adventures. YAY for hair and it's endless possibilities!