Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Some Highlights from Thanksgiving in Arizona...

  • Laura making friends with Grandma's neighbors
  • Short sleeve weather!!!
  • Oven turkey, pit-cooked turkey, deep-fried turkey, Dutch oven turkey
  • Mom firing an assault rifle...what kind of training does she get at work?!?!
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Hiking to the wind cave(s) at Usury Park
  • Staying up late watching action movies with Grandma
  • Seeing the Lerches
  • Spending time with the Dovers
  • Listening to the Jim Reeves Christmas CD 3 times in the car...each way!
  • Going to the Mesa temple
  • Seeing the Christmas lights at the Mesa temple
  • Dinner at Matta's
In other words, we had a great time!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Camping Trip

I was doing the dishes last Saturday, I thought that it would be fun to go camping. I remembered when I was a little girl and would build tents with my siblings in the front room. I thought that it would be fun to go on a mock camping trip...So, I ran it by Daniel, and we went "camping" this weekend. To start off the night, we built a tent in our front room. Then we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over our gas stove, sang camp songs, had more marshmallows, and then played some games to pass the time.

In the morning, we got up and had a pancake flipping contest. It was so fun! I am glad that we were able to "go camping" and forget everything for a night. I was also glad to spend time with my best friend.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Poor Homies

I was reminded of a funny experience this morning as I was putting on my cologne. If you know my Dad, you'll get a kick out of this.

A few years ago I got received a bottle of Acqua Di Gio as a Christmas gift (I think it was from Michele). It remains to this day my favorite cologne to wear. I decided not to take it on my mission, and it somehow got mixed in with Dad's colognes when they moved last summer.

Dad approached me a few days after I returned from my mission. He handed me the cologne and said, "Well, here's your cologne. I really like it, but I can't wear it because it's for poor homies." I was confused for a second, but when I looked at the bottle a little closer, it gave me a good laugh.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Still Here!!!

I know that all of you are probably thinking that I have vanished from off the face of the earth...well you were wrong! I'm still here! Daniel is just so good at sitting down and writing everybody. I probably have been taking advantage of it. School has been keeping my, well, our lives busy this week! I keep thinking to myself "if I can just get through today than I will be Ok" (I have to tell myself that everyday). I guess I underestimated my abilities when I began the semester with 18 credits. If I was single I could pull it off. I DID pull it off, but... Marriage is extremely different! Now I get to cook actual meals and then clean them up, then do my homework. I get to worry and care about someone else's day, not only my own. It is a whole new world and I love it! Even though it takes up extra time, it is all worth it!

I can't begin to say how excited I am for the holidays! Not only for the much needed break for both of us, but for all of the joy and excitement that Thanksgiving and Christmas bring! The count down has already begun...forty days until we leave for Christmas break! Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fun at Work

At work right now, I am creating language learning materials with the overall goal of researching best practices for creating learning materials that are easily distributed and usable in a variety of contexts. We are currently working on an online Arabic language learning course. With over 500 pages of instruction and activities, maintaining and updating the code can be quite tedious.

I woke up Monday morning with a bright idea, and by the end of the day had a simple example to show my boss. I took a sample exercise, and instead of storing it in a web format (HTML), I stored it in a very generalizable format (XML). I then wrote up a set of general instructions for how the exercise should look and how the user should answer the questions.

If all of the activities in the course were stored in this way, they could all use the same set of instructions. That way, if there came a time that we wanted to change the way the user answers the questions, or change the way the pages look, we would only have to edit the one set of instructions, instead of the 500+ pages of instructional content.

So, in other words, I'm learning some awesome things at work and having a blast. Even though language learning has little to do with my major, the concepts will help me a lot in my career.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Deals for Wheels!

Yes, it's true. We have finally gotten a sweet set of wheels. Someone in our block is moving overseas very soon, and they were selling their 2001 Dodge Stratus. Although this is a little bit earlier than we were planning on getting a vehicle, we were very pleased with the deal that we got and the quality of the car.

Ok, so maybe it doesn't look exactly like that. But get rid of the intake, the decals, and the body kit, and it's practically the same car!

We also had the chance of spending the night at Mom and Dad Standage's house last night. Dad left early this morning for a week of training, and mom unfortunately had to work today, so we're here so Laura can babysit us. There stake had stake conference today, and the visiting seventy gave a very good talk. He concluded his remarks with an experience that Elder Cecil O. Samuelson shared with him. It's probably too long to write here, but it was wonderful.

Well, we love you all. Hope you have a great week!