Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My New Secret Identity

Just call me "Dark Mode".

My 8 year-old grandson has a highly active imagination and loves inventing scenarios for play-acting.  Lately it's been something to do with The Incredibles...only instead of being 'Dash'...he's 'Dark Dash'.  I'm not sure who gets to play all the other characters, but he roped me into it and asked me who I was.  Hmmm.  I'm definitely too old to be 'Dark Violet' - and since I happened to be sewing when he asked me, I opted for Edna Mode.  I was then informed that I could only use one name to go with 'Dark', so 'Dark Mode' was born.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Best Sister....Ever!

Sorry Marcy, Sherri, Suzanne, Keira, Cindy, Lisa, Lynn, Paula, Sara, Angie, Becky, etc...Tia wins.

Way back, in like, February (possibly January...), I asked Tia if she would like to come to stake Girls Camp with me and help me cook.  With absolutely no hesitation she signed on. Sweet!  Then there was a bit of a glitch when I was told that she couldn't come because she isn't in our stake. I was sad (and a wee bit grumpy), but I insisted that I HAD to have an assistant. HAD. TO. There was no way I could manage all of the food/cooking for Girls Camp on my own.

A few weeks later I got a call...and we were back on (evidently there are not all that many people willing to volunteer to help out at Girls Camp...go figure).

Tang: Beverage of Astronauts!
Tia was the awesomest minion EVER in the history of minions...although in reality she isn't the least bit minion-like (she's more a see the hill, take the hill sort).  We pretty much worked non-stop from around 5am to 8pm and then fell into our sleeping bags (before dark!). As far as we know, no one got sick OR went hungry on our watch...and we got a ton of compliments on our menu/cooking.  Which is pretty funny because much of what we did involved complicated stuff like using can openers and tearing open plastic bags.  We were even complimented on serving Fruit Loops for breakfast. Weird.

Speaking of weird...take a gander at the antiquated chest freezer from he**.  Tia and I are pretty sure it served as a place to store bodies (possibly for the mob)...before being donated to a Ensign Ranch to atone for its past sins.

The Dead Man's Chest (Freezer).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sweet Stuff

Disclaimer:  Please ignore the horrible condition of my deck - it's sadly in need of fresh stain & paint - which will have to wait until AFTER girls camp. Probably AFTER the grandkids are gone - I really need them to be able to use the deck while they're here.  Speaking of grandkids (we were, weren't we?)'s the crew:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hola Elder

I've ran into some more elders I recognize from home.

First: Elder Nino Pengeria (sp?) who I knew through the singles branch. He's going to Arcadia California, if I remember correctly.

Second: Elder Kunz, though I feel kind of guilty since I don't know anything about him other than the fact that I recognize his face. I don't even remember where he's going.

Third: A couple elders I've ran across claim to recognize me because they apparently lived in the same building as me at BYU this past winter. I feel a bit guilty that I don't remember anything about them.

On a similar note, one of my teachers, Hermana ("Sister" en espaƱol) Baum, says that she was companions with a certain Hermana Vaughan-Schultz during the last three months of her mission. Quite the small world we live in.

Six sentences in and I'm running out of ideas of things to write about. umm...

...the progressing investigators that our teachers were role playing dropped us (kinda). One of them turned out to be a drug dealer, so I guess it's not that much of a loss (maybe). Really though, I think it was an excuse for them to have us teach each other instead of them being bored to death by our lessons 10 times per week. Fortunately our lesson-giving skill have improved a bit, so by the time we enter the mission field we should at least be able to go for 30 minutes without our investigators keeling over to sleep.

umm... on Sunday we got to watch the evening fireside in the cafeteria, because the gym floor is being redone. Between that and the mission president seminar, that makes for like 18 out of our ~63 days
here when the gym was unusable. In other words, I've been playing a lot of soccer outside during gym time.

Hasta la pasta,
Elder West

Monday, July 11, 2011

Counter Gang

This is what my counter tops are going to look like for the foreseeable future.
Crockpot Land.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ward Potluck

I have a philosophy about church potluck dinners.

It's this: Take at least twice as much food as you think your family will eat. If you can afford to, take even more.  Profound, right?

Our ward has been having after church potlucks fairly regularly for the past several months. At least once every month or two.  It's been a bit of a challenge for me to figure out what to take.  It's not like we live close enough to run home and get the food - we live about 15 minutes from church (that's a 30 minute round trip). This month I decided to make mini cupcakes and pulled pork.  They both worked out great and I think my new favorite dessert to take is going to be mini cupcakes.  I only used one cake mix and two tubs of frosting (and a cup or two of lemon filling) - and I had 75 mini cupcakes.  That's way more servings than one 9x13 pan of cake provides and not that much more work.

Friday, July 8, 2011

shopping list

Girl's Camp is coming up just around the corner...I've got just over a week to buy and prep a ton of food. Okay, maybe not quite a ton, but I'm sure it'll feel like it by the time I'm done. 

I spent about 5 hours today working on my shopping list...Deann came over for 2 whole hours and we knocked out the hard stuff - the basic list including how much of each item. Thank you Deann. Thank. You.

So far all I've got is 45 pounds of strawberries in my freezer. Anyone interested in going shopping?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One Step Closer to Girl's Camp

45 minute drive to Mount Vernon.
30 minute video.
32 question test (which I aced).

I am now the proud owner of a Washington State Food Handler's Permit.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hola from Elder West

On the fourth of July we didn´t do anything special. However, on Saturday the second we did have a special fireside. We sang some patriotic songs such as Yankee Doodle, Yankee Doodle Dandy (whose lyrics are most certainly not appropriate for us missionaries), America the Beautiful, and so on. The speaker was somebody who has served as an advisor to three presidents or something and is also a branch president here at the MTC. Afterwards we got to watch a cool fireworks show put on by a nearby stadium (IIRC, the Lavell Edwards Stadium), and we also got some ice cream to go with it. A side effect of this is that everybody in the MTC ended up staying up well past 10:30, but whatever.
Also, for the fireside on Sunday a violinist by the name of Jenny Oaks Baker came by and preformed quite a few wonderful songs, interspersed with stories from her musical career as they relate to the gospel. Apparently she has recorded multiple albums of church or religious music, so when I get on the mission field and can actually listen to music, I wouldn't mind getting one of her CDs or something. Anyways, at the end she had her daughters (all under 10) preform I Am a Child of God. Absolutely adorable. Also, since I was ushering, the seats reserved for us happened to be right behind them. Afterwards somebody in my district managed to snag an autograph from one of them (lucky). (Also of note: the lady's husband served in the Japan Kobe Mission (ages before Andrew, though).)
Spanish is coming along. I can kinda hold a decent "get-to-know" you conversation in Spanish, but when it comes to teaching the lessons I tend to freeze up when not reading from a script. I think that might be something I need to work on. According to the timer I have three minutes left, but I don't know what to say so

Hasta la vista,
Elder West

Friday, July 1, 2011

Danny's Room

Steve and I have spent the week working on Danny's room.  For more pictures and story, see my post on Help Me Hanna.