Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'd like to say we're winding up...

...but that would be a patent falsehood.

I just finished spending about 5 hours (!!!) putting books and DVDs away. I find I'm more than a little OCD about how I put them back. And I'm not done. I wanted to try and tart up the shelves a bit - sort of like this:

bookcase styling
I pinned several bookcases on Pinterest in the hope of making my shelves prettier. This is NOT my bookcase.  I don't have nearly this many knick-knacks and I have WAY more books. (Here is the source)
DIY built in bookcases
Another pretty bookshelf...more books this time, but still a lot of knick-knacks taking up valuable shelf space. (here's the source)
I picked up a couple of storage boxes at Goodwill. The one on the left is holding all my kiddie DVDs, the one on the right has holiday and religious. I plan on putting a basket on the top left shelf. The boxes I just bought have chalkboard on the front, which I'll leave, but I'm trying to decide whether to paint them a) dark gray b)peacock blue c)light gray OR d) white.  Discuss.
Just to the left of the fireplace. 
The very far left.  Mostly books, not much else.

Center left.  I haven't done anything with these shelves yet, I've just put some stuff on them that could possibly go...or not.  I need to take a break from the shelves for a bit, and start fresh. I would love any ideas that anyone else might have...
The giant (8 foot) airplane will probably be hung on the wall right above where it's at...unless anyone has a better plan.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hola Elder

He's a Semi-Teutonic Baptizing Elder of Action.

Dear Family,

This has been a weird week. It started off bizarrely warm, and then
the temperature plunged towards freezing (50s/60s) after it rained
Thursday. Verily, I have become quite acclimatized to the California

Transfer calls came: Elder Jenson is leaving, I am staying, and my
companion will be Elder Perry (I already have his theme song written
and everything). Also we'll be on bike. This marks my 6th consecutive
transfer in Whittier, or my 8th total.

Speaking of transfers, a couple of oddities: (a) this transfer will
only be 5 weeks (to avoid Christmas Day), and (b) my new ministerial
certificate says that I will expire on October 15. I'm just guessing
that they just rounded to the next full transfer for that date, though
if that happens to be the case then I will have served a 25 month
mission. We'll see what happens.

So, proselyting...

We found a guy named Keith. We contacted him on the street a couple
weeks ago. In ages past he dated a member for 3 years and went to
church with her. He came to church this week, and he brought two dozen
donuts, because he told us there would be donuts whether they were
provided or not. He's quite the character, to say the least.

We were able to teach Dawn with her mother early in the week, which
went really well, but then things in the household exploded. Once
again we are left without words and much idea of what to do.

Tito... is Tito. We were able to sit down with him a couple times this
week. His initial sense of resolve with regards to learning has seemed
to inexplicably crumble, and as a result our visits with him became
quite bizarre, to say the least (unproductive, to say a word more).

James is doing good. Somehow, even though we couldn't meet with him at
all this week, he was able to obtain permission from his parents to go
ahead with the baptism. He also went to mutual this week and also
church. Yesterday, we had dinner at the bishop's house, and the bishop
invited him over. It was good. The only hiccup now is that he's going
to China for a couple weeks, which I guess is as good of an excuse as

Elder West

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Painting Project...Day 2

Pretty sure I'll be cuddling up to a bottle of Advil tonight...
If only I had been able to park somewhere else...

The reason I haven't had to break out the big ladder yet...

Dingy old white, meet bright clean white.

Living room is done, dining room is done-ish, kitchen is done (except for a 5 x 5 portion above the refrigerator).

Haven't done the entry.  Even if I wanted to, it's too tough of a proposition with the lights on.
I plan to spend part of the evening prepping wall, then I think I'll swing by Home Depot and pick up some wall paint.

Monday, November 5, 2012


It may seem like I just got done whinging about how much I hated staining our new deck.  Pshaw! I say.  It's been at least 3 weeks...possibly more.  Time to move on.

Besides, Steve is out of town...and if you think I'm not going to take advantage of the opportunity of wowing him with a semi-finished project, you'd be wrong.

My goal for the week is to get the ceiling and walls painted in my livingdiningkitchenhallentry room. Wish me luck.  I'll need it.
Today is all about the prep work.
After looking at about a million shades of gray, I think I'm going with what I used in The Empire Strikes Bath.  I bought a sample size of a different gray, and while it was beautiful, I may as well have gone out and killed me a varmint and dressed in skins because I would have been living in a cave.

I still have a ton of prep work to do - tomorrow I plan on painting the ceiling. Be prepared to hear a lot of whinging...I like painting ceilings only slightly more than I like painting deck railings. 

Hola Elder

Dear Family,
So, this week... man these weeks are flying by so fast. It's hard to keep track of them. The transfer ends next Tuesday.
James is doing rather good. We were able to meet with him once (his busy-ness prevents us from meeting with him more often), and he came to church. Also, he told us that his parents are willing to let him be baptized now, so I guess the only real thing we need to do for that to happen is just to meet with him and talk with his parents about it.
Things with Dawn got... a bit interesting this week. 'Drama' would be the sufficient one-word summary of last Monday's meeting, and then things kind of hit an awkward standstill.... We'll be rebooting soon.
Tito we met with once this week and then we haven't been able to get in touch with him since. We'll be trying by some more, but we're going to refer the LA missionaries to him soon.
On Tuesday I was on exchanges with our fearless district leader, Elder Evans. (Side-note: apparently he knows Nathan from when he was serving with Elder North back in Virginia) He's super good and says that I did a super good job too. Fun times all around.
Wednesday was Halloween, which meant two things: staying inside and doing some deep cleaning in the evening, and interviews with the president (spooky). Anyhow, he directly confirmed the rumor regarding the number of missionaries here, and said it will be happening within the next six months. One thing he emphasized is us setting a very good example for all the new missionaries, and another thing is that this was the 4th or 5th time in a row that he's commented that he thinks my letters to him are funny. Should I consider a career in stand-up? (Answer: no, I'll stick to writing.)
Nobody new this week. In fact, we decided to drop some of the investigators that we've been having very little luck in terms of contacting, so our investigator list looks a little shrunken. Funnily enough though, somebody we dropped drove by us as we were walking and we set up an appointment there. Something tells me the Lord doesn't want us to quite let go some of these people. 
...well, actually there was somebody new this week, but we forgot to set up a return appointment and we'll be handing him off to the singles' ward anyways. He is a very nice young man though. We also had a nice talk with a receptive guy right, Tony, outside his house, though it wasn't a lesson. We'll be trying to get inside his house to teach a lesson.
The frequency of random cars passing-by yelling random things at us has seemed to increase this week. Can't imagine why.
Oh, and also, who will be at home for Thanksgiving? I'm wondering mainly because I was just thinking of sending a bunch of letters to people and what to do there.
Items of interest that I want: a stapler, letters from Danny, a no-bake cookie recipe, and letters from Danny.
Elder West