Friday, August 29, 2008

Shout Hooray it's Heidi Schellman Stock's BIRTHDAY!

That's right! It's our cute Kansas friend Heidi's Birthday!
Heidi is yes, another jewel that I met through the EFY program! I was able to work with her closely in the Midwest sessions in 2006. Heids is very talented and has so much love to give to those around her. She puts her whole heart into everything that she does.... you can tell how much she is loved by all the smiling people in the picture below!
I had to include this picture in here. Heids will know why, but this includes one of our main topics the summer I worked with her :)

Now Heidi is all grown up from our EFY days. I got to see her once after our EFY days together when she was put in as the midwest coordinator and came down from training and got to stay with me!! And then I also got to see her when she was traveling with Luke through Utah. Now Luke is her eternal companion!
Some of the amazing things that I love about Heids is she is passionate, she sings beautifully, she has firm faith in Jesus Christ, she serves and loves selflessly, she reads my blogs, she will be the first to laugh at and with you, she teases, and she is balanced she not only enjoys good sports she is crafty! I tell you, she is amazing!

When she was the midwest coordinator, I had to do a drop in Visit! This is us in Nauvoo!

And last but definately not least... this B-day girl has another girl to celbrate with this year!! Yeah for Heidi and her baby girl who will be coming in November!
Although I am in Utah, I couldn't miss your Birthday wishes this year! Isn't 2008 a great Birthday for you my dear?! Oh I just love you! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Farewell Friday: Bretters leaves P-TOWN

My sweet Bretters is getting all grown up and accepted a career in California...too far away! I met Brett at EFY and loved him instantly. How could you not instantly love someone that looks like the loveable Ross on friends! :)

All joking aside, Brett is a stud! He has more personality in his pinky then most have in a lifetime. He is witty, charming, lovey and accepting. He always goes out of his way to make people feel included and important.



Brett is someone that you can always count on to show up to a party, just to support you, even if he really deep down didn't want to go.








One of my favorite Brett memories is when I walking into the oposite EFY site office and saw him and Kris Pallin (a girl) in the oposites pants having a fashion show! Yes, Kris is probably one of the most slender girls I know and Brett fit in her pants!








Even though California isn't that far away, I am going to miss the convience of walking into a gathering and seeing his familiar face that makes me grin from ear to ear!

Brett I know that you will go to California and make a difference. You will be the shining example that we all love and make your mark there! Come back and visit us REALLY soon and often. I know that I would be willing to throw you a bash any time you did :)




Love you Bretters...




Bon Voyage!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday: Mommy/ Daughter Dates @ the Scera


Today I am thankful for all the fun Mommy dates I have been on this summer and last. It started last Mother's Day when I decided to buy my Mom season tickets to the Scera Shell. We had SOOO much fun that I did it again this year!


We have been to great concerts and plays together! Sometimes a friend will come and play with us as well for the really fun concerts and my Uncle Mike and Aunt Leslie also have season tickets so sometimes we even get to play with them! With one of my strong love languages bring "quality time" this activity together is really something that I am so thankful for! One of my favorite parts of this activity is my Mom and I's people watching skills. We spend half the time pointing people that are getting SOO into it and laughing our heads off! Wouldn't trade it for the world!
Tonight we get to go to Boys 2 Men! I am really excited to be there, just me and my Mom!

After seeing how PACKED the last concert of Abba was (Mom and I were in the boondox!) and the fact that this is a concert of MY childhood, I am going to head to Scera 2 hours early so we can get prime seating. Can't wait to watch all the people get into the concert tonight... maybe I will be one of them... Mom, watch out! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday: Pillsbury cook-off Quality!

Ok.. so I am sorry about my PMS-ing to be showing up on my blog, but I will tell you what! My sweet "Aunt" Ging sent these to me and I made them and between my roomies and I they were devoured in no time! This is BLISS! Crispy Caramel Brownie Treats
I mean, what’s not to love about brownies lathered in caramel sauce and rice crispy treats drizzled with silky chocolate!!?? Take a big plate of these to your next party and watch your family and friends drool!
These are so quick and easy to whip up. Make a batch, save a couple for yourself and your family then share the rest. They are too deadly to keep in the house!
Crispy Caramel Brownie Treats
1 brownie mix of choice 9x13 size
¾ Cup caramel ice cream topping
3 Cups Mini Marshmallows
2 Tablespoons butter
3 ½ Cups rice crispy cereal
1 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (i just used 1 TBSP coconut extract)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. As soon as they are done baking, remove from oven and drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.
2. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt marshmallows and butter until puffed up. Stir in cereal until well combined.
Quickly place over brownies and gently spread evenly over top.
Place chocolate chips into a medium microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.
Stir in coconut oil or heavy cream until shiny and smooth.
Pour and drizzle over top of brownies. Let cool then cut into squares.
12 large brownies

Wonderful Wednesday: MUST SHARES

I went to Smith's yesterday (called Kroger in other places) to just PU the "staples". When I was on my way out I remembered that I have been REALLY craving chocolate and that I needed to do something about that! So I decided ice cream might do the ticket at one chocolatey bite at a time.

As I headed down the aisle, I found this ice cream (except it was in a pint container) on sale for only $1 each! I thought why not.. and picked up the pint. They had one called Moose Tracks and another next to it called Extreme Moose Tracks; most any fool would know to get the one with more chocolate.
Now anyone that knows me, knows that before I served my mission in Columbus, OH ice cream wasn't a big draw for me. I wasn't the biggest fan until I met the first love of my life in Ohio, Graeters ice cream (thanks Frost family who took us there for the first time!). I know this isn't a post about Graeters but I will have to tell you that I have been home from Ohio for 8 years in October and have shipped in ice cream several times, Jen and I drove 4 hours a time to fill our freezers full of it's deliciousness when in the midwest and even my dear friend Marky Millet brought me some home after he had a sales job in Ohio last year... It is coveted in my house!
Well I think I have found the equivalent in OREM UT!! I am so happy for me.. so sad for the scale! This ice cream has ginormous chunks of dark chocolate mixed in with Extreme Moose Tracks chocolate ice cream giving it texture and added flavor as well as chunks of chocolate coated peanut butter cups! I am serious ladies.. this is an ice cream after our own hearts! And while it is $1 you need to stock up for those times... you know those times each month I am talking about! :)

Well, I better be on my way now the delivery truck is out in front yard and they want to know where to place the two large refrigerated tubs of ice cream and the neighbors are looking out their windows wondering what is going on.. I just couldn't resist at $1 a pint!
TRY IT, TRUST ME! I know my food!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tribute Tuesday: Especially For Youth (EFY), The program of miracles


video



Today I wanted to pay homage to a program that I adore most in the world! I worked 5 years (and would do more if I was allowed) of summers as a counselor, building counselor and coordinator for this program.


The programs sole purpose is to bring youth closer to Christ in all elements of their life. It shows them how you can have such a fun time at places such as activities and dances dances and still keep high standards. It teaches the youth Christ-like principles that they can take home with them and make a difference in their communties.





For those of you who wonder what this is all about, it a what most people understand as a "Bible camp". It is for youth ages 14-18 who are committed to living wholesome standards in a time of life where the world says it is okay to just be part of the world.





These youth come to campuses all over the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Some of them travel long distances to get there.
This is a picture of some youth in Massachucets that traveled hours in a van together to attend EFY at UMASS.


The youth are placed in groups that are with kids their ages about 16-50 depending of the size of the camp that week. Together they study Christlike attributes and pray in the mornings. They have opportunities to attend spiritually uplifting, as well as fun classes, to learn different ways to apply those principles and then of course there are dances,activity nights,and service opportunities to create a immediate sense of love and friendship among those who are going through this experience together. They come and strangers and leave as the best of friends!

A back stage pass to EFY (counselor style) is the flip side of the program which includes the number of counselor and leadership marriages that come out of this program! They say that 10% of counselors marry eachother. I am pretty sure it is higher than that, but we will go with that for now :)This is Brandon and "ERO" who are one of those 10% couples. They were acting this out for an EFY video skit but what people didn't really know is that at this time they were secretly dating eachother. Infact they got to be coordinator partners together for the whole summer and no one knew they were in LOVE! :)


Some might ask how do the counselors get to know eachother well enough to know if they like eachother when they are so busy spending time with the youth?



Counselors spend a lot of time on preparations before the youth arrive on Monday. This is the midwest counselor at their weekly door tag making party (the youth have their names placed on their doors when they arrive first thing on Monday morning)



video


On free time, they get together and sometimes create some funny memories together. This proves that counselors are hillarious! Thanks to Al Doan and Hans Hassell

And more than anything as counselors we create a strong support group and the love just builds week after week... it is quite awesome! I am so grateful for the friends I met at EFY and the youth that I have forever friendships with. I have see many miracles happen there.Below: This is one of my youth and 3 of the counselor partners that I had my second summer working at BYU. What a great time we all had together!This is a picture of Matt and I when I spent a week in a wheelchair after tearing all the ligaments in my foot when I was doing the train with my youth. A miracle happened and I was supposed to be wheelchair bound for 6 weeks. The next week I was jumping and walking around.As you can see... some of my greatest friends and blessings came from giving my all to this program that I love!

THANK YOU EFY!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Memory Monday: Lions and Tigers and SUNBURNS OH MY!

I figured that for the end of the summer blog I should remind myself of the most painful, horrible sunburn I have ever had! My roomies and I went to San Juan Puerto Rico this March for a few days.... We got to visit the 3rd most beautiful beach in the whole world.


This is me at 5:00 am ready to go to a beach.. I was excited! To go to this Beach we had to get up at 4:30 am to buy tickets in a city about 1 hour away. We then had to go by boat to the "secluded beach."(it took about 1 hour by speed boat). Oddly enough while waiting in line we found out that the 2 girls in front of us in line (they are on the bottom left of the picture above) were also Mormon. How on earth did we find the Mormon girls in a group of many on the boat?! Well the picture above is all the LDS girls that had csme together to go to Culebra too! We instantly bonded with them!On the speed boat my roommate Megan Ennis got very ill and this is her leaning over the boat ready to loose it (there were many other people all over the boat doing the same thing!) The driver thought he was in the indy 500 and we were hitting HUGE waves and were all drenched wet and sick when we finally arrived. By the way, do you see the bottle of rubbing alchol being passed? The natives gave us that. Apparently it is a cure for sea sickness... and it works WONDERS!

When we arrived there, I honestly thought I had arrived in Heaven! GORGEOUS!
Yes, this is all white sand beach... fine sand and see through waters! To tell you the truth regular oceans scare me to death cause you can't see what is around you... I rarely left these waters the hours we were here!
I'm pretty sure my sunburn began on the boat... and this 25 min of laying on the beach just sealed the deal.. added to my 3 hours playing in the ocean....I wasn't the only one that got beat up from the sun! We all had our own severities... take a look at the first stages...
We showed up at a rite aid in San Juan searching for some Aloe vera... you should have seen all of us wobbling in, our bodies in the shakes, with the teeth chattering! We were trying to figure out how to say Aloe Vera in spanish. We laughed so hard and had to take a picture because when we walked in the door, forget the language barrier, or dear girl friends at rite aid new what we needed and handed it to us.. we were pathetic looking... as you can see!


This is Stephanie Nelson..aka Ghetto. Her burn was concentrated to her upper thighs and on her face (her lips got all swollen...HUGE!) She ended up in urgent care the 2nd day after we got home!Jon Portie's was all over his back. Don't ask me how he did it, but his wore off with minimal pain.Bethany Stewart (or "B") showed this part of her sunburn but by the time we got back to Orem her blisters were the size of silver dollars all over her legs. She went to urgent care straight off the plane!If she would let me get a hold of the nasty pictures of her burn I would post them! I don't think I will see anything like that in my life! As smiley as this picture looks.. I was absolutely miserable. But my burn kept progressing... my body had a major sun reaction and I ended up with 3rd degree (blackish burns)across my biceps. My bicepts felt everyday like some one was taking a hold wrench and turning my skin tighter and tighter. I had so much applying of creams and gels and so much cleaning that needed to be done to the blisters and amazingly enough my brand new roomie of a week or so, Teresa Allen, attended to me several times a day to relieve some discomfort! Thanks Teresa!

By day 3 after being burnt I was in agony. My Mom and my brother were both out of town and my roommates were miserable so I call my BFF Jen to come down from Salt lake and take me to urgent care. My blisters were on my shoulder and they were tiny and all over... they would pop all day. I was a mess! As graphic and ugly as all these pictures are, I want to depict why I am never going to go in the sun without adequate protection again!

Me and all my millions of blisters!The side view for a 3 demensional look (SICK!)



Trying to take a decent picture of what my face (that looked like I had severe leprosy) really looked like!But in reality I had really HAD IT! The pain was aggrevating and the discomfort immense. I took this at 3 am after being awake all night... I was really crying and I took this picture so I would never forget the majesty of that sunburn.


All the ugly pictures aside there is one thing that I said to my roomies over and over again when we were first struggling with sunburns... I wish I had brought my Burn Free. When I worked at Emergency Essentials I sold this awesome product that is called BURNFREE® Pain Relieving Gel .



Add instant relief and halt the progress of burn injuries with this remarkable product! Made mostly of water, BurnFree is specifically developed for first-aid use on burns and scalds. It is used extensively by paramedics and burn centers across the country, and it’s even used by Hollywood stunt personnel. It will cool, soothe and moisten the burn as it relieves pain. It’s also completely non-adhesive, nontoxic, and won’t irritate skin. This amazing product is a first-aid kit essential and is exactly what you need for instant burn relief. Keep a supply at home and in your automobile, and don’t leave home without some extra BurnFree products on your next camping trip.

BURNFREE® Pain Relieving Gel is seriously amazing stuff and EVERY household should have it.


What it does is it STOPS the progression of the burn so that your body doesn't hold in all that heat! If I had had something to stop the progression of my burn ( it was prossing 5 days after) I would have never gotten my 3 degree burns on my arms. When I went to the Urdent care 3 days after we returned, the doctor had to give me steriods to stop the burn. All in all my urgent care bill was well over $200 (because I haven't met my deductible). First of course I wish I would have used adequate sun screen but then I wish my burnfree was in my bag. It is worth every penny and even if you or your child just burns themself on the stove... you will be thankful you have it! Get it at http://www.beprepared.com/ or your local Emergency Essential stores for $3.99 for a 4oz bottle.


The moral of this memory.... The sun is harsher in some places than it is in others. I wish I had been prepared with sunblock and my burn free.... the end!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

FREAKY FRIDAY: Things I have really seen!

In the past 3 years or so, I have been around the US alot and even to Europe. I have collected a slew of weird things from places such as: London, Ireland, Arkansas, Illinois and even from good ole Utah! I hope you find them as funny and "freakish" as I have. I will in no way be responsible for anyone being offended if I hit a touchy subject for you! These are freakish things to me, maybe not to you! And I will begin my report....

I want you to imagine being in a foreign country and craving food that actually tastes good to you. (The food in Ireland and London os drab) When you finally spot a Hard Rock Cafe! As you wait with you beeper in hand to get your table, you look in the window of this restraunt that was just feeling like home again and see this neon lit sign in it's window.
Then as if you weren't freaked out enough by the sign, right where they choose to sit you when the beeper goes off, you are looking eye to eye with a larger than life wax head of McJagger!
Dude nor Chick mullets are ever ok... but we sure did find them in London (this one is right outside Buckinham Palace) as well as Ireland. (She was on a street corner in Dublin.)
When I see her, I want to start singing the opening to my fav cartoon.. Gem, Gem's truely outrageous, truely, truely, truely outrageous!
(Gem is Meg spelled backwards)
This freakish thing was on the 8th of 10 floors abandoned building on our bus tour in Ireland.. As if a vacant building isn't freaky enough they had to add this dummy head in there to really make your skin crawl!
Next, our freaky tour brings us to Carbondale, IL were I lived with my best friend Jen for 1 year!

I found this lovely display in the Walmart parking lot and couldn't resist. This is a "REAL" (dead) stuffed chicken and some molded clay face thing... EWWW!

This beautimous display was found by Jen and I on our way home from my Dad's for thanksgiving! Let's hear it for ARKANSAS for he most freakish Christmas spirit award!

Am I Christian? Yes through and through. But this cross is bigger than it even looks. It is on the way from Southern Illinois to Chicago and it freaks me out. I don't like focusing on the cross as a symbol of Christ, instead I choose to focus on His Ressurection and that we too will live again because he was Ressurected.
Now we have made it to our beautiful hometown of Orem, UT!
This guy was dancing his heart out at the UVU opening ceremony concert! He loved Colin Ray!

I am pretty sure that he was also at the Scera Shell concert of Abba Live.... wouldn't you say this was him Mom? (look at all the audience looking and laughing!)

CREEPY UNCLE if you ask me!







And lastly, what is up with all the people showing portions of their bellies, chests or rear ends these days? How do you not know that air is gushing down your pants, shirts or stomaches on a hot day!? I wish people would cover up those "imbareable parts" instead of making the rest of us look at them!