Monday, January 25, 2010

Celebrating my sweet GHETTO!

Today is one of my bestest EFY's friend's Birthday! She is off to the Bahama's to celebrate...JEALOUS!!
Back in the first year days of EFY (2002) this darling girl, Stephanie Nelson and I found each other and FELL INSTANTLY into friendship!
She is ABSOLUTELY one of the funnest, sassiest and adorable people I had met in my life!
We each call each other GHETTO.
I started calling her that when she was telling me that she had a "ghetto butt" and now that is ALL I call her. The sad truth is all of our friends (that aren't all friends with the other one of us) only know us as Ghetto.. They don't even know our REAL names!
I have had so many tearful heart to hearts with this girl and we have also had tearful belly laughs together. My wedding business would have been NOTHIN' if it wasn't for all the sacrifice, love and help that she put into the weddings. She would always call me and volunteer her time to help build my business and she was DANG GOOD AT IT!

We went to Puerto Rico together 2 years ago and had an absolute blast. Our whole group received 3rd degree burns! We did moan and groan but still found cause for laughter! We are fake smiling in this picture. How could you not smile though..look at that scenery. Ghetts was soo sunburned lets just say it wasn't her choice to have that skirt on..

Here is the proof of our sad sunburns that we had to fly home with (doped on TYLENOL PM) and all ended up in urgent care facilities!
All of us..

This is us buying Aloe Vera at the Walgreens.. All the workers only spoke Spanish but as soon as we walked in, they KNEW what we were there for and directed us to the aisle!

My sweet Ghetts, I love you so dearly! I am so proud of all that you have become in the past 8 yrs of knowing you! You have handled many difficult challenges, overcome such mountains and become so full of charity and so much better through those times! I am so thankful that I can call you're one of my besties, you definitely deserve that title! Thanks for you love, compassion and charity towards me!
Be safe on your vacay and come home to me soon!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is not a lie.. check the news...
Arizona has declared a State of Emergency!!

Yes, this SCORPION inside the back door of my house is a REAL
I am seriously ready to pack my bags and head for home... forget about a job.
Why did God create these ugly, iridescent, stinging creatures anyway?!
(Don't answer that.. I want to be dramatic right now.. Monica!! hahaha)
My skin is crawling with the thought of scorpions stinging me in my bed (thanks to that story from my home teacher), in the shower, on my feet as I walk barefoot (thank Monica)...
I am just beside myself! Pray for me... Alexis Drive truly has a state of disaster tonight..
I might just go mad.. thinking about all the ways I may get tortured by Mr. Glowing Scorpion.

Now, to talk about the REAL state of emergency (although I feel like mine is also one!)!

It's Raining...It's Pouring... It's Flooding...
Tornado Warning!!
Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer signed a declaration of emergency for her state after it has been experiencing severe storms, according to theOffice of the Governor.
The Governor’s declaration will release $200,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Funds, which currently contains approximately $2.7 million, to pay for emergency response and recovery expenses from the weather events

I have been gigglin' about the RAIN since I got here. I arrived with NON-working windshield wipers and everyone told me, you don't need windshield wipers here, it NEVER rains in ARIZONA (yes these were AZ natives that told me this!) It has rained 50% of the days that I have been here! Granted not all day most of the time.. but rain for sure! It is so interesting to me how much the people here LOVE these storms! I had a lady at the bank today dance when she saw how wet my check had gotten in the rain, friends telling me how wonderful.. haha I guess I still feel like I am on vacation and it steals from my daily walk in the sunshine.. so I am NOT a fan!
Right now as I type this (still glancing to the wall, floor and doors scoping for scorpions I might add) the wind and rain are BEATING against my house. I keep thinking that the granny has gotten out of her sick bed but's the rain!
The Emergency Essentials side of me, is coming out, with the tornado warnings to the Phoenix Metro area tonight.
Don't worry Pectol family, I have filled my van with gas (with non working windshield wipers, I don't know how that will help), I have candles gathered in one area, I know where my purse and granny's meds are, I have 100 calorie pack chocolates on hand and a case of water bottles...
MAN, I AM in a state of emergency.. sooo unprepared in this AZ home!
Arizona Whitings.. you better watch out.. we may be joining you for homemade bread.. hope you have a box oven! :)

Thankful Thursday: 25 years of Jamie Ann Schroeppel Gillman

If I was going to come up with a word that combines every word that would stand for this girl the word would be POWERHOUSE!
Meet my Jamie Ann! She is one of my MANY, MANY cousins. But one whose life I was able to be part of for all of it, and that was a BLESSING to me for sure!
Growing up I didn't have a sister and so my poor cousins had to just amuse me and let me adopt them.
Jamie was always great about letting me lug her around and I think she actually enjoyed it.

Since Jamie was a little girl, she had more personality than most people have in a lifetime of growing it!
She was sassy, knew what she wanted and was remarkably mature at all her ages. As she has grown into such a wonderful adult I know why the Lord blessed her with such greatness and maturity because she has had to go through A LOT! As I have watched her loose her first baby, nurture her second, bury her third and continue on have a fourth with a fifth on the way my heart has been touched by the strength this young mother has and the peace she exudes. She has taught me so much about the plan of salvation by watching how she has handled her struggles. Beautifully is the only word that describes how she handles trials.
Jamie KNOWS who she is. She also SHARES who she is with all those around her. She is a master decorator, party thrower, chef (except when she puts a pizza box in the oven and catches it on fire! haha), sister, cousin, mother, shopper and has a humor that will put you constantly in stitches!

Some of the fun memories I have of Jamie include:

  • Jamie was named Andrea at birth and at her blessing her Dad re-named her to Jamie Ann to all of our suprise.. even her Mom's! (Most people don't have a story like that!)
  • Playing School, house, cashier...fighting through it too
  • The Tiffin Room at ZCMI
  • Sleepovers
  • Overnight babysitting
  • Laughs and laughs
  • Helping me clean and organize things ( I am pretty sure she is still a freak about it like me!)
  • Drive-In's
  • Funny girl's nights with Grandma
  • Jamie and Amy's New Kids on the Block obsession (night gowns, sleeping bags, telephone...)
  • the face she would give when she was "up to something"
  • Her teasing personality
  • the natural mothering that has ALWAYS been in her!

James, I adore you! I have loved you from the VERY second you entered this world and I will love you FOREVER. Thanks for being all that you are! Thank you for being real. Thank you for your faith. You are such a ROCK and I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to be in your family! Love you CUZ!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yes! I met Blaine Kotter, Season 7 Biggest Loser Contestant

What a fun, insightful night!! I loved learning all the behind the scene things and how he compared to the gospel to the things on the ranch.

Here are some of the tidbit "insider" things he told us!

  • Biggest Loser sends you home with nothin but a couple resistance bands, 3 boxes of cheerios (because I did a commercial) and a one year to 24 hour fitness (like you will only need to only work out a year! haha)
  • Worked out 4 hours then had lunch, a lil break 2 hours then had dinner 2 hours then went on a walk. Sometimes they wouldn't get home till midnight
  • Jillian kicks the snot out of you. He learned what suffering was. He likened that suffering to the atonement and repentance!
  • When he was in the final process of being chosen, Dane and he were sequestered in a hotel room for 3 weeks. Take away all communication, don't give you a room key. He said it prepared him for the prison like feeling of the Ranch!
  • 6 baptized members in that season (Black team: Dane and Blaine, Blue team: Sione and Fillipe and Yellow team: Aubrey and Mandy,how ever Mandy and Aubrey aren't active)
  • They have fill in trainers. Bob and Jillian are only there 60% of the time. There are other trainers who take you on outside workouts.
  • Biggest Loser spend $100 a day on the contestants food all organic, high quality things
  • The ranch is old and worn down. (they make it look nice on isn't) Used to be owed by Gillette Razor guy. It is a on national park land so you can go right up to it (tourists)
  • Ron is as scuzzy as he appeared to be.
  • Kristin really DIDN'T get baptized :(

He learned about repentance and treating his body right. Before the show he was on 8 different medications and he had high blood pressure and an enlarged liver from them. Within 4 weeks he was off all meds. He ended up losing about 155 lbs and ran a 1/2 iron man, 2- 1/2 marathons and a full marathon before the finale.

His wife had a baby and he got to go home for 24 hours. It was while at home he realized the STARK contast of home life with The Savior as the head and the world contrast on the ranch.

Dane and him still set "game days" to get to the goals they want to achieve and to remember to get there. He elaborated on this. He said every week that everyone looked forward to the challenges, the "game days" where they could accomplish something they have never done before. He said that we should set a date (game day) and set our success in motion. He gave this
G oals
A ccountability
M otivation
E ducation
Some spiritual insights he gave throughout his talk...
  • "You can't give what you don't have!"
  • "Pain is temporary, Growth is permanant!"
  • "Be accountable to God."
  • "If you haven't suffered, you haven't repented."
My favorite thing that he talked about was how before he left to sequestered state in the hotel his wife gave him a book To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses by Henry B. Iring.
There was a talk given by President David O. McKay that he quoted in there that taught the following principle,
“Man is a spiritual being, a soul, and at some period of his life everyone is possessed with an irresistible desire to know his relationship to the Infinite. … There is something within him which urges him to rise above himself, to control his environment, to master the body and all things physical and live in a higher and more beautiful world” (True to the Faith: From the Sermons and Discourses of David O. McKay,comp. Llewelyn R. McKay [1966],
244).That pull upward is far beyond what you would call a desire for self-improvement. When I felt it, I knew I was being urged to live so far above myself that I could never do it on my own. President McKay had it right. You feel an urging to rise above your natural self. What you have felt is an urging from your Heavenly Father to accept this invitation:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

“And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:32–33).

That urge to rise above yourself is a recognition of your need for the Atonement to work in your life, and your need to be sure that it is working. After all you can do, after all your effort, you need confidence that the Atonement is working for you and on you.

I think that I really got what he was saying! I appreciated his words, the laughs, the spirit and his willingness to talk to me after and answer any questions that I had. It was a great night. It was fun to see someone that you cheered on, on your television set, right in front of your face and still working towards that goal of self mastery. I appreciated his hard work on the show and I appreciate his continued drive to have that GAME day and keep himself focused and his success in motion! Thanks Blaine for sharing your challenges, suffering and testimony with us tonight!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday: The Women in my life!

This past 2 weeks have been really challenging for me. I won't go into detail right now but some past issues have resurfaced and I am going through some stuff emotionally because of it.

I have been reflecting on my life and the things that I know and believe about myself and just being reminded of truly how blessed I have been and how protected I have been from some pretty ugly things that have happened.

Today I was thinking about my Mom. I am so blessed that I got her as my Mom. She is virtuous, lovely, of good report and praise worthy! She is a women of strength, determination and steadfastness. But most importantly she is someone worthy of being called Mom and I am so thankful that I get to keep her as that, FOREVER!

As I thought about my Mom, I thought about others to that have loved me, buoyed me up, praised me, listened to me, counseled me and just loved me right where I was at in the moment. I am TRULY blessed to be surrounded by ALL of you angels! Your comments on my blog, your texts, your phone calls, your own trials (watching how you dealt with them), chats, gifts, kind acts, hugs, but far beyond all that your EXAMPLE has done wonders for me in my life.

I know that my Father in Heaven loves me, because I feel it through each of you in countless ways! What great peace that is to know. It is something that I come back to anytime I feel weak, alone, scared or hurt. He is a constant in my life and I am so thankful that I have people who have taught me how to find him.

Thanks to ALL YOU women in my life for being YOU!
I need you and I love you!

>P.S. I am SOOOO thankful for technology so I can still hear the words of our Beloved President Hinckley. Oh how I still love and miss him dearly!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you could live till 99, what would you hope to be??

This may not be a question we ask ourselves too much but I will tell you what, after living with Verna I know EXACTLY what I would want to be! She is SUPER GRANNY!

She garden's, walks all by herself, doesn't have oxygen, still takes complete control of her hygiene and only has 3 medications.. she seriously doesn't act a day over 80. The secret to her success? I think it is that she has NEVER stopped moving! I wanna be her some day!

Her daughters Mareen and Shari threw her a glorious 99th birthday luncheon with her friends from the ward and grand daughters. I am pretty sure that everyone that received and invite came! Now that is impressive. Her party shows the respect and admiration that people have for her, don't you think?!

Happy, Happy Birthday my dear Roomie! One more year and you will be an official LEGEND!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dear Readers....

It feels weird to act like I have all these readers that want to know about my life enough to care that I have new blogs posted.. but I thought my family might want to know how I spent my holidays.... so if you care to read, I posted Christmas Eve and Christmas blogs today. I like to keep them in Chronological order, so they are down a little ways.. (By Sunday I hope to be all caught up with the blogs I missed the Month of Dec...they will be in order that they happened, just a heads up!).

Thanks for stalking :) If you read my blog and have never posted something to me.. give me a SHOUT OUT! I would love to know!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Ginga!!

Ok, I know that some think the word Ginga is a mean word to describe someone that is redheaded... but what if there name is Ginger and they are redheaded then I think it constitutes Ginga!!

This is my sweet Holli Dolly's Mom Ginger or Ginger spice, which she is SPICY!! Oh how I love this woman!I looked up the defination for her name and found: Definitions of ginger

n. - The hot and spicy rootstock of Zingiber officinale, which is much used in cookery and in medicine.
They have Ginger down pat.. she is hot and she is spicy..especially her famous salsa!! To die for!

Being friends with the Whiting's since I was 12 yrs old, I often heard Aunt Ging stories but when
I got to meet her a few years later I was in heaven!! We clicked!! I just loved her. She is the life of the party. Within seconds of being around her you are grinning from ear to ear and laughing gut laughter at the comical things that she is saying!

She is a headliner!! She is one of the trendiest people I know.. if there is something fashionable on the market, she has it and she wears it like no one else can!

She always has a smile on her face and a clever thing to tease you about. She will always be found with a diet drink with lipstick marks on the straw or cup! She is always made up beautifully and dressed to the nines.

But Ging goes much deeper than the style she wears! She is a devoted Mother who has shown such strength through the many trials she has faced. She is a dedicated sister and aunt who loves her family to death. She is a devoted, sexy wife who dotes on her husband and so in love and not afraid to tell you. But the most important part of Ging is that she is a daughter if God and knows it and shows it by the way that she lives her life.

I know, I know, just from reading this you all want to be friends with Ging, but she is mine, all mine and boy am I glad!!

Happy 30th Birthday my sweet Ginga Spice!! May you keep looking better and better through the years!! I adore you and Love you!!

Birthday's all around....

Erica or "ER" as we call her has been my friend for many years. We met originally at EFY and then I got the privilege to be her roommate at Crestwood Apt's in Provo for 2 semesters! At Crestwood we had plenty of good times. From laughing so hard I thought my guts would fall out to late night chats with Jen, Er and I piled on my twin bed in the middle of the night talking about boys (Er would wake up for those... now that is a TROOPER!)
I remember Er's grandpa recliner in her room and how proud she was of that. I was more proud what she did in that recliner, I would wake up to go to my job at Mountain Ridge and find Er bundled up in the recliner reading her scriptures every morning. She was such a GREAT example to me of that.
While we were roomies we came up with "ISM's" of each other and then took a funny picture and put all the ism's around it and hung it on the wall. I wish I could remember all her ISM's cause we all laughed for hours coming up with them. Instead I am going to tell you some of the things I love that ENDEAR me to sweet ER!

Er is a born leader. She is now Young Women's President in her ward, was RS President in our single's ward, Administrator for the EFY program and served a mission to California and survived the food to tell about it:) Er has an AMAZING shimmy! Loves healthy food, especially 'dilly beans" and found a guy to marry that was also raised on dilly beans! She loves to play games especially Settler's of Catan. She is now a wife and mother of the cutest little girl Emmy.
She LOVES talking and watching politics and sports...she's a die hard. And did I tell you she is a killer soccer player? She is!
I am so thankful for Er! Our chats about life, love, hardships, kids, cooking, you name it we talk about EVERYTHING!

I will share two of my favorite Ism's I remember about Er: I never knew there was such things as "I'm having a skinny day" until I met her and she said that! I busted laughing out loud and said, "WHO SAYS THAT?!" and the second is, you can always tell when she is tired, she has what I called a quasi eye. It would droop when she is feeling tired and droopy :)

Er was even such a great friend that when Jen and I moved to Carbondale, IL she came and visited us for a few days!! We had a blast, just like ole' times although we couldn't find dry ice for her Graeter's ice cream so she could take it home.. thanks for the extra 10 lbs it put on me Er.. my body wil be forever thankful!! LOL

Once again you can see why I am so lucky, I have the best example's and greatest friends on the planet!!

Love you Er. I hope you skip mutual tonight and watch Lost and The Biggest Loser while eating a jar of Dilly Beans!
Happy Birthday BESTIE!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Granny's, Granny's, GRANNY'S!

"Life is just a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get!"
How true this quote has been for me in 2009. My life as most of you know from the blog has gone in a up and down, round and round roller coaster ride that seriously at times felt as though I was in the spin cycle of a washing machine. It makes me dizzy to even think about the whirlwind I have been through.

In 2009 I have worked doing so many things it is insane. Supersonic Car wash as a Cashier, Emergency Essentials as a Customer Service Rep, Alpine School District as Substitute Teacher, A Selection Committee for a research group (I would test products out and give a review), Selling at boutiques/trade shows, house cleaner, A Vacation Nanny, Wedding Planner, Wedding Caterer, and now A Granny Nanny!

As you can see I had my hand in many pots. I loved it though. I love the knowledge I would gain with each responsibility! It wasn't as though I was starting and then quitting, I was doing many at the same time! But for the time being, one has stuck, I am now a Granny Nanny.

This all started back in October when a favorite mission companion of mine Kirsti Turpin Canova called and asked me what I thought about taking a leave from my vacation nannying and watching a Grandma Whelan for a bit. I told her I didn't know what I thought and that I would have to think about it. I prayed and fasted and thought and was so shocked how GOOD it felt! I called her Mother in law back and accepted the position.I began the process of getting everything squared away to go to Arizona in a few weeks and was so excited and even started to love this woman I had never met. Two weeks before I was to report to AZ, I was with a nanny family at disneyland, and got the call from "Turpin" that she had passed away that morning!
I didn't know how to feel. Numb would be a way at looking at it. I was looking forward to this new adventure, a more extended way to gain more knowledge, more perspective and it was taken a way just like that.
(This Granny is pictured above)

A few days later I recieved a call from my adopted Dad Lynn Whiting asking me to go and live with Grandma Whiting (Dale Whiting) in her home in Salt Lake City and care for her. I was elated at the experience. How I loved her already and to take care of her was an honor! I got all moved in with help from My Mom and went the next day to the rehab facility to pick her up. Seeing how happy and anxious she was to be home made it seem even more worth it.
That whole day I just followed her around to learn the "ropes" and find out what things she wanted me to do. We laughed, reminissed, ate and then retired to our rooms. The next morning we awoke and got ourselves ready for the day. Around noon I left for a bit, hadn't even been gone for 40 minutes when I got a call from Life Alert that she had a fall and I needed to get home.
I rushed home and it was a serious fall. I had to call 911 and grandma and I spent the next 4 days in the hosital. Some of the sweetest, most emotional days of my life, watching her go through that. After those days she had to go back for physical therapy and back to the rehab. My life as I knew it was again like a juggling act. (Grandma Whiting passed away on December 13th more to come about her)
After this loss of job I was beside myself. I didn't understand what the Lord wanted of me, why he would allow me to feel such peace and then yank it away from me.
This is when Monica Whiting became my angel and set me up with a family in her ward that needed help with their Granny. I have been in Gilbert, AZ for nearly 3 weeks. I have loved every second (who knew I could love AZ!!) since I have been here. This Granny (Verna Taylor)
is hand picked for me. I have laughed and laughed my way through each day. She has the best one liners you have ever heard and she isn't even trying to be funny! She will be 99 next Saturday and doesn't act a day over 80. I have only spend 3 weeks with her but have learned a lifetime of lessons and perspectives that will forever shape my life. This job has been such a blessing to me in so many ways. I love waking up and going to work. I love to cook for her, laugh with her, help her pick out clothes, do her hair and makeup, take her out, talk with her family, help her out in her yard. It is such a sweet experience...I am so thankful! So glad she is alive!

Life is just a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get rings through in each of our lives today, doesn't it? We have to go on blind faith knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father who knows countless more than we do. He knows where we need to be, when we need to be there. He knew that I needed Verna and she needed me and so he arranged situations to help me open my heart to get there.
If I didn't love Turpin so much I would have probably never considered that offer and now even though her Grandma and I never got to meet face to face, because of the need she had, I have found a sweetness I may have never known.

I am thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord. I am thankful for trials that open up our eyes to the things we REALLY have had all along. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who molds me and sometimes even had to put me in that spin cycle so that I can get what I need to get out of this earthy life.

"In all of life, have much joy and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Ten Years Ago today.... was Y2K Where were you at midnight?

I was just thinking last night as the ball dropped that 10 yrs ago it was Y2K. I was on my mission. Serving in an area I loved, Westerville, OH and freezing to death!

My mission president, President Robert A Sharp from San Diego area made it a rule that everyone had to be inside, in their own residence (no missionary sleepovers) by 6pm so that the Zone Leaders and District leaders could do a role call and make sure everyone was safe and if there was any crazy thing that really happened, we could EASILY be accounted for and given direction.

Sister Michelle Casper (Hadley now) and I were wondering what on earth we were going to do with ourselves for so many unaccounted hours. So we choose to play scrabble and watch church movies all night! It actually was really fun!

Y2K came and left with no turmoil caused, minus the 2 laurels (Laura Hessler and Bree Beddos), that showed up at our door scaring us to death at 1am to tell us Happy New Years.. they couldn't believe that we were asleep! They threw rocks at our windows... gotta love them!Besides not having the frumpy look and hairstyle that I had 10 yrs ago, a lot has changed. My life has gained better understanding, purpose and meaning then it had at that time. I have met many more people and have had deeper relationships that I could have then understood. I have a better understanding of the atonement, charity, love and life than I then had as well.

Yet even with this knowledge of how much I have grown in these past 10 years are there days that I wish I could recapture those mission days? ABSOLUTELY! Life was so simple then. All you had to worry about was other people. You never had to think of yourself, what you had to do next, which path you had to take. Everything was just layed out for you. You didn't chose your companion, you didn't pay your rent, you didn't have to worry about anything but progressing the gospel and finding those who wanted Christ more fully in their lives.

So with this all said, I want to try to get back portions of that. To simplify my life even more to alleviate the things that get in the way that make life more complicated than it needs to be. Too many games, too many distractions. I want to remember how to put all that garb aside so I can be a better instrument in the Lord's hands!! I am thankful this year how the church is going back to basics this year teaching out of the Gospel Principles for everyone. I think we can all use a little going back to the basics, don't you?!

*** A special shout out needs to go to Kyle Maguire the teenage stud that I paid to make all my mission pictures digital.. you will be seeing a lot more mission pics on this blog because of him!! Thank you Kyle!