Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stefani's Top 5 - Halloween Jokes

Several Years ago I made this Halloween Mini Book.  It doesn't contain spooky pictures of my family doing Halloween-y things, nor does it contain cute photos of the Fall Harvest Festival.  I put all this time and effort into a book like this because I wanted to remember my favorite Halloween Jokes.  And that's just what I did. These jokes continue to make me laugh year after year.  I hope they do the same for you.

Here they are for your amusement --

1. Why don't witches ride their brooms when they're mad?

2. Why couldn't the sick vampire sleep?

3. Why do skeletons play the piano?

4. What do you call a zombie that collects your laundry?

5.  What do you call a ghost's mom and dad?

6. Where is a monster's favorite place to swim?

7. Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?

1. They're afraid they might fly off the handle.

2.  Because of his coffin.

3. Because they don't have any organs.

4. The undie-taker

5.  TransParents

6. Lake Eerie

7. No, they usually eat them separately.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stefani's Top 5 - Songs

Since this is my birthday week I decided to do posts all about me this week.  It is my blog after all and why not be a little vain and selfish and talk incessantly about myself. People like that right? Ha!

I am a very fickle person and change my mind and my preferences all the time.  So these (and the other posts I'll do this week) are likely to change almost before I get them published.  That's why I have trouble making lists of my favorite things.  But I thought it was worthy to publish what I like right now. I mean why not.

For this particular subject favorite constitutes songs I like to hit the repeat button on. And if I were being sent to prison and I could create a playlist of songs that I could take with me and never change, these would be on it.

Also I don't claim to be a deep music connoisseur, I'm pretty shallow really.  So sue me.

And one more thing, I like upbeat, happy sounding and clever songs. I also tend to like them if they are a little bit random.  I'm also under the impression that a love song doesn't have to be slow and sappy.  I think love makes you happy, why not write it that way.

So without further adieu.

1. The Underdog - Spoon (from the 17 Again soundtrack. It's fun to run to as well as listen to.) video or if you'd rather watch Zac go here

2. Keep On Trying - Poco (Speaking of random... This song doesn't seem like one that would top my favorites list and I wouldn't say I'm a huge Poco fan, it's a little bit out of my era, but I heard this particular song on my favorite TV show Bones and had to go download it, I very much enjoy it) video or if you'd rather see clips from Bones while listening go here

3. Soul Sister - Train (This song has it all, a bit random with it's reference to Mr. Mister, sung by Train, one of my favorite groups, it's catchy, and full of feeling) video I like Pat Monahan, he's a cutie, but I have issues with men in skinny jeans especially when they are over 40, just sayin'.

4.  Alright With Me - Kris Allen (I love to put it on repeat and blast it in the car and sing along, they symbolism is great, the song is catchy AND it's sung by Kris Allen how much better can it be?) video sigh

5. Cooler Than Me - Mike Posner (This is bound to be one of those songs that will change off my list, and probably soon, but right now I like it and it makes me smile, I think it's kind of clever) video

6. Faster - Matt Nathanson (This is my newest favorite song. Matt Nathanson sings very intriguing songs. Oh, I just love it!) video

And by the way these are really in no particular order.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Love Orange - Birthday Edition

Today is my birthday.  See what I got from Brad. Aren't I so lucky?
I was in the store the other day and saw it.  I loved it. I was dying to have it in my house. But Being a cheapskate and also having already spent a large chunk of change that day, I didn't buy it.  I did however take a photo to...  I don't know... try and recreate it somehow.  Then a few days later I was in the same store with my good friend Annette.  I showed it to her and, since she is my friend, she instantly knew it was for me.  With a little conspiring with the man with the deep pockets, I drove home with it in my car that very day.  I thought you might like to see the conversation that transpired between Annette and Brad.  I thought it was kinda funny.

This orange mirror puts me in mind of some other things that I have gotten pretty recently.  I guess if it ever was, it is no secret anymore that I like the color orange.

This picture makes me so happy.  The picture that had been hanging there for 8 years was getting faded and really had no personality.  This new picture instantly brightened up the space.  It's so pretty, I just have to keep going to look at it. 

Speaking of brightening up this spot.  I have been looking for new pillows for my family room sofas.  I have brought several home at different times, but never liked them much.  Then I found these.  LOVE!!

Here are some other orange things I've bought recently.  Luckily I frequently take pictures of things that I'm thinking of buying. Either to send them so someone else to ask their opinion or to remember them for later. (Shirt bought at Macy's, Purse bought at DSW)

 Here's some other random orange brought to you by this holiday season.
This is my piano...

I have pumpkins cascading down my front walk.  I love being able to see the pop of orange all the way from the top of the street (about a 1/2 a mile)

This is my porch. (Those dots on the door are plastic spiders - ewww, creepy I know.  Thanks Caroline for the fun idea.)

Ok, so this is neither orange nor holiday-esque. But it's new none the less.  I have been reading this great book about the psychology of home decorating/design.  This, combined with my new Pinterest obsession, inspired me to buy this little cabinet to put blankets and other linens in.  The chair is from my Grandpa and Grandma Lindsey's house.  It has real crackle paint. How cool is that?

So by now you've realized I have a wonderful husband. One who is generous and willing to get me what I want (well, maybe it's a need. I'll have to ponder that one).  I feel a little bit spoiled. On top of all this good stuff he sprung to take me out to a nice dinner last night in Monterey.  We went to The Chart House with the Sowards and the Dicksons.  I wished more people could have gone, but alas it wasn't written in the cards.  We had a great time though and it was a perfect evening in Monterey.  I am still kicking myself for not taking a picture. I have great friends and it is always thrilling for me to spend time with them.  I feel like such a better person when I'm around them.  

I also got to go to lunch last week with 4 other favorite people.  Carolina and Annette Batey who live in Morgan Hill and I don't get to see as much as I'd like, and of course, my conjoined twins, Caroline and Annette Dickson. (It just cracks me up how their names are so similar) Again, I did NOT take a picture and I am quite disappointed with myself. We did eat in a fabulous Mediterranean restaurant called Odium in Morgan Hill.  I WILL be going back there again. 

And just to give me the illusion of feeling really popular, Tuesday is another birthday lunch, with several women in the ward.  It's tradition to get together, usually at Running Rooster, to celebrate anyone's birthday who might come along (really it's just an excuse to get together and eat yummy food) As I said, illusion of popularity.  But I don't care ;)

But really my best present came tonight, after we ate a delicious dinner at mom and dad's house... we were all able to attend the first performance of Zion's Choir.  It was fabulous!  Nothing like feeling the spirit and seeing my daughter and her friends developing and sharing their talents.  I also got to see several old friends and a few even remembered it was my birthday. I got chocolate truffles out of the deal. Ha! I can't turn that down.  Here is a picture or two taken at the event for your entertainment.

Afton, Shaelynn and Taylor (sorry about the closed eyes Taylor) They are all so beautiful! I'm glad Afton has such good friends.

Here's me and my favorite birthday present, my Afty-Pie.  
Also, this isn't THAT important, but just look at the color of my dress.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Some Pretty Awesome Women!

This last weekend our area was privileged to play host to Sister Julie Beck, General Relief Society President.  I am so glad I took the opportunity to go listen to her speak.  I've always loved her wisdom and insight and testimony.  She is the epitome of womanhood and as solid as a rock.  This is what I've always known by seeing and listening to her in General Conference.  What I suspected, but didn't know until Sunday night was how warm and genial and genuine she is.  I would have been satisfied with the whole evening just watching her greet people at the end.  She looked into their eyes, she hugged them, she smiled, I could tell she was really listening to what they had to say.  It brings a lump to my throat just picturing the scene.  I am striving to be more like that.

I think her main point in speaking to us was, as she said, "to increase our faith and personal righteousness".
She took questions from audience members.  They ranged in everything from abuse to genealogy. I was interested to hear her answers to these concerns but as it turns out she treated the meeting just like real life.   It's very infrequent that we have a question or concern and immediately get an answer.  It usually takes effort, prayer, personal righteousness, trial and error and patience.

Just as a side note, I read a letter this morning from my cousin who is on a mission in the Philippines.  In talking about our recent general conference he summed up what I'm thinking very well.

He said:
  • "I kept thinking that there would be one talk that would answer my questions and concerns and be exactly what I needed to hear, but that wasn't the way it worked. I took one good piece of wisdom from one talk and then another that by the time all of conference was over I had exactly what I needed. There was no talk that said it all, but the sum of all of them that filled me up."
Sister Beck wasn't there to solve all of our problems but if you were paying attention she taught us how to get our own answers and taught us that those concerns we need help with should be addressed through Relief Society.  She even recommended that on a 1st Sunday Meeting, that we have a question and answer period similar to what she was currently doing.

She talked a lot about the new book "Daughters in My Kingdom" book that all Relief Society Sisters should have or should soon get.  I suspect this talk was also prepping us to use this beautiful book to help us with getting answers to questions.  She pointed out the "fabric" motif on each page and said, "Fabric can sift out impurities and strengthen what's left." I think this was symbolism of the Relief Society and our sisterhood as a beautiful fabric.

At the end of her talk she stated
Love someone who you think is unlovable.
Learn how to serve those who don't seem to want to be served.
Learn how to manage your life through the spirit of personal revelation.

A worthy endeavor indeed.

And speaking of fabulous women.
This is my mom.
Yesterday was her birthday
She is 68 years young.
She is so cute don't you think?

This picture was taken when she was showing me her new hat she bought in anticipation of her trip with dad (and Uncle Armond and Aunt Ann) back east.  She even made matching hat bands to change out depending on what she was wearing that day. Notice this one is made from the extra strand that had been on her necklace.  Ah, I love it.  That is one thing that mom totally is... resourceful!  She knows how to salvage anything and make it into something cute, or something yummy or something useful.  She has been working with the Linus Project where people sew or create quilts for children in hospitals or that have been through trauma.  I am forever impressed at what she can create out of scraps and stuff people have given her.  I love calling her up and she and dad are just walking out the door to go to Big Lots or some other fun place.  I love that they do little things like this together.  It makes my day.

Mom is also all about the service. She is dedicated to serving others -- even those who seem to be unservable.  She is concerned there are people she is trying to help that can't or won't be helped. This is the sign of someone truly service oriented.  I'm pretty sure she and my dad are going straight to the Celestial Kingdom simply for the service they've rendered in the behalf of others.

I also enjoy mom's unique quality to be nonjudgmental.  She can listen to 1 side of a story and not have ill feelings toward the other person.  She always remembers that there are people and feelings involved on both sides and she can keep that in perspective.  Going along with this she is also not opposed to speaking her mind.  She does it gently and with great love.  But she is truthful and to the point and very matter of fact.   Again, not passing judgement, but then again not mincing words either. I love this quality and I want to be like that. However, I'm afraid I probably speak my mind with a little more "passion" and way too much judgement.  I enjoy frankness though... mom, is probably the reason why.

So on Wednesday I drove up early to Mom and Dad's house and took them out to breakfast.  We went to a place called Stacks in downtown Campbell.  Mom introduced me to Banana, Macadamia, coconut pancakes!! Holy Cow!! Were they EVER good!  I can see why they are her favorite! Yummo! I am so glad, that even though it takes some planning, they are close enough that I get to see them from time to time.  What a great influence in my life and in the lives of my family. I love you mom Happy Birthday!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

This is the Story of a Girl...

...who cried a river and drowned the whole world. ***

She looks so sad in photographs,

 but I absolutely love her when she smiles.

(friends congratulating friends -- I LOVE this picture.  - Taylor was there too (hugging Afton). And Nicole, you can see her sleeve on the right hand side of the picture.  What good and supportive friends!)

We are happy to report that Afton is an official driver! She is licensed, insured and free to roam about the country (well I hope she doesn't go that far yet.)
She is an excellent driver for a 16 year old.  She's got the right amount of fear and fearlessness.  She's got confidence but she's not cocky.  I trust her and have no reservations about letting her drive places.  She even drove up to Zion's Choir last Sunday (1/2 hour of freeway driving) and I didn't even bat an eye) It was unfortunate and a fluke that she didn't pass her test on the first time. 
Hollister is a quirky little town and there are many streets and intersections that aren't what you'd call normal or that seem a little bit random.  She made a critical error and had to wait 2 weeks to do it again. (We just kept telling her that because she had a game right after the test and had to wear her uniform that the examiner was jilted by a cheerleader when he was young and never got over it so he failed her out of spite -- good story anyway) But all of that is forgotten now. She is free and independent and mom has to adjust her brain to remember that she doesn't have to be done with her schedule everyday at 2:30. 
 (Don't worry, I'll be fine;)

This video was taken while we were waiting for the examiner the first time, it is very telling of what did happen during her test. I think she just psyched herself out way too much.

***She really did cry that first time - and practically drowned the whole world, but I spared her the embarrassment of taking a picture at such an inopportune moment. You'll have to do with the picture of her above looking apprehensive.

(song lyrics, Absolutely (Story of a Girl), by Nine Days)

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Perfect Day

So I guess I'm a simple person at heart (even though my everyday life might lead some to believe otherwise).  Yesterday (and Saturday) was the 181st semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  One of my favorite times of the year.  A time when we get to hear from the leaders of the church. They give talks that they were inspired to give and as a result we get to feel the overwhelming spirit of the Lord. We didn't have any of the regular hubbub going on, I even opted out of spending the day at the soccer field on Saturday. Then yesterday was pure joy. I spent the day with people I love, was uplifted by the talks and the spirit, and of course, I ate yummy food. It's so refreshing to be able to sit and listen to people whom I respect and trust give such good advice and counsel.  It is truly a blessing to be able to know that what these men and women say, is something I can completely trust. Really, it's almost a relief. Their words are from Heavenly Father, not just half-baked ideas or opinions of the rich, powerful or famous. I just can't help saying every time President Thomas S. Monson comes on the screen, "He's so cute." What a happy, positive, uplifting man he is.  Although I've never seen him in person, I can feel his spirit and love through the TV screen.

Besides being fed spiritually there were some other great things that went on that made the day very nearly perfect.

We also fed our bodies.  We ate Apple Cider Pancakes with cinnamon sugar and homemade syrup. YUM

Did I mention I love this boy?  Ok, maybe not today... but none the less, I do.

And that a goes doubly for this girl!

She has found her true calling in life and plans to move forward with her goal of becoming a professional "Where's the Water" player.  She totally admits she has a talent for this.

And I just have to throw in... On Saturday afternoon I walked in the house about mid-way through the afternoon session of conference.  Afton was home alone, and there she was laying on the couch watching conference with no suggestion from me.  Every once in a while I feel like I must have done something right as a parent.  


Blankies! They make any day a little bit more perfect!

Don't bother me, I'm busy taking notes... either that, or trying to stay awake, which I am not able to do to save my life.

We had to feed our bodies again (strange how that happens)  I made turkey/cranberry Monte Christo sandwiches.  I'm telling you Pinterest is THE best.  Run don't walk to your computer (oh, wait, you're already there, how convenient) and sign-up now if you haven't already done so.

The other thing to notice here is Kelsi ate dinner with us, virtually anyway.  We face-timed her and chatted about nothing in particular (typical) all while we were eating dinner. I miss her cute face.  I'm glad she's where she's at, she makes me proud, but a mom can still be melancholy about it right?

Brady and I also finished watching "Wives and Daughters".  Laugh, I know, not your typical teenage boy movie but I think he kind of liked it.  I, of course, loved it! Brady spent most of the day wrapped in a cocoon of blankets, we counted 5.  He is a crack up! Did I mention I love him? I'll try to remember to do that more often.

There are important things and there are important things.  I wanted to record this so all would know this is what I feel is THE most important.  The Gospel, my family, and being happy and uplifted by the spirit.