Friday, January 28, 2011

Christmas Post

So, this post is really late, but here's a quick summary of what we did over the Christmas break!

Friday, December 17th - We both finished classes and taking finals.  Actually, Dave had finished the week before, but he worked all week while I was still taking finals.  Classes weren't too difficult this semester, but they required a lot of work.  It was thrilling to be done!

Sunday, December 19th - We sang in 2 Christmas programs.  The ward that meets before us was singing the Hallelujah Chorus in church and needed more choir members to do justice to it.  So our ward choir was invited to join.  I love Handel's Messiah!  Then we sang in our own ward Christmas program.  I didn't love all of the music that was chosen, but I did love singing about the birth of our Savior and feeling the shared experience of love among ward members.

Wednesday, December 22nd - Dave's family got together for a Christmas party.  Because all of the siblings were going away for Christmas this year, we had Christmas early!  The party was at Dave's aunt and uncle's house (and the after-the-party-party was at IHOP!).  Dave and I had a couple of embarrassing moments with his aunt and uncle.  Dave almost kissed Andrea when they were hugging each other as we arrived!  And I mistook Jon for Dave when we were eating, and was a little more affectionate with him than I usually am!  It was definitely a night filled with laughter.  We love our Gravett/Ferrell family!

Thursday, December 23rd - We hit the road to go to Arizona!  It's an 8 hour drive, and we had been concerned about winter weather.  But the roads were clear, and we only had a few miles of snow/fog during the drive.  It was a fun drive.  I always love road-tripping with Dave!

Friday, December 24th - Christmas Caroling!  This is a big tradition in my family.  We only went to a few houses, but it was still fun.  This is something that I want to do every Christmas Eve.

Saturday, December 25th - Christmas Day!  This was a day filled with eating, playing games, and having fun with family.  Well, to be honest, almost all of the days that we were there we ate lots of food and played games.  That's just what my family does!

Friday, December 31st - After several days of having fun with family, visiting my old home ward in Flagstaff, and doing some hiking around Flagstaff (and waiting for the weather to be good between Flagstaff and Salt Lake!) we drove home.  Even though we had been concerned the day before about strong winds and low temperatures, New Year's Eve ended up being the perfect day to drive home.  We did hit a patch of bad weather, but slow driving got us through and we made it safely home.

I was so glad for the Christmas break and the time that I spent with my family.  I got to meet my new newphew, McCoy; see my niece Suzanne, who just had her baby (Yep!  I'm a great-aunt!!); and spend lots of time with my siblings who came.

I am also so grateful for the birth of the Savior and for the strength and encouragement that I can have every day as I think about his life and his sacrifice for me.  Merry (late) Christmas!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recent Craftiness

I have been doing some crafty things recently (what I mean is "in very little spare time over the last year or so") that I wanted to brag about.

Nursing Cover - I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of this nursing cover that I made.  But I made it for a friend/classmate of Dave's who had her baby a few months ago.  I thought that it would be difficult to make, but it was actually pretty easy.  I was a little rusty on the sewing machine and had to wait to get some help from my aunt.  But if that hadn't been the case, I'm pretty sure that I would've been able to whip it up in about 90 minutes or less.  If any of you are interested in trying to make it, email me and I'll send it to you.  Thanks to Andrea for giving me the pattern!

Baby Blanket - I started this back in 2009.  I was making it for Emily's baby, Joshua.  But he was born and grew up way faster than I made this blanket!!  He's already walking and doing some talking.  I just finished it this week, and I think that I'll keep it for one of my own babies, since it took so long to make.  In the future, any baby blankets that I make are NOT going to be crocheted!

Something to aspire to - This wall hanging was created by one of my aunt's friends.  She is a master quilter, and quite talented at many other things.  I saw this in my aunt's living room a few months ago and had to take a picture.  I don't know if I'll ever do anything this fancy and gorgeous.  But a girl can dream!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Learn How to Save a Life!!

This is an important video that everyone should watch about how to do a newly developed form of CPR.  It's easy to learn and easy to do, and it can be better for the person that you do it on.  However, it is not for babies or small children.  But please take 5 minutes and learn how to do it.  This technique is what my dad did to save my mom's life when she went into cardiac arrest.  Watch it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Christmas Cactus Blooms Again!

***Warning: This post is about plants.  Skip it if they bore you.***

Some of you may remember when we posted about our Christmas Cactus, but we hadn't taken any pictures of it.  Well, our Christmas Cactus bloomed again, and here are some pictures from it!  The pictures start from when the blossoms first appeared, and end when we have a few full-grown blossoms.

We think that our cactus may actually be a Thanksgiving Cactus, since its blossoms start showing up right before Thanksgiving, and it actually blooms right after Thanksgiving.  I learned from this Wikipedia article that there are several types of this cacti that bloom around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  They are brought bloom because of cooling temperatures and decreasing light.

We had a strange experience with our Christmas Cactus blooming in May of last year.  I think that this wouldn't normally happen unless you were in the Southern hemisphere and it was getting darker and cooler (and this plant originally comes from Brazil, so that's why some of them are also called Easter Cactus).  And the strange thing is, this week Dave noticed that the cactus is blooming again in January!  There are two little blossoms, and we'll see if any more come out.  Weird!

We have a few new additions to our plant progeny:

a) Mother-in-law's tongue (AKA Angel something...)

b) Creepy Charlie AKA Creeping Charlie

c) Avocado Pit

d) Vine Plant


Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm Thankful for Adoption

My brother-in-law, Mark, is adopted.  He's the youngest in a family 6 children, the rest of whom were conceived naturally.  I'm not sure why Dave's mom was inspired to seek to adopt at that point in time.  I don't know exactly why Mark's first set of adopted parents decided that they didn't want him after all.  But I'm just so glad that Denise called at the right time, when they were trying to find a new home for then-infant Mark.  He's now 14, and such a part of the family that I can't imagine life without him.  And I'm sure that the Lord had a hand in it; he knew the wonderful things that would happen for Mark and for his family because of this adoption.

This is not how most adoptions take place; it's usually the biological mother who has to search through tons of profiles and choose the people (based on very little information) that she will give her child to.  Pictures, an online profile or website, or even phone calls do not provide very much information about the people that will raise and shape the child that you give life to.  But the Lord knows about this too.  I am sure that he prompts and inspires people as they are trying to decide who will be the best parents for their child, if they will seek his guidance.

If you (or someone you know) are trying to decide on a couple to adopt your child, please consider the matter after praying for the Lord to guide you in your decision.  This will bless your life and the life of your child.  And it will bless the lives of the couple you choose, too.

This is not a random post.  I have two friends who are actively trying to adopt.  Neither couple is able to have children.  After praying for inspiration and guidance, please take a look at their blogs (Holly and Sam, Rachel and Ryan) or their LDS Family Services adoption profiles (Rachel and Ryan, Holly and Sam).  You can also find a button for each couple at the top of my blog.  Maybe the spirit will guide you to choose one of them to adopt your child, and maybe it won't.  But I'm hoping that God's will can be carried out through the inspiration and actions of both biological mothers and adoptive parents, to make God's children as happy as he wants them to be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

List of 100 Revisited

I've decided that it's time that I add some more to my List of 100 that I started in 2009, and mark off some of the things that I've done. This is something that I've been working on, and will work on my whole life, so I'm okay that my list is still so short. And I'm very happy with my achievements so far, especially #4!!

Here is the old list (things I had done by February 2009 are marked with an asterisk):
  1. Visit every LDS temple in the world
  2. *Earn a BA
  3. Earn an MA
  4. Get married
  5. Become a mother
  6. *Serve an LDS mission
  7. Serve a mission with my husband
  8. Write a book
  9. Own my own house
  10. Own my own car
  11. Go skydiving
  12. *Save a life (I've saved several by donating blood!)
  13. Learn to play a stringed instrument (the cello)
  14. *Teach at a university (I'm part-time faculty right now!)

And here is the new list with some additions and some new goals accomplished:
  1. Visit every LDS temple in the world
  2. *Earn a BA
  3. Earn an MA
  4. *Get married
  5. Become a mother
  6. *Serve an LDS mission
  7. Serve a mission with my husband
  8. Write a book
  9. Own my own house
  10. *Own my own car
  11. Go skydiving
  12. *Save a life (I've saved several by donating blood!)
  13. Learn to play a stringed instrument (the cello)
  14. *Teach at a university (I've taught at BYU and UVU)
  15. *Have a 4.0 semester
  16. Run a marathon
  17. Learn how to not be freaked out by scuba diving
  18. Go on a cruise
  19. Have a garden for "homemade" fruits and vegetables
  20. Become a good cook.
  21. Teach my children how to love to read
  22. Do a triathlon
I'm about 1/5 of the way through creating my list. And it will take a lifetime to accomplish all of my goals. But I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Semi-Automatic Pistols Rant

I listen to NPR, I also shoot guns at stuff (note, not pretty little deer or people). I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but nonetheless, there it is. Anyway, on NPR the other day they kept talking about how easy it is in Arizona to buy a semi-automatic pistol!!! Now, I'm not really a gun nut, but based on my limited experience it seems that just about all pistols are semi-automatic unless you want to shoot some sort of old west replica gun. So...talking about how easy it is to buy a semi-automatic pistol in Arizona is just a little bit redundant. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.