Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting into the holiday spirit

I want this Christmas to be extra special. Not only because I have a little boy for whom I want to establish traditions, but because I'm at home where I have free reign over what I do (with the exception of said little boy's wants and needs.)

So for the month of December, I am going to do something special each day, mostly in the form of service. I decided I can't just only serve my son and hubby, but others as well. I've compiled a list of things to do: caroling, watching someone's child, baking goodies and taking them to the sisters I visit teach, those sorts of things. Come to think of it, I need to think of more ideas... I'll get to that later.

Also, I'll enhance my focus on the Savior with a more dedicated scripture study and meaningful personal prayer. I admit ... those are the first to fall down in the list of priorities at times. I want this Christmas to really mean something to me. I want to get to know my Savior better.

For how aknoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? (Mosiah 5:13)
 That's right. So I'll periodically report to you how things are going. I'm excited - a sort of countdown to Christmas Sarah Roberts' style. You're welcome to join me as you celebrate this season in your own way because, after all, it's His time of year.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


140 days, give or take. That's how long it's been since I walked through the front door of my house in South Dakota, since I've eaten my mom's food, since I saw my sister Katie, since I looked into my dad's eyes and gave him a squeeze.

I've served a church mission - a long 18-month hiatus from normal life away from the family. I've gone to college two states away with only the semester breaks to hold me over 'till summer came. You would think I would be used to this. In fact, I didn't mind being away from home so much.

Somehow, mere phone calls just aren't satisfying enough. It's like that final dribble of water from your canteen as you're dragging your body through a desert. However, I'm not really in a desert. I live in a thriving ecosystem maintained by my supportive husband and friends where I hardly ever run out of water.

Mainly, I'm just being selfish. If I planned a trip home, Jed wouldn't be able to go because of work. I would most likely have friends and family throwing a baby shower for me and Grape and I would have all the time in the world with my family and friends.

Two past attempts to make it home have been thwarted - this makes me think that for some reason, I shouldn't go. Then this comes spewing out just like a three-year-old's temper tantrum, "But I wannnnna gooooo!" *banging fists on floor*. What is one to do? Suck it up?

I'm giving it one more attempt. I have two months, more or less. This one looks promising. But for fear of jinxing the whole thing, "Mum" is the word.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Three years ago

My MTC group a few days before we left to our various areas.

April 22 was the day I came home from my mission. The day I had dreaded for a good majority of the time I was in Ecuador. I won't lie and say I felt that way every single day, but I didn't want that day to come, no matter how exhausted I was physically and emotionally.

Quito - Sis. Viana beat me to the egg we both found.

I had some great experiences. I remember sloshing through pouring rain, feet and everything else getting soaked. I remember crying and pouring out my heart in prayer for the people I met and those I didn't know yet. I remember picking and shelling beans for service - along with mixing concrete and hauling rocks to build houses. I remember feeling so, so good as people I loved were baptized. Those are things I hope I never forget.

 The sisters at a zone conference.

Of course I had some hard times. My very first area - Tena - was a struggling branch. My companion was Ecuadorian and we didn't always understand each other or get along. I became sick and lost a bunch of weight. My second companion was just as challenging (she was from Guatemala) and wasn't always a keeper of the rules. A transfer to my second area - Otavalo - was hard. I loved the area, but my companion and I were in charge of two wards and branch.
 My companion and I taught Richard who was baptized as well. We had to get him and Gaby married first. That was a challenge. The law of chastity was definitely foreign to them.

My third area - Ambato - was the best for me, but I was only there one transfer. I got sick again. My fourth area - Santo Domingo - was one of the toughest times. My companion, from Nicaragua, spoke English. Therefore, my Spanish really went downhill. We didn't have a single baptism and our investigators showed progression, but it was a long way to baptism. My final area - Quito - was a perfect cap - I can't remember hardly any challenges.

An example of some cute Ecuadoriam children. The woman in the middle suffers from a disease that makes her bed-ridden. Very powerful, wonderful woman.

So before I bore you too much - here's to missions and missionaries and missionary work. I am who I am because of that special, wonderful time.

 This wonderful family on the left - the Marcillos - were sealed Aug. 10, 2007, in the Guayaquil, Ecuador Temple. My companion Sis. Ellison and I taught this family and they were finally baptized. Here, we're standing with the Bishop's family who are also wonderful people!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy stuff!

So many good things have happened. I hope I can remember them all!!

#1 - I made a roast a week ago (about 3 lbs) and we just finished the remnants yesterday! We made different meals from the meat so we didn't get bored: just plain with mashed potatoes and gravy, french dip sandwiches, BBQ beef sandwiches, and last night, the grand finale was beef burritos. So good!! I was pretty pleased with myself and my creativity.

#2 - I was shopping at Wal-Mart when I saw some two very good friends of mine that I hadn't seen in a while: Mel and Mark Anderson!! Those two are hilarious - we spent a good 20 minutes stalking observing children being disobedient to their parents. It was for an assignment Mark had to do. But even still, anything those two do can put you in a conniption fit from laughing too hard. Gosh, I miss them.

#3 - After running into Mel, she invited Jed and I to go to a movie with her and a friend - "How to Train Your Dragon." It was such a good movie!! The story was unique and the characters funny and unforgettable. Jed and I had been wanting to watch it ever since we saw the trailer - and we were NOT disappointed!

#4 - Jed and I attended the baptism of a guy in our ward and it brought back so many memories of the mission! So neat to see how humble and dedicated he was to continue in the right path, even after 4 years. He has a very strong testimony already.

#5 - I love garage sales and went to one on Saturday - I came away with 70 pieces of boy clothes for $4!! I was pretty excited. There were some pretty cute outfits I picked up. Yay for good deals!

#6 - My family sent us our Easter package filled with chocolates, jelly beans and fake grass. Also included were Easter cookie cutters, Easter-themed cupcake holders and sprinkles! And get this - the basket was in the shape of a football and the plastic eggs were in the shape of footballs, soccer balls, basketballs and baseballs.

#7 - My little grape keeps growing and kicking and pushing and moving. It's been great!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I love my job

Can I just say that being a newspaper reporter has lots of perks? One day can be so completely different from the rest - some boring, some quite interesting. Well, I happened to be working on a story about a Rigby man who has developed an ambidextrous gun. In any gun, the shell is expelled out the right side. If you are right handed, that doesn't bother you. But for a leftie - that could be kind of dangerous. A shell could come up and hit you in the face and it's pretty warm too from the friction. There are other guns that are just for left handed shooters, but in some situations, that may not be available. But this particular rifle,  (an AR-15),  both right and left handed shooters can use it. The way that happens is that a setting is changed, depending on the dominate hand of the shooter. Then the shell is expelled opposite of the sight of the shooter. Apparently, it's a pretty big deal in the gun world.

So these two guys who talked to me all about it invited me to come shooting with them. Now how could I pass up an opportunity like that? I had to take Emily along because she's never gone shooting.

Don't laugh at the pictures - I didn't know I was holding the clip, and the guys never said anything to me.

This is a different gun from the ambidextrous rifle and it is so much heavier. Amazingly, I managed to hit a target about 100 yards away or so. Either the guys there were really nice or they were completely honest. They said that both Em and I could be really good shooters if we practiced more.

So yes, it's a pretty good story.

On another work-related note, I got the best compliment today. Right at 5 p.m. - I'm all packed up and ready to go home - someone calls the office for a Sarah "Beu" (my maiden name). The secretary was confused but assured the caller that a Sarah worked there. I got on the line completely baffled to the Michael LaFord on the phone. Things soon cleared up when he said he was Mikel LeFort - the editor at the daily that I interned at two summers ago! We chit chatted about my life - getting married, graduating, having a baby. He actually called to find out if I would be interested in working with this other editor on a weekly in South Dakota - but he already figured I was settled where I was at. He was glad to hear I was still in journalism, but sad to hear I would be leaving it so soon. But they sure remembered me and wanted to track me down to see if I would be interested in taking on the job. Woo hoo!

That brings me to another thought. When I first found out I was prego, I thought I could handle working and taking care of the baby. My husband quickly pointed out some important things that I needed to remember. It was a hard realization for me that I would have to leave this job that I enjoyed so much and had studied for so long. But I now accept that this is totally the Lord's plan for me. It's really a small sacrifice compared to the rewards I get for being a full-time mother.

Check out our family blog for an update!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two hours? Riiiiight.

Soon after Jed and I got married, I went on a shopping rampage and bought tons of things. In my frenzy, I bought things that I couldn't necessarily work with at the moment. One of them were instructions to make an apron and fabric - it was so cute!! Only problem was that I didn't have a sewing machine. However, I anticipated that such a necessity would soon make its appearance in our home.

Christmas comes, and Santa made that dream come true. 'Course Santa had to make sure I was actually going to put it to use. Luckily, Jed convinced him. Santa had wondered because in the past, I had shown an aversion to anything sewing. Needless to say, I had a change of heart.

Well, skipping much of the details and frustrations, I completed this "2-hour apron" in 3 days or so. And trust me when I say it doesn't look all that great. If you saw it in person, you could tell a complete amateur did it. But I was very proud of myself. And I have resolved to improve, especially my stitching. Only time will tell.

Since you can't tell very well, the snowflake like images are actually forks and spoons spread out. I really fell in love with the simple design of the fabric.