Monday, November 30, 2009

Called to Serve

This is a very belated blog about Spencer's last few days with us before the mission. We had so much fun spending every last second together {literally, because he couldn't be left alone}. He is such a wonderful brother, and we are already missing him so much!

P.S. I can't believe how much taller he is than Siara and I now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Day of Thanks!

We will be here.

With a weather forecast of clear, sunny skies and 82 degrees.
This year I'll be most thankful if Delta airlines can get us to our holiday destination.
(I'll also be most thankful if nobody uses the phrase "Turkey Day" within my hearing vicinity. I dislike that nickname for this holiday more than I can explain.)
What are you thankful for this year?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Flag Day Address June 13, 1942

"God of the free, we pledge our hearts and lives today to the cause of all free mankind.

"Grant us victory over the tyrants who would enslave all free men and nations. Grant us faith and understanding to cherish all those who fight for freedom as if they were our brothers. Grant us brotherhood in hope and union, not only for the space of this bitter war, but for the days to come which shall and must unite all the children of earth.

"Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin this task today that our children and our children's children may be proud of the name of man.

"The spirit of man has awakened and the soul of man has gone forth. Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of man's spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond his own brief span. Grant us honor for our dead who died in the faith, honor for our living who work and strive for the faith, redemption and security for all captive lands and peoples. Grant us patience with the deluded and pity for the betrayed. And grant us the skill and the valor that shall cleanse the world of oppression and the old base doctrine that the strong must eat the weak because they are strong.

"Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years-a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth-grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace-that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march, toward the clean world our hands can make. Amen."

Monday, November 16, 2009

A sad reminder

Today I texted Austin and said...

"We did so good on our cell phone minutes this month! It's the last day of the cycle and we still have 60 minutes left"

To which he texted me back with...

"That means we're losers"

{I'm no longer excited about having leftover minutes.}

Thursday, November 5, 2009

For Sarah and Nicole

I'd like to say that those canvas pictures were a feat of crafting genius, but they were the easiest thing ever.

I bought the canvases at the craft store in the artist section, they were on sale for about $3.50 a piece.

Then I used my old school picture editor to turn my pictures Sepia, and took them to Kinko's on a jump drive. They blew up the pictures to the size I wanted, 11x17 in this case, and printed them on regular laser jet printer paper with a matte finish. This cost about $0.75 a picture. Regular photo paper won't work, so no need to print the big expensive versions at a photo store!

I then used man's greatest invention since the wheel....Mod Podge. Truly the most wonderful substance discovered on this planet.

I prefer the Matte version of Mod Podge, it looks cleaner than the others. I used a foam brush to paint layers on the canvases. You need about four layers before putting the pictures down, so I used a blow dryer to dry them in between to speed up the process. Paint on one last layer, and carefully lay your picture onto it. Voila!

And the most important thing...DON'T TRY TO PUSH OUT THE BUBBLES. Unless it's a huge wrinkle, it will go away as it dries. I ignored this fact on the first one I did, and I just ended up wrinkling the picture with all my smoothing efforts. The other two looked flawless after about an hour, even though there were tiny bumps right when I placed it on.

You can mod podge over the top after the picture dries if you want a shinier finish, but I just left mine as they were. The canvases are so light that you can hang them on a push pin instead of putting a nail in the wall. Easy as pie! =)