Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gratitude and a Lot of Food

Thanksgiving season this year has involved a lot of food. It started in Boston when I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with myroommates and friends. Then last Sunday I had a second Thanksgiving dinner, followed on Monday by an FHE Thanksgiving Feast. The real fun began early Thursday morning when I flew to Utah for a quick trip. Jen's family picked me up at the airport and we drove to Ogden where her in-laws live. Thanksgiving dinner #4 was truly delicious and I was so grateful that the Chantry's let me be part of their family for a day.
Megan and I spent some quality time together. She also liked pretending to be my teacher and just being plain cute.
Michael practiced the art of sneaking up on me and was pretty proud of himself. He showed me his excellent reading skills using Green Eggs and Ham, and taught me some songs I'm sure to use in storytime one of these days.
This is Jen and I enjoying the feast. We didn't purposely try to look like Christmas decorations, it just happened that way.

On Friday, I took the Frontrunner, Trax, and the 811 Bus down to Orem where I got to spend time with my grandparents. In the morning, I played Dominoes and visited with Grandma Houghton. She even let me pick out the ceramics that I wanted for Christmas. (Usually I just have to wait and see what I get.) She used her master packing skills and I had plenty of room to carry them on the plane with me.

Now I have a few Christmas decorations!

That afternoon I headed over to my Grandma and Grandpa Call's house where I enjoyed my fifth and final Thanksgiving Feast. Grandma even made her delicious rolls because she knew I would want them. I loved being there and telling them about my new life and hearing about the rest of the family. Grandpa Call drove me to the airport, where Emilysa and I "happened" to cross paths. It made the wait in the airport wonderful. I got home and made a new friend during the shuttle ride. For a quick trip, it was great and even relaxing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Once in a Lifetime

Here's a look at how my week went. Amazing to say the least!

Lawndale turns a page with dedication of new state-of-the art library

Combine that with bike riding, warm weather, the hokie pokie, and an almost empty matinee and I would say it has been a great week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Infinite Power of Hope

I'm not one to write about anything too personal on my blog, but today I have decided to. I feel a little like a copy-cat because I had a friend blog about the same thing recently. Oh well!

I spoke in church yesterday using Pres. Uchtdorf's talk "The Infinite Power of Hope." from the October Conference. I chose it for 3 reasons.

1) I think about Hope often because it is not given as much attention as Faith and Charity.
2) The world would be a better place if we focused on True Hope and not doom and gloom.
3) The definition of Hope in a spiritual sense is much stronger than the term used in other contexts

Here's a couple parts from Elder Uchtdorf's talk that I liked a lot. (Emphasis added)

"Hope is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance."

"We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future."

I discovered that Hope is consistently linked with good works. This means that like Faith, Hope is a principle of action and leads to Charity, the Pure Love of Christ.

"When frustration and impatience challenge charity, hope braces our resolve and urges us to care for our fellowmen even without expectation of reward. The brighter our hope, the greater our faith. The stronger our hope, the purer our charity."

I appreciate that Pres. Uchtdorf took on this topic. In a world that can feel so hopeless to so many people, it is great to know that we can have real Hope based on a firm foundation.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Introducing ...

My Brand New Bike! (I have yet to name it and am taking suggestions.) I bought it on Saturday at a little bike shop here in Torrance and was so excited I decided to ride to the beach.

I don't navigate using maps, I just sort of go. Any of you who have tried to go anywhere with me may have picked up on this. So I just started West and figured I would hit The Strand (the area of the beach I was heading for.) Needless to say, I got lost in some neighborhoods and found some really steep hills that I was not expecting. But after some trouble I found this ...

The view, cloudless sky, and salty air made this a glorious ride. I also got a mild case of "too much sun" which has never happened to me in November before.

On the way home I had a minor problem with my bike. The seat slid down very low. My bike is currently living inside my house with me until I determine how to solve the problem.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Big Change

In an attempt to keep friends and family apprised of my goings on, I have decided to change this blog to a general discussion of my life rather than an analysis of books I have read. You may find a book review or two in the future. But this is no longer the express purpose of my blog.

So I've survived my first week of work which involved training at a library that I was temporarily assigned to. It is great to finally get payed to do what I love. Yesterday, I did a bilingual storytime. The kids were adorable and I got to practice my Spanglish. Then I went to Library Headquarters and look at books. In the future, I'll get to place orders for my library, but because I'm completely unaware of what is currently there, I just helped the other librarian I have been working with. All in all I have learned a lot this week. I've also discovered that being a librarian involves a lot of paperwork and nobody told me that in library school.