Friday, December 30, 2005

Scripture Mastery Served on a Silver Platter

I did it. I finally finished the Book of Mormon. It was hard, but I know that it'll be worth it!

I had initially planned on finishing by the 20th of December. That way it wouldn't hang over me through Christmas and I could just read to my leisure afterwards. Unfortunately, I was thrown off course by my trip to Florida with Mum. She decided (on purpose) not to bring her scriptures with her. I don't know why. She didn't even have her set, she had a little pass-along Book of Mormon that she brought with her from Saipan. I can understand that she didn't want to lose them or anything, but she didn't have her scriptures! Sooooo, when we got down there, she continuously asked to use mine. I let her, I had no problem with it, except that by the time we were half-way through our trip, I realized, I hadn't read for a few days. So, I sat down to read some... sure enough, in came Mum, asking if she could borrow them. I passed them off and just decided that I would pick them back up when we arrived back in Maine.

When we got home, I was in the middle of moving and had left my scriptures at the house I was moving to, and thus didn't have them with me at the house I was still living in for a few more days. As you can imagine, the 20th passed extremely quickly.

But I finished! And that's the point! I read the whole thing, all the way through, in less than 6 months. I've never read the whole book to myself before! It was so nice! I finished it the day before I left for Utah. Now I would be blessed with a stronger testimony instantaneously! Voila!

I should have known. "Only after the trial of your faith." Ain't that the truth! I finished it and was packed and in the airport in Bangor. First, when I got there and started through the check-in, they told my one bag was 5 pounds over and the other was 3. That was an extra $50 per bag. I didn't have any way to send anything back to Gram's house, so I just moved 3 pounds from the one bag into the other and paid the $50 for one bag. When that was all set, I was informed that the sensors had detected some chemical in one of my bags and that I would have to wait for them both to be screened minutely. It went fine, without incident. They said that sometimes common, household chemicals can set off the alarms. (Brilliant idea, whoever set that one up.) The flight from Bangor, ME to Philadelphia, PA went on without further delay.

In Phili, I arrived completely lost. I went up to a desk and they told me how to find my gate and then told me my flight had been delayed about an hour. No biggy. My connection in Raleigh-Durham, NC was interrupted by a 2 hour lay-over, so I would still make my flight. When I got to my gate, they announced that it had been delayed an hour-1/2. Okay, I would just have to run a bit. Then it was delayed for 2 hours. No! This would not do. I went to the desk and asked to get on a different flight, straight to Salt Lake if I could. No, no, no... it would be fine! I'd still make the connection. Besides, I was landing and taking-off from the same terminal. If I jogged a bit, I would get there with a few minutes to spare. Okay. Fine. Just get me there.

In RDU, they told those of us that were supposed to make that connection to Las Vegas, NV (there were about 10 or 15 of us) that it had already left and it was the last plane out tonight. They had contacted Phili and told them not to send us, but to put us on a different flight. That made me mad! That Phili knew and still didn't send us on. The agents in RDU were sorry, but there was nothing they could do until tomorrow. They booked us all for new flights and set us up in a hotel for the night.

I was transferred from US Airways to Delta; a whole new airline. So, they told me to go down and pick up my EXTREMELY heavy luggage, take it to the hotel with me, and then check it back through with Delta in the morning. I went down, found my bags, stood in line at the baggage claims office from about 9:30pm to just about 10:55pm, finally got in to see the agent, told them I had neither the time nor the money (nor the nerves, though I left that out) to send these bags out again. Would they please make sure they got on my flight with Delta in the morning. Of course, that shouldn't be a problem. I gave them the flight number and went on my way.

I got to the hotel, got a pretty good night's sleep, and was up at 6:00 to catch the bus back to the airport. I stood outside forever, then was told with the rest in line that the outside check-in wasn't registering flight 575, to Salt Lake City, so we had to go inside. We all went in and were even more jammed than before into lines. I got to the kiosk, checked myself in, found my way to security, stood in line for at least 30 minutes, (it was the fastest moving security check I think I've ever been to, actually) and when I did get to the check-point, I was randomly picked for extra screening. (It was okay, except that it didn't feel random since everything else was going wrong.) Once I got past all that, I got to the gate just in time to board.

The flight was straight from RDU to Salt Lake City. Nice. I was bumped up to first class. Great. They showed one of my favorite movies, Cinderella Man. Sweet. When I got off the plane, I found Chelsea and her mother waiting for me. Awww. When I got to baggage claim, nothing. I went over to the US Airways office. Nope, they had sent it on flight 575 with Delta Airlines. I got to the Delta office. Nothing. What do they look like? What flight were they supposedly on? Where should they send them? Have a nice day!

My scriptures are lost in that luggage somewhere. My clothes. My CD's and DVD's. My shoes. My books. Just about everything in the world that I own is in those bags. I'M MOVING ACROSS THE NATION FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! THROW ME A FRICKIN' BONE HERE, PEOPLE! Okay... trial of faith... trial of faith...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Lowe Experience

I love Galen and Janice and Sierra! I even love Sierra's mom and I don't even know her name! It was so much fun living with them. Galen and Janice remind me so much of my own parents in some ways. For example, Dad and Galen both randomly grab their wives and start dancing with them around their houses. I don't know, maybe this is just normal for most married couples, but it's still funny. Also, Dad and Janice both like their cookies hot hot hot, while Mum and Galen both like them after they've cooled and hardened a little. Even though I've never had a problem living with people, these little similarities made it even easier to live with the Lowes.

Sierra... now she was fun! She would come home from school and have all sorts of assignments to do. I offered to help her on her Pre-Cal homework... not that that particular proposal holds any real hope for the girl, but she accepted and I was able to help her on some things, albeit very, very few. But the best part was talking with her. She would get started on her homework, and I would be in the middle of a chapter, and then we'd suddenly break up everything to start chatting about one irrellavent topic after another. It was lots of fun. To tell you the truth, I didn't know how it would work, living with a girl. I mean, yeah, I have sisters, but I've always had boys around me. My brothers, the Daltons... I've never, ever lived with just a girl. I mean, sure if I moved in with Lisa or someone already knew really well, I wouldn't have worried a bit, but this was a girl I had never been very close to, and hadn't even seen for over 4 years! It was even more uncomfortable for me at first because my first night with them was Sierra's 19th birthday. Can you say, awkward? However, we quickly found one thing in common that started off the friendship - Galen. No one has ever been easier to tease... and that's saying something! After that, it was clear we would get along just fine!

Earlier I mentioned loving Sierra's mum, this is a funny story. So, the phone rang, I picked it up and said hello. A sweet voice on the other end said, "Hi, sweetie! How are you?" At first I was completely confused... was it Mum? It didn't sound like her, but I mean, maybe she had just woken up or something, that's why her voice was so (comparatively) faint.

"Hi," I replied, not knowing what else to do. "I'm fine." She went on to ask me more about how I was doing, when finally it clicked: all though our voices were dramatically different, if you know the person answering the phone isn't Janice and it isn't Galen, it must be Sierra.

"Oh! I'm sorry, were you looking for Sierra?" Pause....
"Who's this?" asked the voice, still nice, but not quite so sure of itself.
"This is Mallory. I'm sorry I thought you were my mom at first."
She immedietly started to laugh. She said she remembered that I was moving in with them, but had forgotten about it. We joked about that for a while and then I passed the phone over to Sierra.

So, overall, The Lowe Experience was a lot of fun! I loved living with them. I wish them and all sides of their family a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It Was Worth It

It's snowing. The big, soft, silent kind of snow. I am walking home from the grocery store with a few minor things for pumpkin pie. I have my long, downy winter coat on, zipped and buttoned up nice and close around my neck. I have my brown berber hat and scarf on, along with my brown leather gloves; and I'm walking.

It wasn't snowing when I entered the only grocery-store in town, but rather it was growing rapidly dark. And then, when I walked out, I looked up to the lamps lighting the streets and saw it coming. The glistening white, shining in the soft orange glow of the street lamps, coming down out of the veil of darkness above. First they aren't there, and then they gradually appear out of the abyss and land, fairy-like, on the ground. They powder the hair of everyone around, including the part of mine that falls on my shoulders.

I set out at a brisk pace across the parking lot and start to make my way down Cottage Street. I greet everyone I pass. Instead of taking the regular shortcut home, I walked a little bit longer until I reached the public parking lot. I walked up there and into the Village Green. The snow sticks better here, on the cobblestones. The asphalt is a little warmer, so part of the snow melts directly. I walk through the softly lit park, and cross Mt. Desert Street and walk along Main. I turn onto Newton Way and then onto Des Isle Avenue. An unknown neighbor, just coming home, turns on his porch steps to bid me good evening. I return the favor. I make the last few yards to my house, unlock the door, and enter my warm abode, with no one to greet me but the two cats and a small dog. I welcome the silence.

There's not much to compare to taking the long way home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Life in Small-Town America

If there's only one small town out there, I assure you it's somewhere in Maine! But there's not just one, there's tons! So we have them in just about every state. Very few however, get as much attention as Bar Harbor.

From late-spring to mid-autumn Bar Harbor is packed with people. The peak month is August, typically. All the restaurants and shops are open. The grocery store stays open an hour later than usual. There's very little point to driving a car through town; all the parking spaces are taken by 6:00 am and the town's not big enough to keep you from walking the entire perimeter, if you set your mind to it.

But I'm not going to talk about the side everyone hears about. I'm here to talk about the "off-season". From late-fall to early-spring (and that whole long winter in between) it's practically a ghost town. As one of my co-workers likes to describe it,

"You can drive down Main Street at 60 mph, you won't hit so much as a cat."

He's got it right on the ball. Believe it or not, there are people tough enough to weather the long, cold, damp, North-Atlantic winters. My roommate, Melissa, is currently trying to become one. She has more winter coats than my little brother, Ezra, has armymen. Very few people however, actually choose this particular life-style. But in all fairness, there's not much that can compare in quaintness and peace than a winter in Bar Harbor... it's the treat we get after working the hectic summer.

Every hour, on the hour the St. Saviour's bells chime. You can really only hear them when the season starts slowing down. I remember one time this summer I was sitting in the Village Green on a bench reading a book. There were some skateboarders in the park, and one of them walked over to me.

"Hi. I was wondering if you could tell me what time it is?" He asked this just as the bells finished tolling an inmistakable 4:00.

"Well, let's see, the bells just chimed 4," I said looking up from my book.

"Oh, right." The poor boy; it was a sad opener since the time had just declared itself openly, but it was an opener none the less, and we talked for a few minutes while he waited for his bus.

At noon every day, they play a few hymns on the bells, like Amazing Grace, Abide With Me, and Be Still My Soul. The church isn't the only bell though, there's a bell at the First National Bank too. That one is automated; I can't tell if the ones at St. Saviour's are or not.

There are tons of shops in Bar Harbor. My personal favorite is a year-round shop simply called "Clockmaker". Yes, an actual clockmaker. Walking into his one-man shop is like walking into Gipetto's. He's got clocks from all over the world, and he knows everything about them. Who made them, how old they are, where they came from, the names of the different styles; everything. I mean, I guess it is kind of his job. (One tip though, if you don't like cuckoo clocks, don't walk in on the hour.)

My favorite restaurant is Rupinuni's. I honestly can't promise that I've spelled that right. It's in a beautiful location right near the Village Green. Whenever I go I ask to be seated on the balcony upstairs. I love to watch people in the park and on the street below. I have often eaten there by myself simply because that way I don't get interupted in my observations. If I go with someone I have to keep up a conversation. That's okay too, but I can do that anywhere.

In small towns, everyone knows everyone else. It's no different with Bar Harbor. There are the local handy-men who can fix any problem whether it's the stairs at the library or the lights in your house. They'll stop their work right in the middle of it to talk to a good friend that passes by. But they're good at what they do. There are the fishermen who spend all their time out on their boats or down on the docks. Winter is a hard time for them, but they still go out if the weather's not too bad and the sea's are managable. You ask any of the lobstermen if they know so-and-so, they'll list of entire families and where you can find them.

"Oh yeah, shoa, I know who the Alley's aahr. There's one fam'ly of 'em ovah in Seal Hahbah, and anothah ovah on Swan's Island." They'll also tell you the names of all their boats and the color patterns to their bouies. Like I said, everyone knows everyone, and everything about everyone too. No secrets.

Life in small town America is certainly sheltered and secluded, but it's a sweet way to live. It's friendly and relaxed. I'm sure the cities are exciting, and that small towns can get frustrating with lack of anything to do, but if I had to choose between the two, I'd go for the small town any day.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Life in 7's (Part Two)

Here's a good one!

Seven Things That Make Me Laugh:

1) Stamen's impression of Jozsef. (It's amazing how perfect he is at it! A-MAZING.)
2) Certain kinds of laughs; Mel's snorts, Chris's chuckles... you know the sort.
3) Whistling the same song at the same time as someone else.
4) Maria and Stamen during preps. (They dance, they sing, they whistle, they juggle; the list goes on and on!)
5) My brothers and sisters - HA! My whole family's funny, even if no one else gets our jokes!
6) Commercials with a sense of humor. (Gieko commercials are my favorites!)
7) Sarcasm.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

My Life In 7's (Part One)


1) Visit the countries of my ancestry.
2) Attend the Olympics.
3) Read through the Book of Mormon at least 5 times.
4) Serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
5) Raise a family.
6) Perform the National Anthem... outside of high school.
7) Become fluent in at least 2 other languages.


1) I cannot finish an entire can of soda in less than 1 hour.
2) I *also cannot help but listen in on conversations, and usually add to them.
3) I cannot stand people who beat around the bush.
4) I cannot hold a grudge, especially when I try to.
5) I cannot hear very well.
6) I cannot learn languages as well as I would like to.
7) I cannot help everyone I wish I could in as many ways as I wish.

To be continued...


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

October Parties and Bulgarian

I'm pretty excited about October! So much is going to be happening! YESSSSSSSSSS!!! First of all, I'm turning 19, which will be nice. My last "teen" year! YEEHAW! Secondly, I'm moving out of the dorms and into an apartment with my sister and our friend Melissa. We're all pretty excited about that. Melissa is awesome! She would so match in our family. She's basically our sister from another mister. We've got a party planned for when I move in, or the weekend after really. A bunch of my friends from the dorm are coming and we're going to have a girl's night! We're going to carve pumpkins (I found the PERFECT jack-o-lantern pumpkin the other, I hope it's still there when I get back to town!) and toast seeds, and watch a movie, and eat, and talk, and eat, and hang out, and eat, etc etc. So, yeah, I'm pretty pumped!

Well, other than that there's really not too much to talk about. Oh! I'm learning Bulgarian! Listen to this! (or read it rather): Kak ci? = How are you?
Dobre; ti kak ci? = Good; and you?
Dobresom, nosom umorena. = I'm good, but tired.

(This was a conversation between me and Pepi, the bar manager and a great friend of mine.) I know more, but this was an actual conversation that took place today and right now I'm too tired to bother thinking up anything else!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Two Important Things to Say

My friend Kyle has left. She was such an awesome girl. I really am going to miss her. All of us here are. She gave me a sweet gift when she left: a small keepsake with the inscription, "My friend knows the song of my heart, and sings it to me when I can't remember". This is really special to me because last week when our friend Colin was preparing to leave 4 or 5 of us stayed up all night until we drove up to Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunrise. During the night they asked me to sing them songs. We sat around in the common room singing all sorts of songs, some of the others sang too, even Colin! Kyle told me that one of her favorite things in the world was being sung to, and I replied that one of my favorite things to do was to sing to people. That's one thing I really miss about home, I don't get to sing to anyone anymore. I have no Kait, Eden and Ezra to sing to sleep at night. I hope Kyle has made it to Vermont (she's stopping on the way to see Colin) and New Jersey safely. And I hope she has fun at Niagara!

One more thing: "God bless America, for it is His creation." - Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


The following was given to me as an end-of-the-season present by Roger Keene, a bus driver for one of the tour bus companies in The Park. I think he prints them out and gives them to his clients that ride the buses. He's a wicked nice guy and really funny. He stops by the Pond House twice a day as part of his tour and lets his people look around the gift shop. He sells more Old Soaker rootbeer than any man alive! Anyway, here we go:
Learn to Talk Like You are a
Buddah - You melt it for you lobstah or corm on the cob.
Hannis - Gear put on a hoss to help it haul something
Heft - To lift. You can also heft down.
Hitch - An instruction to move; i.e. Your butt is too big for this couch, Honey, so hitch over.
Hoss - An animal you can ride.
Khakis - A small tool used to start an automobile.
Lobstah - A sea crustacean which is good for eating.
Messah - A unit of measurement; i.e. a messah clams.
Mite - Much or many, or perhaps just a few.
Peaked - Poor looking.
Pond - Can be a five mile long lake or a 20 foot puddle. Mainers don't really care.
Pound - A place where lobsters are stored. Where stray dogs are kept. A measurement.
Reach - Water between hungs of land. What you do when the muffins might get by you.
Rud - Highway, or byway.
Salty - Someone who has worked on a fishing boat more than 15 years. What dried fish is.
Shuck - To divest corn or clams of their shells. You "shuck" to make chowdah!
Spleeny - Milktoast type. Coward. Applied mostly to husbands.
Sturn - The "donkey end" of a boat, usually square.
Summah - Between spring and fall, usually.
Tunk - To hit; i.e. tunk it a mite.
Yad - Land in front of or around a house.
Yondah - Away from where you are now.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Good Bye to the Early Leavers

This is a blog to those people that are leaving over the next couple of weeks. On Sunday my Good Friend Colin leaves and my Good Friends Eugene and Joel leave on Tuesday. After that it'll be a few days, but others will be leaving as well. This is just an entry saying I'm really going to miss all of you. Colin, you're such a cool guy... you know this already because we've all told you. Thanks for crashing in on our girl's night. (Thank you more for helping us set up Ron's T.V. in my common area.) Eugene, I know that you're really looking forward to going home to Ghana. I'm glad that you finally get to go. It's been great! Joel Dodson, or Doel Jodson (and sometimes "DOLT!") it's been fun and crazy! No running in the hallways anymore and waking Maisie up. No more fixing your collar to make sure you're at least presentable at work. And no more headlocks... wait, is this a sad thing?

Anyway, it's been so fun getting to know you three. Keep in touch!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Tourists say the darndest things!

This happened a few weeks ago but I forgot about it until a today when I was looking at the rose bushes that surround the Pond House.

So, I'm standing at the Information window on the outside. I was working in the parking lot that day, but there wasn't much going on so I was talking to my supervisor, Thor, and my co-worker, an older woman named Edie. Suddenly this young couple in their twenties walks up to the window and says, "Excuse me, we were wondering what these large, blueberry-type things were. We've never seen anything like them. Are they a type of blueberry?" I looked over towards the parking lot where they were pointing.

"Do you mean the tall-bush blueberries in the middle of the parking lot?" (We have an island in the middle of the parking lot where some trees and different shrubs are planted. One is a hybrid, tall-bush blueberries that are absolutely tasteless but are rather on the large side.)

"No, no, the bushes right along the side of the building here. They have large, round orange balls on them. They look just like blueberries." I was still confused and had no idea where to look or what they were talking about. They were pretty excited about it though.

"Sorry, I'm still not sure what you're talking about."

"They're right here, they look just like blueberries, but they're bigger and orange, and grow on the rose bushes." (I kid you not, they actually said that they grow on rose bushes and couldn't figure it out.)

"Oh, well, the ones that look like small tomatoes? Those are rose buds. That's why they grow on rose bushes. Blueberries are about this big," I made the size with my fingers, "and are..."

"I know what blueberries look like," says the young man, and he turns back to listen to Eddie explain to him that the rose buds are what they are looking at. (Exactly what I had just told him.) I kept thinking to myself, "Well, obviously you don't, since you just said that the tomato-looking buds that grow on the ROSE BUSHES looked just like blueberries and that you couldn't think of any other thing they could possibly be!" It was extremely funny, and the three of us had a good laugh about it afterwards.

Ahhhh... I love my job!

Sunday, August 28, 2005


First things first: I do not like heights. Ask anyone, especially the Benson boys, who never tired of pointing out how everyone else would jump off the Grotto walls while I stayed on the rock in the middle. There are certain heights I've never had a big problem with. Climbing trees, scrambling around on Otter Cliffs, and even hiking, for the most part, is fine, as long as there are some trees around so that I don't have to look at the base of the mountain.

Today I decided that it would be a great Sabbath activity to go hiking the Jordan Cliffs Trail up to the top of Penobscot mountain and then taking the Penobscot Trail back down. It would give me time to pray, read my scriptures, sing some hymns, and just get away from the usual filth of every-day life. I've already hiked to the top of Penobscot and down the Jordan Pond North-Shore Trail, so I knew I could do that much. It was the Cliffs I had never laid eyes on before. But I thought to myself, how hard could it be? People do it all the time! And besides, I'll be able to tell people what it's like easier if I actually hike it. So off I went, all on my lonesome, which is a very stupid idea if you've never done a trail before, but I figured since I couldn't find anyone to go with me I would just have to deal with it. Like I said, stupid.

It was a beautiful day! A clear, bright, August afternoon. The sun was behind Penobscot which made it nice and cool since I was walking in the shade until I got to the top of the mountain. I took a backpack with a water bottle, a light vest, scriptures, True to The Faith, my hymnal and a notepad. It sounds like a lot, but really it was very light. Near the beginning of the trail I found a very peaceful spot on a rock off to the right of the trail over-looking the pond. I read some out of True to The Faith, and sang some hymns. Fifteen minutes later I got going again. It was a great trail. Pretty easy and empty of all other hikers.

Then I came to the sign: CAUTION: STEEP TRAIL WITH EXPOSED CLIFFS, LADDERS, AND FIXED IRON RUNGS. Being me I said to myself, I'll be fine. I've been hanging out at Otter Cliffs from the time I was 9. And off I went.

Still, it was a wonderful trail. Leading quietly through the woods, shadowy, and mossy and glorious. Then I came to the rocks. They ware very bare rocks. Very rocky rocks. Very scary rocks. I'm a tree person, I hate rocks. I thought about turning back but decided to climb up to the level above me (there were no ladders at this point; I was rock-climbing... On rocks). When I did I found that the view was great and right ahead the trail went back into the woods. It was beautiful. So I continued.

In the woods I began to automatically hike upwards. Whenever I came to a fork I would simply choose whatever went up... I always knew I was going in the right way because of the markers I would continue seeing around each corner even if I wasn't paying attention at the forks. At one point there was a fork that went down towards some rocks, or up through some trees. The path into the trees was vague, but it went upwards (which made sense) and it went through some trees (which made me feel safe). Right before I made the mechanical decision to go upwards I saw out of the corner of my eye a vivid blue, vertical line on a tree - a trail marker. It was going down to the rocks. If there's one thing my parents taught me it was follow instructions. "Mallory, read that recipe through before you start." "Mal, you should probably read the instructions before you start on that project." Not that I always followed those words of wisdom... In fact I rarely did. But in this case I did, and just kept saying to myself, "It's been proven to work. People do this trail all the time. They're still alive. Rocks are okay. This trail's been proven to work!"

I was doing fine now, even on the rocks, until I came to my first ladder. Ladders. LADDERS. Suddenly those cliffs looked so much bigger than before. I'm talking "The Cliffs of Insanity!". I clung to those rungs and ladders like a baby to it's mother after a cool shower. I could feel my feet slip slightly once in a while, mostly because they were shaking a little. Again, I thought seriously of turning back. I knew I could do what I had just done. But I really didn't want to have to turn back when I was so close. Just take it slow, take it slow. It's been proven to work.

I finally came to the top of the Cliffs. Again, I went off to a quiet place and sat looking out over the magnificent view. The sun on my back with a soft breeze. A song. A prayer. Peace.

Monday, August 22, 2005


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! This is my gift to Sam "The Man" and Eden "Peanuty", since their birthdays are today and tomorrow. (Or actually tomorrow and the next day if you're going by Eastern Standard Time, but I'm not!) So, yeah, since I couldn't actually send them anything for their birthdays, I figured I'd write some sweet stuff about them!

SAM: Sam's pretty cool... you know, for a sixteen year old. I even found myself annoying at that age, so that's saying something! He's wicked funny! I just got off the phone with him about an hour ago. Man! We had each other cracking up over the funny things Eden was asking for her birthday, which lead us to laughing over Indian curry for and Chamorro empanada's for Indian and Chamorro Thanksgivings... long story, I'll touch on it later! Yeah, so we had a good time. The great thing about Sam is that I've really been able to watch him grow up. I remember spending late nights in the boys' room late at night, usually after Ezra was already asleep, and we would talk about everything and anything! Usually it would turn to who likes whom if Jake had anything to say about it! But we talked about a lot of stuff, and had fun doing it! If Dad ever found us he would send us out so that we wouldn't wake up Ezra, not that you could wake the kid up with a train whistle! But if we ever were kicked out, the boys would usually run in to my room and jump on my nicely-made bed and kick off their shoes and make themselves comfortable. See, it didn't matter if I did that in their room, because you really couldn't make their room much worse! But in my room it was terrible evident that something was out of place. Ah well, the point is I love Sam, he's a pretty cool kid!

SAM'S THEME SONG: "Teenage, Mutant Ninja Turtles" It's always been the cartoon I've associated with him, so naturally the song just fits!

EDEN: What a sweety!!! "She reminds me o' me!" as the great John Wayne would've said. She's a funny one too! She actually told Dad that since she couldn't get the bike she wanted for her birthday she wanted a car instead. When Mum asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner she suggested "that meal with the big bird and potatoes and everything" (a.k.a. Thanksgiving Dinner). So, yeah, my six-year-old sister is getting a mini-Thanksgiving for her birthday! GOOD GRIEF! Anyway, like I said, natural cutie! In fact, Lexi was just telling me last Sunday that Eden was gonna be one of those really irresistable girls that all the guys would be in love with but too intimidated to say anything to. In Lexi's opinion it's kind of sweet. In my opinion that kind of sucks! But she'll just have to deal with it I guess!

EDEN'S THEME SONG: "I'm Cute!" - Dot Animaniac. She just is! ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Things I Sometimes Wish I Could Change About Myself

Okay, I know I can change whatever I want about myself, but these are things that I wish I could change about myself, but not sure that I want to because some people say that they make me who I am while others tell me that they are slightly annoying... I dunno... whatever.

1) To be quiet and reflective more often. Now, some may say that that's a pretty good idea, but others would say that my outgoing, excited nature is fun. I think that I could be more reflective and quiet, but I also think that I'm pretty well grounded in things that I would ponder about. Hmmm.....

2) To not think so much about trivial things. This is definitely something I need work on. I'm not even asking for an opinion on this one.

3) To control my temper. Again, not asking for an opinion on this one.

4) To not be so clumsy. Like before, some people actually think that this is a fun part of my nature. I must admit that I get a good laugh every time I trip going upstairs or run into something or someone. (3 people all within a 15 minute period today at the end of church. Smooth.) But I also think it'd be kind of nice to be graceful and slick. I'm not even sure I can change this one.

Well, that's all I can really think of right now. Feel free to add to the list if you think there's some improvement I can make!

Friday, August 05, 2005

"The Dark, Sacred Night"

This is cool! A couple of nights ago four of us went to Sand Beach. (It's a natural beach of sand and the only one on the island. I mean, like real sand, not sand-and-rocks like the rest of them.) Anyway, yeah, so we had just gotten back from Batman Begins (good movie) and I noticed how starry it was. When I came inside I suggested that we go outside and look at the stars, but it was too bright near the dorm so Kyle suggested that we all get in her car and we'd go to Sand Beach. It was Kyle, Paulina, Emil, and me. When we got there Kyle said the first thing we had to do was put our feet in the water. I said she was nuts and kept my boots on. There was no way I was putting my feet in that chilly Atlantic water and then laying on the beach to allow the cold sea breeze to freeze them solid. (In fact Kyle was the only one who did.)

Anyway, so when Kyle was running up to the shoreline we heard her shout, "The phosphorus is out!" So we all ran up (with our shoes on) and witnessed one of the coolest things God put on the earth. As the waves peaked and crashed against the sand we could see them light up with little sparks, and they would leave the small chunks of phosphorus on the beach. It was really cool, and really pretty.

In fact, that whole night was really pretty and glittery. Aside from the phosphorus there were two lighthouses we could see blinking off in the distance, mars glowing red above the mountains, the vast Milky Way stretched out across the middle of the sky, and lots of shooting stars. I don't know what it is about Maine, but there has always been tons of shooting stars. Kyle saw the most, but I saw a lot too. Emil only saw 3 I think. At least that's what he says. I don't really know how you miss so many!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

An Acadian Story

So, yesterday was our dorm-mom's birthday. Just so you know, our dorm-mom's name is Maisie. She's the one in charge of us, she feeds us, she cleans up after us, and she makes sure the rangers across the road get a good night sleep instead of coming over here to talk about keeping the evening peace. She has a dorm assistant and two dorm aides, but if it weren't for Maisie, I don't know what we'd do. We really are lucky to have her.

So like I was saying, she turned 50 yesterday. The dorm assistant, Amy, had put together plans to surprise her. She got a bunch of us together to go on a carriage ride and if we each paid a few extra dollars, we could pay for Maisie as well. It was something Maisie had always wanted to do. I almost decided not to go, but now I'm glad I did.

When we drove up to the stables, Maisie said, "Oh, I see! We're going for a ride!" It was really fun; we took lots of pictures. The Acadia National Park has 57 miles of carriage roads, automobile free, made especially for biking, walking, and horseback riding. Wildwood Stables is the only National Park concession that provides carriage rides in the United States.

The roads really are an engineering masterpiece. They were commisioned, primarily designed, supervised, and donated to the national park by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. There are 16 cut-granite bridges and 1 cobblestone bridge, all unique in design and structure. The roads have a granite foundation underneath the dirt and crushed stone that make up the top. This would have caused a BIG drainage problem, had not Rockefeller designed a flawless drainage system that not only works, but will never stop working. There is an engineered rockslide. It's amazing, and to imagine someone building it so that it would be safe for generations to come is astounding.

The carriage roads of Acadia National Park are beautiful. They are some of my favorite parts of the island. They truly are a reminder that the people that lived here before really loved the area so much that they gave it away. Hill by hill, brook by brook, and tree by tree, every acre of Acadia National Park was donated to the government by people who loved Eden so much, they wanted to share it with the world.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Feliz Navidad... and all that jazz


Yep, that's what I said: Christmas! YEAH!

So, when you work for the Acadia Corporation, like moi, you get to celebrate Christmas in July. The company really likes to come up with holidays they can celebrate in the summer for their employees... this is a good one. Our dorm-mom, Maisy, breaks out the tree and decorations and we go to work on them. Our downstairs common room has tinsel and lights all around it. Last night we left our shoes outside our doors and Somebody went around and stuffed them with gifts like candy, sprays, postcards, binoculars... and all sorts of stuff like that. We thought it was Maisy that did this but we realized today that it wasn't... but rather somebody else from the office. Hmmmmmm... we all have our suspicions. Maisy got roses, an awesome beach bag and something else... hmmmm... potpourri! That's it.

Anyway... the day isn't even close to over yet, so I'm sure there's more to come. We actually are supposed to have a big Christmas dinner but we had to postpone it until tomorrow night because today there's going to be a big inspection of the housing facilities run by Acadia Corp. done by the Feds. Maisy is freaking out because some of the boys rooms are so bad. She really flipped out at one kid last night, and forced him to sweep and mop his floor. HA! I mean, I like the kid, he's a good friend of mine, but he should have known that she was going to be upset if all you do is pile your junk on your bed and cover it up with a blanket! HAHAHAHA!

The best present I've gotten so far was the chance to call my family and to talk to Renae and Jenny. It was fun talking with you guys on the phone. I really liked listening to Kait and Eden on the phone. Peanut, you're just so dang cute! And Kait, so grown up... but then, you've always been like that. Both of you!

Well, today is my day off... which ROCKS! So, I need to go to Bar Harbor and buy some essentials like laundry detergent chocolate. (I've decided to get all the girls in the dorm chocolate from Ben & Bill's... I'm talking the HUGE filled chocolates. They know nothing! Bwuahahahahahahahaha!) So, I must shower and leave you now. I also need to call Chels! Dang!!! I forgot about that!

This is Mallory Conenr; tune in next time for This Is My Life!! (So Move Out!).

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Lesson Well Learned

In Relief Society today we had a very interesting talk. The lesson was given by Sister Kristen Speranza and was on the importance of temple marriage. Most of the women in the class are single adults, so it was especially important to us.

To begin the lesson, Sister Speranza had us make up a list of traits and attributes a child of God should acquire. The list included humility, peacefulness, love, mercy, strength, integrity, capability, trustworthiness, trust, courage, faith, eternal perspective, virtuous, kindness, et cetera, et cetera. (Basically, Christ-like.)

During the lesson the Relief Society president, Sister Patty Riggs said, "Given that so many of the women in this class are not married, I would kind of like to know how you deal with not being able to find men that are up to this standard we have posted up here."

Now, I know I'm the youngest woman in the class, but I felt inspired to speak. I also feel like I had been prepared to answer the question because I had thought a lot about it over the last couple of weeks and I can promise you that the Spirit has spoken to me about this particular subject. Here's what I said (I've added quite a bit of stuff that makes it a little longer, because there's kind of a story behind the point that I decided to leave out of the Relief Society lesson.) :

Shortly before leaving Saipan I had an interview with the branch president, Del Benson. We talked a little bit about dating people out from under the eye of my parents. He said to me, 'You know Mal, I'm sure you have an idea in your head of the kind of man you would like to marry some day. I just want you to be prepared to marry someone that may not meet everything you have dreamed. Don't marry someone out of your standard, but just remember to be merciful on us men.' I had thought about that for a little while. I did have expectations for Husband to live up to... but until the last couple of weeks, I wasn't quite sure what they were.

Being out here, I met someone I liked very much, and it was very apparent that he liked me. He was not a member so I certainly wasn't going to let it go very far. We hung out a lot together, and the more I got to know him the more I learned two things: (a) he was a very good person, and (b) he was fine being the way that he was.

I thought about that a lot. Fine being the way he was. It seemed like no matter how much we talked he simply accepted the idea that this was his only life and he was going to live it the way he wanted, even if it wasn't the best way he knew. That's when I figured out what exactly I want in Husband. I want him to be a good person that understands his capabilities and limits and strives to overcome the limits. The scripture Timothy 3:5 kept going through my head. "Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof."

Husband needs to be a man who accepts and is striving to increase the power thereof.

For those of you that know here, Sister Speranza's mother, Sister Philips has suffered from a stroke and is in the hospital. If you would pray for her, it would be very much appreciated, I'm sure.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Working in the Restaurant

Well, last week I started training as a waitress. I trained three days, each with different people. First Solomon, who brings in the most money of all the waiters; then Adrienne, whose so sweet and thoughtful, she went through everything for me! Then Tacey, who was really nice and helpful.

Wednesday was my first day of work by myself, which means I get to keep my tips! (When you're training your trainer takes them.) I made just over $100 in sales (including my tips). I kept dropping silverware on the floor when I was clearing the tables for the next course, and I took forever to get back to my first table because I was so busy with the other two. I had two two-tops and two four-tops, but I only had people sitting at the two-tops and one of the four-tops.

Last night, Thursday, went much better. I had "Lover's Lane"; a section of the restaurant semi-secluded from the rest, near the fireplace, with three two-tops and one four-top. I served both the two-tops at the same time and was given a six-top (by pushing a two-top and the four-top together) too. One of the two-tops was seated twice. So, it was much busier, but I didn't forget anyone's meals nor did I drop anything. My friend Emil, whose section was right next to mine, helped me set up my tray-jacks a couple times. It went really well. I made a little over $390 in sales! Like I said, much better!

I love working for the Acadia Corp. They are really a great company. What I love best is their sense of humor. The supervisors are all awesome, my particular favorites are Gabrielle and Joel. (She's actually the dining room manager, so she's a step up from supervisor.) She's great at what she does, and he's really fun. They're both very relaxed... That's what I like the most.

Anyway, back to the sense of humor at the Acadia Corp. So there are signs in the restrooms of the dorms and in the employee restroom at the restaurant. The ones in the dorms say,
"Please flush, Don't rush!"
and the one in the employee restroom (not to mention my personal favorite),
"Here at the Acadia Corp., we aim to please; You aim too, please."
I just wish it was in the actual restrooms and not just the employee restroom. Ahhh, well. What can ya do, right?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

GOD BLESS AMERICA... it's been stuck in my head for weeks now!

I know it's past the Fourth of July, but you can always write about how you feel about your nation in your own journal... and guess what, this is one of my journals!

Okay, so, the Fourth was awesome here in Bar Harbor... then again, when has it not been? MDI can sure put on a show. The night before I spent at the Dalton's house with Chelsea. Anne and Greg weren't there. They had gone down to Portland to spend the Fourth with Greg's family. Logan and Andrew went with them but Steve stayed home. He had work. We stayed up ultra late talking to my parents, making peanut butter cookies (that I forgot to take out of the oven in time and so they were much too baked), and watching an episode of Wildfire that Chelsea had taped. That's her favorite show and she wanted me to see it.

We didn't go to the parade. I wanted to go hiking but it would have just been too much on my knees. (I still haven't gotten to Wal*Mart to get my tablets.) So instead we went on a nice long walk along some of the carriage roads. Those really are an engineering masterpiece. We only had to stop twice so that I could rest. (It's not that my knees hurt so much, it's that I can feel them start to hurt and I want to avoid the real thing at all costs, so I tend to take it easy until I can get my pills. They've slowly been getting worse as time wears on, but I hope to get to Ellsworth on Monday.)

Anyway, I hung out at the dorms until later when Chels picked me up to go to Cadillac with some Polish friends of mine. We stayed until the sunset then we got off that windy, freezing place as soon as possible. (Which turned out to be nice, because we missed the hardcore traffic.)

When we got to Bar Harbor, we parked at our friends' apartment. Chels walked over to Agamont Park with them a little bit after I walked over with my Polish friends. We met up with a ton of our friends from the dorm, but later I split off and hung out with Chels and the single adults from the church. We watched the fireworks and then went back to the apartment to hang out a little bit. It was really fun! We really just hung out. Some of us were in the living room while the rest of us were in the kitchen. Those of us in the kitchen played a really fun game where you just give everyone else in the room choices between two things, and they answer as to which they prefer. It's really just a getting to know you game, but we really had fun with it!

Well, that was my Fourth of July. I hope that all of you had a great Fourth! As great as mine was! I hear that out in Saipan you were having an awesome time! And congrats to Vasu on his first Independence Day!

Loving My Country Every Day -

- Mal

Saturday, July 02, 2005

"Hello, Can I Help You?"

Stupid Questions I Get at Work:

-You have to walk past the restaurant doors to get to the information booth. So I want you to imagine this:
* "Where's the restaurant?"

-The gift shop has two HUGE windows you must be able to see upon entering the building.
* "Where's the gift shop?"

-Popovers - I've been eating them since I was a kid. I didn't realize that nobody outside of Maine (or maybe just MDI) knew what they were. So imagine my shock when I got comments like, "My friend told me about a popup," or "I keep hearing about some kind of fritter," or "Can you tell me exactly what a turnover is?" or my personal favorite: "We're here for Jordan Pond's famous pop tarts!"

-There's one mountain you can drive just about to the peak of here on MDI; it's called Cadillac. It's the highest mountain on the island and has a magnificent view. It is NOT behind the Jordan Pond House.
*"Hi, can I drive up this mountain?"
*"No Ma'am, I'm sorry. The only mountain you can drive up is Cadillac."
*"Oh! There's more than one mountain on back here?"
*"Yes, there are actually the trail heads to four different trails up here. But none of them are Cadillac."
You would have to be blind not to see how mountainous the island is! It took me completely by surprise!

-Here's a good one: "To get to the North Lot you just pull out of the parking lot and go left, drive down the road a little bit until you get to your first left. You can see it from the road. it's just a parking lot, there's nothing else back there. There's a sign that says, 'North Lot' right out by the road." That's it, and I mean, that is a freaking discriptive one! Usually I don't give all the detail unless the people are still unsure. Most people say that they have seen the sign from the road already.
I had told a couple in an SUV how to get to the North Lot, which is the overflow parking area for the Jordan Pond House. Nobody has ever had a problem getting to it, since the instructions are easy. About fifteen minutes later they came back and shouted at me from their car, "There's no parking lot up there! It's a road!" At first it took me a minute to figure out who they were, since I see hundreds (sometimes thousands) of people everyday, and today had been particularly busy. But it eventually kicked in and almost busted up laughing. The best part was they couldn't stop to complain to me, they just kept going with the traffic of the parking lot. It was so funny. They just wanted to come around and say it to me out of spite. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! It really made my day. Usually, things are so boring, it'd be kind of fun to have people complain to me!

Okay, well, that was long. I'll write again later.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sorry it

WOW, okay, I know a lot has happened since I last wrote, but it's only because the computer here at the dorm is terrible!

Anyway, yeah. Hawai'i was awesome. It was so much fun to see Justin and Renae and to actually meet Vasu... like, in real life. They are all so much fun to hang out with. And even though I went there to see Renae and Justin, I ended up hanging out with Vasu the most... hmmmmmm. It's a good thing he's a fun guy! THANKS YOU TWO FOR BEING MY GOOD FRIENDS! (I'm just kidding. Really, it was so much fun.)

So, I'm here in Maine. It was a little rainy at first, but it's been beautiful for over a week now. Today it's over 90 degrees on the mainland. I'm taking some of my friends to Bar Harbor and then to Otter Cliffs. My friend Remik has never really seen the ocean, and my friend Chelsea has never seen Otter Cliffs. Since the Cliffs are the best place to view the ocean, I figure it'll be perfect!

Work is going well. I've been working for a week now in the Information department. This week I start serving in the restaurant, or at least I hope so. I'll be serving in the evenings and doing information during the day. It get kind of boring sometimes when not a lot of people are there. But it's just the beginning of the season, so it'll definitely pick up in the next week or so.

It's a pretty easy job. All I do is sit in rustic furniture under the branches of wisteria and honey suckle, or I sit right on the edge of it and soak up the sun, if it's not too, too hot. The questions I get definitely are good story topics. My friends like to ask me what kind of "Stupid tourist questions" I got today. So I tell them over dinner. I have to end now, but in my next blog I will share them with you. They're good for a laugh!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Stereotype: Modeling is glamorous!

Whenever people say, "You model!? Wow! That's so cool! I want to do that." I always feel a little bit like laughing. Modeling is not all it's cracked up to be. And, you don't have to be a knockout to do it... although if you do model, people tend to start looking at you as though you are a knockout even if they've never looked at you that way before. I don't know; it's a mystery to me to!

Anyway, so this is the second modeling job I've actually done, I've been called for some others, but didn't do them because they required me to work on Sunday, or at least say I would work on Sunday if I had to. This one lasted Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I was an extra in the commercial, along with some of my friends, Shaquita Bennett, Laura Hogen, Laura Bucher, Jenny Villegas, and Jocelyn Lonsdale. There were tons of other people there too. The main model was this blond Brit. She was pretty, but mainly, she was blond, and that's what the Japanese were looking for.

Now for the stereotype that I feel is my job to swipe from people's minds: modeling is not glamorous until it gets on T.V, or on the page. While you're doing it, it's not fun. For this particular commercial, we were supposed to be having a great time at a pool party. We were at the Magellan Club pool. The crew had painted the sides of the pool, and done some touching-up on the rough spots. (Being the Magellan Club, there were plenty of them.) Some of the types of paint they used, particularly the silver paint for the rails and this one pool chair kept coming of on us. it was really annoying. None of the extras got make-up unless they brought it and applied it themselves. (Except for four of them for a particular scene, but I'll go through that later.) Most people were in bikinis, except for maybe five of us. One really strange thing was that most of the women were white, but most of the guys were Filipino or Chamorro guys from MHS. Don't ask me how that worked out. But they were cool and fun, and funny.

We fried! It was terribly hot, especially the first day, but really any of the days you could've fried an egg out there. They had brightlights (that would burn you) and reflectors (that would burn you) and the sun (that would burn you). I put on sunblock every time we went inside for anything, and I still got it pretty bad. The second and third days, I wasn't required to be in the pool so much (I was dancing more and sitting at tables) so I could cover up most of the time.

In one of the scenes, my friends Elle and Shaquita and about four other women had to do this scene with one ugly Japanese man. Shaquita and Elle got it the worst though. They each had to wear skimpy bikinis and sit near his head. Kita was stroking his face and Elle was feeding him strawberries in a bowl of condensed milk. Later, they put the extra berries on the bar and we swam over to eat some. We were eating the berries when Emma came up and asked for one. I gave one to her and she bit into it and said, "Hey! This is plastic!" They had put plastic strawberries under the real ones because they didn't have enough to fill the bowl! I hadn't noticed because I just picked it up by the stem. Oh man, we laughed forever over that!

In another scene, the same creepy Japanese man was floating on this airbed. Twelve or fifteen girls surrounded him, and were doing different things. Jenny and Jocelyn were at the legs... and they had to rub them! Jenny was telling me later that the man shaves his legs. I said, "So, what's wrong with that? I know lots of guys who shave their legs." She said, "Yeah, but he hadn't shaved for a day or so and while I was rubbing his legs I could feel the stubble all along." WOAH! THAT WAS LIKE, WAY MORE INFO THAN I WANTED! Fortunately, I avoided all of the a-bunch-of-girls-with-the-one-ugly-Japanese-man scenes.

I don't know what other countries feed their models, but the Japanese don't feed you celery sticks and mineral water. We were fed breakfast and lunch every day. For breakfast it was always doughnuts, onion soup, rice, spam, pancakes, and club sandwiches (with spam and bacon inside). For lunch, there were riceballs, spaghetti, bread with two spreads (either the yellowest margarine I've ever seen, or this creamy, white, not-exactly-butter stuff), salad (with a very limited source of dressing), sushi, and potato salad. There were always chips, fruit, coffee, water, soda, juice, and cupcakes available.

Elle had to dress up in this awful outfit (although it was one of the better ones when compared with the others) and wear all this make-up for these two scenes with the same ugly Japanese guy. I was in both of them as an extra. I didn't have to touch him though so it was okay. ;) In one of the scenes I was in the pool and a bunch of other girls were on the side of the pool. Elle and these four other women were walking with the Japanese man, you know, like he was a pimp or something. (He was supposed to be this really famous rapper... I dunno.) So, I was holding on to the side of the pool, you know, just lounging, and then the cue-man shouted "Kuma" (bear) and we all looked toward the other side of the pool and ran over there. The rapper guy is "accidentally" pushed into the pool. They actually wanted me to swim to the other side, then jump out, but then I pointed out to them that I would be swimming right in the path of the falling Japanese and that I really didn't feel like being drowned as an over-weight, rapping Japanese man fell on my head.

Well, there really isn't time for you all to read how tedious modeling can be. But before I leave I should point out that there are some good things. You meet new people, you have lots of fun on your breaks, and of course, the 375 dollars, in cash, waiting for you at the end. I must say, I don't think I will ever pursue modeling as a career, and also that extras are the best modeling parts you could hope for. Not too demanding, and you can more easily dictate what you wear. Over all, it's a fun 2-time experience.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, here they are, THE CLASS OF 2005!!! (and the crowd goes wild!!!)

It's come! I have waited, and worked, and slacked... I mean, slaved for eighteen hard years to get this, and now it's finally come! MY ICE CREAM GOING-AWAY PARTY!!!!! Oh no, wait... my mother is telling me that that's not the highlight of this week.... just a minute, let me get this cleared up.

Oh!!!!!!! Riiiiight!

So, I graduate tomorrow... YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!! Yeah, I get to sit in a hard chair tomorrow until my bum goes numb (and then some!) and listen to people I've never met before (like the Commissioner of Education) talk about how proud they are of me (although I've never met them) and then I get to shake their hands. ALRIGHT!

No really, I'm just being difficult... I really am excited to be graduating. Even though it's going to be long, and most of it I wont be listening to because I'm in the middle of an awesome book, I actually decided to wait to leave to the States just so I could walk with my class. It's something I've been looking forward to for four years. It just makes everything seem so -- so done. Like, I've definitely done everything I've needed to. That's such a great feeling.

There are actually a couple of other highlights (besides graduating and MY ICE CREAM GOING-AWAY PARTY!!!!!) this week. First of all, I am singing the National Anthem for graduation with a friend of mine, Laura Bucher. It's something I've dreamed of doing for a couple of years. When Laura came up and asked me if I would do it with her, I was a little surprised, but I'm very glad she did. I hope it turns out alright!

Also, I'm finally finished with my Personal Progress. I receive my medallion in Sacrament Meeting this coming Sabbath. Actually, it's really cool because my friend, Abby Billin from Vermont is receiving hers the same Sabbath. COOL HUH?! Yeah, we're pretty excited.

Well, wish me luck, even though after you read this it will probably already have happened. Most of it at least. But leave a comment anyway! It's always nice to know people read your entries!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Lord Is My Light

As I left Shannon's house, her mom asked, as always, "Are you sure you'll be alright?"

"Yes, yes," I reply. "I'm used to walking in the dark." It has been a very long time since I have minded walking alone in the dark. (Ever since Justin, Nathan, and Peter stopped hiding in the jungle and popping out at us girls on our way over to visit with them to be exact.) Not to mention, tonight the moon was especially bright; even for Saipan.

Actually, I kind of like to walk in the dark. As Louis Armstrong put it in What A Wonderful World, "The bright, blessed day; And the dark, sacred night." Night does seem sacred to me. It's so peaceful and quiet; I love to just walk along the road or in the fields and think.

Tonight I thought about something that my very dear friend Leimson Souelian said. It was at a Youth Conference about two years ago. We were hiking to Boy Scout Beach in the dark, where Brother Benson awaited to give us a fireside. The first part of the hike was along a fairly straight path. We all gathered at the beginning of the path, and then walked one-by-one down it in the dark until we reached the other end, where someone with more flashlights would send us off in groups down the more treacherous part... and treacherous is used loosely, it really isn't that bad. (But ya know, in the dark!) At the fireside, Leim was asked what his experience was on the path. (NOTE: The following is not at all word perfect of course, but my recollection of what the story was is very clear.) He said the following:

"I started out on the path, not wanting to face the complete darkness of the jungle alone. Instead of simply looking straight ahead, I continued forward cautiously, the entire time looking over my shoulder at the flashlight my friends held behind me. As long as I looked at the flashlight, I felt comfortable. Finally, the flashlight faded completely and I turned to face the impending darkness. No sooner had I turned my head however, than I saw the flashlight marking the other end. Once again I was comforted and knew that the path through the dark shadows of the trees was coming to an end."

The story is simple, but as I was thinking about it, the concept hit me very hard. The Lord will not leave us in darkness, but we have to have the faith to turn our heads forward. Only then will we be able to see the light that He has been shining on our path.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


To my dearest family, teachers and friends,

I made it! I Graduated!
After years of sleepless nights, struggling and whining, I finally mastered the art of procrastination and got commended for it *wink*.
Kidding aside, thank you very much for your constant love and support despite the villages, the oceans, or the people that come between us. It's those special 'little things' that you do that keeps me going and sane-- that to me makes all the difference.

Love and Aloha,
P.S. If you do decide to email back, please don't ask me "what now?" (at least for the next month or so) I'm still basking on my glory as a fresh graduate.

P.S. If you do decide to email back, please don't ask me "what now?" (at least for the next month or so) I'm still basking on my glory as a fresh graduate.

This is an email I received from a very good friend, Kathy Pegapellar... well, I think that's how you spell her name!... and I was so pleased, I decided to put it on my blog. Just so you know, she's graduating with a bachelor's in education.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Seminary Graduation

Now, my mum wrote a very good entry on this so if anyone would like to visit her sight and read the blog go to Since it is such a good blog, I am going to kind of cheat on this entry and just send you there. I will only touch on some highlights:

*I tripped on my prom dress. (3 times) Now, if you know me, this is probably not much of a shock at all. Every time I tried walking up stairs, which was (1) to get my certificate of completion, (2) to get my diploma, and (3) to walk up the stairs, I would forget to lift my dress just a touch and I would step on it. I never did fall on my face, but I know people noticed. Some told me so!

*Mum wanted the grads to have little displays this year, you know, so people could look at them and get to know us a little better. Part of my display was a little horse from my collection. The kids kept taking it and playing with it. It was okay with me but my two younger sisters, Kaitlyn and Eden kept flipping out!

*As Taylor Smith approached to receive her certificate of completion, the harp music stopped playing and Dad (who was supposed to change restart it) allowed it to change to the music played in that seminary video where they're fighting. You know, it's a real kind of triumphant song and then a scary dangerous song, and then a triumphant song.... you get the point. It was pretty cool. I wish they had played that while we went up to get our diplomas.


Okay, I promised some really good outfits. And here they are!

Outfit #1: My friend Elle wore all black in order to balance out her date (and new boyfriend) Bryan's completely white ensemble. Bryan's outfit was awesome! It was simple, but cool. It consisted of new white sneakers, white tux-pants, and a white shirt. Over his white shirt, he wore the rest of the tux, which of course was the jacket. Here's the "coolness" of his outfit: his jacket had tails! It was awesome! I actually got a picture of it that I will put on here as soon as Elle sends it to me. (I took it, but it was her camera. She's in the shot.)

Outfit #2: Here are a couple of pimped outfits that I find very awesome-funny and thus, important to mention. There are two Samoan guys at my school, I think they're cousins. Their names are Luka and Mika. They dressed to match their dates' dresses. (Mika blue, Luka red.) Their overcoats where over-sized and their pants were pretty baggy, but they were made that way. Actually, I think they must have baught the outfits all as parts of the same suit! That's the only way it could have happened! Then, they each had huge top-hats. You know, the kind that are way big. And to top it all off, they each carried a cane, and each cane was topped with a 'ginmorous faux jewel! It was priceless!

Outfit #3: Ahh! Revenge can be so sweet! There's this girl at school that kind of has an attitude. She's often carried it out on me when we played basketball together. (She quit. Coach wouldn't play her because she didn't show up to practice. That made her mad, so she quit. That kind of attitude.) She's half-American and lived in Texas before she came here. Anyway, the day of prom, Elle calls me up and says, " I just got back from the salon. You know ________? She was in there with me. She says she designed her own dress. She got her hair, makeup, a pedicure, and a manicure done all at the same time! She must have been in there forever!" Now, designing your own dress is one thing, but this wasn't really a dress. She arrives to prom wearing something that would take you back... to the 1800's. She was in an extremely short, white dress that had sequines or faux jewelery or something like that on the... hmmm... searching for the right word... some people call it a bodice, but I think it would have to cover more than it did to fall under that category. The bottom reached a little (very little) past her bum, not counting the tassles. Yes... tassles. The very word makes me cringe with horror! The girl was wearing TASSLES on the bottom of her dress. If she only had a pair of fishnet stockings she could have showcased as a dancer in a shifty, 19th century saloon! And the hair! THE HAIR! It was piled perilously in top of her head and lightened about 5 shades. *Wince* It was very funny to see her come into the bathroom and exclaim (explicits replaced), "HOLY CRAP! I didn't know I was lookin' like this! I got some kind o' Tina Turner thang goin' on here! I mean, it looked good in the salon, but now it's gone all freaky on me!" Now, if I had said what I was really thinking, it would have gone somehting like this: Honey, there was no place or time in this world that THAT looked good. Instead I said, "It's probably just the humidity." She agreed. I laughed very hard with friends and family afterward.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tonight's Dream... Tomorrow's Memory

Okay, yeah, it's a corny theme. But ya know, if it wasn't it wouldn't be prom! Yes, I decided to go to prom after all. At first I wasn't going to go, unless a good friend asked me or something, just because I really wasn't interested. But then Lisa got her dress. It's amazing how that can change so many things! Including one's mind.

Anyway, yes, Lisa got a black spaghetti-strap dress that was simple on the top, but the bottom was really cool. It was frilled and it cascaded down. (High in the front, floor-length in back.) We took her shawl (she got ready at my house) and put it up over her shoulders, used a little black thingy I had laying around the house that looked really nice (wow, what a great description!) and pinned the shawl in back with it. It looked like a little jacket! It was really cute!

My dress was also spaghetti-strap, until I took the extra shawl they gave me and used the material to have sleeves put on. They're not long sleeves, just frills, but it covers! It's really pretty. It starts out at the top as a copper color (pretty close to the color of my hair) with beads all over it. The mid-section is kind of a cream, and then the bottom goes back to the copper. It's full-length. The only thing is that the shoes I got kept snagging the bottom of the petticoat. That stunk, but it wasn't too bad. And when I wore it the next day to Seminary Graduation, I opted for just my normal Sunday shoes. It doesn't really matter because you don't usually see my shoes, since it is a full-length dress.

Anyway, prom was lots of fun! Lurson drove Lisa, Charlene, Cosmes, and I to the Dai-Ichi. Lur didn't go. Char and I actually paid for a couples-ticket and went together... hey, we saved five bucks a piece! When we got there we met up with Laura Hogan (whom I shall call Elle Ach) and her date, Bryan, and then Laura Bucher (whom I shall call Laura) and her boyfriend Caleb. We had lots of fun hanging outside during the portion of prom where they play the stupid music... which out here isn't really that long because they also serve dinner, play games, and read out the superlatives. We took pictures. It was cool. Inside Elle and I played against four boys in musical chairs. We beat the guys and then she committed mutiny and beat me! BAH! But she has to share one of the two water-park tickets with ME! The two people that I voted for won the KING AND QUEEN! That was awesome! They've been dating for a year or so now, and they are the nicest, cutest, sweetest, two people in my school. Not to mention they are very funny!

Okay, now that I've written enough for you to read as part of a curriculum, I am going to close. I shall write about certain important prom things (such as the funniest outfits) tomorrow, then I shall write about Seminary Graduation the next day, then I shall write about what it's like to be a model for Coca-Cola the next day. STAY TUNED! ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Animal Farm

Caring for the Steyskal's animals has been fun, tiring, and exasperating. For those of you that don't know, the Steyskal's have a bird named Vinny, he's a cockateil; a cat named Kahla, she's a little calico; and a very, VERY vibrant dog named Sara. I have been asked to care for them while they have been away at Sister Steyskal's father's funeral. They left last Monday, they return this Wednesday.

Vinny is pretty easy to care for. He has plenty of food and water, and I only need to change his bathing bowl when I find floaties in it. (Or worse: sinkers!) Other than that, you just whistle at him every once in a while and he's pretty content.

Kahla (I think that's how you spell it) is adorable. She has very pretty markings, especially on her face. She is extremely funny to watch. She was found by the Villegas' family and was given to Shannon because the Villegas' dogs would have torn her apart. She's very wiley and loves to attack just about anything that moves. (i.e. my feet, my hair when I'm laying down, ants, etc.) Her favorite target: Sara.

Sara is a great dog. She's happy, loving, obedient, and extremely excitable. She plays fetch like no dog I have seen before. For one thing, she brings the ball back! For another, she can play as harder and longer than any dog I've ever seen. When she's busy fetching the ball, Kahla flattens herself against the driveway and waits for Sara to run past. If she's close enough, Kahla attacks. Sara veers away pretty quickly. Sara wants to "play" with Kahla, an idea that Kahla is fine with under one condition: she's in god-mode and Sara is a peon.

The only thing with Sara is that she's a wimp. As soon as any stranger walks up to her, she cowers to the floor and pees all over it. It takes a good game of fetch before she realizes you just want to play. Also, she hates being alone and thus forces me to spend the nights at the Steyskal's house. Otherwise she tares the place apart. What a mess I've had to clean up twice!

Anyway, that's all I really have to say. Just thought I might as well talk about it since it's taking up a big chunk of my time. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem taking care of them. It's fun. I just mean, you know, I felt like writing something in my blog and since there was nothing of interest to most of you, I just thought you may want to know what I've been up to for the past week. After all, that is what this blog is here for; those of you that are interested in me. Remember? Good! HAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I'm really tired, and it's showing through in the blog. Good night!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Oh Brother!

My brothers are so weird. I mean, they're sitting here comparing two girls that live HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILES apart. It's really annoying. They are so wrapped up in things that have absolutely NO relevance to life. Okay, Jake is getting a little violent now, I should probably split them up. Oh wait never mind. They're okay now. Jake is plucking away at a guitar (which he doesn't know how to play) saying, "Oh, you wanna hear the note I can play?" He's pretty excited about being able to play one note. WOW! I think he actually almost played a tune! HA! Man, Sam is really being annoying now. He.... uhhh.... I don't know. They are just so strange sometimes! They keep trying to out-do each other. MAN! Okay, I'm going to bed. This is getting so frustrating that I just simply cannot abide it!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Sabbath Thought

Abraham Lincoln is probably my favorite president. Well, I dunno, I really like President Washington too; but that is irrelevant. The point is, I love President Lincoln. (And I plan to follow the example of my Aunt Rinda and name one of my sons after him. What a fabulous thing: to be named for someone so great.)

This is one quote that I've had for quite a while, but have not read for a while. I was looking over my quotes today, and decided that it would be ideal for Sabbath Day ponderings.

“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” - Abraham Lincoln; Cooper Institute Address
(February 27,1860)

It is a pretty simple quote, but then again, he had an uncanny way of putting deep ideas simply. (That's a good thing for me!) I probably have more quotes from President Lincoln than from anybody else. It's kind of odd though, that I should have quotes for the Sabbath from Abraham Lincoln, and most of my quotes of Patriotism are from Gordon B. Hinckley. Ha! Both great men. Both very much alike!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ode to The Mum: Part Two

Where I come from food is a very important part of our culture. Sure, just driving through you'll find Italian and French cuisine scattered among a million fastfood restaurants. But it's the people from Maine ya gotta eat with. Some of us have seafood or "New England Style" diners and such. Others of us, like my family, just make it at home. It's a tradition passed down from mother to daughter (and sometimes to son) for who-knows-how-long! It's a skill. An art. A knowledge to be acquired from only the best. That's who I learned it from; the Best: Mum.

Mum is a picture-perfect traditional homemaker. On first sight, she's a short woman with deep-set eyes the same blue-gray color of the stormy Atlantic. Those eyes peer out from a reddish complexion, adorned by a frame of short, fine, auburn hair. The hair is so fine and smooth that Mum has never bothered with pulling it into a bun or a pony-tail 'cause it just slips right out again.

Mum knows so much about the homey stuff. She can make a room more comfortable just by knowing what to say or how the lights should be or when to turn off the fan. I love all that about her. But what I love most is her cooking. She knows everything from why we bake more in the winter to why kids prefer their sandwiches cut diagonally; from how to make the most heavenly blueberry cheesecake, to knowing that "cassia" is really cinnamon incognito.

The food she conjures up is like ambrosia. And while she cooks, the whole atmosphere is transformed from a raucous household bustling with eight crazy kids and their company, to a quiet home of anticipation as we await the call of "Kids! Come and eat!"

I often love to set the table in the evening. Just Mum and me upstairs while the kids watch a movie or play outdoors. It's the eventide that somehow, almost magically, brings the song into her voice as she cooks. I think it's the closest to bliss I can feel without it being a holiday. The air fill with the sweet aroma of Perfection and mingles with eh silvery, jazzy notes flowing out of Mum. She always sings old songs like Dream a Little Dream of Me", and "Vincent", and a collection of Beatle's songs, and hymns too. And then when I sing the snatches of them that I know (by heart now) she stares at me in disbelief and asks, "How do you know that song?!" as if I haven't been listening for the past eighteen years. The smells and songs together are so lulling that I've often fallen asleep right at the counter stool, waiting for dinner to be served.

Mum has always cooked for the family, and that is no small task. With eight kids and Dad to feed, she manages exceptionally well. But the most amazing thing to see (and taste) is Mum's Thanksgiving dinner. In the morning she lays out a big fruit-basket that we can pick at until dinner, but other than that we're banished from food. She works for two days just on pies; with my help we can turn out 12 to 15 pies. Then for two more days (including Thanksgiving) we cook up the best foods this side of, well, anywhere! And we don't just cook for the 10 members of the family either, no, we always have to invite 8 or 10 more! It's spectacular!

Mum's taught me a lot of useful and trivial things alike. Cooking is definitely one of the more useful ones and it really makes me feel blessed to have a mother that knows so much about it.

Originally written August 11, 2004 for Mr. Thornburgh's English prompt: "Think of a skill you've learned and describe the person who taught it to you." 1/2 - 1 page long. (It came to 4 pages)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ode to The Mum: Part One

Mum. Mum, Mum, Mum. You know, some people actually think it's funny that I call my mom Mum. I don't really know why; but I've had two of my best friends laugh when I say it. Hmmmmm... What am I supposed to call her?

Mom somehow seems a little bit longer; I think it's probably because you have to shape your mouth more with an "Oh" sound than you do with a "Uh" sound. So I can't call her that... I'm too lazy.

Mother is reserved for getting her attention and thanking her. This is how a typical "Call for Mum" goes: "Mum. Mum! Mom! Momma! Mother! MariLou!! Hey! Sister Conner!" At this point she turns. Also, Mum has trained us to use Mother when thanking her for something. "Ready kids?" she'll say. We all respond simultaneously: "Thank you, Mother-Dear." It must be accompanied by "Dear" or it doesn't count. Besides, if Mom is long, Mother is never-ending!

MariLou and Sister Conner would just be ridiculous to use on a regular basis. Unless of course I am trying to call for her. But I've already gone over that. It just doesn't sound right to call the woman that raised you by her actual name. I don't know why; it just doesn't. I guess it's because she raised you. I mean, that sets you above the average crowd in her book. It would be nothing short of insulting to both Mum and her children if we called her by her name without due process.

Mum really is the perfect way to describe her in one short word. Nothing else is really needed. Nothing else is truly worthy, except maybe Mumma, to be used over and over again. (Never "Mommy".) In short: I love my Mum.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


I finally got a job at Acadia Corp! I'm working as a parker/information officer outside the Jordan Pond House, and in the evenings I'm going to be trained as a waitress inside the Jordan Pond House. AWESOME!

For those of you that don't know anything about the Jordan Pond House, it is the most prestigious and famous restaurant on Mt. Desert Island. Possibly (and probably) in all of Maine. People come from all over the world to go to Acadia, and if they have any kind of money at all, they make it a point to go to the Jordan Pond House. They're probably best-known for their Jordan Pond Popovers. (They're really good. We have the recipe.)

Usually they don't hire untrained waitresses for Jordan Pond, but the woman that hired me said that if I did it in the evenings she could train me herself. (YES! I AM SO LUCKY!) This whole set up ROCKS!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A Weekend in a Minute

Saturday morning: Attended General Conference, in which Brother Lonsdale got the tapes a little mixed up so we watched the Saturday Morning Session and the Sunday Afternoon Session. No matter, we got to watch them all anyway.
On the way home we dropped off my senior pictures so as to get copies of them. Let me know if you want one! (I'll even autograph it! JOKE!)

Saturday afternoon: Returned a phone call from Vicki (don't know her last name) in which I was asked if she could send my picture into the Japanese branch of CokaCola Industries for them to choose. They're getting ready for a commercial and she's a modeling agent I applied with last summer. She said she'd call me back if I were chosen. (How thoughtful!)
Went to the Flame Tree Arts Festival. Bought a really cool necklace. Wanted to buy a lot more, but had NO money. Saw a lot of friends, hung out mostly with Jocelyn and Laura Hogan and Kaitlyn. Kait, Joce and I all got our picture taken together (for free) at one booth. I get to keep it since I'm leaving. (I pull that one on everybody. Works, every time!) ;)
Took Laura and Joce home with me and called Taylor and Madison Smith and Jenny Villegas and invited them over for a movie. All came except Jen. I don't know why.

Sunday: Attended the last two sessions of General Conference and loved it. Excellent talks. In between sessions, Brother Smith went out into his car and was in there for a very long time. Everyone was oblivious to it, even Sister Smith, who left in her car with the kids (except Taylor). We were in the kitchen feeding people that had stayed; a couple of missionaries, kids, our family, etc. I went outside and saw Brother Steyskal struggling to get Brother Smith out of the car; Sam was trying to help, and Taylor looked extremely worried. I saw that Bro. Smith had a hard time letting go of the steering wheel, and Bro. Steyskal was having a very hard time getting him out. I rushed into the kitchen and interrupted Dad in the midst of making his sandwich. "Dad, I think Bro. Smith needs your help." I held the door open so Dad and Mum could look out at the car. Dad rushed out and the rest of us looked on. They all got in the car (Bro. Steyskal driving, Taylor and Dad in back with Bro. Smith). Bro. Smith is extremely diabetic, but has always been very good at taking his shots and such. Apparently he had missed one or something, and had gone into hypoglycemic shock. (I recognized it pretty quick. I had studied diabetes in depth last year and the year before.) Dad told me that when he came around he said that he didn't even remember walking out of the chapel. He said that that's never happened before. Mum called Sister Smith, but couldn't get through, so she called Sis. Benson who ran down to the Smith's house and told them that Bro. Smith was in the hospital. Sis. Bernie said she was first to notice he was in trouble when she went to the car to ask him if he was okay. He said he was, but she knew he wasn't and ran to get Bro. Steyskal and Taylor. What a scare!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I hate being sick. I hate headaches. I hate stuffy noses. I hate sore throats.

Okay, well, now that that's all cleared up, guess what! I placed 5th in the National Thespian Society Regionals. I participated in Solo Musical Theater (SMUT). I sang "Ain't There Anyone Here For Love" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (I love that movie.) I wont be going to Nationals though. They only send the first and second place participants to Nationals.

This is actually the lowest I've ever placed in a SMUT competition. I have always come in first or second. But it's better this way anyways. If I had won, I would have been torn between going to work in Maine for the summer, or going to Nebraska to compete; I hate having to make difficult decision.

Also, I didn't really deserve it anyway. It was kind of a whim. I didn't think I had enough points to compete in Regionals. (I've really never taken it seriously enough. You know, going to every meet and stuff like that.) I didn't find out that I did until the day before the competition. The winner should really be somebody that has worked for it all year; and for some people, for four years! So like I said, it's for the best.

I think I did fairly well for memorizing the song, making the needed modifications (I was singing it a capella, so I had to tweak it) and coming up with appropriate motions just that day. I didn't really prepare in advance (which adds to not really deserving it). I'm kind of one of those "If it's not due 'til Thursday, way not wait until Wednesday to prepare?!" kind of people. But let's not tell my teachers that!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Battle of The Black Couches (AKA: The Battle for The Innocents)

I knew exactly what was going on. Before any of the other kids. Before any of it every really happened. Of course, I have been living with my parents for 18-1/2 years, longer than anyone else in the house.

I knew what was going on as soon as Mum stood up from the dinner table and looked at Dad with that "Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'" look. It didn't take long to put two and two together.
"No!" I said as soon as Mum started moving toward Dad on the other end of the table. I pushed my chair back against the entertainment center to obstruct her passage. She laughed and Sam and Jake finally saw what was going on. They too started to shout and clamor about what was coming. "Aww, Mum!" "Come ON!!" "Not in front of the kids!"
Mum tickled me and I had no choice but to immediately remove myself from her path. She got through. Kaitlyn took immediate action and started to put herself in Mum's way, but nothing would stop her. She finally did make it to Dad's lap. The kids all responded with the unanimous groan, "Oh, gross." I fell to the floor against the entertainment center and averted the innocent eyes of my littlest sister, Eden. The boys all continued in their noise. It worked to some extent, 'cause Mum didn't stay on Dad's lap for too long. Instead she got a worse idea.
"Let's go over to the couch honey."
"Ooo, yeah!" Dad said in that really freaky voice he gets when he likes something. (For example: when taste-testing food, a suggestion of a good action flick, etc.)
"Hit the deck!" I shouted.
"Everyone down! DOWN!" Jake cautioned.
"Don't look, Ez," was Sam's concerned warning. But Ez didn't listen. He ran towards the small couch and fell on top of it.

It was then that the idea came to me. Mum and Dad weren't on the large couch yet. If we moved quickly we might have time; the maneuver was possible, if just barely. I made the command and the troops followed suit. "COVER THE COUCHES!" I ran first into battle and planted my whole body, face-down, on the large couch.

What happened next is a blur to me. All I saw was the black couch-cushion, but I felt Eden and Ezra jump on top of me, and I heard Sam and Jake coming quickly. Then Kait shouted, "Get the little couch!" directly followed by all the kids getting off of me and me jumping up to see the enemy retreating, to the depths of their lair; Dad had Mum by the hand and was leading her down the steps to their bedroom.

We had won the battle, but we intended to win the war. Jake was there first. I came in last but pushed to the front in order to examine the situation.
"I've got the knob turned. They can't lock it," was the Captain's report.
"Good job." We tried to push the door open but the effort was lost due to my Second-in-Command, Sam, openly rebelling me by saying,
"Hey! They're in their room, let's go to the computer!" Even though they all know that's never going to happen because they would get their hides skinned, they still all shouted a "Hooray!" and left me there at the door alone. I too left the enemy in there to lick their wounds. Ha! I got the troops back to camp and we cleaned up the mess the ambush had caused.


As if all this weren't bad enough, I later came out of the bathroom and heard Jacob singing in his bedroom. This wasn't unusual; he's practicing for a play. He's the prince. I knew the camp was finished being cleared up so I went into his room, unannounced (which I will never do again) and found my Captain on one knee facing away from me towards my Second-in-Command. A CD was playing and Sam was trying to mouth the words to the part the princess sings after the prince (Jake) proposes or says something or other to her. Jake and Sam both stopped as soon as they saw me and for a moment paused in a moment of awkward silence, with only the CD playing. Suddenly Sam, Jake, Ez (who was watching from the bottom bunk) and I all started cracking up. I ordered them back to their duties and contemplated the oddities of life. Don't worry, I didn't waste too much time doing that!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Edenology - A Behavioral Study of My Youngest Sister

I promise President Benson a good piece of Edenology, but I would like to go further than that by helping you all take a look into the deep ponderings and concerns of my five-year-old little sister, Eden. She often voices serious concerns that I think you will find are actual problems we find on a national if not global level.

In an interview with her in the back of Dad's pickup while he was unloading bamboo and we (Eden and I) were hanging around, I found that Eden has concerns about the obesity issue of the United States. Of course, being a reflective person, she looked at the issue on a very personal level. The interview went as follows: Eden suddenly grabbed her cheeks (facial), saying (and I quote), "Evwy time I wun, my cheeks go BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!" (These last three words are accompanied with her hand pushing her cheeks up and down as a demonstration.) She was obviously disturbed... who wouldn't be?! Dad and I tried to console Sociologist by telling her that it was only because she was a healthy and cute little girl. She hid a shy smile, but revealed a look of, "Oh, you're just saying that because you have to." Dad and I just about burst with laughter... after she had left our presence of course!

The views exposed in this entry are personal opinions and the author thereof reserves the right to sue anyone that takes it too seriously.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


It is said, "through the eyes
One may view the soul",
And so from now on
This is my goal:
To view everyone
Whether "Friend" or "Foe"
Through their very own eyes;
By this I shall know
If the utterance "Friend" is just the right word
That I have bestowed
On whom I think it's deserved.
The eyes are the windows,
Not simply opaque,
And through them I can see
How to correct a mistake.

Yet expedient too
Is what my eyes reveal;
Have they become clouded
With a cold heart of steal?
Are they darker now
So that you can't see in?
If so, my good Brothers,
Then my soul's tinged with sin.
Dear Sisters! I call you!
Come to my aid!
Pull me out of despair
That my light will not fade.
I'm so glad I have realized
In the time of my youth
Just how important it is
To live by Virtues and Truth.
And so I've decided
To extend my new goal
To reach even further
Than just judging your soul.
The extension is this:
From now on I will strive
To make my Soul a Torch
That will shine in my eyes.

Originally Written on October 14, 2004 after hearing John Bytheway's talk, "Standards Night Live". Reference to Matt. 5: 14-16

Thursday, March 31, 2005

VGF's in Hawaii

I got a surprise phonecall from my Very Good Friend, Justin in Hawaii. At first I was a little peeved because I had been interupted from a good movie Mum and I were watching at least 5 times. I am NOT exaggerating! And since Justin rarely calls it just seemed like fate was against me... I was NOT going to get to watch this movie! But I am glad he called. We got to talk a lot about lots of different things and people. It was really fun to hear about his lady troubles; and the best part was he dad and I were able to laugh about it later! Just kidding! Well, sort of.

We also were able to talk about my other Very Good Friend, Renae, also staying in Hawaii. It sounds like she just can't keep the guys off her. Don't worry, Nae, just keep telling them your already writing a missionary... or three. Hey, it's not a lie exactly, it's just that they don't know you and Nathan, Leimson and Eric aren't actually girlfriend/boyfriend(s).

Anyway, the fact of the matter is, I love getting calls from you guys... or well, Justin at least since I've never actually gotten a call from RENAE!!! (What's up with that?! You're having all the fun and you just leave me here to rot?!) I love you both lots and hope your having a great time partying... I uh... ahem... mean STUDYING! Riiiight! Well, just don't have too much fun without me! Love you guys so much!


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

College Essay

Okay, well, I have a problem. I need to write a college essay so that I can, well, you know, go to college. But the prompt is stupid. I mean, I've read lots of stupid prompts but this one takes the cake! (And that's not fair!) So, here it is:

"Is there anything that sets you apart from other applicants based on experience, education, etc."

How am I supposed to know?! I mean, there are hundreds, if not thousands of new applicants every year! How am I supposed to know what makes me different if I don't know what makes them all the same!? Good grief! (And that's what I'm feeling; grief!) So, if anyone has anything they may be able to contribute to my essay it would be appreciated. Especially those of you that have had to write college essays before, or may have had this prompt before. Thanks a lot!

-A Very Desperate Mallory!