Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homemade Christmas

(This photo really has nothing to do with the post. I just wanted to show off my family's gingerbread houses: the Three Little Pigs, complete with the Big Bad Wolf.)

I'm super excited for Christmas morning. I haven't been this excited about the gift part of Christmas in a long, long time.

"Why, Sarah, are you so excited?" you might ask. I'll tell you: we (my siblings and I) decided to go homemade this year. We allowed $10 for supplies, but the gift itself has to be homemade.

I can't wait to see how creative we all are. I know what some of these gifts are going to be, and I can't wait to see how the receiver reacts. I was talking to Uncle Matt the other day, and he suggested we have a camera recording the gift unwrapping, since it's sure to be classic. I think we'll have to set up a tripod.

The only downside to all of this is that Heather and Travis and the kids won't be there (and this makes me oh so sad). For this reason alone, we'll definitely have a camera recording our reactions. I can only encourage the Rasmussen's to do the same!

The idea was so great to me, I decided to do homemade friend gifts, too. They're getting my delicious pumpkin cookies (with the recipe, cuz these cookies are so delicious, everyone will want to bake them) and a crocheted something (scarf, hat, ornament...I haven't for sure decided yet).

Best part: the money I saved by going homemade for family and friends was donated to a family my nephew personally knows who is in real need. I'm so super happy and excited about this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Year in Status

There's only so many times I can look through the Guidelines and Handbooks for my new job. I've taken to bringing my laptop with me to work. When I've finished going through the papers for the day, I pull out my true love, Mr. MacBook Pro, and play. Today, I was messing around on Facebook (today? ha! everyday...) and I came across a post by a friend called "My Year in Status." I'm sure they've had this application for years and I just haven't noticed, but it caught my eye this year and I thought, "Why not? I'm bored!" Here's My Year in Status:

I must say, the application picked some pretty great status updates from my profile. I had completely forgotten about the amazing outfits I'd seen on campus this year, the crazy Doppelganger week, trying to read 'the Third Policeman,' ... good times!


I'm so grateful for Sundays and for my sisters. I had a bit of a whirlwind kind of week, and by Sunday I was completely wiped out! Not that it was a bad week. On the contrary, it was a very, very good week! Just very, very busy: meeting new people, spending time with friends, dancing, playing games, visiting teaching, going to the temple, working, seeing family, celebrating marriages, etc. BUT it was nice to go to church, come back home and rest, and then head over to Marie's apartment to listen to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional while making delicious cookies and eating chips and salsa, and then to spend the rest of the evening watching some family Christmas classics: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and "The Muppet Christmas Carol." Seriously one of the best nights in a long time. And I've had these things running through my head ever since:

"You're a foul one, Mister Grinch,
"You're a nasty wasty skunk,
"Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mister Grinch,
"The three words that describe you are as follows, and I quote, 'Stink, Stank, Stunk!'"

"For behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."
(Every time I read this passage in Luke 2, I hear Linus's voice!)

"'Tis the season to be jolly and joyous
"With a burst of pleasure we feel it arrive
"'Tis the season when the saints can employ us
"To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive!"

I hope you're all getting in the Spirit of the Season as well! Do something fun, give some service, spend time with family and friends, and sing along to the carols!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm not much of a fan of LDS literature. Not that it's bad. I'm sure some of it is really great. My parents read some of it, my friends, my family have read a lot of these books. I'm happy that they like them. Personally, I find them a little preachy, almost as if they're forcing doctrine, trying to disguise it or sugar-coat it, and I find it hard to swallow.

I have had a change of heart.

Well, about one book, anyway. I recently finished reading The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell. What an amazing book. Ferrell opened my eyes and my heart to aspects of the Atonement that I hadn't thought about before. What he teaches about forgiveness, what it means to truly forgive, what it feels like to let go of sin... it's just incredible.

I've noticed a change in myself since finishing this book. I see people in a different light. I see myself in a different light. Christ has already atoned for all sins. He's taken upon Himself all transgression, all pain, all temptation and suffering. And by denying someone (or myself) true and full forgiveness, it's as if I'm telling Christ that His atonement wasn't enough to make me feel better.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone.

And maybe I should read more LDS literature. If it's like this, I think I could handle it.

Still don't know if I can handle LDS fiction, though...... I'm probably being too prideful. haha