Friday, November 30, 2012

November Update

Life is good.  BUSY.  And good.  Just the way I like it.  I've been keeping a running list of funny things to mention in our November update...moments from November that just had to be recorded in our family history.
  • My hair decided to fall out like crazy for a couple days.  I'm talking CRAZY, chemo-like hair-loss.  Thank goodness that stopped!
  • My sister Mikele randomly called me from Jerusalem and she just so happened to call during my 1-2 PM lunch hour break...she had a 1 in 8 chance of calling me during my lunch time and the planets aligned!!!!
  • We went to our ward picnic at Moss Park and it was really fun.  My favorite part was watching Jared play football with the men from our ward.  I love watching him have fun with the guys.
  • The best part:  on our way home from the picnic, we were driving through a toll that required 4 quarters (it was weight sensitive so you had to put quarters in, not anything else), and the person in front of us tossed a flimsy $1 BILL into the dispenser/bowl/collecter...hehe.
  • We were able to attend a fireside put on by Sister Heidi S. Swinton, the woman who wrote President Monson's biography.  It was amazing!!!  She was such a good, engaging speaker and it was so fun to learn more about our prophet's life.  He truly was prepared/prepped by the Lord to be our prophet.
  • Our favorite TV shows right now are X Factor, Shark Tank, and Pawn Stars.  We look forward to our favorite TV shows like crazy!  It's fun to have something to look forward to together.
  • I have to tell the funniest story.  By the end of each night I am just wasted from a long day of work, etc.  One night we were sitting on the couch reading scriptures.  I was slouched down on the couch, with my head resting on the top of the couch cushion.  Jared was reading, and I could feel myself fading fast.  I tried so hard to stay awake.  I suddenly heard Jared say, "Carly?  It's your turn."  No big deal, I woke up and started reading.  But then I feel myself start to fall asleep again.  I decide to sit up so that I can't fall asleep.  Jared starts reading again and then turns to me, but I am asleep AGAIN and I jolt awake.  THEN, later, he is talking to me after scriptures and I fall asleep mid-sentence and he has to wake me up again!  
  • We have been watching some really cool Christian movies and it's been a nice break to all the bad ones out there.  Some of the movies include Fireproof, Saving the Giants, and Courageous.  I think my favorite was Fireproof--it was such an incredible movie about marriage.  Here's a link that explains the different Christian movies: Sherwood Pictures.  They're all made by the same Baptist church.
  • THIS blog post makes me laugh so hard every time.  She is hilarious!
  • Last funny story:  I made some pumpkin chocolate chip bread for the girl at work who trained me for the first few weeks I was there.  Apparently, no one at work has ever had it before because they were all talking about it FOR DAYS.  Almost every day at work they ask when I'm going to make it again.  They kept saying "What a good combination!  I've never had pumpkin combined with chocolate chips!"  It was just so funny to me because I've grown up with that.  Must be a Utah/Mormon thing!!!

I forgot to put this picture in last month.  I had to include it because my cousin Brian (on the right) dressed up as Michael Phelps for Halloween.  I've ALWAYS thought he looked like Michael Phelps; apparently Brian thought that too!  Such a good costume!

EARLY voting line:  Amount of people in front of me

EARLY voting line:  Amount of people behind me

Such a sad night.  But I guess prophecy is coming to pass.

Disney with friends

Went and visited Disney's Polynesian Resort.  So beautiful!

We received a gift from heaven in the Olive Garden gift card from my parents.  

Literal slice of paradise from Olive Garden.  Pumpkin cheesecake.

My favorite candy ever.  Got this bag at Target on discount after Halloween.  $0.86!

Disney at Christmas time!

Went to visit the new Disney Fantasyland.  Here we are in Gaston's Tavern.  It was so cool!

Had to try Le Fou's Brew.  I asked Jared to describe it and he said, "It tastes like frozen apple beer from Chuck-A-Rama."  Haha there you go!  It was really good.

The Ariel ride

Be Our Guest restaurant

I got to watch this cutie pie while her parents went on a date and Jared was working.  I had my laptop open; after she saw me open it, she slowly, slyly scooted towards me using the ottoman.  Haha look at that sneaky face!  It was hilarious.  Also, I loved watching one of my childhood favorite movies:  The Lizzie McGuire movie!

We were able to be a part of our stake's service day at Give Kids the World.  It's a branch of the "Make A Wish Foundation."  It's like a mini-Disneyland where terminally ill kids can go with their families.  It is an amazing place and I hope to volunteer there.

I also got to volunteer for the Relay for Life Event.  It was amazing!

I saw these super sized Reeses cups at the grocery store.  I used my phone so you could scale their size.  HUGE!  I want!

Jared works at the building (the Peabody Hotel) with the toothpick tower sticking up.  I pass it on my way to work!

Cooking homemade mashed potatoes (first time ever!) and cookies for Thanksgiving
...while watching the Macy's Parade and dog show

We were invited over to a family in our ward's house with the missionaries and one other family.  It was so fun!  The family who invited us over have four little girls and I know the three littlest ones from primary.  The whole night they were saying, "Sister Reid, guess what!  Guess what!"  It made me feel right at home.  I loved it.

Leaving their house we saw lots of Christmas lights.  People set up Christmas stuff very quickly after Thanksgiving!

We leave for SLC in 4 days....we are so excited!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Certified Health Education Specialist

Well, I passed.  HALLELUJAH!  Now I have hope that I can get a real job instead of my current grunt work secretary job......haha

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sister Mikele Stephenson has been called to serve...

I was able to be on the phone last Wednesday, Nov 22 when my 19 year old sister Mikele opened her mission call.  It was an absolutely amazing moment.  I am so so so so so happy for her!!!!!!!!  I love her so much.  I have to admit, I'm a little selfish and am sad about not being able to see/talk to her for a year and a half while she's on her mission, but I know she will be doing the most important work on the earth so it makes it a little easier.  Mikele decided to serve a mission right after President Monson announced the age change this past General Conference.  Right after President Monson made the announcement, I turned to Jared and said, "Mikele's going to serve a mission.  Just watch."  Sure enough, I checked my email after conference and found an email from her saying, "I'M SERVING A MISSION!!!!!!!!  Just wanted to let you know. :)"  And now her call has come.  I'll let my dad's email do the talking.  He sent this out to family and friends after she opened her call:

We had the chance to Skype with Mikele early this morning while she was watching the sun set over the Sea of Galilee [Mikele is on a study abroad at the BYU Jerusalem Center and they were on a "field trip" to Galilee--lucky ducks!]. Kelly had mailed her mission call to Jerusalem last week but the students at the Jerusalem Center had already left for Galilee before the mailed arrived. Thankfully, a BYU professor picked it up for her and carried it with him when he traveled up to Galilee yesterday.

She was so nervous and excited to see where she was going to serve for the next 18 months. She had expressed many times that she wanted to serve in a foreign country and learn a different language. Well...her prayers were answered.

She will be serving in the Chile Rancagua Mission beginning on March 13th. The mission headquarters are 1 hour south of Santiago. The mission boundaries are from the Pacific ocean on the west to the Andes mountains on the east. I’m not sure of the north-south boundaries. We’re not sure if she will go to the Provo MTC or if she will go directly to a MTC in Chile.

We are so excited to get her safely home from Israel on December 13th, spend 3 months with her and then send her on her way to serve the Lord and take her incredible Gospel knowledge (no doubt greatly increased after 4 months in the Holy Land) and testimony to the wonderful Chilean people.

Thank you to all of you for your love and support. Getting Mikele to this point was certainly a greater effort than her own or ours as her parents.

We love you all, Brent and Kelly

P.S. Mikele tells us that they feel very safe at the Center in Jerusalem and up in Galilee. However, they did have to spend a bit of time in a bomb shelter at the Center last Friday when a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Jerusalem. Thankfully the rocket landed in a field about 10 miles south of Jerusalem near Bethlehem. The bus bombing in Tel Aviv today has raised a different concern though. December 13th can’t get here fast enough.

[P.S. Mikele will be the 5th Stephenson cousin called to serve in Chile.  Cousins Robby, Lindsay, Clark, and Ben have all served in Chile.  (Am I missing anyone?)  SO COOL!!]