Friday, October 26, 2012

2nd Annual Sharp Halloween Party and more

Today was wonderful and I am ready for it to be over cause it was exhausting too.  School was awesome and short!  We had an early, early out day for teacher training so the kids left at 11.  Before I went to the training I finally got this project finished up:
 24 envelopes filled with 91 cards sent to all members of the Buchanan family.  I was so relieved after I sent them off at the Smithfield Post Office.  I am excited to see how the project goes.  If only one person sends their card to my grandparents then it is worth it...but I am hoping for at least 80 or maybe even 91!  I had pictures of the 91 cards that I made on my sister's phone but they somehow got deleted:(

As I was looking through my own pictures I realized that I never finished blogging about fall break.  Here is a picture of my Mom and Dad when I dropped them off at the airport.
 Here is me and my buddy card.  He is such a sweetheart and always says the funniest things!
 On Friday of Fall Break we went to This is the Place State Park for their Little Haunts stravaganza.  It was so cute!  Heidi and Jet came with us and we had a wonderful day.

 Friday night I went on the blind date and it was really one of my favorite dates ever!  Saturday I tried to help Brooke prepare for Carter's birthday the next day.  We cleaned and shopped and cooked and baked.  I made Carter's Jet Blue/fighter jet cake.  He is obsessed with anything that flies.  Sunday I went to Preston's "farewell" and then to Carter's birthday party.  I can't believe how fast the little dude is growing up!  After his party I headed back up here.

 Now that I am caught up on last weekend, I can start posting about this one!  The Halloween party has come and gone and it was a hit!  I am so thankful for all of the help from my family.  I am still amazed that they are willing to drive here for just a few hours of fun.  They are so cool.  Here are all of the kids in costumes.  They are adorable!  I missed Ella and Ryan somehow but at least they are in the group pics at the end.
Landon-soccer player





Zach-cutest little one year-old

Jack-Captain America

Kate-the Black Widow


Carter-Harry Potter

The food was delicious and everyone went all out with their food assignments!  We had bread bowls, two kinds of soups, salad, veggies, grapes, caramel apples, frankenstein krispies, homemade oreos, pumpkin pie and punch.  No one left hungry!

Kristin and Marianne

 I was really terrible at taking pictures but I just didn't have time to think about it!  After we ate dinner the kids had an eyeball race with ping-pong balls and spoons, played ghost in the graveyard with a sheet, did crafts, competed in a mummy wrapping race, played Halloween Bingo and musical chairs.  My favorite thing that we did was a little story called the tale of Hall O' Ween.  The story talks about his brain, heart, hair, ears, eyeballs, nose, hand, blood, and worms that ate him-gosh, now that I am typing it seems quite gruesome.  Anyway, I came up with different foods to go with each thing and put them in separate cups.  We turned out the lights, lit a candle, and sat in a circle.  As I would tell about each body part, I would pass the corresponding food item around so that everyone could feel it.  HILARIOUS.  The facial expressions were priceless!  After the first go-around some of the little ones refused to touch anymore because they were so grossed out.  All of us adults were dying laughing!  It was fun.

Before the party was over we snatched a couple of group shots.  We are missing Ava and Zach in the group pictures but I did the best I could.  They are the cutest nieces and nephews ever!

We cleaned up and everyone got on their way.  It was an awesome night!  Happy Halloween everyone!

Oh, and my favorite quote of the night was from Ella as we were leaving the church and the temple was glowing only a block from us:

"Yeah, it's so pretty.  It looks like a haunted house."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A post is needed...

I normally don't post on my blog at 4:40 in the afternoon but I feel that a post is needed!  Last night as I was getting ready for bed I heard Tish and Mike come into our apartment.  Tish knocked on my door and asked if she could come in and I welcomed her.  She entered my room with the biggest smile on her face and she was glowing!  Immediately I knew what had happened...she got engaged!  A little background on Tish:  I met her my sophomore year.  She lived in the apartment behind me and became one of my dearest friends.  Ever since that year we have lived in the same apartment.  When I left on my mission she left only a month after me.  We were in the MTC together and we actually ended up being in rooms right next to each other.  That was a tender mercy.  We kept in touch throughout our missions sharing our miracles and joys and struggles.  We both got home within weeks of each other and once again decided to live together.  She has been someone that I can confide in and is such an amazing listener.  She always makes me laugh and is so kind and thoughtful.  A little less than a month ago, I went home for the weekend and she went on a date with a young man named Mike.  When I got back to Logan she was totally smitten and so was he.  I don't think that I have spent more than 2 hours with her since that time and definitely not more than 30 minutes with him.  They have been together non-stop.  Obviously they care a lot about each other.  Although I have missed spending more time with Tish, I am SO happy for her because I see that she is more happy than I have ever seen her before!  She will continue to be one of my dearest friends but as of December 29th she will no longer be my roommate.  She will be Mrs. Mike Isaacson.  I am sure going to miss her!  Here are some pictures from last night:

They make a cute couple and her ring is beautiful.  So I am on the lookout for a new roommate or a new apartment...I am still not sure which.  My other roommate, Jami, will also be leaving me come early spring so I really need to have some plans.  I know that everything will work out, and it is almost exciting to see what new changes will take place!  Anyway, that is the big news for today.  It is pretty big!

Well, I guess I better get back to party preparations.  I am sitting here with Wal-Mart bags surrounding me.  The party is in a little over 24 hours so I better get started!  And while I am crunched for time:), would anyone like to watch a movie or eat some dinner or just chat tonight?  I am serious.  That is all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Reason

With all the differences in our lives, we have at least one challenge in common.  We all must deal with adversity…Our Heavenly Father and the Savior live and They love all humanity.  The very opportunity for us to face adversity and afflictions is part of the evidence of Their infinite love.        -President Henry B. Eyring 

I don't always know the exact reason for things but knowing that they happen because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me is reason enough.  I may not always be grateful for adversity and afflictions in the moment but they always end up being wonderful blessings and evidences of their love.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

20 Favorite Fall Break Moments

My fall break began yesterday at 12:31.  I made sure that I had everything finished up at school so that I could leave at that time.  I was so excited to be able to spend a little more time than normal at home with so many that I love.  Here are my 20 favorite things that have happened so far:
  • Grocery Shopping-when I got home, my Mom asked me and Carli to go to the store with her.  I love grocery shopping with my Mom.  It is something we have always done together.  It is so fun to chat while we walk around.
  • Nap-after shopping I decided to take a nap.  It was a short nap that was very rejuvenating.
  • Blind Date Arrangement- received a call from blind date #1 in this series of blind dates.  He sounds like a nice guy.  We will be going mini golfing tomorrow night.  I may or may not let you know how it goes:)
  • Grandma and Grandpa's Anniversary-yesterday we celebrated their 62nd anniversary!  A few of us gathered at their home for dinner.  It was wonderful to spend time with them and aunts and uncles.  We had a very nice night.
  • Pumpkin Pie-I had my first slice of pumpkin pie this season!  It was delicious!
  • Phase 10-when we got home from the anniversary dinner, Mom and I played Phase 10.  Yes, I won.
  • Corb's Room-I refuse to sleep in the basement when I am home.  I am so scared of the dark and of being so far from any other people so I know sleep in Corb's empty room.  It is so fun to be reminded of him.
  • Laundry-the first thing I did this morning was start my laundry.  It is so nice to be able to do my laundry at home instead of at a laundry mat where I have to spend $20.  I love the smell of clean laundry.
  • Hannah's Hair-my Mom called my sister-in-law, Kristin, and asked if she could cut her hair.  While Kristin was cutting my Mom's hair, I watched the four little ones.  Hannah and Crew needed to be to preschool by 9:30 and Hannah's hair wasn't done so I did it for her.  I LOVE doing little girls hair.  
  • Brooke and the Boys-they came over this morning for breakfast and to visit.  The boys were still in their pajamas and were so fun to play with!
  • Halloween Party-I finally made plans for the annual Halloween bash that I will be throwing.  I do it in Logan for all of my family members.  They are so great to be willing to make the trip all of the way to Logan.  All of my family except Britt and Marianne and their 3 kids will make it.  It will be on October 26th.  I am looking for any great games or foods that you have experienced at other Halloween parties.  Please leave a comment and share your ideas for me!  Thanks!
  • Packing-I helped my Mom and Dad pack for their trip to Oregon.  I just loved spending as much time with them as possible.
  • Trip to the Airport-I drove them to the airport at 1:45!  They are in Oregon now spending time with my Grandma and other family members.  I am so happy that they were able to get away.  I sure miss them though!  
  • Organizing-when I got back home I got out all of my old scrapbooking stuff that hasn't been used in years.  I am anti-scrapbooking now.  I am not against others doing it but against myself doing it.  I am all about the digital photo books.  Anyway, I am determined to make all of the cards that will be used in my project for my grandparents out of paper and supplies that I already had.  I found quite a few things during my organizational moment.
  • Girl Talk-I came over to Brooke's and then we both headed over to my sister-in-laws (Marianne) house to visit.  Both Brooke and Marianne are pregnant (WAHOO) so it was a lot of pregnancy talk but I loved it!  
  • Z Gallerie-Derek, Brooke's husband, offered to watch the kids so that Brooke and I could have a girls night.  We went to Fashion Place mall and while we were waiting for a table we walked around the store, the Z Gallerie.  It is phenomenal (and a little pricey)!  It was so much fun!
  • Cheesecake Factory-we ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  We shared the Chicken Madera and my favorite part was the asparagus.  For dessert we cheesecake!  We both had a caramel milkshake.  They seriously make the best caramel milkshakes ever!
  • Christmas Gift Exchange-after dinner we stopped at my parents house and figured out our family Christmas Exchange list for this year.  I have Carli!  I am so excited because she is an easy person to shop for!  
  • Texts from Oregon-my parents have both been sending texts about all of the fun that they are having.  It is so much fun to hear from them!
  • Sleepover-tonight I get to have a sleepover at Brooke and Derek's house.  It is going to be the best thing to wake up to two happy boys in the morning!
So now it is off to bed so that there will also be a happy me in the morning!  Goodnight!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


This may actually be the first and last time that I talk about marriage in a blog post (until I am actually getting married:)).  I have never been one to be obsessed about marriage and when it was going to happen for me-I just figured that it would happen when it happens.  I have never picked out my own wedding colors or decided who my bridesmaids would be or what temple I would get married in or what time of year-it's all about the timing.  However, because of my age and stage in life others are all of a sudden so concerned with the M word-no, not when they will get married but when I will!  Now, I have to be honest and say that I hope to get married one day-possibly even sooner than later.  I have met and gone on dates with plenty of fantastic guys (and a few not-so-fantastic ones) but I haven't fallen head over heels for any of them.  So now I have about 7 blind dates in the works.  People are really concerned that I am 24 and not married!  Oh, blind dating.  I just have to keep reminding myself that 3 out of 4 of my married siblings met on blind dates.  There is one person in my family who is sure of who I will marry.  The other day my Mom was babysitting my 4 year-old nephew Lincoln.  He was sitting on the floor in her room playing a game on the iPad while she was doing her hair.  She said, "Linc, we have to find someone for Lauren to marry."  He responded matter-of-factly without even looking up from the iPad, "Me."  She explained to him that I would probably need someone older than he is but he explained in return, "When I turn 16 then I will be big and she can marry me."  If it were only that easy!  I love the kid.  Anyway, I may or may not keep you posted on the blind dates-just depends on how they go!

In the meantime I am working on filling my time with good things.  I attended a valley-wide fireside at the Spectrum.  Elder Schweitzer, a member of the seventy, spoke to us.  He focused on developing self-discipline.  Throughout his talk I received several little promptings of things that I can be doing in my life right now to be more self-disciplined.  One thing is to spend more time serving.  I really feel an urgency to serve and spend as much time possible with my Grandma and Grandpa B.  A prompting came to me during the General Relief Society Meeting to do a little project for them.  I wrote down all of the names of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  There are 90 of us all together.
I am going to make up a little package to send to each household in the family.  It will include a blank card and envelope with the address of my grandparents for each family member.  It will also have a calendar of when they need to write and send a card to my grandparents.  Starting November 1, my grandparents should receive a letter every day, except Sunday, for the next 3 months.  They love hearing from all of their family members and this is one simple way that we can involve everyone.  My goal is to get everything prepared and sent out by the end of the week.  I am going to have to push it because all that I have done up to this point is written down names and gathered addresses.  I just hope that it will allow my grandparents to feel and know that we love them!  I am thankful for the prompting that I received and that I have the time right now to follow through with it!

Well, that's all for tonight folks.  Since I played too much and worked to little this weekend my Monday will be starting at 4:30 am so it is time to hit the hay.  Goodnight!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Catch Up

Most of the time when I don't blog it is because I don't have anything to share.  Over the past 2 weeks I haven't blogged because I have too much to share.  I am going to try to catch up tonight but I won't even get close to fitting everything in!  A lot has happened and a lot is on my mind.  Here it goes:

Last weekend was fantastic!  Friday afternoon I headed for Salt Lake at 4:30 to make it to my mission reunion.  First one that has been held and I loved it!  It was so good to see missionaries, previous companions, dear friends, and President and Sister Brubaker.  It was wonderful and inspiring.  

Over the weekend Carter and Lincoln were staying at our house and we babysat Rhett, Jack, and Kate all day Saturday.  It was so fun to have them around!  Saturday morning we had to take Rhett and Jack to their basketball and football games so we only got tidbits of conference as we were driving to and from sporting events.  Luckily we were in the car when the announcement about missionary ages changed.  WOW!  I think it is so awesome!  I have had a number of people ask me if I wish I could have gone on a mission when I was 19.  My answer: not at all.  The Lord has a plan and I feel like I went when the timing was right for me.  Am I excited that the age has lowered?  My answer:  YES!  I feel like it will give the opportunity to so many young woman to serve.  What a blessing it is!  Anyway, to continue on with the weekend, the rest of it was wonderful.  I have been such a slacker with my camera so this is the only picture I got:

After the Sunday afternoon session Lincoln and Carter were painting with some watercolor colored pencils.  They wanted to paint our faces and for some reason we allowed them to.  Aren't they little artists?  My favorite talk as of right now at this moment (for it could change at any moment) is President Eyring's.  I love it!

Monday and Tuesday were really big days at school mostly because they were filled with new experiences: Parent-Teacher Conferences!  I was nervous for my first conference but once things got going it wasn't scary a bit.  I have such wonderful students and parents!  I was really looking forward to having things back to normal by Wednesday and couldn't wait to have the students back at school.  I woke up at about 5:15 on Wednesday and I wasn't feeling well but I just figured that I was tired.  After showering and starting to put my make-up on I started to feel really nauseous and dizzy.  At that point I was determined that no matter how I felt I was going to go to school and just deal with it.  Yeah right.  Only a few moments later I started to throw up.  My determination had vanished.  I had to call for a sub and I was major bummed!  I threw up 8 more times in the next 3 hours and by the end there was a lot of blood in it.  I was a little nervous about it.  When my mom got done at the temple I was able to get a hold of her.  She was a little nervous about it too and insisted that she come to Logan.  Brooke and the boys also came up as a surprise!  Carli was so kind to come over and take care of me until they got there.  By about 2:00 that afternoon I was feeling pretty darn good except for being a little weak.  All of a sudden we were able to link it to being a side effect of going off of prednisone.  That is one helpful but powerful drug and I am happy to be finished with it (or at least I hope)!  I am so happy that it wasn't a flu bug and that I was able to go to school on Thursday.  They all went with me to the school on Wednesday night to help me get things ready for the next day.  They are the best.  

When I finished up with school my family was still in Logan.  We went to Cafe Sabor and enjoyed lunch before they headed out.  Man, I love these people!  Thursday night I had to go back to the school because the other kindergarten teacher and I put on a reading workshop for the parents.  I was a little nervous about the whole thing but it also ended up really well.

 *This is an inside joke-maybe I will share the story sometime:)

Friday was a great day!  School went well and the evening was amazing!  I met Steph and Wendi at 7 for dinner (Steph made delicious Hawaiian Haystacks) and then we headed over to a carmel apple party.  It was fun to be together and also get to know new people.  Oh yeah, and Friday afternoon my friend Alli offered me two tickets to Time Out for Women.  I had wanted to go but didn't ever make firm plans to.  It really was a tender mercy and pure kindness that she offered the tickets to me.  

This morning I went to Time Out for Women.  It was wonderful to see Alli for a minute when she gave me the tickets and then to be able to spend the day with my cousin Becca and aunt Shannon.  Wow, the speakers were phenomenal.  I don't think that there is one specific thing that stood out to me but it was an atmosphere where I could feel the spirit and I received a lot of personal revelation.  What a blessing it was to be there!

Tonight we had the sister missionaries over for dinner!  YAY!  They are the sweetest girls and they carry such a strong spirit with them.  We enjoyed dinner (Wendi and Heidi) came as well, and they shared a beautiful thought.  I committed to pray more for missionary experiences.  I really want them so I am thankful for that commitment.  It reminded me of eating with the members on my mission and how much that meant to me that they were willing to serve us.  I just want to give a shout out to all of you wonderful Dutch members!

 Since I played every other hour of this weekend I decided that I better take some time tonight to get things ready for Monday.  It has really helped me to feel more prepared to start a new week.  

I have also been doing a lot of thinking tonight.  Both of my roommates are seriously dating others and I am pretty sure that they will be moving out in the next few months.  I LOVE my apartment but I am wondering if it would be best for me to also move over Christmas break.  I have no idea where to or who with.  Or maybe I will just end up staying here.  I don't know what I would do in April and May if I stayed here because I know for sure that I would be alone.  I couldn't handle that.  Those are the thoughts on my mind.  

Well, if you have read to this point I am really impressed.  Sorry this was so long-I just couldn't leave anything out!  Have a good night!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A taste of Holland

Yes, it was a week ago today that I drove home after school to visit and have dinner with my grandparents and I drove home again today for another very special visit.  About three weeks ago I found out that Concetta and Killian, newlyweds from the Netherlands, were coming to Utah!  I got to know Concetta while serving in Den Haag and instantly became friends with her.  I also met her husband, Killian, while he and I were in the MTC.  He was preparing to serve in Russia and he would come and help our class with the Dutch language.  Anyway, when I found out that they were coming, Concetta and I made plans to see each other.  I arranged a little dinner at my house for all previous Dutch missionaries that could attend.  I also invited Familie Koot who recently moved to Ogden from Den Haag, the Netherlands.  With it being a Tuesday and all it was a little difficult for many to make it but we had a great group and I am so thankful for all who made the effort to come!  It was so good to hear pure Dutch (not missionary Dutch) again and to be together with so many that I love.  I hope that Concetta and Killian enjoy the rest of their time!  Just a little side note, because I couldn't make it home until 2:30 my Mom and sister did all of the prep.  I am so thankful for them!    
Jami, Sophie, Jillian, Justin

Lincoln and Max

Concetta, Killian, Chantelle, and April

Lara, Sander, Karina, and Max aka Spiderman

Baby Sophie-she is adorable!  


Linc insisted on taking a picture of me

The whole gang-Concetta, Killian, April, Chantelle, me, Jami, Jillian, Erik, Justin, Sophie, Karina, Elliot, Sander, Lara, Max, and Julia

And, to finish off the night, I even found this little gem on the white board!  Thanks Jillian!