Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trip to D.C. Temple

The YSA Branch took a trip to the Washington D.C. Temple. It was amazing. We left at 11am and got there about 3:30pm. No, it doesn't usually take that long to get to D.C. - we hit Spring Break traffic. Good thing we made later appointments! The temple is so tall - and white. It's very beautiful. Inside, the celestial room had tall ceilings. My friend, Heidi, told me that they had designed it so you look up. I thought that was really neat. In the lobby of the temple is big floor-to-ceiling painting of Jesus and the right hand/left hand judgement. I can't remember the name. While waiting for others to finish with baptisms, I went over to the visitor's center. It has a Christus in the lobby - and if you turned around to look at the temple through the large windows you could see the reflection of Christ on the temple. Very neat. After a quick bit to eat, we got back on the road and didn't get home until at least midnight. It was good day!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

American Born Chinese

As alienated kids go, Jin Wang is fairly run-of-the-mill: he eats lunch by himself in a corner of the schoolyard, gets picked on by bullies and jocks and develops a sweat-inducing crush on a pretty classmate. And, oh, yes, his parents are from Taiwan. This much-anticipated, affecting story about growing up different is more than just the story of a Chinese-American childhood; it's a fable for every kid born into a body and a life they wished they could escape. The fable is filtered through some very specific cultural icons: the much-beloved Monkey King, a figure familiar to Chinese kids the world over, and a buck-toothed amalgamation of racist stereotypes named Chin-Kee.
This was an really interesting story. It's about a "American-born Chinese" boy who is trying to fit in with his peers - but also learn to appreciate his Chinese heritage. It is told in three different stories, that end up being connected and thought-provoking. I enjoyed it!

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday was nice, and Easter Sunday dinner was even better! (hehe) The Tuft's made the traditional ham and yummy potatoes, Ashley made deviled eggs and I helped by making some sparkling raspberry lemonade. (Thanks for the idea Kade!) It was all so yummy! Later, Dianna pulled out some plastic eggs with items in them to represent the Savior's atonement experience. This is a tradition in their family and I've seen this before in YW. One egg will have a nail, or soap, or a small piece of cloth, one had 3 dimes (30 pieces of silver), and the last one was empty. They all had a little paper with a New Testament scripture describing how the object was significant. It was good and afterwards we watched The Lamb of God, perfect to end the day with that, and actually I started my morning by watching the Testaments so I had some good bookends to my day! It was interesting, as I was driving to work the Friday before Easter I passed by a couple churches that had made, on their front lawn, a replication of the tomb, with the stone open. I don't know if they were going to use them for a presentation, or if they were just for show. It's great being back in the Bible Belt!

Speaking of the Bible Belt, it's really interesting see how open the people are here about their Christianity. My co-workers talk about going to church, teaching Sunday School, etc. A guy gave me a business card and there was a scripture on the back with that fish symbol. A co-worker, at another library, always wears this pin of the cross with a little piece of fabric and a small crown of thorns draped over it. Another co-worker, who is very religious in her catholic faith, was talking to me about her husband's new job prospects and she said to me: "I can tell you this because I know you're also God-driven". I was really flattered by that. This is a great experience!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Virginia Residency

I'm finally a resident of Virginia. I got my car titled and registered, received new license plates, and also got my new driver's license. The picture is decent, but I'm stuck with it for 8 years! (hehe) I'm still not used to seeing VA plates on my car, but I imagine I'll get used to it in time.

To top it off, I just got a price-saving key-card from the local grocery store, Food Lion. My residency is complete.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wicked Lovely

I love an enticing book cover, and title, and this one sure did entice me. It's a more "realistic" story about fairies and their interactions with the human world. The main human character, Aislinn, has the ability to see the "fey", invisible fairy world, and ends up having more involvement with them than she would like. She has to help the Summer King fairy save his world, and maybe even become his queen. I won't say more, but I liked the story and will probably read the sequel.