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Friday, December 10, 2010

The No-Mess Grilled Cheese


So, as a fan of Tillamook Cheese, I wanted to share my quick and easy recipe with the Loaf-Lovers out there.

The other night, I was having some left-over soup for dinner and thought that a grilled cheese sandwich would be just perfect to go with it, but I didn't want to take the time or effort to get out the frying pan, fight with the spatula, and then clean up the pan afterward - what can I say? I am a hungry college student. Anyway, I thought fast about my options and decided on something super easy. (The great thing about this is that you have virtually no mess, you can just put your plate in the dishwasher when you are done.)

This requires the following:
  • Two slices of your favorite grilled cheese bread (I used classic white bread)
  • 2-3 slices of one or more of your favorite Tillamook Cheese ( I used Medium Cheddar and Colby Jack)
  • a toaster
  • a microwave
  • your favorite butter (I used whipped butter) - this is optional
It's pretty simple, you just toast your bread to your preferred darkness, place the toasted slices side by side on a ceramic or micro-wave-safe plate, spread a thin layer of butter on each slice and then add a slice or two of cheese on each slice and put it in the microwave for about 20-40 seconds (time depends upon your microwave's power, so stay and watch it to ensure optimal cheese-meltage). When it's done, take the plate out and put the slices together, cheese-to-cheese! (careful, it's HOT!) and let it stand for a few moments until cool enough to handle - this also allows the top and bottom slices to, shall we say, "fuse" together in cheesy goodness. The last and best step is this, consume and enjoy!


Picture Credit to TillamookCheese.com

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reflecting Upon My Second Silent Weekend

So, I had to write a reflection papers about the different things I've been doing this semester, I thought I would share this one I just completed with you all. Enjoy! :)


Friday, November 19, 2010

I found the Lodge seemingly empty as I entered on the ground floor. The lights were dim and the air was cold as the door thudded shut behind me. I went upstairs to check in with the ASL Club and find out where I was to room for the night as well as any other instructions. In this environment and contextual situation, I relaxed a bit as I realized that my skills in ASL had significantly increased since I had been in the same situation four or five years ago when I was in high school. Even so, I felt a bit ill at ease for arriving later than most, which set me at a nervous disposition and in retrospect, I could have been calmer within myself because it honestly didn’t matter.


After receiving instructions as to where I would be lodging, all in ASL, I headed out of the Lodge and across the bridge that led to the cabins. As I crossed the bridge, I found memories from past attendance to Silent Weekend, while in high school, surfacing in my mind. I remembered, as I carried my duffel in the cold wind how terribly nervous I was half a decade ago, feeling so unsure about the idea of going about 16-20 hours straight without talking, feeling so unsure about my linguistic abilities in ASL. After walking up the steep incline to the cabins and finding the one I would be in, I opened the door feeling the room’s warmth upon myself. I set my belongings down and recognized that this time would be different, not only because I had been here before, but because I knew more, and I felt more confident in my own abilities.


Going back to my semi-nervous disposition upon arrival, I couldn’t help but feel like the idea of being a minority, especially a linguistic minority, was really beginning to sink in. I walked back across the bridge, where the wind seemed the worst, and headed for the dinning room where the rest of the attendees were. As I went inside, I saw people I didn’t even know, acquaintances, classmates, and friends. I wanted to yell across the room to get a close-friend’s attention, I wanted to squeal with excitement to see her, I wanted to talk over dinner and while my abilities to communicate in ASL were significantly better, I still felt like I didn’t know enough to sustain what I really wanted to express. It was in moments like these that I felt that I had possibly tasted what it was like to be a linguistic minority, for I perceived that everyone around me knew ASL well, and I was the one who did not. In the moments when I was most unsure about myself and my abilities, I was a hearing person in a deaf world.


Thankfully, after dinner and during the show by Crom Saunders, I seriously “fell into the swing of things” and “got my groove on.” Crom’s presentation was amazing. I loved it. I was so happy that I had an understanding, even if it isn’t a full understanding, of Deaf Culture. I was thrilled that I could understand him too. I knew if I had seen the same presentation five years ago, I may not have gotten as much out of it in both an informational and entertaining sense.


While I know that the comparison is nowhere near the same sorts of things, when I went back to my cabin and I “chatted” and teased in sign with one of my closer friends who was rooming on the other side of the cabin, I felt the language become more natural too me, more expressive, more fluid, more like something that was a part of who I am, or at least a part of who I am becoming. I wondered to myself, in my mind, what it would be like to have this sort of thing be a daily occurrence, being in an environment where it’s all sign, all the time.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

In the morning I excitedly awoke in anticipation for the workshops that I would be attending. I was ready to go an hour before I needed to be, and so spent the remainder of my time in the cabin chatting with it’s occupants who were gathering in the main entry room in order to prepare to leave.


After a time, I headed out to go to breakfast and realized that it had snowed in the night. Now, I’m a native Utahan, so snow really doesn’t surprised or bother me too much as long as I don’t have to be out in it for too long, but when I came to the small but very steep hill I had traversed the night before, I looked down before me and wasn’t quite sure about how to go about getting down the steep hill without slipping and hurting myself, my main worry wasn’t so much getting wet or hurting my legs at all, my main worry was falling and landing on my hand(s). I worried because, from that point on for the next few hours, my hands were my language. After careful thought and careful steps, I made it down the hill dry and unscathed. I ate breakfast and couldn’t wait to get to my first workshop.


~*~

· What I Wish I’d Known…

o Preparation for the Utah written and Level 1 Performance Interpreter Tests


Johnny Rider gave this presentation. He gave us an “all-inclusive guide to the

Utah Interpreter Program Testing and Preparation.” The presentation was pretty detailed, but what Rider had prepared for us as a hand-out was also very detailed, but it was just what I was hoping for and more! He went over the differing programs available to us in Utah, different schools, different people we should become familiar with, websites we should bookmark, suggestions for practice, advice from Interpreters and more! He familiarized us with the “general information and certification requirements as far as testing goes – written, performance, and rating criteria. I really got a lot out of his presentation.


· Deaflympics


Jeff Pollock, three-time medal winning Deaflympian and Certified

Deaf Interpreter, gave the presentation. His presentation was basically about the history of the Deaflympics. How the name of the game has literally changed several times, what places the games have been held. When winter games were added, how many athletes were at each of the games, the politics of the Deaflympics, as well as the significance of the symbol/icon of the games.


· Signs of Hope International


Johnny Rider also gave this presentation. As the

presentation was given, as I watched the video he had to share with us. I could not help but be touched by it. In addition, Bryan Eldredge has shared some of his experiences with us in my LANG 3000 class, so his insight has added on to what I have already found out about the program. I really think that it would be something to plan for in the future. It really excited me!


~*~


I had a great time at my second Silent Weekend, and I look forward to going again! I have been in contact for volunteering to help with a Silent Weekend for highschoolers and I look forward to it. Johnny’s presentation about What I Wish I Knew… got me back in the mood for some more volunteer work. I’m sure there is more I can write about, but I think, for this purpose, this sums it all up.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Quote That Made My Day

So, there have been a few things today that have made my day a bit stressful, and less enjoyable. There is no point, however, in complaining about things that I really have no control over for the moment. However, I must say, while I was browsing through the homepage of my facebook, I saw a particular man's sentiments that I knew were most likely (granted I do not know the full context of his question) directed towards the LDS Church.

Why do some people have opinions on how everything "Should Be" so engrained in their brains that they try to coerce everyone into their mold, especially when they claim to be non-conformists?

This man, used to believe in gospel doctrine, he used to understand and testify of the truth. I found, instead, him and his friends mocking such truths in the comments that followed his question.

The thing is, I don't think he is even searching for an answer, I think it's rhetorical and he is looking to be validated in wanting others to recognize that his way is the only way and it's the best way.

I realize, I am being judgmental of this man, but I am taking my chances - I feel rather confident that I am correct. His schema of the gospel has been twisted. It hurts me to see this be the norm for him. It hurts me that he thinks it's OK to say such things. He is letting himself give up and become defeated in the ways of the world. My only answer for him would be to pray about it, and I (and others) for him, but I don't think he would want it - he mocked the sacredness of prayer in his comments.

On the other hand, there is another young man, whose sentiments brightened my day by a large margin and it seemed to be the answer to my frustration with the previous comments, and this quote made my day.

"Not all will follow the map [Heavenly Father has given us]. They may look at it. They may think it is reasonable, perhaps even true. But they do not follow the divine directions. Many believe that any road will take them to a 'happily ever after.' Some may even become angry when others who know the way try to help and tell them. They suppose that such advice is outdated, irrelevant, out of touch with modern life."[Brothers &] Sisters, they suppose wrong."

(emphasis added)
This is a Daily Gem. "Daily Gems offer inspiration and increased gospel knowledge for both members and nonmembers with quotes from Church leaders on a variety of subjects."

Find the full article.

Anyway, this is a quick post, seeing as how I have class in five minutes or so, but I just wanted to say thank you, to those of you who share things that are inspirational, that others of us may have forgotten.

I hope you have found the quote as helpful as I have. I know I appreciated it.

I'm out!

~Holly Elizabeth

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Still 'Hoping For You' and Missing Daddy

So, I was looking through my self-published poetry and there is a poem that was written about six months ago. The main thought about this poem, stayed the same, even though one of the inferred main characters has become faceless in my attempt to no longer remember he-who-must-not-be-named.

As a tangential, yet relevant, side-note, I was thinking about my Mom and Dad, I've noticed how much she misses him, how much it hurts her to not have him here with us. I know that we know the truthfulness of the gospel, that we will see him again, that he is in a better place. Though, it has almost been a year since his death, I feel lonelier than ever. I was thinking about Dad today, and how much things have changed - but yet not...

I sat in the pew today (two rows up from where I feel most comfortable) with Mom and Christine, it was strange, not having JoAnne with us this week (since she was still to brutally bruised from her car accident this last week), and again, it was still strange not having Dad there. I loved sitting next to him, smelling his aftershave, feeling the comforting texture of his suit coat, sharing stow-away candy with him, watching him play bubblet on his palm pilot that he had hidden behind a hymn book or sacrament program, hearing his soft dozing breaths...

I thought of him yesterday, as I attended the EAU conference and returned with a pin for his collection. Us girls joked that he wouldn't want to wear his Utah pins today since they lost poorly to TCU, but that he would wear the lavender pin on his suit coat to church and wear it proudly - he'd be happy to explain it to anyone who asked about it.

~*~

I've been thinking a lot about friendships, relationships, marriages, and families lately. I mean it's sort of hard not to when you are 21 years old, female, and go to school in Utah County. I am the maid of honor for an engaged friend and recently planned her bachelorette party. I'm a primary teacher in my ward, and I see dozens of young couples who look so happy together, some newlyweds, others with baby-bumps. I see growing families, where mom and dad look worn out, but they love each other and their children just the same. I see elderly couples who grasp each other's hand not only because they are affectionate, but because they are also taking care of the other person.

I feel like I'm missing out. Caught in the space of time between adolescence and adulthood. I mean, yes, I am of legal age - considered an adult. But it is that label "young single adult," where I am classified into living. It seems though, in local society, you aren't really an adult until you've gotten married and been married for at least a year.

Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely thrilled to be the maid of honor for my friend, I had a ton of fun planning her party, I love my little sunbeams, and it makes me smile to see couples together.

So what am I doing wrong? Probably complaining about it here isn't really helping much. I've heard the advice said that I need to be patient, live the way I'd want him (future spouse) to live, and do what I love to do - that he'll find me that way. But, what if he is thinking the same thing? What if he is being patient, living the way he'd want me to live, and doing what he loves to do? What if we are both just going through life waiting for each other to find the other person? What then?

Personally, as much as I appreciate feminism, I don't think it's the woman who should have to be searching for a man, why can't he search for me? And also, what has society come to that girls get excited about text messages and IMs? What happened to letters, phone calls, walks together and cheesy poems? What happened to emotion, feeling, and expressions?

Ah, well, "...someday my prince will come..."

Let me know what you think, and if you have any advice for me.

~Holly Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hot Topics

I seem to be one of those bloggers who says she'll blog in a consistent manner and then... never really does. Lame, yes, I know. I also seem to be one of those bloggers who feels obligated to blog only when there is something really worth writing about. Something that rouses various emotions inside me and makes me want to share what I know and feel with the world (or those of you who choose to read this).

So, what is on my mind tonight? There's plagiarism, remixes, various forms of oppression, the LGBT community and the various forms of epilepsy and associated medications. I will probably only cover one or two topics tonight, as I don't have the time, nor the brain capacity to write about all of them in a related fashion and still make it somewhat enjoyable to read.

I feel like plagiarism is a hot academic topic for me. On October 19, 2010, my band director, Dr. James Colonna, posted his thoughts about plagiarism vs. homage in the world of composing, directing and performances. I really loved reading what he had to say in his post. So in addition to his thoughts about plagiarism, the topic was brought up in my Library Research class, since it is such a real problem with how available information is through the internet and how students use others work in their academic papers and do not cite sources correctly, or they do not cite sources at all.

So, in my Library Research class, our teacher posted a couple of videos about plagiarism and copyright infringement so that we could learn a bit more about it. We were to post a comment on our discussion board about it, I explain and link the videos here.



This one is basically about how to correctly cite the sources, it's funny and cheesy to watch too.

My reply to this video is as follows...
I found the clips humorous and informative. I am a person who can appreciate some cheese in an educational video.

The videos were a good reminder of what good teachers would stress in high school. I think the majority of us are aware of what plagiarism is and what it means to plagiarize someone's work. I also think that we overlook the consequences of plagiarism; sometimes allowing ourselves to justify the use of someone's well thought out ideas and words to just get the job done fast.

I thought it was great to explain in more detail, the different ways that we tend to plagiarize things, and how we can prevent ourselves from doing so.

What I wish was included in the clips was more of an explanation about how detrimental plagiarism can be to your academic life.
This next video, however, is rather long. It is a documentary about copyright infringement. The first little bit is a little weird, but you just have to give it time. I actually found it really interesting and informative. Really opened my mind to how we create things and how we are influenced by others work.


My reply to this video was as follows...
In reference to the first question, "Do you think the penalties for copyright infringement make sense? Do you think these penalties were originally meant for your average citizen, sharing a few songs?" I do not think the copyright infringement makes sense. I also do not think the penalties were originally meant for the average citizen. Let me explain what I mean.

I found it almost infuriating that the Disney Corporation seems to have created a monopoly for what some may say is freedom of speech. The corporation created a hypocrisy of what Walt Disney did to bring the company, his empire, to it's greatest renowned height (at least in American culture).

While I do understand the importance of an "original idea," writing, music, video, etc. What some may not be able to grasp is the fact that EVERYTHING which is created has some sort of influence and reference to a previous creation. To look at music alone, and the evolution of sound, there are and will always be influence and references in the creation of music because it will always tie in references from the past and modernize it, tying generations together by doing so.

So, when copyright became so limiting that creators began to feel less creative it makes it more difficult to legally share thoughts and ideas that virtually express who we are, how we live, and what our culture is.

On the other hand, I can also see the importance of copyright, because a creator deserves credit for their work. I think such copyright laws were meant for people who may want to use very large "chunks" of work and call it their own without any due credit to the creator.

I will say that it is not ethical for people to pirate music and videos off the internet. I will say that it is not ethical to blatantly use any form of media in a creation and call it all yours. Again, on the other hand, if we buy the media (crediting the creator) and use the media and include proper referencing (which is like free advertising for that creator), I don't see why we can not use media that has been obtained legally. We can quote Shakespeare in our writing and use a play as a reference in a collegiate paper, but we cannot use a part of music or video in another from of expression of self via auditory or visual media? That sort of logic, I do not understand.
So, now that I've shared that with you, I would like to know what you think. Thanks guys!

~Holly Elizabeth



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Life, As It Stands - part II

The Blame Game:
Who are you pointing your finger at for your problems?
Who am I pointing my finger at for my problems?

So, approximately 10 months ago, I wrote a post that started with a statement on the fact that I hadn't blogged in over six months. I posted at least once a month for five months after that, and then... I didn't. Ok, so I didn't break the record and not post for more than six months, but we are almost there. I am on the five month mark. Why return before half a year has passed? I owe it to Sabin's Corner.

Daniel Sabin is an awesome, amazing, musical, poetic, and spontaneous man. I am blessed to have him as a friend. Daniel seemingly starting blogging, sort of on a whim, after making scrumptious brownies. It was refreshing to read his post(s). It inspired me to get back to my own blogging. I could blame school, I could blame, boredom, I could blame Facebook, as I did before. Good heavens, I could even go so far as to blame the side effects of my epilepsy, or my medication for it, or the fact that my family celebrated my father's 61st birthday without him being there in his physical form. But, why? Why the heck should I lay out all of my excuses for anything? Why should I search for a reason to be lame? I am Holly Elizabeth and I am amazing. I have power over my own choices and I know I am beautiful. Period. Oh yeah, I know it's dumb to blame my mood swings on that and I shan't anymore... OK, then!

Anyway, as for the rest of this post... I could go through my mixed-up-memory and try to sort it out into a list of things I hope to cover sometime soon. But for now- My post is briefer than usual. (Does that mean my other posts are boxers?)

My thought for today, don't play the blame game. Accept responsibility for your own choices and the consequences they have. Accept the fact that no matter what life has to throw at you and your face, you are still in control of one thing - YOU!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Media Review II

May Music Video Premiere - Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed

So, I'm sure you've all seen this picture before, heard the talk about it, how people were claiming that Miss Miley Cyrus, previously known as the squeaky clean Hannah Montana, was "pole dancing" at the Teen Choice Awards this last year. I, for one, didn't believe it and looked up the video myself. I found there was a pole, and there was dancing, but there wasn't the promiscuous, suggestive, acrobatic type of movement, ridiculously high heels, or near-nude clothing usually associated with "pole dancing," or at least the concept that I'm aware of...

Ok, so I justified these accusations against her, sort of in a silent defense that she would still be a wholesome and fun performing artist. I thought everyone was just trying to make Miley out to be another Disney-Good-Girl-Gone-Bad (Britney, Lindsay, Vanessa, Ashley and maybe even Hilary). I hoped (and I keep hoping) that Miley isn't trying to get more attention and viewers with the use of sex appeal and over-used pop beats and rhythms.

Back in August of '08, I wrote the first media review for this blog and it happened to be for Miley's first album, "Breakout," that wasn't associated with the "Hannah Montana" name. The following was my initial thought about the album.
My overall thought about "Breakout," is that it is a great debut album for her break-away from the "Hannah Montana" name. While most of her songs have the same upbeat peppy nature that Hannah performs there are a few songs that shows a different side that most Hannah-fans are not used to and a side that the older teenagers and young adults can better appreciate.
So, really, I thought this was a good place for Miley to be, various ages for fans and the songs are good, uplifting and soul-searching. I suppose though... it wasn't enough to be on TV, be a multi-platnum performing artist under the age of 18, AND be in a good few movies. Again, I suppose that I cannot stop anyone from changing or growing up... it's just hard for me to see something so good, fun and happy go to something that is associated with anger, selfishness, immodesty, etc. Take a look at these stills that I selected from her new song. They are taken from the new music video, featured by Vevo, as well was the premiere on network television on Dancing with the Stars.

video

So, as you can see, from these stills alone, Miss Miley Cyrus seems to be heading in a different direction, one that I know will bring her financial success and fame. My question for you is this, is it right? Is it going to bring her true happiness? Is it going to be what the majority of what viewers and listeners want?

My Thought...
Nest/Wings/Outfit: I am thinking that the nest/cage is a metaphor for either Hannah or Home and that the wings are a metaphor for her desire to break free from her essential prison and her outfit is supposed to show some sort of maturity(?), but yet wild nature due to the use of animal-like costumes.

By the way, you may find some of the following links interesting in addition to the ones above:

Can't Be Tamed Lyrics
What The Buck?! (first minute)
Clever TV Promo for Premiere
Clever TV Results from Premiere



What are YOUR thoughts?

Let me know peeps!



Blogging Later
~Holly Elizabeth
AKA
~~Holls~~

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Background Love

So, first what I want you to do is take a look at the picture. Think about it, how it makes you feel, what it stirs within you, if anything.

















Now that you have done that, if you would, I want you to comment and let me know what it was that you felt.

I created this image for a reason. In a few days time I hope to come back to let you know why I did it, but first, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

At This Moment

~*~
And what did you think I would say at this moment?
When I'm faced with the knowledge that you just don't love me
Did you think I would curse you or say things to hurt you?
'Cause you just don't love me no more

Did you think I could hate you or raise my hands to you?
Oh come on, you know me too well
And how could I hurt you when, darlin', I love you
And you know I would never hurt you, no, no, no

~*~

I'd fall down on my knees, kiss the ground that you walk on
If I could just hold you, if I could just hold you
I would fall don, down on my knees, oh God, please
Let me hold you, let me hold you again


The preceding stanzas are selections from Michael Buble's latest album, Crazy Love, from a song called, At This Moment.

So, I have put off posting this simply because admitting the fact that still sort of hurt makes it seem to hurt all that much more. It is honestly fascinating to me to think that even when I care about someone so deeply, on a level I have never felt before and I can share the sweetest moments with a young man but it isn't enough, or I am not enough, or something...

I realize now, that if he couldn't see the value of being with me then he must not be worth being sad about, right? I mean, we never officially dated, but it seemed like it was going to go that direction and I thought things were different this time. I guess it's just hard to see someone I care about choose to not care about me in the way I thought he did and then I see the person he chooses to care about through social networks like Facebook and I wonder, what makes her better? But I can't think that way, can I? Ah, enough babbling and ranting.

My thanks goes out to my best girls who support me, (you know who you are) and the collection of varying comfort-songs that get me through the day when the day gets going!

Any advice for me?

*sigh*

~Holls

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rainy Days and Girl's Nights!


My Bestie, Christine C. (pictured from Dec '09)

The past few days have been quite cold, and unusually so since it is mid-March. Why is it that there is snow in March in UTAH?! What ever happened to spring rain, spring warmth, spring color? I don't like the snow and the wind and the cold!!! Regardless of my dislike of the current weather, I was still able to have a good time with my friends and family this weekend.

So, Friday night, I spent the chilly evening with one of my besties, Christine C. As you may have read in my post about my Dad, she is such an amazing friend. I love her to death!!! (And more!) I made dinner for her and her family, simple yet delicious, Mac & Cheese with Bacon, Shreded Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and a bit of Onion.

We then headed to the institute to dance the night away and give our legs a good work-out. By the time we were done, both of us had sore legs! We stayed up late that night (probably later than we should have) and we watched The Guardian while eating giant chocolate-covered strawberries and drinking our favorite sodas (Diet Coke for me and Dr. Pepper for Christine). Then as the movie got more intense Christine ended up reassuring me that everything was going to be ok and I also found out that she has a good arm to clutch when afraid!

On Saturday, in the morning we got up and I made breakfast for me and Christine (since we got up a bit late the boys had already eaten), we had Bacon, Eggs (with cheese and onion) and Toast with home-made jelly. It was soooo yummy! After that, we headed to Wal-Mart to do some shots with Emma and Jeremiah for the video I am making for my digital media class. It isn't done yet, but it will be!!! Below is a clip from the various shots that I took, be on the lookout for the final project soon!

What I am trying to show is...
how quality Tillamook Cheese brings people together,
take a look!

video

Let me know what you think about this shot.



After the filming was over, we grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and I had to head home. I took the long ride on the bus from Utah County to Salt Lake County and then took TRAX home. After mom picked me up from the station, we headed home to the beading party. There were snacks to be had, drinks to sip and necklaces to be made.

Below are the things that I worked on.
Part of a Choker made of Hemp, using the Square Knot














The entirety of the necklace and earrings I made. The Dragonfly charm lifts up to show the blue underneath and it says "Live life to the fullest." The blue earrings say "Hope" on them. I anchored on the little swirlies and the dragonfly charm using jump rings.














As we all worked we helped each other with our projects, while listening to Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr., Carrie Underwood and the Hairspray Soundtrack. Mom and Chrissy had already finished a few necklaces before I got home, but while I was there mom made a couple of pretty button necklaces and Chrissy put final touches on some unfinished projects such as a watch, she also did some repair work, such as fixing my New Moon Necklace, and she made a cool China-themed necklace too!!!

What would be a girls night with the family without Tippy's crazy antics? She ran around the room like she was high on cat-nip and she tried attacking the strings of my hemp, thinking possibly that she was trying to help, and then as she finally calmed down, she laid out flat on her back and looked at us lazily. Silly cat! I love you!

Tippy on her back...














Today, at church it was pretty interesting, the Relief Society lesson was about the Creation. Sacrament meeting was exciting, it was for the two missionaries that are leaving soon, Brother Tholke, who is leaving for Argentina and Brother Littlewood, who is leaving for Connecticut. Also, I managed to discover something during Sacrament, when trying to catch a couple's kid from running out of sacrament, it would be wise (especially if you are already klutzy) to not dash after him while wearing heals. It may result in a twisted ankle, hurt knee and damaged pride. Meetings aside however, it was the cover of the program for Sacrament that caught my attention, there was a scripture quoted there, and it read...

Behold, my arms of mercy are extended toward you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.

~3 Nephi 9:14
Also, since my mom serves in the Library, she makes tons of copies for people in the ward, so I happened to see the program for tonight's Standards Night, which struck me as weird, because I don't have to go anymore... Anyhow the scripture that is quoted for the theme this year is "Be Strong and of Good Courage."

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.


~Joshua 1:9


This scripture really struck me, and I really hope that I can remember it in days to come.

Well, this weekend was a great weekend and I really wish that I could skip the next two days and just go straight to Spring Break... I am really looking forward to it. There is some stuff going on with the Epilepsy Association of Utah this week, and then Chrissy and I are taking another adventure to Vegas on Friday, now that I can actually DO the "fun" stuff there! LOL JK.

Be on the lookout for another post!

Always

~Holls

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Philosophical Question: How Can God Allow Evil to Exist?

So, for a class paper in my Philosophy 1000 class, we had the choice to write about one of four things. I chose to write about solving the problem of evil through theodicy. My essay is as follows:

__________________________

Does God Consider Our Souls with the Existence of Evil?

Does He Even Exist?

Does the existence of Evil (suffering) in the world give us good reason to think that God does not exist? Any answer you give to this question must consider both Soul Making and Free Will theodicies.

Many make take the position that God does not exist because of one thing, the existence of Evil (suffering). Many wonder how an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good being could allow the humans to experience such pain and sorrow due to Evil being present in their lives, when He has the capability to prevent Evil from being present, or at least decrease the amount of Evil one must experience through their life. This is a justifiably understandable viewpoint and if it weren’t for the certain Christian religious beliefs, this viewpoint would not even be questioned and it would be deemed true – God cannot exist because of the existence of Evil. Religious beliefs aside however, it is a point to be proven through the theodicies of Soul Making and Free Will, that God does exist. The first theodicy to be addressed in regards to proving God’s existence is Soul Making.

What is the theodicy of Soul Making? The idea of Soul Making as a theodicy is the thought that the reason why humans must endure the pains and sorrows of Evil is because such a trial builds us up, makes us stronger, better people characteristically, spiritually, mentally and sometimes physically as well. So it could be said that without the existence of Evil, our persona, our soul, our entire being, wouldn’t be as strong as it could be without the trials and hardships that Evil presents us with. The idea of Soul Making proving that God exists is similar (on a smaller scale) to that of good parenting.

Sober notes that any good parent allows their child to experience some hard times because it allows them to build their character and to learn a lesson which may not be fully understood if the parent shielded their child from every adverse thing they may encounter. This is analogical to prove that God exists. God allows Evil to exist, he allows us to endure painful trials so that we can develop more fully than if everything we ever needed was essentially “handed to us on a platter.” God, like a good parent, wants to see his creations, his children, grow and develop in more than just physically but a morally, and characteristically as well. Soul Making is just a part of proving why God exists and allows Evil to exist. The second and greater part of this proof is the theodicy of Free Will.

The theodicy of Free Will is basically the idea that Evil exists because God allows his children to make the choice to do good or to do evil. Relating back to Christian religious beliefs, most believe that humans are created in God’s image, therefore, we, like God have the ability to choose what we do in life. It so happens however, that everything that God did was good. The problem with Evil occurs when more humans choose to do Evil than good and it is supposedly from a majority of people choosing to do Evil. What needs to be changed is the realization that choosing to do good does not inhibit what one is able to do, it allows one to be happy and it allows more good to exist in the world than Evil. Another thing about God allowing his children to make the choice between good and evil allows us to understand what “good” and “evil” really is, because really, we wouldn’t know what good is without knowing evil; we wouldn’t know what evil is without knowing good.

In review, it is arguable in spite of the existence of Evil that God does exist because of the thodicies of Soul Making and Free Will. Soul Building as the idea of building one’s character through the trials and tribulations of the evils we encounter, and Free Will as the idea of being able to choose good from evil and more people seem to choose evil over good. These are the theodicies as to why Evil exists and as to why God exists still as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being.

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So, that's all I have for you, it's my view without really incorporating my religious beliefs. It was difficult to write without the bias of my belief. But, I think that the firmness of my belief and because of my testimony, this was easier to write with a persuasive, authoritative sense.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daddy

You will find, at times, I tend to refer to my sister's blog for information that she and I share. I figure that if she has already posted it, there isn't a real need for it to be posted again since those of you who read this can just click on the link to and read the info I would have posted myself if I had thought to post it before her.

So, with that little tidbit in mind, my post begins. Admittedly, these past two months (to be exact) have been tough. I have found that weekends seem to be the rougher of times since weekends were the times when I was able to see my dad the most.


See, two days before my twenty-first birthday, on December 2, 2009, my father unexpectedly died. I hadn't been home much those few days before his
death since I was at the end of the semester, so I stayed late to study and Clarinet sectionals ran late into the evening on Tuesdays. So, Tuesday night, when I got home, my dad was asleep. Mom said that he thought he had a cold or something that is easily gotten over. We all thought that he'd drink his Mount Olympus water, and Tropicana orange juice, (he was particular about his brands) take some meds and feel better in a few days.

I remember that Wednesday well, I remember being in bed and hearing my mom talk to dad before she left that morning. His responses were a bit different in the sense that he seemingly kept falling asleep, or so I assumed when I heard her wake him up repeatedly to talk about whether or not he needed to go to the doctor.

They had decided it was best to go to a clinic and figure out what was wrong. Mom went early to school to make plans for a substitute and returned back home to take Dad to the doctor. When they were headed out to the car, dad lost his balance and fell on the back porch. Mom called the paramedics to help get him up and make sure that he was ok, after falling on cement. He seemed ok and the paramedics helped him get into the car so he and mom could go to the doctor.

Without warning, Dad went into cardiac arrest and after life-saving attempts from the paramedics and a hospital trip, he had passed away from this life into the next.

I remember, it a few minutes before the hour and I had just come out of Private Lessons for Clarinet with Matt, taken my instrument and music upstairs to the storage room, and come back down to head for Anthropology. I had seen the text from my mom to call her when I could. So, as I headed down from GT 5 to GT 3, I called her.

She explained what had happened, I remember feeling completely and totally numb. Unable to comprehend what she had just said to me. Well, Dad wouldn't have wanted me to miss school and cry all day over him so I continued with my classes. I was hard, admittedly, but it kept me focused and sane.

I had stopped to sit while I talked with her on the phone on GT 3 and then realized that I had to make it over to the other side of campus within a couple minutes to make it to my next class, so briskly I walked from GT 3 down to GT B, over to WB 1, through the Hall of Flags, past the Science building, through the PE concourse, PE 1, and down to the garden level of the LA building.


After class, I briefly saw my close friend Christine Cottle, a hug from her was all I needed at that moment, and I was, for the most part, able to get through the day. She is such an amazing and caring friend.
Another hug that was so good to get was from my bestest and most favorite sister ever, Christine! Mom and Chrissi came down to campus while I was on break so I could cry my tears and just be with them for a bit. Hugs are amazing it was good to get a hug from my sister too.

I remember walking around campus, feeling totally and completely numb, sort of unaware of what was going on around me. Then Liz called me, just wanting to make sure that people on my street were ok since she had heard there were paramedics by my house. I remember how it felt to tell her the news, as if saying it solidified it as an unmistakable truth. Liz is so amazing though, she has really been there for me, more as a friend than the woman who was my YW President or as one of the women in the RS Presidency. I love her and her family so much, they keep me smiling. I honestly don't know what I would have done without Liz on the day when I felt so awful with my Kidney infection. Argh! I love you Liz! *HUGS!

A part of American Sign Language is using your face to help get your message across, using emotion and expression. So, it isn't surprising that most friends in my classes saw that there was something wrong. My friends were so good to me, so supportive and caring, especially my
classmates in my Tolkien class,

(yes a class about JRR Tolkien) where everybody was each other's friend including Professor Fullmer. Without being creepy or weird, I have to say that I love Professor Fullmer, he is probably the most kind, influential and understanding professor I have ever had. I lovehis classes. He excused me from class work and even class for the rest of the semester, but I don't know what I would have done without my Tolkien buddies to get me through the rest of the semester.

~*~

I remember going to the mall with mom and Chrissi to go shopping for a new dress for the funeral. I remember looking through the hangers of dresses while mom and sis were over in another part of the store and I thought to myself, "I never thought, at 21, I would be
searching for a dress to wear to my father's funeral." I remember calling my bestie, Breelyn,

wishing that she were there with me searching for the dress because she always knew best about what looked good on me, she always did a fine job of dressing me up. I remember wishing that she could have been around that weekend, but because of school, she was down south and I was here. I knew she wanted to be with me, just as much as I wish she could be been with me and it's ok. Just that knowledge that she wanted to be there for was enough and I just had to get through to the end of the semester so I could see her again.

On December 7th, 2009 which, in back in 1988, is also the day that I was adopted into the family, we held a funeral for my father.

We displayed pictures of him from his youth back in the 50s and 60s to the time of his mission, to when he graduated with his masters from the U of U, his wedding day, the day I became legally a part of the family, trip pics, and his most recent and my most favorite picture of him and his beloved on the 4th of July 2009 after a day at the movies where we saw Harry Potter 6 and the new Star Trek.

At the funeral, I spoke, reading his obituary (as written by Chrissi) and, with as much composure as possible, giving my thoughts for and about him; Shane Liedtke spoke reminiscing some of Dad's best qualities; and Brother Dave Fair spoke, reminding us of what Dad stood for, and the example he set for all of us.

I was overwhelmed by the number of people who came. And all of the different people who came! Our family dentist came, people from his old job and the union came, people from our old ward of over 10 years ago came and even the Mayor came! (Given of course, that the Mayor is a family friend through Grandma Ferrin)

~*~

Well, we made it through Christmas, sticking with the traditions and creating a few new ones, New Years was good, spent with my Aunt and Uncle and cousins, it was also Christine Cottle's birthday that night so we celebrated that too. We celebrated my mom's birthday (as well as mine) by going to Wendover on the "Fun Bus" to play our Five bucks and see what we could win. Dad had meant to take us all to Wendover after the end of the semester for my 21st birthday, we figured he would still want us to go.


My grades came out to be A's and B's for my classes and I know that my Daddy would have been proud of me for that.

January has been rough with the start of school and then with me getting sick with that Kidney Infection. But it has gotten a bit better. This past Friday was good, we saw "When In Rome," which I will have to give my review of later. Saturday was a great day, seriously a girls-day-out, we spent the first part of the day in Utah County, first at my school so I could finish an assignment, then to Barnes and Noble to look for books, then to the Fabric Mill to inhale that fresh fabric scent and then to the un-passable In-N-Out Burger, then we spent the later part of the day in Davis County, seeing "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" at WXHS, then heading to see Chrissi's bestie, and then to Ben Franklin's Crafts and finally to a great dinner at Chili's. Dad paid for dinner, so to speak... he had this deal with Visa where he'd get gift cards after spending so much on the credit card and we figured we had better use them. I had steak and shrimp for dinner and as Chrissi pointed out, dad would ALWAYS say the same thing when he ordered his steak, when the waitress would ask how he'd want it cooked, he'd say, "Well-done, I want that sucker dead." and then he would raise his eyebrows and widen his eyes at the waitress to make sure she understood that there was to be no red, no pink, no sign of life in that piece of meat.

Heavens I miss that man... But I know that he's with me still, I know that I will see him again and I know that he is my Father Forever.

I love you Daddy