27 February 2012

Working My Fundraising Magic

At the end of 2011 I was asked if I could help Human Resources at work put together activities for the Food Drive at OSU. Apparently the Food Drive here is a big deal, and there is one department on campus that always wins. The foundation has a history of coming in second place, despite all their valiant efforts.

I'm not sure why they chose me. Maybe because Morgan is in the HR department, and I am constantly walking up to the front to chat with her about the day or husbands in med school. I can only hope it was because my bosses have only good things to say about my sweet skill sets. In any case, I agreed and spent all of my spare time in January at work thinking of fundraising ideas for the food drive in February.

Here's just a peak of what we came up with this month:
A Traveling Hat (disinfected of course)
Fitness Challenges
and a variety of parties.This was our Valentine's Day bake sale!

I pretty much pulled out of my hat every fundraising rabbit I've ever seen work before. I'd say our efforts were successful, considering we raised almost 75% of our unit goal within the first week and are on our way to winning first place by the end of this month! Morgan and I keep saying that we need to do something wrong sometime soon - throw a bad event or leave a box of canned food on the curb "on accident." We don't want to be so perfect that we're called on to do this event every year. Honestly, though, I'm not sure I would mind. It was fun to use my marketing skills for a task other than reserving Enterprise cars and creating a new appointment in Outlook. Only for one month though. I'm bushed!

22 February 2012

OMG and Other Slang

Thank you public broadcasting (and Mom) for yet another tidbit into the fascinating lives of other people. PBS Newshour shares Jessica Beinecke's story of fame, coming from her YouTube slang teaching video channel OMG Meiyu.

Oh, the power of vlogging! I was impressed that when asked what was next for her OMG channel, Jessica's reply was that she hoped her followers would take the online community into real life discussions. Really I was impressed that the answer wasn't to make millions in advertising.

I checked out this video she posted for Valentine's Day. She is BUBBLY, for sure! Doesn't she remind you a bit of Japanime? But since when do we say Supes and Totes?

17 February 2012

Life Lately

+ WOW Group Power class kicked my bootie @ a food drive fitness event. Nice shirt, right?
+ Trying to look like this beaver hat model. Failed a little.
+ My apartment in shambles... we have some flooring, some ceiling, and some siding. Still too early to say when it will be done.
+ You'll never go back to Hot N Ready, when you've tried their deep dish version. SO worth the extra moolah. Living on take-out, lately, which is not flame approved.
Scott looking a bit ghetto (and maybe about to sneeze) at an OSU Women's Rugby game v Stanford. That's right... women! It was an incredible demonstration of womanly strength.
+ Hiron's in Eugene fronts as a pharmacy, but is in reality the biggest gag shop you will ever find. If you're needing a funny story ask Scott about our trip to Romano's in Eugene!
+ Chaos inside, still a beautiful sunrise outside.

13 February 2012

The Moral Matrix

Have you ever wondered why Republicans and Democrats can't get along or compromise, or even say the word "compromise?" Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist, has written a love languages book for conservatives and liberals and he explained some of the psycology on Bill Moyer's show.

In Haidt's video on TED, he explains the moral matrix, with a blue and red pill just like the movie. At the end of his matrix revelation he says this:
"A lot of the problems that we have to solve are problems that require us to change other people. And if you want to change other people, a much better way to do it is to first understand who we are. Understand our moral psychology. Understand that we all think we are right. And then ... step out of the moral matrix... and if you do that, that is the essential move to cultivate moral humility."

I also love these quotes from Haidt's interview:
"Within the nation your side can beat the other side if you demonize, but it makes the nation weaker."

"Both sides are blind to evidence around their sacred commitments."

This last quote reminded me of how I want to teach my future children to have better open communication than their parents:
"If we could begin to see this in each other and even challenge each other and say, "Hey, you're demonizing." Disagree with them but stop attributing bad motives to the other side. So if ten years from now people recognize that and could call each other out on in, that would at least be some progress."

Scott and I don't demonize, by the way. Lately we've just been communicating through valentine conversation hearts - the opposite of demonizing, but less than effective.

10 February 2012

Home Fiasco #6

We didn't learn. It's been around eight months since our move to Lebanon, and last home fiasco. We should have known that karma (or whatever spurred this chain reaction of random drama every six months) had something in store. Maybe we were distracted by my 2007 Toyota Matrix computer dying. It was a red herring (which was fixed under warranty)!

It was a gloriously sunny Saturday, and I was dreaming of spring while baking some tasty homemade treats. As I was walking around the kitchen I heard a constant drip. It sounded kind of distant, like it was coming from upstairs or inside the wall. I checked the bathroom, thinking for sure I had a toilet leak, but when I emerged from the bathroom with a smile of no-drip satisfaction, I was quickly brought back to reality. A shower was starting to soak my dining room table and floor! The water was coming out of the sides of the sprinkler system in the dining room and kitchen.

I quickly placed a large bowl (and later three trash cans) underneath the spray, called Scott to rush him home, and phoned the apartment complex maintenance number in panic.

Turns out the apartment above us had a dishwasher problem, of sorts. They didn't catch it until their entire floor was flooded, which leaked through the walls to all the apartments below. Our apartment received the most water, but the apartment below us had a little dripage too.

Which formed a nice bubble in their ceiling.

I took a video of how the water looked in our apartment during peak leakage, but the lighting is bad. You can't see the water, but you can hear it. The domed light fixture is so full of water we were worried it would burst.

Luckily, since I was home, none of our belongings were damaged. We had to wait until the water stopped and the light fixture was removed before we were able to mop up the lake on our floor. I would say that it wasn't too much to clean, but it didn't end there. A carpet cleaner ordered by the complex came that night to soak up any water in the carpet. Then maintenance came by on Tuesday and tore up our floors and ceilings to expose and dump all the wet and damaged insulation. We are still living in just a piece of an apartment with boxes all around us.

As we mopped up massive amounts of water last Saturday, Scott and I reminisced of the time when our kitchen flooded in our first apartment because of rain. I do feel some satisfaction in the fact that none of our home fiascos were self-inflicted. Not much, though.

Stay tuned for our update this Fall. We'll be expecting it.

08 February 2012

Aspen Iris

I really do try to restrain myself when new babies are born are in my life until the parents have had a chance to blog or Facebook or announce however they choose. Hopefully I've waited long enough to introduce Ms. Aspen Iris Thornock to my blog. Aspen was born on February 3. We were at a friends house when we received the news that Christie, Scott's sister, was going into labor and entering the hospital. It wasn't long after that we received a picture text of Aspen's face!

Congratulations, Thornocks! She's beautiful. I can't wait to see Bree and Aspen together!

06 February 2012

Arise in Yellow

Last week we had New Beginnings for the Young Women in our ward. I was in charge of decorations, and the president suggested I keep it simple. I am really not the most coordinated person, especially when it comes to design. So when you see these pictures you should know that it is only by divine inspiration or intervention that this event turned out as cute as it did. I most definitely cannot take credit for the scrumptious food, which was prepared by Sis. Charley.

The theme for the youth in the church this year is Arise and Shine Forth. Our program was focused on the value of integrity, including having each young women share a specific scriptural story of integrity (PP #3) and having the moms of new beehives share a story when they personally showed integrity. At the end of the night, we challenged the girls to share their moments of integrity with us throughout the year. With each story, we will drop one of the shiney ornaments into the jar picture below.

With our theme, we decided to go with mostly yellow decorations. I forgot to take a picture of the table tops. I had the hardest time trying to find chinese lanterns in the Lebanon area. So I ended up making lanterns out of dollar section caddies and yellow tissue paper. Each lantern had a pop up, battery operated, light inside. So when the lights went down to show the theme video, all of the girls oohed and ahhed over the lanterns, that you really couldn't tell contained light before it went dark.

This was THE BEST new beginnings I have ever attended! The stories shared and the effort put forward by the young women to express the theme for this year was really outstanding and impactful. Our personal moments reflecting integrity, whether showing or lacking, are really something that stick with us our whole lives. I'm excited for the new year resolution to exercise my courage along with the young women.

03 February 2012

The Return of Flat Stanley

I'm not really sure what Flat Stanley sees in Lebanon, Oregon that would prevoke a second tour, but we gladly welcomed his visit from Sterling K's class.

During his last visit we hit up some typical Willamette Valley attractions, so I wanted to switch it up a bit for Stan. You may notice that Stan had some reconstructive surgery. He looks a bit different, but I didn't ask any questions.

We took Flat Stanley up with us to Portland one weekend, where he visted the Rose Garden, home of the Trailblazers. We didn't go for a basketball game though...

We went to watch a cheerleading competition. See how Flat Stanley energetically waves to this Tiny team? Hey ladies!

Then I most definitely took Flat Stanley to see all the sheep we have in this area. I thought for sure, with all the facts I've heard about sheep in church (of all places) that Oregon was the number one sheep grower state. Wrong! But we are in the top 10. Look how green the grass is, and it's February!

Then to top it all off we had Flat Stanley visit Scott's school again, but this time we had a little ceremony and inducted Stan as the first flat medical student at Western University - COMP NW.

The short white coat fits him so well!

Bye, Flat Stanley! So sorry you didn't get to visit France!

01 February 2012

Yogurt With Us

See this?! It's an open invitation for friends and family to Limeberry with us - especially parents!

I couldn't have been more excited when the girl at the Lebanon Limeberry register asked me if I wanted a punch card. In fact, she might have jumped a little, when I practically yelled, "You HAVE ONE?" We don't go very often, but when we do it's delicious and completely worth it! It meaning money spent, coupon clipping, calories ingested, insert any other questionable variable.