Did you ever travel or go on a study abroad program?
One of the best decisions I ever made was going on the study abroad program to Israel with BYU. It was in 1994 and was from January to June. There were 150 students and we were able to live in the beautiful Jerusalem Center on Mt. Scopus. It was right next to the Garden of Gethsemane, where the Atonement took place and over looked the Dome of the Rock, in the old city, and the Garden tomb where Christ was buried and Golgotha, where Christ was crucified. The building was all made of white limestone and was done in a cantilever architecture, so that each floor came out further than the next, as it sat into the mountain side. The sacrament room was so beautiful and had one of the largest pipe organs ever made. The room was set up like stadium seating and on the floor level, behind the pulpit, the wall was made of glass and gave 180* view of the city. We were required to take multiple upper division religion classes and electives regarding history and language. I took Hebrew, but it was just one semester and I can’t remember much now. We had so many adventures and they are too numerous to write here, but exploring the city, doing an archaeology dig, climbing Mt. Sinai on a camel, snorkeling in the Red Sea, singing Christmas carols on the shepherd’s fields in Bethlehem, staying on a kibbutz, and teaching the aerobics class at the center are only a few of the things we did. I made lots of friends, including Meleesa Watts, who I have continued to keep in touch with all these years later. I learned so much about the Gospel and Christ. It was so amazing to go to the Sea of Galilee and to study the scriptures and then get on a bus and go to the places we had just read about. It was such a testimony builder, and changed me forever. I had the smartest, most inspiring instructors, including Brent Top, who is also an amazing author for the church, still. I was lucky enough to be able to travel after Israel, to Europe. I was able to change my ticket home, for only $50, and with 4 other friends, land in Paris and see the French and Italian Riviera, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Switzerland. It was sooo much fun. My mom was so cool to let me go and give me that freedom. I don’t know that I would be so brave with my own children. I will forever be grateful for my time in the Holy Land. I hope to go back some day and take Matt. He would love it there!
What was your first job?
The summer before my senior year, my parents suggested I get a job, since we had no big family trip that summer, so I went on over to the snack shack at the local community swimming pool, Heather Farms. I was one of three girls working this permanent smallish shack type building, serving food like popcorn, hotdogs, candy and soda. I remember how fun it was to be with my friends and serving food to all the cute boys in the neighborhood and laughing the whole time. The only problem was having to work the register and counting back money to people. It freaked me out for a while, till I finally got the hang of it. It was a great first job, even if the pay was ridiculously low.
Here is a few of the tennis courts from the snack shack…My view every day for the summer of 1990!
Did you play a musical instrument?
Yes! I play piano. I started at 8 and took lessons until 18. It was hard to always practice, but I am sooo thankful I listened to my mom and didn’t give up. I am able to sight read now and I love to sit at the piano and play a beautiful piece, especially classical music or church music. It really has a calming effect and helps clear my mind. It also brings a great spirit into our home. I was so sad to not have a piano to practice during college and hygiene school. But after 4 years of marriage, I finally begged and begged Matt to let us get one, and he realized how important it was to me, and he said yes! So, we have a black, upright Kawai and I love it. I started Bailey on lessons about 6 months ago and she is doing sooo good. She has a real talent for memorizing music after she hears it just once. Here are some pictures of our piano and my baby black baby grand we grew up playing.
This last one is of me, topless, helping Noel practice.
Did you have homework?
Yes. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any till about senior year. Kids, don’t follow your mom’s example!! please?
What food did you learn to cook first as a youth?
I remember making a lot of frozen french fries in the microwave when I was younger. My mom was a tremendous cook and I loved to sit on the counter and watch. She taught me a lot, mostly by example. I loved to see her bake and cook for such a huge family. I still have a hard time cutting a recipe down, cuz I tend to cook big, like she did. I have most of her famous recipes and it makes me so happy when I try hard and make it just like she used to! My favorites are her chicken marinade, her bbq baked beans, swiss green beans and sunday roast. But, if I am to answer the question correctly, I first learned to make top ramen and mac n’ cheese. Embarrassing, I know. But I was quite a carb addict in my tween years. I suppose I still am.
Did you ever sleep under the stars?
When we went to girls camp for our church, we slept out under the stars. It was nothing like girls camp now. I went as a leader this year, and we slept in tents and cabins, that had tan-bark, not dirt…it was down by the beach, and we went kayaking and horse back riding. Sooo, different from northern california camp. We actually camped. No tents, no horses to ride, just hiking and swimming in the lake and roughin it. It was beautiful though and I really do remember how amazed I was to look up at the sky, there in the high sierras by tahoe, and see the millions of stars….all the stars I couldn’t see from my house in the city, because of all the lights. There were so many more than I ever had imagined and it was soo pretty. I remember thinking that I could stare at it all night and never get bored. I wonder how many more there were to see back before electricity?
Getting ready for our huge hike! 4th year at camp.