Monday, June 30, 2008

No More Zucchini, Please!

Over the weekend I decided something had to be done about all the zucchini I had from my garden! I only have two zucchini plants, and I have given quite a lot away to friends and family members. But I still had about 5 huge ones on my kitchen counter. I do like to eat zucchini, but I have to admit I am a bit burned out on it after six weeks now of my plants producing. So what did I decide to do? I decided to freeze it. It did not take long at all--I cubed the zucchini, blanched it in water for 3 minutes (per batch) and then put it in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. After draining it on some dish towels I put it all in some gallon zip lock bags. It filled two bags. I tried using the frozen zucchini yesterday when I put some chicken and rice in the slow cooker to cook during church. I like to add veggies to the rice, so along with the mire poix mixture I put in, I also threw in a cup of the zucchini. It turned out great! Now I am wondering why I didn't think of doing it all sooner!

Scripture of the Day: "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families." (Family Proclamation p. 7)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fourth of July Scriptures

I have been compiling scriptures on freedom, liberty, and agency for my July scripture study and am so impressed with how many good scriptures there are on this topic! I know some people have special patriotic services for Independence Day, so here are a few of my new favorite scriptures that are appropriate for this special occasion.

Here are 5 of my favorites:
  1. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17) {my very favorite}
  2. "Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free." (D&C 88:86)
  3. "I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people. My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God has made us free." (Alma 61:9)
  4. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Galatians 5:1)
  5. "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)
10 more great scriptures:
  1. Isaiah 61:1
  2. 2 Nephi 1:7
  3. 2 Nephi 2:27
  4. Genesis 2:16
  5. Moses 4:3
  6. D&C 134:2
  7. D&C 98:5
  8. John 8:32
  9. Ether 2:12
  10. D&C 10:50-51

Probably the best scripture story about freedom and liberty is Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty--just can't be beat! Here is the kids' version of the story with pictures. In 1987 there was a Funstuff article in the Friend magazine with a decipherable message of what was written on the Title of Liberty. This may be a fun activity for kids age 7 to 12.

And this website has a ton of other great links for fun Fourth of July songs, games, and information (i.e., flag symbolism).

Hope this gets y'all in the mood for a fabulous 4th!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Year of Miracles #10

The clock that performs miracles, but doesn't keep time well!

This actually happened to me a few years back, but yesterday I was reminded of it when I found a flier for an eagle scout project on my front porch. It was kind of a special little miracle to have witnessed and is worth sharing.

My parents had bought me a small brass clock and had shown me there was extra room in the battery compartment of it, kind of like a secret hiding place. They suggested hiding extra cash in it for an emergency. So I followed their advice and put a $20 bill in there. The only problem was that every time I went to open it up and use the money, I could not unscrew the lid to the compartment. No matter how hard I tried--and I tried numerous times to open it--it was always stuck and would not budge.

Then one Sunday I had the thought I should donate some money to a neighbor boy's eagle scout project. We had missed participating in the fund raiser and I still felt we should contribute somehow--but I did not have any cash on hand. The thought came to me that maybe I could get the $20 out of the clock somehow for him. If it opened, I would know the Lord had been reserving that money to help with this eagle scout project. Sure enough, when I went to open the clock, it opened up with ease. I was surprised and thought of all my unsuccessful attempts in comparison to how easy it had just opened. Quickly I walked across the street to donate the money. When the scout came to the door and I handed him the money explaining it was to help with his project. He told me with this $20 he had met his goal to have all the money he needed for his proposed service project.

Scripture of the Day: Enos 1:1

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ants in My Pants--Literally

I'm sure my face looked a lot like this guy's did ;)!

Okay, this really happened to me this morning. After my exercise routine I went out to water my garden. I was not out there long and saw nary an ant. But soon after coming back in the house I felt a strange sensation on my right leg. I thought maybe there might be one ant in there and slapped at the outside of my trouser leg. But the feeling continued, so I went in the bedroom to disrobe {the polite way of putting it} and see what the deal was. And there on my leg was at least a dozen ants! I yelped and quickly brushed them off. Then found a whole bunch more crawling on the pants I had removed. Yikes! I ran and got some bug spray and played Terminator. A few minutes later I found another one under my shirt (which I was still wearing). I have no idea how so many ants got on me so quickly, but I will not fall prey to them again.

Hope your morning was ant free!

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 1:7

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Burts Bees are the Best

Just a quick shout out today for one of my favorite products--I love Burts Bees tinted lip shimmers! My best friend Heather gave me a cute compact-like three pack (shown above) of them for my birthday. I keep them in my purse and am always pulling them out while on the go. Regular lipstick tends to make my lips peel--weird, I know. But Burts Bees tinted lip gloss shimmers don't do that to me.

Do you have a favorite make-up product. I need some new eyeshadow...any recommendations?

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 9:6

Monday, June 23, 2008

Applesauce Annie

This morning my friends Jamie and Misi came over and taught me how to make home made applesauce! Jamie is the applesauce queen with all the great equipment to make it fast and efficient. Plus they provided some apples from Cindy's tree for me. It took about three hours to get the sauce ready to process. We were able to get about 26 pint jars out of all those apples. They will be sitting pretty on my pantry by the end of the day. A huge thanks of appreciation for Jamie and Misi!! I REALLY appreciate the time you took to come and teach me--and the visiting made the time even more fun!

Jamie, if you read this leave a comment so I can put a link to your blog!

Scripture of the Day: Article of Faith 1

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Little Mermaid

The Prince and his parents sing in the play.

Yesterday evening the kids and I went with Mimi (my mom) to see the play The Little Mermaid as put on by the Gilbert Fine Arts board and the Missoula Children's Theater. It was not the Disney plot line, but was very cute and kid friendly. The play had about 50 local kids who went for four days this past week to learn the play from some professionals (who played key roles); then they gave two performances of the play yesterday. Kitty wants to try and be part of the play they do next year, and since it seems like such a fun activity we will try to get her involved.

Thanks to Mimi for taking us to such a fun Saturday activity! We love you!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 107:68

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Type and Shadow

One of my favorite parables is that of the Good Samaritan. Lately I have been reminded of a great article published in BYU Magazine; it was written by John Welch and discusses how the parable of the Good Samaritan is actually a type and shadow of the Plan of Salvation. It is such a good article I recommend reading the full text. But here are a few of my favorite highlights:

"Each element in this allegory corresponds significantly with an important step in the journey of all mankind toward eternal life. The parable of the good Samaritan is not only a story about a man who goes down to Jericho, but also about every person who comes down to walk upon this earth.

"A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves.

"A certain man. The early Christian writers identified this man as Adam. This connection may have been more obvious in ancient languages than in modern translations. In Hebrew the word adam means "man," "mankind," or " men," as well as "Adam," as a proper name…
Went down. Chrysostom saw this part of the story as representing the descent of Adam from paradise, the Garden of Eden, into this world—from glory to an absence of glory, from life to death…
From Jerusalem. The story depicts the person going down from Jerusalem, not from any ordinary city or place. Because of the sanctity of the Holy City, early Christian interpreters readily found significance in this element in the allegory, and Eligius said it represented "man's high state of immortality."…
To Jericho. The person in the story is on the road down to Jericho, which is readily identified as this world or, as Eligius said, "this miserable life."…
Fell. This may refer either to the fall of Adam or to individual human failings…
Among thieves. The early Christian writers saw here a reference to "the devil," "the rulers of darkness," or "evil spirits or false teachers."…

"Which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

"Stripped of his raiment. The early Christians sensed that Jesus spoke of something important here. Origen and Augustine saw the loss of this garment as a symbol of mankind's loss of immortality and incorruptibility…
Wounded. The early Christian writers consistently mentioned here references to the pains of life, the travails of the soul, the afflictions due to diverse sins and vices…
Half dead. The robbers depart, leaving the person exactly "half dead." We may see in this detail a reference to the first and second deaths. The person had fallen, had become subject to sin, and thus had suffered the first death, becoming subject to mortality…

"And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

"By chance. In other words, the arrival of the Jewish priest is not the result of a conscious search on his part…
A certain priest. The early Christian commentators saw this as a reference to the law of Moses or to the priesthood of the Old Testament, which did not have the power to lead to salvation…
A Levite. The priest and the Levite were seen by early commentators as representing the law and the prophets of the Old Testament, which Jesus came to fulfill…

"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine.

"Samaritan. The early Christians clearly saw the good Samaritan as Christ himself…
As he journeyed. The text may imply that the Samaritan (representing Christ) is purposely looking for people in need of help…
Had compassion. This is one of the most important words in the story. It speaks of the pure love of Christ…
Went to him. The injured traveler cannot move, but the Samaritan comes to succor him in his hour of greatest need…
Bound up his wounds…Latter-day Saints will understand that the repentant person is bound to the Lord through covenants…
Oil. A lotion of olive oil would have been very soothing…his may refer to many ordinances or priesthood blessings: the initial ordinance of anointing (Ps. 2:2; 18:50; 20:6), the use of consecrated oil to heal the sick (James 5:14), the gift of the Holy Ghost (often symbolized by the anointing with olive oil), or the final anointing of a person to be or become a king or a queen…
Wine. The Samaritan pours his wine into the open wounds to cleanse them. Later Christian writers saw this wine as the word of God, something that stings. But the earliest Christian interpretation associates the wine with the blood of Christ…

"And set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

"Set him on his own beast. Christ, fulfilling prophecy, bears "our sicknesses"… Although the text does not specify what kind of beast is involved, it may well be an ass, prefiguring a sharing of the Lord's beast of triumphal entry, with Christ allowing each person whom he rescues to ride as the king himself…
Inn. For the early Christians this element readily symbolized God's church. An inn was a public house open to all…
Took care of him. The Samaritan stays with the injured person and takes care of him personally the entire first night. He does not turn the injured person over too quickly to the innkeeper; he stays with him through the darkest hours…

"And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

"On the morrow. The early commentators saw here the prophecy that Jesus would be resurrected, that he would come again after his resurrection…
Two pence. Early on, the elders saw these coins (which would have borne the images of Caesar) as symbolizing the Father and the Son, the one being the identical image of the other…
Innkeeper. The early commentators saw the innkeeper as the apostle Paul or the other apostles and their successors…
When I come again. The Samaritan openly promises to come again, a ready allusion to the Second Coming of Christ…
Repay or reward. The innkeeper is promised that the Samaritan will cover all the costs, "whatever you expend."

"Understanding this parable allegorically adds an eternal perspective to its moral message and spiritual guidance. This reading positions deeds of neighborly kindness within an expansive awareness of where we have come from, how we have fallen into our present plight, and how the binding ordinances and healing love of the promised Redeemer and the nurture of his Church can rescue us, provided we live worthy of the reward."

Scripture of the Day: Proverbs 3:12

Year of Miracles #9

This week's miracle was a simple answer to prayer. Before my trip I purchased over $100 of prepaid tickets for an event, but when I returned home I was not able to find them. After looking in all the logical places over the course of several days and still not finding the tickets, I prayed for help. I had to pray for a few days, but then on Tuesday, as I was thinking about the tickets, I walked into the pantry to put something away. In doing so I walked past the pool bag hanging on a hook and had a loud thought {read prompting}, "I wonder if the tickets are in there." Sure enough, they were. I was really relieved to find them and grateful for the Lord's help (especially in saving me from having to repurchase the tickets).

Scripture of the Day: 1 Timothy 3:1-2

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not Meant to Be a Pioneer

So yesterday afternoon and evening I spent with Patch at cub scout daycamp. It was outdoors in 113 degree heat for seven hours. Can I just say TORTURE!@#! I was NOT meant to be a pioneer. I HEART AIR CONDITIONING! Patrick had a fairly good time shooting BB guns and arrows, swimming, making a leather craft, and playing kickball. Although I enjoyed being there to see him, I did not have anyone to visit with for most of the time and so my mind kept wandering to the undeniable subject of how hot it was. By the end I was exhausted and probably more stinky than I would ever care to admit, but I had survived.
Patch (R) and co-camper Tristan

The arts and crafts building (lightly cooled with a swamp system) at dusk.

What did you do in your nice air conditioned homes yesterday afternoon?

Scripture of the Day: 1 Nephi 13:19

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stayin' Cool in the Pool

After I returned home from my trip Steve told me how the kids swam a bunch in Amazing Becky's above ground pool--and that he wanted to buy one since travel this summer would be more limited than in past years. I thought that would be fine and a few days later he picked up a medium size above ground pool from Big Lots. The kids have absolutely loved it (including all the neighbor kids, even though most have real pools). Here are a few pictures of Kitty and Sweetie Peach having fun after lunch today. There is a shade cover over the pool, so the pictures are a touch dark.Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 15:3

Monday, June 16, 2008

Year of Miracles #8

Last week my brother-in-law was unable to find his keys when it was time to leave for work. His wife was already gone, as were his sons, and he was unable to contact any of them to ask if they knew about his keys. And since they have recently moved to a new neighborhood, he did not feel comfortable asking for a ride from a neighbor. So, after thoroughly searching, he set out with his laptop in his briefcase to walk the eight miles to work. After about a mile a kind construction worker stopped and picked him up and took him about halfway and then dropped him off. After walking another half mile, another man stopped to ask if he needed a ride and then took him the last few miles to get to work. He arrived safely (despite the heat) and was very grateful for the kindness of strangers who miraculously stopped to help him that morning.

It turned out his older son had borrowed the keys and had not yet returned them that morning.

Scripture of the Day: Ephesians 6:4

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Soil Milk

Sweetie Peach (left) and friend Kate

Sweetie Peach was playing recently at her friend Sam's house, where Amazing Becky gave her some soy milk to try. Later she told me, "Sam's mom gave me some soil milk to drink at their house and it was sooo good--and there wasn't any dirt in it or anything!"

Hope your Saturday is productive and/or relaxing!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 72:9-12

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Day Scriptures

I have noticed on my stats counter that I am getting a number of hits from people looking for scriptures for Father's Day. And since that is just a few days away, I thought I would post this great quote, as well as some helpful scriptures for this special day.

"I remind you brethren who bear the Melchizedek Priesthood that the seed of the present is the harvest of the future. I urge you, as fathers and as priesthood leaders, to focus more attention on teaching, guiding, and shepherding these young men, especially by example. The Lord has given you that obligation. Remember, the lambs have little chance of following the right path if the shepherd goes astray." --Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Priesthood of God", Ensign, Nov 1988, 34

Ten great scriptures about mortal fatherhood (not in any particular order):

  1. Exodus 20:12
  2. Proverbs 3:12
  3. Luke 11:11-13
  4. Ephesians 6:4
  5. 1 Nephi 1:1
  6. Enos 1:1
  7. Mosiah 27:14
  8. D&C 68:25
  9. D&C 83:4
  10. Family Proclamation p. 7

A few great scripture stories about fathers include:
  1. Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18)
  2. The parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
  3. Jairus petitioning the Savior to heal his daughter (Luke 8:41-56)
  4. Alma praying for his wayward son Alma the Younger (Alma 27)
  5. Lehi taking his family into the wilderness (1 Nephi)
I also found this really cute poem on a tie shaped card that is for Father's Day! Have a good one.

Super Tourist: Part 6

Last Day in London
My time wound down in London with a few more sites to see. First was Hampton Court, which is where Henry VIII was raised and spent much of his time while King. I had seen the grounds of Hampton Court as a missionary, but had never been inside it. So going to see it was something I had been wanting to do for 15 years (yikes, can I have been home from my mission for that long?!?). Above is a picture of Hampton Court from the outside. There is also a hedge maze, which I conquered (unintentionally--I totally was giving up on finding the center when all of the sudden I was there); below is the marker of the center of it. The next picture is of the famous walkway leading from the palace to the Thames dock.

I have to note that while we were at Hampton Court I had my Year of Miracles #7--my mom and I had been ripped off by a taxi driver who got us there, which really stressed out my mom. But while walking around Hampton Court we heard this beautiful music. A famous opera singer, Katherine Jenkins (I think her name is) was there warming up with a full orchestra in one of the courtyards of the palace. She was to give a concert that evening. The music was gorgeous and really helped to reduce the stress we were feeling and was actually one of the best parts of the whole visit. What could have been a lousy experience was made great. I am really grateful for that.

The next day I went and saw a parade called the Trouping of the Colors. It was not the real thing; they were practicing for the following Saturday to mark the Queen's birthday. Still it was interesting to watch and I enjoyed it. Here is one of the bands that marched by.One of the last things I did was take a train down to Lingfield to visit my friends Bill and Yessie Baldock. Bill and Yessie are the sweetest couple who I knew from my mission. He is a sealer in the London temple and has the best sense of British humor! Yessie made me a delicious lunch of Shepherd's pie and veggies and then we went and visited a botanical garden near their home. I had such a nice time visiting with them. This is me and Bill at the garden.
After returning from Lingfield my parents and I went to see Spamalot, a play based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This was quite funny -- definitely a good laugh.

The last full day of my trip was a Sunday, so I refrained from doing much more than takinga nap and walking around enjoying the cooler weather--I knew I would be coming home to 100+ degree temps. I have to say this was a dream trip for me and I owe both my parents and my husband a HUGE thank you for making it all possible. It was such a great experience in every way possible!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Super Tourist: Part 5

More in London
After visiting the Tower of London I stopped at Tower Bridge. The view from the upper level was nice, especially of the Thames. And it was interesting to learn about the political and economical parameters that made the design and execution of the bridge difficult. Here are two shots--one of the bridge (above) and one from the upper level (facing up river, I believe).
Later that afternoon my mom and I went to Kensington Palace, which is where Princess Diana lived with her boys until her divorce. There was a nice collection of her dresses there, as well as an audio tour describing royal dress in history. We enjoyed this little tour, but loved an unexpected tour afterwards of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. As we were leaving the palace, a man on a golf cart was dropping some people off for their tour and asked us if we would like a ride around the parks. He was giving rides/tours to anyone who might be interested and only asked for a small donation in return for park maintenance. He took us all around and we had lots of fun seeing some lovely fountains, statues, and even Speakers Corner.
(A garden right next to the palace--you can see the palace in the background.)
The next day in the morning I took a few shots of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and then visited Westminster Abbey. Since photos were not allowed inside Westminster, here are a few of the pictures I took of these three sights that are right next to each other.

Super Tourist: Part 4

The above shot was actually taken my last full day in London, but it is one of my favorites from the trip. It is not often statues on buildings are painted, and I love the contrast the side of the building creates with the sky. It looks like two photos side by side, but it's not.

Anyway, so we got to London and started on a bus tour of the town to take up time until the hotel was ready. Before the bus tour though we stopped for lunch. The bus parked behind St. Paul's Cathedral and we went and bought some fruit and sandwiches at Marks and Spencers and ate them on the steps of St. Paul's. It was such a great feeling to be back in London! I was sad the bus tour never stopped to let us take pictures of the famous sites, but it was still interesting. Here is a detail picture of St. Paul's I took after lunch though.After getting into the hotel we had to do laundry so we treked off to find the laundromat. It was 3.20 pounds just to wash! That is about $6 per load, and we had three loads. Yikes! Later I did a walking tour of Kensington where we were staying. I love walking around London and just looking at all the great architecture. Here are two pictures I took on my walk. The first is of someone's front window, the second of a plaque marking the home of the author of Wind in the Willows.
The second day in London I was off to see the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and then Kensington Palace. I had tried to see the Tower of London previously but it had such long lines that I did not have time to get in. This time though I went early and was able to walk right in--no queues and very few people there. There was a ton to see there and I enjoyed the history. Sorry I couldn't resist the standard tourist-y shots here.

Super Tourist: Part 3

Last Day in Paris
The last day in Paris I took a train out to see Versailles, then went to the Musee d'Orsay, and took a boat tour of the Seine. Versailles had a really long line and was partly under construction. I was also in a time crunch so I skipped the audio tour and just walked through on my own. The Hall of Mirrors was beautiful--I would have loved to see it without all the people that were in the room at the time, but it was still remarkable. The gardens were also lovely. I would like to go back here someday to do the tour properly and spend more time, but I am still glad I went. The shot above is from Versailles, as well as below.

At the Musee d'Orsay is a collection of impressionist artwork, including Monet, Renoir, and Degas. I enjoyed this museum more than the Louvre, partly because the size of it is more manageable, but mainly because the artwork is more to my style. It was amazing to see the original works of famous paintings I have see copies of hundreds of times--they were just there hanging on the walls with no glass over them or anything. Really cool. My mom and I ran around in there taking pictures of the famous paintings we love to use for our Art Masterpiece classes we teach in the spring.Finally, the boat tour of the Seine was at night and I was not able to get any good pictures due to the darkness. But on the way back to the hotel we were able to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up. At 11 p.m. there the lights on it start to twinkle for 15 minutes and it is a beautiful sight. I would have liked to gazed at it longer but was in desperate need of a bathroom at the time! I will just have to enjoy this picture instead. It is a bit crooked because I was on the boat at the time and had a hard time getting the angle right.The next day we took the Chunnel to London and were there by lunch time. Stay tuned for more Super Tourist adventures in London!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Super Tourist: Part 2

More of Paris
My second day in Paris I spent sightseeing with my mom while my dad was off visiting a business with his students. First we went to Saint Chappelle, a small church on the same island as Notre Dame. This was one of my favorite sites--I think because it was so colorful (love the red and blue and gold). Both the walls and all the stained glass windows were very colorful. Basically, the windows record most of the Biblical scriptures in story form in stained glass. Some of it has had to be replaced and is not original, but it was all beautiful. Here is a picture from the lower level of it.
After Saint Chappelle we wandered over to Notre Dame. My mom had been here before so she sat outside while I went in to check it out. I did not go to the bell towers, but stayed on the ground floor. Although I thought Notre Dame was okay, I was disappointed in how dusty it was. I would think they would have a better cleaning and maintenance staff. But I guess not. Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle are on an island called Isle de Cite. Next to this island is a smaller island called Isle de St. Louis, which is where we went next. There were some lovely small shops and we had lunch there. I took this snapshot of the Seine as we went over a footbridge between the two islands.
By this time my legs were killing me from all the stairs and walking. So we went back to the hotel to rest up before dinner. For dinner my parents and I went to Chartier. It had lots of French fancy-dress waiters rushing around. I ordered a salad with my chicken for dinner there, but what came was a plate of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes with some diced onion on top. Different, I admit, but it tasted good. This is a picture of a wall of mirrors inside the restaurant--I like the way it turned out.And a shot of our waiter. We told him he looked like a young Tom Hanks, but either he did not believe us or could not understand English very well:-)!

Last day in Paris to come later this evening. Hope your day is going well so far!

Super Tourist: Part 1

So I am home now and have been awake since 4:30 am this morning. I guess that is what a London to Phoenix flight will do to your sleep patterns! Any way, I had such a great time it is hard to know where to begin. I thought I would break this up into several posts-Paris and London. There is no way I could post all of my pics, so I will have to narrow it down... somehow.

I arrived at about dinner time after three flights and restless sleep. I was picked up from Charles de Gaulle Airport by a guy in a turban holding a sign with my parents' names on it. I was expecting this, so I (in very broken French) identified myself as the party for whom he was seeking and off we went. It was raining so we walked as much through the airport to the cab as possible. He had to drive me for about 45 minutes to get to the hotel, where I found my mom waiting in the lobby. It was a relief to know I had finally made it to the right place. After stowing my gear in my room (which I shared with one of the Baylor students--Janelle), we went out for Chinese food and then I crashed.

The next day was Sunday and it started with a bus tour of famous sites. The first stop was the Arc de Triomphe (please excuse any misspellings--my jet lagged brain is not functioning quite normally yet). It was beautiful--so huge and majestic. This is my favorite shot I got of it:We also stopped at Le Hotel des Invalides (hospital for those wounded in war--mostly it is a historical landmark now, but apparently they still have a few hundred patients staying there). Here is a pic of it--I never went inside, but would have liked to.
On this same bus tour we went by the hotel Princess Diana left before the car crash, and then by the tunnel too. I was surprised at how short the tunnel was--it appeared much longer to me on the media. C'est la vie (that's life). There were other great things on this tour, but the only other picture I will show is the Eiffel Tower. I never went up it during my stay--was always on the run to do other things and the line was always so long... but what's a trip without at least one regret, right?After the bus tour we went to Mountmart--which is a church up on a hill in Paris. This area is where the artists hang out and a lot of them were working and trying to sell their work that day. There were also a lot of charming shops near the curch. We had lunch here. I ordered a Monsieur Croque, which was supposed to be a grill cheese sandwich with ham in it. This is what it turned out to be--yum yum (can anyone say dinner tonight?).
After Mountmart I went with some of the students to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. It was the first Sunday of the month, so all the museums in Paris were free that day. Needless to say it was crowded and warm there, but I did find the Mona Lisa and a number of other famous art pieces. This picture shows the crowd in front of the painting. Overall I would say the Louvre is very cool. I can totally understand why they say it is overwhelming now. So huge...
Stay tuned for more Super Tourist travel info. More to come later today ;)

Scripture of the Day: D&C 121:27