Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Flashback To My Teens - ATARI Wars

When I was in junior high school, the first personal gaming system came out and we wanted one! 
Before that time, the only type of gaming system was a hand held football game and the little red lines would move and blink on the hand-held game. 

We were SO excited when we got an Atari gaming system for Christmas! We would all line up for games but our favorite was asteroids and breakout. 

Centipede was fun along with Missile Command and I don't remember that we owned some of the other games but think we would trade out our games for friends games so we could have a new challenge. 

We would spend hours working on the "High Score" and I remember the day that I got to 99 free lives on Asteroids. I think it wouldn't let me get 100 but got stuck on 99 free games but I just remember having 100 free lives thinking I was so cool to be able to get so many extra lives.  

Imagine my nostalgia when I found this little plug and play game at a second hand store for $4 that had all the Atari games in one small plug in game! I couldn't believe my luck. I figured Princess Five and I could have a fun few hours playing all the games I spent hours playing as a teen. 

Of course we played all the games I had and remembered first and then went into the games that weren't as fun and some I don't remember playing at all. 

I laughed out loud when we played this precursor to Zelda castle and dragon - get a key to get into the castle quest game. Look how silly the graphics on this dragon are.... I really did laugh out loud.  
When we were playing missile command, I reminded her of the episode in "Chuck" where he had to play missile command to save the world. 
Since this game only had a joystick and not the paddle, it was a bit harder to play but I reminded her that on the arcade game, the controller is a rolling ball on missile command and she seemed to think the game was a bit cooler that it was featured on "Chuck" since it is one of our favorite series. Here is a link to that spot on the show. 

She was dressed down into her sweats and didn't want me taking pictures of her for the blog being dressed down so I have a picture of her back but she actually did play each of the games with me.

I was a bit surprised to see colors in asteroid as I remembered the game we had was in black and white but maybe I remembered wrong but it was kind of fun to see it in color and perhaps the color version is a newer one than we had. 

We had a fun time and it was good for me to relax with Princess Five doing something that I used to enjoy. 

I told her how funny it is when we look back on life and have such great memories of shows or games and then when we play or watch them years later, they seem so silly and non-exciting because things have changed so much in my lifetime. I don't know that I will play it ever again but it is kinda fun for the kids to see what I had compared to what they have now.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Letter Two From Japan - I Miss My Sunshine~

Here is the first letter from Japan with pictures. It is good to see her smiling face and everyone looks happy. The descrition of the pictures is near the bottom. Here is her letter:

" Good Morning Starshine!!! The earth says hello!! Hello you beautiful children of God!

Japan is so fun! I love it so much! Nihon dai suki desu. I love Japan!

Miracles of the week:
On Monday, we were contacting a previous investigator. She said she didn`t have have time  for the gospel. Which isn't true because if you make time for the Lord, he makes time for you! But you know, she has free agency, and we still love her! On the way back I felt like we should ping a house(The doorbell sound here is `ping pong` according to everyone, so that is adorable) We weren't out pinging. I felt like we should ping it before, but we were on our way to visit the previous investigator. It wasn't like a huge screaming feeling. More of an `eh, why not` feeling. A woman talked to us through the door. My companion started by saying we were from America. I couldn't understand anything, so I just crouched down, and talked to the little girl standing next to her mom. We gave her an English Class(Eikaiwa) pamphlet. After we left I asked what the lady said. She said that she usually doesn't answer the door. she asked if we were from a church by her house, but we told her where our church was. She said her friend (her friend is a nonactive member) is a member, and that she comes to Eikaiwa with her kids! We weren't able to have Eikaiwa this week because of mission tour, so I don't know if she will come to Eikaiwa with her kids or not, but that experience meant a lot to me. My companion started freaking out about my bean power (as in green bean... as in I'm still less that 2 transfers old... Mission lingo you know?) Seirei( the Holy Ghost) totally guided that one. Nothing may come of it, but who knows! It still meant a lot to me. Yay pinging!!
Another cool thing that happened on Tuesday. We got on a bus, and there just happened to be four senior boys sitting behind us. We could hear them say things like,`Talk to them in English` And boy did they talk. They invited us to eat with them.... Mind you, I have no idea what is being said really....... My companion asked if we could bring our friends.. aka the Elders. They said that was fine. So we all went out for Ramen. My first Ramen in Japan. Fun fact. One of the boy`s names was Tiger... So that was legit. Another fun fact. Japanese names are so hard to remember, but that`s OK! The boys asked us if we had boyfiends.. We said no. They also asked why we are called Shimai. #dendo They really liked us at first, and then they liked the Elders. That, Folks, is what I call a catch and release. hahaha We met some of their teammates last night at the train station. We asked if they knew our new friends. They said they did, and that we ate dinner with them. So you know. We were the hot topic of the boys soccer team in Muroran Japan. We gave them an Eikaiwa flyer (They talked to us two times) . But that was still crazy awesome!

I was also feeling sad at church because I cant understand anything. But we went out and dendoed... guess who got real happy real fast? It was Me!!!!! Man. Spreading the gospel is so happy, friends! When people would tell me that, they weren't even lying.

We also talked to a CHRISTIAN AMERICAN! Him and his wife are very firm in their Religion which was too bad, because some of their beliefs were so close to being correct and happy, but they were a little different, and sad. He believes we will change when we go to heaven. Like we wont recognize each other, and we wont have set families. But just so you all know, We will recognize each other. We will be the same spirits in heaven that we are on earth. Families are important, and we can be sealed together with them for eternity in the temple.

We also got to hear from Prisident Yamashita who spoke in conference about being ambitious in Christ. My companion totally bought a mini statue/wooden figurine we keep on our phone, of the statue he talks about in conference. Feel free to go listen to that. IT WAS SO GOOD! His conference talk confirmed my testimony of the Book of Mormon, and the Church being true.  On Saturday when he spoke to us, we sat on the front row. He stared me down and pointed at me, and called me out multiple times. We were probably best friends in heaven or something. He had me stand up and tell everyone the first line in PMG of the lessons, `God is our loving Heavenly Father` in Eigo and Nihongo... So that was cool. I also did my first origami! It is a mouth that opens and closes! So Ill send pictures of that next week! Remember to open your mouths, and I promise, the scriptures promise, and the Lord promises that it will be filled. 

Description of Pictures:
1 - President and his wife.
2 - I loved my trainer Shimai from the start.
3 - Me totally guessing correctly that I would be serving in Muroran
4 - Nato.... I can't explain it well so google it, but I'm pretty sure it's fermented soy beans.... Not my most favorite thing clearly...
5 - Mission tour with Yamashita  Kaicho. He spoke in this last conference. His talk at conference made a big impact on my testimony so I fan girled pretty hard.
Choose to have a week that is as beautiful as you are! 
Ai Shiteimasu! Kyokai wa Shinjitsu desu! I love you! The church is true!
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Isn't she just the cutest and happiest missionary around! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple Eater Blanket

I am super tired and was cleaning out some space on my phone and came across the cute doll / blanket that my daughter made for her baby. She hadn't sewn much before this so for her to create this without a pattern was super creative and an undertaking. 

I wanted to blog something about this blanket and I am going to have to do an update next week as I just keep falling asleep at the computer. Isn't Princess One talented for coming up with this SUPER cute idea.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Working on the To DO List

 I wish I could share how tired I am right at this moment but that isn't possible. 
Sometimes I wish we could convey our feelings and emotions to others better than we do. I think children are much better at this than adults. They tend to just "know," like animals do, how you are feeling. 
The on and off sleeping, the headaches, not leaving the house much and just focusing on one thing can't be good so today, I did something different. 
I sorted for a few hours and then I decided to get some things off my "to do" list and break up the sorting as it, along with all the snow storms, has me going a bit stir crazy. 

I made all the phone calls that have been on my list for months. I was on hold for over 2 hours today for a few different places and while on hold, I decided to use my time wisely. 

I pulled out the "need fixing" pile of jewelry that has been waiting for the right time for me to work on it. There were some ivory earrings that Princess Four asked me to make into earrings for pierced ears from clip on earrings. It didn't take lots of time but it just took time and pulling a few items out.

She also wanted this clip made into a necklace as it has a "Cinderella carriage" and slipper on it but she didn't need a key chain so she asked me to make it into a necklace. 
I feel bad now that I didn't get it done before she left for Japan but I may send them to her so she will have them there. 

The flower earring and necklace set was once just a necklace but it broke so I made it into a set. One of the coins fell off this necklace made of coins from around the world. 
After that, I made two large flowers into earrings as I thought they were really cute as earrings. 

Lastly, I had a Disney Princess bracelet that is made up of the stretchy see through elastic type that stretched over your hand. 

One of the elastics sides broke open and I needed to re-thread it with new "stretchy string" to fix it. I threaded it and once you have it all made into a line, you tie the ends together very strongly in a square knot and clip the ends short. 
Princess Four saw this bracelet in one of the "Grab bags" I purchased and asked if I could fix it for her. Truly, I may need to send her a little package for Valentines Day. 

I got about 14 things off my "to do" list today and need to do a few tomorrow. One thing I didn't get to was my Family News Letter that I usually do over the Christmas holiday. I may try and get that written this week.
As for now, I have fallen asleep at the computer about 25 times so I am headed off to lala land hopefully.             

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sorting For Months - Finally Getting Somewhere

Once again my sleep and sorting have swapped and the weather is not helping me out. There have been storms every few days for weeks and it seem like I just get into a rhythm in sorting and get moving super fast and get excited that I may be getting close to finishing..... Then, a storm hits. 

This past week, I have probably slept more than in a few weeks combined. I have had so many headaches that I have had three days where I have slept over 12 hours! I wish that I could say that I wake up super perky but it just isn't true. 

I never take anything stronger than Tylenol and Pseudaphed for my headaches along with lots of Coke but the meds don't last all night long and I find myself having a horrible sleep with a headache keeping me just awake enough to feel like I didn't sleep. 

With all of that going on, I got really stuck on one subject of my mothers history. She had a notebook / scrap book of her school years through college before her big year as a national beauty queen. After that, all bets were off as to any organization in her stuff. 

One would think I would get stuck with the stuff after she stopped organizing but the scrapbook along with tons of copies of the same articles with no date included cut out of papers kept me working for three days on her high school and college activities. 

The scrapbook had fallen apart many years before and was stuck into a binder I actually made her many years back but they weren't in order. So, I went through the book and stuck what I could in order. I then went through the newspapers and cut out articles and added dates where possible and was able to then put the play programs with the articles with the tickets etc. 

I wouldn't have thought that she would have so many and I had no idea that she was a lead in every play in high school and college and there were several plays every year.  Along with that, she had the radio club and their programs, along with madrigals and choirs and their programs and also in speech and debate. This on top of church programs, and community events and all her beauty pageants. It seriously did take me three days to organize one binder of her education. 

As you can imagine, I was very excited to finish that part of her life and get moved on to the "after school" part. I had already done the pageants for the most part and have the year she was a national Beauty Queen done by month but it needs refining before scanning as I keep finding things to add and have chosen to sort it a bit differently now that I have pondered on it a bit more. 

I had planned on sorting it by year and had all the items in folder by year as you can see, I emptied the folders and have a pile of them. If we don't know what year something happened, we would have to sort through many years of things to find it. 

After praying and thinking about it, I have chosen to sort it by event or category so we can just sort that folder. The two piles above are her career and volunteering on the left and church and church volunteering and speaking engagements on the right. Her singing career and singing events are all combined together with the choirs and choruses she was in and  or led and all the acting things are together and then modeling. 

The one thing I have chosen to change is letters. I had included all the letters of her pageant year in with the monthly items but then when I brought in the stuff I sorted in 2008ish, I found that I had put all the letters into clear sheet protectors by date. I didn't remember that so when I finalize the pageant year, I will pull out the letters and just have the binder of letters as it is more like a journal and I think it would be read better in a book format rather than in with all the tickets, programs etc. that the pageant year holds. You can see the letter binder at the top. 

I have been watching "Burn Notice" while I work as I need something to listen too while organizing and it keeps me awake having a story line to listen too. I watched it years ago so I don't feel the need to pay super close attention but just to have something to keep my mind active. I truly do feel like things are getting more organized and eventually hope to have the organized papers to two larger bins and then insert the pictures where they fit into the files. 

The pictures are all now organized so it will be easy to put them in where they fit into the files once I am done with the sorting. I still have probably a few weeks left of the sorting but I have some family events coming up soon that may take me away from getting much done but I will do my best to get this finished and out of my living room. 

Once I have them all sorted, I will be able to scan them and distribute them and get them out of my world! I have purchased sheet protectors and 2 binders for each of my siblings and hope to be able to distribute them before the end of the summer. 

I may be aiming high to be able to get all that done by then but who knows! I also want to give all my siblings a back up drive with all the scans. I typed up the two histories I found for my dad and asked him to combine them and gave him some thoughts on stories I would appreciate him telling or typing up but he is still busy volunteering his time and has some projects in the work but he did say something about retiring from all the committees he is one at some point this year so perhaps he will be able to get to it soon, if not, I may have to kidnap him for a week and force it upon him! ;-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Week in Japan - Warms My Heart

I wasn't sure when Princess Four would be able to write me from her new area and was super excited when we got this email today. She sounds great and happy and I didn't get anything in a "mom" email other than she is super happy and gets her iPad next week so she will be able to write more then. So, my stress level can lighten knowing she is safe and happy and has a companion with her that she gets along with and can talk with in English. I worried she would have a Japanese companion and wouldn't be able to speak with her so I am VERY grateful that she has someone to talk with as that is important to her. 

As you can see, she is being blessed and I also feel very blessed! Enjoy her email until next time..... 

"Hello Beautiful People! 
This is going to be short and sweet because I don't have an iPad. So I'll just tell you about the miracles this week! I also can't send pictures because of this reason, so enjoy this MTC picture of two girls from my church at home.

Miracles of the week....
I got to call my mom from Japan because my calling card didn't work, and a nice Japanese couple living in Ohio visiting Japan let me borrow their phone, and they paid for the minutes. They will be blessed!
I made it to Japan.

The futons here are rock hard, but I'm so tired that I sleep with no problem! Its the best!
God has given me lots of cute songs that he loves me.

MY COMPANION "Cutie Pie" IS THE BEST! SHE IS FROM MONTANA BUT HER FAMILY MOVED TO 15 miles from my family!!!!!!! I went to school with her cousins. We went to the same youth conference once. She is an angel. I love her so much. We are best friends already.
There aren't any investigators in my mission, "Fun Spot",(I also totally guessed which area I was going to, so that was crazy) but that just means that I get to find some brand new investigators. the work might have been slow, but don't worry. Ill fix that.

I got to eat all you can eat sushi today!! I ate sea urchin. So you know. That was pretty exciting.

We saw a mom and daughter shoveling snow, so we asked to help. They said they were building a fort, but that we could help! We did of course. They invited us in for pancakes. They are the cutest family. It was the mom. two daughters, 12 and 9, and a little boy who is 5. THEY WERE SO CUTE!! They google mapped our houses which was fun. haha The dad came in and was surprised to see two white girls in his home, but they were so nice. I can feel the waters of baptism...... that might just be all the feet of snow, but you know. Good things will happen here. I know it! My companion said that people letting us in was not normal, so thanks for guiding our path Serei(Holy Ghost)

I am so happy here. I don't understand what is being said most of the time, but I'm good at smiling.
 Teaching Eikaiwa(English Class) is way fun! I love the Japanese people!
Have such a good week. Choose good things. That's why we have agency!! Love you lots! Ai shiteimasu!
Love,  Shimai"

Monday, January 23, 2017

Completeing the Uncompletable Puzzle - Making Missing Pieces

I know I have done a blog about this before but I hadn't made a video about it.
I thought since I was making pieces for this new / used puzzle I purchased at a second hand store, I would go ahead and make a video of how I do that so those who don't comprehend by reading as well can maybe get clarity by watching the video I made.  
Here is the video of how I explain making pieces for the missing ones in your puzzles. It isn't hard to do this but it may take some time depending on the color of the puzzle piece and any decorations on the piece.
Here is a link to one post where I show making a very old thicker piece for a puzzle.  Both are similar but just take different replacement boards.

Here is a link where I show replacing and making a piece for a child's puzzle.  

This puzzle was a fun United States Disney puzzle. It was missing four pieces. Two were small states which I can understand how they went missing. The other two pieces were an edge piece that isn't shown on the cover and the state of Arizona. 

First thing you need to do is put all the pieces around the missing pieces together making a "hole" for the lost piece. The next step is to find the right thickness of cardboard to use to make the piece. With this one, I had a super thick piece that was thicker than the puzzle and one that was thinner than the puzzle.
With that, I chose to use one that was thinner than the pieces and make 2 of the same piece and glue them together to get the right thickness of the pieces. This is an easy process as you don't need to do much on the under piece so the time is spent reproducing the top of the new piece. 

Cut out a piece of the cardboard just larger than the piece spot that is missing. Slide the cardboard under the puzzle and allow it to show through where the piece is missing. Take a pencil and trace the area inside onto the cardboard so that the piece is now outlined on the cardboard. 

Once it is traced on the cardboard, you can either cut it out first, or you can color it first. 

I have done it both ways and found that I like coloring it before cutting it out as I don't get marker on the table under or have to hold it with my fingernail while I color it which always gets my nails dirty. 

I share that you can photo copy the front and blow up the piece and use that to just glue on the front of the piece or you can free hand the piece using markers, I think I did a great job on a few of the pieces and somehow cut the edge piece a bit smaller than needed in some places but I wasn't being super OCD on it. 

Once you have the picture colored on, you can cut it out. If it is a solid color piece, you can use acrylic paints to paint it or if you are super talented, you can paint the piece using the paints but most people wouldn't be artists that way and wouldn't want to take the time for one piece. 

Once it is cut out, make sure to color the edges so the cardboard edges don't stand out, I show this above. Then, to cut out the back of the piece, just trace the piece you cut out and made already onto another of the thin cardboard and cut it out. This process can even out the thin cut of the inner trace making the piece fit a little better. 
Once the two are cut out, test the pieces and trim as needed and then glue the bottom piece on to the top piece. I used a glue stick for this. 

I think I did well using the markers to color the pieces and actually think someone looking at the puzzle wouldn't know on three of the new pieces, unless they were pointed out or they did the puzzle. 

The edge piece probably would have been better after testing the top piece, if I had cut out another "inside" piece and then just filled in the gap with the water color marker so that at least one of the pieces was the right size. Lesson learned but as I said, I wasn't super worried about it.

I think it you zoom in on the New York state piece, you can see the other two small state pieces I made. 

I like the Arizona piece the best of the four I made. They all work fine but I liked drawing Mickey Mouse.   

I think if I used a semi-gloss spray on finish, top coat the piece would match the sheen of the other pieces if you care about that. 

Thanks for stopping!!!