Thursday, November 29, 2007

Young Women in Excellence

We had our Young Women in Excellence program on Tuesday. The YW president and I are both new at the whole Young Women leader experience, so we were both kind of winging it as we planned. We had a lot of help from the YW president from the other ward we combine with, which we were so grateful for. Thanks Francis!

I am the only Young Women representative/leader from our ward because we only have one young woman, and she is not very active. So our Young Women are combined with another ward in our stake, but even combined we don't have very many girls. The YW presidency consists of the president, who is from the other ward, and me, the first counselor. For activities we combine with a third ward and usually have about eight girls attend.

Our theme was "Miss Confidence Pageant" because the Mutual theme for the year was "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God." YW in Excellence is really suppose to be about celebrating the personal progress achievements of the Young Women, but none of our girls were getting any awards. All of the five active girls in our ward are new to Young Women program (either converts or Beehives) so they have not gotten very far with their personal progress. We wanted all our girls to be able to participate equally, so we put on the "pageant" so the new girls could do something.

We started the pageant by doing a Modesty Walk, introducing each girl as they walked down the aisle with a modest outfit, each sporting a different color of the YW values. Then for the talent section we had a musical number with all of them singing "I Feel My Savior's Love." The last section was a question and and answer portion. The pageant was just a segment of the program (we did give out some medallions to leaders from the other ward who had earned their medallions, and we had a bishopric member and the stake Young Women's president speak) but it was the highlight of the night.

The girls all did fantastic! We were a little nervous how it would turn out because at 7:00 we only had one girl there! A couple more got there soon after and a couple more arrived right before the pageant (they had trouble with their ride situation). It was nice to be able to meet the parents of the girls not in my ward (which would be all of them).

Robert also took his second CPA test two days ago. He said it was difficult, more difficult than the last one, and he did not remember a lot of the things he thought he would remember. So now we are anxiously waiting for the results, but we don't expect to hear back any time soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

We got back late last night from Utah where we spent Thanksgiving. For Thanksgiving dinner we were with my Dad's family in Richfield, Utah. We had 58 people there! There was a lot of chatting, basketball, and of course, food.
The next day we drove up to Provo and hung out with Robert's parents and grandma because on Saturday we went to the BYU-Utah football game. We were way excited to go! Robert's mom found us tickets on Wednesday night before we left, so we packed up our warm clothes. There were some tense moments in the fourth quarter, but the Cougars prevailed, 17-10.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"I'm the best!"

Picture a home video of a Christmas morning in the late eighties. Everyone in the young Wheat family is gathered around watching as one-by-one they open their Christmas presents. Suddenly, the picture cuts to a scene taking place a few months later. A much younger Robert, say nine years old, is in the living room of his Florida home playing Nintendo with his brothers. Someone, obviously a child, is holding a video camera and recording the entire event for future generations to watch. After beating a level of Mario Brothers Robert jumps up and exclaims "I'm the best!" Then the scene cuts back to the Christmas morning the kids had just taped over.

After seeing this tape Robert's exclamation has become a sort of joke with Robert and I. Every time Robert does something well I tell him "You're the best!" Today Robert came home from work and exclaimed "I'm the best!" He found out today that he passed the first of four tests for the CPA with an 87%. He was also beaming about his first review at work where he was rated above average in every category. Robert's the best!

The Wonderful World of Google

I love Google. It honestly has so many cool things that I use everyday, and in a user friendly and familiar format that is easy for non-tech savy people to use.

For example, google maps. Yes, it is good for getting directions and I do use it for that all the time. But I also have built my own maps with the locations of different homeless shelters in L.A. Since I am fairly new to L.A. I would often have no idea how far or even in what direction a shelter was. So I imputed all the addresses into google maps and viola. Now I just look at the map and they are all laid out there for me. Plus I can change the little pinpoint so I can tell by looking at the map what kind of shelter it is.

Another feature I have recently discovered is the google reader. All of you who read blogs should use this (or some other reader...). You type in the web address to things like blogs or news websites and it tells you when there are new items. So you don't have to be continually checking blogs to see if there are any new posts, you just look at the reader page and it tells you what new posts there are for all the blogs y0u frequent.

Some of my other favorites are: gmail, igoogle, blogger, google news, and the good ole google search engine.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feeding the Homeless

For our Young Women activity this week we made lunches with sandwhiches, water, and some snacks. Then we went to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and passed the lunches out to the homeless. We leaders kind of stood back so the girls could pass out the bags themselves. Each girl had two bags for them to personally hand to the homeless person.

I was so proud of them! At first some of them were really shy and scared but after other girls started giving out their bags they were really into it. Before we started we told them how they could ask politely if the person wanted the bag ("Sir, would you like a free meal this evening? etc.") and they did really well. After a while we did have to tell them not to run at the homeless person full speed once they spotted them, they were just so excited to give out their bags.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Young Women Ideas

I was wondering if I could rack your brains. I am in the Young Women presidency in our ward (Well, actually I am the Young Women presidency in our ward since we only have one young woman, but we combine with another ward who is also pretty small.) and we will be planning our activities for the next year soon. I wanted to hear of some of your favorite activities as young women or ideas that you think would be fun to do with the young women. Thanks!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Yesterday was crazy busy at work. A lot of days are slow and I will just sit around all morning, but when I get one person they take up my entire morning. Yesterday I came in and had a family waiting for me already. An hour and a half later while I was still working with that family I was informed that I had two more families waiting for me. Half an hour later when I was finishing up with the first family I was told that I had three more families waiting for me in addition to the other two families that had already been waiting half an hour. Unfortunately there was no way I was going to be able to see all those families, even if I hurried. Plus, it's not fair for the families that had been waiting if I hurry them through. I referred the other three families to our downtown office and spent the next few hours with the remaining two families.

What was great about yesterday was for the first time I really feel like I am connecting with the families and meeting their needs. It was really hard for me starting out because I had no idea what resources were out there and which shelter accepted what etc. Now I am familiar with just about every family shelter out there so I know exactly who to call when I get, say, a couple with older kids, or a single mother with a small child.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Proposal

*If you haven't read the previous post you should before reading this one*
Three years ago today was November 2, 2004, election day. President George W. Bush was running against Senator John Kerry. That day I went and cast my first presidential ballot, in some random BYU building on University Ave. That evening Robert and I were hanging out at my apartment and he leaned over to me and whispered, “Do you want to go make out?”

Now this caught my attention and brought back a memory from when we were first dating. Robert had told me that one of his friends had planned to propose to his future wife, but they were with a big group of friends and he didn’t know how to get her alone. So he asked her (discreetly of course) “Do you want to go make out?” Robert seemed to really get a kick out of that story. So when he leaned over and did the same thing, I immediately was suspicious.

We decided to go for a walk by taking the Provo River Parkway towards Robert’s apartment. He was acting kind of distracted so I definitely knew it was coming. We walked over a bridge and stopped and looked over the river. For some reason we did something very unromantic, we started spitting over the bridge. Then we were talking on the bridge and Robert got down on one knee and proposed. Since he had not had enough time to get a real ring yet, he proposed with a purple CTR ring. I of course said yes and then jumped up and down and hugged him. A few minutes later he let his roommate come out of the bushes who had been secretly filming it and we went back to their apartment to watch the tape and see who had won the election.

The Story of How Robert and Melarie Ended Up With a 1 1/2 Month Engangement

Three years ago today Robert asked me to marry him. I was thinking about things that happened around that time and thought I would write them down and share with you.

This story starts a couple weeks before November 2. In October of 2004 Robert and I had been dating for about ten months. We had already talked about marriage and thought of it as something that would happen eventually, but not until the next year sometime. Ideally we were thinking April, but I was in my junior year of college and I really wanted to do a foreign field study in the summer of 2005. So we started thinking maybe August after I came home, although logistically we weren’t sure how that would work out, planning a wedding with me in a different country. Either way, we felt a wedding was still far in the future.

Around this time we found out that my dad had been called up for active duty to Iraq. He would be leaving for training that month, remaining in the U.S. until the New Year. Then he would go to Iraq for a year. Well that put a kink in our marriage plans. I wanted my Dad to be there for my wedding, but now that meant waiting until the next December. I was already having doubts about an August wedding because I thought waiting until August felt like forever.

The day before my Dad left for training Robert and I drove up to Camp Williams for the farewell lunch that they had for the soldiers and their families. On the drive there Robert and I were discussing what this meant for our future plans, and I turned to him and said, “Why don’t we just get married this December?” So that’s what got the ball rolling for our short engagement. My Dad would probably be able to come back around Christmas so we could get married a few days before Christmas. We suddenly had a lot of planning to do.

The first time we told anyone what we were thinking was when we were back at my apartment on a weekend evening. My brother Chris was there, as well as a bunch of my roommates. There was a lot of chitchatting among everyone, including Robert and I. We were having our own little conversation at the kitchen table about wedding things, and I asked, “Should we tell people?” After all, they needed to know too if they were going to be at the wedding. So as we sat there at the table we announced that we were going to get married in December. It was kind of out of the blue and everyone was shocked, but very happy.

We still weren’t “officially” engaged however. Robert had not talked to my Dad, had not gotten down on one knee and had not asked me “Will you marry me.” And I had no ring!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Robert and Melarie’s proposal.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lunch with the Govenor

Yesterday Robert went out to lunch with a bunch of his co-workers for a good-bye party for a co-worker who is leaving. Little did they know that Govenor Schwarzenegger was also in the downtown L.A. area yesterday discussing issues with the fires around L.A. The PWC employees chose the same restaurant that the Govenor chose to eat at for lunch, and they sat pretty close to him.