Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
ETA: Here are the edited pictures.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Also, turn the flash on your camera off. Most point and shoot cameras have a little lightening symbol on a button and by pushing it, sometimes three or four times, you can get the flash to go off. My point and shoot camera has 3 options I can get by pushing the flash button: Auto Flash, Flash On, Flash Off.
Using the flash can help you get a photo when it's kind of dark, but a camera's flash will make a photo look flat. Photos taken without a flash and with good lighting are pleasing to the eye. It's fairly simple to turn off the flash and it will improve your photos immensely.
Photo with flash - Photo without flash
Photos are unedited
Come visit me at http://www.examiner.com/life-photos-1-in-idaho-falls/stacy-robbins and leave your blog address in the comments so you can share your photos with others!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
And sometimes they are crazy.
But I love them
more than a million buses
because they always make me laugh
and they take good care of me when I don't feel good
and they give me good hugs and kisses
and lots of snuggles
Plus, I'm the best Mommy
Little Squirt ever had
He even told me so.
And Cyam says he loves me forever
and he really means it.
I'm the luckiest girl in the world
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
his morning, the worst of the news has hit me. turns out, becaues of the radiation, i am getting sent home a month early! boy was i not ready for that. all the other missionaries are being sent to other missions for the time being but those who are going home at the end of this transfer are "leaving as soon as possible". when we got the email this morning i couldnt believe it! i was so bummed! i just am not emotionaly prepared to go home yet!! i just wanna go help the people down in the mud!! but, i've been trying to keep the song "I'll go where you want me to go" in my head. my orders today along with all the other missionaries is to pack and stay inside.
my head is spinning like a top but i just thought i'd let you know that i am so happy...... so happy to be a missionary!!!! i have never appreciated it as much as i have now. it's always been awesome to be a missionary but it really really rocks! i just wish i could help more! God really does love these people and i know that. i really love these people and i know that. (wow, all of the sudden i am a little teary eyed) it has been the best time ever serving them!! i dont know what exactly is going to happen from here and some things in the plan will probably change but i do know that i am thankful for every second to be a missionary and for the opportunity to tell anybody and everybody that they are God's children and that He loves them. I love this work and i love these people. I'm gonna do my best to serve to the end.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
If anyone has fabric scraps to donate I would be most grateful. I'm looking for large pieces - either square-ish pieces or long strips. I'm trying to make piecing the quilts easier and faster. It's snowing in Japan right now and a lot of them are without blankets. My friend Brandilyn at Panache said she'd help collect fabric. You can drop fabric off there or leave a comment here and I can come get it from you (in the Rexburg area). We need cotton or flannel.
Now that things have settled down a little, I wanted to write each
of you and provide an update on the earthquake, our mission and your
missionary. As you know, the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan at 2:46 p.m.
last Friday. At the time, we had 60 missionaries in the church next
to the mission home for training. Fortunately, the missionaries from
the areas of our mission that were were at most risk because of the
Tsunami (Urayasu and the Chiba Zone) were all here for that training.
It became obvious very quickly that this was a major quake. We had
just finished the training and were saying good bye to each other when
it hit. There is a field of grass next to the church without any
overhead wires and so I had all missionaries go outside and stand in
that field. The major quake lasted a long time--probably a couple of
minutes. It was followed by numerous aftershocks, which are still
happening today and may continue for some time, but the aftershocks
are smaller and becoming more infrequent and probably won't cause any
Because of the size of the quake, the trains all stopped running.
Fortunately, we have a lot of extra beds, futons, and blankets in the
mission home and so we prepared for a big camp out that night.
Immediately after the quake, our attention turned to making sure that
all the missionaries in our mission were safe. We couldn't reach them
by telephone because the phone lines, while working, were jammed. A
few months ago, all our missionaries received new telephones with
email capability. The email provided a lifeline to allow us to reach
all our missionaries. By 7 p.m. that night, we had contacted all our
missionaries and knew they were safe. We told them to stay close to
their apartments and away from the ocean and bays. For the two
companionships we couldn't reach directly, we had the bishops check on
and report that they were safe. Immediately after the earthquake, the
Presiding Bishopric's Office started contacting us every hour to see
how our missionaries were. As soon as we knew everyone was safe, we
notified the Presiding Bishopric's Office and then started putting an
email list of parents together so we could let you all know your
missionary was safe. You should all have received an email from us
the evening of the earthquake.
The next morning, I sent an early email to every missionary in our
mission (which they received on their telephones) telling them to (1)
buy a week's worth of groceries and water for their apartments, (2)
stay away from the ocean and bays, (3) email their parents that day
and let you all know they were okay--I'm sure it is comforting to hear
from your missionary directly, (4) stay away from any downed wires (if
there were any) or broken glass, etc. and (5) let us know of any
damage to their apartments or the church.
As you all know from watching the news, almost all of the damage is
north of Tokyo in the Sendai Mission. Our mission goes north of Tokyo
but not into the major disaster zone. There are 4 sets of
missionaries who were relatively close (approximately 81 miles/130
kilometers) to the failed reactors in Fukushima and, just to be safe,
I have moved all four sets into apartments with other missionaries
further away. The destruction from the earthquake and tsunami in
Tokyo was quite minor. There was an oil refinery that caught on fire,
there was significant liquefaction from the tsunami in one area of our
mission and a few cracks in the walls of some buildings. But,
miraculously, there wasn't any significant damage to any of our
missionary apartments (two microwaves fell off the counters and
broke). Our missionaries are back to doing missionary work and
providing service wherever they can. The biggest service project is
helping people clean up their yards and get their cars out in the
Urayasu Area where the liquefaction occurred.
While I am sure the news you are seeing on television is scary,
especially about the nuclear reactors, Tokyo is quite safe. With
regard to the reactors, on Sunday I was in a church meeting with two
people who are very knowledgeable about the nuclear situation in
Japan. One is a lawyer who defends the nuclear industry in Japan and
the other is a person associated with the U.S. Air Force security and
safety in the Far East. Both of them told me that, while the risk of
radiation problems in Tokyo is not absolutely zero, it is as close to
zero as you can get. They both said that because of the directions of
the prevailing winds, there is probably more radiation risk to Seattle
(although probably not much) than there is to Tokyo. Tokyo is south
of the reactors and the prevailing winds blow east and north, out to
Last night I personally called every missionary companionship in
the mission (right now we have 74 companionships) and made sure they
were all doing well and were safe. I told them for the next month or
so to always keep a week's worth of water and food in their
apartments. They are all happy, content and working hard. They are
even getting used to the aftershocks. The biggest problem we have is
that most of the grocery stores in Japan only carry enough food
supplies for a half a day and are restocked twice a day. Our
missionaries have all been able to get plenty of food but at certain
times of the day there might not be any bread or milk on the shelves.
This problem will correct itself soon. Gasoline is also a little
harder to get but that isn't a problem for the missionaries because
they all ride bikes. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was
supposed to be starting rolling blackout yesterday for 3 hours a day
in each area of Tokyo but that didn't happen yesterday and we are not
sure when, if at all, the blackouts will begin. With several of the
reactors knocked out, there will probably be some power shortages.
But, we are prepared for that and it shouldn't be a problem.
Overall, the Japan Tokyo missionaries are all happy, safe,
working hard and having a great experience. We are constantly praying
for the missionaries, members and people north of us. There is much
disaster and sadness up there but it all occurred 150 to 300 miles
north of us. I'm sure the news makes it look like all of Japan is
affected (and maybe of you probably think of Japan as a relatively
small island) but we are actually quite far from the destruction and
are safe and doing well.
We continue to monitor the situation very carefully. You can rest
assured that the church would not do anything to jeopardize the safety
of its missionaries. As your son or daughter's mission president, I
will do all I can to make sure the Tokyo missionaries are safe,
comfortable and continue to have a great experience. The missionaries
in the Tokyo Mission are absolutely wonderful and it's an honor to
serve with them. Thank you for preparing and sending them to our
mission. This is a time to pray for those in the Sendai Mission area
of Japan, especially those who have lost loved ones. I'm sure we will
see continuous miracles both in the safety and the hearts of the
people as the events unfold.
Monday, March 14, 2011
All I can think is that this man has a special purpose in life.
A 60-year-old man has been found on the roof of his floating house nearly 10 miles out at sea, two days after the tsunami that devastated the north-east coast of Japan.
Hiromitsu Shinkawa must have resigned himself to his fate when he was swept away by the retreating tsunami that roared ashore in his home town of Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture.
As the wave approached, Shinkawa took the fateful decision to return home to collect belongings. Minutes later he was out at sea clinging to a piece of the roof from his own home.
Incredibly, he was spotted by a maritime self-defence force destroyer taking part in the rescue effort as he clung to the wreckage with one hand and waved a self-made red flag with the other. He had been at sea for two days.
Reports said that on being handed a drink aboard the rescue boat, Shinkawa gulped it down and immediately burst into tears. His wife, with whom he had returned home as the tsunami approached, is still missing.
He was quoted as saying: "No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me. I thought that day was going to be the last day of my life."
Officials said Shinkawa was in good condition after being taken to hospital by helicopter.
"I ran away after I heard a tsunami was coming," he told Jiji Press. "But I turned back to fetch something from home and was swept away. I was rescued while hanging on to the roof of my house."
The self-defence forces said the good weather and calm waters had allowed Shinkawa to stay alive during his 48-hour drift.
There has been no sign or trace of him for a few days. He is one of the nicest men and so down to earth. There is no reason what so ever to suspect he just ran off and left his family - even the police are saying that. I can't even imagine how his wife and daughter must be feeling. They have started getting letters from psychics who claim to have visions of Grant. One in particular was extremely graphic as to how he died. I can't even imagine why someone would even think it was ok to send a horrible letter like that to someone who is already having such a hard time. It makes my blood boil.
For those who don't really believe he is missing, that he ran off and left his family, I wish you could have been with me delivering fliers on Main Street in Rexburg. I heard so many stories about how people knew Grant. People who were his friends, school mates, co-workers. It was amazing. I teared up many a time. Grant is a good man, and he was good before he went missing. He is definitely loved by his family and friends. Please keep spreading the word about him. Let's bring him home, ok?
In other news, Sendai Japan got hit by a second tsunami last night. My heart feels like it is breaking for these good people. I can't even imagine losing my house in seconds, let alone losing people I know and love. Most of all, I can't imagine going through a situation like that without my knowledge of God. Japan allows missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to enter. But the people aren't overly receptive to messages from the church. I know this because I have one brother who returned last June from Japan and another brother who is serving in Tokyo right now. While I was attending BYU-Hawaii I liked to visit the Laie temple visitor center. There they have a video they show anyone Asian (in their own language) and it's not about the missions of the church like we normally show people. This particular video was to teach people that there is a God. Japanese culture doesn't believe in God.
The earthquakes and tsunamis that Japan is experiencing are tragic. But I believe if I were in that situation it would be unbearable if I didn't believe in a higher power. I don't believe God made this happen. But I do believe he allowed it to happen. In the Book of Mormon there is a scripture that says:
I have been praying for the Japanese people a lot lately. I pray for their safety. I pray that their hearts will turn to God in their time of sorrow and loss. I pray the missionaries will be able to be strong and ready to serve and teach. I pray they will learn about the blessings of eternal families. Losing someone you love is sad. No amount of knowledge will really take that sadness from you. But the knowledge that not only will you see your family members and friends again, but you will be sealed to your family - for eternity, gives you reason to keep going. I am so grateful that our little family is sealed together for eternity. I am grateful that our extended families for several years/generations are sealed together. Family is everything. I am grateful to know that though we will lose family members because death is a natural part of life, we can all be together again someday. This knowledge brings me great peace.
Please join your prayers with mine at this time for those who are suffering. There are a lot of people who need a lot of prayers. I know our Heavenly Father will answer our prayers.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Please keep in your prayers:
Grant Moedl and his family. He's been missing more than a week now.
All those in Japan - an 8.9 earthquake hit them during the middle of the night (our time) and afternoon their time. My brother Bryce is over there serving a mission right now. We haven't heard from him yet.
All those who are being evacuated. I spent a summer at BYU Hawaii - and my friends from there are being evacuated.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I think she created a monster. Since then I've made two more garlands - but I did these just out of scrapbook paper and didn't decorate them much so they were simple and I finished them each in an evening.
Hearts for Valentine's Day
Pinwheels for Spring.
And cause Pinwheels are just cool. I love pinwheels. They might be my favorite toy. I can't wait till we can go outside and Squirt and I can get some real pinwheels to play with.
A photo of something you enjoy doing.
I love digital scrapbooking. I've only been doing it about a year - but it sure is fun. I am especially enjoying being on the Creative Team for Sprouting Seeds Studio. It is fun for me to get to have a specific reason to get pages done. These are some of my most recent pages.