Monday, December 29, 2008

Ode to Joy

So, I grew up with my mom teaching piano lessons to lots of kids of varying skill levels. But for some reason, we heard Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" almost every single day! And usually from the --how shall I put this-- less prodigious of her students. Needless to say, that song has found its way onto my "I never want to hear it again" list.


I suddenly find myself a beginning music student once more! And so, with a teensy bit of pride-in-accomplishment, I present:

Enjoy. Or plug your ears, as the case may be. =]

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

So I don't have time for a full update, because it's way past my bedtime. But here are a few pictures!!!!

My sisters and I, just before going to Jon Schmidt's christmas concert.

Our Christmas tree and (most of) the presents. =]

My niece Emma and my cousin Spencer. (He said, "I love her!" So I had them pose.)

My new and soon-to-be adopted cousin Lily decorating homemade cookies.

My huge surprise and new best friend! I have named her Cecily. Isn't she beautiful???

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Hearts of the Children

Guess what people?

I have been working diligently on my family history work, like a good little Rel 261 student, but it's turned into more than that. Every assignment and every project has pulled me in deeper until now I can finally say that I am actually addicted to genealogy! The greatest part is that it's contagious. A while back I offered to save my PAF file (all the family info I have) onto my sister Isabelle's computer... and we ended up spending about three hours researching online. Just like that.

Well today my sister Becca heard one of her friends casually mention that she was going to Holladay, Utah to student teach. Well, that's my Mom's maiden name! So Becca, just to satisfy plain old curiosity looked it up and found the city website. She sent it to me, and I recognized the name of the pioneer company who founded it! I told her the city was founded by our great x 4 grandfather, who I have been researching! She got a little more curious and decided to look the place up on Google Earth. She found Holladay Memorial Park just a few miles outside of Salt Lake, located near a little stream called Spring Creek. Well, this pioneer ancestor of ours was buried in a place called Spring Creek back in 1862. Bingo. Out of nowhere, without really meaning to, she discovered my great-great-great-great-grandfather's [probable] grave site. We even found a virtual tour of the cemetery! So when we drive home this Christmas we're going to try and make a little side trip to take pictures of any Holladays we can find there. In the meantime, she is beginning to get just as addicted as I am! (If you care to get just as excited as we are, check out our family history blog, I also uploaded a tutorial I created for PAF beginners!)

So please, please! Do yourself a favor and just start somewhere; anywhere. Even if you can't find anything new, I promise you'll be blessed!

Love, Stacy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Сколько стоит моя жизнь?

Alrighty, folks!!!

Well. I'm hoping you've had a fun, laughter-filled week. Mine was... quite hilarious. Of course, I do tend to laugh a lot for no reason anyone else can discover. But seriously, life is just so funny!

So, update on life: I've turned in two new short stories to my creative writing class workshops, and received a lot of good feedback (If you care to give some of your own, check out my writer's workbench). Aside from writing, I've spent quite a bit of time studying my Russian homework. I was quite proud of myself, because I finished ALL of Wednesday's assignments by 2 hours after class. I have been getting A's on my tests/quizzes! And, thanks to my pro editor Gary, I got a 98 on my 2nd draft of my Russian essay!

I also got to go on a fun date to see the university orchestra! Beautiful music. Not exactly top performers, but it was still really enjoyable. We went to JB's for ice cream afterwards with his family- SO much fun! I think I would love to be friends with his mom even if I didn't know him at all. =] And then we read Vinni Puh, which was surprisingly difficult.

We've got some really good letters from my brother Todd, who just left the MTC for Portland, Oregon on Tuesday. He's soooo inspiring! Every letter seems like a talk. It's really good to hear from him, see how happy he seems, and how excited he is to be out there. Слава Богу за маленьких малчиков! I'm definitely learning a lot from him already.

Well, this Sunday I am going home!! Hooray for "examination days," whatever those are, because they mean we have the entire week off of school! And three huge cheers for baking with my mama in just a few days!!!

Happy holidays, folks!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Days are Here Again

This week's challenge:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you better), is to make as many people laugh as possible! Report back here with a comment on how well you've done.

Tips: (AKA the way I do it)
<> Make goofy faces at someone until they look at you.
<> Poke fun at yourself (good naturedly)
<> Leave cheesy knock-knock jokes at a library computer
<> Do a nerdy dance for one of your friends
<> Watch a Danny Kaye movie (I suggest The Court Jester) and quote it all day long
<> Tell a good friend something embarrassing you did that day. It may take a while to list them all.
<> Learn Russian. Everything is funnier in that language. ("Я хочу..." Bless you!)
<> Be excessively witty.
<> Make a homemade kite for someone else then say, "Wait, let me go grab my key..."
<> Make funny comments on Facebook/blogs etc. with the goal of making someone chuckle
<> Babysit little kids. They've got tons of joke material!
<> Find happiness in your life through prayer, family, & friends.

Good luck!

EDIT: Today's Friedrich Nietzsche quote-- "Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself." Hmmmm. I like it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Believing in Magic

Hello you happy people!

Okay, so maybe not all of you are happy, after seeing the election results. I didn't vote for Obama, but actually I'm feeling pretty okay with everything. Neither of the candidates were a great choice to begin with. And I really respect Obama as a person. But seriously-- what's the worst that can happen with the democrats in charge? Answer: The world will end, and the Second Coming is that much closer!!! ha ha. Totally kidding, folks.

No, but seriously. There are plenty of reasons to be happy.

1. It's snowing!
2. My Christmas tree is definitely up and decorated!
3. Today's devotional was amazing!
4. I finally have somewhat of an idea of what my creative writing teacher expects from me
5. I can forget all of his advice once the semester is over
6. I just have a little Russian homework tonight
7. A random friend of my roommate's just got engaged!
8. Today I got a really sweet letter from Todd in the MTC!
9. The roommates and I made an emergency trip to Coldstone
10. We think we might finally understand why we've all had this crazy sleeping sickness and random chronic headaches. Turns out our water heater is gas-powered and it's in an unsealed closet in my bedroom... and it's leaking gas. You just have to laugh at a story like that.

So yes. Those are my [strange] reasons for being happy tonight! Find some of your own. =]

Happy Tuesday, folks.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Okay peoples--

I have to turn in a short story to my creative writing teacher, and I am scared!!! He grades us based on how he thinks we compare with our peers. Last time I didn't realize that, and just brought in a draft to workshop, but he wasn't impressed and wanted me to totally redo it!! I just kind of nodded, but of course I was thinking, "You can't make me!" But then I saw my grade. I have a 76 in the class!!!!!! And I have been putting in a lot of effort! True, most of our midterm grade was determined by a VERY insignificant assignment I happened to miss and think nothing of... But apparently it was worth enough to drag the rest of my high scores to a C.

Soooo, I need to bring up my grade. And quickly. Which is why I am asking for help!!! Please check out my latest story on my writing blog (caseystarma.blogspot) and tell me what to improve, and what doesn't work for you. I would reeeeally appreciate it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Concerning the meaning of life:

Well, today I've been rather quiet. I've been feeling pretty rude, because I'm afraid I've been pushing too close to a few people in my life. And I know I'm just being a girl and thinking too much. But something else happened that snapped me out of my selfish reverie.

I was looking at one of my english-class buddy's wedding pictures on her blog... where she happened to casually mention that she has Cystic Fibrosis. She had posted some of her poetry on there, as well as some pretty insightful and entertaining anecdotes from newly-married life. Her writing is really amazing (she won first prize in poetry at the Pre-professional conference), and it really really meant something to me. I really admire her as a person, literature critic, and writer. But people with cystic fibrosis don't usually live past their 30s or 40s, and many die in their early twenties. She said she faces her mortality every day. And yet there is so much meaning in her life!

So today I've been pretty introverted. If I applied myself, my talents, and my resources half as diligently as she does, who knows where I would be right now? So I have spent most of my waking hours today (admittedly fewer in number than normal) studying for my British Literature midterm. I don't want to just coast anymore, I'm sick of underachieving. What happened to Escondido? Didn't I used plan on becoming a hidden giant?

Stacy Garner,2008
If I could unleash my one self on the world
I would take to the stage,
Read my soul to the countless age;
Gold would flash the skies.

If I could fly up and touch the peaks above
You would see me anew,
Breathtaking like the mountain view;
Wind across the eyes.

If I could reach out to the years soon to come
I would hold you to me,
Savor love that has yet to be;
Tiny angel eyes.

If I could repeat all the wonders I've seen
You would find only words,
Messages for the passing herds;
writing in the skies.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Sunday!

Well everybody, you've made your way over to my new blog. I suppose you want to hear about my weekend?

Well, I had a really good one! Friday was spent mostly relaxing, cleaning up my personal space, working on family history and the Holladay blog, making a scarf, talking with roomies, etc.

Saturday morning I go up at the crack of 5:45 and got ready to go babysitting! I went on over to my sister Isabelle's house to watch her 4 kids so she and Chris could go to the temple. It was really fun! The kids woke up one by one, and we just sat around with blankets and pillows, talking, eating breakfast, and watching Barbie movies. =D Once 2 month old Joshua woke up we were mostly employed with making him smile, which is actually not too hard to do!

Then Izzy took me grocery shopping (SO incredibly sweet of her) and let me borrow a big stack of fun movies. (The Court Jester, Here Comes the Groom, Singin' in the Rain, etc! Come watch them with me!) It started snowing these huge flakes on the way home! I've been bracing myself for the winter to come, but somehow it was still a surprise. Oh well. I've accepted it now. =D

Then later on that evening I went on a really fun date with Gary! We went to the Natalie MacMaster concert, and ohhhh man! Those YouTube clips in the right column don't really do it justice. My favorite was probably Volcanic Jig. It's too bad the same band we saw her perform with isn't on YouTube. I highly recommend seeing her live if you ever get the chance! She was clogging and dancing and fiddling at top speed, all while 5 months pregnant. Wow. So afterwards we went and got ice cream cones at DQ and drove around just talking. The snow was sooooo pretty! Anyway, when we got back to my apartment he offered to help me with my Russian homework, which he did! It was lots of fun, plus educational! (lol)

And now today it is fast sunday. We had excellent meetings, as usual! I learned a lot, and made a new goal! I want to write an essay about human trials; how we always ask "Why?" and how that compares with the Savior's response to the Atonement.

And to cap off this weekend's excitement, I found eleven new names on my maternal grandfather's side while working on my family history today! And discovered that one of my great-grandfathers that I was looking to prep for temple work has already had his ordinances done... several times over. =] So I guess he's covered, eh?

Anyways! Life is pretttttty great. Now I'm looking forward to this new week of school in the snow. *yay!*