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28 October 2012 @ 01:55 am

Me thinks I need to update this journal more frequently. I am having the same problem with my physical journal, and I think it has to do with being so busy during the day and then so exhausted at night that I lack any motivation to do productive things. I just want to curl up with a movie, show, or book and relax.

My job at ASU is going well. I survived my first two weeks! I have an awesome two-screen set-up, which is so very helpful with working on projects that requirement multiple software and browsers open simultaneously. They gave me a choice of PC or Mac for my work computer, and I chose the Mac. No matter what the student worker says (he’s anti-Mac), I prefer the Mac and find it works better for what I need it to do. On Monday I will be receiving a Macbook Air for work purposes.

Even though I just started, I have a huge list of projects that is keeping me busy. The current one is building a brand new site for a graduate college program, and ASU has a policy of all sites should be built using Drupal. I have never worked with Drupal before, though I was familiar with it and some of the differences between it and other CMSs. So I spent quite a bit of time reading documentations, playing with the Drupal installation on a development site, and resolving some small issues. I had a break through with Drupal on Friday, finally understanding the Views and Panels modules. Man, I was so excited when, after hours of work and research, I finally got a specific view to display the content type’s data the way I wanted. While I am still a die-hard WordPress user, I will say that there are some things about Drupal that I do like. For example, the WordPress community needs a Panels-like plugin.

I have also been attending Tempe Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is only about two miles from my apartment and really close to my work. (Literally, it is across the street from the ASU campus.) They began a prophecy seminar last Sunday that will run on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings. So far the messages have been quite good. I am probably going to request a membership transfer next Sabbath. I would love to get my hands on their website and give it a custom design. It is built on the NetAdventist CMS, which I worked with a few years ago when I was living in California. As far as CMS go, it is a flexible CMS that is easier to work with and design around.

November is just a handful of days away, and you know what that means… NaNoWriMo! I already know what story I will be writing, but I have not been able to do as much preparing (plotting, character development, etc.) as I would have liked. Oh, well! As usual, I will be making frequent updates on my writing journal, Scribbles throughout the month of November. I really hope to, not only reach the 50k goal mark, but to complete the story by November 30th.

Tonight I’ve been invited to one of the Tempe church members’ home for a young adult game night. I’ll be going with my sister Jessica and her husband Sam. I’m not feeling too well… The mixed fruit after church was from a can and far too sweet. It has messed with my blood sugar and eating some rice pasta for dinner did not help matters much. However, I think it is best I go so I can socialize and get to know some of the young adults at Tempe.

04 September 2012 @ 09:39 pm

Mom and I left Phoenix yesterday morning about 10am and headed west towards California. A close family friend and member of our church in Barstow recently lost her husband, and the funeral was scheduled for today. We both decided separately that it would be a travesty to be so close and not visit for the service. Since our trip from Virginia to Arizona was so quick and uneventful (no accidents, minor construction, beautiful weather, and hardly any traffic) and Brianna was born so soon after our arrival, we knew the Lord’s hand was in the timing. So we loaded up the car and took I-10 out of Phoenix towards California.

We arrived in Barstow about six hours later and got a nice hotel in Lenwood (west-side of Barstow). I must say, crossing Victor Valley and coming around that one mountain last mountain before you can see Lenwood on the other side of a small valley… It was like we were coming home. There was a feeling that I had never felt before. I have lived so many places throughout my life that I have never felt a connection with a place before; however, I can honestly say that&mash;as long as there is a church family here—Barstow is my “home town”. (Though Okinawa, Japan, is still and will forever be my childhood home.)

I believe that, this trip, the Lord is showing me that He wants me to move to Phoenix. I will be close to my sisters and their families; close enough to help when needed but also far enough away to have my own space and life. It may seem strange that a girl who grew up on a Pacific island would fall in love with the desert, but I find that the desert has taken hold in my mind and heart and will not let go.

Last night, we visited with one of our church members, Eunice, for over three hours and got caught up on how everyone is doing. It was such a nice and pleasant visit. This morning, the funeral service was very touching and hard since we were so close with the family. The entire sanctuary was filled, and we were able to give our love and hugs to the family. Mom and Bella hugged and cried. Though under very sad circumstances, it was a blessing to see and visit with our wonderful Barstow church family. (And we’ll be attending the Tuesday evening praying meeting so we hope to see more church family!)

Though spur of the moment, Pastor Parent asked Mom to read the scripture for the funeral service and his wife, Liz, asked if I would sing. I sang the old hymn There Is Sunlight on the Hilltop, which the Lord saw I learned yesterday in the car. I was driving and Mom was reading the words to me. So I was literally driving through San Bernandino county along I-10 and 215 north while memorizing and singing: ♫ O the sunlight, beautiful sunlight, O the sunlight in the heart. Jesus’ smile can banish sadness. It is sunlight in the heart. ♫

Anyways, when I was asked if I would sing for the funeral service, at first I politely declined. I had not practiced anything, I had no music, and other excuses. But as I sat there waiting for the service to begin, the Lord whispered: “You learned There Is Sunlight on the Hilltop yesterday, and I kept My angels around you on the road while you learned it. You have the words in the car. Sing it.” I answered: “No, no. Lord. I just learned it yesterday. I still mess it up. I can’t sing it.” The Lord said again: “Sing it.” So I sang it, and He blessed.

Afterwards, we talked with quite a few people and then went to the Barstow Seventh-day Adventist Church to meet with some of the church members for an informal reunion. We sat in a circle in the foyer talking for about an hour, and then Pastor Parent and Liz showed up. We talked some more and it was like old times. I truly love my Barstow church family. We prayed before parting ways. Mom and I hope to do a few surprise visits with some very important church family before returning to the church for this evening’s praying meeting/Bible study. How I miss Barstow and the my family here!

30 August 2012 @ 08:20 pm

Jennifer Fulton holding her newborn daughter.

My first niece, Brianna Elyse Fulton, was born at 9:42am on 30 August 2012. She was 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long. Little Brianna obeyed grandma’s orders not to be born until we arrived!

Mom and I left our home in northern Virginia at 8:15am on Monday and drove across the continental United States to arrive in Phoenix around 6:30pm Wednesday evening. That is the fastest it has ever taken us to make this trip, and praise the Lord, we were just in time! We found a hotel, ate dinner, and did a quick visit to the Fultons where Jennifer kindly informed us that Brianna would be coming “really soon” so to be prepared for a call in the middle of the night or early morning. We were relieved to have made it in time, as Mom has was present for the births of both Brandon (2006) and Alex (2011), but missed Sean (2008) and did not want to miss another grandchild’s birth.

Around 5:20 this morning, we received a text and call: Jenni and Troy were heading off to the hospital. We showed up about 7:20 or so, and my first niece, Brianna, was born at 9:42am. So very happy!

As an answer to prayers, the labor and delivery went quite fast and smooth. I had the privilege of being present for the birth (my first time), and Troy asked Mom to do the honors and cut the umbilical cord. Brianna was born, cleaned up, and handed over to Jennifer. She is a most adorable little newborn, big and a bit chunky, rosy red, and with some hair. Mom and I took plenty of photos, and I recorded the entire event in my personal journal. My younger sister, Jessica, arrived at the hospital only about ten to fifteen minutes after Brianna was born. When we go back, I’ll have to get pictures of us each holding her.

Little Brianna makes a welcomed addition to the Fulton-Fisher family, and it will be interesting to watch her grow up with five older brothers. (^o^)

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24 August 2012 @ 12:58 am

We had an evening of laughter at the Fisher house.

So earlier, after dinner, we muted the local news and forgot that the TV was even on due to a fun conversation/discussion in the kitchen. Mom has a haircut appointment tomorrow and we were all crowded around the computer trying to help her find a style. After awhile, I walked back into the living room and there is a football game on featuring a local team. I yelled: “Hey, Dad. My team’s winning!” He shouted back: “Oh, yeah? Which team is your team?” I replied: “The one that’s winning! I thought I had established that already.” He retorted: “My team is whichever one has the most points!”

Mom, Dad, and I, we all broke out laughing. We are so not a sports family. We don’t watch or follow any sport.

A short time after the first incident, I was heading to the laundry room (its down a hallway from the kitchen) and there where the floor and wall meet, a HUGE brown spider was sitting. With its legs, it was probably 3-4 inches in diameter and its body and legs were thick. I’m not a wimp when it comes to bugs and spiders, but that sucker was HUGE and kind of freaky looking.

I called out: “Dad! There’s a HUGE spider! And I mean a HUGE spider.” Dad comes out of a room with a book in hand ready to squash said spider. He takes one look at it, turns on his heels, and disappears back into the room. I overhear Mom asking: “Did you kill it?” Dad replied: “You gave me this tiny book. That spider is over half the size of the book. I need something bigger, much bigger, like a shoe.” I yelled out: “Maybe a boot!” Dad comes back with one of his shoes, pounces and hits the spider once, the spider tries to run, and hits the spider again. He turns and walks back into the room. I overhear Mom asking: “Did you pick it up?” Dad replied: “I had to kill it and pick it up?” He comes back with a wad of papertowels, pauses, and then says: “I think I’ll hit it again… just to make sure it’s really dead.”

He goes back for the shoe, hits it again, and then picks it up. “Wow, that guy was big. I wonder if I let him in when I came from the garage,” Dad pondered aloud. “We better be careful. Its relatives might want revenge.” I patted Dad’s arm reassuringly. “That’s why I let you kill it.” From the other room, Mom yelled out: “She’s not as dumb as she looks!”

*rofl* My parents crack me up. But, seriously, that was one HUGE spider (I think the spider was a Wolf Spider.) and it was in the house.

And want to know the funniest thing? Throughout the entire commotion with the spider—and it was a hilarious commotion—the dog was on the other side of the house, lying on my bed, either ignoring us or sound asleep.

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12 August 2012 @ 06:26 pm

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday I picked up one of the many devotional books lying scattered all over the house. This particular devotional is Light From God’s Lamp (1960) by W.R. Beach, and it is one of my favorites. I read a few of the days in August, and one, titled “The Wifely Touch”, really stood out. It was one of the most beautiful, powerful, and inspiring briefs on the value of wives and mothers within the family. Though I am neither, I wanted to share these words of encouragement with all of my friends who are wives and mothers in appreciation for everything you do for your loved ones. My favorite part is the imagery of “…her house will become an enchanted castle—a palace of pure delight…”

The Wifely Touch

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husband, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” — Titus 2:4,5

The walls of a home are not built of plaster, brick, or wooden frames. They are built of love and loyalty. Your home must never be a convention hall where people simply meet briefly and then go separate ways. Rather, let it become a hearthstone upon which flames mingle together to cast a cheery and bright light into the darkness. Let your home be your fortress against the impersonal coldness met so much outside.

The central figure in this important little world of the home will always be the woman of the house. She is the one whose hand can buckle the armor on family members each morning and soothe their fatigue and wounds at night. There is no greater task or challenge today than that of being a good wife and mother. It is she who sets the mood and pace of the day.

When this central figure, the woman, is dedicated to conciliation, concession, and self-control, then her house will become an enchanted castle—a palace of pure delight—and wherever they are, those in her care will dream of going home.

May each wife and mother do her part to build such a mansion today.

“The beauty of a house is harmony.
The security of a house is loyalty.
The joy of a house is love.
The plenty of a house is in children.
The rule of a house is service.
The comfort of a house is in contented spirits.
The maker of a house, of a real human house, is God Himself,
the same who made the stars and built the world.”

This devotional is taken from Light From God’s Lamp (1960) by W. R. Beach.

03 May 2012 @ 05:55 pm

Last week I realized that I have not gone through and uploaded any photos to my Facebook account for the last couple months. I take a lot of photos but seem to have a problem following through will posting any. As the majority of my photos on Facebook are set as Friends Only, I decided to share just a few of them here as well. I hope you enjoy!

Cut to save your Friends page from being waaaay too long. =)Collapse )
13 April 2012 @ 10:34 pm

I have been keeping this personal blog, basically an online journal, relatively consistently since February 2002 when I received an invitation to LiveJournal. (Yes, that was the way back when LiveJournal was by invitation only.) However, despite my best efforts throughout my earliteen, youth, and young adult years, I failed miserably at keeping a physical journal–the old-fashion type that consists of handwritten entries in a notebook. As an artistic individual, I do not know why it never dawned on me that I could make my physical journals more interesting by sketching, adding in ticket stubs, pressing flowers, etc. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but for some reason it was not obvious to me.

K&Company SMASH pad.

Thus, I have recently began transforming my physical journal. So far, I have added movie tickets, concert tickets, scraps of paper with Scripture verses, pressed flowers, folded artwork by my nephews, and even a small card from my sister. Today I visited Target and bought a four SMASH pads with little scraps of paper, themed, that can add a bit of spice to my journal. The ones I purchased were Family, Entertainment, Special Occasions, and Blank. I will be making use of these pads as well as taking inspiration to make my own little scraps and such to include in my journal.

I bought a few products from BareEscentuals today as an early birthday present. I was running low on my foundation and the tinted mineral veil, but I also picked up a limited edition preview of a new product, Wanderlust: Desert Collection, that will be officially released before summer. I have come to really like the BareMinerals makeup, and it is nice to spoil myself on occasion.

Ah, speaking of my upcoming 28th Birthday, my parents are planning to take me to enjoy Luray Caverns. I am very excited! (^o^)/

Hmm… It has been quite awhile since I last answered a few questions on the Life Meme 2012 so I might as well do a few now while relaxing.

53. What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?

There have been quite a few defining moments in my life–growing up in Okinawa, Japan; performing Ryukyu Dance with my sisters; when I led my JROTC Unit to First Place Overall at a regional drill competition; graduating 3rd in my high school class; studying for two summers in Saint Petersburg, Russia; my re-baptism on September 22, 2002; the day I decided to go back to school for my bachelor’s; my sisters’ marriages; my parents’ vow renewal; and so much more. Thus no one specific moment stands out.

54. In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?

I do not know, because I am not seeing it. (^.~)

55. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

Ah, it reminds me of the words of apostle Paul in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”

56. What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

Talking with my mother and younger sister, sending a text to one of my friends, and listening to fantastic music like Celtic Woman and Michael W. Smith’s Glory Battle.

29 March 2012 @ 08:33 pm

Source: Visitor Magazine, Page 8

My newlywed younger sister, Jessica, was featured in the March 2012 issue of the Visitor Magazine, the official paper of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The short feature on page 8 [link] discusses her debut album New Life and particularly the song Jessica and I wrote together “Upper Room Experience”.

“Upper Room Experience” was written on our drive home from the 2011 Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) conference in Baltimore, inspired by our experiences at the conference, which had over 5,000 attendees from all over North America and the world, and particularly Jessica’s experience in the ARME Bible Camp‘s Prayer Room.

The finished piece became the final track on Jessica’s debut album, and she performed it a capella at the Praying in the New Year event at the 2012 GYC conference in Houston. Someone at the GYC recommended Jessica to be featured in the Visitor Magazine. It is amazing how the Lord works through seemingly unconnected events.

You can learn more about Jessica and her music ministry at her website: www.JessicaFisherMusic.com. Her debut album New Life is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, or you can purchase a physical CD from Tate Music Group.

29 March 2012 @ 08:24 pm

Today is a day dedicated to relaxing, cooking, and cleaning, though admittedly little cleaning has been accomplished thus far. The cooking is coming along fantastically: homemade hummus, wheat-free vegan patties, and lentil soup. The relaxing is also going well, and today is such a lovely Spring day that it makes me want to curl up with a book and read while listening to the bird songs. After dinner, I may write a blog post or two, do a little more world-building and character development for my April novella [writing challenge], and/or watch a movie that requires little to no mental exertion. I was gone for almost the entire month, driving from one end of the country and back again, so I need a bit of time to recover.

After being away for even this short amount of time—though it feels like an eternity has passed—there is a sense of relief upon returning home. One of my favorite hymns, As Water To the Thirsty, describes this sensation in the third verse: “As home to the trav’ler and all he longs to see…” Beautiful expression of the feeling of being home. Home is so much more than a physical location or a building filled with material things, those these can contribute to the sense of belonging as well. Home is the place where you feel most comfortable, most secure, most relaxed; the place that you hesitate to leave and, when away, long to return; the place where those you love most and who love you most are.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” ~ Maya Angelou

08 March 2012 @ 03:41 am

Monday afternoon we received very sad news from my uncle, my grandfather (my mother’s step-father) passed away in his sleep Monday morning. We do not know many details other than his death was a surprise and very unexpected. One of his sons was visiting and he seemed fine. Grandma kissed him goodbye when she left for her part-time job early in the morning, and when she returned, he had already passed away. He was 83, I believe, and survived quite a few scary health problems about ten or so years ago.

But what a way to go. When I die, that is how I would like to die: in the comfort of my own home, having enjoyed a great evening with family, and then just drift off into sleep and never awake.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
—1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, KJV

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
—1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, KJV

Rest in peace, Grandpa Samuel Adams.
My grandparents: Samuel and Martha Adams

Here is one of my favorite songs. No More Night is originally by David Phelps, but I first heard it performed by Jennifer LaMountain. The version below is sung by Sunho Lim, but my favorite version is by my sister, Jessica Fisher.

Please keep my grandmother and my family, especially all of my grandfather’s children and grand-children, in your prayers.