Halloween – Nef Style

Captain Morgan, Captain America, Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain James T. Kirk, Cap'n Crunch, and Captain Moroni

O Captain, My Captain:  Captain Morgan, Captain America, Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain James T. Kirk,       Cap’n Crunch, and Captain Moroni

Halloween – it is so much more than candy and spooky stories for our family.  No, our favorite part of this fabulous holiday is that we get to dress up.  Big time.

We usually choose a theme that ties all of our costumes together.  This year – Captains.

Too much fun.

Over the years, mom has been the brains and artistic director of the outfit (pun intended), dad has been a good sport, and we kids have added in our two cents along the way. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Lord of the Swings

One of our backyard swings

One of our backyard swings

“It’s mine… my own… my precious.”
Bilbo Baggins

Growing up, my family couldn’t afford day camps or excursions to various attractions like zoos or amusement parks. So we kids got creative in amusing ourselves at home during the summer: science experiments, inventive games, make-shift forts, you name it. But one thing that each of us desperately wanted with all our little hearts, the one thing we could never make alone (without parental supervision): a swing. Continue reading

I Believe in Signs

You did ask for a Sign

“Miracles surround us at every turn,
if we but sharpen our perceptions
to them.”
Willa Cather

“There are only two ways
to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything
is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein

Well, it happened again.  I was on my normal morning power walk and – BOOM – an answer was given to me…again.  I love it when that happens!

My walk started out very underwhelming – under a cloud.  Not a cloud of precipitation, it was a cloud of self doubt.  The challenges of life seemed to outweigh the resources, and I questioned my endurance.  I questioned my future.  And, quite frankly, I questioned God’s wisdom.  There is no way you can make this happen! was the theme of my prayer.

Can Button

The Button with His answer

Apparently God did not want me wasting another minute in the muck of mistrust because He had a retort to my “There is no way you can make this happen,” Continue reading

Everyone Has a Back Story

uses_for_water_cooler_bottles_sI once had a job at an office building. My mission: do little, menial tasks around the office – and I loved it. Usually, there wasn’t too much for me to do – but when I found something, I jumped on it and got it done.

One day at work, a couple employees noticed that the water cooler jug was empty. No problem, I would just replace it.

As I walked over to go and grab a large, blue jug, an older, female co-worker whom I had never met before came up to me and said, “No, you shouldn’t do that, let’s get a man to do that.”

Well, I am all for the gallantry of men, but this company was 90% women and there was no man in earshot. So I politely replied, “No, it’s okay, it’s my job. I am a strong woman, I got it.”

Eh, maybe not really strong at all, but strong enough to lift a water jug for 5 seconds. Plus, I had to get it done. I wasn’t going to sit there useless when there was a task to be completed.

But this woman persisted. I had just started to get a jug ready when she tried to tug me back from the pile of water jugs and then tersely responded with this shocking statement:

“Women shouldn’t lift heavy things.”

Excuse me? Continue reading

Home Again, Home Again (Jiggity-Jig)

Getting picked up from the San Jose Airport. My bro Landon is taking the photo.

Getting picked up from the San Jose Airport. My bro Landon is taking the photo.

My name is Ashley Nef. I just completed my service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I served in the Italy Rome mission, meaning for a year and a half I lived in southern Italy as a representative of Jesus Christ, spending my days helping people learn of Him, of His teachings, and of His church, as well as providing service for the people and communities in which I lived.

I loved my mission, and I worked my hardest to diligently invite people to come to Christ. On September 17, I came home and was released from my full-time missionary service. Continue reading