Thursday, July 31, 2008

STILL A TEENAGER?

Not only am I driving with a learner's permit (for operating a motorcycle, if you can believe that!) which I earned the same day that my 15-year-old son got his driving permit,

but I get to wear a retainer in my mouth, just like Lane, too. It was either that, or contemplate paying $1000/crown when my bottom teeth start breaking. I chose the retainer.



I also still have little boobs and plenty of zits. I may never get out of junior high.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DISTRACTED

I have a problem.

Several, actually, but only one that I'm going to talk about today.

I just get so easily distracted!

This wouldn't be such a big deal, if only I didn't get distracted while cooking.

Today marks the third day in a row that I have decimated a meal on the stove top. This was supposed to be Macaroni and Cheese.



You're thinking, "How do you ruin Macaroni and Cheese?" Right? Right.

But instead of Macaroni and Cheese we now have carbon-coated pasta congealed on a pan.
Instead of Quesadillas last night we had charcoal ash in the garbage can. And cereal for dinner.
Instead of grilled cheese the day before that we had just plain grilled. And cereal for lunch.

Anyone want to come for dinner? You'll probably have to bring your own!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

IRRITATED



Michael took me to hear the Utah Symphony play great American music to celebrate the Fourth of July.



The Symphony performs outdoor concerts at Deer Valley Ski resort in the summertime, and it is an absolutely spectacular venue.



People bring food to eat and blankets and chairs to sit on, making it a fun atmosphere, as well as a beautiful one.

Sadly, the people who came to this concert didn't seem to realize that this was a concert, and not just a picnic in the park. I nearly went crazy with all the chattering that went on around us as the symphony played. I was absolutely irritated. There were kids dancing next to us, a mini soccer game just a few feet away, and someone touting the merits of their new video camera. I nearly lost it when the people behind us started talking about the price of airline tickets to Denver these days...Michael finally turned and asked them to hold their conversation until between songs, and they were a little quieter after that. I did lose it when people started to pack up their chairs and blankets when the conductor announced the last song of the night.
Are you kidding me? Sit still for three more minutes, for Pete's sake!!!!!!!!!!!! That is just so rude.

I was feeling slightly irate.

Do people just not know how to behave at musical events? My mother taught me well, so I am lucky enough to know that you don't talk during a performance, you applaud when the conductor comes to the stage, you hold your applause between movements, and standing ovations are for times when you are truly moved to ovate, not just because everyone else is doing it. I can understand people not knowing things like waiting to applaud until the conductor drops his hands after a piece has been played. Not everyone has my mother for a mother, after all. But not knowing that you shouldn't talk?! That one should just be a given. But apparently it's not.

I was reminded of the grown lady (even older than I, old as I am) in attendance at Evan's choir concert who not only answered her ringing cell phone, but answered it saying, "Oh, no, that's okay. I'm just at a choir concert."

Just at a choir concert??????!!!!!!!!!! Just here listening to kids sing their hearts out and share the music they have been working on for several weeks now to perform for little ol' me, sitting out here in the audience next to parents, friends, and family members who might actually care to hear what's going on without cell phones ringing and people saying "I'm just at a choir concert!"

Yes, I was slightly irritated. My feelings didn't improve much when this lady STAYED INSIDE THE AUDITORIUM TO CONTINUE HER PHONE CONVERSATION!!!!!

Okay. I should calm down now. I'm beginning to develop irritable patron syndrome...

On a happier note, here are some pictures of Evan performing, just at a choir concert.



(You may notice a girl wearing a tux coat and a boy who is not...Chivalry is not dead, folks! Poor girl's zipper broke, and the gentlemanly fellow offered up his coat to her. That's sweet.)



And some pictures of sweet Farmor trying to convince Joshua that he really did want to be there, supporting his brother.



And some pictures of not-so-sweet Lane not being supportive of his brother (he told us he's just preparing Joshua for Junior High School...).





And seriously, folks, what kind of parent stops to take pictures of such sibling sacrifice, instead of helping the poor youngest child? (Probably the kind who knows this could make some good blog material...)

In closing, a picture of some non-irritating people, at least in this non-irritating moment! Who knows what will make me snap later on?



MOVED, TAKE 2

Michael bought me a present, and I am moved, both figuratively and literally.

Don't you just love it? I do! And I just love him!



Thanks, my honey love. You move me, regardless of all the presents.
(Still, I'd like to keep it!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

MOVED

Warning: this will be LONG!

Recently several things have moved me. I don't know that any of them will touch you in the same way--if at all--they did me, but I thought I'd like to share anyway.

The first was a talk that I just happened to catch on the radio, a re-broadcast of a speech by Ezra Taft Benson in the year 1977. I was in the car, delivering some things for church, when I normally would have been in church. Not that I advocate missing meetings, but I would have missed this otherwise, so I'm glad I was where I was when I was (got that?). I can't explain exactly why, but I was floored by the things I heard. Maybe you will be, too. Here's the link so you can listen to it yourself, if interested. And here are a few passages which really stayed with me. The fact that these are issues he felt were timely 30 years ago really blew me away. What that must mean now!

Americans have always been committed to taking care of the poor, aged, and unemployed. We have done this on the basis of Judaic-Christian beliefs and humanitarian principles. It has been fundamental to our way of life that charity must be voluntary if it is to be charity. Compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today's socialists--who call themselves egalitarians--are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a so-called matter of right. One HEW official said recently, "In this country, welfare is no longer charity, it is a right. More and more Americans feel that their government owes them something" (U.S. News and World Report, April 21, 1975, p. 49). President Grover Cleveland said--and we believe as a people--that though the people support the government the government should not support the people...

"When you accept food stamps, you accept an unearned handout that other working people are paying for. You do not earn food stamps or welfare payments. Every individual who accepts an unearned government gratuity is just as morally culpable as the individual who takes a handout from taxpayers' money to pay his heat, electricity, or rent. There is no difference in principle between them. You did not come to this University to become a welfare recipient. You came here to be a light to the world, a light to society--to save society and to help to save this nation, the Lord's base of operations in these latter days, to ameliorate man's social conditions. You are not here to be a parasite or freeloader. The price you pay for "something for nothing" may be more than you can afford. Do not rationalize your acceptance of government gratuities by saying, "I am a contributing taxpayer too." By doing this you contribute to the problem which is leading this nation to financial insolvency...

"In opening my remarks to you, beloved youth of the Church, I attempted to share with you a vision of your eternal possibilities. In closing my remarks, I share with you my hope for you:

I hope that you learn through your struggles the joy of achievement.

I hope that you recognize in the gospel of Jesus Christ a solution to our problems, temporal and spiritual.

I hope that you marry well, live together in love, rear a family in righteousness, and have joy and rejoicing in your posterity.

I hope that you follow the example and counsel of him whom the Lord has appointed as prophet, seer, and revelator.

I hope that you learn the joy of work, the ability to postpone wants, and the economic independence not to be a slave to any man.

I hope that you keep yourselves clean morally and spiritually, that your confidence will wax strong in the presence of God, as the scriptures say, and the Holy Ghost will be your constant companion (see D&C 121:45–46).

I hope that you will be united in philosophy, purpose, and action to the laws of the celestial kingdom.

I pray God's choicest blessings on you, my beloved brethren and sisters. May I say to you that there isn't anything in this world that's right that the leadership of this Church wouldn't do for the youth of the Church; and so I hope and pray that you realize the hope of those who love you and serve you and the possibilities of your potential as sons and daughters of God. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

I could not wish or hope anything different for my own children. I was really touched, and felt compelled to be...not so much different...but more of who I really am.

I also enjoyed and was moved by this movie:




It's a little on the a) far-fetched, b)preachy, and c)confusing side, but it is very well-intentioned. Not that that excuses poor movie making. Still, "Bella" is worth a dollar at Red-box, and 90 minutes on your comfiest couch (or mine. Our red couch is always open for movie-watching!).

What I really appreciated, though, was the story of the man in the movie. His name is Eduardo Verastegui, often called "the Mexican Brad Pitt." He is beautiful. He is also someone who wanted to be a better person than he was.



Whether you like his personal choices or not, you can't help but be moved by somebody who felt compelled to change himself, and actually did something about it. At least I couldn't.

I was also moved by something else that happened a while ago: Joshua's school performance entitled, "American Heroes."

The day started with more trauma than necessary when Joshua couldn't find clean clothes to wear. His wise mother had encouraged him (to the point of nagging, actually) to lay the required outfit--white shirt, dark jean pants--out the night before, just to make sure he had everything he needed. For whatever reason inherent to all children, he ignored his wise mother, and found everything he needed the next morning either wet in the washing machine, or truly dirty on his closet floor. Tears and trauma, tears and trauma...

I laid out Joshua's options to him: he could a) wear dirty clothes, b) wear wet clothes, c) wear wet and dirty clothes, d) wear clothes that were not the requested outfit, or e) use his own money and purchase new clothes. Option "e" won out, so off to Wal-Mart we went, and $15 later he looked like everyone else.


The show was very well done, and I have to hand it to Joshua's genius of a teacher for achieving such excellence. I was so impressed. It was well-rehearsed, well-planned, and well-performed. Here's just a little view of what they did:

video



An emotional moment for me came before the show even started. Awesome Uncle Colin walked into my house just before it was time to walk down to the school for Joshua's show. Joshua had been so excited to invite Colin because they were going to be singing the representative songs of the military. Colin took it one step further than just showing up, and showed up wearing his Air Force uniform, starched, shiny, and spiffy! It truly brought tears to my eyes, partly because I'm so proud of Colin and his life choices, and partly because he did so much for Joshua by showing up and showing well.



This is Colin standing when the music to "Off we go into the wild blue yonder..." began playing. He stood stiff and proud, and surprised everyone with his "war-cry" of, "Give 'em the gun! Give 'em the gun!" somewhere in the middle of the song.

Uncle Colin, you are pretty super! So is super Farmor for coming and supporting Joshua in his performance. What a well-loved boy.




Yes, these are some of the forces that move my world. Rock it, is more like it!



Friday, July 4, 2008

AMAZED

Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy this: