Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meniscus, dead birds and jack kniving, oh my!

Saturday started out like any other day but Enoch had the chance to play in an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament at SUU and we all went in to watch.  During the first game, he planted hard and popped out his knee.  According to the Physical Therapist who lives by our parents, who looked at his knee on his front lawn after church on Sunday, he probably tore some meniscus.  We should probably get him an MRI but at this point, he seems to be not hurting as much and it never really swelled up so, and since the economy is not at all stable, and discretionary income is something we are lacking to just throw into that test right now, I think he is just going to keep taking anti-inflammatories and wear a brace when necessary.  He poured concrete yesterday and said that he couldn't bend or straighten it out all the way, but that it didn't have pain, just stiffness with it.  

Then, as we were driving home from the tournament, we had a pigeon sized bird smack right into our windshield of our Yukon.  I don't think it did any damage, I'll need to wash it to see if there is anything else, but needless to say all that we saw behind us was a mess of feathers.  I am confident that bird didn't survive.  The thing that was strange about that was the bird didn't really look like it was trying to get out of the way.  It didn't change direction or try to fly faster or anything.  I think it was on a suicide mission.  Sometimes, when you aren't the early bird, it just doesn't seem worth it anymore I guess.

You would think at this point that we would have just called it a day, but Enoch had a trailer full of trash that really needed to go to the dump so we loaded the kids in the Yukon, threw on a movie and headed to the dump.  Enoch turned onto the freeway, so we could maybe avoid an all day dump run, but within a couple hundred yards of being on the freeway, we had a semi pass us.  We were only going 60 mph but it was enough to fill the trailer with air and make it start to fishtail.  Enoch tried to get the car under control, gently pushing the brakes but then we started to lose control of the car.  All that was left to do at this point was stop the chaos, so Enoch slammed on the brakes, our tires squealed and we ended up spinning 180 degrees before our car stalled.  Lucky for us, the cars behind us were paying attention and stopped before hitting us head on.  

Yes, we still went to the dump.  

No, not one car stopped to see if we were okay.  

No, I didn't scream (I'm not really a screaming type of person).

Yes, I completely held my breath and could hear my heart beat in my head.  

Yes, the new rule is that trailer does not go on the freeway EVER again.

Needless to say, it was a Saturday that we do not want to even come close to experiencing again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, it's coming

This year, like last year, I'm in charge of writing and finding the music for the Christmas program. This year we are doing a theme of light - star that appeared, Christ being the light of the world, the light in us we can share with other, etc.

In case you were wondering there are fewer than 100 days until Christmas. To provide a little motivation, I decided to steer away from the Christmas carols and decided instead I'd just post the program I wrote last year as a reminder to get my butt in gear - if you are in charge of this like me, or think you might be in charge of it sometime in the future, feel free to steal/borrow any or all of this.

Happy Stressing!!!

Most of the songs are from Sally Deford. If you want to hear them, click

Opening Hymn – Joy to the World - Deford
Ward Business and Sacrament

Speaker 1: It is once again that time of year when we gather together to celebrate the joyful time that was the birth of Jesus Christ. In this season of giving, we commemorate the greatest gift that our loving Father in Heaven could have ever bestowed upon us, His only begotten son. In a humble stable, a room put to use beyond the function of a primitive cave, our Savior and Redeemer entered this world in the most humble circumstances. Centuries prior to the birth of Jesus, prophets and civilizations looked forward to the arrival of the one who would be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The
Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. This event was so magnificent that along with the appearance of a new bright star, the heavens opened and choirs of angels assembled. In an unprecedented gathering, they sangGlory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Angels We Have Heard on High -Deford– Choir (2:40)

Speaker 2: In Ancient Bethlehem, few were aware that the most anticipated event of the world had taken place, except for a few fortunate shepherds in a nearby field who had the opportunity to be witnesses of the arrival of the greatest individual the world would ever know. The shepherds left their precious flocks and rushed to see that which the heavens proclaimed.
We cannot know what they thought they might find, only recalling what they may have known from whatever scriptures they knew. What they discovered was a scene so magnificent and so sublime that they couldn’t help but tell everyone they knew, making this amazing news known abroad, and all those who heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Away in a Manger-Deford – Choir and Young Women
(young women sing 1st verse and then the obligato part for instrument with the same words as the choir) (3:20)

Speaker 3: Mary brought forth her
firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger. Often nativities are represented in this way, with the baby Jesus in a manger, and parents Mary and Joseph looking over him adoringly. Imagine the scene that is all too familiar with the variation of Mary, alone with her baby after the shepherds have looked on in amazement and the angel’s songs are over. She had the opportunity to hold him lovingly in her arms, adore his tiny features and think about the incredible love she had for her helpless infant who even as a full grown man would remain eternally innocent. For even just a few precious moments, Mary had the Savior of the world, her own personal Redeemer, all to herself. “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

Mary’s Lullaby (women’s trio)
– Relief Society Sisters (4:30)

Speaker 4: In the 11th chapter of Matthew, verses 28–30, the Savior says: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [
Matt. 11:28–30] President Ezra Taft Benson taught us that, “Christ’s great gift to us was His life and sacrifice. Should that not then be our small gift to Him—our lives and sacrifices, not only now but in the future? …Yes, men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.”

I Come to Him- Deford – Choir (5:30)

Speaker 5: It is impossible to take account of all the miracles that Jesus has performed since the beginning of time. He created the world, gave life to mankind, taught, encouraged, corrected and loved. During his physical life on this earth, he fed thousands, healed the blind, deaf and lame, cast out spirits, taught forgiveness and the principle of unconditional love. His performance of miracles continues still today. He lifts the spirits of all of us when we long for compassion during our darkest hours. He offer guidance when our souls are worrying and troubled. During the times when our souls hunger, we can utilize the lifeline of prayer and feel the comfort of knowing that God and his Son Jesus Christ hear us individually, love us individually, and will guide us to the path that will allow us to heal and learn, renewing our covenants with him and teaching us how to develop a greater love and peace for ourselves and all mankind.

Jesus, Savior (Ave Verum) – Duet (3:40)

Speaker 6: Jesus Christ courageously fulfilled this sacrifice in ancient Jerusalem. There in the quiet isolation of the Garden of Gethsemane, He knelt among the gnarled olive trees, and in some incredible way that none of us can fully comprehend, the Savior took upon Himself the sins of the world. Even though His life was pure and free of sin, He paid the ultimate penalty for sin—yours, mine, and everyone who has ever lived. His mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish were so great they caused Him to bleed from every pore (see
Luke 22:44; D&C 19:18). And yet Jesus suffered willingly so that we might all have the opportunity to be washed clean—through having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized by proper priesthood authority, receiving the purifying gift of the Holy Ghost by confirmation, and accepting all other essential ordinances. Without the Atonement of the Lord, none of these blessings would be available to us, and we could not become worthy and prepared to return to dwell in the presence of God. (Ballard, 2004)
He submitted Himself, and they took Him and in mockery crowned Him with a crown of platted thorns and placed a purple robe on His back. Without mercy, and with hatred vile and intemperate, they beat Him and scourged Him and cried out for His crucifixion. He had done no evil. He had done only good, and in greater measure than any man before Him had ever done. Yet they cried for His death.

He staggered under the weight of the cross on which He was to hang. They nailed His quivering flesh to the unyielding wood. They mocked Him as He hung in agony.

While suffering, He forgave them. He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (
Matt. 27:46.) And then He died for each of us. In dying, He brought about the redemption of mankind. None can fully comprehend the extent and wonder and majesty of that sacrifice in our behalf. Suffice it to say, He became our Redeemer. (Hinckley, 1992)

I Stand All Amazed- Deford – Choir (6:00)

Speaker 7: Of all the victories in human history, none is so great, none so universal in its effect, none so everlasting in its consequences as the victory of the crucified Lord, who came forth in the Resurrection that first Easter morning. (Hinckley, 1992) God, our loving Father in Heaven, has said that it is His work and glory “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). It is called the gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that makes redemption and salvation possible. Through the Atonement all men, women, and children are unconditionally redeemed from physical death, and all will be redeemed from their own sins on the condition of accepting and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ (Elder Uchtdorf, 2007) Because Jesus Christ lives, we can live our lives with hope and gratitude. Because he lives, we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death and truly feel no fear. Because he lives, we can rise from our challenges, join together and rejoice in the knowledge that because he lives, we too, along with all our loved ones, can live again.

Because He Lives- Deford – Choir (7:00)

Closing Song – Choir and Congregation – Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Friday, September 19, 2008

Love Greed

To see more by this artist, go here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dusting off my cape

I am having of the few days in the last week where I once again feel like I am on top of what is happening in my life.  I hate being a react parent - I like to be on top of my game and ahead of the chaos (granted, while I'm saying this I have a mountain of clothes to fold, but that is just turning into my norm).

I have prepped what I am going to teach my juniors for the rest of this week and next, have a whole stack of papers that I need to grade, and a story that is rattling around in my brain so much that it has infiltrated my dreams and needs to be written, but I know what I am cooking for dinner tonight, am prepped fully to teach tomorrow and am excited about what is happening with creative writing.  

Next week is homecoming, I'm going to get my visiting teaching done Tuesday night, have a teacher skit for Thursday and will be getting a presentation on a neighborhood that Enoch and I are considering for our home in the next 12 months or so.  Enoch has had lots of work this week, Will has earned 100% on his last two spelling tests, soccer will be over this week, I'm playing a musical number with my mom on Sunday and may even have time to keep reading the Invisible Man (Elison not Wells).  

Granted, to some this may seem like semi-organized chaos, but I'm feeling really good about it. 

Watch out world, I'm no longer stressed and ready to conquer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things Fall Apart

This is a book that I had been trying to get to for a year, and when I finally started reading it, I found that I was completed enthralled with it.  It is based on an African society where a man who is left nothing because he has a selfish and lazy father, works hard to build up a homestead and family.  He has to prove himself and does so in a wrestling match as well as several times when he proves his leadership prowess.

There are several tragic elements of this book, having an accident suddenly throw a completely unforeseen curveball, people who enter the society to show them how wrong they are and the strong tradition being disregarded because a new group of people say it should be.

I knew this was a tragic book before I began reading it, but was moved at how brazen the missionaries are concerning the traditions of the area they proselytize.  I would hope that this is no longer the case, but that those who go to help a people allows the two cultures to mesh together and join to form one that can embrace both beliefs.  

I had sympathy and a little bit of cynicism for Okonkwo because he made so much of himself the first time he had to do it, but then just gave up the second time, living in frustration, despair and anger.  I can't help but think that there may have been a chance for him and his society if he had just shown the determination during all his trials throughout his life that he did in the beginning.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand a different society better, enjoys reading and doesn't mind terribly when the reading goes a little slower because the language is more complex.  Chances are decent I will read this again and again, knowing that I did not get all there is to understand during my first reading.  

Breaking Dawn

I finished this book about a month ago, but just haven't had the time to write a review for a while.  There are several things - the first of which I was glad to see that Bella got married.  The story needed to move beyond the "I love you, you love me but we can never be together" story line.  

I have read many reviews that are annoyed with Bella's sexuality, but I question them being newlyweds and not interested in expressing their love physically.   Move on already. 

I thought it was a little strange with the baby, the pregnancy and the evolution of her relationship with Jacob.  I was glad that she made it through, thought that Edward being the one to help her was as it should be and even liked that he had the ingenuity to know what to do.  I thought her gift was cool to some extent, but really wanted to see her struggle through trying to control the struggles of being a newborn.

One of my biggest pet peeves is that Meyer cannot kill or even really hurt her characters.  It seems that the death of a loved one, or even loss of her parents due to her change into a vampire to truly have this be an epic story.  I have a hard time believing that her parents would just accept the fact that she suddenly looks different and not have a problem with it, but get freaked out by Jacob changing.  

All in all, I loved the book, thought it was fun to read, loved that Bella was willing to send her daughter away should she need too, but it was all a build up for a let down.  I felt that all the confrontations were highly anti-climatic, felt like I didn't get to see the fight that I have been wanting to see for four books now and thought all the training that they went through was pointless.  

Still total brain candy.  Still want to read The Host.  Still mad about the fact that she had her transcript leaked.  Will more than likely read more of what she writes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Moon

As we were driving home after Sunday dinner today, Catie looked up in the sky and said,
"Mom, the moon's broken!"

I looked at her to explain that the moon grows and shrinks, thinking that I really need to read Eric Carle's book with her when Ellie, with her maginificent wisdom of a five-year-old, looked at me and said,

"Mom, sometimes little kids just don't know better, huh."


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

That's My Brother!!!

For those of you who know me, you are aware of the fact that I'm a huge football fan.  I love it.  I yell at the refs on TV, get upset when the defense just can't seem to make a tackle, love the great last minute plays, Hail Mary's - the whole nine yards.  

This year my brother, Ryan, is a senior at CHS and starts for their varsity football team playing both defensive end and tight end.  He has had two amazing games.  He caught a touchdown in the first one, stretching out his body and pulling the ball in with one hand, having numerous tackles defensively.  Then, at the game last Friday he had two touchdowns, one from a fumble and the other from an offensive pass with over a dozen tackles.  

Now that in and of itself is pretty amazing, but I was more blown away by the quote he gave the local paper.  This is the moment when I just look at my little brother and I'm amazed at his humility and class.  He scored the touchdown, but didn't take the credit.  What a classy guy!

He also got the recognition by being the play of the day with a little video of his fumble returned for a touchdown for the local TV station here.

Then there was a little follow-up article today that covered how good he has been for the team so far.  While I'm THRILLED with his success on the field, I'm amazed at the class he has off the field.  I've never been prouder of a brother in my life.