Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So you think you can dance?

The birthday gift arrived Monday night...and it has been active ever since. Considering I have a minor in dance and was once a member of a college dance team, this has really taken me back to the good old days when I could jump and jive with the best of them. I'm just getting the hang of it, but I have to say, it makes for a fun work out. I'll keep you posted of my progress. Don't be too jealous that I spend my days dancing to "I Want Candy", "Umbrella-ella-ella" and "Don't You Forget About Me". It beats the heck out of laundry, and reminds me that my thighs can still burn with the best of them. Once my leg warmers and leotard arrive I'll make a video for my blog! Now that's something to look forward to! P.S. That bright light on the girl's chest is how my heart feels after I "Bust A Move"...kind of hot and kind of flashy! Take that for what it's worth!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Day the Music Died...

I lost a good friend last night. Wayne Richards, local d.j. and voice of the Melaleuca Freedom Festival Fireworks, passed away in Hawaii. He was snorkeling with his son-in-law and didn't come to the surface. They pulled him to shore, performed cpr, and sent him to the hospital. Unfortunately, they had to put him on life support and last night made the decision to take him off. My heart aches for his family. I hope that is a choice I never have to make. My day has been spent listening to the many tributes that are being paid to him over the airwaves. I can't bring myself to call in...the emotions are too close to the surface. Every song that comes on brings up another memory of Wayne. He was my best friend in the office...we quoted movies to each other, challenged each other to lyric contests, pulled plenty of pranks on co-workers, and went on endless junk food runs. He used my girls in radio ads, and taught me the art of music-mixing. He kept me laughing, and made me feel like I was the most indispensable member of the team. He was a mighty man among many, and will be sorely missed. To his wife, his son, two daughters, two son-laws, and two granddaughters, I send my prayers. He lived his life to the fullest, and we are blessed to have know him.

Dancing Queen...

...Young and sweet, only 17...The dress for Homecoming...we both felt inspi(red) after the dress had been acqui(red) was perfect for Cassidy and fit her like a dream.
The date for Homecoming...also a dream. Cassidy and Jace have been good friends for a long time, and have dated several times, but it was her dream to go to a dance with him, so of course she was on cloud nine. In case you are wondering about the white tux, apparently they are 'tight', 'da bomb' and what 'everyone who is anyone' is wearing to formal dances these days. When I first heard he was wearing a white tux two thoughts came to mind: One was 'temple worker'; the other was 'pimp'. Not to worry, it looked great! Whitney's only comment was, "John Travolta called. He wants his suit back!" We all had a good laugh over that one!
It had been raining all day on their picnic, so I was inspi(red) at the last moment to send an umbrella to the dance. But first, a perfect photo op! This is one of my all-time favorites!

Her corsage was so pretty...not just your standard roses, but a lovely Calla lily. Sweet!

My favorite part of dances is when she comes home and we stay up all night (morning) talking! Imagine looking so bright-eyed at 1:30 in the morning. It must come from being young and sweet and only 17! "She can dance, she can jive, havin' the time of her life."

Happy Birthday to Me...

...46 candles and counting...I think Eli is more excited than I am...he told me "Happy Early Birthday" last night before bed...and "Happy Birthday, Mom" about twenty more times this morning before school...I'm pretty sure he has a clue as what my gift is, and I'm guessing 'wii' will all be happy to have it in our home!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you when the world stopped turning...

...on that September day? Each September 11th for the last 7 years I have taken a few moments to reflect back upon what I was doing the moment those planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Today will be no different. I will still remember what happened that day, and how it has affected me and my family.

I had just sent the girls out the door to catch their buses, and I was sitting down to watch Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. They say no news is good news, but that morning the news they were reporting was anything but good. Images of a building being hit by a plane are still fresh in my mind. It seemed like a freak accident, freakier still when it happened again. Suddenly, everything I knew to be safe and free was being threatened by an unknown and evil force. I didn't want to keep watching, but I knew I couldn't stop. I wondered if my girls would find out about it at school, and I was fearful for their reactions. Would they be frightened like I was, or were they too young to fully understand what I didn't even understand myself. The next moment that I will relive again and again in years to come was Katie Couric on the air with someone in the Pentagon when it was attacked. It was then I knew that this terrible thing was not going away. I felt cold fear in my heart for a future where our freedoms would be tested. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, joyfully anticipating the birth of a son, one who would now be coming into a world where peace had been taken away. I quietly turned off the tv, and said a silent prayer to the one person who I knew could take away my fears. Would I someday have to send this unborn boy off to fight for the freedoms that he didn't even know about? Could I do it? Could he? I have had uncles and cousins and friends and father-in-laws go to war. Some of them came back; some didn't. Was this the life my son was coming into the world for? I can't answer that question yet; but I do know that on that day a calm assurance came to me that my son would be protected, and that he would be prepared in life to do whatever he was asked to do. Perhaps he will have to serve his country; I'm preparing him to serve his God. From the moment he was born I have instilled in him a love for this country and the precious freedoms that belong to us. I hope he will always remember what a privilege it is to live here, in the land of the free and the brave. I have never been prouder to fly my flag than on that day. Today, as I drove to work there were flags everywhere, symbolizing that we haven't forgotten that not-so- long ago day. Images of mothers who lost husbands, and children who lost fathers, and husbands who lost wives, and parents who lost children will be forever embedded in my heart. I still have a bad habit now of turning on the tv each morning to make sure my world is safe. I hope I never have to see something like that happening again. I salute all those who lost loved ones on 9-11, and subsequently in any and all conflicts which have been fought to preserve this country for me and my posterity. Take a minute today and reflect upon your blessings from living in America. It's well worth your time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Live in Thanksgiving Daily

I have a new assignment in my stake. Once every 14 months I am in charge of cooking and supervising the soup kitchen in our city. I have volunteered at the soup kitchen since we moved here 10 years ago, and I love working there, so I have been excited for September to come. On Tuesday we served chili dogs, salad, and cake to 120 people. Today, we made a beef vegetable soup, with fruit cocktail and a roll on the side, plus cake for those who wanted it. At the end of the day, the number of patrons who walked through our door was 97, including several children. In the past we have usually served about 60 people, and since it is the first part of the month that number often goes down by about 20 people. I think it is a sign of the times of how bad our economy is getting when the number of people we feed doubles. Sadly, today, I fed 2 sisters who I knew from my hometown. They didn't recognize me, but it made my heart skip a beat as I realized hunger and homelessness can affect anyone. It is hard work while we are there. After cooking all morning, I washed dishes for the entire 2 hours that we were serving food. However, lest you think I am complaining, think again. My experiences at the soup kitchen leave me feeling extremely grateful for how blessed most of us are. I always know where my next meal is coming from, even if it is only grilled cheese sandwiches. I know that my children will never go hungry, and that we will always have a roof over our heads and a warm bed to sleep in at night. I am grateful for these reminders in my life that even if the house isn't always clean, it's a house, and even though the grocery prices are steadily rising, at least I have money to buy groceries. Perhaps it is why I have one of my favorite scriptures form the Book of Mormon on my wall. It keeps things in perspective when I forget how blessed I am.