Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's a Marshmallow World...

Take one seven year old boy. Help him build a fire. Give him a stick. Stir up the fire. Create some smoke amongst the flames.
Stir it up a little more. Place a marshmallow on the stick. Start to roast it. Catch a few on fire to see how long it takes a marshmallow to melt.

Remove stick and marshmallow from fire. Find some graham crackers. Find some chocolate bars.(We prefer Hershey-brand ONLY)
Layer cracker. marshmallow. candy bar. cracker. You have now invented a delicious, hot schmoe. Try eating your creation without hands. If that doesn't work, use your hand to stretch the marshmallow part as far away from your face as you can. After the last sticky bite, repeat entire process. Again. And again. And again!

A picture is worth a thousand words... for today, the pictures will do the talking... Proud parents of a soon-to-be missionary... last lunch at Cafe Rio'...famous for pulled pork, salmon tacos, and a beautiful white cinder brick wall for family photo shoots...

...almost there..putting on brave (and happy!) faces...

The sign says it all...minus the part that should say, 'get ready to pull over to the curb, give us your luggage, hug your kid, and send her on her way'. I know some people don't like this method, but for us it was just right. She is ready to get busy. No need to prolong the inevitable.

Pre-tears Eli. This one rips my heart out. The real scene following this was even more emotional.
And off she goes on a new adventure. Ready to share the gospel with the people of Houston. To borrow from the Brothers Gibb, a line from their song "WORDS" which closes this chapter for awhile, as another page turns to a new beginning for our Queen of English, our Grammar Goddess, our own Sister Whitney Mikell Sorensen. "Smile an everlasting smile. A smile can bring you near to me." One look at that smile and I know she will always be near. to. me.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How Firm a Foundation...

When we lived in Utah they announced the building of the Mt. Timpanogos temple. It was an exciting time for everyone in our area. We knew that we would all have a chance to be a part of this amazing experience. Each child in our primary was given a picture of the new temple to place in their rooms and our girls were no exception. All primary children were also given the chance to paint their names on rocks to be buried in the foundation of the temple. Whitney put her name on one rock. Cassidy put her name on another rock. Then we waited and waited while the temple was built. We would take long Sunday drives up the road to see how it was progressing. Whitney would always remind us that her name was a part of this temple; 'her temple.'The day the temple was finished was so exciting. Phillip was able to act as a security guard; I played the organ during one of the open house sessions. Whitney was old enough to sing during the open house with the children from our ward. We took our girls several times to the tours and each time they were in awe with the beauty and spirit they experienced there. When Whitney and I attended the dedication on a cold October afternoon, she expressed a sincere desire to return someday to this temple; 'her temple.'
This week that goal became a reality. We made the trip to Utah to visit her doctor one last time before the mission and took a few hours out of our day to attend the Mt. Timpanogos Temple together. It was such an honor and privilege to be seated next to my beautiful daughter during the session. I'm sure her heart remembered back to a time when she was a young girl, excited to be inside a temple for the first time, awed by it's beauty and touched by the spirit. Now, as she prepares to go forth and serve, I am reminded that, just like that rock with her name on it beneath the Mt. Timpanogos temple, she has a very firm foundation. She has lived her life preparing to go where the Lord wants her to go. She has remained worthy and faithful and firm in her commitment. She will be greatly missed by so many here in Idaho, but the people of Houston will be blessed even greater by her presence. When the days seem long and the work seems hard, I hope she will remember these words: "Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed, For I am they God and will still give thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand. Upheld by my righteous hand." Sister Sorensen, go forth and serve. Remember your firm foundation and you'll do just fine!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Climb

We just came back from "Hannah Montana: The Movie."

I have a few things to say about this gem of a film.
1. There is NO WAY Brooke Shields would be the mother of Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. Especially not married to Billy Ray Cyrus. Just the thought of those two as a couple makes me have a big pain in my achy, breaky heart!

2. Who IS Hannah Montana's fashion consultant and why is she allowed to let her wear such hideous outfits? Stacy and Clinton would have a few words for her and they would all start with "Miley, that is so WHAT NOT TO WEAR!"

3. Usually when you go to a concert and a song is debuted for the first time, not one person in the crowd of thousands would know the words and be able to sing along. That's the magic of Disney. Amazingly everyone could and was singing right along with Hannah/Miley/Hannah. And in even more true Disney-style, everyone in the audience in the theater where we were was also singing along, and swaying to the music. Including us. After all, "There's always gonna be another mountain, I'm always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle. Sometime's I'm gonna have to lose. Ain't about how fast I get there. Ain't about what' waitin' on the other side. It's the climb, yeah!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Lot of Pomp and A Little Bit of Circumstance...

Monday was the day. My baby girl graduated from high school. Some people would say, "Two down, one to go!" and be excited that they were two-thirds of the way finished with raising children. Not so for me. Just the thought of the word 'go' makes my throat close and my heart start racing. I even went so far as to look up it's definition in the dictionary. So many interesting things were discovered. It means to 'move away from a place; depart; leave.' DUH. I already knew that.
This word is only going to become more and more familiar at our house as the days approach for

my girls to 'move away, leave, and depart.' In fact, the first sentence in the dictionary to illustrate the use of the word 'go,' was, appropriately, "Go before I cry." I could start an entirely new blog on that word and it's various tenses: 'Cry. Crying. Cried.' However, I was hoping for a few positive definitions so I continued my dictionary research. I think I came up with a few. Okay. Go! ' Go' can also refer to the act of passing from one person to another; to circulate. During her high school years, Cassidy has done a superb job of passing from one person to another. She has circulated amongst many a group of fine friends, both boys and girls. I won't say they haven't had their ups and downs, but in the end, they have all been just right for her. I hope she has been just right for them. Soon she will be going to BYU-I, where she can again practice the art of circulating! Watch out. Once she has crossed your path, you will never want to leave it.

'Go' also means to give entry to; to lead. These future leaders are about to enter a new phase of life. Among them you will find missionaries, magicians and musicians; drama queens and budding authors, heart surgeons, male models and super spys; politicians and great debaters, comedians, architects and interior designers. If watching what they could accomplish over the last three years is any indication, then these Summa Cum Laude graduates will be the hope for a brighter future on our horizon. I wish them the best. I expect the best from them. I know they will give the best they have got. And more. GO, and DO!

When things feel like the world is turning sideways, or even upside down, don't forget that you went to a great deal of work to get this far. The form of 'went' used here defines carrying out an action to a certain point or extent. A wise king once gave this advice, "See that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man (or woman) should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." Don't run too fast. Go have a little fun. Or a lot of fun. Don't wish too soon for thing that are to come. Enjoy where you are right now. I am confident the prizes that will be won are well worth waiting for! To quote another famous man, 'Oh be wise; what can I say more?"Don't spend too much time looking back. All the memories you have made up to this point will stay with you forever; at least the ones that are worth remembering. Let the heart-aches and heart-breaks disappear from your mind. Open up your heart to all the new possibilities that are waiting for you.

Look forward and look up. The stars are there to guide you. Reach for them. Grab one from time to time. Share your light with others. Please Shine. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. And for a final piece of advice, I look to the words from our favorite band, The Oneders. "In every life there comes a time when the dream you dream becomes That Thing You Do!" Go. Do your thing. And do it great! We would expect nothing less.