Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin - The Movie

Check out this movie trailer for a good laugh.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Endlessly Creative and Compassionate

Tonight I was privileged to attend the general Relief Society Meeting for the women of the church.  It was wonderfully uplifting.   I got to enjoy the company of many amazing women, and was spiritually fed in the process. 

Here is the truth.  Most of the time I miss these meetings.  Usually I have good intentions, but then life gets in the way, and I just don't go.  But yesterday, my friend called me up and said, let me pick you up, we'll go together.  At that point we were both committed - and I am so glad. I have never not been inspired or spiritually renewed when I attend these types of meetings, and yet, I can always find an excuse not to go.  And I know that I am not the only one, several friends there said,  "I almost didn't come, but . . ."  There is an adversarial force working to keep us women from these meetings, a force that knows that a spiritually renewed woman is a strong woman.   Strong women = strong family.

For me, the right spirit, the Holy Spirit, was very present at this meeting.  I was once again converted to the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the power and purpose of the Relief Society.  

I was struck by several thoughts and feelings tonight as I watched the satellite broadcast.  The first thought was, Wow, Utah sure has a lot of white people.  But once I got past that little idiosyncrasy I was able to focus better.  Each member of the Relief Society Presidency spoke in turn.  Sister Beck began by expressing her love for the sisters around the world.  Her voice welled with emotion, and I knew that she truly loves the women of the church and desires to serve and guide this organization. 

As the cameras panned over the choir and the completely full conference center I thought, look at all those women!  What beautiful daughters of God.  There are so many of us, and God loves each one individually.   What a force for good we could be in the world - what a force for good we ARE.  Isn't that amazing?

The final speaker this evening was President Uchtdorf .  If you didn't get a chance to hear him, read his talk when you can.  He reminded us that we are the spirit daughters of an endlessly creative and compassionate God.  And having been created to experience a fullness of joy, we also have the capability and the obligation to emulate our Father in Heaven through the things we create and the compassion with which we live our lives.  Wow.

So now, I am spiritually revved up.  I am totally pumped!  I want to create something beautiful, I want to have more compassion, I want to serve more.  And I am writing this all down tonight, so that when I wake up in the morning I can read this and not forget. My love to you all.

Life IS About Living!

I have been thinking lately how life is all about the process and then my saavy sister-in-law posts this.  If you have been wondering lately what it's all about - this is a great reminder.  Please give it a read.  Thanks for sharing Amanda!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ups and Downs

This has been an interesting week to say the least.

The past few days the mercury has reached 97 degrees F.  Yucky.

Addison performed with her Suzuki group's Symphony Orchestra on Monday.  They sounded pretty good I thought.  I really like her Suzuki group.  It is so inspiring to go every week and hear all of these kids doing such amazing things.  

This week, after an eight week hiatus, Douglas landed and started a job on yet another television show.  A collective sigh of relief was heard around the room!  This free lance stuff can be so tough.

Douglas was also accepted into a film festival in Chicago.  Yeah.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that more festivals can find a spot for his piece.

I jumped into the sewing trend this week (I know, I'm a couple years behind the curve).  I
recovered our living room pillows following this tutorial from house on hill road.  I felt mighty proud!  You see, there are zippers involved!

Our bank, Washington Mutual, was seized by the FDIC and then bought by JP Morgan Chase Thursday night.

And, there is that little thing about the $700 billion government bailout - but let's not get started on that.  The current financial situation deserves a whole post in which I can rant and rave properly.

Hmmm.  Hope your week has been a good one.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Zen of Quilting

I finished a quilt top last night.  Yeah me!  And I am working on blocks for another quilt (that's one of my stars which was inspired by this quilt-along).  I am not too excited yet, it's only a quilt top.  I still need to quilt the darn thing and bind it.  You may need to check back next year for a finished product.

Because the truth is, I am horrible at quilting.  Well not necessarily at quilting itself, just the part where you finish the project.  In fact, this quilt top idea was conceived before Elias was.  

There are several reasons I am not great at finishing projects like this one: having an attention deficit personality disorder being one, the inconvenience of living in a small space being another. In order to sew, I have to actually clean the kitchen table off.  I ask you, besides my mother, who out there with small children and a husband can keep their kitchen table cleaned off? If you can, my hat is off to you.   In addition, I have to take everything out of the closet every time I want to sew, and I have to put everything back before the next meal.  It's a pain.  But wah, wah, wah.  I push past the pain.

Despite my handicaps, I am very drawn to quilting.  When I see what other people have created with color, shape, geometry, symmetry . . . I get so excited and inspired.   I love the idea that small bits of fabric can be carefully crafted into beautiful quilts.  Its art I tell ya, pure and simple.

As I was working on quilt blocks and this quilt top, I realized that quilting had some life lessons for me.  First, the art is in the details.   I tend to be a very impatient person, I am big picture oriented and have a hard time focusing on the details.  This drives Douglas crazy!  But with quilting, so much of the quality of the finished product relies on the details.  If your seam is not exactly 1/4", your blocks will not fit together properly.  If you don't pay attention to sewing right sides together - you're going to have to start over.  It's about precision.

Second, it is all about the process.  It was a really good exercise for me to try and find the zen of quilting and focus on the process rather than the product.  Translation:  I spent a great deal of time picking out stitches and resewing pieces together.  As I went along, I thought of certain rug makers in Africa who weave deliberate mistakes into their work.  The reason behind this?  to remind themselves that only God is perfect.  Amazing!  Can you imagine being good enough to have to make mistakes on purpose?  Not a problem here.  

So the lesson to myself - the sweetness of life is in the details and the process.  And now I promise myself that tomorrow I will take time to really focus on the details of life.  I will think more about my prayers, I will really read my scriptures, I will listen to my children and laugh at them, I mean, with them.  I won't get to see the final product of my life until it's all over - so I may as well slow down and try to make each day as right as I can.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mason walks

Mason has been practicing his walking lately, he's getting pretty good, but its still arms up and stagger steps, awesome!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Daddy Daughter Camp Out 2008

This weekend was the famed Daddy-Daughter camp out for the Pasadena Stake. As usual the event was held at the Arcadia wilderness park. The event was well attended and a lot of fun. What I always think is funny, is that the dads always groan about all the "girly" activities that are part of the Daddy-Daughter camp out such as:

Climbing Trees.

Hanging out with dads.

Playing football.

Building a fort.

"Fear Factor" eating contest.

Making pirate faces.

Packing in their gear.

Setting up their tents.

Living in tent city.

Making the scene.

Partying all night long.

Waiting for the breakfast to be served. . . .

By these slackers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

End of Summer Party

These are the kids in our neighborhood, in our neighborhood, in our neighborhood. . . 

This past weekend was the annual Grand Oaks Block Party and Potluck.  We had a great time reconnecting with our neighbors, eating yummy food and enjoying the beautiful evening weather.  One of the neighbors opened their beautiful pool for the children to play in. This made the event especially enjoyable as we could actually hear each other speak.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back to School

It is back to school time here in Pasadena and Addison has returned to Hamilton for another year of adventure in education.  She is a big fourth grader now and everything is different!  She now gets to play on the upperschool yard, her class has 35 students instead of 20, the fourth grade teachers rotate subjects so she has to move from class to class, and she has a planner!   To top it all off she also has two new skinned knees to get the ball rolling. (She fell off a friends scooter after school - there were water works.)

Her homeroom teacher this year is Ms. Wielgosz (pronounced WELL - gosh!)  Most of her friends are in her class again.  I sense several phone calls on the horizon concerning talking and note passing during class.  

We have signed up for an after school Spanish class that begins in a few weeks.  It is through Berlitz which emphasizes language immersion.  We'll see how she does.  Speaking of languages, we are still working on our Latin and can now construct sentences like:  poetae sunt sed tabulas numquam portant.  (Translation:  They are poets, but they never carry writing tablets.)  I tell you, this is all very helpful - or at least it will be when one day we meet tablet carrying poets who speak latin?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Birthday Cake

I made a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for Mason's birthday.  This is a departure from the usual chocolate cake with mounds of fluffy buttercream frosting that I have made for other birthdays.  I have some concerns with Mason and food allergies.  There are no signs that he actually has any, but his skin is so sensitive that I worry.  So I decided, in my strange way, that carrot cake would probably be the safest bet.  He liked it.  He like the ice cream more. (I guess we're not worried about milk allergies.)