Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

BYU begins their independent season today!

BYU football has really taken the spotlight for this season.  After declaring independence from their football conference and then making a great contract with ESPN sports, added to their television station that will broadcast or rebroadcast the games, they really have gotten the attention of many football fans.  Today they play Ole Miss in Mississippi.  I'm excited to see how well they can do and see if they can do as well as the hype has suggested.

One of the things I enjoy about the BYU football team is that they recognize there are things more important than football.  Their head coach Bronco Mendenhall has commented on several occasions that some things are more important and football comes fourth or fifth on his list after such things as family and faith. 

Friday night the football team had a fireside at a stake center in Mississippi.  Bronco spoke along with a tight end and a defensive back.  A kicker also sang.  President Samuelson, the President of BYU and a member of the quorum of the seventy was given a key to the city. 

1200 people attended the Friday night fireside and Bronco said that the fireside is usually his favorite part of the trips.  He had this to say about the team in a deseret news article:
"I like football, but the events on Friday night are really special," he said. "I think it lends credibility when we play well. There have only been I think seven teams that have won more games the past five years than us. I just like the thought that it is possible, not only possible, desirable to do more than just play ball."
"There's a lot of them that are married and doing other things and I think in our life we can focus on other things and still be successful," he said. "Football, at the end of the day and at the end of our lives, will be just a way maybe you've helped other people.
"I'm not sure that in and of itself will be enough to really put our stamp on what we've done here on this Earth. Hopefully we're maximizing our talents and I'm asking our players to do the very best they can through the gifts they've been given to really maybe share a message."

Go Cougars!

X-drive hits the wild blue yonder

Happy Birthday, and that cake not only looked nice but taste's awesome.

This cake was made by Jan, the same baker that made both girls wedding cakes.

Sweets for after the cake is gone.

Another heart for the collection. 

A gift from our in-house artist.

A gift from the Minnesota Contingent.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Guest Blog: It's Electric

There's nothing like going without electricity for awhile to help you appreciate your blessings.  After approximately 60 hours without power--courtesy of Hurricane Irene--here's a partial list of things for which I have a renewed sense of appreciation:

  • ice cubes available 24/7 in virtually unlimited quantities
  • air conditioning
  • internet accessibility
  • cold milk
  • walking on the treadmill
  • toast
  • melted cheese (on anything!)
  • microwave ovens
  • ceiling fans
  • no lines at the gas station (luckily our tanks were full but there were plenty of lines at the few working gas stations around town)
  • friends who check on you when they know your power is out
  • neighbors who string an extension cord from their generator through your back yard so you can plug in your fridge
  • being able to see well enough after nightfall to keep reading the book you can't put down
  • a land line 
  • a friend with power who lets you come over and charge up your cell phones and Kindle
  • the battery-operated iPod dock my husband bought me for Mother's Day
  • dishwashers
  • ice cream
  • clean laundry
  • blow dryers
  • getting light with the flip of a switch
  • the luxury of an extra bedroom on the bottom floor when it's too hot to sleep upstairs
  • 4-burner camp stoves
  • batteries
  • picnic tables
  • disposable plates, cups and silverware
With about half of our town still without power, we feel blessed to be back on the grid!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I've been reading #7

Reading is such a great opportunity to understand things that would be incomprehensible as well as to live lives different than our own.  Sometimes the lives we read about had great pain and hurt but often that leads to great victory and growth.  Reading allows us to learn from others that we would never meet, maybe don't even want to meet, but yet they have things to teach us.  It also helps us imagine things that never crossed our mind, and to consider possibilities well being our experience.  I am a lover of reading, can you tell? 

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
My Mom called me one day and wanted to purchase this book.  That story may be good for another day.  She wanted this book on the Kindle so she could read it and she wanted it right away and thought I would enjoy reading it as well.  I was in the middle of something else but eventually decided to give it a try.  I was a little reluctant initially to read it because it dealt with things that are similar to my work and I wasn't sure that I wanted to delve into that during my "down" time.  The book does give some detail of the abuses that she endured at the hands of her kidnappers.  The detail is close to minimal, and although a bit disturbing it is much outweighed by the joy of her being found and the remarkable progress she has made in her personal life in understanding, accepting and moving well beyond her abuse.  In that regard it is reminiscent of Elizabeth Smart who has had such a remarkable recovery from her ordeal which is similar to Jaycee Dugard's ordeal.  Overall I would recommend the book to see a great healing and recovery.  In order to see the magnitude of that it is necessary to know some of the details (which are greatly minimized here in the book) of the abuse.  It is a life empowering and encouraging book.  If she could respond so positively to such amazingly harmful circumstances then certainly I can move forward from my hurts and disappointments as well.  Maybe you will be encouraged as well. 

Edge of Apocalypse by Tim LaHaye & Craig Parshall
This is a very enjoyable action pack and Christian based book on an idea of what might be the build up to the end of the world.  The bad guys in the book are a corrupted US government and the good guys are a group of Patriot Christians who currently do or have worked in the government.  It actually reminded me a fair amount two books written by OSC called Empire and Hidden Empire which I enjoyed.  The action is pretty good, the ideas that have connections into what is going on politically in our country right now is okay.  The story is enjoyable the only thing it lacks is the character development is not as good as it could be.  Unfortunately when it is compared to OSC that is where just about any other author will be weak.  I recommend it if you like an action filled, faith based, idea of what will be happening at the 'end times'. 
The Year My Son and I Were Born: A story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood and Self-discovery by Kathryn Lynard Soper
This book by a young mother is EXCELLENT.  I would recommend it for any parent that has or thought they might have a special needs child.  She tells the story of giving birth to a Down Syndrome son and her metamorphosis from one who has always stayed away from and been uncomfortable with people who needed help to learning how to love her son and realize what a unique spirit he has brought into their home.  I was one who thought that we might have a child like this. I don't know why but had thought that way for years, even before I was married.  That did not happen for us.  This book is such a beautiful job of explaining how difficult it was to accept, then to enjoy and finally to love what this child brought into her and her families life.  The author is LDS but that isn't what the book is built on nor how it was advertised.  It was just a coincidence that I happen to buy this book.  She refers briefly to a couple things that any LDS person will recognize but if you were not LDS the main punch of the story would be as meaningful to you as to anyone who wants to understand families with a special needs child.  Highly recommended!

I am Number Four: The Lost Files: Six's Legacy by Pittacus Lore
This is a short book that came out recently to give some background on one of the main characters of his first book I am Number Four.  You might recall I reviewed it here a while back.  The writing of that book was okay but the story was one that young folks would like nowadays where everyone wants to have a super power.  In my day we simply called them 'talents'.  It does a fair job of giving some background on number six and does a good job of getting folks ready for the new full length book of his that just came out.  Haleigh, my youngest, has been waiting for both of these to come out and she recommended them so I read this one and may get around to the other at some time in the future.  I can't really recommend it, certainly it doesn't stand on its own, but if you like the story then you will want to read this.  I enjoyed the movie that came out of the first book a bit more than the book, and I expect that the next movie will roll out sometime soon.  If you are not enamored with the story, just wait for the movie. 

Without the Internet and electricity for periods of time in the last couple weeks, I think I have read a bit more than usual in a short period of time.  I'm already well into the next two books as well.  When yous trip away all our modern time consumers then there is plenty of time for the basics.  Reading!  You gotta love it! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Electricity appreciated anew

Thankfully our electricity was returned early this morning after having been out since Saturday afternoon.  It is amazing how dependent on electricity we are.  Hurricane Irene went through and knocked out the electricity to 85% of our little city.  The schools are still without electricity as our several of the stop lights in town and so driving through can still be tricky as it appears that many folks either don't know or don't care that when the lights aren't working (totally blank) that the intersection becomes a four way stop.  So those who chug on through without stopping make them a bit hazardous. 

We made it through a couple of warm nights, moving down tot he bottom floor to get as cool as we could.  Charging cell phones and kindle's can be a challenge in these times.  But thanks to some kindnesses we had some ice for cool drinks yesterday (who knew ice is one thing we would really miss) and a generator to keep our refrigerator going.  Some stores are open doing a bang up business and others are closed with no electricity.  It feels like the "haves" and "have nots" with who has electricity and who doesn't. 

We drove around the city and noticed lots of tree limbs down and some trees.  A few electric lines torn down from the falling trees.  All-n-all it will be a mess for those whose electricity is out due to trees down.  We felt like celebrating when the electricity on and turned on the air conditioning and went back to our comfortable water bed for the rest of the night!  That's what is going for excitement around here. 

On my way to work I had to drive around in Hopewell and saw they seemed a little worse off then our little town.  We are hearing that at least one school system has pushed the start of school back one week and it is still a challenge to find gasoline and ice without waiting in lengthy lines.  I'm glad that we had two cars full of gas when the hurricane came. 
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