Monday, January 28, 2008

Masterpiece Theatre Three and President Hinckley

Last week, when I posted after watching Northanger Abbey, I talked a little bit about my calling to teach from the new Joseph Smith manual at church. This week before I post about Mansfield Park, I need to talk about the passing of our prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. I find great comfort in thinking about the two prophets meeting together last night.

President Hinckley was sustained as prophet shortly after my twins were born thirteen years ago. He is the only prophet my kids have known. When we got the phone call last night from Alan's dad telling us that he had passed, the kids were already in bed. I really wanted to go up and wake them up and tell them but I let them sleep. This morning when I told each one of my kids, we all got weepy and sad. We prayed for his family and for President Monson's family but we all feel so much peace in knowing that he is with his sweet wife.

Two Christmases ago, a member of our former bishopric had an amazing experience. His best friend is George Dyer, President Hinckley's favorite singer. George Dyer was invited to perform at the private Christmas lunch held for the First Presidency and Council of the 12 and their wives. I was serving as YWP at the time and this member of our bishopric thought it would be a good idea for us to make a card or something that he could give to President Hinckley. We took a picture and made a card that all of the girls signed telling the prophet that we were reading the Book of Mormon and that we were all trying to live the gospel.

The card was handed over. We had a wonderful Young Women's meeting the next week where this Bishopric member came and told the girls all about being with President Hinckley, how he smiled through the whole thing and made everyone feel special. How he kept hugging on our dear counselor and thanking him for making the trip up to SLC with George. We all felt like we knew the Prophet after that. Then a few weeks later, the Bishop handed me a letter that had come from Salt Lake addressed to me. It was a letter from President Hinckley thanking me and the girls for the card and telling us how much he loved the youth of the church. I am fairly sure he didn't sit down to the computer himself and type it up but it had his signature on it. And it was written on very fine card stock. I made copies for all of the girls to keep in their journals.

I loved listening to President Hinckley speak but the quote that has stirred me the most lately was printed in the April 2002 Ensign. I was looking for a quote for a lesson and stumbled upon this:

"Be true to the Lord. He is your strength. He is your salvation. It is He who can bless you. It is He who desires to bless you. Look to Him for every gift and grace and blessing. Get on your knees and pray and stand on your feet and do His will and put your trust and faith in Him and God will bless you. I make that promise as His servant” (regional conference, Santiago, Chile, 26 Apr. 1999).

I love the part about 'stand on your feet and do His will' - I think that President Hinckley was the perfect example of this. He spent the majority of his adult years in service to the Lord, not just because of his calling, but because of the kind of man he was.

Maybe because I was a little weepy after hearing of Pres. Hinckley's passing, I didn't enjoy Mansfield Park as much as I expected to. It was not my favorite book, but the quality of these new shows has been so great that I had high hopes. It was very good. But my biggest complaint was Fannie Price's eyebrows! They bugged me during the whole show. Why were they so dark? Is the actress a brunette and they made her blond for the show and just forgot about her eyebrows? While I was on the PBS website lifting pictures, I read that the actress who played Fannie is Billie Piper and she was a teenage pop star in Britain.

The eyebrows bugged me but also the fact that the actress who played Mary Crawford looked just like Neve Campbell to me. I kept thinking why is that Party of Five girl trying to have a British Accent.

Edmund Bertram is of course supposed to be the hottie. He is the hero of the story, sticking by his principles and not seeking a fortune so he can marry Mary Crawford. I love the character and the actor himself was good looking but he reminded me of someone but I can't put my finger on who it is.

This week I also discovered that the PBS show is not called Masterpiece Theatre but just Masterpiece. I think maybe it used to be called Masterpiece Theatre but they dropped the Theatre part. Anyway, I think that next week's drama based on Jane Austen's own life will be interesting. Maybe I need a break from these Sunday night romances.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What the?

I just found this on my desk.
Youngest sister writes "I am not happy"
Older sibling replies "Have you ever smelled my bum?"
Youngest sister replies "No! You are weerd"(sic)
When I asked older sibling to explain - he said, "I was just trying to make her smile and it worked. She was happy after that."
I blame it all on the bad influence of my older brothers. I fear for my daughters. I know what it is like.

List of Really Important Things

1. I am happy that this couple won the Amazing Race. They were by far my favorite of the final three. They never bickered or yelled at each other, and even though they never won a leg of the race - they took the million bucks! I am happy for them. I really think the key to winning the race is getting along and not getting too frustrated. It makes me re-think my desire to actually do it. I sometimes think that I am not an easy person to get along with.

2. I did not do so well on my diet this week. I still lost weight but not like the week before. I think I cheated a little almost every day. I was not as committed as I should have been - but this is a new week for me and I am going to do it.

3. I like camping. I have liked it more in the last couple of years since we upgraded our pop-up trailer to our current sweet hook up. We can take all of our dirt bikes in it, everyone has a bed, we can watch movies, get Popsicles out of the freezer and have real meals cooked in our convection oven. But last night while I was trying to stay up to watch Project Runway (no TIVO and it comes on at 11:oo pm here) I flipped to the Travel Channel where I watched a show about some really cool RVs. Some of them were so crazy! I just checked the schedule and it will be on again February 9th. If you want to see some crazy campers.

4. Speaking of Project Runway. I'm glad Victorya is gone but I can't believe Ricky won. I stayed up way past my bed time only to go to bed wondering what the?

5. I saw Juno. I cried my eyes out at the end. I am so moved by the adoption process. Remember that Michael McClean song - From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours? I remember hearing that for the first time as a recently returned missionary and once again bawling my eyes out.

6. I am finally getting my hair done tomorrow afternoon.

7. Mitt Romney has twice as many delegates as the next guy. I like Mitt. I think that I have mentioned here before that he served a mission in France and that his son Tag was in my French mission in the early 90s. That is not necessarily why I am voting for him, nor is the fact that he is LDS, or rich, or Republican or that he has good values, policies and I think he could really make a difference - it is mostly because he is good looking. And he doesn't have an accent. And I think it will be hilarious to see who portrays him on Saturday Night Live.

8. is enough. I used to have a really big crush on Willie Aames. I heart Tommy Bradford.

9. I think if I used all of the time that I waste on blogs on taking online classes - I could totally have had my masters by now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Masterpiece Theatre Two and Joseph Smith

My job in my ward (congregation) at church is to teach Relief Society (the women of the congregation).

Once a month I teach a lesson from the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. I was very excited to learn that our course of study for the next two years will be these early teachings of the church.
I taught the lesson yesterday - only it really wasn't a lesson - it was the history and ministry of Joseph Smith from the introduction of the book. It was kind of hard to put it in lesson form so it was more of a lecture. It was hard to skip over parts but it was necessary. I have a very strong testimony of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. I love him and all that he did for the church. I can very rarely speak about him without being moved to tears.

I shared an incident that happened in 1993 when I saw the movie Legacy for the first time in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. In the movie the men were busy in the stone quarry preparing stone for the Nauvoo Temple that was under construction when a man on horseback came riding up and says "They've killed the prophet, Joseph Smith is dead!" Now, I know my Mormon history, I know Joseph Smith was killed in Carthidge Jail before the temple was ever finished - but when I heard those words come out of that man's mouth in the movie - I felt as if I had been shot in the chest. My heart hurt for the loss of the prophet.

One thing that I was not able to share in my lesson but that I found very interesting has to do with the hymn Praise to the Man. Originally the first two lines of the second stanza read: 'Long may his blood, which was shed by assassins, / Stain Illinois while the earth lauds his fame.' That is pretty harsh. It was changed in 1927 to read 'Plead unto heaven while the earth lauds his fame.'

Last night I watched the PBS Masterpiece Theatre production of Northanger Abbey. It was really good. I loved Persuasion maybe a little bit more but I have always loved the story from Northanger Abbey. The heroine, Catherine Moreland, is an avid reader with an active imagination so she imagines all kinds of horrible things happening to herself and others. But as in most Jane Austen books, after a misunderstanding she ends up with her true love, in this case - Henry Tilney, and they live happily ever after.

I am a sucker for happily ever after.
Henry Tilney was played by JJ Field - he was good - he has a little bit of a Jude Law smirk and cuteness to him. I was a tiny bit smitten - but not like Captain Wentworth of last week. Next week is Mansfield Park - can Edmund Bertram beat out Captain Wentworth?

I am so lame with my Jane Austen crushes. But not too embarrassed to put this out there for the world to see!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Masterpiece Theatre One

Every Sunday night for the next four months I will probably have to post about how I am swooning over the Austen Hero of the week. I do love Persuasion - I loved it as a book and I loved the 1995 version - but this Captain Wentworth is the best looking by far.

I will need a few minutes before I can return to my normal self.

Next week it my be Henry Tilney that has my heart beating.

A Day I Was Hoping Would Never Come

Last night we were at an event in a large sports stadium. We had a great time. We were seated in an all you can eat buffet restaurant overlooking the field and yet I stayed completely on my diet. The kids all had fun - we saw some old friends we hadn't seen in a while and my husband got a little bit of business done with the nice company that had supplied us the tickets. The bathrooms at this venue were nice and very well lit.

My hair is not looking so good - I have not had it cut and colored since the end of August. AUGUST! If there were any doubts what color my hair would be if I let it grow out - look to the top of my head.

My diet has me drinking lots of water. LOTS! It is recommended that I drink one hundred ounces a day. That is a lot of water and when you have to drink that much water - you have to pee quite often. By late afternoon/ early evening it is out of control.

Many trips to the well lit restroom last night + grown out roots = the WORST day of my life!
I have GRAY HAIR! There are 5 or 6 gray hairs in my part. I have never seen them before! I have Alan check quite frequently for gray hairs on my head and there have never been any before now! Alan has had gray hair for at least the last 10 years - I thought I was immune. I am pretty sure that as we left last night my boobs sagged a few more inches, I felt my hips creak with arthritis and I had an undeniable desire to call my friends for some bingo!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Grand Prize.......Sea Monkeys!

My husband is a golf enthusiast. He has raised our son on the Golf Channel and Golf Digest magazine. This year, our son's Christmas included: a swing trainer, a golf hat, a golf shirt, a driving range pass and a Tiger Woods golf game for his gameboy. It is not unusual to walk in my living room and see two or three golf bags standing in a corner and two or three people swinging with reckless abandon. Two of my daughters have their own clubs and like to practice as well. One of my husband's brothers is a golf pro - this has no doubt added to the golf fever in our house.

I have banned hitting balls in the house. All of the golfers pleaded that they were only using foam balls - but I stand by my decision. Our back lawn is somewhat of a fairway with a green at the end. It is not a big back yard, but big enough for them to cut the grass at different heights and stick a flag in the end to practice. One of their favorite games is to "chip" their plastic balls at the different windows on the back of the house. I have been wanting to build a swimming pool for a couple of years now but I am fairly sure that the main reason that hasn't happened is that a pool would eat up too much of their golfing space.

In my husbands position at his company, and because of his love of all things golf - he is invited to play in several golf tournaments every year. He gets real excited about these events - he practices more, he reads up about the fancy golf course that they are playing and he tells me how unlikely it is that he will win anything. He usually comes home with some pens, maybe a golf towel or some other consolation prize emblazoned with the sponsoring companies logo. He also comes home with tales of the fabulous prizes that went to the winners: trips, flat screen TVs, thousands of dollars in gift cards to great stores or new golf clubs. But, sadly, he never wins.

Last month he played in the Arizona Concrete Contractors Association golf tournament with some people that he does business with in the building industry. His team won! He was so excited! They won! They waited until all of the players made it back to the club house, they had some dinner and then the awards were handed out. The prize for the winning team? Sea monkeys - brine shrimp. I am not kidding. The four members of the winning team were given a self sustaining mini aquarium of brine shrimp. Yahoo! He really hit the big time with that! Granted, the building industry has taken a fall this year - but come on!

I just keep telling Devon - keep practicing! Maybe someday when you grown up you can win yourself some sea monkeys just like Dad!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I now have two teenagers in the house! Today is Devon and Courtney's thirteenth birthday. What a treat as a mother to have two extraordinary children like these. They have always been well behaved, helpful, awesome kids. This picture was taken on their first day of Jr. High (Devon is standing on his tip toes).

It was exciting and at the same time overwhelming when we found out we were going to have twins. We were pretty poor and the thought of two car seats, two cribs two of everything was going to break us. The pregnancy was rough - they were due on February 10th, 1995 and I went in to labor the first time on Thanksgiving day, 1994. My labor was stopped in the hospital with the dreaded magnesium sulfate and then I was sent home with a tributilin pump in my leg. That medicine is terrible - I scratched and shook for the next month or so until I went into labor again on Christmas Eve. This time they stopped my labor with the mag wash and put me on a morphine drip so I could relax and they could get some steroids in there to help the babies develop - and it worked! They were born by c-section around noon on January 3rd, 1995.

Devon weighed in at 5 lbs. 13 oz. and Courtney came in at 5 lbs. 3 oz. - eleven pounds of baby! Between the babies, both placentas and sacks - I lost 42 pounds the day they were born! It is not that much considering I had gained 70! They were both 19 inches long and healthy! Devon spent a little time in the NICU because he swallowed some fluid but we all went home 4 days after they were born!
They have been a blessing ever since. Happy Birthday you two! I am just counting down the days until in typical teenage fashion your Dad and I will no longer have any answers and you will have them all!

P.S. January 3rd is also Festival of Sleep Day. I don't know what that festival is - but I am all over it. I need some sleep.