Sunday, June 27, 2010

american cutie pies

Children's Parade yesterday in Provo. Ld instructs Cate on how to wave and how to take videos. Please note the felt pie. I am all proudy happy how it turned out.

My camera started copping an attitude. Thankfully Megs took these. Along the parade route. We are all there to cheer them on.

Kenz and Maddie oozing cuteness.

Brig in victory stance. Showing off the trophy.

I love me an old fashioned children's parade. Good times.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

he's home

Photos from the Great Wall. From all accounts he had a great time.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

jerkitude

As the fates would have it, found this applicable little essay. I was kind of (okay totally) out of control this week, a regular jerkette. Just ask Kenzie and ld. I even went so far as to pinch ld's sore nipple, I was just that angry and frustrated. It didn't help that they both laughed at my craziness.

Thinking it over, I decided that a jerk is basically a person without insight. He is not necessarily a fool or a dope, because some extremely clever persons can be jerks. In fact, it has little to do with intelligence as we commonly think of it; it is, rather, a kind of subtle but persuasive aroma emanating from the inner part of the personality.

Later:

A jerk, then, is a man (or woman) who is utterly unable to see himself as he appears to others. He has no grace, he is tactless without meaning to be, he is a bore even to his best friends, he is an egotist without charm. All of us are egotists to some extent, but most of us--unlike the jerk--are perfectly and horribly aware of it when we make asses of ourselves. The jerk never knows.

The whole essay here:
http://grammar.about.com/od/shortpassagesforanalysis/a/harrisjerkstyle.htm

Friday, June 18, 2010

so it's pain offset by personal growth

Sunday the teacher fell through in RS. Dilemma, what to do now. The President suggested maybe having a testimony meeting. I asked her what the scheduled lesson was. The Life of Christ. Well, we ought to do something along that line then, I suggested. We went one step better and came up with having the girls share their favorite scripture about the Savior, telling why and then testifying. Turned out to be one of our best lessons ever. Reason being, of course, the power and beauty of the scriptures themselves and that, coupled with the focus on the Savior, kept the testimonies from being, well, too girls campy and random. Nearly every girl spoke of how the Savior had blessed her life, especially in times of adversity.

In fact, the running theme throughout the meeting had to do with trials and challenges and as I sat there listening I noticed a couple of things. 1) not making the cheer squad doesn’t really qualify as a trial, does it? And 2), I was a little amused as most of these girls seemed puzzled, shocked even, that life would be so difficult. The words used over and over ’been having a hard time lately’. They labeled a ‘hard time’ as ‘trials’ but really they seemed much more like challenges -- the ordinary day-in-day out kind. It got me thinking. Is it just the inexperience and immaturity of youth that causes us to be offended when life presents us with problems? What did they, and you and I, think when we signed on for mortality?

Reminds me of the quote: When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”
Sydney J. Harris

I can’t be too harsh on my young little sisters though, I remember well my own journaling as a young married. Pages and pages concerning my misfortunes and trials. Whew, did I whine. My wrong-headed notion that life should not be difficult but easy (and fair!) compounded the problem. It set me up for a lot of pity party years.

To be sure, some of these young gals in our RS have truly had life experiences that could qualify as Job worthy. And I’m not saying that lack of dates on a Saturday night isn’t painful. Those resultant feelings are legitimate. What I am saying, I guess, is that in another 30 years or so they may sigh and rip out journal pages over what they thought then to be so devastating. Because depend upon it, problems, challenges, trials—they only increase in intensity over time (the rip your heart out kind) and they are pretty much constant. That’s how it works. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

A little clarity then by M. Scott Peck*:

Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult---once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Peck goes on to say in his remarkable book:
What makes life difficult is that the process of confronting and solving these problems is a painful one.

His contention is that problem solving = painful, yes, but it is in fact how we derive meaning in our lives. Sound familiar anyone? The gospel teaches that it is in the process of solving problems and facing adversity that we find our courage and wisdom and in so doing grow emotionally and spiritually. We knew that in theory before we came to this life. The actual living it, well, that's a different story.

It is kind of a milestone when we no longer demand a problem free life of ease and get over our na├»ve “how dare life be so rude’ attitude.

Just so you know, I’m nowhere near close to this milestone. Not even. But I am closer than I was. Yeah for growing older.

*M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled. I've told you before-a great and insightful read.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

a thoughtful son

jlw emailed a whole slew of photos yesterday. This file was meant specifically for his Dad. Yup. Around 10 photos of power lines in China. Made his Dad's day.

good thing he took a camera











they play 42 in China, too










having a wonderful time, wishing you were here






Saturday, June 12, 2010

more pics China

I know, I know. Enough with the pics already. Sorry, folks. Expect more.









Thursday, June 10, 2010

jlw in china: seeing the sights

jlw sent along these pics tonight via gmail. Jiao took him to visit the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

jlw in china

jlw arrived in Beijing safe and sound. Jiao sent these pics about an hour ago.

Jiao and her parents took jlw out to eat at Quan Ju De (a very famous restaurant in China) for some Peking Duck.


I would post pics of Jiao's parents but don't want to do so without their permission. They look like lovely people though and by all accounts they are.

Stay tuned for more pics. He'll be there for 2 weeks.