Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Through the Eyes of Children

I wanted to share this lovely little art piece that my daughter Courtney created this week in honor of Christmas. Warms the heart doesn't it?
Okay, so my girls don't like dressing alike for Christmas anymore. (Well, duh! Since they are 24, 20 and 17 years old...) But I'll admit I do miss that...dressing them up in cute matching outfits. Actually, when they see the old photos they say,"What were you thinking, Mom! It's not like we're triplets." I did used to sew and found myself making lots of matching clothing over the years. My 4th daughter missed out on this ritual since by the time she arrived 8 years after the last daughter they were older and the novelty had worn off. Still, when I see other mothers dressing their little ones alike, I remember and smile.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Daniel Beck's Premiere CD

My daughters with Dan 'the man' after his concert.

Dan has one of the most exquisite voices you will ever hear. Really. (My brother-in-law produced the CD and it has some of the best studio musicians in the business. )

Buy this CD. It will lift you. It will make your life better. Really.

You can find it at Barnes & Noble, F.Y.I. Buy it here or here

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Thanksgiving has become an under-appreciated (ironic) holiday. Over the years I've noticed, at least on the retail front, that after Halloween it skips straight to Christmas. When was the last time you went into a store and saw Thanksgiving decorations? Really.

I love the whole idea of Thanksgiving. Not just the celebration itself, but the idea of having a holiday centered around "giving thanks." We should cherish it. No rushing to the next holiday just yet....

I am thankful for so much. My cup runneth over.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

North vs. South or Blue vs. Red or Cougars vs. Utes

So the University of Utah soundly beat my Alma Mater yesterday. Congrats to the Utes! These games have always been the hardest of any to watch. I grew up in a house where this was a yearly ritual. My mother is a rabid BYU Cougar fan. True blue. She is just like most of those fans that "hate" the Utes. Watching a game with my mom as I grew up was an entertaining and painful-on-the-ears experience. (She was a former cheerleader and believe me, she hasn't lost her moves or her lung power.)

Because my husband didn't grow up in this state he has never understood or liked the insanity that goes along with this yearly football battle. He always says how stupid it is that people can have such hatred for another school/team. Now, my husband is a huge football fan (having played the sport and having lived in Texas) but he thinks people get too carried away when it comes to such rivalries. And you know what? After years of watching this, I think he's right.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that this particular game is so over-hyped. The media starts talking about it weeks in advance. The entire week before the game it dominates the paper and airwaves. Over the years it has even been called alot of ridiculous names like: Saints vs. Sinners, or Church vs. State, or The Holy War. Fans can get into such a "religious" frenzy that they say and do things they regret later. ( I did find it funny this year when the Ute fans jumped out of the stands in their excitement, rushed onto the field and started taking down the goal post even before the game was officially over.)
Anyway, I hope the Utes do the Mountain West Conference proud in their bowl game and show those BSC folks that "we've got game here." I still love our Cougars! *And a personal shout out to our family friend, Harvey Unga: You're still the man. Stay healthy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Footloose and Fancy Free

So, my girls and I sometimes play the "Kevin Bacon" game. You know, that game where you see how many degrees you are connected to him through various people. Anyway, recently it made me recall a memory connected to that man.

It was about 25 years ago, I was newly engaged to be married, working feverishly towards my college degree, and just plain "over-booking" my life with too many things. It was during that time I started getting phone calls from various actor friends asking me to come to auditions for this new movie they were shooting in Lehi, Utah. They told me they were needing lots of extras and bit parts. I recognized two of the actor's names who were to be in the film: John Lithgow and Diane Wiest. My friends mentioned they were needing lots of actors who could dance (which was one of my strengths back then.)

Well, I was torn about the whole thing knowing that it could be a cool experience and perhaps a good thing on the resume. But I passed. The rest is history. I was not in the film. My friends were. I did not meet Kevin Bacon. My friends did. Thus, my one degree to Kevin Bacon.

So, I have read they are doing a re-make, or rather a film-version of the Broadway musical, Footloose. And playing the Kevin Bacon role of Ren will be none other than Zac Efron. An awesome choice, really. Yes, I'm as old as Kevin Bacon, but when I watch Zac perform I am 16 again, (with David Cassidy photos hung all over my walls.)

So, I can't wait for the next version. Bye, bye, Kevin. Hello Zac!

And as Ren says; "I thought this was a party. Let's Dance!!!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bragging Rights on a Former Student

As a teacher I always tried to be fair to all students and not play favorites. But I do admit there were always those special students that really stood out and took a spot in your heart. Such is the case of Eddie Carter. He was one of my communications/journalism students. Though he was only an eighth grader when I taught him I could tell he was going to do great things with his life. He had enthusiasm and a charisma that was contagious. One of the things that impressed me most was how respectful he was to me as a teacher; always polite and obedient.

Eddie was one of a handful of students who have sent me thank you notes over the years. For those who know me well, it is a big deal to me to receive a thank you note. I remember being quite touched by a letter from Eddie as he was getting established in his career thanking me for helping light a spark in him to pursue something in the field of communications. For a short time he worked as reporter for a major newspaper and wrote several impressive articles for magazines. He received his law degree and clerked for a highly respected justice. He has been honored over the years with ethic awards in his profession. He is now a Professor of Communications at Brigham Young University.

Here is a link to a study he co-authored about how society still finds profanities offensive and limits them without harming the First Amendment:

Article on BYU Website

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gasoline in the Old Days

I bought gas today. It was only $2.28 a gallon. Whoppee! How good it felt to be paying about half the price we were paying at the beginning of last summer. Still our state is supposedly in the top five for higher priced gasoline for some reason.

Let me wax nostalgic for a moment. When I was a child in the 1960's I can vividly remember going to the gas station with my family. This may sound weird, but I loved the smell of the gas fumes at the gas pump. (The closest I've gotten to getting 'high' I suppose.) Anyway, when we would drive into the station, the car would go over a hose that rang a bell inside and then 3 service attendants in white shirts and bow ties would come running out. One would lift the hood and check the oil, another would check the tire pressure and the third would pump the gasoline. After the oil checker was done he would wash the front windshield. It was all quite entertaining. I also distinctly remember looking over at the price per gallon on the pump and recall it being 25 cents. (And no, my memory isn't fuzzy from inhaling all those gas fumes.) Another fun thing was that children would sometimes get a prize like a toy dinosaur from Sinclair or a little white truck from Texaco. They even had these green gas stamps where you could save up for even bigger prizes. And all for 25 cents a gallon. Ah, the good old days...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nothing Says Love Like Flowers

My husband does not bring me flowers on my birthday, on our anniversary, or even on Valentine's Day. You may think, "What a cad!" But wait...He brings me flowers on random days throughout the year. Usually when they are least expected. That is the true beauty of it, really.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Becoming a Blogger. Why Me?

I am not a writer. Really. So why should I become a blogger you ask. My daughters have encouraged me for some time to join this world of expression. They think I have something to say and I should say it. I'm not so sure, but I'll give it a go. I will admit that I have become a sort of "blog stalker" and it is very entertaining and often enlightening. So here begins my attempt.

My dad was a writer, actually a published author with several books to his credit. I typed many of his manuscripts before they went to the publisher. I even learned a bit about editing during the process.

Everyone in my family are writers. Good ones too. My husband wrote excellent papers in college and beautiful love notes to me when we were dating. My oldest daughter has been working on a fine novel for the past few years. My 2nd daughter won a prestigious award ($) at her university for a screenplay she wrote with a friend. My 3rd daughter has written some wonderful essays and is quite an amazing texter:). My 4th daughter, who is only 9, is quite a creative writer and even won a Utah State Poetry Society ($) 1st place award for a poem when she was 7.

Me, well, I wrote in diaries and journals when I was young and that seemed to go by the wayside when I became an adult. I always had a lot to say, but just seemed to feel uncomfortable when it came to writing it on paper. I think it was all the grammar stuff that freaked me out. It just got in the way and worried me. Funny thing is, I minored in English and my first teaching job was teaching 8th grade English. Go figure. Yes, I have the ability to recognize good writing and was able to teach it and correct those papers, but as for practicing what I preached...not. In fact, there was a boy in one of my classes who was too smart for his own good and had skipped two grades. Every day I would have anxiety attacks as I stood in front of the class to teach a grammar lesson, because without fail this boy would raise his hand and say, "Teacher, I believe the correct way to do that is..." I swear I would go home every night and cry to my husband and have him help me go over the next day's lesson to make sure I was teaching the concepts correctly. I became a basket case. I was so relieved when the next year I got to teach classes in my major (theatre arts) and take over as the journalism advisor, which, believe it or not was a lot less stressful than standing in front of a "know-it-all" 8th grader.

I hope I can say some useful things for those of you who decide to read this blog. I'm sure I will give my opinion on many subjects as I tend to go "all over the place" when I talk with someone. My friends and family are very patient with me when I get on a roll in a conversation. Comments are always welcome, just don't correct my grammar! :)