Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
When I was a nanny I used to give my kids time-outs as needed. D was a pretty active child and hated being away from people so time out for him was really bad. B was very inquisitive and liked to look at things so his time-outs were done with his nose in a corner so he could not see anything, torture to him. I did not have to give these kids time-out often because frankly they were pretty good kids. My point of this story is that I am not so very different from them. I really like to be around people and I enjoy an active room where there is a lot to do and people to talk to.
That being said, there is something awesome about spending all day alone away from people. I really like alone time where it is quiet and I do not have to spend any energy on anyone else if I do not want to. For this reason I am planning a trip alone (I promised my mom that I would check in often via text message so she did not worry about me and I have my GPS so I do not get lost!) I want to take a few days (and this will be at the end of summer) alone to just get focused again on me. To take time to read a book and relax. I am grateful for alone time!
This last Sunday I was asked to read a story about Thoreau. What an amazing account of spending alone time to find simplicity in ones life.
"It was in March of 1845 that Thoreau decided to move out on the banks of Walden Pond and spend two years trying to figure out what life was all about. He settled on a piece of property owned by his good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. He purchased an old shanty from a railroad worker, and tore it down. From the lumber from the shanty and the lumber from the woods, he constructed his own cabin. He kept meticulous financial records, and he concluded that for a home and freedom he spent a mere $28.12. He planted a garden, where he sowed peas, potatoes, corn, beans, and turnips to help sustain his simple life. He planted two and a half acres of beans with the intent of using the small profit to cover his needs. Small profit indeed: $8.71.
Thoreau lived quite independent of time. He had neither a clock nor a calendar in his little cabin. He spent his time writing and studying the beauties and wonder of nature that surrounded him, including local plants, birds, and animals. He did not live the life of a hermit—he visited the town of Concord most days, and he invited others to come into his cabin for enlightening conversations. When the two years ended, he left his cabin behind without regret. He considered the time he had spent there a proper amount of time to accomplish his purpose—to experience the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle. He also felt he had other life experiences ahead of him. It was time to move on and explore other opportunities.
From his experiences at Walden Pond, Thoreau determined that there were only four things that a man really needed: food, clothing, shelter, and fuel. I would like to expand on each of these four basic needs of life, as well as the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle."
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I think the best way to honor ones heritage is to take full advantage of the advances allowed in today’s society. Does this mean I need the newest and the best forms of gadgets? Not even a little. But it also means that I do not have to eat out of a dutch oven unless I choose to, it means I do not have to make all of my clothing unless I feel the need, it means that I can scrapbook using the computer if I so choose. The thing about this is I am a pioneer in that respect for those who will come after me. My goal in life should be to leave it better than I had. I want my nieces and nephews (and any future children I might be blessed with) to be able to have life easier than I do now, just like my life is easier than my parents, grandparents, and so on. So when people ask me if I am honoring my pioneer heritage, my answer is absolutely. I do not have to wear pioneer clothes or cook like a pioneer in order to honor their memory. I honor my pioneer ancestors by living a life worthy of their heritage, not by living their life. I am grateful that I live in a day when I can type on a computer my thoughts and many friends/family can read it instead of my writing letters to everyone individually. I am grateful that I can remember I forgot to call my eye doctor to make an appointment and whip out my cell phone and call right then, no matter where I am. I am grateful that I can fall asleep to a large screen TV if I want to. I am grateful that when it all gets to be too much that I can turn all of the gadgets off and take a drive in my car with the sun roof down up the canyon. I am really grateful to live in the day and age I live in and look forward to the wonderful technology advances that the next generation gets to live with; may their lives be easier than mine.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
My cousin's son is moving to Chicago for the summer and I was telling him my favorite places to go there. Oh man do I miss the Art Institute of Chicago. The art there is amazing to see in person. It got me thinking about the various artists that I love and why. The majority of these images are found on the Art Institute's website
Seurat - Sunday on La Grande Jatte. To see this piece in person is totally different than seeing in a picture on a blog or in the movie Sunday in the Park with George. When you stand at the back of the room you can see the full painting. If you move close to the wall (and it takes an entire wall) all you see are dots and a mess.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I wish I understood music better or had more musical talent, but I love love love music. Besty introduced me recently to a great new talent in the Broadway world: Scott Alan. If you get the chance watch this video of Shoshana Bean singing Home or this video Stephanie J Block singing Never Neverland (Fly Away) (fyi Shoshana swears a swear while introducing Stephanie.) Scott Alan is indeed a talent.
Music is playing constantly while I am in my office.
Some of the music I love:
Barenaked Ladies. Okay so Steve has left the band and they need to find their new sound, but I think the Ladies will bounce back from it.
The music from Lord of the Rings is what I listen to when I have a bad day and need something calming. I know not all of the songs are calm, but for some reason it really calms me down.
Adele has such a great voice. I personally think she has a rich sound that she will only improve on.
Similar to her I adore Jennifer Hudson's voice. Did you catch Dreamgirls? Oy vey that girl has a set of pipes.
My female crush cannot go unmentioned: Queen Latifah (aka Dana Owens) I admit I do not like rap, but to hear her soulful voice, oh man!!
So while I do not watch American Idol after the Sanjaya year (puh-lease!) I do admit I really like Kelly Clarkson, David Cook, and David Archuleta's voices.
Fountains of Wayne, My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds to Mars, Mika, The Fray
Broadway Soundtrack favs: Little Women, Jane Eyre, Hairspray, Wicked (of course), Spelling Bee, Curtains, Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia, Spamalot, The Boy From Oz, The Drowsy Chaperone
For a really funny and witty show: Look up Dr. Horrible (no Dad it is not a disease sailors get in the Phillipines... duh)
Today I am grateful for music and for those who were blessed with this talent. Name your favorites ...
Friday, April 24, 2009
This month we are working on the Roadshow. Those who know me well will know I dislike greatly the Roadshow idea. But I understand why it is done at church. For those who have no clue what a Roadshow is: it is a small play that traditionally is taken on the road from church building to church building. The youth typically get the chance to perform in these short plays even if usually they would not have the chance to do so in a school or community production. Great concept, so why do I dislike them? Well because they are a huge competition in our stake (or have been traditionally) and I think it loses sight of what the purpose is. Well the Special Needs Roadshow allows these kids the chance to perform in front of their parents and loved ones. It really is a fun month. The acutal performance is next Thursday and the kids have a blast!! I love my Special Needs friends.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Remember last weekend when it snowed? Remember that? Remember how one day it was almost 70 then the next day it was snowing? Well now it looks like Spring has finally ... sprung? (Colleen can I get a rulling on this one?)
This is my second favorite season (the first being Fall because of the wonderful colors and no allergies.) Spring makes me happy because everything is so beautiful and people seem to snap out of the winter blah. Flip flops are dusted off (unless you are my brother and sometimes me, then they really are worn as frequently during the winter months as is possible.)
I will start walking again with Carrie, I will be able to put away the quilt and sleep under a sheet only, the sun roof is open (woot), and the jackets go away. So one year as I was putting away my jacket I slipped in a $20 bill to each pocket so that in Fall I would be surprised when I had to put them back on. That was a fun year.
Welcome back Spring, stay a while!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
My favorite memory of Uncle Jim is when he taught me the 3 quarter trick. He showed it to me twice, told me to practice but he wanted his 3 quarters back when I had learned it. When I showed him I finally knew how to do his 3 quarter trick he let me keep the 3 quarters.
Aunt Carole, Jodi and Tim I am sorry for your loss, I truly will miss Uncle Jim; he's a good man.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
First lets talk about how grateful I am to be done!! I have learned so much and feel like a completely different person. I will have a Bachelor's of Science in Management to go with my Associates of Arts in Business. What will I do with all of my free time?This class has been so great. It has been about critical thinking and ethics in life and business. Below is a REALLY long post that includes some of my favorite excerpts from the reading. While most of the concepts just seemed like common sense to me, I appreciate the confirmation of good thinking ideals.
So here it comes, the longest post I have ever done, read it or not!!
From: Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life, by Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder. Published by Financial Times, a division of Prentice Hall, Inc. Prentice-Hall is an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc. Copyright © 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc.
To live is to act. To act is to decide. Everyday life is an endless sequence of decisions. Some of the decisions are small and inconsequential, and some are large and life determining. When the pattern of decision-making is rational, we live a rational life. When the pattern is irrational, we live an irrational life. Rational decisions maximize the quality of one’s life without violating the rights, or harming the well being, of others. Rational decisions maximize our chances of happiness, successful living, and fulfillment. Critical thinking, when applied to decision-making, enhances the rationality of decisions made by raising the pattern of decision-making to the level of conscious and deliberate choice. No one deliberately chooses to live an irrational life. Many, however, subconsciously choose to live an irrational or unethical life. In doing so, they maximize their chances of unhappiness and frustration, or do harm to others in seeking their own advantage. There are as many domains of decision-making as there are of thinking. Indeed, the most important decision we can make is how and what to think about things, for how and what we think determines how we feel and how we act. We decide what to think, feel, and do when we act as a parent. We decide what to think, feel, and do when we make decisions about our professional lives. We decide what to think, feel, and do when we make decisions about the social world in which we have been raised and the groups of which we are a member (family, professional, personal associations, nation, etc.). We decide what to think, feel, and do when we make political decisions about the policies, parties, and candidates that we choose to support. We decide what to think, feel, and do when we make decisions about what we are morally obliged to do (and what we are not so obliged to do). We decide what to think, feel, and do when we make decisions about our life-style, about the nature and value of friendship, about the nature of what is most important in our lives. We decide what to think, feel, and do when we think historically, sociologically, professionally, environmentally, and philosophically. What is more, the thinking we do in one domain of our lives often is influenced by the thinking we do in other domains of our lives. Often the domains are overlapping. As a result, the decisions we make in one domain of our lives often are influenced by the decisions we make in other domains of our lives.
To become a skilled decision-maker, one must become a skilled thinker, and to become either is to learn to think about our lives both as a whole and as a complex of parts. The most intimate part of the world in which we live originates in our thoughts and actions and is maintained by these. To become a critical thinker, we must become an intimate observer of the manner in which we construct our own intimate world. We must understand how we have been socialized and the implications of that process. We must understand how our socialization is reinforced and reflected in the social institutions that continue to exert direct and indirect influence on us. We must know when we are acting out social routines and rituals that we were conditioned to accept. We must be able to think inside and outside our world, using the latter to critique the former.
Clearly, we make these decisions with immediate pleasure and our short-term satisfaction uppermost in our minds. Indeed, our mind is “wired” for immediate and short-term gratification. Taking into account the long-term requires reflection. We must raise our behavior to the level, as Piaget put it, of conscious realization. Of course, we can be conscious of a problem without taking the steps to correct it.
Putting our long-term insights into action requires self-discipline and will power. When we identify a pattern of irrational decision-making in our life, we have discovered what sometimes is called a bad habit. When we replace a pattern of irrational decision-making with a rational pattern, we replace a bad habit with a good one. The replacement is at the level of action. Because habits account for hundreds or thousands of decisions over an extended time, we can improve our decision-making significantly by identifying our bad habits and replacing them with good ones. For example, we can make hundreds of rational decisions over time by making the decision to eat healthy foods and not eat unhealthy foods. Once that decision is manifested in behavior over an extended time, it results in a productive habit.
The four keys to sound decision-making are:
1. To recognize that you face an important decision.
2. To accurately identify the alternatives,
3. To logically evaluate the alternatives,
4. To have the self-discipline to act on the best alternative.
Each of these factors presents potential problems to the thinker.
Recognizing that a decision is at hand is not all there is to it. We also must recognize what our alternatives are. Here, many decisions go awry because of failure to accurately identify the alternatives. This failure comes in two forms: 1) thinking that something is an alternative when it is not (thinking unrealistically), and 2) failing to recognize an alternative (thinking too narrowly).
Among the common decisions in the first category of failure are decisions that follow from the following types of thinking:
• “I know he’s got major faults, but he loves me and I can help him change!”
• “I know there are lots of problems in our relationship, but we love each other and that is all that matters!”
• “I know I’m not doing well at my job, but I will eventually be recognized!”
• “I know I need to learn this, but I can learn it by cramming the night before the exam!”
The second category of failure (thinking too narrowly) is difficult to correct, as no one believes he is thinking too narrowly (when he is). Actually, the more narrow the thinker, the more confident the thinker that he is broad-minded. A good rule of thumb is that if you can think of only one or two options when making a decision, you probably are thinking too narrowly.
We have found the following twofold rule to be useful:
RULE ONE: THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY.
RULE TWO: THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY.
Speed thinking usually does not help us think well through our decisions. The more things we try to do simultaneously, and the faster we try to do them, the more likely we will be to do each of the things poorly. Because we live in a fast-paced world, it is difficult to appreciate the importance of taking our time in reasoning through the decisions we face. After making a bad decision, we sometimes say we didn’t have enough time to think through the problem. But the problem usually is that we had the time but didn’t take the time. In general, the more deliberate our approach to decision-making is—the more time we spend thinking through all the aspects of the problem—the better will be our decisions.
By using the elements of thought as our guide, we can identify at least nine dimensions of decision-making that represent potential problems for thought. These dimensions do not define a procedure that can be followed mindlessly or mechanically. They presuppose good judgment and sound thinking in every dimension. To be an effective and rational decision-maker:
1. Figure out, and regularly re-articulate, your most fundamental goals, purposes, and needs. Your decisions should help you to remove obstacles and create opportunities to reach your goals, achieve your purposes, and satisfy your needs.
2. Whenever possible, take problems and decisions one by one. State the situation and formulate the alternatives as clearly and precisely as you can.
3. Study the circumstances surrounding the alternative possible decisions to make clear the kind of decision you are dealing with. Figure out what implications follow from the various possible alternatives before you. Differentiate decisions over which you have some control and decisions that seem forced on you. Concentrate your efforts on the most important decisions and those on which you can have the most impact.
4. Figure out the information you need, and actively seek that information.
5. Carefully analyze and interpret the information you collect, drawing what reasonable inferences you can.
6. Figure out your options for action. What can you do in the short term? In the long term? Recognize explicitly your limitations in money, time, and power.
7. Evaluate your options in the situation, taking into account their advantages and disadvantages.
8. Adopt a strategic approach to the decision, and follow through on that strategy. This may involve direct action or a carefully thought-through wait-and-see strategy.
9. When you act, monitor the implications of your action as they begin to emerge. Be ready to revise your strategy at a moment’s notice if the situation requires. Be prepared to shift your strategy or your analysis or statement of the kind of decision, or all three, as more information about the decision becomes available to you.
Skilled critical thinkers regularly revisit their conceptions of what is worth pursuing. Very often, we make poor decisions simply because we are pursuing what we ought not to pursue. For example, if you define your happiness in terms of controlling the lives and decisions of the key persons in your life, you are bound to make poor decisions both for yourself and for those whom you seek to control. Humans often seek excess—excess of wealth (greed), excess of power (domination), excess of food (an unhealthy body). And humans often make unreasonable demands on others—assuming that everyone believes what they believe, values what they value, and should act as they act. Humans often set up inconsistent standards—expecting others to be satisfied with what they themselves would not be satisfied with, or to be judged by criteria that they would resent were that same criteria applied to themselves.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
You know the power of having a good hair day can not be overlooked. It really should be a super power. "I'm Having a Good Hair Day Man" (Mitt Romney has this super power every day!) When I have a good hair day I feel it down to my perfectly pedicured toes!
Friday, April 17, 2009
My 30 favorite things about Sister in no particular order
1 You brought MoHo into our lives
2 You are a Princess
3 You like to go camping
4 You are an excellent Mom
5 Two words: Crafty Crafterson
6 You are one talented actress
7 I miss ugly shoes
8 "What are you wearing?"
9 Old Man McCarty
10 Road trips to Seattle
11 Miss Midvale 2001
12 Remember the bear at camp?
13 "I have a cramp!"
14 Alton Brown says ...
15 Family CNA
16 You introduced me to Gilmore Girls
17 Aunt Colleen's lasagna
18 Zebra striped hair
19 Getting you a Matsumoto
20 Grammar queen
21 You let me be the favorite aunt
22 Brine the turkey
23 Being 120 years pregnant
24 Churro ... racist ... spit
26 Pasta salad with shrimp
27 Parade after parade
28 Will you proof-read my paper?
29 Sharing a bedroom
30 Watching the old Parent Trap in the green chair upside down while torturing the neighbors... good times.
p.s. Colleen was super grateful for her post, which she expressed right after she proof-read it for grammar and factual mistakes. They have been fixed Co, and here you are...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Admitedly I do not like all shows, I do prefer the new stuff to the old stuff, but I'll even sit through a good version of an old musical. Aparently, according to my Seussical production staff, I need to see South Pacific because I did not know the music.
By the way the rest of you can be grateful for the police man who pulled me over last night and saved you all from me; I am a dangerous criminal with a burnt out headlight. I picked the wrong day to quit swearing... but let it be known that I did not swear when I got pulled over!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
My favorite movie quote about water: "He asked me for some water. Some sugar water. Sugar water? Yeah, I remember that right. 'Cause I thought that was odd. That he asked me for sugar water and not lemonade or ice water or... regular water or... tap water." (Men in Black)
Oh gotta run, fill up the old water glass!
Well that and I am grateful for getting my first real Federal Tax Refund, ever...
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I have been adopted by a few of my friend's families and am blessed to have so many "Mom's and Dad's"! When I was in High School the Kennard and Wadley families were so great to me. I loved going to these homes because I too felt like one of the family. I remember driving to Las Vegas with Wendy to save Mom and Dad Wadley after 9/11 because they were flying when the planes hit the towers and were diverted to Las Vegas. Dad put us up in a hotel room and bought us a key chain to remember the events of the day. I miss Dad Wadley (cancer sucks!) Mom and Dad Kennard still give me a huge hug when I see them and will call me daughter. I love you!!
More recently I have been adopted by the Beardall's, Besty's family. I have an open invite for Sunday dinner, maybe one day I should just show up, the problem with that is that they are pork eaters... tusk tusk, what are you trying to do kill me? I think the reason I love them so much is they are going to let me marry their son James, now if we can just get the message to James... it is either that or they are the ones who introduced me to Raclette!
I do have more adopted families, but those were my firsts. Today I want you to know that I love you and I am grateful for you.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Now, however, I have a greater understanding of the spiritual aspect of Easter and what it stands for. I am grateful for my Savior and His atoning sacrifice for me. Easter reminds me that I need to be a better person. The Easter resurrection story of Christ is a beautiful event that had eternal consequences for all human kind. Today I am eternally grateful for Easter ... spiritual and secular aspects!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
There was a GREAT ARTICLE in the Deseret News recently about the LDS Hopsital 8th floor which is the floor Mom was on for her bone marrow transplant last year. This floor is under construction and has walls up to keep the construction debris away from the patients.
My mom colored one of the circles in the pic above (that is not her in the pic, it is from the article but that is Nurse Tony.) Each circle is colored by a cancer patient on this floor. The staff on LDS 8th Floor are miracle workers. Mom's doctor told her recently that she looks good and the transplant worked! She is in remission for who knows how long, but because of modern medical technology I have more time on earth with my mom! I have not said it in a while: CANCER SUCKS!!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
“I was shopping for my wife Bonnie. I buy most of her clothes and Mrs Pearl was in the same shop! And it just was an accident you know, we started talking... about panty hose, she was saying... whatever that's not the point of the story but what the point is is that through this accidental meeting... it's like a Hitchcock movie you know where you're thrown into a rubber bag and put in the trunk of a car, you find people. You find them. Something, is is it karma? Maybe. But we found him, that's the important thing. And I got Bonnie a wonderful pantsuit.” (Waiting for Guffman)
"These mashed potatoes are so creamy, Mary mashed them." "John Wayne was tall." (While You Were Sleeping)
“You know, if they didn't have the model train, they wouldn't have gotten the idea for the big trains.” (A Mighty Wind)
“I got off that boat with nothing but my dancers belt and a tube of CHAPSTICK!” (Waiting for Guffman)
“We have so much in common, we both love soup and snow peas, we love the outdoors, and talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about.” (Best in Show)
“What's taters, precious? What's taters, eh? Po-tay-toes! Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew.” (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers)
“This is not an occult science. This is not one of those crazy systems of divination and astrology. That stuff's hooey, and you've got to have a screw loose to go in for that sort of thing. Our beliefs are fairly commonplace and simple to understand. Humankind is simply materialized color operating on the 49th vibration. You would make that conclusion walking down the street or going to the store.” (A Mighty Wind)
And discuss… Post your favs here!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I am in my last class at school right now. I have to test out of 21 credit hours of electives and then I get to gradumate (spelled wrong? nu-huh, I go to college... your mom goes to college...) Today I am grateful that the end is in sight. I am in a class right now about ethics and critical thinking; it is a capstone course that is the last class one takes at UoP before graduation. I really appreciate being reminded why I strive to be a good person. Since I am so close to being done with school and in an ethics class I am also very grateful and proud that I have done this on my own. Of course I had help, I do appreciate help from Sister who proofed paper after paper in the beginning until I got the hang of academic writing or Brother who helped me firgure out math (dude I got an A- and B+, because of his help... trust me it would have been much worse without), Besty teaching me how to do PowerPoint Presentations, and Mom and Sister helping to type my papers when I had hand surgery (I said the words, they just were my scribes). Countless family and friend words of encouragement kept me going. So thanks for the encouragement. I thought an AAB (Associate of Arts in Business) felt really good, but I will tell you graduating with a 3.88 GPA in a BSM (Bachelor of Science in Management) feels so much better. What is next? MBA? Who knows... I am just grateful the end is in sight!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The month of April I will be blogging one thing I am grateful for each day to fill a goal on my 101 list.