"Beam-ectomy should precede all mote micro-surgery. Just saying." Ginger Conrad paraphrasing Jesus Christ.

Paradigm Shift

“The list of health problems I think it would very hard to live with is SO much longer than the list of foods I previously thought I couldn’t live without,” Merrill Alley.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

joyful mess

Praying For...Oakley and Alex...that they will be diligent in gaining wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man...that they will be happy, healthy, and safe...that their neighbors will love them as much as they love their own selves and vice versa...that the leaders of nations will think about the future and the role our youngsters will have in it for good or for bad before making any decisions...Cole's birthday is Tuesday; I can't believe he's growing up so fast. But...and this is a big but...it sure beats the alternative.

Jesus' Word...“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs,” Mosiah 24:14. We shouldn't be afraid of hard things, when we have added strength from the Savior.

Bibliophilia...I read the entire five book Viking Quest Series by Lois Walfrid Johnson in three days, while we were at the lake. I can't say I've read a more pleasurable series in a long time. The female protagonist was strong without being rude or mean-just the type of girl I always wanted to be. Plus, there is a strong supporting male character in her brother. I love how the teachings of the gospel like faith, courage, and repentance are woven throughout her experiences. It's a series every child should read, and I plan to send it to my granddaughters around age 9.Bought Ellen Tebbits and Emily's Runaway Imagination for Oakley, who reports her love of reading and math; she's a scholar after her grammy's old heart.

Missonary Moment...our mission of 18 months ended on Monday. It was a wonderful, difficult, joyful, painful time that we will remember with fondness. We'll never forget or likely duplicate the love we feel for the people of the tiny branch there.

Family Event..."And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Mark 1:9-11. Our dear granddaughter, Samantha, had her eight birthday and reached the age of accountability. She made the decision to be baptized for which we were grateful. I don't remember being emotional at the baptisms of my own children, but I balled at hers. Maybe it was because or three UT daughters and their seven children were present. No, not all the Conrad Crew were able to make it, from anniversary trips, to injured ankles, to heavy work schedules, the other three living children were away. But...when Cole walked in and lit up like a Christmas tree before giving me a 10 year old bear hug, I was a joyful mess. No, it started even before that. The night before E and I picked up Sammy and Quinn. When Sammy saw me, she screamed and gave big hugs. Quinn was happy and huggy, too. I love my grandchildren. Even though I'm far away, I've made a huge effort to be in constant contact through letters. All my effort seems to be paying off. We stayed an extra day to hear E sing in church today. One thing we really miss from our child rearing years is all the singing and piano improv.

Cucina Fresca...while traveling, we eat pretty simply: muesli and baked potatoes along with farm stand peaches and corn on the cob. Have found it easier to eat romaine hearts when traveling as whole leaves dipped in balsamic. I may just continue eating morning salad this way. We ate delicious veggie sushi at Happy Sumo.

Pen and Brush...You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less by Mark Kistler is wonderful. His stuff is very similar to Bruce McIntyre's Drawing Textbook series. However, his method of teaching and explaining go lightyears beyond DT. Mark gives plenty of credit to Mr. McIntyre as his childhood inspiration and teacher. Anyway, I'm finally learning to draw what I see from the shapes the object makes instead of trying to draw an outline. I need to hone my drawing skills before I get back to watercolor.

Sound of Music...I like Mike Lynch's new chord/melody book, which is a great follow up to his Everybody's Ukulele book. These two are similar to the way I taught myself to play classical guitar in high school. Yes, I had a teacher, but I found better ways to play complicated pieces by figuring out the chords in each part of the melody. So, even though my hands aren't as agile as they were 33 years ago, I'm learning to play some beautiful pieces without huge effort. Now, I wish he would do a book like this of sacred music. Maybe, I'll have to do my own.

Mentoring Moments...Saturday was emotional for another reason. One of my favorite students began her senior year with me. Although she intends to do the BA testing program with me afterwards, it's like all my babies are flying the coop again. It was a tough go with her in the beginning six years ago, when she threw temper tantrums over her studies. Her mother used to call not quite knowing what to do with her youngest, most strong willed child. But...this girl finally embraced classical scholarship in a big way. Since I worked with my youngest son, this is the first one to stick with a study of the Great Books of the Western World along with some others I think worthy of that study. It's been inspiring to me.

Nature News...I had no idea eagles could swim. While at the lake, we were watching a soaring bald eagle. Suddenly, it tipped toward the water and plunged. At first we thought it was catching fish, but no, it was taking a dip. The eagle splashed around like a sparrow in a bird bath, then did what looked like the breast stroke all the way to shore.