Friday, October 28, 2011

A simple family home evening lesson/a way to do genealogy

Found this site in the Reader's Digest.

It is simple.  If your house was burning down, what would you take and why?  Your family (and pets) are a given, obviously. 

I will start.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pictures from the Purse

Weird thoughts? That sounds familiar.

This was on the box of fireworks this summer...
for men to enjoy....

And this is what was on the other box....
for women to enjoy...

poor little orphaned orange...:(

does anyone else see the oxymoron here?

is the woman or her butt the life of the party?
a blow up grub?
You would see this on Jay Leno I bet...

This is Chad Knaus.  He is the pit crew chief
for Jimmy Johnson the race car driver.
I am in love.
Mr. Fun calls him "Chad the Cheater."

Saw a kid at the high school wearing this....
I loved it.

Have a good one.  I am off to Wisconsin to eat some cheese.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Temple Trees: The Parable of the Three Trees

It isn't very often I blog about the work going on at the new Kansas City Temple or post the photographs I take there.  Cheryl, my co-blogging partner, is doing such a great job of recording all that so I will just buy a copy of the blog book when it is printed.  :) 

I have not found the need to go to the temple as much anymore now that the exterior is finished and their construction efforts have been focused internally.  However, when the sun and clouds seem to be clicking into place in just the right way, I try to listen to the still small voice inside of my heart and go there when I think something pretty will happen. 

A close friend observed to me recently that it was like I am on a "mission" to be the temple photographer.  Perhaps that is truer than I know. 

With the changes in the weather and air to fall, there is more moisture in the sky which in turn is creating some really delicious cloud and light action.  I was there two mornings ago, and the sky was REALLY this red.  This photograph is unedited in anyway.

The landscaping is going forward, and trees are being planted.  As SOON as I saw these three trees, I instantly thought of one of my most favorite children's stories. 

May you enjoy it as well.  Even if you are not a religious person, I think it speaks volumes about how life works and doesn't work out for us.  Enjoy.

The Parable of the Three Trees

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and
dreamed of what they wanted to become when they
grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: "I
want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold
and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most
beautiful treasure chest in the world!"

The second little tree looked out at the small stream
trickling by on it's way to the ocean. "I want to be
traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings.
I'll be the strongest ship in the world!"

The third little tree looked down into the valley below
where busy men and women worked in a busy town.
"I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to
grow so tall that when people stop to look at me,
they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I
will be the tallest tree in the world."

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the
little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters
climbed the mountain.

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said,
"This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a
swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. "Now I
shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold
wonderful treasure!" The first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree
and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me."
With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell.

"Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second
tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last
woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and
tall and pointed bravely to heaven.

But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind
of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop
of his shining axe, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought
her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned
the tree into a feedbox for animals.

The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold,
nor with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and
filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took
her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made
that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and
sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and
too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river; instead
she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut
her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard.
"What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All
I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point
to God..."

Many many days and nights passed. The three trees
nearly forgot their dreams.

But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree
as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the

"I wish I could make a cradle for him." her husband
whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled
as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy
wood. "This manger is beautiful" she said.

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the
greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded
into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as
the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon
a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree
shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to
carry so many passengers safely through with the wind
and the rain.

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out
his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as
quickly as it had begun.

And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the
king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her
beam were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She
flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering
crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands
to her.

She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the
earth tremble with joy beneath her, the third tree knew
that God's love had changed everything.

It had made the third tree strong. And every time people
thought of the third tree, they would think of God.

That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

So next time you feel down because you didn't get what
you want, just sit tight and be happy because God is
thinking of something better to give you ........... Author Unkown

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wanna take a field trip? Let's go Star Wars "trooping"

If you are on the Facebook and "friends" with either of my children, you are no doubt wondering how they have been infected to the millionth degree with "Star Wars-itis."

I think I will blame one Tom Allison.  He is living somewhere beyond so he is not here to object. 

Several years ago BC (before cancer), he had a list he spoke about of things he wanted to do in his life.  Before they were called "bucket lists" and trendy.

On Tom's list:  Attend a Star Wars Convention.

My favorite shot of the whole time
(the boy as Darth)

Mr. Fun said he would go (of course, he is fun as the name implies).  The Boy wanted to go.  I decided "why not?"  so I got on board.  Ironically, The Girl, was NOT a fan of the idea but with all of us going, she lost her vote.

We drove to Indianopolis  in 2005 and spent four days there.  It was surreal.  And super evidenced by the bottom of our pants.

who doesn't want to be their own action figure?
The Boy got on Japanese TV with this little outfit.
I think he was one of the youngest people there of the 40,000

 who knew the Girl would be trooping in this same costume 6 years later?
That red suit is the Red Royal Guard...
guardian of the emperor...who is an evil sith lord

Don't I look good as a star wars figure?  :)
Smoking hot

For me, it wasn't good or bad.  Just strange. 

Notice the pose of the Boy? 
See it again down below

But for Tom and the kids, it spoke to them.  The Girl went back again to Florida last year with Tom's family to do it again.  The Boy ached with jealousy.

Both the Boy and Girl have pulled together authentic costumes and are now what I call "Star Wars Re-enactors." 

When the people go out in the their costumes and show up at events, it is called "trooping."

So, I was invited to an event to go trooping with the kids and take pictures the other night down in the art district. 

It was so fun.  No....really.

                   The Boy as a Jedi (good guy)                          
                                                                                                     The Girl getting her good smell on so
                                                                                                she doesn't stink in her handmade, custom
                                                                                                 costume.  She has padding around her neck
                                                                                                to bulk her up and look more "guardianly"

The Boy and Girl

So, what happens is the group is contacted by some kind of organization.  Boy Scouts, Down Syndrome Guild, the Zoo...etc...any non-profit group. 

Local chapter volunteers who have approved costumes then show up to the event.  They need a room to change in (they are all dressed modestly when changing so they can change in the same room).  They bring everything they need and use.  They then what I would call "work" the event.  For free.

They seemingly stay in the same area as a group.  They travel together from site to site on the location (like the art district, they walked from street to street together).  And it is NOTHING for them to have their photographs taken HUNDREDS of times in a single event.

It was fun for me in two ways:

1:  To see my shy children come out of their shells in such a big way
2.  And to watch the faces of unexpecting people as they wonder by.


It was strange...most little girls seem to put
their hands up by their face....

these little girls were making
origami cranes with their grandmothers at the
Buddist temple we wandered into....yep,
they tried to convert me with their
free potato chips and soda

The cops pulled over in their car
and took tons of pictures of each other

we wandered by a art space that had a rave
with a DJ going on...
this guy was in can see it.
How many guys can say they busted a move
with Princess Leia and an Imperial officer?

I didn't know they had kilts in space

see the Boy?  Just like when he was 6

I cannot put into words HOW many
pictures people take of the characters!

I am having a hard time thinking of a time
when I have seen so many people cheer, smile and
just plain be happy by seeing something
randomly on the street...
I love the look on my boy's face

This is Darrel.  He is an official Lucas Film artist.
He travels with the troopers and draws people for the events.
Sometimes he does these large pieces for the non-profit to
auction off or raffle away to raise money.

This is a drawing of Boba Fett, Tom Allison's most favorite guy of all.

After trooping on the street, when we returned to the art space,
and Darrel almost was finished painting it. 

When the Boy saw it, he cried. 

For an hour.

He said he could feel Tom near, and he could not stop
looking at the piece.

Like any good mother, I bought it,
right then and there. 

Darrel let both The Girl and Boy paint on the helmet
so they had part of their soul in the piece.

It now hangs in the hallway outside of their bedrooms,
directly outside of the Boy's bedroom.
It is the first thing he sees when he leaves his room.
He LOVES it. 

He said he feels powerful, like he can do anything.
And he feels close to his best friend to the 11th power,
Star Wars mentor, Tom.  :)

I love this one...
like his official trooping picture

This is like her official picture

Bless his heart, the imperial officer who took this didn't have
what you might say "photo skills." 
Stick to your day job, officer guy....
blasting good guys throughout the galaxy.  :)