Friday, February 22, 2013

New Beginnings

Disclaimer: This post contains a whole lot of terms and phrases unique to the LDS culture. I'm apologizing in advance to any readers unfamiliar with this language.

For those who don't know, New Beginnings is an LDS program for the young women to introduce the girls coming into the program to Personal Progress. Completing the Personal Progress program is like earning your Eagle award in the Boys Scouts. This was my first every New Beginnings. (I don't remember going to one when I was in YW 30-some-odd-years ago.) All of my presidency and the girls did a wonderful job coming up with ideas and running with the them in a way I couldn't begin to hope for. Huge, huge props go to my Beehive Adviser and Camp Director, Most Happy Girl's Doppelganger. She did an amazing job with the small object lessons and activities. And Grandma To 2! made beautiful invitations that everyone commented on.

Our theme was Standing On Higher Ground. The church-wide 2013 theme for the youth is D&C 87:8 "Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen." It has been shortened to Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved. Because we believe that mountains tops are holy, we decided that Standing On Higher Ground had a good tie-in to the main theme.

I was charged with putting the program together (and printing it), introductions and handing out awards (two girls and one former leader earned their medallions -- whoot whoot!). Considering that I had just been diagnosed with bronchitis, it was a good thing I didn't have to talk too much. I kept coughing and had no voice by the end of my 2 minute introduction talk. I have to admit, I really liked my intro talk. (Is that bad?) Here it is:

"Hello fellow adventurers, and welcome to Climbing 101. We are excited to see so many interested climbers, specially those who are new this year, and also to welcome their base camp teams. We hope you are as excited about the grand adventure ahead as we are as we tackle this challenge together. We are also very excited for those heading off to Advanced Climbing 850, and hope that they will always remember the importance of a well-equipped backpack and having plenty of drinking water."

I know, aren't I clever? But seriously, Mr. Perfect helped me with it. I also found this amazing quote from Pres. Harold B. Lee:

"You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul."

After the activities, Another Wisconsin Lover spoke to the girls about her life experiences. She did a wonderful job, and the girls loved her talk. After it was over, PhotoMom's wonderful dirt trifles were eagerly gobbled down, and a lot of picture taking commenced.

Here are some fun pictures from the evening. Mr. Perfect was my official photographer for the event.

And my favorite (though we're really not sure how Mr. Perfect got this one):

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day, Mr. Perfect

I just wanted to wish my sweet, sweet husband a Happy Valentines Day. He is amazing, and I'm so lucky that he's mine.

I'll love you forever.

An amazing voice

I was surfing around YouTube when I came across this video of Marla Mandelle. I just love her voice.

I haven't heard much about Sister Act, The Musical, but this makes me wish I'd seen her in it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How cool is this?

Several years ago, Mr. Perfect was asked by the Dean of the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah if he would be interested in teaching graduate architecture students about structural engineering. This semester, it finally happened. In January, Mr. Perfect began his first official stint as an auxiliary faculty member of the U. He has an eight-week contract and is teaching wood structures to a class of about 15 students.

It's been fun to watch...most of the time. He's had to learn how to balance teaching (planning lessons, preparing quizzes and projects, grading assignments and quizzes) with staying on top of his load at work. Lots of late nights. Overall, I think he's really enjoying it. I'm not surprised that he's a natural teacher. He's so patient and knowledgeable, especially in his profession. He's past the halfway mark. There are only three more weeks of classes for him. Someone else will teach the next half of the semester. Maybe steel.

I hope that he's enjoying it enough to do it again, though he's not sure about the pressure of keeping up with everything. While it's a lot of fun to tell people that my husband is teaching college, it's even more fun to watch him take on a new challenge and excel at it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wacky Utah Weather

January in Utah is always a bad weather bet. We usually get some really nasty inversion in the Salt Lake Valley, and up and down the Wasatch Front in general. It's really weird to think that Park City, which is up in the mountains, can be warmer than Salt Lake in the middle of the day, but it happens a lot in January.

The last week, we had some huge snow storms come through that took out the inversion -- for now. It will be back, most likely by this weekend. But for now, it's easy to breathe, and I can see all of the mountains on all four sides of the valley. It's a beautiful thing.

Now that it's warming up, it's fun and a little scary to watch the snow melt and fall off the roof. This is how the house looked this morning as I drove to work.

Some serious slippage going there. But look at how beautiful the sky was at 7:15 am. Makes me happy to be able to breathe.

And just because I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and wishing this is what our weather was like right now, here's a panoramic shot from our trip to California in October.

I miss the beach and the ocean. A lot.


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