Thursday, January 31, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
(pictures are from the Open House brochure)
Last Tuesday night, Brett and I were fortunate to help clean the Bountiful LDS Temple, along with about 10 other members from our ward and 8 members from another ward. I had been looking forward to this night, because we had never had this opportunity before and I thought it would be wonderful to be in the temple under different-than-normal circumstances. I also knew how rewarding it felt when we'd helped clean the meetinghouses, so I had great expectations of how it would feel to help maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the House of the Lord.
The experience did not disappoint. The day of I must admit I was concerned that my weariness from the day might catch up with me (cleaning of the temple takes place after all patrons have left, starting approximately 9 p.m. We got home a few hours later). However, being in that spiritual place, and I think also with other churchmembers with whom we felt a comraderie, erased any tiring effects the day may have had on us. As a bonus, before cleaning started, we saw our good friends Jay R & Kathi Bangerter leaving the temple. We haven't spoken with them since we moved back to Utah, so it was a special treat to hug them and catch up for a quick minute.
The janitorial supervisor was a very nice man. After we'd all changed into white jumpsuits, we received close to 45 minutes of instruction. I know the temple gets a deep cleaning something like twice a year, and the supervisor mentioned that each night a different room gets the carpets and upholstery cleaned, but for the most part the cleaning is simple maintenance (vacuuming, dusting, refilling tissue boxes, emptying garbages, cleaning mirrors, and tidying bathrooms). In a way, it kind of made me feel better about my own housekeeping because there have been several times during a session, etc. when I've looked around and thought "My house could be this clean, could have this spirit if I just kept it this tidy and polished all the time." Now that I know what a huge team of people work every night (Tues-Fri), no wonder it looks so good. Of course, no place deserves more attention and devotion than the temple, right?
Brett and I were given the job to vacuum several rooms. The best room we were assigned was the baptismal font. I haven't done baptisms for the dead for so long that I'm ashamed to admit how many years it's been. I honestly don't think it's been since I was in Young Womans! Anyway, it was special to be that close to the font again, and be able to take the time to really look at it and admire it's ornate design and detail. We even got to speak to the supervisor about it for a bit and learned some interesting things, like how a member from Germany (that's right...from across the ocean) was brought in to hand paint the marble exterior. It was gorgeous and must have been painstaking.
Nothing is spared for the temple, that's for sure. Everything is top notch and the best. It was also neat to clean the women's locker room, which also meant some rooms attached to it where very sacred things take place. My girlfriend, Heather (hi, Heather!) was also cleaning that night and she and I stole a couple minutes in the Bride's Room reminiscing about our wedding days and admiring the delicate chandelier. "It's so sparkly," was all I could dumbly muster over and over again. But it was--all these prisms and rainbows and light, they just SPARKLED! Just as Heather was asking me what it must be like to clean it, an elderly temple worker came in and said, "It's time consuming." Good job, Grandma! Not one spec of dust or fingerprint lay on any of the cut crystals!
The temple is always quiet, of course, but to be there "after hours", when you truly have the place to yourself, was a treasured experience and also gave me greater appreciate for all the work that goes into creating the sacred atmosphere I get to enjoy when I visit. Even when the supervisor was explaining the process to us, his emotions got the best of him. It was obvious he had been blessed with some beloved and personal experiences while he's served in our Savior's house. He told us that in 2007 alone, over 4,000 volunteers came to make the Bountiful temple shine in over 11,000 hours of service. I was humbled to be a part of that service, and I hope I'll get the chance again sometime this year. If you ever have the opportunity to sign up as a volunteer to help clean, please do so--you won't regret it!
(And I have to give a shout out to my wonderful mother-in-law, Dixie, who was generous enough to come sit with my sleeping kids so we could take part in this special time! Thanks, Mom!)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I was thrilled to see they had "Lehi's Dream" for the kids to act out and explore. We've just reached this part of the Book of Mormon in our family scripture study and it was fun to help explain it visually to the kids a little. They were still confused, I think, but it's a start, right? Hopefully this will be just one of many opportunities we have to help our kids understand the symbolism behind Lehi's great vision. I loved that the "fruit" of the tree were different languages of "CTR".
Both Halle & Wyatt say their favorite part was the "baby nursery" (can you tell from Wyatt's expression in the next picture?). My favorite part (which they also enjoyed) was the touch-screen television. The children could "touch" a topic on the screen (Tithing, Being a Child of God, Temples, etc) and President Hinckley would appear on the screen addressing that subject, directing his talk TO the children. He was so cute. At one point he said, "I am an old man, I was born in 1910...that was an awfully long time ago." As usual, I felt the spirit so strongly seeing President Hinckley that tears came to my eyes. Halle said, "I know why you're crying, Mommy. You're crying because you love him so much." "That's right," I said. "I love President Hinckley so much that seeing him and hearing him makes me happy enough to cry. And every time I see him, the Holy Ghost tells my heart that he really is the prophet of God. And I know he talks to Heavenly Father and Jesus about us." I was so grateful for that teaching moment, for the quiet opportunity my kids and I had to share our feelings about the man chosen to lead the world back to Christ.
After the "kids stuff", Dixie and I had a couple things we wanted to see as well. It was fun seeing Gladys Knight's grammy (she gave it to President Hinckley, who donated it for display in the museum). That was pretty cool, I thought.
And any time I am at the museum, which isn't often, I love to see the deathmasks of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Perhaps that sounds a little weird, but seeing something that touched them, that at one point was part of them, makes me feel more connected. It helps me to better envision what they looked like and how they must have felt. It helps me remember that these were real people, who gave so much--everything, really--to bring me where I am today. If you've never seen the masks, I'd make a trip to the museum for that alone. You can see a photograph of the death masks here: http://josephsmith.net/josephsmith/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=ad10001cfb340010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&vgnextfmt=tab3
Below are some pieces of artwork that moved me:
(Halle like the 2nd one, too...in fact, when I let them pick something out from the Museum Store, she chose a postcard with this painting on it.)
Obviously, I could go on and on (and on and on...) about how impressed I was with the museum. If you are looking for something that is free and more than worthwhile to do with your kids on a Saturday afternoon, check it out sometime!
Here's the Museum's website if you are curious:
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
(I was disappointed that I couldn't put any songs from "Sense & Sensibility"...I was in the mood to hear "My Father's Favorite" this morning. Bummer.)
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Now he is on the verge of saying "Ball". Like most little boys, he is fascinated with anything round and if he gets his hand on something of said shape, he is guaranteed to throw it, whether it's an orange, a hard golf ball, or a Christmas ornament. To him, it is round, therefore it is a ball. What else can it be? But back to his vocabulary breakthrough: now that he has mastered "Ba-Ba" we've been practicing and I think it's only a matter of time before it has evolved into "Ball". I can't wait for the months to arrive when babies seem to say a new word each day.
I do think it's interesting how children tend to lean towards certain consonants over and over in their beginning speech. With Halle, at first everything started with "G". Dog was GOG,, etc. Wyatt preferred "H". Dora was HORA, etc. If you have children, were they like that? Maybe Carson's first word begins with B simply because the true word does. But it will be interesting to see if he has a future of "B" words in the next year. Either way, I don't care. The minute I heard Carson communicate with me verbally for the first time, I knew he was a genius. And he received applause appropriate for the occasion.
Mr. Webster would be proud.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Alright-y! I'm here to announce that we're back on Weight Watchers and feelin' motivated! We did "WW" before and had great success. (Then we totally fell off the wagon and went back to our sinful, gorging, gluttonous ways!) I'm a big believer in the program, mostly because it's not a diet. It's a LIFESTYLE.
I've mentioned this before, but did not receive a good response (a big thanks to Joleen...I do have to give her credit becauseshe totally came through for me with some fabulous food!), so I'm trying again to reach out to all of you...
If you have any low-fat, low-sugar, or high-fiber recipes (in other words, recipes that would register "low" in Weight Watchers points) that you think are worthwhile, I would be so grateful if you'd share them with me! You could put them in a comment for this post or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org