Monday, May 24, 2010

See Pat stalk the Prophets

Shockingly enough, I still have things from Women's Conference that I want to post. Scary that it is a month later and I haven't managed to get them done yet.

After I had the amazing experience of meeting Katherine Nelson (Emma Smith) and Jane Dudley (Pres. Hinkley's daughter), I was kind of caught up in the stalking spirit. A stalking high, if you will.

As I was walking out of the Hinkley Alumni Center, I spotted this picture of my favorite prophet. I couldn't resist snapping a shot with him. Please forgive the fact that I didn't manage to take the picture straight. But seriously, don't we look cute together? (Just try to ignore my double chin, K? The camera adds ten pounds, right?)

By this time I had stalked away all of the time I should have spent getting to my next class, so I decided to just take a walk down memory lane and visit some other Prophets.

Here I am with Joseph Smith. He was just glowing with happiness to see me. Although he was a bit stiff. Thank you Joseph for all you sacrificed, so I could enjoy the blessings of the gospel. I really like your wife, BTW.
And of course my hero, Brigham Young. I am very bundled up because it was cold and windy. Thank you for starting the academy that could later be turned into a University where I could attend and meet my future husband. BYU has had a profound eternal impact on my life. Oh, and the football team totally rocks. Just sayin.

Dear president McKay, Thank you for having a building named after you so I could get up at 4:00 am and empty garbage cans and clean bathrooms and manage to support myself through college. We shared some great times, but that is a post of another color.
Dear sweet, President Kimball, Thank you for shaking my hand when I was twelve. Little did you know that you created a stalking monster. What a wonderful memory and testimony builder. There was no denying how strong the spirit was that day, at that moment. You will always have a special place in my heart.
And President Benson, Do you remember the day I shook your hand? I was in a married BYU student ward and our stake had a conference about flooding the world with the Book of Mormon. You surprised us all by coming to that event and it was also a very wonderful day. I am very grateful for your words of wisdom about the importance of the Book of Mormon.
And just for a bonus, I decided to stalk a couple of apostles while I was at it.
Here I am with Jeffrey R Holland, who just happened to be the President of BYU when I was a freshman.
I even was privileged to take a Book of Mormon class from him, my freshman year. It was at 8:00 am and the times I was there, it was delightful. But I have to admit to a life long sorrow that I spent much of the year imitating Peter, James, and John at the Mt of Transfiguration. The me of today would like to slap the me of 1983 upside the head. Quit staying up until 2:00 am and get to bed so you can get to class and soak up all the wisdom and feast on the spirit with a man of God.
Sheesh, kids those days.
And last but not least, Boyd K Packer. I loved hearing you speak a few years ago when you came to Women's Conference, even though I did not manage to stalk you up close and personal. This will have to do, much to your relief, I am sure.

So there you have it. Me and so many of the prophets. It was a thrill I tell you. Although I may have frightened some of the students on campus. But maybe middle aged women posing with pictures of prophets is an every day occurrence, who knows. In any event security was never able to catch me and escort me from any buildings, so I count the day as another successful stalking situation.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bye Bye Bye

A very unexpectedly exciting thing happened to me,

and it's name is:

I got a new garage door opener.

This may not seem like very exciting news,
but here is the picture of my old button for
my old garage door opener.
When my sixteen year old son totaled my car
three years ago,
this button thing barely survived the crash.
And for three years I have been having
to use this little screw driver
to push the metal inside of the little blue circle you can see.
It is a tricky thing to do and usually takes anywhere from a
minute to five.
There may be some cursing involved as well,
or at the very least taking
of said son's name in vain.
Quite the patience
builder if you know what I mean.
I tried getting a universal remote control,
but our door opener was so old that it wouldn't work.
But still getting a new opener never made it to the
top of the priority list of things to buy.
It still worked, kind of, so why spend the money to replace it?
Well last Saturday, Diana was playing water balloons with
some neighborhood kids.
In his usually annoying big brother fashion,
Jared popped one of her balloons.
She then threw another water balloon at him as he was
going into the house from the garage.
Of course she missed, and the balloon hit square on the
garage door opener button attached to the wall.
After that, it did not work. At. All.
I was most disgusted with her for a while,
but then a light bulb went off in my head
and I realized that our home
warranty covers garage door openers.
So I got a new garage door opener complete with handy dandy
button sans screw driver, for only the mere $55 co-pay.
Have I mentioned how much I love my home warranty?
And now with a quick little push of a button, my garage
door opens.
It is a thing of beauty I tell, ya.
Ah, the simple pleasures in life.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dig It

Diana participated in her school play titled "Dig It". It was about different parts of history such as Greece and Egypt. She had lots of fun practicing and learning songs for the play.

Somehow the music teacher discovered that I had some crafting abilities.
She asked me to create a huge sandwich to used as a prop in the play.
I wandered around JoAnn's one night and came up with the supplies to make this:

Here is a shot of it in action:

Here Diana is demonstrating how it looks good enough to eat.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out.
Who knew?
Now we need to think of another time to use it, because
it seems like a waste to only use it one time.
I wonder what kind of object lesson it could be for
Gospel Doctrine?
My dad had a conference here that week, so both of
my parents we able to come and cheer Diana on.
This is the first time in her grandparents were able to attend such an event.
Of course no school function would be complete with out the last minute shopping.
I shook my head in disbelief when Diana came home the night
before the performance and told me she had to have
tan pants. What the what? Couldn't I have known
about this sooner? Didn't I spend quite a lot of time
and money on making a prop? Seriously?
Gotta love those "Oh by the way,
could you build me the city of Rome in a day,"
kind of moments.
A trip to Target and Wal Mart supplied her with two choices.
But wait there's more.
The morning of the performance, she insists that she MUST
have white sandals.
If not the earth would open up and swallow her whole,
due to mortification.
I should have just been a good/mean mom and said no
but this is why there is a Wal Mart a half a mile from our
house, for just such emergencies.
Finally with her costume crisis resolved, I deposited her at school.

I wonder when I get to take a bow.

All in all it was a very successful event.
Way to go, girlie.
Love ya tons.
(this is not to say, that I am fairly relieved the elementary
days are almost over for me, ahem, I mean her,
of course there is still the fifth grade dance to provide
one last chance for "I need it or I will die"/drama)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Three Kids and a Camera

Last week we went out to dinner at Applebees.
The universe having the sense of humor that it does,
my kids ended up sitting next to each other
across from me in the booth.
I can't really remember the last time they have sat next to each other.
Because close proximity seems to result in hooting and hollering
and battles the likes of World War II,
generally I like to keep them in separate rooms,
if at all possible.
So I couldn't help snapping a shot of this very rare occasion.
For some reason they were not impressed.
You would think they would be used to me by now.
Apparently, not so much.
Look how thrilled they were that I was taking their picture?
Classic mother opportunity to bug their socks off.
Diana made an attempt in this shot, but the boys, still not so much.

Well people, chances are you are going
to be together forever,
so maybe you might want to try and at least like each other, K.
I promise it won't kill you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Scatter Sunshine

So far you have seen that women's conference is full of yummy food and awesome stalking opportunities, but just like a infomercial on TV, "Wait there's more."

Yes indeedy, one of my favorite parts is doing service whilst learning to be a better person. Kind of a two-fer, if you know what I mean.

My sister and I decided we would prefer to sit and do projects, with a lovely view of the snow falling outside the window, and other women scurrying around to their classes.

The first project we choose was to color these floor mats. He we are ready to get our color on.

And here is the finished project. While we colored this, we listened to a class about avoiding emotional infidelity.
The first half of the class was actually taught by NieNie's sister. She was very charismatic and fun to listen to. She referenced Elder Bednar's talk titled What is real. If you haven't heard about it you should really read it. It offers an apostolic warning about the dangers of the internet and modern technology.
The class urged us to have real expectations for our husbands and to be absolutely loyal to him in word, deed and thought. She also warned that we need to be aware of the adversary's goals. We need to limit time spent with those or things that are in competition with our husbands. Also be sure to connect with our husbands every single day. Also we need to learn to receive personal revelation on how to improve our individual marriage.

Next we moved rooms and worked on sewing up these fleece pockets that have velcro making them attach to a wheelchair.

I wish I had a thimble for this project because it was really hard to get the needle through the velcro. But we persisted and finished both of ours. When I turned my in, I asked if they could find a blind person in a wheelchair to give it too, that way no one would see how crooked it was.

There was a definite learning curve to this project, and so we stayed in that room for the next class and made another one. It actually turned out pretty well.
On Friday they announced all the of the service that was accomplished by so many willing hands. It is amazing what can get done when people put their minds to it. The theme of the service event was "Scatter sunshine." And it was fun to be part of the scattering.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pat meets Emma Smith and Pres. Hinkley's Daughter

One of my favorite classes that I attended at Women's Conference was about Emma Smith. The first half of the class was taught by Katherine Nelson, the actress who played Emma in the movie.

As it turns out, it may have been one of the most popular and with only 600 available seats, scored a bit of a victory, when I managed to wedge my way up to the front. I did not actually push anyone to the ground or cut in line, but I did not take no for an answer when they kept saying the class was full. I was very proud that my persistance paid off. I was one of the last people to be let in the room, and at the last moment I even got a chair to sit in.

She started the class by playing the trailer from the film. It really set a wonderful spirit and tone about all that Emma sacrificed and gave to help build the kingdom. Next, Katherine gave a beautiful talk about just what it was like to portray such an amazing woman. Katherine was so poised and reverent as she spoke. She approached the job with humility and was truly blessed as she had not done much acting before this role. Katherine talked about how trials come in small gift bags of giant packages and that we wouldn't trade the things we learn from our trials with anyone else. There was a wonderful spirit and at the end of the class she sang the song "How much can one heart take."

I was thrilled when I was able to chat with her for a minute and get my picture with her. This was a very unexpected bonus as I had not even pre-planned on attending this class.

The other part of the class was taught by Jane Dudley, who just happens to be President Hinkley's youngest daughter. I loved her talk just as much. She started by saying how she felt that she had been truly set up for failure, by having to follow Katherine. She figured that after the class, there would be a line a mile long to shake Katherine's hand and that she would just try and slink back up to Salt Lake and put as much time and distance between the experience and herself. I loved her immediately. She was completely adorable.

She spoke about two of her friends who were expereincing "Emma years". We will have have such challenges and we can use Emma as an example of how to preservere. We can each face trials with faith and courage and give service to others.

Of course as everyone was lining up to meet Katherine, I made a beeline to talk with Jane, the daughter of my favorite prophet. Yes, I have a favorite. I told her how much I miss her dad. She said she did too. I hugged her and thanked her for her talk and testimony and for being so normal.

It was wonderful and I was so happy that fate allowed me into this class.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Nineteen!

Nineteen years ago, the Friday before Mother's Day, I was sitting at work completely unaware that my life was about to change forever. The phone rang, and my case work informed me that a baby boy would be waiting for us at LDS Family Services the next day.

It was so hard to actually believe that after almost seven years of waiting and praying, the day had come for our family to blessed with a child. Never again would I feel quite so sharply the pain of unfilled arms. Never again would Mother's Day and other holidays be quite so grief filled. Finally the desire of my heart was to be granted. It was overwhelming and awe inspiring. And I have never been the same.

It was truly a magical moment when we went to the agency that next day, and they placed the most beautifuly, perfect, precious baby boy in my aching empty arms. I remember the car ride home, sitting in the back next to the car seat, worrying if he was OK. Checking on him at night to see if he was still breathing. Holding him and never getting quite enough of those eyes and baby soft skin. It was heaven on earth, pure and simple.

This is not to say that there have not been days in the past nineteen years that have been anything but heaven on earth. In fact one of those other places you read about in the scriptures. But that is to be expected with motherhood. It is part of the package deal.

Yesterday was another one of those milestone motherhood days. Trent received his mission call. We knew it was coming. We talked about it. He told me he wanted to be the one to get it from the mailbox. We agreed that he would not open it until everyone was home.

I picked Diana up from school and ran a dinner over to someone in the ward who needed it. Trent called to say that the CALL was there. My husband was still not home, and so I told him to hang on, I would be right there.

I am sure it was worse than waiting to open presents on Christmas morning. Hurriedly I delivered the dinner and raced to be home. My husband beat me there, but I made them wait for me.

I was dissapointed that I missed the photo opportunity at the mail box. And from the look on his face in this shot, you can tell that he was not interested in a recreation. He is saying to me "Seriously I have waited nineteen years for this, and you want me to wait one more minute while you take a picture, sheesh."

He opened and read the letter signed by the Prophet of the Lord. He will be serving in the Jacksonville, Florida mission and will go into the MTC on July 14th. There are so many things to do to get ready. I am sure that it will be here before we can say "I hope they call me on a mission."

So Happy Birthday, Son! Thanks for letting me share the past nineteen years with you. It has been crazy at times, but so worth it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Boo-Ya BYU Brownie Madness

Of course I took my own advice and partook of the
delectable and delightful,
ambrosial BYU mint brownies.
They were everything I had dreamed they would be,
and more.
There was no way I could resist the enticing of these
mouthwatering, toothsome, minty goodies.

And because one was not enough,
I had another one
the next day
for breakfast no less.
Is there anything more adorable than
in my BYU shirt,
salivating over one of these
scrumptious, heavenly, luscious treats.
Yes, I didn't think so either.
Eventually I will stop obsessing on
the stalking and the eating and
get down to reporting on
the learning.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Opps, I did it again!

Check out my latest victim.

Right before the afternoon talks on Friday afternoon,
Sister Thompson was wandering around on the floor
meeting with people, completly unaware she was about to encoutner

the Super Shameless Stalker Extroidinaire.

(dun dun dun - cue ominous music)

Of course I spotted her right away,
and called her over so I could shake her hand.

And then before she knew what had hit her,
I snapped this shot.

My sister said that I totally horrified her,
because she hates to have her picture taken and
she told the person after me
how embarrassed she was.

Sister Thompson, I am so sorry for that,
but thanks for making my day!

And thank you for your service to the women of the world.

You have now experienced the Super Shameless Stalker,
I'm sure you will recover in a week or so.