Sunday, March 4, 2012

More new nephews! And the fun we have been having in Utah lately...

The last couple weeks have actually been sort of eventful.

For instance, Thomas' brother's wife brought their second set of twins into the world on the 23rd. They were big — each weighing in at over 6 lbs! Welcome, little Abe & Ian!

Last Saturday, after grocery shopping, Thomas went with his friend Sterling and Sterling's sister to a BYU basketball game.

Later that evening, Thomas and I went to a high school production of The Crucible, directed by Thomas' cousin, who teaches drama. It was an awesome performance, with the high school actors acting at well beyond a high school level. Great job, Jordan!

Amy, John, Curtis, Judy
McDonald's dinner before the play... :o)
And this represents the play...
The best picture we had of Brittany and Jordan from that evening... sorry :o(
We've been getting some snow lately... but this morning we awoke to birdsong outside our window.

Lisa is still plugging away at school. She completed a skirt for her sewing class - including sewing darts, a zipper, and hand-hemming. And, as a personal project/final project for her genealogy class, she has been scanning and transcribing some manuscript letters found in the treasure box from Thanksgiving. She's even found a few spare minutes to add to her crocheted doily project... but as she is on round 5 of 22... it will likely still be a while before it is finished...

Lisa has really been enjoying the BYU forums (devotionals are ok, too) this year. Favorites were speakers Joseph Lieberman (last October), Mark Demoss (in January), and Benjamin Carson (last week). The links in the last sentence will take you to the videos, which are absolutely worth watching. Dr. Carson's talk will probably not show online, as it was not even broadcast across campus. So, here are some of Lisa's notes on his talk, America the Beautiful:
  • Our focus should not be on unanimity of opinion; rather, it should be on respecting those with differing opinions.
  • Political correctness is an insidious erosion of values. 
  • The U.S. founders were adamantly in favor of a free and educated populous. We are the pinnacle nation right now, even if we do not act like it, and we need to focus more on intellectual pursuits rather than celebrities, sports, entertainment.
  • How do we fix our course? Courage — being willing to stand up and be ridiculed for what is right, and to re-exert the power of the people. We need to get a grasp on what is important and emphasize it; we have been a supremely successful nation because our wealthy give back.
  • There is something inherently fair about proportions. God expects a 10% (proportional!) tithe. Why should we be upset if a wealthy person pays proportional taxes?
Carson's closing ideas were about his "Think Big" philosophy. The following is as quoted in this BYU news release:
T is for talent which God gave to every person, not just the ability to sing and dance but intellectual talent. Let’s not be hypercritical about it.
H is for honesty, don’t put skeletons in the closet, because if you put them there they will come back to haunt you. If you always tell the truth you don’t have to remember what you said three months ago.
The I is for insight into other people; learn from their triumphs, learn from their mistakes. As a nation we must learn from our triumphs and learn from our mistakes.
The N is for nice. Be nice to people. Because once they get over the suspicion of why you’re being nice to them they’ll be nice to you, and you get so much more done when you’re being nice and they’re being nice.
The K is for knowledge which is the thing that makes you a more valuable person. . . . With knowledge, wisdom, and understanding you can get all the gold and silver you ever wanted but you will also come to realize that those things don’t amount to a hill of beans. The most important thing is to develop your God-given talents to the point where you become valuable to the people around you.
B is for books which are a mechanism for obtaining that knowledge. You know it’s never too late. A lot of people say, ‘I don’t need to read. I can learn everything I need to by watching videos.’ That’s like saying you can develop your muscles by watching somebody else lift weights, it doesn’t work that way.
The second I is for in-depth learning. Learning for the sake of knowledge and understanding.
The last letter, G, is for God. We live in a country that is trying to make God politically incorrect. . . . We need to make it perfectly clear that it’s okay to live by godly principles of loving your fellow man, of caring about your neighbor, of developing your God-given talents so that you become valuable to the people around you, of having values and principles that govern your life. If we do that, not only will we remain a pinnacle nation but we will truly have one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
 And now, for a couple pictures from our temple trip with Samuel yesterday:


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