"Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad."
- Scout in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
Well, I had big plans to train and get my best time ever. But, then life happened and training took a back seat. I thought that I would continue running after the Utah Valley 1/2 and get my best time ever. I think I ran a grand total of 13 miles in the 2 months between Utah Valley and Hobble Creek. The week before the race I had hoped to get in a 10 mile run just to reassure myself that I could run at least 10 and if you can run at least 10 you can finish a half marathon. Usually. Well, the 10 mile run never happened. So, then I thought I should just back out. But, I couldn't do that. So, I got up at 3:30 am and did my best. It was so blasted hot. I was so glad I did it. That canyon is so dang pretty. I just kept looking around at the surroundings the whole time I was running. That's why my time was slow!! haha. I was proud of myself for finishing that one. And I ran the ENTIRE thing--except water break areas. And just like last year...Rick ran at his own pace (much faster than my pace). He finished and then walked back to meet me (at about mile 12). And we ran the last mile together. So much fun.
Until the next day. When I COULD NOT WALK. And the day after was even worse. The only thing that didn't hurt were my calves. Seriously. My back, my thighs, my arms, my hips, my neck and, of course, my feet. But not my calves. Rick says that I have calves of steel. I would prefer abs of steel or buns of steel.
My time was 2 hours 47 minutes. Not great. But, I finished and that's a win for me!!
This is seriously one of my favorite things to do all year.
Rick says that it is just because I like to buy pens and take notes.
He's kind of right about that.
This year Summer was old enough to join me.
On the first morning, we went to the same class.
After she saw all of the young people and all of the youth classes that were offered,
Mom was history.
Here we are with some of our friends, I mean Summer's friends.
They were kind enough to let me eat lunch with them each day.
Isn't that kid in the middle a lucky, lucky boy?
This is Annie, Trisha, Keaton, Lexi, and Summer...my Ed Week friends.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Education Week, in no particular order:
It's up to each of us to save each others kids.
Be the Brad Wilcox of your ward because Brad Wilcox cannot be in every ward. (Randall Wright)
There never is a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. (Joseph Smith)
Complaining opens doors for poor performance. (Justin Su'a)
Extend a hand of fellowship to at least one person you did not know before. Each day of your life, strive to enlarge your own circle of friendship. (Russell M. Nelson)
We do not have the authority to change what the First Presidency has commanded. (Randall Wright)
Do the right thing, for the right reason. (Ryan Eggett)
How can we allow ourselves to get so busy with the cares of life that we would neglect our vulnerable little boys and girls and leave them unprotected from evil influences? How could we fail to give them the love and attention they crave? How could we send them into a dangerous world without laying a secure foundation to hold them steady. No other priority comes close to this responsibility to raise our children in the way they should go. (James C. Dobson/Ryan Eggett)
The Lord's plan is to advance ever more rapidly His word and His works and the effects of His gospel throughs the world...The Lord has revealed the technology that enables the Church to take full advantage of these advances. But, while technology can and does bless lives, never forte that while we have computer, cameras, microphones, clouds, and satellites, we have failed if we do not rely on the Holy Ghost. (Henry B. Eyring, at the dedication of the new BYU Broadcasting Building)
If you have a computer, you have the power to have an impact on the world.
Fille the internet with enough good that we can FIND the good.
The logo will always appear on official Church website. Some websites are run by outside sources. Some people will copy...Some will put out false stuff...People will try to change the content. (Ron Schwindeman, Church internet coordinator)
And I learned some amazing things in the series of classes that I attended regarding the Internet as a teaching tool...
the Church is on a 6 week development cycle.
The schedules of the General Authorities revolves around October and April (General Conference).
The Brethren take off for the months of July and December.
When they come back to work, they work hard.
So, when they came back at the first of August, they were hitting it hard.
The instructor told us that they have been working extremely hard on some changes for General Conference.
This particular instructor told us to "look for a whole new experience for General Conference."
When he returned back to Salt Lake after Ed. Week, the decision was up to him to determine if enough progress has been made to complete the 6 week development cycle.
If it doesn't happen in October, it will happen in April.
I cannot wait to find out more!!
I have also learned about a lot of new things on LDS.org
I read this essay in the newspaper a few weeks ago. I kind of wished that I had found it at the beginning of summer rather than the end. However, knowing that my kids would be going backing to school this fall after a 2 1/2 year "vacation" from public school, I have tried really hard not to count the days, but to make the days count. Last week was the culmination of our summer. We were in Scofield. Doing nothing. Together. No cell phone. No internet. Barely any TV (one TV set). We hardly knew what day it was, but those day sure flew by and suddenly it was time to tidy up and come home. It makes me a little sad to think that my kids will leave me to go to school tomorrow morning, but for now and I am relishing in the memories of our summer.
The Joys of Summer by Mitch Albom
I feel sorry for today’s kids. Summer comes, they’re finally free from school—andbang!Band camp. Science seminars. Internships. Instead of downtime, it’s get-up-and-go time. Chorus travel, archaeological digs, dance tours. My nephew from Michigan flew to Georgetown University for a summer medical program, replete with cadavers. He was 16. He’s hardly alone. Some kids fill their summers with so many prep courses that they’re ready to graduate from college by the time they get there. It’s all very admirable, but here’s a question: Why so busy? I can make the case for doing nothing all summer. That’s right. Nothing. I know it won’t advance your kids’ career objectives or improve their SAT scores. But it might be good for them. When I think of my childhood summers, I remember lying in the grass, hands behind my head, feeling the blades dig into my fingers. I studied the clouds. I joked with my friends. None of us wore watches. Weekdays were indistinguishable from weekends. I’d wake up when my eyes opened, read comic books over bowls of -cereal, go outside with my baseball glove (just in case a game broke out), and find something to do—oil my bike, make things in the garage. Was it lazy? By today’s standards, maybe. But there was a freedom that today’s kids don’t enjoy. We sat on curbs. We daydreamed. Think about the word. “Daydream.” It means your imagination wanders while your eyes are open. What kid has time for that today? Preteens are on travel soccer teams. They fly to faraway cities. Play tournaments. Isn’t that what pro players do? Likewise, camps chew up the summer months, but they’re no longer just softball and swimming. There are fashion camps. Circus camps. Science camps. Achievement is emphasized.
Even kids at home find their free time under scrutiny. Some children are made to adhere to playdates as if keeping a doctor’s appointment. (By the way, the closest I ever came to a “playdate” was when my mother opened the door on summer mornings and said, “Go. Don’t come back until supper.”)
We need to lighten it up. Sometimes doing nothing is doing something. Sure, camp can be fun, and travel ball is exciting, but if we cram in activities from the last day of school to the first, we’re ignoring an important fact: The way kids work during the academic year—honestly, you’d think homework was a full-time job—a mental break may be needed. These are young minds, young bodies. Replenishing the juices by kicking back is not a bad idea. And if not in childhood, then when?
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “If we don’t enroll our kids in an activity, all they’ll do is text. Or watch TV (and text) or talk on the phone (and text).”
Well, you could prevent that. You could take away the cell phone, the iPod, the Nintendo. Then see if you can get your kid to do four things in a day:
1. Have a face-to-face conversation with a friend.
2. Read something.
3. Build something.
4. Get wet. A pool. A hose. A sprinkler. Whatever.
That’s really enough. Before you can blink, it’s the school year again, where every day is jammed with sports, AP classes, student government, and field trips.
That’s fine for September. But if September is no different from June, July, and August, then we’re doing something wrong. And our kids are missing something precious.
I realize that I already wrote about the 4th year hike, but I have more to say.
On Sunday, August 7, we attended an early Fast & Testimony Meeting in Orem where my brother blessed his 4th son, Brody Fenton Robison.
Knowing our limits (and by our limits, I mean Cole), we did not attend our own Fast and Testimony Meeting later that day. Instead, we chose to just attend Primary (Rick was teaching Cole's class--which turned out to be a combined effort by many), Sunday School, and Young Women.
Knowing that I had to teach Young Women's and I needed to make some copies, I ended up going to the entire 3 hour block of meetings. By myself.
I thought I would just sit on the VERY back row and read and think about the lesson I had to teach. But, I heard Sister Christiansen get up first thing and share her testimony about a conversation that she had with her son, Shad and how she knows Heavenly Fathers loves him. It was all over. a few minutes later, during a quiet time, I got up and shared my testimony about a combination of things that had touched me in the previous week, part of which was the hike I had participated in to the top of Maple Mountain combined with the lesson that I was preparing to teach on A Change of Heart.
My family was not there and did not hear what I had to say, so I wanted to record it here for them to read.
I have to confess that I was not super thrilled to participate with this 4th year hike. Summer is a 3rd year, so I didn't have a daughter attending. I HATE moderately enjoy hiking. I am tired of "roughing it".
BUT, remember...it is who you know. Several weeks before the hike, the 4th year hike specialist showed up at my house and begged invited me to participate with this hiking activity. I told her no because Rick had to work that weekend. And Rick answered, "She'd love to hike. Sign her up." So I didn't have much of a choice.
me and that darn hike specialist
I'll confess. It was fun. I got about 20 phone calls from Sadie throughout the 2 weeks before the hike. I helped her plan the menu and shop for the food. I helped prepare the little "happies" for the girls after the hike.
Boyd K. Packer summed it up nicely with this: "I'm not ashamed to say that I want to be good. And I've found in my life that it has been critically important to establish this intention between me and the Lord so that I knew that he knew which was I committed my agency. I went before Him and said, "I'm not neutral, and you can do with me what you want. If you need my vote, it's there. I don't care what you do with me, and you don't have to take anything from me because I give it to you--all that I own, all I am--," and that makes the difference." ("to those who teach in troubled times", seminary and institute conference, summer 1970, Boyd K. Packer)
From the talk I gave in Church a few weeks ago regarding Strengthening Our Testimonies, I learned from Cecil O. Samuelson, "that while we believe fully in the mighty change of heart described in the scriptures, we must understand it often occurs gradually, rather than instantaneously or globally, and in response to specific questions, experiences, and concerns as well as by our study and prayer."
And Marvin J. Ashton said that "the measure of our heart is the measure of our total performance. ...The "heart" of a person describes his effort to better self, others, or the conditions he confronts...The gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to change hearts and help individuals become pure, gentle, honest, kind, and loving."("the measure of our hearts" October 1998)
So, this event was not "global or instantaneous", I felt a change of heart.