Friday, May 18, 2012

Just To Be Clear...

 This is how you Sonic:

This is how Seth Sonics:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hello 80s! LOL

A few weeks ago I got out the old VHS tape of "my" dance festival to show my children as we were talking about the upcoming Cultural Celebration in our area.  The tape was so old and fragile I was afraid it might just turn to dust in my hands.  We put it into the VCR and held our collective breath as we heard spinning and whirling noises.  Finally a picture came up on the TV screen.  Not really a very good picture.  Actually, a very bad picture with very bad audio to go with it.  The tape has very definitely broken down with time, but the kids were able to watch a little bit to get the idea of what a big dance festival is like.
Well, as I have looked at various things on the web over the past few days, working on my postings for the Cultural Celebration, I came across mention of dance festival videos on YouTube.  I went to the site and sure enough, someone has uploaded video of our old dance festival. I didn't even know the festival had been broadcast on TV!   The audio/video quality isn't great but what fun (and really, a bit mortifying) to watch footage from the old days.  Hello big hair! lol
But I well remember the great feeling we had, the wonderful day and the awesome spirit that was with us as we worked to make this performance happen.
I'm so thankful that my child was able to be a part of a similar experience and build memories that will last the rest of his life.

This is part 3 (of 3 parts) of the 44-minute TV program "Celebrate America" produced in 1985. It is a dance festival of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons") featuring 13,000 young dancers from 88 stakes in the southern California area, Hosted by Steve Young and 1984 Miss Teenage America Laura Baxter, it was held in Pasadena's Rose Bowl. The video was produced by Robert Starling with the help of 55 LA-area media professionals who graciously volunteered their time for the project. 

Meridian Coverage of the Cultural Celebration

This link will take you to many fabulous pictures of the Cultural Celebration:

The tall boy in the focal point of this pic is Joe's friend, David.  
You can see Joe's spikes a little father back in the picture,
 and behind him is their friend Michael.
  Is that Lena's little hand poking out?
How 'bout those dark sideburns, is that Sam? :)

I think I see Colton!

There's Marlena!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

There he is!

I found Joe!

Dedication of the Kansas City Temple

Cultural Celebration

The Kansas City Temple

The Kansas City Temple was dedicated on Sunday, May 6, 2012.

These pictures are from the Kansas City Temple Chaser blog.  She has many photos and stories about the building of the Kansas City Temple showing the progress through its development.  There are many beautiful photos there and I encourage you to go check it out:

Preparing for the cornerstone:

Kansas City Temple Cultural Celebration

May 5, 2012

These are a few pictures I ripped off from The Kansas City Temple Chaser blog 
(the first picture has three of the boys from our ward in it)
You can see her full post--tons of great pictures--here:

Check These Out!

Here are a couple of links that are really cool:

The Church News report on the Cultural Celebration--has a lot of good pictures with it:
President Thomas S. Monson delivered a message of praise, encouragement and friendship to the youth of the Church who staged a cultural program with "heart" on Saturday evening, May 5, the eve of the dedication of the Kansas City Missouri Temple.

KSL coverage on the Temple Dedication (with video):
As the sun began to rise in Northwestern Missouri, it was the dawning of a new era for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, with the dedication of a temple in Kansas City.

A Time of Wows!

Several months ago the announcement was made in our area that kids in the Kansas City temple district were invited to perform in the Cultural Celebration which would take place the evening before the temple dedication.  Wow!
Excitement exploded and the youth eagerly (well, with the girls anyway, with the boys it was rather more dutifully) began to register for their place in the performances.
In our family, Joe decided he wanted to join in the festivities and registered.  Seth was busy trying to adjust to the schedule of a new job, David was back and forth until the very last minute but then decided he'd be too nervous to dance in front of thousands of people.  Katie missed the age cut-off by one month.
So it was Joe who was going to have to represent for our family.
We had numerous dance practices at our ward building for the kids here and we traveled to the bigger stake practices in Springfield.
As we were making preparations for this event, Jason came to realize that he was assigned to work on the weekend the Celebration and Dedication were to take place.  He worked and worked to get someone, anyone, to switch weekends with him.  There was no reply from anyone.  We worried.  Then came a response by one of Jason's co-workers, she thought she might be able to trade weekends with him.  Relief and gratitude flooded through us.  But then she contacted Jason to tell him she had to be out of town that weekend and wouldn't be able to cover for him after all.  Wow.
We looked at all of our options.  Jason was not comfortable with me going up and taking the kids without him because the Flaming MiniVan of Death is getting up there in age and she just isn't as reliable as she used to be.
 The problem was the kids needed to be in KC for a meeting on Friday night, then the all-day rehearsal started very early Saturday morning.  We could not think of any way we could make this happen.
With broken hearts we began trying to decide how we would tell Joe he was not going to be able to be part of the Celebration.
 Jason threw out the idea that perhaps Joe could go up to KC with some other family.  My knee-jerk reaction was to say 'no way' as I really hate to impose on anyone.  So we found ourselves between the rock and the hard place of either telling Joe he could not go or imposing on someone.  We thought and prayed long and hard about this.
Finally Jason thought of some friends of ours in the ward who we might be able to ask.  I was afraid to ask anyone for fear they would say yes just because they felt like they should say yes.  You know how that is.  Jason went ahead and spoke with the dad of that family and he was very kind and said they would be happy to help us.  Wow!
There are no words to describe the gratitude you feel when people are so kind and so willing to help you when you're in a tight spot, is there?
Just wow.
Joe was so excited.  Not only did he get to go to the Celebration, he was getting to go with his good friend.
The next step was to figure out how we, the rest of our family, were going to pull this off.  We decided Jason would go in extra early to work on Saturday morning and hopefully get off work in time we could drive up to KC for the performances that night.  After the Celebration we would have to drive home, the next morning Jason would again get up early to go to work and hopefully get home in time that we could drive down to Springfield to make it to the Dedication broadcast.
There's always time for sleep later, right?
We worked and prayed and prayed and worked and hoped and hoped and hoped.
The time for the events finally came.  Friday I met up with our friends and they put Joe in their car with his buddy and off they went.  I cannot even tell you how very very thankful I am to these good folks for the wonderful experience they allowed my son to have in so many ways--getting to go to the Celebration, getting to be spend the extra time with his friend and have that bond grow, and getting to spend time with and learn from this good family.  Wow!
Saturday came along and Jason went in to work early.  The rest of the kids and I worked around the house trying to get everything ready.  Jason came home much sooner than any of us expected.  It turned out that his patient load was much smaller than normal that day and he was out of there in record time.  Funny how prayers get answered, isn't it?! (Humbled wow.)
We got ready and we were off to KC in plenty of time, no pressure, no worries.
We got to the Auditorium, went around the block, parking garage was already full, many parking lots already full.  Uh oh.  We drove around a little more.  Man, the parking is expensive--but we'd be willing to pay if we could just find a spot!  We drove down another block.  Empty.  Absolutely empty.  Just a couple other minivans, that's it.  There is a lot for $5 parking.  There are only a couple of cars in it!  Go!  After we pull in the lot we realize across the street are several open spots and they are FREE!  Go!
How awesome is that?!
So we had to walk another block.  Darn!  And another plus?  We were worried about the crush of traffic that would happen after the Celebration and how long we would have to wait to get out of the lots and through the narrow streets and finally out of the city to start home.  We figured that would add a couple of extra hours to our getting-home time.  Being out in this little spot, no traffic to get through to get out!  Wow!
Once inside, Jason found us a spot to sit that was up high but we could still see really well.  We were just around the bend a little ways where they would be seating Pres. Monson.  We were on the aisle and just a couple of rows above us was a doorway.  I figured it was a maintenance or tech room back there but Jason found that it was stairs that led to the ramp so we could go in and out that way and not have to deal with the steep stairs and the crush of the crowd.  Awesome!
We hung around and enjoyed watching the crowd.  Jason and a kid went off to get snacks at the concession stand--I need my nachos!
The arena kept filling, the orchestra and choir were practicing, an army of missionaries were taking their seats.  Pretty soon the kids began filing in, filling the floor, lining the walk ways and the staircases.  Excitement crackled in the air.  The audience became more subdued as everyone got ready for the evening to begin.  Jason hops across me to the stairs, says he will be right back and goes out the door.
Not too long after Jason leaves the auditorium goes up in thunderous applause, screams, whistles, just a roar of excitement as Pres. Monson walks in.  Talk about the ultimate rock star!  Everyone cheering, and when it begins to die down a bit, Pres. Monson waves his hands to get 'em going again.  It was so cool!
We're standing, watching as Pres. Monson boxes the arm of the man greeting him and showing him to his seat.  I'm wishing Jason was there, he is missing all of this!  Then Jason is there beside me, cup of popcorn in his hand, huge grin on his face and eyes with that sparkly, dancing look of a little kid on Christmas morning.
I start explaining to Jason that he missed the prophet coming in and he says "no I didn't!"  I thought he must mean he was at the doorway and got to see the entrance after all.
Jason tells me that he was out at the concession stand, the hallway was totally empty because everyone had gone inside for the start of the event.  (Good time to hit the concession stand!)  He was waiting for his popcorn when he heard some noise next to him, turned around, and walking right past him was Pres. Monson.  Jason said he was less than 10 feet away, he could have reached out and touched the prophet.  I told him the nice thing would have been to offer Pres. Monson his popcorn, the prophet might have liked a little snack while he watched the festivities, but I think Jason was just in too much shock to do anything.  The excitement in Jason's eyes as he told me the story was awesome.  Wow!
The kids started to sing "We Thank Thee Oh God For a Prophet" and everyone joined in but you could hear the youth over all the rest.  Wow!  WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!  I was bawling like a baby, I don't know how anyone could keep singing.  Talk about amazing.
Pres. Monson talked to the kids and then the program began.  It was so beautiful with so many fun and so many touching moments.  The kids danced and sang their hearts out.  It was awesome.  And we got to be there to witness it and my boy got to be there in it.  Joe told me afterwards that when he danced on the floor he was a couple of rows back right in front of Pres. Monson and when he was on the stairs he was the first row right to the left of the prophet, not 20 feet away. Wow!
I'm so excited Joe got to have this experience.
Oh, and to back up, just before the whole thing began, before Jason went for his popcorn run and all that... as they were bringing all the kids in and getting them into their positions, Jason leaned and told me he had seen a flash of laser go across the ceiling.  No, it couldn't be!  I told him it was probably just some of the lighting or something.  As I was speaking, Seth leaned over to us and reported he had seen Joe's laser flash across the ceiling.  Jason gave me the "told you so" look and I shut up.  So there was my Joe.  After the program, as Joe came to meet us to go home, the first thing out of his mouth, well, after "That was SO awesome!" was that he couldn't help it, his laser had jumped out of his pocket by itself and gotten out of control.  So it WAS him!  Wow.
So we went home, made it right out of the city, no delay.
The next morning Jason got up early, went off to work and again and before we knew it he was back home.  Another day of unusually light patient load. :) wow!
We set off to the Dedication.  It was so beautiful.  Elder Holland and Pres. Monson both spoke along with a member of the temple presidency, his wife and also a member of the Seventy.  It was so beautiful.  They told us that for the broadcast the Stake Centers would become an extension of the temple.  I thought that was cool but I was not expecting it to be any different from normal-stake-center-feeling, really.  I was totally unprepared for the feeling that hit as we walked into the chapel.  It really did feel like the temple. It was so awesome! WOWWWWWW!
So, um, Wow!  I'm still flying high.  We are so blessed to have been here and had the opportunity to take part in and witness these events this weekend.  It has been a great time!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Snapper Head

All the rain over the weekend made our grass shoot up over night, encouraging all the critters around to come on up to our place.  This monster wandered into our yard yesterday.  (Needless to say, after taking care of him all the lawns were mowed immediately!)