Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!


I intended to make this post my vacation report, part one.  Instead I've decided to comment about those people who, like this bear, find themselves far removed from solid footing, yet are managing to hold on anyway.

We all face challenges during this journey called life.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Here is my philosophy:

We experience trials in our lives so that we can be more understanding and better able to serve others.  When I am going through a difficult time, I want to talk to someone who understands--someone who has "been there." 

Trials are not provided to "teach us a lesson" in the punitive sense, but trials do help keep us humble, and help us learn to refrain from judging others.  Trials help us focus on the things that truly matter.  In short, trials help us become more Christ-like. 

As we all experience hardships, we should be supportive of others as they face their challenges.  For my friends, family members, and acquaintances who are just holding on, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day, Dad!


I'm dealing with writer's block; not for lack of things to say, but for the overwhelming task of trying to properly immortalize in a blog a fitting tribute to Dad. 

Dad is a retired teacher by profession, but a forever teacher to me.  He's taught me to have confidence in convictions, and to allow others to hold their own beliefs.  He's taught me it's OK to be a little different.  (Who else lived in an underground house, kept boa constrictors in the living room, fought off scotch broom with the help of goats, and all this without a TV?!)  He and Mom gave me what every child should have:  a stable, calm, home where love and laughter resided. 

Thanks, Dad.  Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good Morning!



I'm a morning person.  None of this "hit the snooze alarm" stuff for me.  However, some days I'm really a morning person, and manage to get quite a few things accomplished before most of the world is awake.  Today is such a day. 

I took today's photo through my freshly washed window.  That's the view from my kitchen table.  I just love looking at the birds, and the flowers.  Daffodils and irises are finished blooming; roses, butterfly bush, and salvia are blooming now; and gladioli, dahlia, and pomegranate are yet to bloom.  I often linger at the table, taking my time with the crossword puzzle, Sudoku, and Ken-Ken, just so I can continue to enjoy the view.  (My photo doesn't quite do it justice.)

Today, however, I did not even pick up a pencil.  Besides the window washing, I've weeded the front yard flower beds, and done the more routine sort of things: prayer and scripture study, journal writing,  e-mail, feed the dog, fill the bird feeders, laundry, etc. 

The kids are waking up now, so I'd better stop blogging about my accomplishments and get back to work.  While I am a morning person, I am definitely not an evening person.  If it isn't done by dinnertime, it probably won't get done.  And as happy as I am with what I've done so far, there is more to do! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Voice Double

I've been told that my oldest daughter and I sound alike, but I never realized until recently just how similar our voices are.  When we were at Disney California Adventure, we decided to play in Ursula's Grotto, where we could provide "voice-overs" to movie scenes.  We alternated reading the lines for the characters.  On playback, we started laughing the instant the second character started speaking...because it sounded exactly like the first!  Bambi sounded like Thumper, who sounded just like my daughter.  She thought they sounded just like me.   We both decided we like our voices, now that we know what we sound like!

Although we have been confused for each other on the telephone before, we could never really hear the similarity ourselves, until we listened to that recording.  My mom and sister and I look alike, but I've definitely found my identical voice twin in my daughter!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Disneyland Report


Camera-savvy youngest daughter took this photo on our trip to Disneyland on Monday.  But wait, you say--doesn't Star Tours officially open today?  That's true, but before a ride officially opens, Disneyland often has "soft" openings.  Monday was such a day, when Star Tours had a "sneak preview" and was open to everyone.  Thanks to short lines early in the day, and the use of fast passes, we were able to ride four times!!! 

The ride lived up to its hype.  Each time we rode, we experienced something different than the previous times.  We never knew where our journey would take us.  Each ride visits multiple locations, so even though we visited the same place on more than one ride, we never had the exact same experience.  Sometimes we met Darth Vader, other times Yoda, other times Jar Jar Binks.  One of my favorite scenarios is the underwater adventure.  I won't spoil it for you, but the imagineers really put a lot of humor into the situation.

We will definitely return to ride again!



Disney's California Adventure park also had a soft opening on Monday, for Ariel's Undersea Adventure.  It would fit right in at Fantasyland in Disneyland.  It is a cute, gentle ride, filled with music and animatronic characters from The Little Mermaid.  It has its dark moments, but overall I find it less dark than most of the Fantasyland rides.  We all enjoyed it, but I don't think it is on our "must see" list for next time.  If the kids were young or big Little Mermaid fans, that might be different.

Oh, this didn't happen on Monday, but here's a funny Disneyland story:  Everyone is probably familiar with the "gets-stuck-in-your-head" song, "It's a Small World."  I never thought it could be worse, until one day I heard a little girl singing it on the tram ride back to the parking lot.  Instead of singing the whole chorus, though, she sang:  "It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all"...breath....then she repeated that much!!!  Over and over again.  She never got to the "...it's a small, small world" part! 

In case you hate me now for sharing that story, maybe I should tell you about our visit to "the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room."   ;-)