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Ten Things of Thankful: BYU Education Week 2014 Edition

As you may recall, John and I headed to Utah last week.  We rendezvoused there with my brother to retrieve our youngest daughter, who had spent five weeks with his family.  On Sunday, John headed home with youngest daughter (and youngest son, who has a week off between semesters).  I remained in Utah, and have spent the past week at oldest daughter's place while attending Education Week at Brigham Young University. 

Education Week is an annual event held on the beautiful campus of my alma mater.  It is open to anyone who is 14 or older.  Classes start at 8:30 in the morning and end at 9:25 at night.  This year, over 18,000 registrants from all over the world participated in thousands of classes.  Topics are varied; this year, I've learned about home organization, estate planning, and lifelong reading.  I've also attended classes with a primarily religious focus, such as "The Abundant Life: Modern Messages from the Life and Teachings of Christ."  Every year I attend, I come away refreshed, renewed, and recharged.  

1.  I'm thankful for the cooler temperatures and the rain we've had.  As someone who grew up in Oregon, where no one really bothers with an umbrella for drizzles, I'm always amused at how a tiny bit of precipitation causes an instant popping up of umbrellas.  I walked like a fool, head held high and grin on my face, and enjoyed the refreshing cool water.  

2.  I'm thankful for the beautiful campus.  The grounds and buildings are immaculately clean, thanks to a great student custodian staff.  

3.  I'm thankful for the insights I've gained, for the themes that have been repeated in numerous classes.  I'm come away, confident not in my own abilities, but in the reminder that the Lord will make me equal to my tasks.

4.  I'm thankful for the friendliness of the attendees and presenters.  Even the student employees in the food court and bookstore face the huge crowds with smiles.  Education Week is a crazy busy week, and some classes have long lines to even get in the door, but everyone is pleasant and quick to strike up a conversation.  

5.  I'm thankful for time to spend with family.  The day before Education Week started, I heard my nephew speak in church about his recent 2-year mission to the Philippines.  Tuesday evening, I attended a performance of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers with my brother, his girls, my oldest son and his wife, and my oldest daughter. I've gotten together with my oldest son other times throughout the week, and I've stayed at my oldest daughter's apartment this week.  

6.  I'm thankful I was able to catch a sneak showing of Meet the Mormons.  It's a feature-length film that will be opening in theaters nationwide on October 10th.  All proceeds of the film will be given to the Red Cross.  The film challenges common misconceptions about who Mormons are, by telling the life stories of 6 individuals.  (Tiny little spoiler: The Candy Bomber of WWII is one of the individuals highlighted.  His story is fascinating!) Go see it, if you have a chance. 

7.  I'm thankful for the chance I had to listen to an apostle.  David A. Bednar spoke at a campus devotional on Tuesday morning about the importance of using technology wisely.  (I think that the TToT definitely qualifies!  Lizzi started a good thing.)
8.  I'm thankful for mint brownies, a BYU tradition.  I limited myself to two throughout the week, but I still suspect I'll need to run a bit more this next week to work them off.  

9.  I'm thankful for my daughter-in-law's talents.  She came up with this motto for the art display in the fine arts building.  

10.  I'm thankful for all the memories--John and I met and fell in love at BYU, and we both graduated from BYU.  Though some of the buildings have changed, the memories remain.

The Provo Tabernacle,  where my college's graduation exercises were held, actually was gutted in a fire a few years back, but the church decided to rebuild it as a temple.  It's not finished yet, but I took a few photos of the work-in-progress.  It will be spectacular when it is complete!

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Thanks for another great Education Week. 

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  1. What a meaningful trip down memory lane! Blessings to you, John and the rest of the family!

  2. The statue of Joshua blowing his horn makes me think of my daughter. Every time we pass the Mormon Temple here in the DC area, she asks if we can see Joshua blowing his horn, and we talk about it just being a statue but how Joshua's horn was actually so loud it knocked down the walls of a city. I love the motto your daughter wrote!

    1. The Washington D.C. Temple is so beautiful! That's sweet that you and your daughter have the same conversation every time you see the angel. I almost hate to say this, but the angel is actually named Moroni, and the horn-blowing represents the gospel being preached to all the world. However, I do love the account of Joshua "and the walls came tumblin' down!"

  3. I've had many Oregon raindrops falling on my head! We do carry umbrellas in our car here in AZ, because we get a lot more than just sprinkling or Oregon Mist as we used to call it!

    The temple is going to be beautiful!

    1. I own an umbrella, but I don't know where it is, and I certainly didn't pack it. :-)

      Yes, the temple will be beautiful!

  4. "refreshing, cool water"? UmNO! Rain is ick. Well done you for making it into a Thankful but noooo!

    I'm GLAD this counts as using technology wisely. Thank you :) I think we do well here :)

    1. Well, our normal average annual rainfall is under 8 inches, but it has been years since we've received that much in a year. (I think that last year we received 14% of normal.) Rain is wonderful!

      TToT definitely counts! :-)

  5. 18,000 registrants and thousands of classes? Zowie! Do you see old friends while you're there as well? BYU is located in such a pretty place! I'm glad you are able to attend something that serves to energize you so. And a chocolate mint brownie sounds really good right now....

    1. I always run into old friends, which is also part of the fun!

  6. Its nice to read of the going on at BYU - every month a consultant from the school sends me his invoice with a kind note.
    I agree with you about umbrellas i cannot deal with them- i do wear hats though - have a great week.

    1. You work for someone from BYU?

      I was without hat or umbrella, and loved it! :-)

  7. hey I went there (Salt Lake City)!!!… my first 'Doctrine road trip' was also a business conference in the Grand American Hotel… I remember seeing the letters on the side of the hill/mountain (?) to the east of the City.
    funny, isn't it, how common experiences seem to carry such a significance when dealing with other people? even something a silly as simply visiting the same city! lol

    yes, I concur! Lizzi has built something quite remarkable here.

    1. BYU is actually south of Salt Lake City, in Provo, but I know that other schools also put letters on the mountains. (I think that the University of Utah--BYU's rival--has a "U" on the mountain east of SLC.) But yes, when I visit someplace real that other people (who I only know virtually) have visited, it somehow makes them real, too. (Which of course they are, but having never met them in real life, the shared connection somehow makes them "more" real.) Clear as mud. I should have just stick with, "I know what you mean!" :-)

  8. It's Education Week already?!?!? I remember when you went last year, and I would have sworn it was just a few months ago. And dang, we've known each other a long time. :)
    BYU is a beautiful, clean campus.
    Glad you were able to spend so much time with family while you were in town.
    I'll keep an eye out for the movie! I'm surprised my brother (really, his wife, as my brother isn't much of a communicator) hasn't mentioned it.

    1. Thanks for not calling me an OLD friend! :-)

      Your brother and sister-in-law might not know about the movie yet. It was just announced on Tuesday at Education Week. If they didn't hear that devotional address, they might not have heard the news yet. How about that? A midwestern Catholic hears about Meet the Mormons before a Utah Mormon! :-)

  9. What a fun week! Just these few peeks at the's beautiful. I love that you have such a history at many memories. I imagine it makes the visit that much more special.
    I love the visual I get of you walking with you head up, smiling in the rain. Love it!

    1. I should have taken more photos. The one I thought I was going to use was blurry, and then I realized I hadn't taken many others. Oh well. Guess I need to go back next year! :-)

  10. Kristi, this is just such a beautiful list of thankfuls!! What an incredible experience and trip you had! I'm so glad you were able to learn a ton, love a lot, and reflect on such amazing memories of your history. LOVE!!

    1. Thanks. Education Week is always a highlight of the year.

  11. It really is a beautiful campus and I love the slogan that your daughter in law came up with. It's perfect. It sounds like you had a wonderful time going down memory lane!

    1. She did the slogan and the layout, too. :-)

      I did have a great time!

  12. I've never heard of a university doing something like this. Sounds pretty interesting! I see rain a lot differently since we don't get as much of it here in Arizona. And the campus does look nice. The picture you took of all the flowers is very lovely. :)

  13. Sounds like you've really enjoyed yourself and learned a lot, too! I love that John is always part of number ten.

  14. What a beautiful list and a wonderful trip, Kristi! I also love a little bit of rain (OK, I just love rain) and don't always bother about an umbrella. There is something so cleansing about rain. I love how things look freshly-washed by rain - always brighter.
    I love the slogan - and all of this, really. Such a great experience!


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