Monday, March 30, 2009

All Sorts Of Super Stuff!!

It has been a while since I have talked about all of the exciting stuff that we have been up to - so this is going to be a long post.....stick with me!!
We had Cassidy and Clint Bills over to play some games a week or so ago. They put their sweet baby Parker on the floor and Molly couldn't seem to figure out what this new "toy" was. They spent some time trying to figure each other out....
But finally they became good friends! Molly even gave him kisses! Isn't that sooo cute!!

In other news - we took a trip to Utah because Jon's art piece is being displayed in the conference center! Awesome!!
I learned something very exciting on the drive - you can see the Grand Canyon!! I was soooooo thrilled because I have only seen the Grand Canyon once and I loved it so much!!! There is a bridge where you can stop and see a big dam and Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon! Very awesome!!
This is Jon reminding us not to throw objects off of the bridge....he is very serious about this....
Isn't it pretty!!
Please excuse my scary look - it was my traveling - no make up, scary hair look....and I don't know what is happening with Jon's eyes in this picture - - ok, why am I putting this on my blog, it is not an attractive picture!! Hee hee hee!
We were trying to find some food in Utah, but we lost an hour when we got there, so it was "late". We stopped in Panguich (spell check) Utah to get some gas (and we were hoping for food) and the entire town was closed and dark - it was 8:00pm in would have thought it was 2am!  We did find a gas station that was open, and across the way there was this little "coefee shop" - I thought it was so funny that "coffee" was spelled wrong!! I guess they would probably make fun of me for not knowing how to spell Panguich though huh?
Friday morning we left Salt Lake and headed to Provo to visit a store Jon worked at while he was going to BYU. This is the one and only wood lathe store in the world - pretty cool huh? They were all so excited to see him and they were all so proud of him for his piece being in the competition. Jon picked up some wood and other "wood lathe-y" stuff that he needed.
That night we headed to the conference center for the opening of the 8th International Art Competition for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The theme was "Remembering the Great Things of God". There was a little ceremony thing where they thanked the artists, recognized some special awards and said thank you to those who helped put the exhibit up. Then we got to go look at it! Here is Jon and his piece titled "Steady Course".
It was in the coolest little glass box and it looked great!! You can look at the piece closer on the church web site - It will show the piece and the little paragraph that Jon wrote about it. You can also see it on his web site - shown on the side of this blog....
Here is the little plaque thing that had his paragraph on it. It is on the podium that holds his piece. 
The entire exhibit was awesome!! I would have taken more pictures, but they sort of asked us not to take pictures (I know, I know - I should have listened, but how do you not take pictures of you husband in front of something so cool?) I was soooo proud of him!!
If you are in Utah anytime before October 11, 2009, take some time and go up to the second floor of the conference center and check it out!!  
The next day we did the "Salt Lake Experience". We didn't do a session in the temple, but we did see the two visitor's centers, the art history museum, and the Joseph Smith building. We watched the movies - "The Testaments" and the new Joseph Smith movie (which was a bad idea to do back to back - there is a lot of crying....) and they were so touching!! I loved them!!
It was amazing to see all of that history and see all of those amazing Latter-Day Saints and the trials they went through. I was so proud to be a member as I looking at everything and feeling the Spirit everywhere!
This is on the wall of the Salt Lake Theatre. I loved this because it is beautiful and also because of the quote in the middle (you can't see it in this picture) - it says, "The People Must Have Amusement As Well As Religion" - Brigham Young
We were hungry, but we didn't want to leave the parking lot, so we walked around trying to find a place to eat. We found the sweetest little place called "The Lion House Pantry". It is a little cafeteria style restaurant actually in the Lion House itself!! It was amazing to sit there and think about how Brigham Young and his family had been in that exact spot!! It was amazing to feel the Spirit so strongly at lunch!! And the food was good too!!
Right after lunch we headed next door to take the tour of the Beehive House. It was amazing!!

Here is a picture of a wedding dress worn by one of Brigham Young's wives. I loved it because it is sooooo tiny!!!

We got home and headed back to work and school....

So today is Monday - here is a quick little recap of this weekend......
Jon and I went to the Tempe Art Festival on Saturday. It was pretty fun! Some of the stuff was fantastic, some of the stuff was strange, and some of the stuff was a little silly - but I guess that is to be expected. It was really fun to walk around and see everything that people can make!
Saturday night we went to the opera - that's right, Jon went to the opera!!
His brother Brenden has a school group that is doing a project to figure out what "type" of people attend the opera. We went and stood by the door with clip boards and kept a count of the age and ethnicity of the people that walked through the door. It was actually pretty fun because everyone was all dressed up and it was great to see them looking their best!
We then went in to the opera - Tosca. It was a tragic love story in Italian! I loved every minute of it - Jon was not so convinced....
All I have to say is, if you get a chance to see an opera - Take It!!!
Thank you so much for taking us Brenden!!
Sunday night we went to Lacie and Sam Crandell's house for dinner. Lacie is a great cook and we had so much fun visiting and playing games! All I have to say is that I think Sam cheats at Uno, but I am great at the pig tossing game (hee hee hee)!
It was so fun!
Well, I guess I should wrap this up and help Jon with dinner...........

Monday, March 16, 2009

More Movie Review by Malori

This movie totally freaked me out!! I mean, it is just scary because it is "real life".  Awful things that that really do happen all the time and that is really scary!
That having been said, there were things I liked and things I didn't like. Now, I'm not one for violence, but I liked that Liam Neeson was really hard core, and he didn't care who he had to shoot up to get to his daughter. Sure, we all like a good guy who doesn't really kill people (Batman, Superman) but you can't tell me that if your daughter were taken by people doing those awful things, you wouldn't be willing to kill anyone in your path to save her....yup, it's not something you want to think about, but it's true!!
The thing that bothered me was that this movie had an opportunity to be great - if it had been 1/2 hour to an hour longer. Everything felt so rushed - especially the end.
(Spoiler Alert!!!)
And, if you were a young, cute girl who had just been drugged and sold for sex - would you wear  little tank top and be all smily and giddy right when you got home? No, there would be some serious issues going on in your head, and you would need therapy. That girl is just way too happy and "normal" right when she gets home......that ruined the realism for me!
But, worth watching - and watch a happy movie after so you can sleep.

Yes, I finally saw Twilght, and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. Ok, lets talk about the positives first - it stuck with the book pretty well....and.....well, that is really my only positive.
I loved the book and I was super excited for the movie - and I was let down! Kristin Stewart (Bella) was awful! She couldn't close her mouth the whole time and she was depressing every second!! As I recall, she was in love and they had happy times, not everything was so awful! Edward wasn't charming or interesting, he was just weird. Their undying love for each other was made to feel like a high school crush!
And, my biggest problem with the movie was the severe lack of Alice! Alice is everybody's favorite character! Who in their right mind doesn't love her? But this movie barely gives her any lines at all! 
All in all, I was dreadfully disappointed.
Will I see the next one - of course I will........I just love those gol-darn books!
I never saw the original "Escape to Witch Mountain" so I didn't really have any expectations of this movie, and I was pleasantly surprised. Now, The Rock - Dwayne Johnson - is not a great actor, and this movie will not win him an Academy Award. It also had some cheesy special effects. In spite of this, it was a pretty good time. The two kids are pretty good and there are some really funny parts! I think it would be a great movie for kids - just a good family night flick.
Worth watching with your kiddos!
I have never seen all of the first Hellboy, but it is not a requirement to watch the second one. So here is what I think they were trying to do with this movie - fit an many weird monsters as possible and still have a working plot. There were a million climaxes - you kept thinking the movie was almost over...and then it would just keep going.....
I didn't feel like this movie was very smooth - it jumped from one big random fight thing to another, and I didn't really identify with the characters that much. In fact, I was basically bored while watching it.
Ok, I giggled a few times, but that is not to say that it was funny. You know when you are watching something that is so not funny that when you hear something kind of funny it is suddenly way funnier........that's what it was like.
The make-up was pretty impressive, but other than that, this movie was a total flop.
I had wanted to see this movie since the first time I saw the trailer. I liked the main guy (Jim Sturgess) in "Across the Universe" and so seeing him in another movie was very exciting! Plus, I like movies about smart people and their quirks, and I like movies about crime, especially set in Vegas (yup, I was a fan of the "Oceans" movies) so this was the movie for me.
Take a nerd from MIT who wants nothing more to go to Harvard Med. Add a desperate need for money to make his dream come true, and a hot girl to help persuade him. Mingle in some exciting card playing, some sweet little best friends, a harsh life lesson, and a happy ending - and you have a great movie!
I wasn't bored at all! Everyone did a fantastic job! I never even knew that "card counting" existed, and I am simply not smart enough to ever pretend to do it, but this movie makes you feel like you totally know how and you are right there in the action!
I give this movie two thumbs up!

Last, but not least, Coraline. The story of an unhappy little girl who finds a magical world where everything is perfect....or is it?
This movie was fantastic! Artistic and creative and the story was insanely brilliant! The characters really draw you in and you end up loving their quirkiness. I loved it.
Now, that having said that, I do not suggest that you take your kids to see this movie! It was, simply put, scary!! If I were a small child - or even a middle sized child - I would have nightmares for sure!! The movie is dark and a little morbid and totally creepy - but worth watching!

That completes Malori's Movie Reviews - Take it, or leave it!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Talking Pencil

My daddy is the principal at a school in Linden. His third graders had an assignment to write a two-paragraph story about a talking pencil, and they asked my dad to write one.
Here is his brilliant masterpiece!!

Talking Pencil
by Mr. Rhineheart
Do you ever have the feeling you are being watched? Well, I had that feeling this morning when I went into my office. I kept looking over my shoulder and under my desk to see if anyone else was there. I didn’t see anything so I began to work. I was typing a long email to a parent when I thought I heard some giggling. I jumped to my feet and again looked all over the office. The more I looked the more giggling I heard. Obviously, someone thought this was very funny. Finally, in frustration, I lay my head down on my desk thinking I must be going crazy. That is when I found out who was laughing at me. My pencil was giggling, and when it saw me looking at it and knew it was caught, laughed even louder and said, “Good Morning, Mr. Rhineheart.”
Now, I almost fell off my chair. It isn’t everyday that you hear a talking pencil. Feeling a little silly for talking back to a lead filled stick with a rubber eraser for a hat, I asked, “What do you want?” The little voice told me that it was there to warn me about a secret, evil plot by Mrs. Warren and the third grade class to get me to write a story. The pencil said I needed to be ready because they were going to ask me to write a funny story so they could laugh at me. It said that pencils and pens at the school are always watching out for sneaky teachers and classes, and Mrs. Warren’s third grade class was the sneakiest! The pencil offered to help me write a story right away.
What should I do? I thought quickly and made my decision. There is no way I could trust a talking pencil. I just couldn’t believe my wonderful third graders would try to trick me into writing silly stories. But just to be on the safe side I wrote this story… but I typed it instead.

Isn't he so talented!!! I love my daddy!!
Now, of course I couldn't pass up an opportunity to write a silly story, so I decided to share write one! Here is my slightly lamer contribution....

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Pen named Bic. Bic had a long, lick lid and her ink was always a nice pink stream. She even had a comfort grip on her neck. She was lovely. The whole kingdom of drawer loved Bic. The young gentlemen Pens were always trying to take her out for a twirl around the paper, but Bic wasn't impressed by any of them. She didn't like that strong blue-inked type. They were too set their ways – never admitting their mistakes, never trying to erase the problem, but moving on or crossing them out instead. Bic was sure she would never fall in love.
One day a new guy came to the kingdom of drawer. Someone unlike anyone the pens had ever seen. He was taller he was orange, he didn't have a lid, instead he wore a pink piece of rubber on his head, and he was ergonomically correct. His name was HB the second. Bic was entranced. Never before had she seen someone so handsome! She approached him and timidly asked him what the pink thing on his head was used for. When he tenderly explained that it was for the erasing of his mistakes she was in love. The two of them went for twirls around the paper and eventually they were inseparable!
And they lived happily ever after!

Who doesn't love a good talking pencil story??

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Update on the "Please Read" Post

Please read this article from the church Newsroom. I admit that maybe I shouldn't have encouraged such hasty action, but I was angry.......and I already sent my letter off.......
Your read it and decide what your course of action should be - I personally do not regret writing them and telling them how offended I am, but that is probably because I need to learn patience and kindness.
Just read it and let me know how you feel:

The Publicity Dilemma

SALT LAKE CITY 9 March 2009 Like other large faith groups, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes finds itself on the receiving end of attention from Hollywood or Broadway, television series or books, and the news media. Sometimes depictions of the Church and its people are quite accurate. Sometimes the images are false or play to stereotypes. Occasionally, they are in appallingly bad taste.

As Catholics, Jews and Muslims have known for centuries, such attention is inevitable once an institution or faith group reaches a size or prominence sufficient to attract notice. Yet Latter-day Saints – sometimes known as Mormons - still wonder whether and how they should respond when news or entertainment media insensitively trivialize or misrepresent sacred beliefs or practices.

Church members are about to face that question again. Before the first season of the HBO series Big Love aired more than two years ago, the show’s creators and HBO executives assured the Church that the series wouldn’t be about Mormons. However, Internet references to Big Love indicate that more and more Mormon themes are now being woven into the show and that the characters are often unsympathetic figures who come across as narrow and self-righteous. And according to TV Guide, it now seems the show’s writers are to depict what they understand to be sacred temple ceremonies.

Certainly Church members are offended when their most sacred practices are misrepresented or presented without context or understanding. Last week some Church members began e-mail chains calling for cancellations of subscriptions to AOL, which, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner. Certainly such a boycott by hundreds of thousands of computer-savvy Latter-day Saints could have an economic impact on the company. Individual Latter-day Saints have the right to take such actions if they choose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution does not call for boycotts. Such a step would simply generate the kind of controversy that the media loves and in the end would increase audiences for the series. As Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Robert D. Hales of the Council of the Twelve Apostles have both said recently, when expressing themselves in the public arena, Latter-day Saints should conduct themselves with dignity and thoughtfulness.

Not only is this the model that Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated in his own life, but it also reflects the reality of the strength and maturity of Church members today. As someone recently said, “This isn’t 1830, and there aren’t just six of us anymore.” In other words, with a global membership of thirteen and a half million there is no need to feel defensive when the Church is moving forward so rapidly. The Church’s strength is in its faithful members in 170-plus countries, and there is no evidence that extreme misrepresentations in the media that appeal only to a narrow audience have any long-term negative effect on the Church.


* During the Mitt Romney election campaign for the presidency of the United States, commentator Lawrence O’Donnell hurled abuse at the Church in a television moment that became known among many Church members as “the O’Donnell rant.” Today, his statements are remembered only as a testament to intolerance and ignorance. They had no effect on the Church that can be measured.
* When the comedy writers for South Park produced a gross portrayal of Church history, individual Church members no doubt felt uncomfortable. But once again it inflicted no perceptible or lasting damage to a church that is growing by at least a quarter of a million new members every year.
* When an independent film company produced a grossly distorted version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre two years ago, the Church ignored it. Perhaps partly as a result of that refusal to engender the controversy that the producers hoped for, the movie flopped at the box office and lost millions.
* In recent months, some gay activists have barraged the media with accusations about “hateful” attitudes of Latter-day Saints in supporting Proposition 8 in California, which maintained the traditional definition of marriage. They even organized a protest march around the Salt Lake Temple. Again, the Church has refused to be goaded into a Mormons versus gays battle and has simply stated its position in tones that are reasonable and respectful. Meanwhile, missionary work and Church members in California remain as robust and vibrant as ever, and support for the Church has come from many unexpected quarters — including some former critics and other churches.

Now comes another series of Big Love, and despite earlier assurances from HBO it once again blurs the distinctions between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the show’s fictional non-Mormon characters and their practices. Such things say much more about the insensitivities of writers, producers and TV executives than they say about Latter-day Saints.

If the Church allowed critics and opponents to choose the ground on which its battles are fought, it would risk being distracted from the focus and mission it has pursued successfully for nearly 180 years. Instead, the Church itself will determine its own course as it continues to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Please Read This!!!

I wanted you all to know about this so you can complain and hopefully we can prevent this from happening.
HBO is planning to air sacred temple ceremonies on a show called "Big Love" this next season. Tom Hanks is the producer of this show and has said some pretty horrible things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
They have spoken with people who have left the church have created a set that depicts special rooms in the temple as well as the ceremonies performed there.
There was an article in TV guide with a very disturbing image proving that this is real.

So what can we do??
Well, we need to peacefully complain to HBO as well as the FCC and explain to them how offensive and disrespectful this is.
The address to complain to HBO is:

Time Warner Inc.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY

Phone Number: 212-484-8000

The address to complain to the FCC is:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Complaints
445 12th Street, SW
Washington D.C.

Our letters should RESPECTFULLY explain how wrong this is and also suggest that if HBO does in fact show this, we will no longer support HBO or its products (DVD's, Books, CD's) and we will encourage our friends and associates to do likewise.
I can't believe that this is actually being shown in such a public venue - it really makes me sick! I hope that we can all rally together and stop this from happening.
Please tell everyone you know - member and non-members alike.
I was telling one of my co-workers about it (she is not a member of the church) and she was very offended because she is deeply religious and understands the importance of sacred things.
I know that we can make a difference if we take action.
Please write!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

BIG Thank You!!

I just wanted to say a quick Thank You to all of you  who have posted and helped me out with making my blog prettier! 
With techy stuff like this I really need dummied down instructions and you all helped me find some great stuff with perfect instructions!!
Thank you again!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yup, I'm a Cheer Coach - Go Stallions!

So the girls came to me and asked if I would please be their cheer coach. I had told my co-worker that I had cheered in Junior High and she passed the information on to them.
We started a couple of weeks ago, so they are still pretty new, but they are a great group of girls!
They already know four cheers really well and they are working on stuff like splits and jumps.

They were pretty bummed out that they didn't have uniforms for their pictures, but I had to explain that these things take time.
We actually have uniforms from a few years ago when they had cheerleaders, but the athletic director hasn't had the time to pull them out of storage.
I think they look super cute even without uniforms!
This year we will be cheering at assemblies and stuff like that, but no games till next year - which I am a little bit glad about - it gives us time to practice.

They are so cute!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Haircuts, Hamburgers, and Other Stuff

Jon finally got brave enough to let me cut his hair! We have been married for a year and a half and Lon and Michael and Dad Saline and Mom Saline and my mom have all cut Jon's hair (and who knows who else!) and he never would trust me.
Finally he got a little desperate. He didn't want to spend money on getting it cut, but he had an interview, so he really needed it!
Ok, so I had never cut anyone's hair before, so I guess he had a reason to be nervous - but how hard can it be right?
I have a confession - I was totally nervous too!! Luckily my dear friend Lacie Crandell came over and helped me - step by step. I could not have done it without her because I had no idea what I was doing!! But I think it turned out pretty good.....not to shabby for a first timer huh?

In other news - my family came down this weekend and they took us out shopping and out to Fudruckers for some fantastic hamburgers!! 
Laney and Tanner spent $3 trying to get this little teddy bear for Laney's boy.
Still working......
It was a cute bear, but there was no luck - so Daniel, if you are reading this, know that Laney spent $3 trying to get you a little bear that looks like this (look down)
Here is a pretty pic of Mommy and Daddy waiting for lunch!
And here is a dreadful picture of me and my perfectly handsome 100% of the time Honey Pie.

In other news, my sister-in-law just found out that she is having a boy!!! We are all so excited for her and Brenden! They are going to make incredible parents! 
We are all so excited to be Aunts and Uncles (again!)

Now for a side note - 
Guys, I really want a cute little background like a whole bunch of you talented bloggers have - and I want all of those cute little side things that show people your favorite books and countdowns to important events and all of these things that make me smile so much when I read your blogs.....if you have any tips - please, please help me out!!!!
Thanks guys!