Friday, October 9, 2009

Patriotism, Birthday Fun and Random Acts of Kindness

To start I have some making up to do - so we are going to go clear back to September 11th. The Tempe Town Lake Park displayed 3,000 American flags in honor of those who died on that historic day.
Jon and I went and I was in awe of how beautiful it was.
Jon was especially touched - he is truly one of the most patriotic people I know.

Jon took these pictures at sunset - aren't they stunning? (Yup, he takes great pictures too!)
I was so moved by this experience. As we walked up and down the rows of flags, I couldn't help but think about our amazing country and how blessed we are to have the freedoms and liberties that we have. I was so proud of the members of my family who have fought and served this country in the armed forces in various wars all over the world. I was and am so proud to call myself an American!

In more recent news, last weekend was my 22nd Birthday. I took the day off, so the day before my Birthday (Thursday) my office really spoiled me. My friend decorated my desk with streamers and balloons and big Happy Birthday banners! My boss got me flowers, and all of the kids sang to me and wished me a Happy Birthday. It was so sweet!
Then the day came!
All day long I received the sweetest phone calls and text messages from friends and family wishing me a Happy Birthday! Thank you to all of you who remembered me and were thinking about me - you have no idea how much it means to me!!
Jon decided that we should go on a small road trip (and I was so excited!)
So off we headed toward beautiful Sedona (I had never been there and Jon had told me about how beautiful it was, so I was totally excited!!!!!!)
On our way we ran into Montezuma's Castle, and couldn't help but take a look!

Here's Jon sitting on the bench and taking a breather (we had been walking for a whole 15 feet when we came across this bench - hee hee hee)
And here it is, the infamous Montezuma's Castle!! Here is an interesting tid-bit of information - nobody named Montezuma ever lived in, or even near this place.....hmmmmmm........
Here is Jon going Native and grinding our dinner....thanks honey!
He really wanted to climb the mountain up the the castle and search inside the caves, but these very serious looking signs stopped him (couldn't they at least say please?)
Finally we arrived in Sedona and it is so beautiful!!! It looks like a painting!
We were driving around, after having gone to an amazing art gallery, and we saw can you not stop at a place called "Ye Olde Alien Store"? Turns out there have been some UFO sightings in Sedona.....probably by the fortune tellers they have in abundance around there.
I just loved this sweet little kissing toad....
This was in that sweet little place called Tlaquepaque (yup, I had to look up how to spell that). I loved it in there, it looked like a little Italian village - or what I imagine a little Italian village would look like, since I haven't actually seen one....
Every where you looked there was something to see - it's as though the entire little place were an art gallery!
Jon and I had an amazing day in Sedona!!! Thank you Honey for taking me there!!!!!!

The next morning (Saturday) we got up bright and early (like 4:30am) to head up to Snowflake where my dad greeted us with an amazing biscuits and gravy Birthday breakfast!!! Yum!!!!
Then we watched some Conference until Grams and Gramps came over for the big Birthday dinner!! I chose rice-a-roni (the chicken flavor), steak, Grams' bean dip, and salad. For dessert - brownies and vanilla ice cream with Reese's hardening syrup on top! Oh my goodness it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yummy!!! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water all over again!
It was so fun to hang out with the family all weekend and it was so fun to share my Birthday dinner with Grams who's birthday is only a week after mine.
That night, as the boys headed off to the Priesthood session of Conference, mom and I decided to go the the dollar store and look for something fun to do. What did we find? Nail polish and coloring books!!!
When the boys got home, mom and I were sitting at the table, coloring princesses and fairies and just chit-chatting. It was sooooo fun!!!
Ok - here is a brief preview of some of the cool gifts I received (and yes, I know that I am totally spoiled!):
This is the cutest piggy bank!! As you can see, "his plasma screen" piggy bank is much smaller than "her diamond ring" - but it's ok because his piggy bank has a hole in the bottom so all of the money goes straight into her account! I think this is so cute and so hilarious!! Thanks Mom!!!
Mom also did something very amazing - she sewed!! Now, those of you who know my mom, know that she is amazingly talented. She can paint and put together the cutest crafts - but if you can't stick it together with nails or hot glue - she isn't interested. But, she bit the bullet and used a sewing machine to make me this cute little scripture case!! Isn't it awesome!! She made it out of a placemat and ribbon - brilliance!! I might add that her stitches are straight and everything! I am so impressed!!!!!!!
Here are some of the cards I got from (going from left to right) Nikki and Brenden, Granny and Papa and Grams and Gramps - they all had some dinero in them too which has been spent wisely (on some really great clothes and accessories - it was sooooo fun!!) Thank you all!!!
These next two pictures are gifts that mean a lot to me. These are some things my dad bought when he was on his mission in South Africa. I have always loved studying South Africa and hearing his stories and seeing his pictures, but my favorite thing was always looking at his amazing statues and things. I love having a piece of that place and of my dad's life in my hands! It is so incredible to have these beautiful things in my house!!! I love my daddy so much and am so proud of him!!
Thank you so much daddy for trusting me with these - I love them so much!
This shirt is from my little (bigger than me) brother Tanner who plays football for Snowflake - that's right everyone, my little brother is a Lobo and I'm afraid I am going to have to support the Blue and White. I know it makes me a traitor to my Show Low Cougars, but I am very seriously outnumbered (Jon is a Lobo, my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, now Tanner) and with Laney in Florida I can't hold the Green and Gold banner by myself. So I have given in and I will wear this shirt with pride!
How can I not be proud - my "younger" brother is an awesome football player for the Snowflake Lobos and I am so proud of him.
Besides, it's a really sweet shirt!!
But don't tell lots of people about this treachery ok?? Hee hee hee

Needless to say, it was a pretty darn awesome 22nd Birthday!!! Thank you to everyone who made it that way!!!

* * *

This week has been an interesting one at work - the week before breaks always are (this coming week is fall break - yay!!). The kids are restless, the teachers are ready for a break, and emotions are wearing is hard on everyone.
Being in the front office, I spend most of my time around the kids who get "sent to the Principal's office" so it's no wonder why I can get a little discouraged when it comes to the choices kids make. But every so often I am surprised by how selfless and kind kids can be. There are two particular instances this week.
1) A senior girl and a freshman girl were putting up some student artwork around the office. Naturally the freshman girl was a little shy around this confident upperclassman. When the senior girl asked for her opinion on how the artwork should be displayed, the freshman girl quietly said that she didn't know. The senior girl kindly suggested some things and they went to work. The freshman girl hung a few of the papers on the wall, and when she was finished, the senior girl praised her as though she had just painted the Mona Lisa. She told her that they were in the perfect place, that she was so smart to think of arranging them like that, and that she should go into interior design because she had such a natural eye for things like that. The freshman girl's face lit up and I could just see her confidence level growing! I was so touched by the sincerity of senior girl - she will never know what an impact she made on freshman girl's life!
2) A young man came into the office asking if we knew which class another young man was in. When we questioned YM #1's motives (was he planning on disrupting the class because of some huge argument they were having over a girl?....things like that have to be stopped before they start and that is our job) he explained that he wanted to meet him outside of his class to give him a Bible.
Apparently YM #1 was talking about a church activity he had attended (he is not a member, but is very strong in his religious convictions) and YM #2 was interested. YM#1 invited him to a youth activity, and while they were there he noticed that YM #2 did not have a Bible. He questioned him and his suspicions were confirmed - YM#2 did not own a Bible.
So YM #1 promptly went out and purchased a beautiful little Bible. He made certain that it was the type that printed the words of Christ in red so YM#2 would be able to recognize those verses, and to top it all off, he paid the extra few dollars to have YM#2's name engraved on the front.
When we called YM#2 to the office and he was presented with his gift, he practically had tears i his eyes...and so did I.

Just when I lose hope in today's youth - they surprise me and I regain hope! There are some really awesome kids out there and I know they will make this world an amazing place!!


Laurie said...

Awh, Malori... It's so good to hear from you, and to see what you and Jon have been up to. This was a beautiful post - from the pictures of the flags on 9-11 to the stories about the sweet kids at your school, I am inspired to be better and do better.

It looks like you had SUCH a fun time on your Sedona trip, and I'm glad you had such a wonderful birthday.

Oh my goodness, I'll miss you at church today (you and your super cute little scripture bag), but it's good to be able to check in and see that you're still the same sweet and happy girl that you always have been. Keep those posts coming! :-)

beau.shaunalee said...

I loved the pictures from 9-11!! You're right, there is nothing he can't do. They are very inspiring.

AND haPPy, haPPy, haPPy birthday!!!! HOW DID I MISS YOUR BIRTHDAY? i'm so ashamed! I am very jealous that you went to Sedona and especially Tlaquepaque...on my best friends 16th birthday her parents took me and her to Sedona for the weekend. It was so much fun walking through all the galleries!

It looks like you had a wonderful conference weekend!...and you are right. I really think that there are great great great youth out there!!! They just like to camouflage!

Kay and Krystal said... much fun for your birthday! Happy late birthday!! Sounds like it was a really nice one! And I love all the pictures..especially of the memorial stuff! So sweet. I hope your doing well!

Rob and Kimmie said...

I agree with Laurie! Keep those posts coming!!! Beautiful flag pics, and HAPPY late BIRTHDAY! Great stories too! I can totally picture you being like the senior girl saying sweet things to make everyone feel good!