Monday, April 30, 2007
David, I enjoyed reading your report of the Roger Williams concert. Wish I had been there. One tidbit you missed--or didn't know.... During his ISU (ISC) years, Roger Williams studied with Evelyn McLoed, my piano teacher. Mrs. McLoed was an excellent teacher, and probably could/should have made her teaching career in a metropolitan area. But, her husband worked in Pocatello (railroad, I think) so a fortunate few of us got the benefit of her expertise.
The story dates further back than that... Before any of us were, Daddy sang with a musical group that did concerts around the area and Evelyn McLoed accompanied the group. Daddy's limp originates from an incident involving Evelyn McLoed. The group was staying overnight in Blackfoot after doing a concert there--in a hotel I think. Anyway, there was a second story balcony. Daddy was kidding around with Evelyn, picked her up and feigned dropping her over the balcony railing. She kicked, etc., and they both went over--Daddy on the bottom. She came away uninjured, but Daddy's leg was busted badly and I think he had a broken nose. He spent the next 18 months recuperating. Since he had to stay off the leg, he went back to Oxford where he would have caretakers. That happened to be the time when Mother was teaching there, and that's how they met.
Did you have any idea that you were experiencing so much history while your listened to Roger Williams play?!!!
We should all hope we can do so well at 83. I think there is something to be said for mental alertness and music. It is believed that music (and math) play a big role in developing the brain synapse. Language is good, too. No wonder we are all so bright--we all talk a lot.
Love, Verna Lee
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Mom and I just got home from a Roger Williams concert at the concert hall at the new ISU performing arts center. We took Grandma and Grandpa for Grandpa's birthday. He was in heaven. Not literally -- not yet. Apparently Roger Williams (then Louis Werts) was a student at ISU back in the 40's. He had been a child prodigy musician up to that point, but joined the navy during WWII. The navy sent him to ISU to study engineering. He then went out into active duty for a few years but returned to ISU to finish his engineering degree. He apparently has fond memories of Pocatello, so was pleased to return here again to do the concert, especially now that we have such a good concert facility. I remember Verna Lee talking about him when I was a kid. While he lived here, he studied piano with Verna Lee's teacher, Mrs. McCloid.
Going into the concert, I wasn't expecting much from what I thought was probably an old has-been. But, it was actually very good. He played most of his hits (he had 26 on the charts over the years, including a number of movie scores -- or maybe it was twelve?) plus some of the songs I used to hear Verna Lee and you play, e.g. Flight of the Bumble Bee, Clare de Lune (sp), Maleguenia, etc. He had a back-up orchestra with him, and he even brought his own Stienway signature concert grand piano. Steinway now makes a Roger Williams signature piano, and I'm sure they pay him to promote it, because he certainly did so at this concert.
He is now 83 years old, but still plays like a champ and is very sharp mentally. I guess the intricacies of music are good for the ole' brain. Sort of like statistics. He was sort of limping around up there on the stage (bad knees), but his hands and his brain were intact. He bantered a little with the audience. Used a lot of age humor. Told stories about doing special concerts for all the presidents since Truman. One of the band members asked him to tell about the concert he did for George. and he said, "Oh, the Bushes, which one, Senior or Junior? So the Band member said, "No, not them, George Washington." He also said that he started playing the piano at 3 years old, and back then, the critics would say he had an amazing talent for his age. Then he followed with, "They're starting to say that again." I guess you're never too old. Apparently he still practices 4 hours per day and does concert tours. They say he knows something like 10,000 songs. I'm sure that by now the keyboard is just an extension of his hands and brain, and all he needs is the tune in his head and he can play it in tight harmony. Grandma Croshaw was like that. For the second half of the concert, he took requests for any song from the crowd, and with the orchestra backing him up, played them all, including... "Great Balls of Fire". That's when I really became impressed -- when he even knew rock songs. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in that bit of music memorabilia. Maybe I will also post this on the blog also, just in case the rest of the fam might find it interesting.
Love you all,
Friday, April 27, 2007
Well, we experienced our first tornado warning on Wednesday. We were having these really scary thunder storms, it seriously sounded like the lightning was hitting the house, and I heard a siren going off. Our satellite wasn't working because of the storm, so I didn't really know what was going on. Ray called about that time and said that the radio news was reporting a possible tornado just south of us by the airport. It dawned on me that the sirens were tornado warnings (duh!). So I got the kids and we got in the closet under our stairs and waited out the sirens, only for about 10 minutes. Grace kept asking, "mom, why are we sitting in the closet?" It was a good time to try and teach her about tornado safety. I honestly never thought I would be doing that! Anyway, we were all fine and it was kindof exciting! We can't wait to see everyone next week!
Monday, April 23, 2007
For the rest of the day, we walked around with butterflies painted on our faces. We stayed in town for awhile to enjoy the beautiful weather that has FINALLY hit - good news for the wedding party. (We were supposed to go home right after the walk to do spring cleaning, so I guess we were sort of playing hookey from ourselves. I like being an adult!) The butterfly mask was empowering - it erased all our inhibitions. It's like we knew people were going to stare at us anyway, so we may as well give them something to stare at. We were doing dances on the sidewalks, jumping on all the benches we passed, and learning Tai Chi on the Mall. Passing tourists were stopping to take pictures! We also stopped by the Hirshhorn (Smithsonian modern art museum) and pretended to be part of an art exhibit. It was amazing how many people stopped to talk to us in this town that is usually so anonymous. Everyone should try painting their faces and walking around town, at least once. Pretend it's normal. The results will astound you.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
P.S. And Happy Birthday to Grace!!
This tragedy strikes me as a graduate. I formed much of who I am today in the Cadet Corps. The motto, UT PROSIM, That I Might Serve, has guided me too. When I was a freshman, there were riots on campus over the invasion of Cambodia, and buildings were burned down by radicals. State Police had to come on campus to restore order. I remember then how so many felt that this was an invasion of our world of academic growth and freedom. It interfered with our preparation for the future. But other felt that a campus as a developer of the future leaders and citizens couldn't be isolated from the world and society.
On Monday that reality intruded in a most horrific way. I was reminded of how this is an almost daily experience for people in many countries, especially Iraq. The school tragedy in Beslan, Russia a couple years ago was a sharp reminder that evil can intrude anywhere.
We have been so blessed as a nation to be spared this. In fact, it is the exceptional nature of this event that adds to its horror. But while this shows the dramatic terrible impact a single person can have, let us not forget that a single person can have dramatic effect for good. I was deeply moved by the professor, a Holocaust survivor, who willingly placed his life in jepoardy to save his students. John Stuart Mills said that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Despite the tragedy, many good people did things in face of great danger.
And let us not forget the poor young man who wrought this tragedy. One can only wonder what all brought him to this state and what might have turned him aside, if anything. He appears to have been deeply troubled. Some tried to help; but ultimately the system was limited. I found it greatly sad that they said that in a year at school he had no visitors, not even family. He was alone in life; which probably led to him taking others with him in death. It seems a very common element in tragedies such as this that the perpetrators all seem to have felt alone, isolated, abused, and picked on by fellow students.
My prayers go out to the families of both dead and injured and to the families and friends who were threatened by the unknown concerning their love ones. May each of you find peace as well as thanksgiving for the precious life we have.
Finally among all that activity, someone (I don't remember who)made yet another desparation search into the far corners of the basement, looking once again in Matt's room, turning it upside down. He hadn't been there before, but we I guess we were hoping he would've dropped in for a visit in the meantime. He wasn't in the closet, he wasn't under the bed, but pulling away the bedspread, the searcher saw a curious lump in the mattress. Yes, it was Matt. He had crawled up under the fitted sheet and fallen asleep. He was having a great nap, oblivious to the pandemonium around him. We were embarassed, but greatly relieved that he had been safe all along.
Hang on to those little ones. They're slippery.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I don't know if you heard about the professor who survived the Haulocaust that was killed trying to hold the classroom door closed to protect all his students inside. That's a pretty amazing story. Our Stake President was one floor above all the shooting in his office. Here's a link to an NPR interview he did: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9605702
Click on the listen icon.
One last thing. I mentioned that Elder Bednar is coming to our Stake Conference this weekend. Apparently is is very uncommon for an Apostle to visit a stake for anything other than to reorganize it. Pretty amazing how that worked out.
See you soon,
I have discovered that life is not a series of heroic acts. Life at its best is a matter of consistent goodness and decency, doing without fanfare that which needed to be done when it needed to be done. I have observed that it is not the geniuses that make the difference in this world. I have observed that the work of the world is done largely by men and women of ordinary talent who have worked in an extraordinary manner.
President Gordon B. Hinckley from One Bright Shining Hope
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
You may have seen the convocation they had this afternoon. President Bush was here. Luckily no one in our ward or the student ward was hurt. Our stake president has his office in Norris Hall. A friend of mine was supposed to teach a class today in one of the classrooms where everyone was shot. A guy I home teach got to campus on the last bus in and as he was walking to his lab he heard a gunshot and a minute later a bunch of cops with bullet-proof vests and automatic rifles ran by. He decided to turn around and walk home after he heard the next gunshot. It's really hard to believe it actually happened. By the way, I was 20 miles away and Lori was at home when it happened. It is really one of the worst things I have ever been this close to.
This whole thing is pretty revealing of human nature. The media's first thought was who they could blame. The state police released a statement this morning and said the VT police handled it exactly per protocol and they would take no questions about it. It reminds me of the Jessica Smart murder in Pocatello in the 90s. It hasn't been the same since then. This is a small town that will never return completely to the way it was. I heard from the missionaries tonight that President Hinkley has been communicating with the area authority here and he was going to officiate a prayer circle tonight for everyone involved in this. We have Stake Conference and Elder Bednar will be here. Interesting how that worked out.
Anyway, that's what's going on here. Oh no.....I just realized I'm turning into Dad. This is a long one, sorry. See you all soon.
We had a birthday party for Grace last Saturday. Mom, Dana, Leslie and Alex all helped. It was really fun. The kids went on a Dora adventure, culminating with a pinata. Alex brought the pinata, a Dora pinata. It was about the same height as Grace!
My favorite part of the party was when the kids were hiting the HUGE pinata. It was so funny. There was a little girl named Isabella who was sort of swatting the pinata and Grace, from the side lines, was yelling, "Use both hands, Bella! Break her legs Bella!" It was hilarious. It was a really fun party. I can't believe Grace is 4. It has just flown by! Maggie is doing really good, she is so sweet. We can't wait to see everyong in DC in a couple of weeks!
Monday, April 16, 2007
i am really tired right now. dana and i went to the zoo with grace, elliot, colby and eva. doesn't sound too bad, right. wrong. not bad, but exhausting, followed by a trip to chick-fil-a for lunch. they have a little playground, but it again amazed me that i did all this with even more children. went to zoos, parks, mcdonald's etc. with my little brood. it was a wonderful time, and i had a lot more energy to spare. we have had a wonderful time, seeing the adorable little vanderlouw's and especially the newest, little maggie rae. i don't know who she reminds me of. as you know, les, dad and alex popped in and out. les and alex came to get engaged in the romantic environs of owasso, and dad to see maggie and do a little plumbing. anyone wanting to come visit, the airport is only 15 minutes away. they are close to kansas, arkansas, texas and missouri. anyone interested in branson, mo, it is also close. dad is home now. i entered a little experience, and don't know where it went, but here goes again.
last week had an interesting experience. i was thinking aout a talk by sister parkin, in which she told a story about some missionaries who prayed that they would be the answer to someone's prayer. i was thinking the same thing, and said a little prayer that i would be the answer to someone's prayer. i was getting on the freeway at the time--clark street entrance-- so it was a very informal prayer. i drove right to the bank, to make a deposit. as i drove up, i saw something in the tube. as i pulled it out, a saw a little money envelope with a $100 bill in it. the thought immediately came to my mind, "someone is praying right now that that this money will not be stolen". pretty neat, huh? i wll just remind all of you again that He does indeed answer our prayers.
FYI--Crystal is having some trouble getting her wedding dress. Please send your prayers heavenward that she can get the dress of her dreams in time for the wedding. xoxoxo i love you all....mom
Now let me catch you up on my crazy birth-week.
We threw a birthday luau party for me and a fellow April 7th-er...
I took a day off from work to play with a visiting friend - we went to the National Zoo and to Borders for a little pre-concert show of a band I love, The Feeling. We went to their concert that night and caught a drumstick they threw out into the crowd - then we had them all sign it.
We also went to a Barnum & Bailey's Circus that was in town...
This weekend was the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. A group of people from my ward volunteered to be ushers for the masses of toursits. Look at the awesome t-shirts we got out of it!
(Yes, that's the White House behind us)
And finally, also this weekend we went paintballing with another group from the ward. I don't have any action shots (waiting on those from a friend) but here you can see the fruits of our labors.
Our fingers are purple because we were tie-dyeing t-shirts that night for a Lupus Walk we're doing next weekend...
Sometimes it's fun to be the last one standing. :o)
Friday, April 13, 2007
Here is a picture I took of Maggie. She is so sweet!
Dad, I added the favorite quotes again, so when you want to add a quote you just click on the little hammer/screwdriver at the bottom left of the quotes section, then it will pull up the text box, go to the bottom and add yours in. Easy cheesey!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Good idea, Dana! Besides you all, of course, I'm posting some pics of the people I'm closest to and spend most of my time with these days. The first pic is of me and Alex in Hawaii in February. (The excuse was that I had a friend getting married there.).
The second is of me and my work family from about 20 different countries. I was with all of them during my last trip to Hong Kong in March.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
I keep hearing and sensing that even though you are all grown up and gone from my daily influence, I am still your father/father-in-law, and I have a responsibility to continue teaching and advising you. The difference now is that you don't have to accept it if you don't want to. Maybe that's not so different than it used to be.... but anyway, I have decided that when I am particularly impressed with something, I need to share it with all of you. In the past I've sent emails, but now I'll just put it on the blog. That is most likely to happen on Sundays, or if I'm too busy resting on Sunday, then it will, as with this post, come sometime during the week. If you don't see a post, then I guess I haven't been impressed, or I'm resting. I've been getting better at that since you all left home. Interesting how that works. Of course, those of you with kids can only hope for such rest. Been there, done that, and what a blessing it was.
Lately for me, Sunday meetings have been a dependable source for spiritual impressions. I don't know how it works for you, but I've learned that in my case, when I'm in tune, the Spirit teaches me when I'm reading, meditating, or listening to talks in church. Sometimes the speaker or the writer will apply one word, phrase, or concept that will suddenly initiate a flurry of thoughts that will propogate in a split second through my mind into a multitude of aspects of that or some related topic, usually things I had not previously understood. I would have a difficult time putting it all into words, but if I could, it would require many pages, maybe volumes.
Lately, Tuesday evenings at the temple (you know what they say about Holy places) have also been good that way when I have time to meditate or read, which is not often enough. They keep us pretty busy there, but our new calling as temple workers has served as a catalyst for Mom and I to prayerfully contemplate the depth of meaning in the temple ordinances. Maybe being officially set apart as a temple workers has allowed us to focus on it, or allowed us a little more access to The Spirit? I'm not sure, but I do know that I for one see that process much differently than I did just a couple of months ago.
I'm a little ashamed to admit that for many years I have been a mediocre-or-worse temple patron. I have always known the Church is true, and understood, and believed that the temple allows personal blessings through covenants with the Lord and provides eternal family bonds. But beyond that, tending to be a literal person, I'm afraid I had taken the endowment presenetation too literally. Through recurrent visits, I have picked up some tidbits of symbolic nuance, but being a little lazy about the process, I have been reluctant to study or think deeply about it, and it tended to stagnate. Unfortunately, the result was that I came to see the presentation as just another old movie that I had seen before. Beyond my first few visits, when I did find it interesting, it tended to become mudane and monotonous for me. Yet having a strong sense of duty, I have followed my leaders over the years, and attended the temple regularly. Sadly though I'm not sure I allowed myself to understand it well enough to develop a dynamic or functioning testimony of it. I would dutifully go and serve proxy for some dead person, and find some degree of satisfaction in that, but otherwise I would not personally get much out of it. I seldom looked forward to going, often seeing it as another intrusive demand on my busy life. The 4-5 hours necessary to drive round-trip and attend an endowment session was a difficult sacrifice for me. Once there, I would often catch myself sleeping through the sessions, and come home spiritually void.
This is really not what I started out to blog about here. I was going to tell you about some impressions I had about the Kirtland, Ohio temple, not far from Colin and Lori's new home, but I'll save that for another blog. Maybe you'll get two this week. You're all thinking, "Oh great!"
Anyway, if any of the emotions I described above sound familiar, you may be in the same rut I was in. It doesn't make us bad people - we have done a lot of good, serving others, providing them saving ordinances as we should, but we have not been serving ourselves. I guess what I want to share with you is my new impression that the temple ordinaces are so replete with profound symbolism that we could spend our whole lives contemplating it and still not know it all. Yet they are also so relative to our eternal purpose and existence that we must try.
Consider that when the Lord walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He taught them these ordinances. To affect mortality and bring mankind into the world, they obeyed that commandment by necessarily breaking another. After being cast out, what they had been taught in the garden became the focus and the center of their earthly religion, and that became the source of temple work on the earth. Father Adam, participant in the creation and first prophet and leader of all dispensations along with Mother Eve, the Mother of all Living, knew their vital but difficult role. They anticipated all pending dispensations, including our day and they loved each of us just as they did their more immediate offspring. They effectively taught those offspring so that the priesthood keys and the rites of the priesthood, i.e. the temple ordinances, would be passed down through the generations. It was all then lost and disipated during the dark ages, bits and peices of the ordinances carrying down with various emerging religions, some of them not Christian, but none of them having a fulness of the ordinances, nor priesthood authority. As we know, the fullness was ultimately restored under proper authority to the Prophet Joseph Smith (Kirtland - 1836 - D&C 110 - more later).
Take time to read the March Ensign article about symbolism in the temple. It will help you understand why numerous of our prophets have indicated that even they continue to learn more as they attend the temple. We should all do the same. But it requires some deep concentration and persistent attendance. Because of the layered symbolism, you really cannot take all the presentation literally. If you do, it will be a nice story, and just as with parables, it will end there and your learning will stagnate. There is so much depth and so much to learn that we have to attend often and listen intently to every word, waiting for the Spirit to teach us, building time after time on what has been revealed to us before. Really, this is a process that each individual, with support of their spouse or other family members, has to do for themselves.
Combining the above sources with a few others, Mom and I have discussed all this extensively, and I now feel that I am starting to sense an inkling of what is involved. Time perimtting, maybe we can share some of that with you when we are all in the temples together for pending weddings. I have found it so interesting, that daydreaming or sleeping through endowment sessions will not be a problem. It is now not a burden to attend the temple. It is tremendously fulfilling and worth any sacrifice I have to make to go. My time is well spent, not only serving those deceased individuals, but also developing my own knowlege of eternal things. I finally feel that I have started into a dynamic and functional testimony of temple work, but there will always be more to learn. I regret that it took me this long to reach this point. I only wish someone had had this discussion with me when I was younger. Maybe they did, but if so, I did not have ears to hear. I hope you will all take it to heart, keep yourselves in tune, and find your lives immensely more fulfilling as you serve the Lord in this way.
Sorry this was so long. I hope I didn't overload the blog.
I love you all and excitedly await our meeting in May for such a special occasion,
Delgadillo Family -- Easter 2007
(notice jason's heelys? he's just such a kid at heart.) ^^^
Good idea, Dana. I'm including two:
This is my favorite pic of me and my friends in DC. But since you can't really see anyone...
For all intents and purposes, these girls are my Arlington "family," and I can't wait for all of you to meet them when you get out here. The one on the left is Marcia and the one on the right is Princess.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
We found a nice house with some wonderful 70s touches. The pictures will give you a bit of an idea. It has just what we were looking for and then some more room. I am excited to have a basement for storage and a family room for all the toys! The hardwood floors are beautiful but everywhere! No carpet. I think I will miss that. We'll just have to get area rugs. How do you take care of hardwood floors anyway? The house is near an elementary school with early learning classes and also a pool nearby. We have heard the library system is wonderful.
We are moving the middle of May to get a little settled before our trip with David and Debby, that we are so anxiously waiting for, and before Colin starts his endless hours at the hospital the last few days of June. Please, consider coming to visit us. Before winter or well after. We are excited for all the fun things that Cleveland will offer. Finally, we will live near Costco.
The kids are great. Jack is such a boy, climbing and learning to walk. He's not really talking but jabbering. He eats non stop, loves his binki and his bottle even more. We were going to take his one year pictures last Monday but he tumbled down the stairs and had a large rug burn on his forehead and one under his left eye. Needless to say, we will reschedule.
Mia, where do I start? Lots of attitude, sassiness, sweetness and bossiness. Oh yes, and lots and lots of ignoring!!! What to do? I just haven't figured it out yet. She is taking ballet and loves it with a passion. I think I do too! I can't wait for the recital in May. She is really going to miss her friends but I haven't told her about that. One less thing I have to explain 10 times every day. She loves to help pack-up however.
We are so excited to see everyone in DC for the wedding! Congratulations to the VanderLouw's on the birth of Maggie and also to the Delgadillo's on their new job.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
Colin and Lori-tell us about your new move and how our two little ones are.
Matt and Crystal-we are thrilled about the approaching marriage and I am most anxious to meet my new great granddaughter.
Abby-happy birthday tomorrow! Can't wait to see you on the 4th.
Becky and Ray-Good job! When do I get a picture of her.
I love all of you and I can't believe that grandpa will be 80 next month. I'm not sure how I feel about being married to an 80 year old man tho.
You are my treasure and my life.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
More to come next week after the birthday and the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
Anyway, we have the luxury of living close to JT Nelson, possibly in the same ward. If you haven't spent time with him, it is well worth it. Like being around Michelle for those who don't know JT very well. We're moving up here in May, a couple weeks before graduation. Come out if you want to hit an Indians game or something.
Not every day you see someone who once ran for President of the United States.
Once upon a time, many years ago, we lived with Grandma and Grandpa Christensen while our house at 299 S. 20th was being built. I (Leslie) was about 14, which means that Dana was about 4 at the time.
Grandma and Grandpa had recently installed their hot tub, which we all loved and Dana more than anyone. (She'd dive in head-first any chance she got.) They'd also installed a sliding glass door that led to the deck and steps to the hot tub. I don't know if you remember, but when the glass door was open the screen somehow blended in with the backyard and we'd all get nose-burn running into the screen. One day while Grandma and Grandpa were out, a big tear mysteriously appeared in the screen.
They were obviously somewhat upset because the screen door was brand-new and said, "Who did this!?!". Little 4-year old Dana replied, "Not the Croshaws!".
You all really need to visit Grandma and Grandpa a little more! It's one of their favorite phrases and they always use it now whenever they need to place blame. It makes them laugh every time.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
He starts training June 4th, so we will be putting our house on the market shortly and getting ready to move. Training will last 6-9 months and then they can send us anywhere there is an opening. The headquarters for this company is in Virginia, so who knows.....maybe we'll end up there eventually.
It's really funny how it all worked out, I'm pretty sure it's meant to be and it is the reason nothing else has come along for us. He applied the last day they were accepting applications. Then, the recruter called him the last day of phone interviews, which happened to be the day after I had Lasik, so he happened to be home. He had the interview, and immediately the lady said it went well and they would like to fly him to Kansas City for in person interviews. In Kansas City there were 210 people interviewing. He interviewed with 3 pretty high up guys, and he says total he was asked about 3 interview questions. They seemed to really like him and 2 of them pretty much told him he had the job. He applied on a Boise State website, so most of the people there (from all over the country) were just getting ready to graduate and hardly had any experience. So, he stood out and they obviously wanted him. Yesterday he got the call, and we couldn't be more excited! It's just a reassurance to me that even though things don't always work out, Heavenly Father realizes what is going on, MUCH better than we do. I'm so thankful for this opportunity and SO happy for Jason! Love you all.
ps My friend Tina took these pictures today of the kids. :)
This is where we are going to write about our children, about nieces and nephews, about ourselves and our cool lives and amazing family.
And...don't forget the photos...lots of photos!