Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Thinking – Lots of Little Things

This is what greets me every time I go visiting teaching!  The minute I knock, her little feet run for the door.  She is always so excited.  Somebody should sign her up to be a church greeter.  She makes you feel so glad you’re there.

I recently finished two books worth mentioning: 

Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln is a book on public speaking.  James C. Humes, the author, was a speech writer for five presidents and has excellent insights on delivering a better speech (or “talk” in LDS lingo).  In short, I’m going to try to master the pause, as well as the eye-hand coordination required if I'm going to read a talk.

Decision Points, George W. Bush was very interesting.  Mr. Bush is a reader and an astute student of history.  I learned from his insights.  I also appreciated hearing his perspective on decisions he made.  For years I’ve heard an editorialized version of what the pundits and critics thought he was thinking; now I could read what he actually was thinking.  I admire and appreciate Mr. Bush.

I thoroughly enjoyed both books, they made me think and I learned a great deal.

I’ve determined my word for 2011.  Prepare.  

My sister, Marcia, gave everyone a cd of The Grasshopper and the Ants as part of a Christmas gift.  We grew up listening to the grasshopper saucily sing, “Oh, the world owes me a livin’ . . .” and make fun of the ants as he frittered away his days.  Just as memorable was the grasshopper starving and shivering in the cold wind while the ants were safe and warm.  Over and over the record played.  Even the scratches were memorized. 

I suppose that was what first got me thinking about adopting the word Prepare.  It's a good, safe, sturdy word -- one that I often catch only to have it slip away again.  Goodness knows Calvin and I have much to temporally and spiritually prepare for this year:  Abe will be home in a few months and we need to prepare for Grace to leave us, then Ande’s wedding, followed by Ty’s graduation, then Ty’s wedding, and Ande’s graduation.  And then of course there are the surprises ahead, too . . . as well as life.  I want to be prepared to meet the spiritual and temporal opportunities and challenges ahead, because if I don't . . . “By failing to prepare, (I) prepare to fail.”  So said Ben Franklin.

I'm thinking this word will keep me busy all year.  “The past is behind, learn from it.  The future is ahead, prepare for it.  The present is here, live it.”  Thomas S. Monson said that.

And finally, I thought I'd share these pictures of Abe's platoon playing ultimate football on Christmas Day.  At first when I saw them I thought, "Oh man, it would hurt to crash and burn on those rocks."  I suppose that was probably the least of their concerns . . . 

Abe is directly underneath the football. 

Abe is the 2nd from left on back row

. . . winning was.


Cassidy said...

How fun! I'm glad you posted those pictures of Abe!! I'm excited for your family this upcoming year!

michelle said...

What a darling little greeter!

I love your 2011 word and the events that led you to choose it. I think I have mine, but I'm still mulling it over. It sounds like this next year will be just as busy for you as 2010 was!

Rachel said...

I love the pictures of Abe. That is definitely not how I pictured it though. Do you think he could point out Jerry for me?? He's who I wrote to and I'd like to put a face to my prayers.

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

I would love to read a book on giving speeches. Last time I talked I tried to sound and look interesting.I really don't know if it worked, but I really tried!

Love the pictures of Abe. I am so glad they know how to have a good time!!

Julie said...

I like your word for the year. It is a solid sounding word. I may have to adopt that as well. Much to prepare for here as our next move. Actually, I'd rather not think about that just yet! I will be in Moses Lake on Jan. 8th. Hope to see you while I'm there!

Julie said...

ps. I got a Kindle (an electronic reader) for Christmas and I may download some of your book choices for our trip!

Cali said...

What suprises do you have ahead???


patsy said...

Great post, darling greeter.
Great word.
Perfect for your upcoming busy year! I look forward to reading all about it.
Reading George Bush's book is on my list- (it's a long list.)

Happy New Year

Tyler - Danielle - Emree said...

Prepare is definitely a good word and it will keep us all busy! You family does have a fantastic and busy year ahead.

What fun pictures of Abe!

Leigh said...

I read a book over the Christmas break that I bet you would enjoy. It's called A Lion and A Lamb and is about Willard and Rebecca Bean, the couple who served a 25 year mission in Palmyra during the first half of the 20th century in an effort to re-establish the Church there. Totally fasicnating and inspiring.

My parents gave me a signed copy of Decision Points. I think I'll actually read the library's copy. :)