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.