This week is Spring Break for the kids and Mother Nature has really rolled out the lovely, sunshine-y carpet for us. We've lived in the Spokane area for fourteen springs now and I can't recall a single one that has had nicer weather than this the first week of April, and several that have been pretty gray, rainy, and miserable - even snowing. We hit 71 on Monday! I can handle that kind of April Fools' prank!
|(Screen capture, courtesy of weather.com)|
Last year we got season passes to Spokane's Riverfront Park as an experiment, to see if it would help fill the never-ending days of summer, and the boys loved it. We picked one day of the week and, except when we were out of town, went to Riverfront Park that day every week for the entire summer and got way more than our money's worth out of it. IMAX movies, mini-golf, unlimited rides on the Looff Carrousel, the park train, and the amusement rides... And since the deeply discounted early bird price is only available if you buy the season passes by April 7, I figured spring break was a great time to get started! The boys agreed:
|Evan really wanted to ride the one and only goat on the Carrousel.|
|Will's refusing to get his hair cut. He says he likes being able to flip his hair. |
We'll see just how long that lasts...
|Just look at that grin! I love it!|
My great-grandmother Eva Willes Wangsgaard was quite the poetess. [Edited to add: I've just been informed by my mother, Eva's granddaughter, that Eva hated the title "poetess" and preferred to simply be called a poet, thank you very much. My deepest apologies, Great-grandmother.] She published several volumes of her poetry and regularly won poetry competitions. (In fact, she won the Eliza R. Snow Poetry Contest sponsored by the Relief Society Magazine so frequently that they changed the rules restricting those who won two consecutive years from entering for the next two years, just to give someone else an opportunity to win.) Occasionally, Ardis over at Keepapitchinin, a fantastic website devoted to Mormon history, unearths a poem or short story of Eva's that was published in an early Church magazine. She posted two this week: one called "Field of Hyacinths" and another called "Heart-deep in Winter". (And while you're over there, check out "Brown-Crusted Bread", too.)
Another one of my favorites is very short and was published in 1941, certainly a tumultuous time. It's called "Four Hopes".
Four things we’re always waiting for:
A fuller purse, a brighter day,
A joy that will not pass away,
A world that has out-moded war.
|The Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, where General Conference originates.|
Courtesy of lds.org.
It's a rare General Conference when I don't watch or listen to at least two sessions, and with our schedule this time around I'll probably get to see three. And I won't just be watching to see if women will really get to pray at General Conference for the first time (see this article), though I'm thrilled at the prospect. I watch General Conference every April and October, and read the messages when they come out in the Church's monthly magazine, The Ensign, because I find valuable counsel and inspiration in the words and music shared. There have been years when I wasn't able to watch it due to travel or other commitments and when I watched it in a foreign language. One year I listened to all four sessions while re-roofing my grandpa's garage with my cousin Mike and my Uncle Bob (ox in the mire and all that), and there's even been a time or two when I was able to attend a session in person, both in the new Conference Center and in the old Tabernacle.
Not every sermon given over the entire eight hours strikes a chord with me, of course. There are dozens of speakers covering dozens of topics; it's natural that some will resonate with me more than others. But overall, it's a restorative, rejuvenating experience, however I'm able to participate, and I'm looking forward to it.