Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slow Down

The last few weeks have been very busy.  The end of the school term always is.   Several days I had to be in two places at once - Emily was in the City District athletics (track and field) meet, and Sarah had a jump roping competition (it is a girl's school after all.)  Thank goodness for two parents!  (Congrats to Emily for making City District, and congrats to Sarah for winning her jump rope presentation.)  Shon has been working a lot, and we have all been generally stressed out.  Perfect time to get away from it all. . .

We went camping.  Yep, slept in a tent.  Bribie Island is so close - just an hour down the road, and we didn't even have to take a ferry - and the camp sites are so economical (Robinson = thrifty.)  We stayed on the beach, just behind the dunes.  Our tent (aka, our summer home) is old - we bought it just after Bryce was born.  It is huge, with three rooms.  We were definitely thinking ahead when we bought it, and now it fits our family perfectly.  It's had a lot of wear and tear.  The poles even broke one night during a big storm in Corpus Christi (but that's another story).  This is the first time we put out the big tent in Australia.  (Apparently our little 2 man tent really fits one man, one teenager, and one little tyke; good enough for the father/son camp outs every year.)

We slowed down.

The weather was perfect.

The ocean was beautiful.

The wildlife.   Kangaroos grazed just meters from our tent.  It was actually a little creepy at night, hearing them hop around so close by, but not being able to see them.  We watched for dingos but never saw any.  (That's good.)  Sea birds dove for fish and dolphins joined in the fun.  My favorite part of the trip was when we had to stop to help "bogged" campers get their vehicles un-stuck.  The kids and I lounged on the beach, collected shells, and watched the dolphins feed.

We took a little hike through the bush to see the WWII bunkers and mine stations.  It was fun to explore.

No one got hurt, sick, or even hungry.  Perfect trip.

I thought of it as I watched this mormon message.

It's good to slow down. . .

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Power of One

I admit it, I'm a choir geek.  I like to sing, but I LOVE to sing with other people.  I'd much rather do a duet than a solo any day.

I miss singing.
In Ireland, two years ago on a choir tour.

Last weekend, my sister got married.  Thanks to, I was able to be there for the celebration, 8,000 miles away.  My favorite part was hearing my beautiful, talented sisters sing together.  It made my heart ache.  Also, the choir I sang with in New Mexico (Caliente) is touring Greece right now!  I wish I could be there.  (Thanks for inviting me, guys, but I just couldn't make it.)

I've sung in choirs since I was little:  Children's choirs, high school choirs, college and university choirs, church choirs, women's choirs, show choirs, a cappella choirs, community choirs - I even got to sing back up for a country band once.  I love it.  The thing that amazes me about a choir is the power that one voice has for good or for bad.  Even in a very large choir, one person makes a difference.  You are always heard.  My dad (also a singer) sent me a link last week.  Check it out if you have a few minutes.  (I think I am Eric Whitacre's newest fan.)

I think sometimes we forget that our voice is heard.  Several months ago I went to a popular video store to rent a DVD (we still do that in Australia!)  I couldn't help noticing their collection of porn on the top shelf along the entire perimeter of the store.  I was offended by the pictures on the covers, and embarrassed to have my children with me.  I got my video and left.  I'm not the type that usually speaks up - if I ordered a steak well-done, and they brought it to me rare, I would just eat it rather than say anything.)  I talked to my friend Becky (yep, the same one that I grew up with in Idaho, who happened to move around the corner from me in Australia!) and she mentioned that she didn't like their top row selection of videos either.   We decided that we would say something, next time we were there.  I was nervous, but I did.

 I thought of my friend Angie who loves to read.  She read a book she liked but when the sequel came out, it was full of awful language.  She wrote to the author to tell her how much she loved her books and could she please not use such offensive language.  The author wrote back and said she would!

Today I stopped by the video store for the first time in 3 months, to see if they had Anne of Green Gables (it's chick flick time - we are on school holiday) and the video store had removed their offensive videos!  

I remember hearing that for every person who speaks up there are 100 people who don't.

Speak up.  You never know the power of one voice.