Monday, September 27, 2010

Yeah, my niece is pretty cool.

Everyone, meet Kyan, my creative niece. She's only been in Senior School for a few weeks and already she's been recognized for her artistic talents. Senior School in England is like High School. Except you start at age 11/12 (depending on when your birthday falls) until 18. One of the big differences in England though (from the US) is that you can quit as soon as you take your GCSE examinations or turn 16, whichever comes first. Crazy. Anyways, back to Kyan.... So she's already in 3rd place in her college for points (kind of like the house points in Harry Potter, but for her individually). Then my Sister gets called into school, not because Kyan's in trouble, but to tell her she's scoring in the gifted and talented percentiles. She may also be able to take her Art GCSE next year because she tests so highly, when she should really be ready for it when she's 16! Needless to say, I am a very proud aunt!

Food Bank Adventures!

Last week a neighbor and I got to volunteer at our local food bank. It was so much fun! We took food from big boxes and put them into slightly smaller boxes, broke up the big boxes for recycling, and then got to put together the bags for the senior citizens (2 cans of veggies, 2 soups, 2 beans, 2 meats, 1 tomato, and some mac-n-cheese). It made me feel pretty good and hungry. It seems like there's always something to help with at the food bank.

Friday, September 24, 2010

LDS sites get cool.

Has anyone checked out yet? It's fabulous. What about the church's internet radio station? There's a program on there called Conversations where Sheri Dew gets to interview General Authorities, Auxiliary Presidencies, and other Latter-day Saints. It's great. My personal favorite is Julie Beck's conversation with her two daughters. I think I appreciate them so much because they are very real.

It ain't what you do, it's what it does to you.

I found it! A few lines from this poem I studied for my GCSEs have been running through my head for a while and I finally found the whole thing.

It ain't what you do it's what it does to you

I have not bummed across America
with only a dollar to spare, one pair

of busted Levi's and a bowie knife.
I have lived with thieves in Manchester.

I have not padded through theTaj Mahal,
barefoot, listening to the space between
each footfall picking up and putting down
its print against the marble floor. But I

skimmed flat stones across Black Moss on a day
so still I could hear each set of ripples
as they crossed. I felt each stones' inertia
spend itself against the water; then sink.
I have not toyed with a parachute cord
while perched on the lip of a light aircraft;
but I have held the wobbly head of a boy
at the day centre, and stroked his fat hands.

And I guess that the tightness in the throat
and the tiny cascading sensation
somewhere inside us are both part of that
sense of something else. That feeling, I mean.

Simon Armitage

I like it a lot because often in life we don't always get to do the great big things, yet we can experience the everyday in a way so magnified that we do begin to have that sense of wonder and of the divine. It's sort of a long the lines of what Mother Theresa preached:

"We can't all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."

I like that.

What Suzie does with her time...

So... a lot of people have been asking what I've been up to these past weeks not having a work permit or school to keep me occupied. Well, here are some of the highlights!

Cooking. I have discovered a latent passion! I've really enjoyed experimenting without recipes. It's very exciting what you can make with random stuff from the cupboards and a fondness for dabbling. I didn't actually make this zucchini bread, but one very similar. Maybe better :) I don't bake as much as I cook because baking requires recipes...

Here is beautiful Provo Library. I like to sit on the comfortable chairs in the upstairs because it's quiet and helps me think clearly.

Here is the Provo Temple. I get to volunteer here about 5 hours each week. I also like to go with Brian and then on my own. Sometimes I feel like I learn a lot. Other times I just feel weight has been unloaded. I always leave seeing things a lot more clearly.

This is part of the Freemont People's exhibit at BYU's Museum of Peoples and Cultures. I am currently training to become a docent! It's fun. I've had the two training sessions and have followed one tour. Now for a lot of reading and online tutorials. It's really interesting learning about the exhibits in such detail. It's located right by the Elms - where I lived 2005/2006. I stopped in once.... Thankfully it has changed a lot!

Yellowstone! Brian and I had a lot of fun visiting Yellowstone with his Biology club. The Professor was great, he explained a lot about these geysers. Apparently, Utah and some other surrounding states are sitting on top of a super volcano that produces the heat for these geysers. Fun fact: The color of the geyser is a quite accurate tell of its temperature. Surprisingly, the crystal clear blue water is the hottest: It's so clear because at almost 200 degrees Fahrenheit, nothing can survive! It was incredibly cold and fun. We camped and woke up to snow! Burrrrgh!

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