Friday, May 29, 2009

Graduation Precursors

Classes are done. College plans are underway. It's all done except for tossing the cap in the air. It's been a busy few weeks as it all winds down. Earlier in the month we attended the senior recognition dinner for our stake (LDS youth in our area) where there was the dreaded (in Justin's mind anyway) mother-son dance...

Gotta love that pained expression on his face! He was sure they picked the longest song possible.

I was feeling misty anyway, but I totally lost it when they recognized Trevor Matthews posthumously. Trevor died from cancer a little over two years ago and he would have graduated this year as well. We have known and loved his family for 12 years and he impacted all who knew him and many who didn't. We miss him.

Some friends stay with you throughout your life. We met the Hoskins family when we lived in Lakewood. We've always felt a kinship--our anniversaries are a day and a year apart and the first two kids were born within weeks of each other. We finally convinced them to follow us to Santa Clarita several years ago and Jeff and Leonard work together at Spectrolab. Our oldest sons were only four when they met and I'm sure they will also be lifelong friends.

Here is their Kindergarten graduation picture:

Here is a recent picture of them at the Senior Recognition Dinner:

Gosh, how times have changed. Jordon's even taller than Justin now!
Wait a minute...

Here's the real story!

Jordon's graduation is tonight--Congratulations!

Clearly, I'm feeling very nostalgic. All of my recent posts include Now and Then pictures. I blame Dionne. Ever since she posted that retrospective on hair in the '80s I've been trying to replicate her brilliance. (Sorry, she's got a private blog so you might not be able to use that link...)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Knee, a hip and some gums….

Have they finally lost it you ask? (Well actually, we never had it to begin with, but that’s a story for another day.) But this story is about body parts. Women’s body parts to boot! In this world of strange coincidence, isn’t it odd that Grandmas Joyce and Nancy as well as Lisa (not a grandma) would all have surgery within 48 hours of each other this week. Joyce, the hip, in Salt Lake City is doing marvelously and is back home getting ready to dance any day now. Nancy, the knee, is also home feeling stronger every day and will be leaping on the horse from here on out. Lisa, the gums, is also bouncing back quickly and should be back to her usual zesty, colorful vocabulary by the weekend. And as for we strong, silent, supportive, subservient men, I am also please to be able to report that Bruce, George and Jeff all are able to sit up and take nourishment after the stressful events of these past days. Whew.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Outstanding Mothership Award

Since the card never got in the mail, this'll have to do:
Thanks Mom...
For wanting and loving me and always making me feel like I could do anything.
(And--for sewing little ruffles on my undies.)
For making every day a party and teaching me the importance of family. For loving my kids and being an awesome grandma. You are amazing.

I Do Love Mother's Day

My family always takes really good care of me on Mother's Day--LOTS of fun food that I don't shop for, prepare, or clean up, which always makes it especially delicious! This year's menu included waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, a cheese and cracker platter with smoked gouda, salmon and roasted garlic, prosciutto wrapped melon, and rib eye steak. Thanks honey!

Jeff reminded me that he doesn't owe me a gift since I'm not HIS mother, but he did find some beautiful earrings in Spain. The boys were especially thoughtful this year--Justin got me a webcam so we can see each other to chat while he's away at school. Tyler picked a couple of movies on my wish list (Enchanted and August Rush) and better yet, the boys even watched Enchanted with me! Bryce gave me coupons (5 back rubs and one "I'll watch Mama Mia with you" coupon), although he also gave me a backrub I didn't have to use a coupon for since it was Mother's Day.

Bryce also gave me an award:

With this explanation (no edits--forgive me, I had to share, he does make me sound QUITE wonderful, although I suspect a school assignment was involved):

A reason why my mom, Lisa Peacock to be mother of the year, she is funny. Imagine you and your friend going to the bowling alley when out of nowhere your mom starts singing along with the radio and you think(ooohh noooo) as you slump way down in your chair and every word makes you chuckle and it sounds like she wants you to sing along! My mom Lisa Peacock should also be mother of the year for reasons like she is hardworking, a good planner and thinker, and of course a good cook.

My mom is hardworking I mean come on, she is on the gridiron (high school football staff), the president of the young women, goes walking, does great works of art for me and my class and still has time to make me lunch! Look at all that! And she still has time to take me places, all because she is time efficient. That shows you she cares enough to make time, and to be a good worker you must be a good planner.

Lisa Peacock is a good if not great thinker and planner like for example one time when I was packing for a trip I forgot a jacket but good’ol mom knew I’d forget so she had one ready for me. And again when my family and I were on that very same trip I had gotten the house cord instead of the car power for my DVD player but again she had my back with the power converter. I remember one more time when we had arrived to our hotel on a different trip and my Ipod was out of battery so I needed to charge it but then I realized, I DIDN,T HAVE MY CHARGER! But then once again the hero was here to save the day!

My mother is without a doubt an AWESOME cook with her ceasar salads that she knows I love so very much. Then there’s her meatloaf she says she over cooks but never ever does ever! (always five star) then there’s my personal favorite, her coke chicken that I always beg for.

When she yells it may be scary, but that’s just because you were complaining to her about something she couldn’t control to the point where it just goes KABOOM! But everybody has that point, but that my friend is your fault. Plus it barely e-v-e-r gets to that and she’ll usually helps you get over whatever it was before the booooom!

So next time you wonder who is the best mom just remember of course, she is Bryce’s mom, Lisa Peacock, because 1.she is a hard worker 2.she is a good if not great thinker and planner & 3.she is of course a great cook!!!

Thanks guys for making me feel so special!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Notes: The Family

Julie B. Beck, General president of the Relief Society spoke at the opening session on Friday. She referred extensively to the Proclamation on the Family, issued in 1995, saying that it was a reaffirmation of what prophets have been teaching throughout history. The Plan of Salvation also innately addresses the doctrine of the family: the basic unit of the family (male and female) was formed during Creation, the Fall provided the means for families to grow in quality and experience, and the Atonement ties families together forever.

She talked about marriage--that the nature of male and female spirits complement and perfect each other and then gave this quote (that I may not have right word for word) that I love but that I don't know who it is by:
"Families are the love story of husbands and wives, parents and children through the ages."

The doctrine of families is "we" and "us" as opposed to worldly doctrine which is "I" and "me" and "what I do doesn't affect you...."

She talked about threats to the family and referenced the 6th chapter of Ephesians:
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
So, we have the challenge to believe deeply and actively. We can't allow happiness in our families to happen by accident, but rather through purpose and planning. We need to fight to defend our homes and families against evil influences rather than being victims. We must create opportunities for teaching, and opportunities require time. We must put forward our best effort in holding family home evenings.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Notes: Selling the Summer Cottage in Babylon

The title was curious enough to check out, but I really wanted to hear from Mary Ellen Edmunds, a well known LDS author. She was the presenter along with Kathy Zeyer, who I thought actually provided most of the meat for the class.

The title refers to a phrase used by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, and my interpretation is that we often think we're doing pretty good, but sometimes we justify "vacations in the world" (Babylon), thinking just a little bit won't hurt us. Sister Zeyer spoke of the danger of being "poisoned by degrees" by the world, symbolized by the story of Amalickiah in the Book of Mormon.

Her counsel:

1--FORTIFY through prayer, scripture study, family home evenings, generally living the Gospel.

2--FILTER the world by discarding practices or influences that drive away the Spirit.

3--FOCUS on good, better and best. For example, do you know every word in the "Spongebob" theme song yet don't know the sacrament prayer? (Guilty as charged...) Sister Edmunds added that often we fill our lives with so many good things that we don't have enough time for the really essential things.

Sister Edmunds also counseled us to take time to be holy. Zion is all about striving to be better when we're already pretty good.

At the closing session on Thursday, President Monson was quoted: "Your future is as bright as your faith."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Notes from Women's Conference: Rely on the Lord

The opening speaker was Sandra Rogers, Chairperson of the Women's Conference and Internation VP of BYU. She spoke of relying on the Lord (theme for the conference). In support of that topic, she told a hysterical story of driving in the Dominican Republic. She had no idea where to return a rental car and contracted with a local taxi driver to show her the way. However, at the last minute, she saw a sign that seemed to point her in a different direction than the taxi went and she veered off at the last minute, causing her to get stuck on a road she did not want to be on, sending her on a nearly endless loop, and almost missing her flight. She said she had followed perfectly but then grew prideful of her own knowledge and abilities at the end when it really nearly disasterous results. Faith. Trust. Humility. Endure to the end.

She also spoke of the current trying times in the nation and in the world and urged us to find joy despite it all. “Adversity refines us as it turns our faces and hearts to the Lord.” She referred to the hymn, "Now Let Us Rejoice", (for a MoTab version, click here ) one of the first hymns of the Church written by WW Phelps in the midst of great affliction. In 1833, a mob threw his wife and baby onto the street and destroyed the press on the upper floor of their home. They burned all the books and papers inside. Later, over two hundred homes were given much the same treatment. This brutal incident was the inspiration for this powerfully comforting song, which was also sung at the dedication of the Kirtland temple.

She then invited chorister Merrilee Webb to lead us in that hymn. This was no ordinary performance, and she's no ordinary chorister. More like chorister on steroids. She had us laughing and crying. Anyway, I can't do it justice by describing it, but it was really amazing and affecting to stand and sing those lyrics with 18,000 women.

Toward the end, she challenged us, "When you walk into the room, you can add to it or take away from it..."

It was a great way to start the day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Loaves and Fishes

"There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down... So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten."
John 6:9-13

I attended Women's Conference for the first time last weekend. It is a chance for women to take time out for instruction and edification held on the campus of BYU. When I thought about what I wanted to share/remember about my experience, I just kept thinking about the loaves and fishes... 18,000 women were in attendance and we had the chance to hear from an apostle of the Lord. It was the simplest things that caused me to feel the Spirit of God wash over me (sometimes more like a tidal wave!) and I came away filled (and not just with BYU mint brownies, kettle corn, or chocolate covered cinnamon bears, although there was a good deal of that). I'll try to do justice to the experience by recording some of the things I learned over the next few days.

We stayed in the dorms. It enabled me to get to know the campus better and prepare for when Justin will be there.

This is my group: Natalie (Treisha's Minnesota friend, now our friend too!), myself, Dionne, and Treisha. It was fun also to run into family and friends, sometimes unexpectedly!

One day I sneaked out for lunch with some of my favorite women--sister in law Michelle, (me), mother in law Joyce, sister in law Haley, and beautiful niece Jocelyn (niece Lexie is taking the picture). Cafe Rio--yum! No trip to Utah is complete without it--Dionne and I actually had to go twice!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Perhaps It's Karma

I suspect every airline has bad days. But how about a bad week? I give you one week in the life of a poor traveling salesman and IBERIA airlines (the national airline of Spain).

Super Shuttle picked me up at home at 4:40 a.m., and after the typical last minute “can’t find something” crisis, the trip from LAX to Boston went smoothly….until American Airlines was done with me, and IBERIA took over.

Seven hours later, the flight to Madrid was cancelled and 400 angry people were directed back through security to the ticket counters to figure out how to get to Madrid. The Boston Airport police were called to deal with the unruly coach passengers (peasants!). All they needed were pitchforks and torches. Being in business class, I enjoyed IBERIA’s counter service which got my luggage rerouted to Barcelona (wait...I'm going to Madrid?) and a last minute ticket to London on British Airlines. Hopefully when I got to London they would figure out how to get me to Madrid. At least I'd be on the right side of the Atlantic.

Once the plane from Boston took off, I discovered that British Airlines had not expected me (or 12 other IBERIA “fortunates”), so there was no food loaded on the plane for me/us for a 9 hour flight. So the flight attendants ignored us, rather than fed us. We raided the pantry at midnight over Greenland for a nice dinner of potato chips and “biscuits”. Once in London, the forces of IBERIA took over again. It began with a delay on the lone flight to Madrid. Then they called me over the loudspeakers to ask where my luggage was (they're asking me??? You’re supposed to travel with your checked luggage apparently). Finally, 35 hours en route, I arrive at our final destination in Toledo, Spain.

My luggage? It arrived four days later--14 hours before checkout time. I was able to buy a shirt and a couple of pairs of socks, but it was basically the same clothes every day for five days. The upside? I looked like a local (unruly hair, unshaved, eau natural in wrinkled clothes). Seriously. I got asked at least 10 times in Spanish for directions. That, and I have memorized the in country lost luggage number at IBERIA.

The return trip wasn’t much smoother. IBERIA took off from Madrid for Chicago on time. (That should have been my first clue.) One hour later, the pilot comes on, announces a vague mechanical problem, and turns the plane around for Madrid and starts dumping fuel. Lots of it. 10,000 gallons of fuel dumped on Portugal. We landed roughly back in Madrid, and were quickly de-planed on the end of the tarmac with police, SWAT, fire and medical vehicles surrounding us. I think the “mechanical problem” was a ruse for something else, but I suspect we will never know what it really was.

Five hours later, IBERIA takes off again with a new plane, but now we’ve missed the flight connections in Chicago for Los Angeles…but thank heaven AA has a flight and the luggage somehow made it. So the return trip was only 25 hours.

Business travel. Not all it’s cracked up to be.