Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Alphabet of Peace

 I chatted with my bishop today and we discussed the journey to find peace. It made me stop and consider what works for me despite...or perhaps because of... my circumstances.  I definitely don't always do all of these things like I should.  But, the more I do them, the more peaceful and joyful my life becomes.

Katie's Alphabetic Recipe for Finding Peace

Always remember Him

Babysit children of family and friends

Cut yourself a break

Dance when you're alone in the kitchen

Electronic device fasts

Focus on the Savior

Give your time to someone who needs it

Hug loved ones

Imagine how the Savior sees you

Jot down your feelings

Keep the commandments

Laugh often (see this talk under the subheading, "Learn to Laugh")

Make music

Never suppress a generous thought (quote by Camila Kimball; see this talk)

Open your eyes to your surroundings and observe the beauty of the earth

Pray always

Quit comparing yourself to others

Remember who you are

Serve others

Temple attendance

Understand the Plan of Salvation

Visit your relatives regularly

Work hard

X-amine your life to see how you can better follow the Savior, Jesus Christ

Y worry?

Zero gossip (Zip it!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Get your kicks on route 66!

There were some very pretty moments on our drive.  With a strong emphasis on moments.  There was also a whole lot of nothing.  But we listened to Of Mice and Men the whole way there, in preparation for my next adventure of teaching 12th grade Language Arts.  Pretty amazing book, though the language made us blush!

Because Holbrook is the home of our first ever gig, I did some in depth research on Wikipedia to find out a little about the town.

First of all, the town has about 5,000 people and is the county seat of Navajo County. Pretty cool, huh?

Below in red are what Wikipedia lists as the "points of interest." For such a little town, there are some pretty cool things it claims. I will give brief commentary about each point based on my two day experience. 
Lane and I visited what Lane called the Walmart for petrified wood.  I thought this sign was positively delightful. What a beautiful concept to not be in a hurry.  I learned that small towns are a whole other world.  Lane's dad owns an A&W gas station where you pump gas first, then go inside to pay!! In today's world, that is truly amazing. How lovely to know places like Holbrook still exist.
If you haven't seen petrified wood, you are missing out.  It's incredible! They had rocks you could buy and take home to crack open.  If you were really lucky, you'd get a geode full of exquisitely beautiful crystals. Or, you could get a dud.  Lane said his cousins had a blast buying those and going back for more.  It's like finding buried treasure!
They had this awesome old car out front that we were permitted to take pictures in.  Holbrook is a huge car town- wish my dad could have come!
  • The Historic Navajo County Courthouse and Museum in Downtown Holbrook. Built in 1898, the courthouse is now home to the Navajo County Historical Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 We drove through the Indian reservation on our way to Holbrook.  I am huge fan of different cultures.  I think it's amazing that the kids in Holbrook grow up side by side with a culture so rich with history and tradition.  Lane filled me in on "skin-walkers", however, which was not my favorite piece of information.  I wasn't sure if I bought it, but I was not about to broadcast any disbelief...just in case.

This hotel is featured in the movie Cars!
There are incredibly cool old cars just parked normally next to the wigwam rooms as though they belong to guests. Those teepees are, indeed, motel rooms.

Lane's best friend growing up is the high school choir teacher. He and his family are pasisonate about helping building the community in Holbrook. His sister, Kathleen, was in charge of this first annual two day festival.  There were tons of fun activities planned at the West End park.

There was a car show (Holbrook sure does love cars!).  I took a picture of every car and texted them to my dad. Above is just a sample.  My favorite thing was to see the inside of the VW bus.  It felt like going back in time.

Kids could design their own potato car.
They raced them down this ramp.  There were prizes for the fastest cars!

Some of Kyle's students performed before us. This cute girl did some contemporary Native American dancing.  We couldn't believe how much energy she had.

This girl had an awesome voice- she sounded like she could be on the radio.
Lane brought the percussion set up, of course!  It really is amazing how he crafts an entire one-man-band out of things he finds at D.I. or around the house.  This was the first time the "bass drum" had it's own microphone!
We had a BLAST performing our entire set for his family, who were seated on the front row! There were maybe 3 or 4 other people there when we performed the first time.  We came back an hour or two later and performed half our songs again. Our audience doubled that time! It was absolutely perfect just the way it was.  Every minute I'm singing or playing for even an audience of 3, I feel like I'm living a dream.
Kathleen made sure our gas and food was paid for- that was so kind. 

Thanks to Andrew Farr for taking pictures!

We did it!
I (sort of) won the clock pictured in the top left! I was STOKED.  I had my eye on it from the beginning!  They had kids come and teach swing dancing after we were done performing.  This was especially for a group of girl scouts earning a merit badge. So fun!
  • Bucket of Blood Street was named the sixth wackiest street name according to a 2006 poll by Car Connection website.[9]
 It's true. I saw it.

I felt truly blessed by the hospitality of Lane's parents, Nancy and "Vinny".  They always had food on the table for us, and his mom made a special effort to make sure the meals were gluten free, which was so sweet.  We had lots of good laughs. Lane and his dad sound IDENTICAL at times.  I can definitely see where his sense of humor comes from! It was so fun to get to know Lane's little sister Laurie and her husband, Chad (and their dog, Dillon!), and his little brother Andrew.  I learned a lot about the trouble fun kids find in small towns! What a fun weekend.

Staying in Holbrook was a unique experience that I would gladly repeat.  Lane's dad kept joking that Holbrook was the first stop on our national tour and pretended like we were famous. It was so funny.  Lane's favorite line is that we are going to make tens of dollars.  Truly, I wouldn't trade this summer band experience for anything, even if we never play for anyone ever again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


At girls camp this year, our goal was to Become Unified Gospel Sisters.  Here is a peek at the kinds of activities we did at girls camp!


...each had a bug, a color, and a young women value. The stake were yellow bees and our value was Good Works.  At our headquarters ("The Hive"), each girl had a bug jar where campers could leave sweet notes.  The nets were for secret wards who left each other treats each day.  Our flag combined all the young women value colors in the wings!
...sang silly camp songs, led by our Youth Camp Leaders...
...ate lunch and dinners all together under the pavilion...
...using our very own mess kits...

...played unity games where we got to know each other better...

(rotate talking to a new person every couple minutes!)

(cross the finish line while tied together!)
(flip over the tarp without anyone stepping on the dirt!)

...hung out by (and in) the lake...

...did crafts...

...survived a few downpours and a thunder and lightening storm...

...did presentations about each one of the YW values...

...sang spiritual songs like "I am a Child of God" and the round "Father I Adore You" and talked about how singing parts together is a unifying experience...
...rehearsed for our Bishop's night skits...

....slept in (sometimes leaking) tents...
...hung out with our wards...

...had dinner with our stake president, bishop, and high councilman...

...put up and took down the flag each morning, said a prayer, sang a hymn, and gave a thought  for opening and closing ceremonies...
...performed our skits (ours was a clever knock off on "royals" by Lorde, words by Traci Peterson)...

...I had a bit of a solo...

...and we even had baby bees!...

...did Madlibs with all the bishops...
...went on a scavenger hunt...

...and made new friends, strengthened existing friendships, and grew closer to our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ!