Archive for April, 2006

Walt Disney and Charles Dickens

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

We have studied Walt Disney somewhat as a family in preparation for our Disneyland trip coming up.  It has been interesting to learn about his childhood.  His father was a very strict man, but they were also going through difficult times and I believe he was doing the best he knew how to do for his family.  I  found it so fascinating to see how important his father’s work ethic was to Walt.  I really think it was just as important as his aunt who believed in his mission as an artist, and his mom who showed him such unconditional love, compassion, and optimistic strength through adversity.  I found it interesting to see a man who had such a positive attitude in so many arenas of life.  I hadn’t known what an amazing man Walt Disney was.

I have started trying to study the life of Charles Dickens since I am going to be reading A Tale of Two Cities for my church book group.  Again it is interesting to see how someone’s childhood helps to shape the person they become.  Of course this is not a carte blanche statement.  There are plenty of people who have either horrific childhoods and rise above them in amazingly inspiring ways or what seem to be wonderful childhoods and yet sink to bewildering lows.  In the instance of Dickens, I have been brought to contempating how our childhood affects us as I see how a few months in a blacking workhouse directed to much of the characters in his books, and the causes that he undertook.  I was impressed by the passion he had to right perceived wrongs in the society around him.  He didn’t just say it needed to be changed.  He didn’t just write about it.  He went out and raised money for it as well.

I was inspired by both of these men.  They had a drive to fulfill the missions that were given to them, and they worked hard to achieve those missions.  They both showed examples of public virtue in their lives.  Their respective works mean more to me now that I know more about the person behind the name.  I have more of a respect for Disneyland now that I understand who Walt Disney was, and what his dream was in building it.  I care more for the characters and themes in Charles Dicken’s books now that I see a portion of him in all of the orphaned or abandoned children he wrote about, and I see him searching out the “lower” places in countries and cities getting to know how they lived and what their struggles were.  It inspires to me to be more tireless with my mission as a mom and the importance I see in that calling.  I am grateful for the opportunity we have to learn of the lives of the great men and women who struggle, strive and sacrifice to fulfill what they feel called to do.  What a blessing it is to be able to lift ourselves to be higher and better than we were before.

He Took 4!

Monday, April 17th, 2006

All I have now is T-Bone.  The older 4 children all went with their dad to St George!  Now I am having fun with it being just the two of us….upstairs, at least.  My Father-in-law lives in our basement “apartment” and it’s his laundry day today.  Hmmmmmmmm I’m thinking fast food for dinner… How healthy is that?  LOL!

One Week

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Yup! One week from today we will be in Disneyland! We are all very excited about going, and I am really wanting to start making more detailed lists (hello, my name is Penny, and I am a list maker). I have a pretty full schedule this week as it pertains to “outside commitments” meaning those things that include people other than just my little family. I am planning on squeezing all of my preparations in around my meetings. My husband is also having to go down to St George overnight tonight for work. He will be taking at least 2 of my children, if not 3. I’m wondering if that will help me get more or less done tonight, LOL.

Well, I think I will go make a few lists and then get sarted on completing them.


Thursday, April 13th, 2006

I recently finished the Biography of Gordon B Hinckley called Go Forward With Faith and was truly inspired and humbled. I loved reading about this great man and finding so many examples of leadership education happen in his life. It was wonderful to see how that leadership training paid off in his ability to meet with and talk to people from all walks of life. I then read a little better than half way through The History of Joseph Smith by his mother Lucy Mack Smith. I have read this book before and I loved it then as well. My children have loved having me share stories from his life with them. I have stopped reading that now because I really want to study A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I am checking out biographies of Charles Dickens and I am hoping to also learn a little more about the time. I know a little about the French Revolution, but not nearly as much as I think I should. I need to at least skim through The Alliance by Gerald Lund for my next book group, but I decided that I can really try to delve into Two Cities more seriously, as that is for the book group after The Alliance.

We recently finished reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis with my children for their book group, and I am trying to get more biographies on Walt Disney read with them now in preparation for our Disneyland trip we are taking in a week and a half. Next month’s book for their group is The Secret Garden which I am ashamed to admit I have never read, though my oldest has. I also am going to start reading The Real George Washington to them in preparation for this fall’s Focus on the Founders event. The Focus on the Founders is a speech event put on by American Youth Leadership Institute to promote the development of public speaking along with the opportunity to really learn about different Founding Fathers and Mothers. My husband also wants to have me record this book onto tape for him so he can listen to it while driving, so we’ll see how well it goes reading a book to the family while trying to record it at the same time, LOL.

I have really been struggling with a hunger for knowledge lately. I am trying to get my home and life in order, and I know that it is important for that to be in place so I can have a more effective study time. I am just a little impatient right now. I am worried that once the baby comes I will lose this strong desire to learn. I will still want to, just how much is the question….I know, I know. BABIES ARE CLASSICS!!!! I will thoroughly enjoy having another classic added to our family. :)

Internet Woes

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

I have been so frustrated this past 2 weeks. My internet is supplied to my computer through a wireless network router, and when my sister and her family moved out of my house they took their router with them. My husband had purchased a new router to replace it, but it didn’t work after you moved 15 feet away! Grrrrrrrr! Throw in 2 weeks of testing and trying different things to make it work (including my husband being on hold for an entire hour before he could get a live person to talk to for the technical support….how many of their products junk out?) and we finally took it back to the store and replaced it….with another brand.

On another note here is a quote I heard for the first time this weekend and just wanted to share it with you…I hope I remember it correctly.

If you are not to be forgotten
When you are dead and rottin’
Either write things worth the readin’
Or do things worth the writin’

~Benjamin Franklin~