Torin’s English assignment – with help from his family of course. I thought it worthy of a share and save because it is a snapshot of a day in the life of the Hill family.
Sitting around the table at dinner last night I asked, “So, what are the things that you find funny? What makes you laugh?”. It makes a fun and lighthearted dinner conversation and I needed some ideas for an English paper. You see, different things make different people laugh and if your goal is to make someone else laugh, you needed content. I didn’t think a description of other peoples “fails” caught on video would do the trick. Although, the stupidity of humanity can get a chuckle out of me. Fortunately, I have a large family for resources. We had gathered around our large table that seats ten and we had just started to dig in to Mother’s enchilada’s when I popped the question.
A loud burst of laughter erupted across the table and I looked at Evan. I could feel my eyebrow raise dubious as I waited for an explanation. He actually got up and left everyone wondering.
“I saw the funniest meme today.” My brother started out and you could feel the eyes rolling around the table. He has a unique sense of humor that nobody really understands. “So there is this little boy,” he continued, “in an old blue turtle necked shirt in jeans with root beer in his hands and ….” at this point he couldn’t use words to describe what he saw so he strikes a pose with little T-rex hands clawing out from his sides and rolls his eyes to the back of his head he said ”I don’t friggin give a heck”. He laughed at the joke nobody understood and everyone laughed. You couldn’t help but laugh, not at the joke but at him. I said I needed to write a funny story, not a meme.
“You could always write about a funny incident that really happened,” my Mother said. “I remember a time when you boys were young and I threw you all into the bathtub…”. Everyone suddenly started talking over each other in their rush to not hear the rest of the story. I look at Mother, her eyes twinkling with mischief, and laugh as everyone took her seriously yet nobody listened.
At this point ,Evan returned. In his hands is a creative storytelling game. It’s a fun game and I thought I could at least get a crazy storyline. “I like a play on words,” he said.
“Me too!” I exclaimed and Evan and I launched into a crazy, yet epic story of snails being assaulted. The game forgotten. “Get it?” I asked. “A- salt -ed.” I draw the word out and the pun falls flat as you could cut the silence with a knife. I think Mother groaned.
Then, it was dad’s turn to contribute to the conversation. “I got a story for you” he started out. “I will never forget the time I was out riding my motorcycle…” Dad can ‘spin a yarn’ as my momma says and I agree. The focus is on dad now, enchilada’s forgotten. “….and suddenly it was ‘aracnicus deathicus’ right there on my visor!” He let out a scream that startled everyone into laughter. His face was red from the exertion of the performance and he started to laugh at his own story. Everyone was amused and fascinated -wondering what happened next. “I thought the spee-ider was on the outside of my helmet – I’m going 75 mph mind you – and without thinking I slap my visor!” His gestures were bigger than life. “But the spee-ider was on the inside of my helmet and it smacks right into my face and crawls…” By this time, there is a big ruckus of laughter around that table. My youngest brother was laughing so hard I thought he was going to pee his pants. Dad continued his story without stopping for air. “…I manage to pull over to the side of the road and I’m pulling off my helmet.” He rubbed his face all over to be rid of the spider. I think we all rubbed our faces just to make sure. “…and then I look up to see the sheriff across the road from me and laughing so hard I realized he had witnessed my spectacle. Made his day.” He finished with a deep breath and a sigh.
We finished our enchilada’s with the occasional chuckle and smattering of talk and I thought “This is my funny story. My family is my content.” With our differences, our quirks and our humors, it is great to get together and laugh. We’re hilarious.
Today, I led 5th grades on the Low Ropes Course. It was a beautiful spring day and the kids were excited to take on new challenges. It was my second group of kids that came through that I noticed one boy shuffling through the line and kept losing his place. His head was down, uncertain. He was lanky, a bit scrappy, but then most boys are at that age. I read his name tag and call out to him to keep in line and reminded the other children that he needed a turn. The Mohawk Walk is a very challenging activity of walking the rope (much like a tightrope walker you see at the circus – only low to the ground). The objective is to get everyone to the end, not just yourself. We were at the beginning stages where everyone is trying to walk the rope on their own and they were just figuring out that they were not going to complete the challenge by themselves when Josh’s turn came up. He hesitated, I encouraged. He stepped on. Cautiously he reached out to me and our eyes met. I realized then, that Josh was mentally handicapped. Now, I usually allow the kids to struggle, to think, to figure things out independently,to share ideas, and ask each other for help. But it seemed to me that Josh’s eyes simply said “Will you be there?” So I walked beside him holding onto his arm -steadying him- as he put one foot in front of the other. When he realized he was quite capable, his head came up and he looked confidently at the end of the rope knowing he was going to make it. His smile is amazing. He said it was hard but with help it was easy! I asked if he would like to help the others make it? To a resounding “Yes!” I posted him at the difficult half way point. No one had made it that far yet. The students were balancing and holding on to each other, extending their arms out to reach towards Josh who happily reached out to help. As more and more students reached out towards him for help, his eyes become brighter. I swear he grew two inches.The whole mood of the group changed from frustration to encouragement. Perspectives changes from inward to outward. The children were encouraging each other and thanking Josh as they continued on to successfully complete the challenge. Everyone was contributing by now, helping each other, working together. They were the only group today to successfully complete the challenge. I had everyone circle up to talk about the experience. “How did it feel to complete the challenge?” I asked. “GREAT!” was the response. I looked at Josh. He said “At first it was hard.” I looked at everyone and asked “Could you do it alone?” Everyone looked at Josh and said “No! We needed help”. And Josh just beamed.
Everyone has something to give that helps someone else along the way. Everyone. When we recognize the strengths of others and let them serve, challenges are met, perspectives change, and everyone succeeds.
*Note: I didn’t get a picture of the kids today. I just found this one online to give you an idea of what the kids were doing. I found the picture at chapelrock.net. It appears they also have a mohawk walk at their low ropes course. Awesome! I will have to get some good pictures next time.
Prince of Peace
Focusing on the Lord and everlasting life can help us through all the challenges of mortality. Imperfect people share planet earth with other imperfect people. Ours is a fallen world marred by excessive debt, wars, natural disasters, disease, and death.
Personal challenges come. Whatever may cause the worry, each of us yearns to find inner peace.
My message pertains to the only source of true and lasting peace, Jesus the Christ—our Prince of Peace.1
He can bring peace to those whose lives have been ravaged by war. “Wars of our present era are more sophisticated but are still as wrenching to families. Those who so suffer can turn to the Lord. His is the consoling message of peace on earth and good will among men.
Peace can come to those who are not feeling well. “Have ye any that are sick among you? …Bring them hither and I will heal them.”4
Peace can come to one who suffers in sorrow. “Then His soothing “balm in Gilead you can borrow.
Peace can come to those whose labors are heavy:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Peace can come to all who earnestly seek the Prince of Peace. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid…These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
A must watch: Henry Longfellow’s Christmas
As we understand that Jesus Christ is our example in all things, we can increase our desire to follow Him. The scriptures are full of encouragement for us to follow in Christ’s footsteps. To the Nephites, Christ said, “For the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21). To Thomas, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Today our leaders remind us to set the Savior as our example. Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, said, “When each of us has the doctrine of the Atonement written deep in our hearts, then we will begin to become the kind of people the Lord wants us to be.”1
Discussion: What do you do to know Christ?
Kylan – Works on attributes,
Aidan reads scriptures to understand his teachings. He shared with us his testimony that there is always hope. Pres. Uchdorf said a”God promises the hope of His light—He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.”
Kade said he just talks to Him. That touched me.
We came to the conclusion that the only way you can become more like Him is to KNOW him.
Clip from MR Krugers Christmas – talking to Christ as a beloved friend.
Closing Song: Do You have room?
Let us resolve to draw near to Jesus Christ, to obey His commandments, to follow his example as He leads us back to our Heavenly Father.
Took T to see Walking With Dinosaurs. He absolutely loved it. Said “I’m going to lock it in my brain so I will never forget this awesome movie!” Thank you George Hill for the tickets. I loved the story, but found the dialog trite with popular stereotyped attitudes. Despite that, I guess the moral of the story got across for T said “Everyone finds courage….eventually. Courage is like pieces scattered all over and when you find them and snap them into place, your invincible.” And a child shall confound the wise and learned.
frosted windows, chocolate cups
steam rising in the air
fires crackling, a gentle sigh
a book in an easy chair.
winter tales old and new
read aloud to rosie faces
blanket warm, eyes shining bright
eager for untold places.
mothers voice takes us away
carried through the night
to other lands, another time
soaring, our fancies take fight.
clashing swords ringing out
a knight that’s honor bound
a damsels plea, a dragon too
there’s adventure to be found
something in the young boy stirs
who is brave and loyal too
a whisper caught, upon the night
“I’ll be courageous for you.”
sleepy eyes, a nodding head
the snow begins to fall
quiet night, the moon is bright.
A winterland for all.