Monday, June 11, 2012

First You Dream

First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb is a wonderful compiliation of songs from amazing Broadway musicals. I was blessed to receive free tickets to attend this amazing production. The performers had absolutely astounding voices. I was completely speechless during many of the songs.
The performers were Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Alan H. Green, Leslie Kritzer, Patina Miller, and Matthew Scott. Some of my favorite songs they performed were "The Apple Doesn't Fall," Ring Them Bells," Military Man," "The Money Tree/Maybe This Time," "The Cell Block Tango," and Boom Ditty Boom."
The theme and title song "First You Dream" came from the production Steel Pier. I really loved the lyrics so I thought I would share some of them here.




Just don't took back. Whenever you're flying, you can never look
back where you've been. You can only look where you're going. Ever see a
bird look over its shoulder? No. There's only one way to go. Straight ahead.

I truly believe the words to this song. You need to believe in your dreams and take off to pursue them you should not be looking back as this will cause you to lose focus and fall. Birds don't look back when they are flying so why should you?
I love how music can inspire me to be a better person. It lifts me up when I'm down. It allows me to believe I can be anything or anyone I want to be. It inspires me to be a better person. Music brightens my life. I'm so grateful for the many great composers out there who write music in all its forms to help brighten the world.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Love to Help Father

My assignment this past week at the temple had me cleaning the cafeteria. At first I was a little put off at having to clean up with the cafeteria. I didn't see how this was temple worker job responsibilities. I made my way down to the cafeteria with thoughts of "why would people not clean up after themselves, they are in the temple for goodness sakes?"

As I was cleaning I decided I need to get rid of these negative thoughts and find the lesson here. I decided to do something that makes me happy so I hummed to myself. The first tune that came to my mind was the primary song that goes, "When we're helping we're happy and we sing as we go, for we love to help father for we all love him so." Immediately I stopped what I was doing and had this warm feeling of love encompass me. I knew at that moment that I did love my Heavenly Father and this was His house. He needs my help to keep His home clean and inviting which is what I am doing by cleaning off the counters and vacuuming the floors.

I love my Father and helping him does make me feel happy. I know that the way to show love to my Heavenly Father is to help Him in anyway I can whether its cleaning the temple or helping one of His children. I'm so grateful that the Lord allowed me to learn this lesson in His house.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Memorial Day in Gettysburg

I recently learned the holiday we call Memorial Day originated from the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought and died. Knowing this, what better place to spend Memorial Day than visiting one of my favorite places, Gettysburg, PA.

We started the morning off at the Gettysburg National Park Visitors Center with Morgan Freeman narrating a fabulous film about the beginning conflicts that led to the Civil War and how it eventually made its way to a little town called Gettysburg. It is one of my favorite films to see. But with as good as the film is, the Cyclorama is truly spectacular. A french artist came Gettysburg after the war and captured the what took place there in a truly inspiring way. You walk into this room where you feel like you have just walked into the middle of Pickett's Charge. If you have never seen this I highly reccommend it make the top 100 things to see.

After walking through the visitors center we made our way over to Baltimore Street to watch the annual Memorial Day Parade. It's inspiring to see a soldier from every war America has fought in walking down the street together. I am filled with patriotic pride when I am see this.

We made our way over to the Gettysburg National Cemetery after the parade to hear Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address. The words spoken 149 years ago are still true today.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We spent the rest of the day following the audio tour around the battlefield. Standing along Picketts Charge I was truly overcome with the legacy the men who fought on this battlefield left behind. Men on both sides fought for something they believed in. They proudly gave their all. During the 50th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, the veterans gathered on the fields and recreated the march of Picketts Charge. They were old and it was hard to walk for many of the men. But, as they made their way along the fields, those hunched over shoulders began to walk a little taller and with their heads a little taller until they met in the middle where they were overcome with emotions that they fell into each others arms with tears in their eyes. Soldiers from both sides came together showing true emotion, forgiveness, and patriotism when they met on those fields. I can feel their spirit still alive when I visit Gettysburg and I coudln't imagine a more appropriate place to be than right where true American heros were born.

Memorial Weekend Day 2

Today was an intense day of walking around the city. I think I should get a medal for ultimate tour guide. It was over 90 degrees outside and we went everywhere. But I mean of course I had to make sure that Aunt Carolyn saw the highlights of the city. While DC may not be very big there really is a lot to see.

We started with the memorials that are fondly called the Big Three. The Big Three consist of Lincoln, Korea and Vietnam. We made sure to take the time to find a family cousin on the wall of Vietname. Thank you Stephen Johnson for your sacrifice in serving our country.

We then made our way up to World War II making a stop at a hidden memorial to the founding fathers called Constitution Park. On our way to Ford's Theatre we stopped to say hello to the First Family at the White House. I have never done a tour of Ford's Theatre before, I've only gone to see shows. They do a very good job of explaining the history and tragedy of Lincoln's last moments. The new education center across the street is really good too.

Heading over to see some national treasures we explored the American History Museum. I love walking through the Price of Freedom exhibit. Seemed like a perfect thing to do Memorial Weekend.

Making our way back to the car we took a stroll around the Tidal Basin stopping at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Another less visited memorial we visited was George Mason. Finally after exploring through Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial we found the car (which we almost thought had been towed away). It was a very long, hot, exhausting day exploring the city and I'm so glad we did. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world living in city with so many treasures to explore. I love being able to go again and again and sharing in peoples first experience visiting our nations capitol.