Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Graduate

She did it! Emily graduated from BYU-Idaho with a B.S. in Music. Here's how Thursday and Friday played out:

Graduation Banquet

Emily and her friends were asked to sing, so we received complimentary tickets. This event was hosted by the Alumni Association.

Dinner was delicious -- especially because I didn't have to cook! No, I
didn't eat the flower.

Emily and her quartet performed "The Lord's Prayer" (accompanied by the clinking of dinner dishes.)

BYU-Idaho's president, Kim B. Clark spoke about the power and influence of families.

Elder Neil L. Anderson, who had just been ordained as the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles just eight hours before, spoke about the word "Commencement" and the significance of it's meaning "a new beginning."

The seeds we are planting today
will grow and become mighty oaks,
and their branches
will run all over the earth.
--Jacob Spori


Emily dawned her cap and gown and we ventured to the Eliza R. Snow Building for the College of Performing and Visual Arts graduation ceremony.  The "special performances" by graduates are always so entertaining in this College -- a string bass solo, a dance performance, and a dramatic reading. I wonder what they perform in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences? Hmmmm...

Quotable Quotes:  

Brother Jon Lindford (Associate Dean) in speaking of the "impractical" professional application of a career in the Arts, "If everyone chose the practical, what a dull world this would be!"

Roger G. Christensen (Assistant to the Commissioner of Education) quoting President Marion G. Romney, "While the Lord will magnify us in both subtle and dramatic ways, he can only guide our footsteps when we move our feet." 

The Awarding of Emily's Diploma

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Graduate (part 2)

All the inns were full, but we located a room at the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast located on the Snake River seven miles north of Rexburg.
Of course we found this wonderful place on our last trip to Rexburg.
We awoke to a beautiful sunrise
and enjoyed a breakfast of fresh fruit, scones and quiche before heading to Emily's last graduation event.


President Clark asked the graduates to remember:

1. Keep the Spirit with you. You will need the pure, cleansing, healing strengthening power of the Holy Ghost.

2. Serve the Lord. Always accept and magnify your callings.

3. Don't let the world get into your heart. Never set your heart on the things of the world. Pay a full tithing - This will leave the world out of your heart and the Lord in.

Elder Anderson spoke of Wisdom, encouraging discernment and judgement in the application of knowledge. God's wisdom is pure and perfect. The wisdom of the world is most valuable when it bows to the wisdom of God. Not all wisdom is created equal. We must yield our will to the wisdom of God.
Randy and I attended a session at the Rexburg temple.
Then celebrated at Emily's favorite restaurant, Red Robin, with Emily and her friend, Jordan, before heading back home.
Emily is touring Southern California with Vocal Union for the next two weeks. After that? Life is an open book and a new beginning!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Evening Out with the Mini Girls

Audrey invited me to dinner with Tiffany and Necia Burrup during the Priesthood Session of General Conference. Two years in a row makes it a tradition right? David and Michael's sweethearts were away from home so I volunteered to watch their little ones while they attended the Priesthood session with their dad. Audrey and I loaded these little girls into their car seats (three across the back seat) and bravely ventured out to TGI Fridays.  They were such angels! It took an hour to be seated, yet they were so cute and patient. More so than I was! We had a great time. Thanks for encouraging the adventure, Audrey!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

She's Got Rhythm!

Emily absolutely loves Jazz. Here is a small clip of her performance with BYU-Idaho's Vocal Union and Sound Alliance Jazz Band last week.  I think she will miss this most when she graduates next week. I know I will!

"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life."
-- Art Blakey

Monday, April 6, 2009

Remembering Two Uncles

Jay Leon Slaughter

Uncle Jay passed away on March 27. My father is now the only living member of his immediate family. Uncle Jay taught music at Ricks College for 18 years and then served in public relations for the college for the next 18. He would stay at our home in Twin Falls when visiting to recruit students for the college. 

When I was probably twelve years old, I went downstairs to retrieve something from the storage room.  I heard a noise coming from the bathroom.  It was the sound of an electric razor. Figuring it was my brother, Mark, then 13 and not yet old enough to shave; I, the know-it-all little sister yelled through the bathroom door, "Marrrrkkkk! You're not supposed to be shaving!!!" Well... it wasn't Mark, it was my Uncle Jay. I was sorely embarrassed.

Uncle Jay was so pleased with the fact that two of my girls were in the music program at BYU - Idaho.  He often attended Jenni's orchestral performances and was happy to declare that they were related.

Jay had since moved to Idaho Falls, but his funeral was held in Rexburg. I was asked to play, and decided to perform a medley of his favorite hymns -- Sweet Hour of Prayer, Oh My Father, and Our Savior's Love. Emily sang Be Still My Soul. Uncle Jay had been a fine trumpet player and the closing number was Ryan Nielsen's trumpet rendition of The Lord's Prayer. Very moving, very reverent, very appropriate.

At the luncheon, I renewed acquaintance with Jay's four children, three of whom I hadn't seen or even kept up with for 30 plus years! Why does it take a funeral...

Paul has three grown children.  His girlfriend is from Belgium. He has a lounge act in Pocatello.

Francie is living in Rexburg. Her bishop is Ted Ashton, Jenni's BYU-I violin teacher (small world). We photographed her daughter's wedding a couple of years back, so we've kept in touch a bit.

Steven has three talented children from his first marriage - a grandbaby too; and a brand new baby with his new wife.

Laura Kaye who is my age, lost her husband to cancer three years ago and is now living in Oklahoma City near her oldest daughter and grandchildren.  She is going back to school to become a nurse. Her children are strikingly gorgeous!

So many events in the past few years that I was totally unaware of. It would be a fitting thing for us to keep in touch.

Ernest Taylor

Uncle Skip passed away just one day after Uncle Jay. Randy's mother is now the only living member of her immediate family. We received no word of a funeral for Uncle Skip, which isn't really unusual for the Taylor side of Randy's family.

I visited with Skip just a handful of times. He lived in Southern California but would venture to Idaho once in a while. He was a happy man with Grandma Taylor's smiling eyes. I know he lost his first wife, Letha, many years ago. Their reunion last week must have been a sweet one.

There is a little piece of Uncle Skip in Randy. Skip had a little patch of eyebrows that grew long in front and arched over his eyes. Randy now has those too (but I keep them neatly trimmed) - a fun daily reminder of Uncle Skip.