Monday, April 4, 2011

March Madness

March has been a great month for us! Heidi and I have been able to get out quite a bit and as the semester draws to a close there are many activities going on, on- campus. At the beginning of the month, we participated in an "I-mazing Race," which is a BYU-I version of the Amazing Race. For those unfamiliar with the Amazing race it is a TV show where pairs of contestants are given clues as they race around the world completing tasks. So, Heidi and I raced around campus finding hidden eggs, getting a strike at the bowling alley, putting together a puzzle, taking a picture with Thor, Latin dancing, etc. There were about nine of these tasks that we had to complete as fast as we could to get the next clue. The next clue would direct us to our next challenge. We had tons of fun and plan on participating again next semester. After this experience, Heidi and I decided that we wanted to be a little more active in our dates and family activities.

On Mondays, for the after school program,I have been taking the kids bouldering, which is a form of rock climbing where you don’t use a harness. I found out I could get a deal if I bought a punch card and we have gone twice this month. It has been a very challenging activity for both of us physically and emotionally. The place where we go is an outdoor store on Main Street where they have 15' - 20’ routes to climb around, and mats to place underneath you in case you fall.

We've continued having couples from our ward over for FHE. It has been a great way to get to know all of the people in our ward and stay connected to them. Since we go to a student ward, and BYU-I has a trimester track system, we have a whole batch of move-ins three times a year at the start of a new semester. We find that it is easier to do the things we know we should when there are other people to do them with. I think this is true of most things throughout our life – and that is why our families are of great importance.

I had a staff-training meeting for scout camp down in Idaho Falls later in the month so afterwards we got together with some of our married friends and went to Bodies: The Exhibition at the Museum of Idaho.This exhibit is amazing. They have preserved several full human bodies and stripped them of their skin to show bones, muscles, nerves,veins, etc. They have one whole room dedicated to the development of fetuses and another to the circulatory system. They also had several display cases of specific body parts that had been preserved. They have done a good job of tactfully presenting the human body and all of its complexities. And to imagine that we get to make these someday! We had a really good time and afterward went out to dinner with several of our friends. If this presentation is ever available to you I would recommend going. As a general rule I wouldn’t take children, though. I am sure there is a ton of information online for those interested in the content of the exhibition.

Last week I participated in a concert version of The Savior of the World. It is a musical play where the first act is everything leading up to Christ's birth and the second act is everything after his death. A whole group of people participated in a 400 person choir, a full orchestra, and a 40 person cast to present the music and the message of this play to a 12,000+ audience in the new BYUI Center. It was a great privilege to be able to participate. I was a member of the ensemble choir. We had dress rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday and then just one performance on Friday night. I had an opportunity to watch it on stage two years ago, here at BYU-Idaho and thought that production was better overall, but the feeling of the music was still powerfully presented without costumes or scenery.

Just this last weekend, the morning after the performance, we drove all the way up to Coeur d'Alene to spend some time with the Luke Family who were staying at a little resort near the lake through their time-share. They paid for our gas which made such a short trip more enticing. We carpooled with Emily, Heidi’s sister, and Preston, her soon to be fiancĂ©. They went up so he could ask permission to marry Emily. We spent most of the time playing kids games, talking, and planning their family reunion. I also slept quite a bit because I was the primary driver for our 14 hour round trip weekend. We had a great time and saw some more of this beautiful earth god has created for us. That is an interstate Heidi and I had never driven but there this some great scenery!

We also stopped by the St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula, Mt. It is listed as a state historical site even though the Catholic Church still currently uses it. The main building is a mini version of what I imagine European cathedrals to look like. The main hall is lined with two rows of pillars holding up a spacious three story domed roof. All of the windows in the main room were stained glass and everywhere else on the ceilings and walls there were murals representational of bible stories. In the back of the room on the 2nd story was a functioning old pipe organ. If there was any other empty space on the pillars or walls it was filled up with golden painted filigree. However magnificent this building looked it felt terribly empty. I am so grateful to be a part of the true church and that God has allowed so many temples to dot the earth. May we forever cherish the covenants we have made there.We appreciate having family so close around here but wish that we could see the rest of you more often.

P.S. Heidi and I used our tax return to pay off more than $3,000 of debt this last month. Part of that was one of Heidi's student loans.