Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meeting President Hinckley

by Kim Patton (my sister-in-law)
Boca Raton, Florida
(written January 31, 2008)

President Gordon B. Hinckley was returning to the states from Brazil on Sunday, November 17, 1996, and planned to stop in Miami. He agreed to do a two-session conference with Southeast Florida the day he arrived and continue on to Salt Lake City the following day. The Ft. Lauderdale Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Potter, were asked to host a dinner that night for the Prophet, his wife, the group traveling with him and all the Stake Presidents and their wives.

Being newly called, Sister Potter was nervous that her first time as mission hostess was a dinner for the Prophet. She mentioned this to our Stake President who called Robes, the bishop of our ward, and asked if he'd give Sister Potter a hand in planning the menu. Being an enthusiastic cook and entertainer, Robes helped her plan and volunteered to provide a few different salads, assisted by one of his counselors who also loved to cook. Our ward was scheduled for the morning session. We left early to drop off the salads at the Mission Home before rushing over to the convention center. After the delivery we headed toward the meeting and Robes kept saying, "You can't believe how much chicken she's going to cook by herself during the second session. One person can't do all that cooking in two hours."

We took our seats in time, but unknowingly would have hours to entertain the children until President Hinckley arrived. A wiper blade on the jet he was aboard came loose and posed a danger to the plane. Because the flight had just taken off, the pilot had to circle the airport in Brazil until enough fuel was burned off to land safely, then fix the wiper and take off again. While we sat in Ft. Lauderdale, President Hinckley circled Sao Paulo and Robes kept muttering, "Sister Potter cannot cook all that food alone!" Eventually, President Hinckley arrived and gave a talk about seemingly small things (loose wiper blades) getting in the way of our salvation.

Being so far from the leadership of the church, it was wonderful to be in the presence of the Prophet again and share that experience with our kids. When it ended, Robes asked my sister and her husband if they'd take our 18-month-old, Adrienne, home for a while so we could help Sister Potter cook during the next session. He turned to Ian (9) and Jamel (6) and said, "Now, boys, we're just going to help prepare the meal for the Prophet, but we're not going to see him. Preparing his meal will be special enough and then we'll leave. So don't misunderstand that we're going to be there long enough to see President Hinckley."

It was such a fun afternoon. We all donned aprons and while Robes and Sister Potter cooked, the boys and I put out chairs, linens, and centerpieces and set the tables. It was getting dark and we weren't sure how long before the Miami session would be over. Jamel volunteered to watch the driveway for headlights while we rushed to check the last minute things. Suddenly, he screamed, "Car!!" Startled, Sister Potter threw off her apron, snapped on her tag, jumped in her pumps and stood at attention at the front door. I couldn't stop giggling about how automatic her response was. We all crouched in the kitchen peering around the doorway to the living room where Sister Potter stood straight and stiff. Then we heard a movement behind us. We
turned and saw President and Sister Hinckley with two gigantic body guards and Elder Richard G. Scott in the kitchen watching the back of us. We still don't know how they came so close without making noise. Sister Potter still stood unaware at the front door. Robes introduced all of us in our aprons and then Elder Scott bent down at eye level with the boys and took one of their hands and said, "What is your name?" I think it was Ian who gave his name first. Elder Scott replied, "My name is Richard." Then he did the same with Jamel. We led them to the couches where they waited for all the Stake Presidents to arrive.

We served dinner and before dessert, Sister Potter told the boys they could take a tray to President and Sister Hinckley to let them choose their dessert first. The boys were so excited holding the tray together. Afterward, Sister Hinckley stopped by Ian and put her hands on his shoulders (she was barely taller than he was) and told him what a lovely dinner he prepared and that the dessert was just right. Before they left, Robes asked President Hinckley if he could trouble him to stand with the boys for a photo. I love to look at it because Ian is trying to touch President Hinckley unnoticed and Jamel is pouting because he didn't understand why I was motioning for him to get on the other side. Then they were gone.

We gathered around the kitchen table - the Potters, us and a few missionary couples. Our family hadn't eaten all day, so we made plates of leftovers and then Sister Potter noticed that their 15-year-old, Andrew, was digging into a heaping plate. She said, "Andrew, how can you be that hungry? You just ate with us." He looked at her in disbelief. "Mom, you think I could chow down with Richard G. Scott looking straight across the table at me!" On the drive home we took turns saying, "I cannot believe that just happened!" Robes reminded the boys that all their friends would go to bed that night so happy they got to see the prophet and that he thought it would be unfair to make them feel like they missed out on anything. He told them it was best not to tell anyone in the Ward about what happened. When they felt like they might burst to talk about it, then they could call anyone in the family out of state, but they couldn't tell anyone in the ward. "And remember, boys, you just met the prophet who may very well be the one who calls you on a mission. After meeting him tonight, could you really tell him 'no'?"

We never told anyone in our ward until years after Robes died.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Three kids in two-and-a-half years

Last night I went to visit my friend who has a 3 week old girl and a 16 month old boy. Bless her! My parents had 3 kids in 2 1/2 years. One brother is 13 months older than me and one brother is 19 months younger than me (and then baby Charlie is almost six years younger than me). Back in the day, there were no car seats, no double strollers, no back packs, no baby bjorns, no kid leashes.

My mom always says, "I could put the kids in the car and drive around but I couldn't get out."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Boston Temple dedication

I attended the dedication of the Boston Temple on October 1, 2000. My ticket was for the first session and I was excited about that. I wanted to savor every minute of the experience. I quietly waited in line with friends. I was touched as I walked by the youth choir singing as I entered the Temple. I was seated in a room and quietly waited for the dedication session to begin. After a few minutes someone came up to me (and the other women in my row) and whispered, "Follow me." I knew where I was going. The man escorted us into the Celestial Room and seated us in the 7th row. Wow! I knew the dedication would be a memorable experience for me. We patiently and reverently waited for the dedication session to begin. And in walked President Hinckley. I had known for many years that he was a prophet of God, but seeing him in the Celestial Room that day confirmed it to me again.

This picture was taken by Rick Egan two days before the Temple dedication. Rick is a photographer for the Salt Lake Tribune and Robes' college friend. I display this picture in my home because it was how the Temple looked when it was dedicated. Nearly a year later the steeple and Angel Moroni were attached.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley --- 1910-2008

Berkshire Birthday Boy

My friend's little boy Quinn turned 1 today in the Berkshires!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My weekend in the Berkshires...

...good food, good movies, good books, good views, good friends, a good time!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter swim

I’m going to the Berkshires this weekend to a friend’s vacation home which now has a hot tub! Last night I was digging through some “summer clothes” bins in my crawl space to find my swimming suit. When I found it, I took a look at it and realized that I bought it at Filene’s in 1989 or 1990. Does that make it an antique? It has lasted so long because I don’t use it much.

Photo courtesy of the interweb.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Senor Patton

Here is a recent picture of my nephew in Argentina.  He's a great kid/man/missionary.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My personal bean bag

My friends gave me this bean bag for Christmas. You heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes and it will keep your feet warm and toasty in bed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Super Bruce

A few months ago my friend blogged about how her little boy uses her slip as a cape. When I read that I decided to make him a cape of his own so I bought some black polyester fabric and black velcro. Last night I finally made the cape for him. I decided to add a "B" (600 point Tahoma font) for Bruce out of some fabric I had with airplanes on it. I delivered it tonight and Super Bruce loved it and was running back and forth with it on!

Monday, January 21, 2008

I had a dream and a goal

I started this quilt many months ago. I've had 40 completed squares sitting around (I should have photographed them before I started sewing today). It's Denyse Schmidt's "hop skip and jump" pattern with lots of red reproduction fabric (my fave) and quilter's muslin. I've been wanting to finish this project and a few weeks ago I decided to work on it today (the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday) because I would have a big chunk of time and I wanted to complete it in one sitting. The quilt top is done!!! I'm SEW excited! Now I need to find someone to do the machine quilting, I'll bind it and it will go on the wall above my piano. I can't wait to have it completely finished and on the wall! It will be a dream come true.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Talking at 10

I probably gave my first church talk -- in Primary (the children's organization) -- when I was 3 years old. We start 'em giving talks and reciting scriptures and singing songs young in my church.

One of my little friends Kylie (age 10) gave an amazing talk (that she wrote herself) on reverence in Sacrament Meeting today. She was confident and inspiring. Here is her talk and a picture of her that I took after church today.

Hello my name is Kylie and I have been asked to talk to you about reverence, especially in the chapel. A lot of people think reverence is just sitting still and being quiet. But reverence is more than that. Reverence is respect to the Lord and his house. Cleaning up your programs and other trash after Sacrament Meeting is one way you can show reverence. And not bringing food into the chapel. Quiet activities like coloring are OK for children to do if they still listen. You also have to mean it when you are reverent, not just do it so people think you are. Reverence is also love. In Matthew 19 verse 13-15 when the children come to Jesus and the disciples tell them to go away, Jesus says “suffer the children to come until me”. The children come to Jesus in that scripture because they love and respect him. We should all love and respect Jesus and his house the same way those little children did. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

So long, farewell

My friends Jim and Mimmu Sloan are moving to Finland next week. I went to a lovely dinner tonight in their honor. We went around the room and shared stories and memories. Some of the people there have known them 40 years (I've known them nearly 20 years). I told about asking Mimmu (who is an amazing cook, baker and hostess) if I could bring 10 gals from church over for dinner a few years ago. I wanted them to get to know her and I wanted her to get to know them. She graciously agreed and we all enjoyed a delicious meal and many delightful stories at her big square table. It was a memorable night! Jim and Mimmu raised five children of their own and many foster children. Four of their children and most of their grandchildren will live within a few hours of them in Finland. They will be missed by the hundreds of people they have befriended in New England.

If I close my eyes, I can almost hear them singing, in beautiful harmony, "For health and strength and daily food we praise thy name, O Lord".

Friday, January 18, 2008

8 Dresses

27 Dresses opens in theaters today so I am posting 8 photos (I believe they are in order) from the 8 times I was a bridesmaid in the 80's (did I really need to tell you it was the 80's?).

Always a bridesmaid...

...never a bride.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cookies by the dozen

I promised my coworker yesterday that I was going to make a treat. I'm a day late but I know these cookies will be a big hit at work. And, yes, they were Made at Midnight!

Grammy's Chocolate Cookies
From the Martha Stewart 2001 Holiday Cookies Magazine

2 cups plus 2 T flour
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
10 ounces (2½ sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour and cocoa mixture; beat to combine. Chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into balls and roll in sanding sugar. Bake 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Makes 3½ dozen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bag Tag

My blogging buddy Kelli tagged me for "inside your bag". My bag is a lime green messenger bag from the sale bin at the Eddie Bauer Outlet and here's what's inside.

Picture #1: my black wallet, a spare set of keys I've been meaning to give my friend so if I have an emergency I'll be able to get into my condo, a Sherpani change purse that has my work ID and bus/subway pass in it, a pouch I made myself out of my brother Robes' jeans (to house my chapstick, lipstick, blush, kleenex, and dental floss), and The Book of Mormon.

Picture #2: Two notebooks for making lists of "things to do" (a necessity), a pill box (and no, I'm not 80), my cell phone, work keys, and can't-live-without Palm Pilot.

Picture #3: cell phone headset, my small digital camera and brown case (a recent purchase so I can always have a camera with me), hair clip, pens, red case for sunglasses and drug store reading glasses (and no, I'm not 80), and the worry doll my coworker gave me.

Picture #4: a recent letter from my nephew who is a missionary in Argentina. I'm a proud aunt.

And now I'm tagging Jenn, Wendy, Rebecca, Diana and Kim. Bag Tag!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol -- Season #7

I watched American Idol tonight for the first time and I watched it because my brother John's friend Brooke White auditioned in Philly for the show. She lives in Van Nuys, my hometown (and Paula Abdul's for that matter), and is originally from Mesa. She was the last one and she was awesome! They even said, "Is American Idol saving the best for last?" John and I kept calling each other during the show (he's in L.A. and is having people over to watch it tonight) and I was updating him on what was happening. There were some interesting characters auditioning and some people with interesting stories. I've been searching the internet for a clip of Brooke's audition but I can't find it. So instead I scanned in the cover of her CD that John sent me. Incidentally, John can't swim...or surf but GOOD LUCK, BROOKE!!!

P.S. I found this You Tube link of Brooke singing "Free".