Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Change, Cultural Celebration and Gilbert Temple Dedication Part I

I couldn't help it. I had to make this meme.
Somehow I blinked and now it's Tuesday and it's three days into March. I am already mourning our "winter" (or lack of, this year). The awful heat is just around the corner. Hopefully we can stay busy preparing for this move that it won't be noticed as much. 

Took down my awesome Frosty yesterday...He usually stays up after Halloween to the end of February. I'm sad that another Winter is almost over...
At least it was cool and cloudy this morning. I usually don't run on Tuesdays, but I had to take advantage of the ideal conditions. I put Alexander in the jogging stroller and off we went. I also only reserve some sacred music on my run for temperatures in the 60s and below. "Just Like Heaven" as a mentioned in a recent previous post isn't worthy enough for the treadmill. It's for the clouds and cool air and the running freedom that comes with it.  Man, I need to move to Oregon! 

Speaking of the move (sadly, NOT to Oregon...), we went to Wickenburg on Saturday. Well, the boys came with us. Mikelle was involved in the huge Cultural Celebration (more on that in a second). 

We sat with Kevin, our contractor, and tried to trim the cost breakdown. I was quiet (seriously, I was) as Chris was doing the engineer thing and discussing every nook and cranny. I was filled with emotion, however. It was a combination of worry, stress about the cost, the move itself and what it will involve, thinking of Mikelle who is not pleased about the move, and those are just the big things I can remember. I was praying too. 

I've been meaning to also pick up some lottery tickets! Haha

Some concrete good news is, we are pretty much good on a rental so we can move in July for sure, as school starts August 6th - the day before Mikelle turns 14! The rental belongs to a friend of a friend. However, the description of it, while kind of cool along the Hassayampa River Preserve is smaller than expected and a little quirky. The Hippie adventurous side of me loves the description, but the practical tired Mom part of me isn't so sure. If it was just Chris and I or we had only one kid, it would be fine. However, that's not our reality. We'll have to go take a look at it. But if our new house is already in the process of being built when we move, I can see making the rental work. However, if we still haven't broken ground by July (please please please don't let that be the case!), I'm not too sure about the rental situation.
Goofing around at our land site.

Saturday was also beautiful day in the 60s and the valley received rain after 60+ days of nothing (remember what I said about this disappointing winter?). We visited our land to see how the wash in the back of the 5 acres was doing. We also looked at possibly changing the location of the house on the land. We originally had the home planned a little far back up on a higher part that was flat for the top/main level, and the hillside/walkout would sit below on the slope. However, it's looking like a lot of the cost is what it'll take to have everything transported back in there from the road in order to start the building in the first place. Plus, the long driveway would be a huge cost. 

Yep - Welcome to Wickenburg! :face palm:
Therefore, even though it's not ideal and not our first choice, we'll probably move the home closer to the street, but lower than the higher spot that is further back in the land. Therefore, that also means more excavation for the lower hillside/walkout area.  But hopefully this change will lower the cost.  *Crossing fingers*

In one of my nephew's correspondence from his mission in Africa, it reads:

Even if it's not how we want it,

I'm glad that it always works out in the end.

Even if it seems like it's not going to,

I'm glad that it always works out in the end.

Even though it's hard to remember,
It always works out in the end.

We need to remember that. Always. It's just tough for "over-thinkers" like me. 

2014 Gilbert Temple Youth Cultural Celebration

Despite the beautiful day of rain and more winter-like temperatures, the blessing of rain also proved to be a challenge for the Cultural Celebration back in Gilbert at Discovery Park across the street from the Gilbert Temple. 

We were driving home from Wickenburg when we began to watch it streaming live on one of the news websites. It was raining very hard in Surprise (where we were when the celebration began), but as we watched Mikelle's number with the Firedance (the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego story from the Book of Daniel), the rain there in Gilbert didn't look too bad.

However, after that, it began to come down very heavy.  I knew these 12,000 kids didn't have any shelter other than maybe rain ponchos or the occasional lucky umbrella. 
"Dancing in the Rain" by Contraltissimo

As I sat in the passenger seat holding Chris's iPhone and watching the streaming video on that small screen (and holding it where he could occasionally glance over - safely and steal a look), I was overcome with more emotion than I expected. Watching our 12,000 youths singing and dancing created my own deluge of tears as the camera panned over them smiling in the pouring rain. You could see the rain pouring down, but it was more apparent on shots of the stage as the heavy rain splashed onto it. 

Not only were these youths so tenacious to not allow the rain drown their spirits - but it gave them more of a reason to smile. That's how it felt to me. The spirit I felt and my own rainstorm of tears can only be explained by the love and devotion I felt from seeing it on 12,000 wet and beautiful faces.

The artwork to the right is by Connie on DeviantArt titled "Dancing in the Rain" and this is her description of the artwork in reference to the Cultural Celebration:
Singing in the Rain
When Mormons dedicate a new temple, first they gather all the youth ages 12-18 in the district, and have them put on a cultural celebration for the prophet, honoring and expressing through music and dance the traditions and heritage of the land where the temple has been built.

Gilbert, AZ just got a beautiful new temple, and this evening was the cultural celebration.  I just watched about twelve thousand youth perform these numbers of mass choreography in the rain.  (Arizona.  Ha!  What are the odds?)  What a bunch of troopers!  Agh.  Everybody got muddy shoes and feet, costumes and props were sullied, eight-ish violins, a handful of guitars and some four hundred ukeleles might need some sweet-lovin' care tonight but dang.  Those kids sang and danced their hearts out.

And then Connie got an art-itch and actually made a speed-painting, and she is so happy about that.  

Way to go, Gilbert Temple District Youth!   
Soaked to the bone and smiling!

This artwork is also featured in a blog post from the Stake Chair/Producers for the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration. It contains images and words about that night and a message to the youth and puts my thoughts together more than I could have. There is also a video linked with the entire performance. Especially this excerpt:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
Your hardships in practices, and the performance in bad weather, your presentation of testimony in this way to Jesus Christ will be historical and noted among the spirits.  I would not have felt as I did thru the entire program, had I not witnessed it in the rain. Your performance added something of such worth to the subsequent dedication of the temple. Those reading of it down thru the decades will add it to such accounts of other temples, and what it took to build, dedicate and attend them.   

As featured in Open Letter to the Youth of the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration – THANK YOU - Entry

The following day was the Dedication of the Gilbert Temple. Part II of this entry covering that wonderful experience will be posted tomorrow.  This entry alone conveys enough emotion and it's overwhelming, and it's only about half of what was experienced. 

Until tomorrow...

Cultural Celebration - Most likely from Practice Day February 22nd. Mikelle is spotted "Where's Waldo" style with the arrow! lol


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