Saturday, April 30, 2011

Le Mont

Today is the first year anniversary of Matlock's best meme ever...Saturday Centus. The following prompt is in keeping with the occasion, and this time, we are even allowed to use a photo. Will wonders never cease? Happy anniversary to Jenny...and to all my fellow Centusians!

As is my custom, I have added 100 words to make a mini-story, and the prompt is in red.


Le Mont
©2011 Susan Noyes Anderson

Although the traditional gift for a first anniversary is paper, hers to him was a Mont Blanc pen…the flowy kind that feels like something in your hand…and a journal with lines across each page because she never could seem to chart a straight course without them. What had her mother said? When your words slant up, it means you are optimistic.

Maybe it was optimistic to think he would share himself better with her in writing, but some days the spaces yawned wide between them. Smiling, she penned her first love note inside the gilt-edged anniversary gift, laying it gently on the pillow, Mont Blanc on top. Would he meet her halfway? Was this a way to scale le mont between them?


PS. Le mont (Fr.) means the mountain.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Stories Have Shapes...

Did you ever realize that stories have shapes? Famed author Kurt Vonnegut realizes it, and this little piece of schitck by him is one of the most clever things I've seen recently. Please excuse his French (only once, thankfully!) and listen to this, because his wit is so sparkling it flies in the face of his routinely rumpled looks. What's more, his point happens to be kinda relative to what everyone's talking about today...a royal wedding!

Do listen, please! It is funny, funny, funny...especially for anyone who likes to write (even a blog)!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beguiling Buzz

B is for Brycie boy
aka Buzz

protecting the world from evil.
Thank you, o caped one!

PS. The self-styled St. Patty's Day hat is a nice touch, eh?

{These photos of my grandson courtesy of tendershootz}

click below for more B posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Here's to You, Self. (You Deserve it!)

When Karen @ Still Crazy After All These Years visited my home,

we ran across a few of these pastel bowls at a local shop.

Sadly, there weren't enough to buy the whole set.

So I decided to indulge myself by ordering them from Amazon.

And yes, I am well pleased!

PS. Did you see that they say "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" along the inside rim?? So cute.

PPS. The same company (Grasslands) also makes these adorable cupcake pedestals...

Be still, my heart!

(linking up, somewhat belatedly, to Amy's Time Out Tuesday and

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First the Eggs and then the Veggies...

Coloring eggs is serious work.

And the results are well worth guarding.

The Easter Bunny's got nothin' on these kids!

And neither does the Incredible Hulk!

Meanwhile, Dad is working on a project of his own.

Every family needs a vegetable garden, right?

What better way to help kids grow than a family project?

(What my son is doing here is called square foot gardening. You might want to check it out, as you can plant many more vegetables in a small area without weeding!)

(photos by tendershootz)

for more happiness, click below

Monday, April 25, 2011

For This, I Am Grateful

The Monument to Women Memorial Garden, a park with thirteen bronze statues depicting women in their various roles and financed by the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has always moved me. This tribute honoring women was dedicated at the Nauvoo temple in 1978, the year my only daughter was born, and I was enchanted from the start with both the poses and the feelings they inspired.

Apparently, the statues inspired S. Dilworth Young as well, because he installed copies of them at the Los Angeles temple and wrote an original poem for each one, inscribed on a plaque at the base. It was while attending the LA temple that I first saw the statues, and I was particularly taken with the one below.

Clearly, the woman portrayed here is fashioning a masterpiece of her own design. I'm not sure what the artist (Dennis Smith) intended, but I have always seen this particular bronze as a representation of the fact that each one of us becomes the artist of her own life, creating the woman she wants to become. Every choice we make, every thought we think leaves its mark on us, and the end result can and should be beautiful.

Saturday, following the baptism of a really neat young man, my husband floated the idea that we should invite all the young adults in his ward to Easter dinner. Many of them, living far from home and family, had no place to spend the he wanted to make them welcome. For some reason, I was feeling tired and irritable, and I'm sorry to say that I didn't immediately agree to his plan. The thought of cooking truckloads of ham and funeral potatoes just didn't appeal to me, and I had selfishly imagined a quieter day with my family and the ward missionaries. Usually my husband defers to my wishes on matters like these, but he was particularly persistent. After much discussion, not all of it uplifting (on my part), I grudgingly went to the grocery store that evening and purchased 4 hams, the makings for 5 batches of funeral potatoes, 4 watermelons, a flat of strawberries, and enough cake and ice cream to sink a ship. I'm ashamed to confess that I spent the rest of the evening muttering about the prospect of preparing and serving my purchases.

Early Sunday morning, I woke up and began the process. Before leaving for church, I had cut all the fruit and cloved every ham. At the end of a stirring Easter meeting, where the young people we'd invited to dinner uplifted my soul and touched my heart with talks about the Savior and his selfless sacrifice (successfully reminding me that cooking a big meal amounts to very little sacrifice at all), I returned home in a much happier frame of mind. After putting the potato casseroles together, half-cooking the vegetables so they'd be easy to get on at the last minute, and getting the tables ready, I was ready to rumble.

Needless to say, we had a wonderful day with family AND friends, enriched by the smiles and spirits of the amazing young men and women in my husband's singles ward. Had we missed the opportunity to have them in our home, our Easter would have been much the poorer, and so would my spirit. Because I was "tired," I nearly deprived myself of a day that ended up nurturing me far more than it did my guests. In fact, this one has to go down in the Anderson annals as one of the best Easters ever. (And yes, I DID end my sugar fast!)

Like the woman featured in Dennis Smith's bronze statue, every day I am sculpting the person I want to become. There are far too many moments when the chisel slips in my hand, but it is the sum total of carving (thankfully) that will inform the finished object. What's more, our Savior––the Master Sculptor––is coming to the rescue. He has promised, by His grace, to fill in all the scrapes and gouges my poor tool makes. If I am willing, He will make of me a masterpiece.

For this, I am ever grateful.

(I need all the help I can get!)


Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Peeps

Jenny is keeping us hoppin' with her Saturday Centus challenge on this lovely morning before Easter. As you can see, she has prompted us today with a picture in lieu of words. My relentlessly rhyming response follows. Just remember, it's all Matlock's fault. In fact, I take no responsibility whatsoever... ;)


You kids are getting out of hand.
How hard is it to understand?
I’m not the Easter Bunny. Geez.
No eggs, no peeps, no basket. Please!
This is velour I’m wearing here…
And you can blow it out your ear
if you don’t see, as plain as day,
that I’m a Playboy Bunny. Hey,
don’t smirk at me. Hugh likes my chest.
Okay, it’s different from the rest
but different strokes for different folks.
That doesn’t mean that I boil yolks
or color shells or scatter treats.
These hands (not paws!) don’t pass out sweets.
These feet don’t thump; these ears don’t hear.
They’re simply part of my headgear.
So Easter morning, don’t call me.
You’re barkin' up an empty tree.
Just take that little Easter pail
and hop on down the bunny trail.


And a very hoppy birthday to my beautiful Mom!
I won't tell you her age, but she's no spring chick...
(She did used to be an Easter bunny, though.)
~ not a Playboy one ~


Friday, April 22, 2011

He Walked Alone

Jerusalem, He entered like a King.
with shouts of acclamation, fronds of palm.
But these gave way to fear, and none stood with Him.
To His stripes, loving hands applied no balm.

He walked alone; and, bowed beneath the cross,
He who gave living water tasted gall
and vinegar and blood, then drank the cup––
a sinless, selfless sacrifice for all.

Because of Him, our bodies rise again.
In Him, is every spirit justified.
And every soul is ransomed by His hand,
pierced through, by those for whom He bled and died.

Yet in His final hours on the cross,
His heart was turned to them in love and grace.
Father, forgive…They know not what they do.
Stripped of His sacred life, He pled their case.

How infinite His mercy and devotion.
How wonderful His gentleness and power.
Exquisite was the pain our Lord endured,
the solitude that marked His final hour.

Surely, He must not walk alone again.
Be His. Walk with the Savior. Tell His story.
In testifying, we stand all amazed.
In serving Christ, we kneel before His glory.

When He returns, the world will stand amazed;
then every knee will bow, each tongue confess.
The time is nigh, and there is work to do.
Press forward, Saints. We owe Him nothing less.


"...I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live." -John 11:25


(Okay, that's it! No more Easter poems till next year. Promise!)


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Miracle of Easter (A Child's Story)

©Susan Noyes Anderson, All Rights Reserved

The Miracle of Easter: A Child’s Story

©2011 Susan Noyes Anderson

Easter is filled with so many good things:
bunnies and babies and butterfly wings,
Easter egg hunts, colored baskets and bows,
showers and sunshine, bright blossoms, new clothes,
and secret surprises that hide in tall grass,
like candy and colored eggs, fragile as glass.

But Easter is more than the magic of spring.
It’s more than sweet jasmine and birds on the wing.
The reason for Easter is far more than these,
though its truth can be seen in the flowers, the trees,
and in all living things, as they take on new life,
overcoming bleak seasons of sorrow and strife.

In winter, for instance, plants die or turn brown.
Bears nap in a cave; woodchucks sleep underground.
A layer of ice and a blanket of snow
keep seedlings from sprouting, but deep down below
lies the hope of renewal when winter is gone
and the promise of spring as the cycle goes on.

This promise of new life belongs to us, too.
When we die, we can live again, just as plants do.
Even if we are under the earth in a grave,
like a woodchuck or bear, sound asleep in his cave,
we can rise up again when the season is right
and come out from the darkness and into the light.

Do you know why we can? Have you heard the real story?
Easter’s about Jesus, in all of His glory.
He came to the earth as a baby, remember?
We celebrate Christmas, His birth, in December.
But Christ didn’t stay just a baby for long,
He grew up. And He grew to be perfect and strong.

He was God’s Son, and oh, what great things He could do!...
Bless the sick, heal the blind, even raise the dead, too.
People thought He was magic, and yet He was not.
He was just like His Father, and all that He taught
was to love one another, to always be kind,
and to try to be like Him in heart, soul, and mind.

Christ had some disciples that helped Him, twelve men.
They loved Him, and He loved them right back again.
They tried to protect Him from envy and hate,
but evil men plotted and sealed Jesus’ fate.
Betrayed by a friend, beaten by leather strands,
He would die on a cross with nails piercing His hands.

“If thou wilt, let this cup pass from me,” He had prayed.
But God’s answer was no, and so Jesus obeyed.
He had power to save Himself, but He did not.
He remembered His mission and never forgot
that by giving His life, He’d be saving our own.
So He gave it up freely and said with a groan:

“Father forgive; they know not what they do.”
Then He said, “It is finished.” He died in full view
of the people who killed Him, the people He saved,
the people who put their Lord into His grave.
But do you think He stayed there, like regular men?
He did not. Three days later, He rose up again.

For three days, His loved ones had suffered and cried.
Their hearts had been broken the day Jesus died.
But now they were happy and calm, for they knew
their Master had overcome death. It was true.
Every life was eternal, forever and ever.
And one day, we’d all be in heaven together.

Christ loved us so much, He was willing to die
so that we could be saved from our sins, you and I.
In some wonderful way that no one can explain,
Jesus took from us all of our sorrow and pain
and made it His own; somehow, death was undone.
When our Savior arose from the grave, we all won.

Do you see now why Easter is more than a bunny––
sweeter than jelly beans, chocolate, or honey?
Easter is the day Jesus rose from the tomb
and went to prepare, in God’s mansion, a room
for each one of us, so we can live with Him there.
And THAT is a miracle beyond compare.

click below for more A posts

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Prince and an Easter Poem

You may have noticed I don't post on Sundays.

Last Sunday was my son's birthday...

and I couldn't let it go unremembered here.

What's more, my sister's birthday is today!
My brother-in-law's is Friday.
And my mom's is Saturday.
My husband's was two weeks ago,
as was my son-in-law's.

April is a busy month for us!
Happy Birthday, everyone.

I hope you will take a minute to hop over to We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ, where I am guest posting with my newest poem about Easter, "Living Water: Cleansing the Disciples." This poem happens to be one of my very favorites, and I'd love to share it with you right here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Stories and Other Glories

In honor of Easter, two of my grandkids
are hanging out in a pretty cool egg!

Have you read the fun Easter story-poem I wrote them last year?
Check out The Easter Bunny's Tale right here.
I think you'll like it.


PS. Thursday morning (day after tomorrow), I'll be posting my brand new one: The Miracle of Easter: A Child's Story. It's this year's gift to my grandchildren, and I hope you'll enjoy it, too.

for more happy posts, click below