American Quilting Retreat 2015

I’m off to a retreat for a few days.  Photos coming!

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Utah Days for Girls March News!

I’m working on it!

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International Women’s Day Celebration

UVU

Kayla Clark | Staff Writer
Utah Valley University’s first lady Paige Holland first hosted a Ladies Night in 2011, and that event has developed into UVU’s annual International Women’s Day celebration. This year’s International Women’s Day celebration was held Thursday, March 12 in the Grand Ballroom.

“Our women students are very important to us,” said Renee Jardine, public relations specialist for the Women’s Success Center, the host of the event. “In fact, creating an event to celebrate international women was actually a student’s idea. We jumped at the chance to coach an international student on how to plan an event. The event has continued because we like providing a unique experience and educating our students and the community about what women from different countries are experiencing. We also enjoy celebrating what our international students are doing and encouraging them to become change agents when they return home.”

The event featured food from around the world, as well as entertainment that showcased dance from India, Samoa, and Mexico.

“As they perform for you, they tell you a story. And the story is about success,” said Victor Narsimulu, Program Director of Cultural Envoy.

The event also included the presentation of the Rainmaker Award – an award given to a community member for their involvement in making a difference for girls and women globally. The award was presented to Ann Lewis – the Director of Utah Days for Girls.

“Ann spends countless hours coordinating service events, educating volunteers about the conditions these girls are in and teaching volunteers how to prepare hygiene kits, along with finding and buying supplies for the kits, plus much more,” said Jardine. “She shows outstanding love and service to young girls around the world.”

A large part of the event centered around a service project for Days for Girls. At the end of the evening, guests were invited to assemble hygiene kits for women in need around the world.  The project will continue April 1 from 10 am to 3pm in the Hall of Flags. Volunteers will be assembling hygiene kits as well.

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Sent with Love. Received with Love.

Yesterday something pretty exciting happened.  Thirty-three years ago I met Alan and Leigh Chazen in South Africa when I was a missionary there.  For 33 years we have been best friends.  This week they sent their daughter, Baili, off on an 18-month mission.  She was assigned to serve at the Historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City.  After a 25 hour trip, her plane landed yesterday at 4:07 p.m.  As she came down the escalator, I felt like I was seeing the face of a soul I’ve known and loved a long time.  What a thrill to welcome Baili to Utah and to her mission here.  I’m so happy for her and was so very happy to see Alan and Leigh in her smile and hear their voices in hers.  I love them each with all my heart.2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (4)2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (10) 2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (11) 2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (9)2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (12)

We drove around Temple Square and showed Baili the Conference Center below, where some of the best people on this earth congregate.  It was so fun to watch her take it all in.  It’s beautiful and inspiring.2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (13)

Then we walked through Temple Square, which will be her home base in the coming months as she welcomes visitors and guests to this historic and sacred spot.2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (14) 2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (16) 2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (17) 2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (18)

We met two other Sister Missionaries who are currently serving in this place.  They will become good friends after Baili completes her 3 weeks of training at the Missionary Training Center in Provo.2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (19) 2015-3-24 Sister Baili Chazen (21)

I am grateful for the blessings I’ve enjoyed because many years ago I answered a call to serve far away in Africa.  Every part of my life is better because of who I met and what I learned when I was there.  Today was just one more evidence of that.

Below–Alan and Leigh Chazen 26 Dec 1982:SoAfri252

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500 Blog Posts. Wow.

2015-3-13 Reedley (19)I took this photo last week in California.  I love the feeling of that tree, a lone living organism, there on a hillside, noticed or unnoticed, doing what it can to live and grow and absorb nourishment and stretch heavenward.

Its being could have been for naught but itself, but I captured this image on film, and now, forevermore, this one glimpse will be preserved.  Our lives are sort of like this tree.  We live, we grow, we learn, we die.  And if we don’t capture and preserve something in words or in photos, it’s as if we never lived.  It reminds me of this thought from Ron Barney from the Church History Department (22 Nov 2010 radio interview):

“If you do not write your story, your name will be obliterated from the human record and you will  not speak from the grave. You will not have any influence on those who come after you. Those  who write about the things they have done and learned in life have a huge impact on posterity.   Write your story. You have overcome things your children need to know about.”

This is my FIVE HUNDRED AND FIRST blog entry.  Imagine that!  501 thoughts captured.  What if I had not started writing here?  What a loss that might have been.  It would be like this tree, living unnoticed.  I am grateful to have this photo.  I’ve already stared at it a long time.  It intrigues me.  I can tell life has not been easy for this tree.  Its branches are gnarled and unsymmetrical, dipping low and reaching high–but achieving a balance of sorts.  Like my life.

My thanks to AnnDee Ellis, my BYU Memoir Professor, who encouraged us to start a blog and write regularly.  500 parts of me have been preserved.  I’m happy about that.

500 Posts!

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Laemmlen Family Reunion March 2015, Reedley California

words and organization coming. . . .

2015-3-14 Laemmlen Family Reunion (97)

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Indian Wells, CA Tennis!

Indian Wells

I’ve had a bit of a break this week.  After the gala event at UVU Thursday evening, we got in the car (at 10:00 p.m.) and drove to Las Vegas, where we slept a few hours, then continued on to my hometown, Reedley, California.  We spent a few days there with family, had a wonderful reunion with my cousins and aunts and uncles, then John and our niece Janelle and I headed south to even warmer country, Indian Wells.  World Class Tennis for a whole week!  It was really fun.  John Loves watching tennis.  The last 2 years he’s come to this tournament with our boys.  This time it was my turn

Here we are watching the pros play–Roger Federer, my favorite, Rafa Nadal, Djokovic, the Bryan brothers, and many more.  It was pretty amazing.  And did I say hot?  In the 90s.  I love the sun and the heat.  We had a great time.  We saw a lot of tennis.2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (16)2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (3)2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (18)Below is Roger Federer signing autographs after one of his victories.

2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (38)

As I sat in this huge stadium, watching champions play, I kept thinking of my ancestors and the impressions I’ve had many times (pretty much whenever I’m in a large stadium) that there are legions of my flesh and blood in another place cheering me on.  I felt rather small in this stadium, thinking “I am all that you have,” and still they cheer me on.  It is humbling to consider.  I feel their love for me and I can’t wait to meet them someday.

I suppose the day will come when I enter that Heavenly Stadium to cheer on my posterity.  You can be sure my voice will be loud and clear as I shout and encourage in whatever way I’m allowed.  I will be there.  I promise.

Indian Wells Stadium

Here is some of the work I did while watching the matches (some days went 12-14 hours!).

2015-3 Indian Wells (32)     2015-3 Indian Wells (30)2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (41)

2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (46)Prepping for my next applique project.  I cut out most of an album quilt!

Here is the view from our hotel room at the Ritz Carlton:2015-3-16 to 20 Indian Wells Tennis (47)

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