Friday, March 30, 2012

Lessons from Jim Bob

Hello readers! As stated in the last entry, I have given my plant a hair cut (the name's Jim Bob-thanks Willie). While I lopped off 3 inches, two thoughts occurred: I myself needed a trim, and sometimes it may seem like some days cut you back down. Focusing more on the later thought, I learned first hand this week (once again) that trials, our weakened moments, and even good experiences can take us back to where we can grow, perhaps even stronger and all the wiser. 

Before hair cut.
After hair cut.
Look at them locks!

This week I've had either horrible allergies or a stubborn cold. I'm not sure which. One thing I do know is that I sound like an addicted smoker of 43 years, I cough and choke when I laugh, and croak while singing Regina Spektor. One of my teachers asked me if I was taking my vitamins, was unstressed, and getting enough sleep. I scored a solid zero on all accounts. Going back to how this relates to a pot of grass, I've learned most importantly that our trials, experiences, and the lessons learned from them can uplift others (My voice made many people laugh and smile- along with my herbal tea in English), and teach you to be patient with yourself. 

 For instance, I got a message from my friend Liz asking for me to pick her up from school. 
 After I picked her up, and driving through out busy traffic- I ran a red light on the corner by the BYU bookstore turn and the street to turn onto 9th East. I didn't realize it, until another car was pulling into the lane next to me from the opposite direction. He didn't even seem to notice. I didn't hit anything or slammed on my breaks. The best part about that experience was that a BYU Cop was right around the corner and didn't seem to see anything wrong.... Of COURSE from that experience, I then immediately turned right onto 9th East, to find a place to park to think about what I had just done. To my great surprise I heard someone call out "Kelsey!" I turned into the lane next to me, and it was my friend Matthew from my Red Cross Leadership camp. The last time I saw him was when I spotted him standing in front of the Creamery while I was driving with Sadie. (good times right Willie?)

My favorite painting at the SMOFA, from the High School Art Show.
 So while I do feel horrible about running the red light, I felt like it was one of those experiences that allowed me to feel ridiculous for a good reason. I was able to laugh and relief some anxiety. (Sorry to my Mum if you're reading this...!) I then drove back around to that same spot and legally went through it- my penance.
On a more positive note, tomorrow is General Conference, and I must say that this one of my favorite times of the year! Good thing it comes twice a year!

- The Littlest Herdman

p.s. Yes. Bow ties are cool.

Monday, March 26, 2012


At the beginning of each January, handfuls of us create New Years Resolutions, only to be forgotten, cast aside on the back burner of our lives. For some of us though, we make it. And while I like to think that "resolutions" are realistic guidelines to achieve during one's whole life rather than a year, here is my compiled list. The photo of my pot of grass is indeed a resolution. So far in my 17 years I've killed all the plants in my room (sorry Father!). Last week at the library, the Monday Night Take Home Craft was a little potted plant. After helping the kids plant theirs, I did my own, in hopes that it would grow, and I wouldn't have to cringe each time I entered my room, in fear it would be dead (conditioned from experience). I am happy to announce my plant is alive and will be receiving a spunky hair cut, sticker eyes, and a poppin red bow tie! Until then, here are my belated New Years Resolutions!
 (they were made in January, this is just their first limelight) 
1. Daily prayer & scripture study
2. Write 3 things I am grateful for each day & why
3. Fast & pay a full tithe
4. Visit the temple at least twice a month
5. Read at least 100 books
6. Get a JOB!
7. Start on family history
8. Participate dans mon classe francais!
9. Learn basic Russian
1o. Read up on Jewish history
11. Learn vibrato (yeah about time :) )
12. Collect favorite poems/writings/quotes
13. Complete my Painting by Numbers!
14. Practice piano over summer
15. Have a plant in my room & not kill it (the photo)
16. Aid Mr. Herdman in our garden
17. Write. Write. Write.

If you'd like to share your Resolutions feel free! Happy late Monday! 

     -The Littlest Herdman

To Hum To Yourself

Watch "Passenger - Lisa Hannigan" on YouTube

Perhaps my new favorite song. It even mentions Salt Lake! Oh what would we do without you Lisa?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yann Tiersen - Déjà Loin

Banjos, Pots, and Keys

You read right. Banjos. Pots. Keys. Lately those words keep popping up in my daily adventures as the Littlest Herdman. Starting with the banjo explanation, my awesome friend Beno Seely (yes, also in my El Cheapo post) took me to see Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband at Timpview High School for the soccer benefit concert, along with other friends. I've only ever been familiar with their Christmas music, "Dream Big", and "Banjo Boy" (thanks to Andrew Tate). It turned out to be quite the fest, and I don't think any of us were prepared for all the "hooting and hollering" that went down. I've always loved bluegrass music, and I think it all started when I went to Fillmore, Utah for 2 weeks to visit my Grandma Herdman- which by the way was her 87th birthday yesterday! My Grandma took my to a "Hoedown" at one of the old barns when I was in 4th grade. We made banana cream pie together and she fixed my hair in long loose braids. I remember sitting there on bails of hay listening the music and watching older couples square dance. Since then, I've always had a place in my heart for the country. Anyway- I am so glad that I was able to go the concert! I can't wait to hear them again. Here is one of my favorite songs from them:

Pots. BYU's Museum of Art currently has the exhibit of Islamic art called  "Beauty and Belief". I went by myself first before one of my viola lessons. When I walked into the entrance, my mouth dropped 4 feet and I got slightly giddish. I have this strange passion for Islamic culture, along with Persian, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. I give credit to Disney's Aladdin for instilling a love of the Middle East in me. The exhibit hosts 250 artifacts from the region, displaying the diversity and creativity of Islamic culture. One thing I found fascinating was that they had plates, bowls, and sketches of animals and people. I have always thought that Islamic law outlawed those "idol" figures. Turns out I was wrong, and I wish I could remember why. (another good reason why I should walk through the exhibit again!) Here are some photos of some artifacts:

Calligraphic Scroll
Ink, watercolor and gold on paper
Syria or India, 14th – 15th century

Falnama Manuscript Painting of the
Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus
Gouache on cloth
India or the Ottoman Empire,

Qur’an Manuscript, Volume16
Ink and color on burnished cream paper with
brown morocco binding
18th century

Tile Mosaic Fragment (Alicatado)
Tin glazed earthenware
Spain (Granada),

Parokhet (Torah Curtain)
Egypt (Cairo), early 17th century,

Cast bronze with engraved decoration
Spain (possibly Cordoba),
11th century
If you get the chance, come check out the whole exhibit. It was amazing to see a glimpse of their diverse culture and religions. The photo of the Torah Curtain is one of my favorites, since it is a symbol of Jewish and Islamic faith. Through history we that both religions were able to find unity with each other, and that gives at least me the hope that one day the past with filter into the present. The conflict between them today, is something I will hopefully study more fully once summer comes around. But until then, I can busy myself with their art!

About 2 weeks ago I had an experience with my set of keys that taught me how to be be diligent and patient with my circumstances and myself. I was parking my mother's car in front of our house, when my key got jammed in her ignition. Frantically trying to twist and pull it out, the key continued to steady itself in its locked position, mocking me. After fiddling with the break I rested my head on the steering wheel in defeat. The thought then came to me, "sometimes you need to go backward before you can move forward." I lifted my head and looked directly at the shifting gear and put the car in reverse. The car shot backward a few inches before I put it back in "park." I tapped the key once more, and it popped right out, without much force. Exclaiming my gratitude, I learned that sometimes in life, my natural instinct is to hurry past difficult challenges and trials Heavenly Father has placed before me. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the 2nd Counselor of the First Presidency, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quotes: 

 `"What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road....
When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives."

(taken from this talk)

I love this quote so much! When we take the time to discover what we can learn in our times of trial and despair, we will be able to find the essential truths that will keep us hopeful, comforted, and optimistic about the future. This year I've had to put a lot of the things I enjoy on the back burner as I've tried to work hard in school and build relationships with family and friends. At times, I find it easier to indulge myself with the things that entertain me, than the things that matter. I've realized that it doesn't matter how much stuff we can cram in day- it matters on what we take time to focus on. 

Hope this entry hasn't bored you to sleep! Happy Sunday everyone!

-The Littlest Herdman

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

April Fools! (in March)

No, this is not the Littlest Herdman. This is her friend, having fun on her blog. I hope you all enjoy reading her witty comments each day (or as often as she posts, rather), because I certainly do. I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday! - cheers, Willie.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"As the Sun Creeps Up On the Sea"

Beautiful song. Beautiful book. You'll see more video posts from this artist. I love her voice and quirks dearly. I hope you're not getting too sick of all my videos! I wonder if I can find the guitar music for this song....

#23 On My Bucket List

I now want to go to the Color Festival. I really want to do this one day!
   (#23 on Kelsey's Bucket List)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KONY 2012


"KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice."

I have followed this campaign for the past three years now, and though I haven't done much to aid this cause, I hope to do so now.  It was worth the 27 minutes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

El Cheapo!

It all started with this little guy:

Dropped off on my lawn on Valentine's Day, this golden item hosted a roll of toilet paper with the question "If you've got to go, go me! El Cheapo with Andrew Tate?" Of course I said "I would love to!" El Cheapo was our school's Winter/Spring dance that was casually based.  

 Our group consisted of 14 marvelous folk: Beno Seely and Alyssa Gates, Nate Frei and Emma Chapman, Parker Young and Jennifer, Michael and Kristen, Simon and Emily, Josh Dawson and Megan Asplund, Andrew and me. Andrew Tate is a superb friend, who I could easily write a series of blog posts on how suave is (if you're curious, you can click on his name).

After being picked up in a dashing El Cheapo van, we headed to Kiwanis park, where we entertained ourselves in chalk art featuring: fruit pictures, our dates, Y-mount - or a noble pirate ship that Andrew and I sketched- and a hit-man (shown below).

An areal shot of our group mural. Michael is standing on Andrew's shoulders. See our hit-man's staff?
Afterwards, we got lured into the Provo City Library (one of my favorite places) for a scavenger hunt. It was pretty much amazing! Though Andrew and I didn't officially win any awards for any of the categories, we both agree that we struck gold on finding the coolest books such as David Bowie and Dinosaurs!
Our treasures. (Parker and Jennifer aren't pictured... sorry guys!)

The coolest books ever! (I am laughing here...)
Afterwards, as we journeyed to our next destination, there appeared a red cooler off the side of the road which held exactly the contents of our dinner. (Nice touch there.) We parked ourselves at a large pavilion that had a lake full of ducks. Although the air was crisp and chill, we found comfort running around playing capture the flag and settling down to a cup of cider, soup, french bread and brownies. Dinner was indeed outstanding.
Candlelit dinner with our Cup O' Noodles which warmed our hands quite nicely.

BIG smiles!

Yes Andrew. I suppose you rather are steamy.

Beautiful lasses!
After warming up our hands and bellies from dinner, we decided it was time to dance! Surprisingly we stayed almost 2 hours until the very end. I think we all showed off our signature moves and enjoyed each others' company. At the close of the night, we had delicious ice cream at Michael's house, and then traveled back home.

Four out of  our seven fantastic dancers!
El Cheapo was definitely "ginger peachy". I knew it was going to be brilliant, but I admit that it surpassed even that. The friends in my group were just spectacular, and the activities were thoughtful and very enjoyable! I'm very glad that I "got to go", and go with Mr. Tate.