Wednesday, May 25, 2011

U2 - Well Worth the Wait!

U2 was originally scheduled June 3, 2010 to kick off the North American leg of their current world tour, U2 360, in Salt Lake City.  Not sure why they picked SLC, but it was big local news here at the time.  But then while rehearsing for the tour in Munich, Germany Bono suffered a serious back injury in May of 2010.  Several of the earlier tour dates, including SLC, had to be rescheduled.  

Thankfully Bono was successfully treated and U2 finally made it here for their concert last night, and Blain and I went.  It was AMAZING!  I think it was probably one of the best concerts I've ever been too.  It certainly was the largest, over 50,000 in attendance.

The 360 Degree stage was fantastic.  Though ironically I couldn't help but wonder what kind environmental "footprint" it left.  It was massive with lots of electronic wizardry.  Just to haul that thing around the world, not to mention to power it up, would take a lot of energy.  It was very impressive and I guess if it entertained people and made them feel good (which it clearly did, myself included) there are a lot more destructive ways to use energy resources such as war.

Bono and the whole band were great.  The music was great, the rapport between the band and the audience was great.  Like I said, the best concert I've ever been too (sorry Green Day, though your Denver concert I went to last year was a close second).

The funny thing was, I hadn't bought tickets to the original show scheduled in 2010.  I can't remember why, probably just busy with other things.  I like U2 and had bought Joshua Tree when it first came out in 1987 (yes, folks, I'm that old and it was an LP not a CD), but I'm not a huge fan.  Anyway, just decided not to pass up the opportunity and had gotten the cheapest tickets which were behind the stage.  I figured correctly that since the stage was 360 degrees around we would still see them walking around it a few times.  They turned out to be great seats.  Yes, they spent about 50% of the time facing the other direction but the other 50% at least one of the band members would walk around the stage and play (especially exciting when Bono came our way).  And when they were on our side, the backside, we were pretty close.  I loved it and am so glad we took the time and money to go.
Opening band - The Fray

Between Sets

Bono checks out the backside of the stage!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Living Traditions Festival

On Saturday we went down with Cindy and Brian to the Living Traditions Festival.  We tried food from El Savador and Pakistan.  We saw several exhibits of folk art and traditions from different countries.  The kids did fun crafts where we met some friends from our FCC playgroup.  But the highlight of the day was seeing the Chinese dancing.  They were beautiful and I think Sammy and Lindsey felt proud of their heritage.

Waiting for the show to begin

My own little Chinese Dancer
Sammy with a Turkish Teaset
Catching a Ride
End of a full day

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Super Saturday Fun

We had a busy, but super fun Satuday yesterday.  It started out with gymnastic lessons for Lindsey and Sammy (Sammy's first lesson).  Then we went straight to Sammy's last soccer game of the spring season where they all got trophies.  Then from there to a Living Traditions Festival which was great.  And the weather was beautiful.  We finally got a sunny, beautiful day and amazingly on a Saturday even.

I took lots of pictures, especially of the soccer game.  I'll post the gymnastic and festival pictures later, but meanwhile please enjoy the slideshow of Sammy, the amazing soccer player.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Snow in Late May

We've had such a cool and wet spring.  It's been only in the 40s or 50s as the high temperatures and it's been raining  5 or 6 days out of the week for several weeks.  It feels like we live in Seattle instead of the high dessert.  There's been mudslides and several inches of snow have continued to accumulate in the mountains.  Still, I was shocked when I  went downstairs! this morning for coffee and saw snow on the back deck.  Not a lot,  but wow, it's May 20th!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ice Skating Graduation

Lindsey just completed two back to back five week series of lessons to learn to ice skate and Sammy joined in on the second five week course.  I had offered to have him join Lindsey in the ice skating lessons from the beginning but he wasn't interested until the first time Lindsey came home from class and was eating a dollar bag of popcorn from the snack bar stand they have at the rink.  As soon as he saw she had a food treat when she walked through the door, his exact words were "I've changed my mind.  I want to take ice skating lessons."  I laughed so hard.  Hey, he just hadn't realized that there might be food involved.

Our friends, Cindy and Brian, also joined in on taking the second five week class.  Overall, everyone really improved from their first lesson to their last.  Lindsey learned to skate both forward and backward, really glide not just inch across the ice.  And Sammy went from falling every 5 seconds to only falling about every 30 seconds. 

I have to give Sam full credit and I'm very proud of him.  He kept getting up everytime he fell and kept trying though he took a few pretty hard falls.  He did decide in the end that ice skating was not for him, but he stuck it out for the full five lessons with very little complaining. 

Cindy and Brian were also looking pretty good on their last lesson.  They were doing turns and skating forward and backward.  They've enjoyed it so much that they plan to continue through the summer.  Lindsey wants to continue too, but we might take a break for the summer just because there are so many other activities going on.  Everyone got certificates of completion at the end of the class and then we all went to celebrate with a good pizza dinner.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gardening Weather

We've had a long, wet late winter and early spring.  But finally we had a beautiful weekend so we could put in our front garden bed.  I was even inspired to change out the front door wreath from a winter themed one with winter berries to a spring/summer themed one.  Sammy and Lindsey planted a lot of the flowers themselves.  We're quite proud of the results!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Taste of Summer Finally

We made a quick trip down to Las Vegas over the weekend.  We stayed at the Palms and the Golden Nugget. At the Palms, Blain and I even made it to a couple of clubs for a date night.  And both the Palms and Golden Nugget had great pools, though the Golden Nugget has a shark tank in the middle which makes it the winner of the coolest pool ever.

Altogether we made it to the pool 3 times.  The temperatures were in the mid 90s.  That's way nicer than the 40s and 50s we're still having here.  I am so ready for summer.  It was so nice having a taste of summer this weekend.  Hopefully it will come to Utah soon enough.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here's to Jim!

An old coworker of Blain's passed away recently and Sunday evening we celebrated his life with his widow and many, many of his friends and family.  He was the kind of guy who made friends wherever he went.  He was so down to earth, generous and full of fun and life.  He was a wonderful example of a life well lived. 

He loved kids and they loved him and ours were no exception.  I was told that he used to go home and tell his wife "Lindseyisms", as he called them - funny stories about our beautiful, one of a kind daughter.  He even had a picture of our 3 kids on his refrigerator. 

So here's to you, Jim!  I only met you a few times but I'm honored I did know you.  As Blain said, if I'm half the person Jim was then I know I was a good person.

Jim meeting Carley for the first time

Flag at Half Mast in Jim's Honor

The kids dressed up for Jim's celebration party

James Keith Thornhill "A Tribute to Jim" 1937 ~ 2011 To know Jim is to love Jim. His legacy will be the vast number of people whose lives he touched, from family and friends to co-workers, golf buddies and the wait-staff at any place he frequented. Karen would say he was a "Razzle", but that was just Jim and he was the party wherever he went. Still working hard at 73, Jim had just submitted retirement papers and was looking to play more golf, if that was even possible. With a recent knee surgery he was in top shape on the course, smacking it straight and long. Ever the proud dad, he never missed a chance to brag of his children, from California to Washington D.C., and their accomplishments. Jim was straightforward, honest, hard-working, kind and very simple in his wants . . . his sweetheart, golf, cheap beer, his dog, Leo, family and friends. He loved to escape the cold winters with trips to Maui and it's beautiful golf courses. Jim could always be counted as a calming voice of reason, knowing when and where to give advice and when to keep his mouth shut. He was a shining example of what a man could and should be, and a fine patriarch for his family, especially his four grandsons who adored their Grandpa Jim.Jim was born in American Falls, Idaho. He attended Idaho State College then moved to California where he worked at Ambassador College. He later became Garner Ted Armstrong's personal assistant giving Jim opportunities to travel the world. One of Jim's most memorable trips was to Brazil with his son, Alan, and brother-in-law, Bart. There is no end to Jim's talents - a singer, diver, ski instructor, evan a circus clown. It is amazing to think about the vast number of people he met in his lifetime and left his mark - from US presidents, international presidents, country ambassadors, foreign leaders and celebrities, especially Stevie Nicks, Karen's best friend, who was able to share many memories including concerts and time in her home in Hawaii. A special thanks to the entire staff at the Old Mill Golf Course and Salt Lake County Parks and Rec, especially Leslie, who will sorely miss him. Jim is survived by his soul mate and best friend, Karen Jean; his four children: Trinide and Kevin Gaston, Alan and Jennifer Thornhill, Amy "Amo" and Todd Etherington, Jill "Bob" and Matt Briggs; four grandsons, Mitch, Owen, Quin and Dylan; best furry companion, "Leo" Leopold; brother, Donald Merritt Thornhill; sisters and brothers-in-law: Saundra and Dave Fowlks, Joanne and Bart Knaphus; nieces and nephews: Jami and Pat Shanahan, Jeddi and Ron Wagstaff, Tyler and Toni, Kris, Bryan, Jan and Brick, Nicole and Philip, Warren and Nicoel, Kori, Lizz "Headphones", and countless close friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Merritt Koons "Buster" and Josephine Frodsham Thornhill; neighbors and parents-in-law, Paul W. and Helen McAffee Smith; sister-in-law, Shirley Thornhill; brother-in-law, Michael Smith; son, Troy Smith. In honor of Jim's life, a celebration will be held Sun., May 1, 2011, 5:30 p.m. at the Willow Creek Country Club, 8300 S. 2700 E., Sandy. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity, drink your favorite beer, and play a round of golf. He'll be waiting on the 19th hole for Lee, Rob and Joe . . . My sweetheart ~ I will miss my "morning" love notes (not one missed in 25 years), my Friday flowers, but most of all, your hugs. Om Si Ram 21.