Thursday, February 14, 2013
Thursday, August 30, 2012
|The cabin. George & Mimi rented 2 more cabins for the family to use as well|
|Big Birthday party for EVERYONE!|
|Hiking in a pitch black lava tube|
|There were plenty of these horny toads around for the kids to play with|
|Pretty awesome fort the kids spent hours in|
|Malia loves her cousin Alana!|
|Disneyland! The Most Exhausting Place on Earth!|
|This lady tricked me into taking a picture of her with my kids and then charged me for it.|
After all that hard work and stress, we wondered if it would all be worth it. Guess what.....It Was!
at 2:54 PM
Thursday, November 3, 2011
by Rachel Murdock
Not too long ago, our little family went on a family bike ride on the Provo river trail. It was a gray overcast day. There was a fire burning not too far away and ash was raining down on us. Mason rode in front, followed by me, then Maile, and then Munro with the bike stroller hauling Malia. As Mason biked just ahead of me, we entered a portion of the trail that had an umbrella of trees over us. There were no leaves…it was just an eerie, almost spooky atmosphere. Mason’s head sunk down into his shoulders, then he glanced back at me and said,
“I’m glad I have a family, otherwise I’d be really scared right now.”
Those simple and heartfelt words caused an immediate lump to form in my throat and brought tears to my eyes. Indeed, this life would be a lot scarier if we didn’t have our families.
We had a discussion about families in our Family Home Evening last week. I was explaining to our kids how families are like bricks, and with them we can build a building. If you have a bunch of weak bricks, the building can fall down easily in an earthquake. But if the bricks are strong and the building is built to high standards, then it will stand no matter what opposing forces come against it. The bricks are families, and the building is society.
We have been taught that the family is the most important and basic unit of our society. Satan knows this and has focused his opposition against families. As they crumble or are weakened, society becomes more vulnerable to opposing forces.
I urged my kids to be aware when Satan is "attacking" our family. Little things like quarreling, ingratitude, selfishness, pride and lack of kindness among siblings puts team members at odds with each other. I told them that our family is a team and together we can stand strong and face all the challenges of life. But if we turn against each other and fight with our team members, then it makes our team weaker and vulnerable.
That made a lot of sense to them...for about five minutes, before they started arguing again. Our family is a work in progress. But I will never stop fighting for my family and strengthening our defenses.
As I've grown up, moved on, and started a family of my own, it has been harder to remember that those little brothers and sisters I grew up with are still part of my stewardship. Yes, they have their own life now and their own challenges. But we ARE “our brother’s keeper.” We should look out for one another and give support and help during difficult times. Adulthood is much more challenging and full of tougher obstacles then childhood. If we didn’t have our families, OH, how scary this life would be!
I watch the news every night and am amazed at the natural disasters, political unrest, attacks on our freedom, moral decay and overall wickedness of the world. I worry about the challenges my children, nieces and nephews will and are facing. It’s a different world from just when I was a teenager.
I'm so grateful for my family, for the love and support they have always given me. I'm grateful for parents and siblings who sometimes told me things I didn't want to hear, but spoke out of love. The warnings and lectures I've received have saved me from so much grief. I love my team and all my team mates!
Amongst so much chaos, confusion and wickedness in the world today, All I can say is repeat the words of my wise son:
"I'm so glad I have a family, otherwise I'd be really scared right now."
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I've been pretty fascinated with the attention the vulgar musical "The Book of Mormon" has brought to the church. I will never see it because I don't like being exposed to profanity and vulgarity. However, I truly believe what President Hinckley said about any news attention about the church can be good. Here is a copy of an email I received originally sent by Mormon actor, Michael Ballam. At the end, I've included a video of a song from this musical. I actually really like the song "I Believe." There are some funny parts that make fun of Mormons...but it's good to have a sense of humor, and in reality, it's quite moving in some ways. -Rachel
Michael Ballam on the Book of Mormon Broadway Musical
(Michael is an actor, singer and Professor of Music at USU.)
I spent the evening with Hal Prince & Sheldon & Margie Harnick last night as they were honored for their lifetime achievement in the theatre in Manhattan. Hal produced/directed Damn Yankees, Pajama Game, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Sweeny Todd, Phantom of the Opera, etc etc. Sheldon wrote She Loves Me, Fiorello, Apple Tree, Fiddler on the Roof, etc. Sheldon and Margie were VERY offended by Book of Mormon because they didn't like the depiction that one of the Elders had never read the Book of Mormon before going out into the field. I think I am perhaps the only Mormon they know, but they are VERY protective of me! I assured them, that such a thing is VERY unlikely to happen, but it did make for an interesting dramatic scenario. (Now that I think about it, there may be more out there than we know).
There is a song called "Turn it Off" which implies that Mormons shut down their base impulses. In other words, if they have a pornography or sexuality issue, they just don't think about it, and move on to other more productive things. I know that is rather simplistic, but there is some truth to the fact that we feel in order to overcome our problems we need to block the impulses and move on to better and loftier things. They thought it made us look like unfeeling, simple folk, which we are not. Perhaps I was SO WORRIED about what might take place in that musical, I was pleasantly surprised that they made the church look like good people. I asked him what he thought the message was and he said, "Those Mormons DO believe some peculiar things, BUT they all seem to be nice and happy! So, just because you don't get it don't knock it." I'm ok with that.
The Book of Mormon Musical is such a perplexing issue. We live in a very mocking world. Our humor has degenerated to ridicule and shock value. The irony of this musical is that the information center in Manhattan has been inundated for request for Books of Mormon. Somehow, people who see the musical ask themselves, "What is it about these people that make them happy and loving?" As a result, they want to read the book. One of my friends in NYC is going out and giving away Books of Mormon outside the theatre and requesting to put them (FREE) inside the theatre. If the authors are really sincere when they say they have deep respect for the LDS church, it should not bother them.
I saw it in previews and was stunned beyond belief at how vulgar it was. I never dreamed I would live to hear such vulgarity uttered from a stage. I was numbed within minutes. I focused more attention on the audience than I did the stage trying to assess the response of those present. There were clearly defined groups. There were the South Park, young outrageous kids who were there who guffawed at every shocking obscenity (how long can you shock people before they're unshockable?), then there were the mature, Broadway devotees who had furrowed brows trying to understand WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS. Then there was another group I couldn't figure out. They were somewhat restrained in their reactions. At intermission I took out my pad of paper to write down some thoughts when someone from behind me said, "Brother Ballam?" I thought maybe it was the destroying angel who had come to wisk me off to an eternal punishment. It was a sweet lady with her husband who had come from Salt Lake City with 150 other Mormons to do work in the Temple. They came to check things out. During the second act THOSE were the folks I watched.
Act II is QUITE different than Act I, and the tables turn about the influence of those courageous Elders and the impact they have on the people of Uganda.
There is a baptismal scene that is riveting and the audience became VERY quiet as those dark black actors whose behavior had changed from anger and hostility to peace and joy as they came onto the stage dressed in white... it was something to see. The final statement of the musical as I read it was: Yes, some people believe some crazy things (like Jesus coming to the Americas after his crucifixion and ancient Jews leaving Jerusalem in 600 BC and crossing the sea... both ideas get a chuckle, you can tell it makes the audience think (Captain Cook...white god??? Ancient temples in meso-America, etc), but there is SOMETHING about these people that is good. They are happy and loving and forgiving. There has to be something to it. I thought it was a subtle love letter to Mormons, BUT it is in the midst of a vulgar show that could NEVER play before our audience.
The next night I sat at the opening night party of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS next to the widow of Jule Styne (who wrote FUNNY GIRL). She knows the boys who wrote B of M and said I should contact them and explain that I think it could play before an LDS audience (of which there are 14M worldwide) if it weren't vulgar. She thinks they might re-write it. We'll see. I didn't get the message that religious people are out of touch with reality, I got the message that those WONDERFUL, COURAGEOUS, CLEAN-CUT youngsters who dedicate AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, two years of service in parts of the world for which they have no experience or tools, MATURE very quickly and develop deep love for the people they serve. I think that is the take most people had leaving the theatre.
Of course, I felt like going home and washing my mouth and ears out with soap. It has generated HUGE interest in the Mormons in Manhattan and in a positive way. The "Mormon Jokes" in it are the kind you would hear given at ward parties. We do have a sense of humor about ourselves, and yes, we are a PECULIAR people and intend to remain so. I think the church has reacted EXACTLY the right way by not protesting or showing offense. We have been good sports about it, which I think will prove important in the perception the world has for us. We ADMIT that our story is unlike any other and we make no apologies for that.
Who knows, maybe were it not for the over the top vulgarity and profanity that has come to be the hallmark of our entertainment world, that segment of the populace would never have had ANY contact with what Mormons believe or who they are. If that group goes away knowing nothing more than the fact that Mormons are all over the world trying to help and serve and hold to their unusual beliefs it might do some good.
In the meantime, we have to take the higher road and realize the power of the Book of Mormon has lasted for 2600 years and will endure for eternity...the musical will not.
at 11:23 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Munro's brother, Bentley, is getting married to Michelle and had his pre-reception at the good ol' Murdock Mansion which is now owned by UVU as their Alumni Center. It was good to be back there and see all the amazing updates UVU has done to the home and relive lots of great memories.
All the Murdock kids got a great picture with Aunt Sande (Michael, Mckay, Bentley, Marriott, Munro, Melynne, Morgan, Marshall)
Beautiful Murdock nieces. Can't believe these girls around my kids ages when I met them. My how they've grown! (Emily, Lauren, Kayley)
Mason goofing off with his Murdock cousins
Classic Murdock funny face pose
So obviously it's rare to get all 9 kids with spouses and 26 grandchildren all together in one place. So naturally we had to do a big family picture which was a feat in itself just to get everyone in the right place and even trickier to get everyone to smile at the same time. I can't wait to see the finished portraits!
Cousins waiting patiently to have their pictures taken
Maile and cousin Haylee
Maile with cousin Hunter
Mosiah, Mason, Jefferson, Kainoa and Nixon
at 6:30 PM
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
(post by Munro Murdock)
All the Murdock adults (that could make it) converged upon the good ol' town of Heber City for some food, fun and celebration with Bentley Murdock and Michelle Clark, Bent's fiance, the day before their Orem, Utah pre-wedding reception. Papa G & Mama Mimi reserved the semi-private party room at Canton City for our large group.
It was great to see everyone and to liven things up in the restaurant a little bit....or a lot. Bentley and Michelle entertained us with some music that they have recently recorded together, which was really cool to hear.
What is probably most impressive is that Michelle survived 20 Questions, literally, as we went around the table and each of us read our Chinese fortune and then asked Michelle any question that we wanted to. It was a great way to get to know her better and helped us all to see how lucky Bentley is.
We are excited to welcome you into the cwazy Nerdock family Michelle!
at 6:37 PM