Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Home Evening with my very own family!

What do road trips, campfires, and applesauce canning have in common? They're perfect opportunities to sing!

Last night while Dad, Mom, Chelsea, and I peeled apples we sang our family favorites. That's what I call a memorable FHE. It certainly brought back memories of being a kid in the backseat of the station wagon, with my legs sticking to the vinyl seats, headed out on a family vacation.

Here are the Robertson Family Classics (Performed best by the Robertson Family Head Singers):
Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose
Will I ever see thee wed?
I will marry at thy will, sire,
At thy will.

I Love the Mountains
I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills,
I love the flowers, I love the daffodils,
I love the campfire when all the lights are low...
Boom de ah da, boom dee ah da
Boom de ah da, boom dee ah da
Boom de ah da, boom dee ah da
Boom de ah da, boom dee ah da

White Coral Bells
White coral bells
Upon a slender stalk
Lilies of the valley
Deck my garden walk
Oh, don’t you wish
That you could
hear them ring.
That will happen only
when the fairies sing.

There are suitors at my door, o uh lay o bak ee ah
Six or seven, eight or more, o uh lay o bak ee ah
And my father wants me wed, o uh lay o bak ee ah
Or at least that's what he said, o uh lay o bak ee ah

CHORUS: O lay o la- o uh lay o bak ee ah
O lay o la- o uh lay o bak ee ah
O lay o la- o uh lay o bak ee ah
O lay o la- o uh lay o bak ee ah

And I told him that I will, o uh lay o bak ee ah
When the rivers flow uphill, o uh lay o bak ee ah
Or the fish begin to fly, o uh lay o bak ee ah
Or the day before I die, o uh lay o bak ee ah


I was married just today, o uh lay o bak ee ah
Irrigation runs uphill, o uh lay o bak ee ah
Flying fish are flying high, o uh lay o bak ee ah
And tomorrow I shall die o uh lay o bak ee ah

All Things Shall Perish
All things will perish from under the sky.

Music alone shall live.

Music alone shall live.

Music alone shall live.

Never to die.

The Noble Duke of York
Oh, the noble Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill and
Marched them down again

And when you're up, you're up
And when you're down, you're down
And when you're only half way up
You're neither up nor down

And my favorite, the Spanish version:

Los Soldados Del Rey*
Los soldados del rey
Juegan ahedres

Suben bajan dejan de subir

Con su triki triki tran

Su triki triki tran
Triki triki triki triki tran
*This is a game that my dad learned in September of 1974 while on his mission in Oruro, Bolivia on his way from Llallagua to Santa Cruz. Everyone sits in a circle and has an object to pass. The players pass the objects during the verse and must stop and hold the object when they get to Con su triki triki tran. If they forget and inadevertantly try to pass the object, then they are out.

Apples, apples up on top. We will not let our apples drop!

It wouldn't be summer at the Robertson's without marathon applesauce canning sessions. All the Robertson children know that if you're going to enjoy the applesauce, you better put in your hours picking, peeling, cutting, coring, and stirring. In fact, Andrea is planning a special trip just to come help later this week. Originally she was just going to visit for four days, but when she heard that we would be canning applesauce she extended her trip TWO more days. I think she saw how many apples are on the tree still.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Decision making styles

Lauren and I make a good pair. I think we temper each other's decision making styles nicely. Lauren tends to deliberate and research and deliberate some more before she makes a decision. I, on the other hand, think for a bit (5-10 minutes) and then DECIDE. I don't spend much time in the stew/deliberation mode. We both stick to our decisions fairly well once they're made.

When I stayed with her, I fought my natural tendency and waited almost 24 hours before I made an official decision about my roommates and housing, which is mighty slow for me. She, on the other hand, bought a car in one day, which is record speed for Lauren. Talk about one productive weekend. We both feel quite pleased with our decisions, but only time will tell for both of us.

A bittersweet farewell...Out with the old, in with the new...Looking good, Lauren!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raindrops keep falling, part two

Some of you may remember the last time I blogged about "raindrops." Well, I had another incident, but this time I was minding my own business (just not very well).

In an attempt to be frugal and green, I decided to solely use public transportation when I visited the DC area to hunt for housing and square away job details. I went to wmata.com and planned my metro commute to New Teacher Orientation allowing myself a comfortable time cushion. Everything was going so smoothly, until I found myself at the Pentagon Blue Line stop when I should have been on the Orange line.

Somehow I missed that I needed to pay attention to which train I was getting on at Metro Center as the blue and orange lines share a track. I wasn't concerned because I had allowed myself a comfortable time cushion, right? Right. However, when I got off the metro and walked to the bus stop, I realized that I hadn't thought my comfortable time cushion all the way through.

My bus only ran once every hour, and I had just missed it. Bummer. So, I decided to walk. I walked and walked and walked. Then I started to get a bit nervous. What if I was walking the wrong direction? So I called Chelsea and she found my nearest intersection on the map and assured me that I was less than half a mile from my destination. What a relief.

I walked just a bit further and was pleased to see the familiar building. Walking in just 10 minutes later than I had hoped to be there (but still on time - thanks to that comfortable time cushion), I was "glistening" from my brisk walk on a warm, humid, summer day in Virginia. I quickly made a bee line to the restroom to freshen up before I checked in for my orientation.

I signed in, found my name tag, and stood in line to turn in my paperwork. As I got to the front of the line and handed my 2 forms of identification to the HR employee, I heard a raindrop fall from my face right onto my name tag. Yes, my name ran a little bit.

Post script:
I was successful in finding a place to call home. I took a few pictures, but I should have taken more. Here are a few so you can imagine where I'll be writing from in just over a month.

Did you enjoy the tequila?

Apparently the combination of being a klutz (yes, I walked right into the door frame), being a bit giggly (you would be too with a two and a half month vacation and new job on the way), and having the sudden urge to turn somersaults in the hallway (some people have sensory needs that MUST be met) was enough to make the room steward think that I had enjoyed the Mexican tequila while ashore in Ensenada.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Speaking of balance

My jogging partner and dear friend Lacey asked me to speak at Enrichment night on balance. Apparently I need to watch what I rant about while running. My 10 minute tirade about someone who was not balanced during one of our morning runs seemed like an invitation to her. If I had just stuck to minding my own business... Oh well, I actually enjoyed speaking and preparing for my short talk.

Shortly after she asked me, I loaded my iPod with a collection of talks about balance and bombarded my ears with various authorities on finding balance in our lives. I was moved by the myriad of metaphors that speakers developed as they talked about their lives. From bicycle spokes, to spinning plates, to forming a family band, each speaker was able to artistically compare the fine tuning involved in balancing our lives to a topic that was dear to their hearts.

I struggled trying to figure out what analogy I would use. Could I talk about running? How 'bout scaffolding developing language skills? Or how would playing the piano relate?

Then as I was sending my brother some info about swimming, I realized that every other sentence in my favorite swimming book mentioned balance. As I explored the metaphor, it grew and developed on its own. To my dismay, every time I sat down to write out my talk, I was able to jot down an outline, but I couldn't flesh out my "script" like I had done for every other talk in my life. So, I decided to take a leap of faith, and I presented my talk with a rough outline and a few quotes on hand.

Here are a few notes from the talk:

Swimming 101: Like most beginning swimmers I jumped in the pool ready to churn out laps. I swam as hard and as fast as I could only to exhaust myself before I even got across the pool. Not good, considering I had signed up to swim 500 meters in the ocean as part of a triathlon. So, in typical Jocelyn form, I found a book that taught me swimming form.

I learned that I was swimming along with my hips and legs dragging below the surface. Of course, like everyone else, I tried to correct this by kicking harder, but this made me more exhausted. Instead swimmers need to do what Terry Laughlin describes as "pressing your buoy" or leaning on your lungs.

I read that "proper balance in the water is not a gift from nature. It's something we learn through practice," (Laughlin, 32). So, I went to the pool regularly with my now water-logged manual and began working through the drills, focusing on pressing my lungs into the water and leaning on the water.

The next lesson was about rolling. Like most beginner swimmers I swam flat in the water, but to swim efficiently you have to roll from one side to the other. Listen to how beautifully Laughlin describes it:
Freestyle becomes graceful, powerful, a feat of intelligent body engineering instead of a tiring exercise in plowing through the water. It becomes a series of long glides linked by quick rolls as you stroke and change sides. Each time, your body has a working side--the one you're pulling with-and a sliding side--the one that's making your body longer so the pull delivers all the speed and distance it can. The longer you stay on your side in each stroke cycle, the farther and faster your body will travel. Swimming also becomes much more restful and a lot less work. It even looks easier. (Laughlin 44)

Just as in swimming, life requires constant practice as we fine tune our stroke. Balance isn't a feat that we magically achieve one day, but it is about constant adjustments and readjustments. Balance doesn't involve finding the perfect place and standing still. Instead we need to roll back and forth as we reach for our goal on the other side of the pool.

We don't have to swim by our brute force alone, we can lean on the water: the living water of Christ. As we rely on scriptures to help us learn how to adjust our stroke to better lean on Christ, we will metaphorically swim farther and faster. When I try to muscle my way through life, I sink. When I turn my life to the Lord and focus on His will, I understand the beauty of gliding through the water.