Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hollywood Bowl with John Williams Conducting

This past Friday night, John and I went on a date to the Hollywood Bowl to enjoy John Williams conducting the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. We went last year to this same concert and really enjoyed ourselves.

We love John Williams' music.....the list of music he has written is huge! (read the list.....)

Along with performing many of his compositions, they played video footage on the huge screens from movies such as Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman,etc. etc.

This year, John Williams included a special celebration of the great MGM movie musicals, hosted by legendary director Stanley Donen (Royal Wedding, Singin’ in the Rain, Anchors Aweigh). This was such a fun part of the evening, as Mr. Donen spoke at the microphone and they showed movie clips of Fred Astaire doing that one number where it looks like he dances on the ceiling and walls of a room...Mr. Donen described how this was accomplished. He also came up with the dance numbers from Seven Brides and Seven Brothers "Barn Dance" and the "Singing in the Rain" number with Gene Kelly, among other famous MGM movies. It was such good entertainment and the audience gave Mr. Donen a standing ovation.

In the second half of the concert, when John Williams began leading the orchestra to the Star Wars Theme, hundreds of people in the audience turned on their light sabers and began waving them in the dark to the music. That was just so much fun. The crowd roared with approval when the "Darth Vader" Theme began and the Hollywood Bowl was lit in bright red lights. Such fun!
The concert mistress performed the solo violin piece of the theme from one of my favorite movies, "Sabrina". Incredibly beautiful music!
We enjoyed eating a Lasagna Dinner there at the bowl and had such a nice evening together. The weather was perfect and comfortable for an evening under the stars. I would highly recommend this for a special date.
Next year, when this same concert comes again, we are hoping to get group tickets and take as many of the family and friends that want to go together and enjoy a fun evening...light sabers and all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Camp Whittier, Camarillo Stake Girls Camp 2008

I spent a few days last week at our Stake Girls Camp. We held our camp above Santa Barbara, across from Lake Cachuma along Highway 154 at a place called "Camp Whittier".

It was the nicest camp facility we've enjoyed for years. We enjoyed the beautiful oak tree setting, wild deer and turkeys and woodpeckers; a clean dining hall equipped with "Chef Fabio"...a real chef who loves working at Camp Whittier each summer. Our meals were delicious and not your normal "camp" food!
Chef Fabio

We had a nice pool, craft lodge, comfortable cabins and bathrooms with flush toilets and showers.

We even had a 60 foot climbing wall with a zip line the girls got to enjoy.

It was such a successful Girls Camp experience and so much thanks and appreciation goes to our Stake Camp Director, Corinne Barlow and her committee. They did a fantastic job of organizing and providing such a memorable camp experience for our Camarillo Stake Young Women and leaders. The girls were able to certify but also experienced many spiritual moments throughout the days and nights.

I've been serving in my calling for 5 years now and so this may be my last Girls Camp in my present calling as Stake Young Women's President. I'm so grateful it was such a wonderful camp!

I'll have many sweet memories of it and of the great young women and leaders in our Stake!

Nice clean refreshing pool

Gathering around the campfire ring

Morning and Evening Flag Ceremonies
I enjoyed being in a picture with my Camarillo 2nd Ward Girls and Leaders

Their president, and my dear friend, Nancy Jenkins, helped the girls make matching PJ's and I got a pair, too!

Stake Camp Director, Corrine Barlow and myself

Lake Cachuma where we stopped to eat our lunch after our hike My sweet nieces Bethany and Lizzy Lassen were with me at camp...Lizzy unfortunately suffered with a fever most of the time, but still was such a trooper and kept trying to enjoy her 1st year at girls camp.

Bethany was such a fun 4th year and had such a happy attitude...she even led us at the campfires in our new song that Trine taught us at our Carpenteria Camping Trip... "Let me hear your Funky Chicken"! So fun!

Our rock wall and zip line we enjoyed at the camp

This was not only a great physically fun activity but a self confidence booster for many young women. The girls were great at encouraging and cheering for each other all day long!

Nice Staff facilities at one end of the Lodge. I enjoyed my bunk and my roommates, Sherida and Ami

Lodge we got to use for many uses.

Bedstefar and Bedstemor making Medistopolse

Bedstefar "Hot Dogs" in the making.......... Filling the casings with the homemade pork mixture
Yards and yards of delicious pork sausage
John and his mom
Quality Check...they cooked some of it to see how it tastes...mmmmmm!
Bedstemor rinsing out the sausage casings before stuffing them.
Cute 8-month pregnant Ditte helping in the Deli
Our "morning sick" store manager, Else (she's about 13 weeks pregnant and we got a forced smile out of her here. )

Hi family,
Yesterday John asked Bedstemor and Bedstefar to help him make 113 pounds of Danish Sausage, aka "bedstefar hotdogs" or Medistopolse.

Ditte was working the deli helping out and she called me to come down and take some pictures for posterity! So I did! Here they enjoy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Special Friend goes to the Oakland Temple...

Last Saturday, a special friend of our families' and of our son, Steffen, went through the Oakland Temple in preparation for her upcoming mission to Vancouver, Canada Mission. Stephanie Doung (in the picture above in the grey skirt/purple blouse), lived with us for a few weeks earlier this summer and roomed with Mette. She moved back home with her family in Union City, near Oakland, CA for the final days before her mission.

A neat coincidence was that our son, Christian, decided to attend the temple that day and just happened to look over and see Stephanie there! We thought that was really special that a member of our family could be with her on her first trip to the temple. (this picture was from Christian's camera). It is extra special that it was Christian that was able to be there with her because he also served his mission in the Vancouver Canada Mission.

Stephanie leaves for the Provo, MTC next week and we wish her well as she goes forth in faith to serve the Lord fulltime and teach others about His restored church on the earth in these last days.

Hans begins 4th Grade Today....a little nervous....

John and I went with Hans to school this morning.
Here he is following Ditte and her children up to the crosswalk.
Here is Hans with one of his 3 teachers, Mrs. Castellanos. While he is in her classroom, he will only hear and speak Spanish. Hans is almost bilingual now after attending the dual language program since kindergarten!

Isaac and Wyatt playing at the school....a couple more years and they will be joining their sisters and Hans here at University Preparation School

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mette's 19th Birthday

August 12, 2008

Happy 19th Birthday, Mette!
We love you!

Lassen's Camp at Carpenteria once again!

Luke wearing Great-Grandpa Beecroft's hat

Wyatt,Luke,Joseph,Lizette,Leyna,Anna and Issac
(We had 2 more 2 year olds a couple times...Kalob and Grace)
Waiting at the Carpenteria Train Station for Ride up to Santa Barbara

On August 2nd-August 9th, we set up a group camp at Carpenteria State Beach Campground, along with about 55 others of Hilmar and Oda Lassen's posterity! We've been keeping this tradition for over 20 years now and it's a lot of fun to gather with family who live near and far, pitch our tents, fix our meals outdoors together and enjoy the beaches and ocean of one of our favorite places.
John's sister, Doris, keeps us organized each year and makes the reservations back in January and she organizes who is cooking what meals and who is in charge of campfire programs each night and desserts.
This year, John and I really enjoyed that we had so many of our own children and grandchildren coming back to camp together. We are so proud of our married children with little ones, that they made the effort and put up with the challenges of camping with toddlers and babies, just as we have done for 32 years!
Kirsten and Jonathan with Audrey, Addie and Isaac; Erik and Cristin and their two year old Luke and 3 month old, Charlie, Ditte and Jeremy with Cozette, Atalie and Wyatt; Else (who has morning sickness)and Haans; Trine and Larry and Leyna from Utah; Mette and Hans all camped for the week. Christian couldn't come because he had just started Dental School in San Francisco, but his wife Emily and their little daughter Grace, came for 2 days before they had to leave and drive back up to Utah. Of course, Steffen is on his mission and couldn't be with us this year....missed you, Steffen!
We enjoyed John's parents being with us off and on when they could, Birthe and Bob came from Ohio, Ida came from Idaho, her 3 girls, Nancy, Terri and Julie and familes were there with us from Utah, Doris had her nice travel trailor again this year to stay near us, John and I had a tent all week and John came most evenings and all day Friday and Saturday; Peter and Gayle and their family came and Jimmy and Susan's family came and fixed a wonderful dutch oven Sunday dinner for us. Candace and Tyler and Lizette pitched a tent and stayed all week, too, and Benjamin and his wife, Alex had a tent they stayed in when they could come from work.

One day, we walked to the Carpenteria Train station, just a few yards from our campground, and all rode the train up to Santa Barbara. The kids really enjoyed that. We spent the morning doing different things in Santa Barbara before returning on the train in the afternoon.

Another morning, we drove up early to the Danish town of Solvang, 1 1/2 hours north where we enjoyed having hot chocolate, hard rolls and Danish Havarti cheese at the Danish Mill Bakery. They shut down the restaurant part just for us for an hour. We indulged in our favorite pastries and chocolates up there before returning to camp.

The campfires and firesides each night were always well attended and help to bring our family closer to each other and to the Lord as we have a spiritual message and sing songs of the gospel but also fun campfire songs. The children LOVE "an Austrian went yodeling" and "Princess Pat" which have to be sung every night!
It was a successful, lovely week and we were especially blessed with beautiful, sunny weather. I even played in the ocean a couple times with my grandchildren, so you have to know the water and sun were just right!
We had 7 tw0-year olds in camp almost the whole week together. That had to be a first! It was a memorable week and hopefully everyone will come back again next summer.