Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trusting Sisters

With wisdom beyond their years
  They were trusted by us -- and their peers.

Their beauty was apparent, inside and out;
  As to their faith, there was never a doubt.

The light of eternal truth fills up their minds
  While the warmth of their love spreads through all time...

Scott L. Vanatter, 27/28 November 2010 (Poem for Carrie and Sydney, sisters, for their birthdays).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sydney Kearns Photography

Sydney's new website ( is now up and running.

She has quite an eye.

Check out her fine art shot of the Lincoln Memorial, her black and white photo of the DC Temple, her close up of some dogwoods, and . . .  well, you get the idea.

Good work Sydney!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kyle singing "Chim Chiminey Row"

After church meetings on the day Cade was blessed, Kyle took off his shoes and walked along the curb which rings the planter area outside in the front of the chapel. He walked back and forth singing "Chim Chiminey Row." (His own version of the song, with special voice inflection. His father and mother had recently attended a Halloween party dressed as Mary Poppins and Bert. Kyle heard them sing the songs from the movie and this is how he remembered the song.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

"Stand By Me"

Cade's three older brothers, Ryan, Sean, and Kyle being silly.

Ryan squishing his neck.

Sean making a funny face/mouth.

Kyle doing his grinning Winston Churchill.

Sean acting surprised, Kyle sticking out his tongue, Ryan slouching. 

Monday, November 01, 2010

"Time Flies on Wings of Lightning . . . "

Our project this trip was to design and create three paper airplanes from the Star Wars saga, a Tie Fighter, an X-Wing fighter, and the Millennial Falcon. Sean and Ryan came up with these three. We researched online double-checking the coloring and physical form of the three. We experimented with multiple designs.

On his own, Sean made (based on my previous design), then painted Super Sonic paper airplane red and blue. Sean had also stumbled upon a way to make a Tie-Fighter, taping two other planes together. I thought we might try the same tactic in creating an X-Wing (taping two "wings" together onto a fuselage). Ryan liked my idea of how to proceed, but said that if it failed he had a backup plan. My plan failed. We had previously acknowledged that, like Edison, there may be successes and/or failures. (We knew that some designs which LOOKED good, might not fly, and vice versa.) We would build upon any "failures" to adjust to some other potential design. Turns out my X-Wing looked okay, but did not come close to "flying."

So, it was Ryan's turn to create HIS version of the X-Wing. He completed one of our Super Sonic planes, THEN took to cutting off parts of the wings and body, etc., till it looked like his long skinny iteration above. This both looked pretty good and sorta flew. We thought to put a ballast in the plane body (a popsicle stick). Ryan thought we should tape the two sides of the wings together. We also decided to put a slight bend on the ends of the wings. Half way through bending the front wings, Ryan suggested we bend the second set of wings the opposite direction (IOW, two bend down, two bent up.) THIS configuration worked. Really well. It both looked good and flew. Sweet.

Good work boys. Loved making the planes with you and loved being with you once again. Thanks for the planes, and the games, and the football, and the capture the flag, and our talks, and your love.

Kyle launched a few planes and brightened up the place with his smiles and energy. Cade brought a sweet peace to all. O how his brothers love him and hold him so gently.

Carrie and Scott are capable, caring, and concerned captains of this crazy crew.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Mike and Sydney


Waiting, longing,
  Searching for that one.

Finding, discovering,
  Yearning to become.

Seeing, loving,
  Becoming at last One.

Scott L. Vanatter, 1 October 2010 (Poem in honor of Mike and Sydney. What a wonderful, special, beautiful couple.)

Carrie and Scott's new baby, Cade Ellis


He sighs
  And comforts our very soul.

His eyes
  Reveal our every goal.

Then he testifies
  And now we really know. Again.

Scott L. Vanatter, 30 September 2010 (This poem, in honor of Cade, can be read in at least a couple ways. First, when we encounter him -- taking care of him when he is 4 weeks, or 4 months old, etc. Second is when he is forty or fifty years old – when he might be caring for us.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Conference: "Discoveries in Chiasmus" (speaker)

Becky and I will be in Utah this weekend. I’ve been invited to speak at a conference: “Discoveries in Chiasmus.”* See conference website, The conference is being held Saturday, September 18, 2010 at the American Heritage School, 736 North 1100 East, American Fork, UT from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Tickets are $35; I’ve got a handful of complimentary tickets for the conference and a few more for the concert that night.) The conference concludes with a concert that evening at 7:00 p.m.

We’ll be arriving in SLC late Friday night from So Cal. (We’ll be in the LA area for my Aunt’s funeral). We’re returning home to Virginia Sunday evening. Wish we could stay longer in So Cal and in Utah, to visit with friends and family.

*I’ll be speaking on the topic of Davidic Chiasmus and Parallelisms. See my website,, which I created I collaboration with Jared Demke (1957-2006).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"The 1812 Overture"

Another science experiment/project. Mentos in Diet Coke.

Carrie built a delivery mechanism for the Mentos (a curled up piece of paper to fit inside an open soda bottle top). The boys carefully placed the Mentos in the ammunition cartridge, then dropped the charges into the soda. The blast of fizzing soda went about 6-10 feet in the air. Over my head, and way over the boys heads. Note the boys faces. See movie below.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

More Art from the Boys

We did a thoudand things. One was to draw the gold plates on the computer. Ryan entitled his, Gold Plates in the Dark. Sean's is the colorful one on the bottom.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ryan's Collection

Ryan chose the following images to draw on this Sunday afternoon. First, he drew a picture of the actual sword that George Washington used in the Revolutionary War. We visited Mt. Vernon again a few days ago, and Ryan saw the sword in a glass case. His picture below shows the sword resting in the display case. The second picture is of the Declaration of Independence. The initial R and D stand for Ryan and Declaration. He chose all by himself, the yellow background to look like the actual paper, and he chose the caligraphy pen to represent the words of the Declaration. The third picture is of a Revolutionary War pistol. The fourth picture he called Heart Lightsaber and sent to his Dad for Father's Day.

Sean Collection

A collection of Sean's art work on the computer. He is an artist! He did the design and chose the colors all by himself. The first one is a Fish in a Dirty Green River. The second one is a boat in a storm on the ocean. The third one is a cow. The last one is a Happy Father's Day card to his dear Dad.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

"The flowers that grow so incredibly high . . . "

This picture was taken at the Clum-Kennedy Gardens (a small local park) bear the Washington DC Temple in Kensigton, MD.

We were sitting at a picnic table there in the gardens, after having gone to the temple, eating some soup and a sandwich from a local deli. A young father was walking by as his young daughter was riding her bike. I asked him to take our picture. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

"There was Love all around..."

A couple of Sundays ago, Becky & I drove out to Bull Run Park with Sydney & Mike to walk through the Bluebells.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

"If You're Going to San Francisco"

This week I have been in San Francisco at the RSA Conference.
At the conference I got this caricature done by Zach ( He asked me if I was a retired military colonel. Told him I wasn't, but that I used to be a wrestler and a football player.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

"Looking Out My Back Door" [Blizzard of 2010]

This afternoon, Becky and I got all bundled up and took a trek around our back yard where the boys (Ryan, Sean, and Kyle) would run and play. In many places the snow was up past our knees. We enjoyed exploring the deep, white snow drifts right in our own backyard.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

"And Your Bird Can Sing"

"This Bird Has Flown"

Freckles, our beautiful and personable cockatiel, passed away last night or early this morning.

Sad day. However, as she was pretty old in bird years (approx 14 years), this was not so unexpected. Really, she gave us so much pleasure and joy over the years. While sad, I have such fond memories of how fun, loving, and yes, sometimes ornery, she was. (Well, she was not that ornery with Becky!) She was so sweet (at times), so teeny tiny, delicate, and with SUCH personality!

The past night or two, she spent some extra fun time boxing a leather toy Becky gave her -- and ringing the little bell connected to it. Over the past couple days and nights, she seemed to spend some extra time sitting on the floor of her cage resting. In years past, this meant she was getting ready to lay some eggs. Not this time.

When I opened her cage today, she was sitting peacefully there on the floor of her cage, with her head elegantly dipped down, and her chin gently tucked under just a bit. (I knew right away this was not good. I called her name 2-3 times. Well. Perhaps 5-6 times. A couple times just a bit louder – perhaps I could wake her in case she was just in a deep sleep.)

Well, that is all. Don’t want to go on for too long. The lump in my throat has changed to a warm smile on my face and in my heart. (Oops, and now again reverting a bit back into a lump in my throat.) “Freckles, we’ll miss you.”

With much love to you all!*


P.S. Dang. Time moves on. (Doesn’t it.) [smiles]

*As much as we loved this bird, we treasure our dear family and friends infinitely more. Love to you all. Wish we were closer and could spend more time lots more often with you all.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Becky was sitting at her desk. She glanced outside and knew that, as the sky was of a certain hue and contrast, there would be a rainbow. Sure enough. She called out to me, and we found this rainbow on our street. It was dusk, with a high level of contrast and color.
Rainbows remind me of one of my favorite songwriters, and one of his best songs.
See below.
Ribbon in the Sky
(Stevie Wonder)

Oh so long for this night I prayed
That a star would guide you my way
To share with me this special day
Where a ribbon's in the sky for our love.

If allowed may I touch your hand
And if pleased may I once again
So that you too will understand
There's a ribbon in the sky for our love.
Do do do do do...
Hmm hmm...

This is not a coincidence
And far more than a lucky chance
But what is that was always meant
Is our ribbon in the sky for our love, love.

We can't lose with God on our side
We'll find strength in each tear we cry
From now on it will be you and I
And our ribbon in the sky
Ribbon in the sky
A ribbon in the sky for our love
Do do do do do...
Hmm hmm...

There's a ribbon in the sky for our love.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Christmas 2009 Message

Grandma's Christmas Thoughts
Someone recently said
that in the doldrums of winter while all the earth goes to sleep
and the gardens die and the trees go bare (at least here in Virginia)
that this is truly the best season of the year…
There is a spirit that permeates the world.

Imagine a world without Thanksgiving and Christmas.
To me, as the years roll by, the two holidays become inseparably connected.
Thankfulness turns to honor and worship
of that One Sacred Life that gave us ALL.

It is a season in which we celebrate new life…
the birth of our Savior… the hope of the world.

It was also in this season of the year that new life came to our family—twice.
Every year, I remember rocking my tiny little infants in front of the Christmas tree,
gazing into the sparkling lights, and singing Silent Night as a lullaby.

Imagine a new mother, holding her infants in her arms,
and deeply contemplating the layers of meaning in that song not only for the world,
but for our family. To me, they were holy infants… asleep in a heavenly peace.

The sacredness of new life, and of that One Life…
our hopes and dreams wrapped up in them both…
Oh what Joy they have brought to the world!
All of them… the Christ child, and all children and all grandchildren.

What joy it is
to have Thanksgiving ring in the sacred Christmas season,
to sing songs and decorate the tree,
to read stories and make good food together,
to laugh and remember days gone by and family and friends…

We are grateful for you all, for your love and for your lives.
Our love extends to you all
with wishes of joy and peace and love and laughter in your lives.
May this holiday season stay with you the whole year through.

Happy New Year

Becky and Scott Vanatter

Christmas 2009 Pictures/Update

  • Serves now as first counselor in the bishopric.
  • Works for a competitor to his last company.
  • Finalized move of three wards into a new chapel—including ours.
  • Drove to Kansas to spend Christmas with mother and sister—just got home.
  • Serves as the shift coordinator every Thursday evening at the Washington D.C. Temple (with President and Sister Tingey—Scott’s former mission president!).
  • Teaches the Adult Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class.
  • 8th year working for BYU—Coordinating the Washington D.C. Student Teaching Program.

  • Moved to Arlington (Crystal City) this year. Now in the Colonial Ward.
  • Works in the Washington D.C. Temple on Thursday evenings on Becky’s shift.
  • Traveled to Greece this fall.
  • Is dating Mike! (“Love is in the air!”)

Carrie and Scott (along with Ryan, Sean, and Kyle)
  • Summer and Thanksgiving in Virginia.
  • Bought and moved into their first house a few days before Christmas!
  • They now live in a new ward and new stake in Lincoln, CA.