Thursday, 28 February 2013

Lyndon's Conference Part 2

Saturday February 16 was the day of the conference. It was a beautiful day. 

Dr. Paul Kerry, Brigham Young University, spoke on the Family and the Republic.  

Dr. Brad Wilcox University of Virginia was the keynote speaker. His lecture was titled Put a Ring On It: Why Marriage Matters for Couples, Children, and the Country.

Dr. Mark Regnerus, University of Texas shared his research on the differences of adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships. In his lecture he shared his statistics from his study on all different family trypes including traditional, single, divorced, when one parent is dead, along with the same-sex parents.

Dr. Robert Lerman, American University shared his research on how family patterns affect the economic well-being of Americans.

Dawn Eden is a theologian and author of Thrill of the Chaste and My Peace I Give unto You. She spoke on chastity

Sherif Girgis is a PhD and JD candidate from Yale University. His lecture was the address that caught the protestors attention. His lecture is titled What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. He discussed the same-sex marriage issue from a logical argument. He put aside personal bias and discussed the facts about what same-sex marriage would do to the institution of marriage. He said that is we allow two same-sex couples to marry than we logically would have to allow all forms of companionship to be married as well. A couple of examples of companions who might seek for these benefits would be polyanmorous relationships and two siblings who live together without a sexual relationship. The protestors were silent during the lecture but did have a lot of questions for Sherif. The Q&A sessions was extended for his lecture so all the question could be answered. 

Lynn Wardle, JD, from Brigham Young University was our last speaker of the evening. He focused his lecture on same-sex marraige and how the image of marriage and families is changing nationally and globally. 

Overall the conference was a wonderful success! Everything went smoothly thanks to Lyndon's careful planning, all the volunteers who helped all through the conference, and our friends who watched Cosette for the day. It is wonderful to know that there are people out there who support our cause. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Lyndon's Conference: The Family in Modern Society Part I

This past weekend was Lyndon's conference The Family in Modern Society at Columbia. He has worked so hard on this, pretty much since March until now. So this has taken up twelve months of our lives. All the hard work payed off. The conference was a success! Lyndon should be very proud of himself for putting on a conference discussing conservative topics at a very liberal university. We are going to have a series of post about the conference so be prepared to read. And really do read it. it is all very interesting.

Lyndon and I have participated with another organization, The Love and Fidelity Network, that puts on a similar conference every year at Princeton Universtiy (which is actually where we started to get to know each other). After attending the LFN conference for several years Lyndon felt inspired to have a similar conference at Columbia. We both are very passionate about perserving traditional families and marriage in our society. Lyndon felt that Columbia would benefit from having a conference centered on traditional family since the conservative arguments are not very often discussed at Columbia. That is how The Family in Modern Society conference came about.

During Lyndon's first year at Columbia Law he started an philisophical discussion group called Fidelio (after the group he was president of at BYU) that would meet and focus on social issues and their impact on the law. Lyndon founding this group was the first stepping stone to organizing his conference. He was able to get the group approved and become an official Columbia club which then made it easier for him to organize his conference. He needed a Columbia affiliated organization that supported these social issues in order to have the conference.

Fall of 2011, after attending the Princeton Conference, Lyndon decided he wanted to bring a similar conference to Columbia. He considered the idea during the winter, and in the spring of 2012 he spoke to his friend Ashley Crouch (then aLove and Fidelity coordinator). She was enthusiastic and they met in April to discuss possibilities. Encouraged by her support, Lyndon reached out to about a dozen student groups at Columbia Law School. Unfortunately none of them were interested. Undeterred he started looking for an ally among the faculty of Columbia University to support the conference. Several professors were sympathetic, but ultimately not one of the professors at Columbia Law School would support the conference. In late May, with little progress from his efforts, Lyndon changed tactics and began emailing academics he knew would support the conference.

The first big breaks came when first Lynn Wardle then W. Bradford Wilcox agreed to speak at the conference. Lynn Wardle was gracious enough to tentatively accept the invitation to speak before a date or place had been chosen. After his correspondence with Mr. Wardle, Lyndon fixed the date of February 16th 2013, hoping that he would be able to find a room at Columbia when advance classroom registration opened in late summer. Mr. Wilcox agreed to speak at the conference in late June, not knowing the uncertain foundation the conference was resting upon. Lyndon knew about Mr. Wilcox's research by attending Marriage prep classes with Christine at BYU the previous year. Her professor had spoken of Mr. Wilcox with high regard, and his work in support of the family was unparralleled. With Msrs. Wilcox and Wardle aboard, the conference became instantly more respectable.

Lyndon spent his free time this summer emailing all sorts of people who could possibly come and give lectures at this conference. He applied for a room at Columbia College. He applied for funding with the Love and Fidelity Network and ISI. Eventually, Richard Wilkins, Mark Regnerus, Sherif Girgis, Dawn Eden and Robert Lerman all agreed to speak at the conference. With five months to go until the conference, Lyndon was feeling confident that everything would go smoothly the rest of the way. Not so. With only two and a half months to go, Richard Wilkins passed unexpectedly. At this late moment, Lyndon had to decide whether to forge ahead with only six speakers or to try to fill the vacancy. He decided that the Conference would benefit from the perspective of one more scholar. Up until this point the conference had two sociologists, an economist, a philosopher, a theologian and a lawyer. Lyndon asked the noted historian, Paul Kerry, to deliver an address at the conference. Dr. Kerry is a friend and mentor from BYU who had expressed interest earlier in attending the conference, but an issue had prevented him from accepting. Lyndon approached him again, and even at the last minute he agreed to present his research on the family. So again with seven speakers the conference moved onto the home stretch.

Advertising was the biggest concern as the conference neared. Lyndon had three different posters made to advertise. Here is the most impressive one.
Lyndon had a 2'x3' poster made of this and set it up in the law school.

With one week to go before the Conference began serious trouble began to brew. The Columbia Democrats learned about the conference on facebook, immediately threats, explitives, and insults appeared on the event's facebook page. Lyndon began monitoring the page periodically to remove offensive messages. The Columbia Democrats decided that this Conference was too radical to take place on Columbia's campus, and they planned a parrallel event in protest. As a result of this protest the Conference was forced to pay Columbia hundreds of dollars to post six security personnel at and around the conference. Someone should ask how much the Columbia Democrats were asked to pay!

So there you have it. These are all the events leading up to the Conference. Next post will be about what happened at the conference.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

This has become one of my favorite holidays in the last few years. This year especially I am really into it. It probably has to do with my sweet Lyndon who proposed to me on V-Day four years ago. Since then he has made Valentine's Day a fun and special day. He always surprises me with something fun. Usually we go eat some where fabulous and go see a ballet or opera. He likes to do something cultural on this speical day. This year I am getting into the spirit more. Cosette can do a lot more things. We made special Valentine's for our families and made yummy cookies. She kept sneaking cookie dough and eating it. She is my daughter. 

The finished product waiting for Lyndon. I went to the Cake Boss Bakery last year to get Lyndon something for V-day and was inspired to make the dark chocolate bowls filled with chocolate covered strawberries. It was a lot easier that I anticipated. Oh, and that cloth on the table are the pajama pants I made by myself! I can sew! They say Star Wars all over them. Totally Lyndon. Cosette kept eating all the chocolate. She would eat it off the cookies and throw away the cookie. She had little chocolate lips for a while. 

So the real reason Valentine's Day is the best is because Lyndon always surprises me. The tradition started four years ago and continues to go strong. Although, this year I had a pretty good idea of what the plan was. 

We were out walking around after we got back from the Philippines this summer and I saw an advertisement for the New York City Ballet's performance of Sleeping Beauty which was going to be around Valentine's Day. That was it! That is what we had to do on Valentine's Day. A little back ground for you: I have four sisters and we are each a Disney princess and I am Sleeping Beauty which means I had to go see Sleeping Beauty. Of course I was not for sure because Lyndon would not tell me what we were doing but I knew deep down that he would not disapoint and that he probably would love to go see this ballet. He did not disappoint at all. He got the tickets in November! I love him!! Sorry but he makes me so happy and sometimes you just have to proclaim it. So yes, we did go to a fabulous dinner at a fabulous French restaurant and he did take me to see Sleeping Beauty! It was the most wonderful, beautiful ballet I have ever seen. Disney gets it pretty close. A lot of the music from the ballet is in the Disney film, but the ballet is so much better. I had the most wonderful night with the most wonderful man! 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tennessee Trip

We have been gone for a little while. Well Cosette and I have been gone for a while. We flew down south to enjoy some time with my family. It was so nice. I got to be there for my brother's sweet 16. We had a dinner party for him at "Dunnton" Abbey. We all helped cook all the food and served it to him and his friends. I think really only David was a specific person (Carson). Leslie and Sam we joked were Anna and Bates. Cosette was just cute. It was really nice to be there for Eston's Birthday. I cannot even remember the last time I was home for any of my family member's brithdays. That means it was time to go down and celebrate one. 

We missed the massive snow storm the North East had but we did get some snow of our own. 

Cosette got to do a lot of fun things. We got to go to nursery school with my Mom a couple of times. Cosette loved playing with Moses (the family dog). I wish we had the space for a dog because she loved playing with him so much. At least she can play with him when we visit. She would play catch and give him lots and lots of dog treats. Baba (my grandma) got her some new Veggie Tale movies which Cosette is obsessed with. I got to practice sewing. Learning to sew is one of my goals this year. I made a couple of blankets and pair of pajama pants mostly on my own. I came back with several patterns and a dress I need to put together. I am becoming a sewing fiend! Project Runway here I come (if only). Till next time Tennessee. 

2011 Babies 2013 Photos

In our Church's congregation there were 14 babies born in 2011! Which means Cosette has a lot of buddies to play with. Last year we got together and took a photo of most of them. I think 11 of the 14 ended up in the photo. It turned out darling. They are set up in age order in the photo. 

We decided to get together again this year and take another one. Little did we know that the kids have become very camera shy. 

Cosette and her buddy Oliver. She sat down next to him and put her arm around him. I did not  have to even pose this photo. 

Then I sat her down next to her best friend Jane when getting ready to try to photo again and she started giving her kisses! It was so stinking cute.

Most of them ended up crying by the time we were ready to take the photo and since they can walk now got up and ran off to find their mommy. Who knew toddlers hated getting there pictures taken so much?

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