Friday, March 7, 2014
1. LONG LIVE #33
Due to bad refereeing, #3's team lost their tournament game on Monday. It was a fun season. I love watching my kids play and improve their talents. Since I'm athletically handicap, I live vicariously through them.
2. DRIVER'S BEWARE
Sis (#2) is taking Driver's Ed, which happens to be mandatory in our state. She has been getting up at 4:00 in order to be ready to leave the house by 5:20 for her 5:30 AM class. Reminds me of my 6:00 am early-morning seminary days. Lucky for me, Clint has been taking her on his way to work. YES!!!!
3. BAD DWEAMS
This little girl has been having bad dreams almost every night this week- or so she says! I think she just likes sleeping in my bed. She wakes up her sister, because it's too scary to walk downstairs by herself, and comes to my side of the bed. "Mom, I had a bad dweam. Can I sleep with you?" I mumble yes and in she climbs, leaving her half-awake sister to sleep on the floor at the foot of my bed. Last night before I tucked her in bed, I told her that if she had another bad dream I wanted her to climb in bed with Sis. No more coming down to my bed. She didn't listen. Sometime in the middle of the night last night there she was. "Mom, I had a bad dwean. Can I sleep with you?"
Don't worry. This morning she has been doing therapy with Princess (#5):
"What was you're bad dream about?"
"Ok, tonight flip your pillow over so you won't have anymore bad dreams."
"Mom and Dad need to buy a bigger bed so we can both fit in it."
Yesterday I went grocery shopping (it only took me 2 days but we're finally stocked up YAY!) and Miss Bad Dweam talked me into buying her and her sister some hand sanitizer. By the end of last night, it was almost gone- that's some really clean hands.
Anyway, my point in this whole story is that the hand sanitizer smelt just like my Strawberry Shortcake doll from the 80's. All day long, I felt like I was 7 again playing in my Holly Hobby Bedroom.
You really needed to know that.. .. .
Thursday, March 6, 2014
The other day I walked into the kitchen to find this:
Dad's Nail Salon
President Uchtdorf (October 2010 Conference) said,
"We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together. . .and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e."
I just love this man and the t-i-m-e he shows our family.
He also makes one hunk of a manicurist.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Yesterday was Theodor Geisel's, better known as Dr. Seuss, Birthday!
Dr. Seuss is a part of every child's childhood, including mine.
While growing up, my dad use to frequently quote us his favorite Dr. Seuss book, If I Ran the Zoo:
“It’s a pretty good zoo,”
Said young Gerald McGrew,
“And the fellow who runs it
Seems proud of it too.
But if I ran the zoo,”
Said young Gerald McGrew,
“I’d make a few changes. That’s just what I’d do.
The lions and tigers and that kind of stuff
They have up here now are not quite good enough.
You see things like these in any old zoo.
They’re awfully oldfashioned.
I want something new!
So I’d open each cage, I’ll unlock every pen,
Let the animals go and start over again. . .
Dad still quotes it for his grandkids today!
In honor of his birthday I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes.
“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
“Will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)”
“With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.”
“You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go."
Do you know which book each quote came from?
Monday, March 3, 2014
#3's basketball team has made it to Tournament. They played their first game this past Saturday.
This past Saturday as I was following along with the BofM365 reading challenge on Instagram (I've blogged more about BofM365 here), someone posted an awesome analogy. The two go perfect together.
The commenter said something to the effect of:
In the last days, we already know how everything is going to end- the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will be preserved.
Fear or comfort will fill our hearts. We have to decide what side we're going to be on.
So Pick a Team and Jersey Up!
We have a work to do:
Proclaim the Gospel
Perfect the Saints
Redeem the Dead
We get to put on our jersey and participate.
We can not afford to sit this game out. Those trying to sit on the bench may see that they're really not on His team after all.
Our lives should be lived in such a way that there is NO MISTAKE of which team we represent.
How can we be more committed to our team?
How can we make a difference?
HOLD ON TIGHT to what you know is right and true and good.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Called of Him to Declare His Word
By Elder Randy D. Funk
This is a talk about service as a missionary, but I think for those of us not serving a mission, we can apply it to our callings in the Church.
"In order to have the spiritual power necessary to open the door of the Kingdom of God in the [CALLING] to which you are sent, you must be humble and obedient and have the ability to hear and follow the Spirit." -see D&C 112:22
In order to have the spiritual power necessary we must have:
"The Lord instructs His servants to be humble because the process of being made whole spiritually begins with a broken heart."
This broken heart will lead to repentance.
"As we repent and become whole through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we have much more to offer the Savior as we serve Him."
Elder Funk quotes Elder Richard G. Scott's counsel:
"When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God -- power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord."
3. The Ability to Hear and Follow the Spirit
And President Benson taught, "Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent and ability."
"If you are humble and obedient and hearken to the voice of the Spirit, you will find great happiness in your service as a ____________(fill in the blank- ward librarian, primary teacher, Scout Master, etc)."
Next Week's Talk:
by Elder Richard G. Scott
Friday, February 28, 2014
It all started in 2nd grade when I lost a tooth. I put it, like always, in the Tooth Fairy pillow (we put our teeth into the pocket of a cute little Tooth Fairy shaped pillow that my mom made), and there it sat for days, and days. Those days turned into weeks, which turned into a month; still no visit from the tooth fairy, which meant no money! Finally one day, after being prompted by my parents (how did they know?), I checked, once again, to see if the Tooth Fairy had remembered me. Finally, she had! Inside the pillow was some money, probably a quarter, (the tooth fairy was pretty cheap back then) and a typed note from the tooth fairy that basically said to please forgive her, she had been on vacation to Disney World.
Knowing the story of my Tooth Fairy note, and thinking that the Tooth Fairy has all the time in the world to be pen pals with her, Princess likes to leave love notes along with her teeth.
Yesterday she lost a tooth and this was her sweet note:
Dear Tooth Fairy
I'll trade you my tooth for a dollar or two and thanks for the other money too!
p.s. write back on the back
She even hand-makes lovely envelopes to make her love notes more official looking.
Last night, the tooth fairy
forgot didn't make it. So Princess set it on the piano with the hopes that maybe she'll come while she's away at school.
You know what? I think she probably will!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Yesterday marked the end of my 30-day Social Media Fast.
Here are my conclusions:
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc) can be good if you use them for good.
"Make sure that the choices you make in the use of . . . media are choices that expand your mind, increase your opportunities, and feed your soul". -Elder Ballard
If we choose to, they can also be HUGE time wasters, and places used for complaining, slandering, bragging, and hurting others without consequence (or so people must seem to think).
Even before the advent of the Internet, Elder LeGrand Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled us to exercise caution in using technology.
“The Lord has inspired men to invent these great tools . . .Now if we don’t use them to teach His gospel, Satan will use them to lead the people astray” (quoted in Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple , 239).
- Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life?
- Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?
Let us use Social Media to lift others and ourselves, to encourage each other, to strengthen our testimonies of Christ and His gospel, and to help others become aware of that which is useful, good, and praiseworthy.
In the words of Al Fox:
Monday, February 24, 2014
This morning I turned on my computer, logged in to this blog, and was just about to begin a totally awesome and unforgettable post, when the screen flashed and my computer went back to the desktop.
"That was weird", I thought.
So I began the process again. This time there were terrible pop-ups and banners everywhere! A virus had somehow snuck past all the antivirus programs and infected my computer. UGH! In order to get rid of it, I had to go in, uninstall the virus (thank goodness I found it) and reset some settings.
This experience reminded me of President Uchtdorf's First Presidency message in this past January's Ensign. He said:
I love getting a new computer with a clean hard drive. For a time it works perfectly. But as the days and weeks pass by and more and more programs get installed (some intentional, some not so intentional), eventually the computer begins to stall, and things it used to do quickly and efficiently become sluggish. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Even getting it to start can become a chore as the hard drive becomes cluttered with miscellaneous chaos and electronic debris. There are times when the only recourse is to reformat the computer and start over.
Human beings can likewise become cluttered with fears, doubts, and burdensome guilt. The mistakes we have made (both intentional and unintentional) can weigh upon us until it may seem hard to do what we know we should.
In the case of sin, there is a wonderful reformatting process called repentance that allows us to clear our internal hard drives of the clutter that burdens our hearts. The gospel, through the miraculous and compassionate Atonement of Jesus Christ, shows us the way to cleanse our souls of the stain of sin and once again become new, pure, and as innocent as a child.
I am grateful for Repentance. Can you imagine how awful it would be if there was no way to remove all the junk, clutter, and viruses that sin causes? What a mess we would be. I'm grateful to a Savior who made it possible for me to go in and remove harmful clutter from my system.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
No Other Gods
by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Idols and idolatry, things of the past right? Elder Oaks begins his talk by reminding us of the first two commandments.
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3)
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything in the heavens or the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them (Exodus 20:4-5)
For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God,. . . . shewing mercy unto. . . them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:5-6)
Elder Oaks explains that the word
JEALOUS = possessing sensitive and deep feelings.
"Thus we offend God when we serve other Gods -- when we have other first priorities."
In 2 Nephi 12:8 Isaiah speaks of the land "being full of idols".
What are some forms of idolatry today?
The shapes of idols might have changed since the days of Moses, but allegiance to God above all else, is still the commandment.
Some examples of graven images people worship today could be: clothing, cars, homes, careers, hobbies, recreational pursuits, celebrities.
- Do we spend more time deciding what to wear each morning than we do in prayer?
- People bow down to money by giving up their integrity and honesty in order to obtain it.
- Do we worship body image by excessively working out, spending too money on exercise equipment, or too much time at the gym, counting every calorie, talking disproportionately about body image, or constantly worrying about diets and weight loss?
"What is our ULTIMATE priority?
Are we serving priorities or gods ahead of the God we profess to worship?"
"We must never dilute our first priority--to have no other gods and to serve no other priorities ahead of God the Father and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ."
Next Week's Talk:
Next Week's Talk:
Elder Randy D. Funk
Friday, February 21, 2014
Raising children in this day and age is Hard!
We live in a wicked world. Never in our memory have the forces of evil been arrayed in such deadly formation. The devil is well organized. Never in our day has he had so many emissaries working for him. Through his many agents, his satanic majesty has proclaimed his intentions to destroy one whole generation of our choice young people.
Evidence of the dastardly work of evil forces is increasingly evident. On every side we see the sad and heart-rending results. The devil-inspired destructive forces are present in our literature, in our art, in the movies, on the radio, in our dress, in our dances, on the TV screen, and even in our modern, so-called popular music. Satan uses many tools to weaken and destroy the home and family and especially our young people. Today, as never before, it seems the devil’s thrust is directed at our youth. -President Benson
Just like you, I often think,
Will I be able to make it?
Will I be able to teach my children every thing they need to know in order to combat Satan and his army?
In 1981, President Kimball made a promise to the youth of that day. He said,
This generation of youth is going to do deeds never done before. You are going to accomplish the seemingly impossible because you are on His errand. Your generation will fight the greatest army of Satanic hosts ever assembled. You will be severely out numbered. You will need a deep and abiding faith in Christ to survive, and YOU WILL SURVIVE. The Lord and his servants will triumph. We do know that.
What is that seemingly impossible task? I believe it is the task of raising this generation of children in all the wickedness that confronts them. It is our mission as mothers and fathers in Zion to raise righteous children in these winding down days, the days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, when Satan, knowing his time is coming to an end, is using everything he has to try to succeed.
The Good News
We will make it. We cannot afford to become discouraged! We can do it! We can be successful. President Kimball promised us 'YOU WILL SUCCEED'.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
This morning I'm seeing RED. I am mad, frustrated and disheartened at the moral decline our world has, is, and continues to take!
I am enraged that my daughter's high school has to be filled with posters reminding her of her worth. Posters telling her that she doesn't have to look like photo-shopped models in the magazines or dress immodestly to be considered beautiful.
I am fuming that I can't take my family to the mall or even to the grocery store without there being some sort of inappropriate image whether its on a magazine, a video game display, on a model, or even a movie poster.
I am irate that pornography is now being marketed to young children by putting a picture of a popular child's toy on the cover of a magazine filled with mostly naked women. Clever, very clever.
But what I think irks me the most is that the world justifies this moral decline. . . seeing it as Freedom of Speech, a Woman's Right, God made me this way, This is the 21st Century, etc.
Really it all comes down to one word:
Let me share a little story with you. I've always called it the Chocolate Cake and the Color Red story but it's also known as Tragedy at Rayad.
Once upon a time there was a little kingdom called Rayad. The tiny people who inhabited this kingdom were call Rayadites. They lived happily, sharing and caring about each other. Life was good to them. There were only a few things they needed to watch out for; for instance, chocolate cake or wearing the color red. If any Rayadite ever ate chocolate cake or wore red, his spirit would become weakened, and he would care less and less about himself and the rules of the kingdom.
Also living in this tiny kingdom was Zynock, an evil person who wanted to destroy the kingdom and all of the people in it. He hated for them to be happy and loving, for that made it harder for him to influence them. He knew what weakened their spirits and made them easier to capture. But Zynock also knew that he could not just offer the Rayadites chocolate cake and have them devour it - they were not that foolish! Nor could he make the most wonderful garment in bright red and expect them to wear it immediately. The Rayadites wanted to be good and strong. They had promised each other that they would help and strengthen each other in time of need. So how could Zynock weaken this people? How could he get them to succumb to him so that he could destroy them and thus the whole kingdom?
"Let's see," he said, "I can't get them to eat chocolate cake right off, but maybe I can get them to develop a taste for chocolate."
That's when chocolate chip cookies were introduced to the kingdom of Rayad. At first the cookies were ignored and scoffed at. Then some commercials and billboards were produced that showed handsome, wonderful-looking Rayadites eating chocolate chip cookies. And nothing happened to them, except they became more popular and sophisticated - at least that's what the message conveyed on the screens and billboards.
It wasn't long before a few Rayadites could be seen eating a chocolate chip cookies every now and then, and they seemed to be doing fine. They were still loving and caring and hadn't changed at all - so it seemed. So more and more Rayadites began eating the cookies. What they didn't realize was that the portion of chocolate chips in each cookie had been doubled. They were getting a double dose of chocolate, disguised in the cookie. You'd hear phrases like these: "That cookie is really good except for a couple of places where it tastes pretty chocolatey. But don't miss the cookie just for those two places. It's too good a cookie, and you can overlook the taste." "I heard that one of our friends has eaten a chocolate chip cookie, and she says it's nothing to be afraid of. It won't ruin your life if you eat it."
That was true: lives didn't seem to be ruined by chocolate chip cookies. Things were pretty much the same as usual. However, some of the teachers and leaders and parents in Rayad suggested avoiding the cookies because tastes for chocolate were being developed.
"Avoid the cookies?" came the cries of surprise. "What for? What's wrong with them? They're not chocolate cake! How stuffy can you get?"
Some who refused to eat the cookies were even laughed at and made fun of. Zynock himself started chuckling. He had no idea his plan would work so well. And Zynock was patient. He didn't care how long it took to destroy Rayad, just so it was destroyed.
Chocolate chip cookies seemed to be moving pretty well. Zynock didn't worry about the words of caution and counsel from the leaders, because his commercials and billboards were so exciting and enticing. He had to make them that way, or the truth of the leaders would have swayed the Rayadites away from the cookies.
Now it came time to introduce a new product of destruction. No, not chocolate cake, not quite yet. Rather, Zynock began advertising spice cake, white cake, yellow cake, carrot cake, any kind of cake but chocolate - but all with chocolate frosting, rich chocolate frosting. More commercials, more billboards, a few songs to hum and sing all day about how wonderful chocolate cake would be, although they're not eating it - yet! Get them thinking about it before they will actually succumb. Then in the kingdom of Rayad, you could hear:
"Have you tried that yellow cake with chocolate frosting?"
"Well, no. Is it good?"
"Oh, yes! Granted, it is chocolatey, but it's not chocolate cake. And it really doesn't have much more chocolate than those cookies we've been eating!"
"But the cake doesn't seem right. I mean, cookies are one thing, but cake?"
"Ah, come on! The important thing is the chocolate, and this is no more than you've already been eating. Everybody's eating it. You can't pass it up and be the only one left out."
In the meantime, the songs were subtly strumming away in the background, singing the praises of chocolate cake. Right, the words were not good, but the beat and the rhythm were so cool that many Rayad's listened just for the music. After all, what can music do?
Zynock began thinking again: "One thing that strengthens those Rayadites is when they are together talking to each other. What can I do about that?" Then he reasoned, "Well, it's all right for them to be together. In fact, maybe there is some way I could use their gatherings and parties for my purposes. Aha! I've got it!"
So parties in Rayad began changing. Instead of the Rayadites talking to each other and playing games so they could get to know one another and share their strengths and talents, a new trend began. Everyone who was anyone had the new kinds of parties.
"Have you been to a party over at our Rayad friend's place yet?"
"No, I haven't."
"You should go. It's really cool!"
"Oh? What do you do?"
"Well, it isn't like any other party you've been to. It's pretty cool. All you do is go and sit down and watch stuff on the screen."
"Stuff on the screen? Like what?"
"Oh, exciting, scary stuff that's pretty good. There are a few scenes showing people eating chocolate cake, but no 'biggy.'"
"People eating chocolate cake? But..."
"Oh, it's not bad, and besides, there's nothing anymore without a little bit of that. It's just fun to get together with your friends."
So Zynock stood back and watched his plot unfold. "Let's see now. They're eating chocolate and they're eating cake. They're listening to songs and watching movies about chocolate cake. They're becoming weaker and weaker, although they're not even aware of it yet because they haven't actually eaten it - yet! They are falling into my trap! They think their leaders and parents are square and stuffy. It's very helpful when their friends tell them what I want them to hear. Friends are my greatest asset!"
"Hey!" says a friend Rayadite, "have you seen the latest movie?"
"No," comes the response. "I thought it was C-rated, for chocolate."
"No, it isn't. It's R-rated for Red. There's no chocolate in it."
And so Zynock continues his plotting - this time a gorgeous garment, but not in red...yet. It's a luscious pink color.
In all his evil doings, the adversary can go no further than the transgressor permits him to go and we can gain complete power to resist the evils caused by Satan through adherence to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. - Elray L. Christiansen
"Therefore, Cheer up your hearts (or in my case, let go of your anger), and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh." -2 Nephi 10:23-24
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Well, the big day finally arrived last Saturday.
We had THE DRESS
Let me tell you about the dress.
Knowing Sis (#2) would need a semi-formal, and that that one dress, which she would probably only wear one time, could be really expensive, I began praying for help to find a dress within our budget.
Sis had seen a photo of a dress she liked on Instagram unfortunately, we had no idea where to purchase a similar dress. So I turned to my BFF, Google, she knows everything.
I typed in "gold sequin tulle dress". Bam! My BFF told me I could buy something very similar for $100 at Macey's. I then did another search for the name and brand of that dress. Bam again! (Google never disappoints) There was another similar dress at Nordstrom for $90. Through similar searches I found a few more but each was no cheaper than $65. . . Still more than I wanted to pay.
Then something amazing happened, and I still to this day don't even know how. Some how on my screen the exact dress Sis had seen on Instagram showed up. JCPenny had it, and it was on sale!
The story gets even better: the day before a $10 off coupon for JCPenny had come in the mail! WOW! We got the exact dress Sis wanted for . . . . .
. . .. .. . . . .. . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I had to add a layer of tulle to the bottom to make it long enough for Miss Long Legs, but for $29, I'm not complaining. This whole experience has reaffirmed to me that prayers ARE MOST DEFINITELY answered. We just need to ask.
Side note: In this picture I am wearing 5 inch platform shoes and Sis is wearing flats. Waaaahh!!!!
We even had a volunteer for Boutonniere Pinning 101.
Here is The Welcoming Committee who thought it'd be really "welcoming" to jump out from behind the door.
and The Look-Outs
"Sissy, your boyfriend is here!!!!"
and finally, we have THE DATE!
and aren't they cute.
Monday, February 17, 2014
We had a BUSY!, but very fun weekend.
There was Valentine's Day,
the Sweethearts Dance. . .Remember this?
and my baby boy turned 12.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when a young boy turns twelve, if he is worthy, he has the opportunity to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.
Yesterday, #4 was ordained to the office of a Deacon in this priesthood.
We are so proud of him. We celebrated with what else? a Party!
Clint's parents drove over from Colorado.
There was lots of food
and lot and lots
But mostly there was
Sunday, February 16, 2014
You Can Do It Now!
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"There may be times in our lives when rising up and continuing on may seem beyond our own ability. . . We can feel so burdened by our failures and shortcomings that we begin to think we will never be able to succeed. We might even assume that because we have fallen before, falling is our destiny."
"Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward."
One of the strategies Satan uses is to make us think that we can't change, that once a failure, always a failure, to make us forget who we really are and what we really desire.
"Satan's purpose is to tempt us to exchange the priceless pearls of true happiness and eternal values for a fake plastic trinket that is merely an illusion and counterfeit of happiness and joy."
In 2 Nephi 10:23 Jacob tells us "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are FREE TO ACT FOR YOURSELF".
We are free to choose: Are we going to give up or are we going to get back up and try again?
"Every person, young and old, has had his own personal experience with falling. Falling is what we mortals do. But as long as we are willing to rise up again and continue on the path toward the spiritual goals God has given us, we can learn something from failure and become better and happier as a result."
When I read this, I thought of Adam and Eve. They definitely fell, but they rose up and continued on the path God intended for them.
"Men are that they might have JOY" (2 Nephi 2:25)
If we live perfectly all the time and never fail, we would have no joy because we never knew misery, we would do no good, because we knew no sin. (2 Nephi 2:23)
I am grateful for all I've learned from my failures. They have helped me to be a better, happier person.
Choose not to get discouraged.
You are stronger than you realize.
You are more capable than you can imagine.
You can do it now!
Next Week's Talk:
by Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Can you believe this little baby boy is 12 - TWELVE- years old today!
(Please ignore the hair-do of the young mother in this photo.)
This boy is always smiling
and being silly
and trying to make others laugh.
yep- still smiling
and being silly.
He's a great big brother (and little brother too).
He makes a mean quesadilla (and has since he was about 8)
He loves Basketball
and likes to stick his tongue out when he plays.
(He gets it from his dad, and his dad gets it from Michael Jordan, --at least that's what I've been told.)
He has the cutest freckles.
We love him to pieces.
Happy Birthday Buddy!!