Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Let me preface this with an anecdote that will illustrate my personality and attitude towards worship well:
We have really struggled this year, and have had to lean heavily on our faith, our hope, and our trust that tithing works and we will make it through. Through most of it, I have had to be the bright, shining beacon of optimism, as it seemed no one else was up to it. In public I have been the happy cheerleader; "It will all work out! We can do it! Go team poverty!" In private, its been a little less peppy. I was bearing my testimony about this experience, and was very emotional. I related that the reserve of optimism finally ran dangerously low, and I had a little talk with the Lord. "Look, Lord, I trust you, and I know you'll take care of us. But if we don't get some help by Friday, I'm probably going to have to freak out." I was very sincere. I was very emotional. And this line got a laugh. I was puzzled. I asked around. It turns out most people don't talk to God like that. I find this baffling. How is the Savior supposed to be your best friend if you don't talk to Him like He is? Evidently, while I have a deep faith and respect for and in the Savior, I am a whole lot less formal than most in my worship.
There. Now you know.
I love the hymns of Zion. Few things bring me more comfort and peace, and some of my most powerful spiritual manifestations have come to me through hymns. That being said, do we have to sound so mournful all the time? When you sing at a funeral's pace, its bound to sound like a funeral. I have personally wondered if my arm was going to fall off while conducting sacrament hymns with 1 verse, no chorus, but an organist that is playing like my five-year-old reads: A....mi....tee...fo-or-tress...i-is our....God (with a fermata! Hold that for eight counts!) Even a one-verse hymn takes 15 minutes when it has 8 fermatas. Sure, it says to sing "with dignity," but my dignity is not painfully slow! I just timed how long it takes to sing this hymn at sacrament speed: 1:07.23. I just banged that thing out in a reverent 40 seconds flat. So here's my final question:
How much trouble to do you think I'd get in for taking a pen and adding to every mood instruction, ",but briskly" so "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" would read, "With dignity, but briskly."
It's a lot more subtle than, "Pick up the pace, people! Even God is falling asleep!"
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
So, through one of my lines, I descend from the Birds in early Virginia (founders of Richmond). They descend from a long line of nobility going back all the way to Edward Longshanks (the bad king in "Braveheart"), William the Conqueror, and Charlemagne. Pretty awesome. Another ancestor clear back there is a descendant of the Merovingian kings in France. If you've seen "The Da Vinci Code," you may remember the Merovingian line was purported to be the descendants of Christ's daughter Sarah, who grew up in France and married Antenor, King of the West Franks, making the Merovingian kings descendants of the Son of God, and the Holy Blood line. It was an interesting story, but kind of weird.
So I keep hitting the little button to go further back in time and see who each person's father was. I come to Antenor, King of the West Franks, and his wife, Sarah-Damaris Bat Yeshuah. I think, "Man, that's a Jewish name if ever I heard one!" I go back to see her parents, and they are listed as "Jesus Christ, lineage of" and Mariame migdal eder. I think, "No way! They have Jesus on the New FamilySearch?" And they do. I click on His name, and look in the box below the pedigree for more information. I click the link for LDS ordinances.
It says they are not available.
And I laugh and laugh and laugh.
You can't make up stuff that good!
- New FamilySearch is fully awesome and user friendly
- I lucked out and am related to royalty so I can trace my family history WAY back.
- It appears I am a descendant of Jesus Christ.
- No one knows the date of His baptism or other priesthood ordinances.
Maybe I'm bad for thinking that's hysterical....but I bet He thinks its funny too.
UPDATE! I kept clicking back for ancestors of Antenor, and after going through Russia, Turkey, Troy, ancient Greece, and more, someone has decided that the first king of Troy was mothered by an Israelite, Judah's daughter-in-law whom he impregnated when she pretended to be a prostitute. Well, with a lineage like that, its easy to go back to, you guessed it, Adam. I have a family line that goes all the way back to Adam. I am that Mormon.
I realize these connections are spurious at best, but it's still interesting. Plus, kind of funny!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
My baby has been sick this week, so my whole house has been turned into the Disgusting Land of Puke and Ickiness. I am not a good housekeeper at the best of times, so when my dryer still isn't fixed and I'm on laundry overload and all my time is spent caring for a tiny, screaming person, home-making disaster ensues.
Instead of trying harder to work on my mess, I've been playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. Inside, I hate myself for being too much of a coward and slacker to just go upstairs and face the mess. As I played my last round, I heard the deep, dramatic voice of the game tell me "Good," and "Excellent," and "Awesome," everytime I did a particularly neat move. It occurs to me I may get more done if that happened in my actual life--if everytime I got something done I had that voice giving me a little instant gratification.
How do I ever change into the kind of woman who always has her house together? How do I learn to not be so overwhelmed by the mess that I walk away from it? Why can't I see messes utnil they are GIANT and hard to overcome?
Any thoughts? Anyone?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I think he's had fun, and that's really all I wanted out of it. It just surprises me that two people who care about winning so much have managed to produce a child who couldn't care less.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
In 1Nephi 16, disaster strikes the family of Lehi. Out in the middle of nowhere, with no help in sight, Nephi breaks his bow. It seems the breaking of the bow was the last straw. Everyone else's bow had "lost its spring" and now Nephi's super-fancy bow was broken. Life was not worth living. Even Lehi started to complain. Lehi could put up with a lot--wayward kids, attempted fratricide, total loss of riches--but when he got hungry, the crankies came out a-blazin'. Amidst all this whining, Nephi never loses sight of some important absolutes:
- God helps those who help themselves. Nephi went out and made a new bow.
- Priesthood authority matters. Though Lehi was a murmurer too, Nephi respects his calling as the prophet and his position in the family as patriarch and defers to his authority.
- The Lord wants us to succeed, and will help us to do so. Nephi receives instructions from the Lord via the Liahona on where to find animals to kill, and trusts that instruction, finding success and yummy food.
How can we apply this in our own lives as we seek sunshine and confidence?
- Do all you can, and believe the Lord will make up the rest. Righteous living gives us the confidence to believe we have bound the Lord to bless us (D&C 82:10), knowing that we have kept the laws upon which blessings are predicated. (D&C 130:20-21)
- Follow the prophet. Seek priesthood blessings. Access to Priesthood power is a sacred privilege enjoyed in mortality by a blessed few. Don't waste it! Go to the temple. Study conference. Counsel with your bishop.
- If you truly believe the Lord loves you and wants to care for you, faith pushes away fear, and the knot in your stomach loosens as you allow your trust in the Lord to replace anxiety. He will take care of you! It's hard sometimes to go forward blindly, truly believing He knows what's best for us, even when its not what we would have chosen, but we can find peace and confidence to walk into the unknown knowing that we are not unknown to Him.
It is my firm belief that nothing is so dark that the light of the Atonement and the infinite love of our Savior can't brighten it. I sing with all my heart,
"We doubt not the Lord, nor His goodness,
We've proved Him in days that are past."
Always, always in my hour of need, the Lord has proven to me that He holds me in the palm of His hand. I have always been happier for following His counsel and submitting to my trials meekly, trusting that God has a plan for me, and that plan involves finding joy! I know He can help us, if we let Him.
Let the sunshine and confidence begin!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I’ve been thinking a lot about how difficult these times and circumstances are for everyone I know. My family has had to make some drastic changes to provide for ourselves—my husband and I are 30, returning to school because we fear agriculture can’t support us anymore, so we are living on student loans to provide for our kids. As I thought about how we have had to scale back, and how our local religious leaders have asked us all to scale back and be provident, I wondered what you are doing in Washington to be more provident with our hard-earned taxes. I’ve done a little googling, and created the following list of perks Congressmen receive. I realize that not all the information on the Internet is entirely accurate, so I hoped you could look over the list and answer two questions:
· How accurate is this list of perks?
· What are you personally doing to cut spending?
Free parking: Not only do members of Congress receive parking on Capitol Hill, but they also receive free (prime) private parking spots at the two nearby airport, Reagan National and Dulles airport.
Perks from Lobbyists: Despite a slew of ethics regulations regarding gifts from lobbyists, Members of Congress are still able to use their lobbyist ties to get into events that regular people simply do not have access to. For example, if a Member of Congress wanted a prime ticket to a sold-out event, he could still get that ticket from lobbyists he’s close with, as long as the face value of the ticket is reimbursed by the Member. However, this money doesn’t have to come from the Member’s pocket, but instead can come from the usually deep campaign account, which usually contains money from lobbyists and their associated PACs.
Days Off: While most Americans get one day off for Memorial Day and sometimes Presidents Day, members of Congress get the entire week off. However, Congress doesn’t like to call these vacation days, but instead call them “District Work Periods,” even though there is nothing requiring them to be in their district during those times. Congress also gets a number of additional recesses, some lasting as long as a month.
Office Costs: $2 million to $4 million a year for office administration and staff expenses. There is a furniture expense account, subsidized mass mailings to constituents (known as the franking privilege) and free income tax-return preparation assistance. In addition to all that, members also receive a special tax deduction for maintaining a second residence, and yet more, there are the numerous foreign trips (spouses included) often to exotic places hosted by nonprofit groups. House members, but not senators, can also keep frequent flier miles they rack up on official travel and use them for personal trips later.
Other Perks: What's more, members have exclusive use of the Congressional Research Service to do their legwork. There is free use of broadcast taping studios, free reserved parking at the office and at Washington-area airports and a free member-only gym and pool, expedited passport services and of course the well-appointed and subsidized members' dining rooms.
I haven’t mentioned anything about salaries, because I realize you give of your time and need to be compensated. I also realize that some things, like travel, are difficult to accommodate, and probably need to be compensated as well. What I hope, is that when you fly home to work in your district, you fly coach like the rest of us. I hope you understand that the money I do earn, I’ve worked very hard for. I belong to a church to which I voluntarily give 10% of my income. They have said of those funds that they hold them sacred, using them only in the most responsible way, understanding what that money means to those who sacrificed it. I don’t have any choice about taxes, but I do believe in the Republic. I hope you hold my funds sacred. I hope you understand the trust we have placed in you to spend our money. I hope you understand that an elected official is a servant, not an entitled aristocrat.
Thank you in advance for your response. I appreciate the service you render.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Goats! As mentioned in the Bennet Blog, we got goats. I'd like to point out that I put in the last t-post and finnished the pen all by myself Sunday so we could bring out goats home.
Kory's goat still needs to be bottle fed, and he LOVES doing it!
Kory thinks his pet is a sheep and his name is "Goat." I'm sure we'll sort it out.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The Lord often refers to Himself as the Bridegroom and Israel as the Bride. If you consider that when Israel is referred to, the Lord isn't just talking to Israel as a whole, but to each of her children individually, then you can see, for the sake of metaphor, how you, personally, are the Bride of Christ. So then, what can you do to build your relationship with Christ?
- How can you spend more time with Him?
- How can you take time to talk to Him about things that matter to you?
- How can you listen to Him better?
- How can you confide in Him more?
- How can you find joy in Him?
- How can you give Him oppurtunities to prove He keeps His promises, that He loves you, and that He can be relied on?
Building a relationship with Christ is the same as building a relationship with anyone else; it takes a lot of effort. And like any relationship that you feel has gone south, all you can do is change yourself. The good news with Christ is that, unlike some spouses, he wants to work on the relationship too. He's waiting for you. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes faith, but I know if you try He will more than meet you half way.
I really felt like this was a message I was meant to share, and couldn't think of a way to do that until yesterday. So, I have recorded it for myself (and now that I've written it down I will remember it more often) and let it out there. Thanks for indulging me.
Monday, May 4, 2009
If the video is shaking its because I'm trying to inspire her. Now there's a video to see...
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Lastly, TA DA! My new table! Some of you will know that I had uncharitable feelings toward an uppity German woman who beat me to a beautiful dining room set at DI. Well, my feelings were asuaged by this stellar find on Craig's list! It's hardwood, from Pottery Barn and I picked it up for a steal! We love it! It has one additional captain's chair, and you can see the other leaf leaning up against the wall. It will suit our needs for years to come!
Friday, May 1, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
I'm getting nervous about my appliances. I've seen a couple of commercials lately that have made me thinks twice about vigorously pushing my vacuums or scrubbing my stove or using the toaster.
First, there is the homo-erotic Quizno's commercial involving some poor schmuck who is being sexually exploited by a sandwich oven. "We both enjoyed that, Scott." I get the Space Odysey reference, but when the oven said, "Put it in me," I started to look askance at my toaster. Now I wonder why it gets so hot when I push its button, and am especially put off when the toast pops up when the toaster is finnished. It just doesn't seem appopriate anymore.
This morning I was treated to a stove-top talking dirty to a woman using a scrubby-wipe. I have a really nice stove-top myself. It's glass and shiny and takes a long time to cool down when I'm done with it. I really have to scrub to make sure it doesn't get stained forever or smell funny when I use it. Now, everytime I pour on the baking soda and get to work with the elbow grease, I will hear that sick, clearly lecherous, stove-top in my head, and I fear I will do a poor job.
I know sex sells. Everyone has always known that. The subtext for almost every commercial seems to be, "I will get you laid!" Toothpaste, gum, cars, alcohol (I think this is actually one of the few times where using sex to sell is truth in advertising), even tires. Seriously. I saw a sexy tire commercial. I know I have never looked at a set of tires and thought, "Whooo baby, would I like to get a hold of the guy driving on those!" I know there's a reason Mr. Clean is a buff guy in a white t-shirt. I know Victoria Secret commercials are not for girls. I just stand in awe that inuendo and double entendre have reached epoch lows and sell the weirdest things ever. What does that say about us as a culture? How are these messages subliminally affecting my children?
Why is my vacuum looking at me like that?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Here's the boys, all worn out from their brush with modern medicine.
The doctor said everything looked completely fine, and we should just watch him. This is what I expected. I'm not discouraged (yet), but I'm considering asking his primary physician to ask for an MRI. Maybe there's something there that wouldn't show up on an EEG. Whatever happens now, we're still holding up pretty well. Kory still loves me even though I tortured him, and I suspect he won't even remember it soon.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thanks for all your notes and calls of concern and support. We really appreciate you and count ourselves so blessed to have such good friends and a great ward family!
Monday, February 23, 2009
A very tiny girl is ludicrously happy to see me in the morning-like we've been apart for years!
A small boy smears slobber all over my lips when he gives me a kiss while I read him his favorite book (Big Red Barn) for the 72nd time today.
A rapidly growing boy stops me vacuuming to tell me I'm the best mom ever.
The small boy asks me, "Kory yours?" and I can respond "Yes. Forever and ever." Then he laughs and throws his arms around my legs.
The rapidly growing boy tells me he's going on a mission like dad, but only if I come too.
The small boy tells knock-knock jokes that always go the same way: Knock knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Butt! (hysterical giggling) His big brother taught him that "butt" is funny. I know it's wrong, but the joke is awesome.
The rapidly growing boy tells me that Raena is so pretty, "just like you!"
The tiny girl sings along with hymns during family prayer.
My children offer the cutest prayers.
No one loves me like my children do.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Papal Meeting, winter in Rome,
Papal Meeting, so far from Home,
Met a girl, she won't tow the line,
Met the Pope, he liked me just fine,
Catholic rules, someone needs schooled
but the spin makes her look real good.
I'd appreciate any glimmers of inspiration you may have!
Monday, February 16, 2009
I have since done some research about what happened, and I think what Kory had was a night terror. Night terrors occur in the frontal lobe in the brain, which is where the injury the provoked Kory's first round of seizures was. Experts say that night terrors and seizures aren't related. I know the Spirit doesn't lie. Maybe a doctor will never be able to tell me what happens in his brain, but I know there is a potential for malfunction there. I also know I have a very intelligent, gifted, valiant little son.
I don't often let go with my fears and worries. I think worry is counter-productive. But I wonder if Kory seizures stopped as a mercy to me, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy? I wonder if, now that other things are better, now is the time to deal with this unknown malady in Kory? I acknowledge the little mercies that made yesterday bearable; the lesson I gave on recognizing the Spirit, Raena's remarkably good behaviour, Claunches willingness to help us bear a burden, the inspiration of a priesthood blessing, and the abiding comfort of the gift of faith. I was blessed to feel the actual power of the faith the Lord has carefully cultivated in me through the last year. I was blest to feel the power of the priesthood in my home. I was blessed to witness the deep love my husband has for my children. I was blessed to know with certainty that my Saviour loves my son, and holds him in His hand. I can't understate how deeply I know my Savior loves me. I can't say often enough, or adequately enough how grateful I am for His grace, His love, and the privelege I have of having access to his power. I am greatful that He has taught me, that even when I am scared or worried, I am compelled to thank Him for everything.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Here's the deal:
Be one of the first three people to comment on this blog and I will make a deliver a gift to your home.
Here's the catch.
I choose the gift (so it won't be spectacular) and I choose the time...you won't know when to expect me! I will come sometime this year. I hope it will be when you really need me.
Monday, February 9, 2009
"Hey, that airplane is too tiny to fly! Who's going to throw it in the air?"
"I wish I was big and I could jump out the airplane and fly."
"Let's see if he gets hurt at the bottom."
"Why is his face squiggling like that?"
"Why can't Josh get away from that guy (he was strapped to a helper)?"
"Here he comes! His legs will blow up!"
"Whew! He made it! Hey, is your brother crazy?"
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Some insights my fellow 90's children will appreciate:
The only difference between Color Me Badd and Boys II Men is symantics: "I Want to Sex You Up" just doesn't sound the same to girls as "I'll Make Love to You."
Boys II Men probably came together in an effort to make girls believe that having sex with boys was a huge treat for girls. The whole premise of "I'll Make Love to You" is giving a woman sex for her birthday. Cheap bastard probably didn't even buy her flowers. Now that I'm older, I'm pretty sure the gift wasn't for her. "Whatever you want girl you know I will do..." Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's not specific to a birthday.
Is Madonna really reinventing herself, or just finding new gimmicks to sell sex?
Nirvanna was just the next logical step in rock and roll. Music exists to irritate your parents. Frank Sinatra was the Elvis/Beatles/Kurt Cobain of his day. Now he's geriatric music. Some day, our grandchildren will find Limp Bizkit quaint.
Ska: it wasn't cool then, and it isn't cool now.
The macarena was cool for only one reason: even white kids could dance to it.
The fact that one of my boyfriends and I had "Everything I Do, I Do It For You" as our song is just testament to me noe of how ridiculousy overblown 13-year-old love really is. If only there had been a song entitled, "You're Neat and Our Parents Hang Out A Lot"...
Savage Garden is still cool.
We had a nice Christmas at home. Our power was off Christmas morning, so we opened our presents by candlelight. We then had to use our farm equipment to dig ourselves out of the driveway and clear a path to Joe's parent's house. It was crazy! We took the kids to see the lights on temple square, which was SO fun. I was a little dissapointed though...it seems the Church is conserving energy or something because the lights weren't as great this year.
The new year hasn't brought anything to terribly exciting. We went to the state YF&R convention and had lots of fun there with old friends and new. I promise to blog more often about the little things I care about.