Monday, November 26, 2012

Family Home Evening - Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ

Here's what we had for our Family Home Evening Treat . . . a pumpkin chocolate chip cake with a sweet, powdered sugar reminder of tonight's lesson! (Mainly because I can't stand frosting cakes and it was easier for me to Exacto-knife out the lettering from paper anyway!)

We took our Family Home Evening lesson from HERE.

And we taught the lesson backwards: to LOVE the gospel, we must LIVE the gospel.

But in order to LIVE the gospel, one must first KNOW the gospel.

The difference is easily seen in the attitudes and actions of Nephi and Laman and Lemuel.

Then each of us had the opportunity to take a sticky note and write ONE thing we weren't  LOVING about the gospel at the present. . .

Like, um, going to bed early and or attending family scriptures or fasting for the full 24 hours/2 meals or giving up on contention.

And we were to take that sticky note and place it in our scriptures so we would be reminded to STUDY THE DOCTRINE.

Because once we learn the doctrine, we can KNOW the doctrine.

And when we KNOW the doctrine it is easier to LIVE the doctrine.

And once we LIVE the doctrine, it won't be too long until we LOVE the doctrine.

"All truth and knowledge is important, but amidst the constant distractions of our daily lives, we must especially pay attention to increasing our gospel knowledge so we can understand how to apply gospel principles to our lives. As our gospel knowledge increases, we will begin to feel confident in our testimonies and be able to state, 'I know it.'"
As an added reminder, our 10 year old had us make bracelets with Duct tape with the phrase, "Know it. Live it. Love it."  We are to wear it ALL week as a reminder not to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Visiting Teaching is NOT about me!

Last week my companion set up a visiting teaching appointment for this morning at 11:30 with a sister I have never met.  My companion has been her visiting teacher for a while.

The appointment was on my fridge calendar so I wouldn't forget.

And I remembered all week about visiting teaching - and even into yesterday.

But my early morning schedule changed and I completely forgot about visiting teaching because, you know, I got caught up in other stuff that was also pressing and also important.

So at exactly 11:18, as I was strategically planning my afternoon, the Spirit intervened and gently, yet emphatically reminded me that I had a visting teaching appointment.

Phew! I thought to myself. Now I won't look so bad on my first visit.

Well, just for the record, that is NOT what I should have been thinking nanoseconds after the Spirit had reminded me so tenderly of my covenant duty!

And because of my abundance of pride, I was immediately chastized!

For I learned the reason the Spirit reminded me of my visiting teaching appointment - It was NOT because God wanted me to look good . . .

It was because He wanted the sister to whom I have been assigned to know how much He loves her.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

X-Large IS the new Medium

I never win anything.

If I were the only one to enter in a contest, I would lose!  So imagine my surprise when I entered a free raffle at a local sporting goods store and walked away with a women's sweatshirt.

Medium was the noted size, but honestly, it was barely large enough to fit my seven year old daughter!!!


So I asked the store if I could exchange it for a larger size.

And the larger size ended up being an EXTRA LARGE!!!

Either my body is playing tricks on me or someone in China is putting the wrong letters on women's clothing!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Our Future is . . .

I didn't cry out loud, but my heart is so very broken.

And while I've shed no tears, to say I'm devasted about the presidential outcome would be a complete understatement.

To see the title of liberty figuratively lifted and feeling of its power only to have it trodden under the feet of men, has given me time to ponder and consider why these days are considered the last.

And why I need to stand still and know that He is God.

No wonder the Savior reminds us time and time again to "Be of good cheer."

And why President Monson's confidence in Him and in us resonates when he says, "Your future is as bright as your faith."

And why the youth are admonished to "Arise and Shine Forth."

Last night, these inspiring words from Elder Russell M. Nelson gave me hope and courage:
Why do we need such resilient faith? Because difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution.” That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.

In the eternal war we are fighting, there is NO time to be crushed into silent weakness.

Be of good cheer.

Arise and Shine Forth!

Our future is as bright as our faith!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - GET OUT AND VOTE

"Who knoweth whether thou art come to [vote] for such a  time as this?"
- Esther 4:14

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What I Wrote in My Highschool Journal and How It's Coming Back to Haunt Me

I'm at the point in my life where I am dealing with a full-fledged teenager!!

The problem is that now I am on the mother-end of this relationship.  And it isn't as just cut and dry as I thought it should be for parents as I did when I was 15.

So I am learning, learning, learning those lessons that only come with experience.

One of those profound lessons was written ever so discreetly in my high school journal which, I happened to pull out this week  . . . and actually dared to look inside as I opened to a completely random page.

On the one side was my personal experience of meeting a prophet of God with real teenage descriptive words such as "cool" and "awesome."

On the other side of the page was high school drama and emotion that made my eyes grow big enough that it squeezed my brain into realizing that, YIKES I was 15 once!!


Back then I really didn't know much of anything!!

And as I quickly shut that journal, I marveled that somehow between being me then and being me now, is that I still I really don't know much of anything!  But the little that I do know is, Father in Heaven is good and kind and patient.

And, if He can be good and kind and patient to a 15 year old girl who was me, He will be good and kind and patience to a 15 year old boy who is mine for now. . .

Monday, October 29, 2012

Family Home Evening - The Light of Christ

We watched this video for Family Home Evening.

In fact, we watched it twice.

The first time was just to watch.

The second time we watched it with the intention of taking notes about what we felt and what we learned so we could share it with each other.

And while we shared, I was very impressed with what our children were taught- even down to the six year old!

Here is just a snippet of what I learned from this short video:

* Light > Darkness
* Light = warmth
* Darkness = coolness/cold
* Darkness CANNOT overrule Light, for even a pinprick of light will dispell darkness
* Yielding to the Light of Christ = more and more brightness
* Not yielding to the Light of Christ = dimmer light, even to the extinguishing of it

Alma the Younger's experience found in Alma 36 is an excellent example of how the tiniest of light, even his remembering that his father prophesied of Jesus Christ opened Alma's mind and heart to more light.

For when Alma's mind caught a hold of that memory, he cries within his heart "O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy upon me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death."

And that when Light fills him with the SAME amount of joy that was as exceeding as his pain.

I also thought about the death of the Savior.

The very Light of the World was taken. And for at least for three days the earth was covered in a vapor of darkness. Light could not be seen.

But darkness CANNOT overrule Light.

And three days later, not only did Light return, but He also brought forth the morning of the glorious resurrection. The assurance that death is NOT the end and that the darkness of the grave will have no victory.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We Welcome Solicitors

So I've been meaning to do this for a very, very, very long time.

But I hadn't - until today.

And this is what you'll find on my front door . . .

I am SO excited to see what happens!!!

I'll let you know!


We are members of
The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints!
When you solicit to us, we will share with you eternal truths regarding
the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!!

Along with a gospel discussion of your choice (listed below), you will be given a card
that will give you an opportunity to learn
more about the doctrines of our faith!

The Atonement of Jesus Christ


The Doctrine of Christ

Eternal Families

Latter-day Prophets

The Law of Chastity

The Plan of Salvation

Redeeming the Dead

The Restoration

The Word of Wisdom

We look forward in sharing with you why
the gospel of Jesus Christ makes us happy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Leaders and Followers

" . . .What happens in cultural decline both leaders and followers are really accountable. Historically, of course, it is easy to criticize bad leaders, but we should not give followers a free pass. Otherwise, in their rationalization of their degeneration they may say they were just following orders, while the leader was just ordering followers! However, much more is required of followers in a democratic society wherein individual character matters so much in both leaders and followers."

-Neal A. Maxwell

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Every Knee Shall Bow

I believe that every person has something they hold deep within their heart.

Like a righteous desire that has not yet come to fruition


a shattered dream


temptations shunned when no one was around


an ugly regret


a hidden, but shareable talent


a terrible secret


kindly acts of service never revealed . . .

And I've been thinking that perhaps it's not just what we know about Him that will bring every knee to bow and every tongue confess that He IS the Christ, the very Son of God.

Perhaps, it will also be when He reveals to us that which we hold so deep within our hearts that will bring us to our knees - and humbly to His feet.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Self-Improvement

The most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives.

-Russell M. Ballard

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

Some years ago I was listening to a woman on the radio who was discussing her book.

She was a Christian woman who believed that as a society we should be teaching self-worth to our children, instead pushing the agenda of self-esteem.

I was interested in her insights, for what she described is an excellent illustration of their differences.

Self-esteem is like looking the the mirror.  One looks in the mirror to see himself or herself.  Very rarely is the person looking in the mirror concerned about what happens around them.  And for many, a mirror may never seem big enough.

Self-worth, on the other hand, is like looking through a glass window.  One looks through a window to see what is on the other side.  But the beauty of glass is that many times, when the light is right, one can see their own reflection.

Thus, self-esteem is all about me.  Self-worth is about how and who I am with everything around me.

Which brings me to what I found ironic and juxtaposed. (Does that even make any sense)?

I was flipping through the weekly ads that come through the mail and found an ad for THIS.  The 3rd Annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend.

Which, so very ironically, is the SAME weekend as General Conference.

And I am quite sure one will offer self-esteem. Complete with a mirror hanging on the wall.

The other, however, will quietly, yet powerfully remind me of who I really am.

That I am just one spiritual generation away as a daughter of God.

And if I'm quiet enough, that glass window of self-worth will remind me whose image I need engraven on my countenance.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Toast, for all it's Worth!

Last week it smelled as if our fridge was going out.

Like something was burning.

Except the burning smelled like really, really bad burnt toast.

So I was confused, because the refrigerator wasn't making odd sounds or sputtering for dear life.

But when I went to adjust the temperature control just a notch to the right, everything shut down.

Like in the movies of the 1970's when the bad guy pulls down the lever to the computer that is housed in a 44800 sq. foot warehouse and everything goes out - sound effects and all?

And that's when I knew we were in for it.

Buying a fridge isn't pocket change.

So my husband came and fiddled while I changed the temperature control some more.  And I consigned myself that by the next morning we would be shopping for a new fridge and I'd be on a MAJOR grocery run.

But before I went to bed, I did place a large cup of baking soda in the fridge.

To absorb the odors, you know.

Because darn it, if my fridge goes out, I don't want it smelling bad!

And the next day, to my GREAT surprise, the fridge was still running,  . . .and still smelling like burnt toast.  Really, really bad burnt toast.  (I know, I said it before, but it was realy, really, really bad!!)

It wasn't until after school when my hungry 15 year old went to make himself a Sloppy Joe. And he had to p.e.e.l. away the hamburger buns away from the light bulb in the very back of the fridge.

Not only had the plastic melted . . .

 . . . But the buns had been toasted.

My son had solved the mystery.

Good news is, we still have a working fridge that DOESN'T smell like really, really, really bad burnt toast.

It smells like bad beans.

Because some forgot to throw away last month's leftovers.

And bad burnt toast smells a whole heck of a lot better that bad beans.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Not too long ago I was able to listen to Sister Elaine. S. Dalton speak - in person!

Is she not beautifully amazing and amazingly beautiful?!?

She said something to the young women she was addressing that in no way, shape or form applied to blogging whatsoever. But I've been thinking about what she said as it applies to my little world within the blogosphere.

She said something like this:
When you start feeling like you're fitting in, you will be unable to lead. The Lord needs leaders, not people who want to fit in.
And that is where I have been for the past  three and a half months - trying to figure out why I want to fit-in with mommy bloggers who create, and share, and craft, and photograph, and have legions of followers who Tweet and Facebook and the what nots - all at the SAME TIME!!!

Because comparatively speaking, I have little to offer. So very little.  For it seems undaunting to just be who I am, and share what I feel when I'm feeling that I don't fit in.

But after hearing Sis. Dalton, and being asked by a few people if I was ever going to blog again, it made me realize that no matter how small and simple my offering, it's okay NOT to fit in!!

So I won't!

And I think I'll start blogging again.

Because frankly, I've got an awful lot to share!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Down with Dishes!!

The Americans, as a nation, are killing themselves with their vices and high living. As much as a man ought to eat in half an hour they swallow in three minutes, gulping down their food like the canine quadruped under the table, which, when a chunk of meat is thrown down to it, swallows it before you can say “twice.” If you want a reform, carry out the advice I have just given you. Dispense with your multitudinous dishes, and, depend upon it, you will do much towards preserving your families from sickness, disease and death."

-Brigham Young
Journal of Discourses, 13:154

Friday, June 1, 2012


So Blogger has the new interface . . .problem is, I can't see past the dashboard page and have to use the old interface to post.

Which means if the old interface is really done away with, I am either confined to mumbling off my blog thoughts to my husband OR I have to figure out how to use a new blogging program . . . (with school almost out, chances are better that we take a vacation to the moon).

So if any of you smarty pants have ideas on how to help me with Blogger, will you please oh please let me know???

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weird . . . but True!

So my ten year old checked out THIS BOOK from the library.

Facts in bold . . . with a little personal commentary.

A hippo can run as fast as a human.
What this means is if I come up with "I'm fat as a hippo" excuse, my kids are going to totally dismiss that and make me run the 5K with them anyway.

Nothing can escape from a black hole.
And I thought Calgon could take me away . . .

Gelotology is the study of laughter.
So why isn't this one of the prerequisites?

Nighttime rainbows are called moonbows.
I didn't know that there were such things as a night time rainbows. And it must have been a six year old that came up with "moonbows."

One million seconds is: 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds; when you have lived 2.4 billion seconds, you will be 75 years old.
Makes one of the Lord's day (1000 years) sound pretty good, 'eh?!

The praying mantis is the only insect that can look over its shoulder.
The praying mantis has a shoulder??

Scents smell better through your right nostril than your left.
Umm, seven active sons = fourteen feet . . . my left or right nostril won't make that smell any better.

Earth is the only planet not named after a Greek or Roman god.
Because earth was named by God and all the other planets were named by men.

If you weigh 50 pounds (23kg) of Earth, you would weigh about 3 pounds (1.4 kg) on Pluto.
So let's all move to Pluto . . .then we really would have something to complain about when we gain 3 pounds!!!!

Only male turkeys gobble: females click.
So it's not the male turkeys we're eating at Thanksgiving and yet he's getting all the sympathy.

A space suit costs about ten million dollars.
"You could pile up the accumulated currency of the entire world and it could not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of heaven." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf). Take that, NASA!

Without clothes, you would start to feel cold at 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the Strength of Youth, baby!

Humans and slugs share more than half their genes.
Uh, no comment necessary . . .

Chewing gum can make your heart beat faster.
So perhaps for safety's sake, I will not allow my children to chew gum when they start dating . . . hearts beat fast enough at that age!!!

Your eyes can see about ten million colors.
10 Million?? Please oh please don't let Crayola know . . .I have enough broken crayons in the house!

The sun has enough energy to burn for 100 billion more years.
"For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves." (Doctrine and Covenants 104:17).

371,000 is the average number of people born every day.
Even in a world filled with such darkness and evil, God still keeps His children coming. He/We/They have a lot of work to do!

Houseflies buzz in the key of F.
Does swatting them get them off-key?

If you spend a dollar every second, it would take 32 years to spend a billion dollars.
In other words: Save a dollar every second . . . be a BILLIONARIE in 2044!

There are more text messages sent each day than there are people on earth.
How many of those texts testify of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your brain uses the same amount of power as a ten-watt light bulb.
I wonder if that's incandescent or LED?

Your ears produce more wax when you're afraid.
Bring on the Q-tips, baby!

Forest fires can travel faster uphill than downhill.
Enduring to the end means running up that hill faster than the fire!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Family Home Evening - Repentance

Tonight we took our lesson from HERE.

To begin, we assessed understanding and had a great family discussion by asking these two questions:
1. What is sin?
2. What is repentance?

Then we divided our family into three groups.  Each group was given a piece of paper and a pen.  On one side of the paper they were to write: Sin is like and on the other side they were to write Repemtance is like.

These six objects were placed on a table so each member of the family could see them.  We were instructed to discuss in our groups what item would be placed under which list and why.  The objects were:
1. Soap
2. A pair of scissors
3. A bottle of oil
4. A lighter
5. Ice
6. Neosporine

After group discussion we shared what we learned as a family.  WOW!  I was impressed with some of the things my children came up with.  And what we found was that most of those items could represent either sin or repentance.

In the end we were able to testify of the purifying power of the Atonement that allows each of us to repent from sin and be cleaned.

The Love of God

"The love of God . . . is the most desirable above ALL other things . . . and the MOST JOYOUS to the soul" (1 Nephi 11:22-23)

Nothing else can or will substitute.

But Satan will do everything and anything he can to make us believe differently.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Okay, So I'm Posting Already . . .


After how many months?

I really have been meaning to sit down and write the things that are just oozing out of my heart and mind . . . but many times the call of motherhood trumps.

Trumps with a capital T.

And quite obviously, that trumping makes me blatantly aware that posting is not a necessity.

But the tuggings to post have been stirring quite wildly within me. And darn it, I haven't listened.

Nope. Not at all.

I've managed to brush aside every little (and big) inclination to post because the energy of a one year old folded into the emotional behaviors of teenagers mixed in with the cacophony of grade schoolers has made me, quite frankly, brainless.

Well, at least brainless in posting.

Because I am functioning rather well when it comes to doing laundry, making dinner, taking children to and from school, doing laundry, making dinner . . . (oh, I already said that)!

So with that, I have justified staying away from not only my blog, but blogs in general.

But on this Mother's Day morning, my tuggings and stirrings reared their persistent little heads and were made manifest in an email from a dear friend who, in part, wrote - "I woke up this morning thinking about your blog for some reason. I hadn't read it in a while and so I went there and saw you haven't written since March."

Since March?!

Yup, since March. And we all know that in the world in which we now live . . . March was SO last year!

So I've decided it's time to do something about my brainless, postless state and start following the tugging and stirring within my heart.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - The Fine Art of Lifting

"Often the greatest lifts we receive come from within the ranks of our families. Sometimes the hands needed most are those closest to us. Often the hands closest to us are the strongest. When we begin to realize this relationship, one family member to another, we begin to understand the basics of our great welfare services programs which are the gospel of Jesus Christ in action. God has decreed family members are to help family members. God has decreed family members are to be a blessing to family members. When some of us in a discouraged frame of mind identify a family member as not worth a hand or a lift, may I remind us that when we continue to lift, regardless of the apparent results, added strength is ours. The more we lift, the more we are able to lift."

-Marvin J. Ashton

Tidbit Tuesday - DO NOT Give Him Your Honor

"Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.”"

- Jeffrey R. Holland

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Heavenly Home

"There are no separate paths back to that heavenly home. Just one straight and narrow way, at the end of which, though we arrive trailing tears, we shall at once be “drenched in joy.”"

-Neal A. Maxwell

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Letter to My Children

My dearest children,

I know that we are all very well aware of our automobile accident a few weeks ago. It is very apparent to each of us as we commute back and forth to school in two vehicles. And as it is remembered in every prayer we offer up to the Lord as a family.

As we have been going through the process of the insurance and of finding a van within our budget, I am learning so many important and eternal lessons! And I'd like to share with you one of the more profound lessons.

For the past 20 years Dad and I have religiously paid car insurance. That insurance protects from things that could happen if we found ourselves in car trouble. We have joked on so many occasions how much we have paid for "nothing." Before our accident, your Dad and I have never had to file a claim. So the interaction with the insurance company has been a learning experience for us.

While there are several different insurance plans you can purchase, I want to explain the two that have taught me ever so poignantly this week. I will try to do so simply without getting myself confused. One plan is known as "Liability." The other as "Comprehensive."

When someone has "Liability" insurance they pay a relatively small amount of money per month on their vehicle to insure them. Because they pay a little they only are promised a little if they get into an accident.

When someone has "Comprehensive" insurance they pay a greater amount per month, but they are promised a whole lot more if they get into an accident. Even when the accident is their fault!

After the car accident last week, Dad and I erroneously thought that the insurance on the van was only covered for "Liability" only. We considered selling the van to the mechanic for a beautiful $400. At least that money would pay the amount we owed the towing company and would spare us the tow to the junk yard.

A few days later, however, we came to realize that our van had "Comprehensive" coverage!!! Silly us! How could we overlook this!? After all, we have been paying car insurance for years!! And after speaking with an insurance agent and much to our surprise, the price of our van - our totaled van - increased from $400 to $4000!

Hence, the stark difference of "Liability" and "Comprehensive" coverage.

Which brings me to the lesson that I am learning: I am living far beneath my privileges! I have not been accessing, in full, the enabling and purifying power of the Atonement. I've been settling for "Liability" only, when the Atonement offers me "Comprehensive" coverage. Jesus Christ offers e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. to me! And yet, because of my short-sightedness, even my blindness, I've been settling for so. much. less. than what He is so willing to give.

An amazing thing is that the teeny, tiny bit I allow Him to give me, brings me such GREAT happiness. But the real truth is, my joy really can be made FULL!! And that fullness of joy can only come through His infinite and eternal Atonement.

Children, thankfully life will go on. Eternal life will come. And when I stand before my Maker on THAT day, I want Him to know that I did not waste away my days to be covered for "Liability" only.

No, I want to stand as a witness that I lived my life for all that He has. I want to stand a witness that I lived my life for Him. So from here on out, I am in it for The Comprehensive Coverage. I hope you will join me!!!

All my love to you,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WANTED: A Gas Dryer

Once an appliance repair guy told me that a dryer should successfully dry a load of laundry in not more than 30 minutes. . .

Currently, my 14 year old dryer is taking 92 minutes to dry a load.


In mother math that calculates to: less time to do everything else that needs to get done anyway!  In daddy math it equals out to about a cool 50.6 HOURS A WEEK!!! And that does not include sorting, washing, sorting, folding, putting away, ironing, or hanging up.

Or matching socks.

Or making brownies for dessert.

But I digress. I am in the market for a high capacity, super duty dryer.  One that will take six days of my week and give me back a mere 34 hours so I can spend it on the above mentioned, matching socks. . . and eating brownies.

Mind you, the dryer doesn't have to be new.  And it doesn't even have to match my washer. 

Because I have yet to be invited into someone's house to sit down in the comfort of their laundry room. . . just because the washer and dryer look so matchingly good.

Oh, if you know of a dryer that has a SEEK and FIND sock option, that may give me back an extra hour from matching socks so I can spend it scrubbing the collars of eight, white Sunday shirts.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Super Tuesday

"No political party is justified to continue in existence unless it clearly states the principles which it advocates, the platform upon which its candidates stand, and then with integrity, when and if elected, carry out those principles and live up to that platform. Except that be the case, we as Latter-day Saints should not align ourselves to any party, because we do not have the basis upon which we can make an intelligent decision. We must know what they stand for before we can favor them with our vote. I do not ask you, my brethren and sisters, to go to the polls and just vote, important as that is; but that when you vote, you vote intelligently for those principles and those things and those men which will give to you the kind of government you want, the kind of environment that you desire for yourself and for your posterity."

-Henry D. Moyle
General Conference, April Conference 1952

Monday, March 5, 2012

Family Home Evening - Prophets of God

This evening's lesson came from HERE.

Here is what we did:

1. We assessed understanding and discussed what we knew about Prophets of God by asking questions like:
* What is a prophet?
* What are some things that prophets do?
* Why are prophets called seers and revelators?
* What does it mean to be a "special witness?"
* How is a true prophet called?

2. We shared feelings we have about latter-day prophets.

3. Then we ended with a matching/trivia game! We divided our family into twos and each pair had a picture of all of the latter-day prophets. On a dry erase board each prophet was listed, but not in any order. Each pair was to chose a prophet picture and match it with the name. Then a trivia question was given about that prophet.

We were amazed how much we know and how much we don't know abou the remarkable lives and service of these men called of God!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bare Skin

The other night our six year old son was going around offering to scratch the backs of each family member with a back scratcher our ten year old got at a school activity.

After doing a great job of scraping the skin off mine, I suggested he go ask if his Dad wanted a back scratch.

"Dad!" he exclaimed, as he dashed to find him. "Dad, can I scratch your back?"

"Sure," my husband replied.

"Well, you'll have to lift up your shirt so I can scratch it on your skin."

Knowing darn well that my husband does not particularly like scratching on skin, I was curious at what the response would be.

"Son," I heard him reply, "How about if you just scratch my back with my shirt down. I really don't like being scratched on my bare skin."

And there was a few second of silence before I heard our son respond with such awe, "Dad, I didn't know you had bear skin!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ham and Cheese Braid with Mustard Sauce

Yum!  I tried this last Sunday on my family and I'm making it again today!

It's THAT good!

Begin with your favorite bread dough.

Roll dough out in a rectangle and fill the middle with dices of ham (or favorite meat) and your favorite cheese.  Today we used ham with cheddar and mozzarella.

Then, with a knife of pizza cutter cut the edges as shown above.  Make sure you have the same number of cuts on both side.  Then you begin folding, each side alternately to make a braid. Like this:

Now place it on a greased baking pan and let rise for 20-30 minutes.

Pop in a preheated 350 degree oven and let bake for 12-15 minutes. . . and while it's baking, you want to heat and mix the following ingredients together for the sauce:

1/2 cup butter
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

I heat this in a saucepan until nice and bubbly.

When the braid is golden brown, but not all the way ready to take out, I brush this sauce over the top of the bread and let bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.  Oooh, the aroma is delish!!

TAH DAH!  The finished product!! Okay, so our FULL braid wouldn't fit on the pan, so I had to cut it half. . . but it still as delicious as if it were whole.

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Here, Dad"

So the afternoon after our van accident, which we sold to the mechanic for $400 because it was now worth more dead than alive, I saw my six year old digging in his dresser drawer.  He was pulling out the money he had received from his birthday last month.  Two five dollar bills, along with a quarter,  a nickel and two pennies.

He didn't know I was watching as he filled his little hands with his entire life savings.  He quietly closed the drawer and walked happily to the room in which my husband was looking for insurance information.

"Here, Dad," he smiled, as he placed the money on the table,  "Here is some money so you can buy a new van. I don't need slip on shoes as much as we need a car."

Sweet, sweet boy.  No wonder the Savior invites us to become like a little child.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Accidents Happen and So Do Angels

Yesterday morning our entire family got into an accident.

A 15-passenger van accident.

We were on our way to school.  The roads were icy.  It was snowing. And because of the weather, traffic was heavier than usual.

We were all listening to a podcast on the Mormon Channel.  So everyone was chilling.  Our six year old daughter had fallen asleep on the very back bench, next to our fourteen year old who was staring at the floor while listening.  Our other children were in La La, too.

And while coming down a slight incline in the snowy, icy road I felt - ever so slight - a tug and pull from the back end. 

Now I have had felt my share of tugs and pulls from this enormous van I drive religiously.  One time, just a couple months ago, also while on the way to school, and also on an icy, cold day, the tug and pull was not so slight and we slid and spun 90 degrees into the oncoming lane of traffic and abruptly stopped at the curb.  We were looking directly into the welcoming arms of a cement wall, blocking an oncoming lane of traffic, but amazingly we hit nothing.  No one was hurt. No doubt we were protected that morning.  We remembered for days the protecting hand of God.

But unlike the HUGE tugs I've experienced, yesterday morning the tug and pull was ever so slight.  But when I felt it, I knew what was coming.  And boy, was I glad that my husband was driving.  He has a much cooler head than I when it comes to stuff like careening completely out of control with your most precious cargo in tow.

About 10 seconds after feeling the pull I heard my husband say, "Hold on!"

My gut was right.  And all I could see was a boulder the size of Volkswagon refusing to move out of our way.  "Phew," I remember thinking, "at least it's not oncoming traffic!" BOOM!

Within seconds, we found ourselves at one with this rock. The under carriage of our van lodged at the top of the boulder.  We looked like a teeter totter, but without the movement. Parts of our van were rolling off down the road.  Our daughter woke up and started crying.  My husband calmly asked, "Is everyone okay? Get the kids out of the van. I'll call your dad."

And the very moment 11 pairs of feet set foot on the snow-packed ground (okay 10, because our baby doesn't walk yet), God had already sent angels.

A man came and found a place for us to be protected from the elements.  A woman who appeared just seconds after the crash, graciously offered her car drove me and six of our children home.  Several others who drove by stopped and asked if they could to take our children to school. And while the tow truck was trying to figure how to extract a van from a boulder, a HUGE forklift truck just happened to come by.  It was the only way our van could become dislodged.

None of us were hurt.  The airbags didn't go off.  We didn't crash into anyone.  And had we hit the boulder in any other way, we would have rolled.

No doubt that God's protecting hand was over our family.

And over all those who were His angels.

Because I believe that when accidents happen, God will send angels.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - True Worship

"We have hundreds of thousands of youth in this heaven-blessed Church, and they must be taught the restored truth. But they must know that this truth includes virtue as well as worship and that there can be no true worship without chastity."

Mark E. Peterson
Conference Report, April 1965

Monday, February 27, 2012

Family Home Evening - The Holy Ghost and Praying to Our Heavenly Father

Since I didn't post last week's Family Home Evening Lesson idea, I'll add it to this week's post.

We got last Monday's lesson from HERE and this week's lesson from HERE.

The Holy Ghost
First of all we talked about the Holy Ghost - his personage of spirit and his relationship to the Godhead.

Then, we divided family members into pairs and gave one of the following clip art pictures:

- a campfire
- a warning sign
- a person giving a testimony in court
- the sun
- a compass
- a quilt

The assignment was for us to discover and share the mission of the Holy Ghost. Each companionship was to 1) discuss how their picture related to the Holy Ghost and 2) find a scripture that teaches the connection.

As we each shared what we learned, we also found ourselves recounting personal experiences we have had with the Holy Ghost. Even our youngest children were able to share.

Praying to Our Heavenly Father
We did like we did last week: divided into pairs, and each pair was to consider and discuss one of the following questions as presented in the manual:

- What is Prayer?
- Why Do We Pray?
- When Do We Pray?
- How Should We Pray?
- How Are Prayers Answered?

In discussing the answers, we were asked to use the scriptures to find a verse or a story to teach the answer. We were also asked to share a personal experience with prayer.

And the Highlight of Tonight's Family Home Evening . . . (drum roll, please),is when our fourteen year old son raised his hand and said, "I learned something about prayer." And there was a hush because usually he says something more along this line, "Uh, pretty much everything I heard tonight is just review."

"Heads up everyone," I announced, as I nodded for him to continue.

"Well, it's exactly what our Stake President said yesterday in Stake Conference. (Whoa. He was listening in Stake Conference?!)

"And what was that, son?" I coaxed. Because it is so nice to hear this teenage boy of mine talk about what he learned during Church.

"Remember the story he told of the two teenage boys?"

We all nodded, so he went on.

"They were caught speeding and the police that it would be a good idea for them to stay overnight in jail so maybe they would learn a lesson. Well, the next morning when they awoke, they realized it was Sunday.

'It's Sunday,' one of the boys said, 'our families are in church.'

'We should have our own church since we can't be with them,' replied the other. 'You say the opening prayer and I'll give a lesson.'

'Okay.' the first boy agreed as he bowed his head.

'Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this beautiful day. We are so happy to be here. We are so grateful to meet in this beautiful building and hope those who are not here will be with us next week.'"

We all laughed.

"So," our 14 year old continued, "I think I need to be a little more aware of what I am doing and what I am saying in my prayers."

Para bing. Para bang.

Why the FBI Likes to Hire Returned Missionaries

Tonight my husband asks our teenage boys: "Do you know why the FBI likes to hire returned missionaries?"

To which our fourteen year old responds: "Because they are honest and they look good in suits!"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Comparing Myself

There was a story recounted in General Conference years ago that comes back to me every once in a while . . .

This usually happens when I step foot into a house that's "more" than mine, or when I'm in the company of women who are more educated than I, or when I come across incredible blogs that jump out and seem to say "Hey, can you see my ten-digit following!?"

And I am learning that happiness NEVER comes from comparing myself to anyone else . . . it only comes as I look to God and live.

BTW, the word happiness is not found in the Bible. But can be found 26 times in the Book of Mormon!!

Oh, and here's that wonderful reminder story told by Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy, (which can also be found HERE.)

As a young boy, life on our small family farm was heaven. Often in our humble home there were not as many shingles as we had roof. The rest-room facility was connected by a long path that required some advance planning, and sometimes my worn shirt had more buttonholes than buttons. The Saturday night bath in front of a warm stove, where your body experienced both extremes in temperature, was a luxury.

Then something changed. I started school and began to notice possessions I had not known. Some had nice clothing, beautiful homes with all the modern conveniences, and drove newer automobiles. Many my age were not required to arise early and do chores before going to school, only to go home at night and do them all over again. While they were popular and confident, I became backward and shy. Regretfully, I began to forget how happy I had been with my basket of blessings as I indulged in comparing their seemingly endless bushels to mine. Thus, the blinders to humility began distorting reality, giving way to ingratitude. The expectation that more is deserved can cause our plate of plenty to appear empty. Gratitude has many faces and takes on many forms. Failure to recognize the Lord for all we have will soon result in selfish behavior.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Questions from My Six Year Old

So here are the questions put forth by my six year old this week. . .

#1: Why do you make recipes and not recipoos?

#2: Why do we use shampoo and not shampee?

I'd be glad to entertain any really good answers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Thoughts

Here is something I learned while studying these verses of scripture from this week's Sunday School lesson (1 Nephi 22:16-17).  Take note of how the Lord will destroy the wicked and preserve the righteous.

For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for He will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.

Wherefore, He will preserve the righteous by His power, even if it so be that the fulness of His wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; . . . they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.
So what I did know is that before the Lord comes a second time, those that believe not in the Lord Jesus Christ will be destroyed by fire (2 Nephi 6:15).

But what caught my attention is that it is also by fire that the Lord will preserve the righteous. And few fire-saving images illustrated in the scriptures came to my mind:

1. Baptism by fire/receiving the Holy Ghost (Doctrine and Covenants 20:41)
2. Tithing a.k.a. Fire Insurance (Doctrine and Covenants 64:23)
3. Guidance in a world of darkness (Exodus 13:21)
4. Purification - to receive His image in our countenances (Malachi 3:2)

Which made me take a personal inventory of where I stand and where my heart is.

Because righteousness binds Satan.

When Satan is bound he has no power.

And what I learned this week is that I don't have to wait until the Millennium to shake the very powers of @#!*% (see 1 Nephi 22:26 and Alma 48:17)!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Facing the Giants

You'd think that in a house full of seven boys and a husband who enjoys playing sports with his sons, Super Bowl Sunday would be the most anticipated Sunday of the year.

But not at our house.

We chose long ago that for our family Sundays would be dedicated to the Lord, not to sports.

But just this last week we discovered this amazing, uplifting movie. . . just in time for the Super Bowl Weekend.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What NOT to Do With A Flour Baby

So several weeks ago my 8th grade son had a Flour Baby project.

10 pound bag of flour + duct tape + 24/7 flour-sitting for a week (which included 3 a.m. calls to the school to verify baby had been fed and changed) = an ever so small glimpse of what it takes to care for a baby.

It was an interesting week to say the least.

But what I was really looking forward to at the end of this week long flour baby project, was what I could do with that 10 extra pounds of flour!!

Copy Cat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts OR Homemade Cinnamon Burst Bread?

So after sitting on the kitchen counter for a few days, I took that flour baby and cut into that bad boy through all the layers of gray, duct tape.

And to my absolute devastation that flour was completely unusable.  Unless you like clumpy and gritty and crave the taste of what duct tape smells like.

So I threw it all away.

All of it.

Ten pounds of once beautiful flour.

No doughnuts. No bread.  But I am happy to report that my son treats his baby sister much better than his flour baby.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - We Are A Happy Family (really!)

"You call this a happy family? Why did we have to have all these kids?"

-George Bailey
It's a Wonderful Life

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Uh, I Didn't Know

Many years ago, and I mean many years ago when I had only five boys who still thought hot cereal for breakfast was all that . . . a woman, who had six grown, married sons of her own told me that when her boys were teenagers she would fix 10 pounds of potatoes for dinner along with the rest of the meal. Not minutes after putting the last, clean dish away, her sons would ask what else there was to eat.

"Yeah, I'll bet," I remember giggling, thinking I knew what this experienced mom meant. . .

Well uh, I'm there. And believe me, I didn't know.

What I learned about the Spirit World

Clarify: \ˈkler-ə-ˌfī, ˈkla-rə-\ 1: to make (as a liquid) clear or pure usually by freeing from suspended matter 2: to free of confusion 3: to make understandable
So last night I was studying along about what to expect in the Spirit World.

I have studied and pondered these verses in Alma and this section of the Doctrine and Covenants many, many times. But last night I came across this teaching from Brigham Young.

And I say "Hello" to clarification to some of the thoughts I've had about the Spirit World.

"Is the spirit world here? It is not beyond the sun, but is on the earth that was organized for the people that have lived and do and will live upon it. No other people can have it, and we can have no other kingdom until we are prepared to inhabit this eternally.

"When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world. Are you going to Abraham's bosom? No, not anywhere nigh there but into the spirit world. Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. Do they go to the sun? No. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon the earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity. Where else are you going? Nowhere else, only as you may be permitted.

". . .If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits have have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes. . .

"The Spirits that dwell in these tabernacles on this earth, when they leave them go directly into this world of spirits. What! A congregated mass of inhabitants there in spirit, mingling with each other, as they do here? Yes, brethren, they are there together, and if they are associate together, and collect together in clans and in societies as they do here, it is there privilege. No doubt they yet, more of less, see, hear, converse and have to do with each other, both good or bad. . .

"If we are faithful to our religion, when we go into the spirit work, the fallen spirits - Lucifer and the third part of the heavenly hosts that came with him, and the spirits of wicked men (and women) who have dwelt upon this earth, the whole of them combined will have no influence over our spirits. Is not that an advantage? Yes. All the rest of the children of men are more or less subject to them, and they are subject to them as there were here in the flesh. . .

"When the breath leaves the body, your life has not become extinct; your life is still in existence. And when you are in the spirit world, everything will appear as natural as things now do. Spirits will be familiar with spirits in the spirit world - will converse, behold, and exercise a variety of communication with another as familiarity and naturally as while here in tabernacles. There, as here, all things will be natural, and you will understand them as you now understand natural things" (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. Joyhn A. Widstoe [1941], 376-80).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Liken the Scriptures - David and Goliath

Many years ago, when our oldest was about seven, I wanted to find something that could keep my boys' attention between General Conference sessions. Someone suggested a "Liken" video about David and Goliath.

I was a bit apprehensive, but I decided I would give it a try. Come to find out, this has become my FAVORITE telling of David and Goliath!

For a limited time you can watch it  on LIKEN TV for free!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Hearing the Voice of the Lord

"It is vital that we, the sisters of Relief Society, learn to hear the voice of the Lord. Yet I worry that too often we fail to seek the guidance of the Spirit. Perhaps we don’t know how and haven’t made it a priority to learn. Or we’re so aware of our personal failings that we don’t feel worthy, don’t really believe the Lord will talk to us, and therefore don’t seek revelation. Or we’ve allowed the distractions and pace of our lives to crowd out the Spirit. What a tragedy! For the Holy Ghost blesses us with optimism and wisdom at times of challenge that we simply cannot muster on our own. No wonder that one of the adversary’s favorite tactics among righteous LDS women is busyness—getting us so preoccupied with the flurry of daily life that we fail to immerse ourselves in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sisters, we can’t afford not to seek the things of the Spirit! There is too much at stake. Too many people are depending on us as mothers, as sisters, leaders, and friends. A woman led by the Lord knows where to turn for answers and for peace. She can make difficult decisions and face problems with confidence because she takes her counsel from the Spirit, and from her leaders who are also guided by the Spirit. Our responsibility, therefore, is to learn to hear the voice of the Lord. "

-Sheri L. Dew
General Conference October 1998

Monday, January 16, 2012

Family Home Evening - Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

Tonight our lesson came from HERE.

Here is what we did:

We asked the following questions for everyone to think about:
Question #1: Why did we need to leave Heavenly Father's presence?
Question #2: Why do we need a Savior?

Then my six year old daughter and I stood to lead this persuasive argument:

Mom: Okay, as you all know, Father has presented to us His plan.

Daughter: We have been assigned to come and ask for your votes.

Mom: Before you make your choice, we want you to hear both sides of what is being offered so that you can best decide what is right for you.

Daughter: As you know, two of our spirit brothers are willing to go to earth for us.

Mom: I believe both want what is best for us. Both have reasonably good offers. But I want you to think how you would feel if we never could see each other again. Think of all the time we have spent together. Think of all the good times we've already have had. I don't think I could bear it if one of us never comes back to Father. That is why I think Lucifer's plan will be the best for us. Think about it, we will go to earth together and then come back and live with Father again.

Daughter: Only one of our brothers is following Father's plan. Jesus is the only one who is giving you a choice. Following Father's true plan means you will choose Jesus over Lucifer.

Mom: But making choices on earth will only hurt you. Thank about it. What if you make a wrong choice? What if you make a choice that makes you sad or poor or ugly or fat? What happens if you make a choice that brings harm or evil to one of us? It will destroy us. We could never come back as a family. I know none of us would want that.

Daughter: But Jesus promises us that He will be our Savior. He will save us from all of our bad mistakes if we follow Him. He promises that if we make covenants with Father and keep His commandments, we can repent and return together as a family forever and ever.

Mom: Don’t you see how hard it's going to be? Those are all hypothetical ideas because we will make mistakes with Jesus. Lucifer is going to take Father's plan and make it easier for us to do the same thing. Lucifer will make sure that we will follow the commandments, that we will ALL make covenants, that we will do EVERYTHING that we should do. None of us will do anything different. None of us will stray from the path. NONE OF US! We will ALL come home. It's the easy way.

Daughter: But remember what Lucifer said? After everything is all done, he wants to take away all of Father's glory for himself. Father is the greatest, most wonderful being I have ever known. Everything He does is for our eternal happiness. Lucifer is trying to take over our family.

Mom: He is not trying to take over our family. If Lucifer does win, he will make sure that we will all come back, just as Father wants. And if he does that, wouldn't he deserve all of the glory anyway for working so hard for us?

Daughter: No! Jesus is Father's First Born Son. He will go to earth just like us. He will know all that we go through. He promises us that we can make choices and learn for ourselves - not be told what to do. He will sacrifice Himself to show us that He loves us and that we can repent and be forgiven. And in the end, Jesus will give Father ALL the glory. And He promises us that we can share all the blessings of eternal life with them.

Mom: Whatever. We don't have much time left. You need to decide which side you'll choose. Please promise me that we will always, always, always stay together.  Please choose the easy way!

Daughter: I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He is the way, the truth and the life. It is time to make your choice.
What ensued was amazing. Of course, to make things at least somewhat real (a third of the hosts of heaven rejected Father's plan), I enlisted the help of my husband and our twelve-year old twins to choose to go with me.

But everyone else clearly and easily moved over to the side their sister was on.

Except our youngest son.

To begin with, he found himself on his sister's side. But oh, how he LOVES his twin brothers. And oh how his twin brothers love him.

And they began coaxing him to come over.

Come over to our side.

And that is when the "battle" ensued!

Noise. Commotion. A whole lot of yelling.

Sister's team grabbed hold of him, not wanting to let him go. And the twins, well, they are all about agency!!

"Hey!" they yelled. "You can't hold him back. You can't take away his agency. If he wants to come with us, he can."

So sister's team let him go. And he came to our side just beaming.

And after, when we "revealed" what sides were and how many of our spirit sibs chose to follow Lucifer, our youngest little boy fell down and sobbed.  He sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

He didn't want to choose the wrong side. But he did. Because he loves his brothers.

Which gave me a whole lot to think about.

About my choices before I came to earth  - and my choices now.

About who I influenced in the Spirit World.

And whom I'm influencing now.

Am I using my agency to get back to Him and helping others to so the same?

It was a great family home evening!

Forgot to post last week's FHE.  But It came from HERE. And we all ended up drawing pictures of families in clouds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - Self-Discipline and Internal Control

"Self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments."

D. Todd Christofferson
General Conference October 2009

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Murmuring, Obedience and Me

Here's what I learned in Sunday School today about murmuring.

The information today was shared by an incredibly talented, yet profoundly humble pediatric cardiologist and his most remarkable wife, who also happens to be a cardiac nurse for adult patients!!

So when a baby is born with a heart murmur, it is called an innocent murmur.

A normal heart beat sounds something like lub-dub, lub-dub.

An innocent murmur in an infant sounds something more like lub-dub, then a blowing noise (emphasis on the noise), then a lub-dub.

There are about six different types of innocent murmurs.

These murmurs are common enough among young children that if you listen to the hearts of 20 pre-schoolers, one-fourth of them will have a heart murmur!

Most innocent heart murmurs in children go away naturally somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10.

Interesting, isn't it, that that age coincides somewhat with the age of accountability?

However, when an adult has a heart murmur it is usually caused by another, underlying problem.

If not treated properly and promptly the effects can be severe enough to cause death.

So there in Sunday School my mind and heart was processing as quickly as it could before someone moved to the next topic, the connection murmuring has with obedience.

Obedience to the Lord.

Obedience to the living prophets.

Obedience to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

And how disobedience is usually the underlying problem I have when it comes to my murmuring.

Disobedience meaning a negative attitude or laziness or being too comfortable or not acting quickly enough or just being plain rebellious.

And how if the underlying cause of my murmuring (aka disobedience) isn't corrected properly and promptly, the effects can be severe enough to cause me death.

Spiritual death. Or in other words, losing my place in the land of promise.

No wonder obedience IS the First Law of Heaven.

Because obedience will do wonders on fixing the murmurs of my heart.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Giving without Expecting ANYTHING in Return

Okay, okay, I've learned my lesson.

It is so MUCH better to give without expecting ANYTHING in return.

And let me just tell you why.

I had this HUGE bag of baby clothes that were being added upon weekly.

Only six months worth of baby clothes, thank heavens, because I donated the first three months of clothes to a high school fundraising yard sale a few months ago.

Anywho, I had this HUGE bag of baby clothes(did I say that already?) and most of the clothes, okay, at least half of the clothes were NEW. The rest were very gently used.

So I decided I would try my luck and take this HUGE bag to a store that promises CASH for new and gently used baby things.

"Goody!" I thought, "Maybe I'll have enough dough for a small down payment on a gently used high chair to add to our dining area."

So I dropped this HUGE goody bag off at the store that promises CASH for baby things and I anxiously awaited their call.

I wait overnight, into the next morning and into that afternoon.

Well, by that afternoon I was experiencing such an EXTREME case of head pain that I had to take 800 mg of ibuprofen and lay down my head to see if that would do anything to take the pounding, throbbing, intense pain away.

And it was sometime during that dazey-doze of mine that the phone rings.

And I answer.

And it is a woman from the store who promises CASH for baby things. (Did I happen to mention that the HUGE bag I dropped off was filled with had new and very, gently used baby clothing???)

And here's how the conversation went down:


"Hello, this is the store that promises CASH for baby things."

"Oh yes," I muster, because my head is simply p-o-u-n-d-i-n-g out of my skull and my eyelids are the only things that are protecting my eyeballs from exploding, it hurts THAT bad.

"Um, your total CASH back is $3.38."

"Uh, . . . kay."



It cost me more in gas to drive that darn HUGE bag of new and gently used clothes to the store that offers CASH for baby things.

And I thought my head couldn't throb anymore than it already did!

And that is where I've learned my lesson to give without expecting anything in return.

Which means from here on out I drop off any and all HUGE bags of new and gently used baby clothes at the local thrift store.

Because it's a heck of a lot more satisfying than $3.38!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Definition of Polyticks

With Iowa behind us, New Hampshire just ahead and a whole heck of a lot more to come - and that doesn't even include the General Election - here's my humble definition of polyticks.

poly-: many, several, much

ticks: any of a superfamily of bloodsuckers that attach themselves to warm-blooded vertebrates to feed, and include important vectors of infectious diseases
But seriously folks, I feel so incredibly blessed to live in a country where we have our agency to vote.

To vote for a man or a mouse.

To vote for someone we passionately believe in, or for the person we think will win.

To vote for future promises or ideals and principles and hope for a better, stronger tomorrow.

Isn't it empowering to know that WE, THE PEOPLE, have the ability in 2012 to make the difference!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Okay, so I shared this last year.
But at the beginning of another year it's worth the reminder . . .

Happy 2012.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Family Home Evening - Our Heavenly Father

Tonight's family lesson came from HERE.

Here is what we did:

Everyone was given a piece of paper and crayons and asked to draw something they see or hear or feel or smell each day that reminds them that they have a Father in Heaven.

After each family member shared what they drew, we were asked some to think and share of some of Heavenly Father's character traits.

Then we discussed different ways on how each of us can better develop a relationship with our Father in Heaven. Prayer and studying the scriptures topped our list.
And here is just one of the things I learned tonight during family home evening:

After I drew my very colorful picture of a sunset, making sure I put in plenty of reds, oranges, and pinks in my Crayola the sky, I realized that I hadn't yet colored my sky blue.


So I dug around in the crayon box - that has at least 682 small, broken pieces - and finally found myself a sky blue crayon.

And guess what happened as I began to color over my already colorful sunset?

The light azure began to pick up the yellows and oranges and turn them into . . .


Which taught me another something so absoutely AMAZING about Heavenly Father.

In all my meager years of earthly existence, I have n.e.v.e.r. ever seen a green sky.


Blue + Yellow = Green.

But never during a sunset.

Because during the sunset, the yellows of the sun and the blues of the sky defy the color wheel.

And instead of greens, these two colors: blue and yellow, create deep reds, soothing oranges, calming pinks and absolutely stunning purples fit for a king.

And that, I think, makes Father in Heaven even MORE amazing!!!!

P.S. I also think Heavenly Father laughs a whole lot more that I think He does.