Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Isn't this a beautiful picture?
Edited especially for Aunt K.
December 2008
My heart is full of love for my husband tonight.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Don't Feel Like Blogging

Stuffy noses abound in this house. I need to get to bed early. This is Mike's last week as a full time employee in the ER. He works Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then has four days off. During this time we hope to get a lot of the kitchen done. Next Monday he starts his new job as a hospital analyst. I hate cancer, it has claimed the life of another friend. Nana and Grandpa Dan came today to bring Easter treats for the kids. Grandpa Dan brought squirt guns for the whole family. I would say that he is a trouble maker, except that he brought some for Mike and I, too. So that makes him a fun Grandpa. We installed the gate at the bottom of the stairs. But it's only affective if we actually close the gate. Audrey fell down the stairs on Friday night and got a big goose egg out of the deal. The kids only got my wrath. I have such a love/hate relationship with baby gates. I love them because they are good at protecting the baby from a fall. And they keep babies out of places that could be dangerous. But how does a baby learn to safely climb the stairs if they are forbidden to climb those stairs? I guess we won't be taking that gate down until she is five.

This challenge:

....kept me busy for hours when I was a kid. Daddy use to give us this challenge. Nana brought the kids loads of $2.00 bills, so I told them if they could do it, they could trade their $2.00 bills for $100.00.
The rules are:
  • Heals must stay against the wall and flat on the floor.
  • Legs must stay straight.
  • If you fall, you have to start over.
  • You can't hang on to anything.
I don't know if it is actually possible, but I use to have so much fun doing it. The kids loved it, too.
She is SOOOO close.

And moving further and further away from babyhood every day.
But I hope, I pray, I hope and pray some more, that she keeps these:

They are silky, soft, bouncy, sweet smelling and beautiful.
She was sitting on my lap during church today, and I was admiring them and kissing her sweet neck and breathing her in. I was thinking about how I have had six babies, but don't actually remember very much about that (short) stage of their lives. I hope it's different this time. I think I'm going to miss having a baby to cuddle and kiss all the time. Sigh.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Race

As my children get older, their struggles become more complicated and require more than just a Band-aid and a kiss. I am very grateful that no matter the situation, I can always find comforting words to share with my children. As I search and share these things with them, I learn and grow myself.

"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. 3 It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.” 4

It has been said that envy is the one sin to which no one readily confesses, but just how widespread that tendency can be is suggested in the old Danish proverb, “If envy were a fever, all the world would be ill.” The parson in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales laments it because it is so far-reaching—it can resent anything, including any virtue and talent, and it can be offended by everything, including every goodness and joy. 5 As others seem to grow larger in our sight, we think we must therefore be smaller. So, unfortunately, we occasionally act that way.

How does this happen, especially when we wish so much that it would not? I think one of the reasons is that every day we see allurements of one kind or another that tell us what we have is not enough. Someone or something is forever telling us we need to be more handsome or more wealthy, more applauded or more admired than we see ourselves as being. We are told we haven’t collected enough possessions or gone to enough fun places. We are bombarded with the message that on theworld’s scale of things we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. 6 Some days it is as if we have been locked in a cubicle of a great and spacious building where the only thing on the TV is a never-ending soap opera entitled Vain Imaginations. 7

But God does not work this way. The father in this story does not tantalize his children. He does not mercilessly measure them against their neighbors. He doesn’t even compare them with each other. His gestures of compassion toward one do not require a withdrawal or denial of love for the other. He is divinely generous to both of these sons. Toward both of his children he extends charity. I believe God is with us the way my precious wife, Pat, is with my singing. She is a gifted musician, something of a musical genius, but I couldn’t capture a musical note with Velcro. And yet I know she loves me in a very special way when I try to sing. I know that because I can see it in her eyes. They are the eyes of love.

One observer has written: “In a world that constantly compares people, ranking them as more or less intelligent, more or less attractive, more or less successful, it is not easy to really believe in a [divine] love that does not do the same. When I hear someone praised,” he says, “it is hard not to think of myself as less praiseworthy; when I read about the goodness and kindness of other people, it is hard not to wonder whether I myself am as good and kind as they; and when I see trophies, rewards, and prizes being handed out to special people, I cannot avoid asking myself why that didn’t happen to me.” 8 If left unresisted, we can see how this inclination so embellished by the world will ultimately bring a resentful, demeaning view of God and a terribly destructive view of ourselves. Most “thou shalt not” commandments are meant to keep us from hurting others, but I am convinced the commandment not to covet is meant to keep us from hurting ourselves.
No one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; He doesn’t measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other. I know that if we will be faithful, there is a perfectly tailored robe of righteousness ready and waiting for everyone, 14 “robes … made … white in the blood of the Lamb.” 15May we encourage each other in our effort to win that prize is my earnest prayer." Jeffrey R. Holland

To read the talk in it's entirety, go here.


Monday, April 5, 2010


I've been getting a lot of (unsolicited) advice lately about how things could be better/different/easier/ less stressful for my family, if I put my kids in school. I know the advice comes with good intentions, it is with the same good intentions that I share this.

  • Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is-and it is-it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
  • Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired skills necessary to do so successfully.
  • If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp on both concepts.
  • Don't assume that every homeschooler does so for the same reasons and in the same way as that homeschooler you know.
  • We don't drill your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children to see if we're doing an adequate job of homeschooling.
  • Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
  • Stop assuming that since we are religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons. There are millions of Mormons who do not homeschool. Our church does not dictate how we educate our children. Our church does not dictate anything, for that matter. We all have our agency.
  • We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing options, praying, experimenting and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to meet the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact that we homeschool as either an affront or a judgement about your own educational decisions.
  • I do not have a degree in education. Nor have I completed a course in culinary arts. But my children learn every day and they eat every day.
  • If my children are "behind" in a particular subject, it is no reflection on me or my ability to educate them. Every child has their unique challenges. I am keenly aware of those of my children. When my children surpass my current knowledge on a subject, I will either learn right along with them, or I will find an expert. Just like your child attends "gifted" classes.
  • We do not have "school" eight hours a day. We are always learning, but our least favorite (and least effective) way is book work. If you were a fly on our wall, you would see us doing a whole lot of discussing, cooking, reading, experimenting, writing, painting, playing outside, going to the museum, laughing, building, playing games and dressing up.
  • Stop saying "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's a compliment, it sounds like you think I'm crazy. Truth be known, anyone can homeschool if it is important to you.
  • Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my kids' teacher as well as their parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically (and yes, sometimes my kids call me bossy) and bossing them around the way I do about everything else.
  • Stop saying that my kids are shy, aggressive, outgoing, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because they are homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
  • Quit assuming that my children must be some kind of prodigies because they are homeschooled. They are just normal kids.
  • Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids. I am a Latter Day Saint, however (LDS). But that is just a reminder to me that I need to be more saintly. And sometimes homeschooling makes me feel anything but.
*Adapted from a fellow homeschooler blog. If I want to be clever, I have to get the idea from someone else.*


Friday, April 2, 2010

We Believe

He is risen. I know He lives.

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal gglory.
11 We claim the aprivilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
13 aWe believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolentt, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
Joseph Smith


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Myths and Reality of Mormonism

Do you wonder? Are you curious? What have you heard? Have you ever been afraid to ask a Mormon for clarification because you have been told that we will convert you? Do you know someone who is Mormon? Have you ever wondered what we believe? Do you just want to be informed without someone visiting you?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Here is where you can find out.