Thursday, January 31, 2008

Youth Honor President Hinckley

From the newsroom on today:

"Preparing for school on Monday morning took a different turn for thousands of teenage Mormon students who, some 12 hours earlier, had learned of the death of their Church president, Gordon B. Hinckley.

The students responded to a flood of text messages from teens in at least six states, suggesting they arrive at school in their “Sunday best,” rather than their accustomed jeans or other casual clothes, as a symbol of respect and honor to their deceased leader."

We have some amazing youth in our church today. Watch this video created by LDS Media Services to capture this event and

see if you can spot my handsome oldest boy!

Here's the link:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome to the Technology Age

When it comes to technology, we can be a bit slow on the uptake.

I vividly remember when Compact Discs began to replace tapes. Who would want to carry around a bunch of easily breakable circles when sturdy tapes were available? I refused to make the switch, because I KNEW that CDs would not last like I KNEW Ricky Schroder from "Silver Spoons" was going to be my boyfriend someday.

Maybe I was wrong about CDs. (and the Rickster.)

And then DVD players. What? What in the world was wrong with VHS tapes? And how could DVDs fit into my VHS storage tower? Did someone expect people to buy DVDs to replace all of the movies they already owned on VHS? What a silly idea.

Ok, strike two.

And "mobile phones"...come on! Are people really that busy that they need to have a phone in their CAR the size of an industrial-strength walkie-talkie? Ok, so they got smaller... and smaller... and then I got one, but just as an emergency phone while I was driving a one-hour commute to and from downtown in the wee hours of the night. When the year contract was up, I was happy to be rid of it.

Well, life happens. There were a few things that happened that just SCREAMED to us, "GET CELL PHONES ALREADY!!" So we finally succumbed, with the idea that it is good for our kids to be able to get a hold of us at all times. I'm not sure which of my kids was more excited - you'd have thought these phones were for them! And I don't care if every kid in middle and high school has a phone - my kids aren't getting one. All they use them for is "texting" each other anyway. What ever happened to passing notes?? Have you seen the handwriting of teenagers these days? Atrocious! My little 6-year-old Cowgirl even requested a phone of her own. I just laughed and said, "Oh, sweetie, kids your age don't have phones." "Yes they do. A girl in my class has her own phone."

You've got to be kidding me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Our Prophet Dear

Yesterday we received the news that President Gordon B. Hinckley had slipped from this life to be reunited with his sweet wife beyond the veil. Our family was saddened by the news, but at the same time so happy for the reunion he must now be enjoying.

I was touched when my kids joined with many other youth in this area in wearing their church clothes to school today in President Hinckley's honor.

Our family echoes the words given in this speech on the Senate floor today:

" I add my voice to those of 13 million other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in bidding farewell to our beloved prophet, President Gordon Bitner Hinckley. His death late yesterday in his home in Salt Lake City has reminded us that all good things must come to an end. It is a sad day for all... We have lost our friend, our leader, and our fellow servant. President Hinckley lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people, leaving behind him a fame and a name which will be known for generations to come."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Modest is Hottest

Because I am over 30 and have given birth to eight babies I do not wear swimsuits any longer. I just have not felt comfortable with exposing that much pale, s0-white-it's-almost-blue skin to the unsuspecting public.

Those days are over! Here's the newest thing in modesty...a swimsuit I can't wait to get my hands on.

It's WholesomeWear.

Their website states that it is "Swimwear that highlights the face rather than the body." Sounds like my kind of swimsuit!

If you act now, they are having a 25% off sale! Hurry, they're going fast...

NEWS FLASH: In case my sarcasm is lost on you, I am kidding. Apparently, some believed my words to be true. I DO wear a swim suit, with the wonderful addition of long-length board shorts. And that's the truth.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm Turning Into My Mother! (in-law)

Heard any good mother-in-law jokes lately? Me either. I can never relate to them, because I absolutely love, adore, respect and look up to my in-laws. In fact, they are not really in-laws, just "Mom and Dad".

When my own Dad died 7 years ago, the loss was immensely difficult. But, knowing that I still had my "other dad" made it much easier. Since we married I have never felt like a daughter-in-law, only another daughter.

Last week as I looked down at the slices of homemade bread covering the counter top, ready to be made into sandwiches for the lunches I was packing, I had a thought pop into my head: I am becoming my mother-in-law! I couldn't have felt more proud.

Here are some of the reasons why I love my "other parents" so much, and why we look to them as examples for our own lives:
  • Mom has made lunches for 16 kids and her husband each morning before school for most of her married life.
  • She makes the best homemade bread on the planet.
  • She shares my love for finding a great bargain and takes me to all of the good thrift stores when we come to visit.
  • According to my oldest boy, nothing is better than Grandma's food. I think we all agree!
  • My husband and all 15 of his siblings learned the value of hard work because it was expected of them. The boys all left home knowing how to fix their cars (engine, body & interior) & homes (construction, electrical, plumbing, etc.) on their own because it was taught to them as they were raised.
  • They taught their children to look to each other as friends which has created bonds that are still strong today.
  • Dad has been a school teacher his entire married life and was able to comfortably support their large family on that salary because he and mom knew how to manage their finances without going into debt.
  • They emphasized the importance of education (from elementary through college) with their children so that each child's future would be more secure.
  • Home was (and still is, even for in-laws!) a refuge, a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ was taught and lived and everyone felt loved and safe.
The list could go on forever, but let me end with my absolute favorite thing about them:
  • They brought my husband into the world, along with 15 other amazing people who I am lucky enough to call my family.
How did I ever get so lucky?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Acting My Age

It all started with a simple conversation. I went to pick up my oldest son from high school. He was in the church seminary building next to the school, playing ping-pong. I walked in and told him I was waiting but he said, "Mom, come play me a quick game first." I responded,

"I would, but I would waste you and I don't want to make you look bad in front of your friends."

Some girl in the room then said, loud enough for me to hear, "That's his Mom? Did she say she'd waste him?"

That made me think. Besides the obvious age difference, we're really not so much different, my boy and I. I can still remember my freshman year in high school (none too fondly) like it was last week. I can be smart and sassy and funny and silly. I think every one of us remains a teenager at heart for the rest of our lives, yet some of us begin to act our age. Why fight what's in my heart?

I can still play a mean game of ping-pong.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Following Up...

As a follow up to my previous post, check out Rebecca's blog for her stake conference message from Elder Richard Scott, and cjane's blog (under "My New Identity") for her take on Elder Holland's message to our stake.

Who Doesn't Love A Good Stake?

This weekend was Stake Conference. For those of you who are members of the LDS church, that makes sense. For others, it's a meeting where we get to meet on a larger scale than just the members of our smaller congregation. I remember when my family first became members of the LDS church and were told that Stake Conference was coming up. I thought, "Hot Dog! We all get steak?!" However, there is no meat involved and the only feasting we do is in a spiritual sense of the word.

We were privileged to have Elder Jeffrey Holland come and speak to us, and it was amazing. Those who attended the Saturday evening adults-only meeting were rewarded with a wonderful testimony of God's love for each of us, no matter what our current situation in life. Elder Holland spoke of the many trials that any one of us could be facing, and the challenges that come with those trials. We can, in a sense, feel broken. He then shared with us that God loves broken things and knows how to fix them. We only need to have faith in his love and let him heal our broken hearts and broken spirits. He reminded us that clouds must be broken to shower the earth; grain must be broken to produce bread. So when we feel like all hope is gone, like there was never a time we have been truly happy, we need to just endure & save ourselves for the days of happiness that are inevitably ahead.

My favorite quote from the Sunday meeting (besides Elder Holland's remark that, "I've seen maternity wards, but you have a Maternity Stake!" There are a lot of kids in our Stake. I am fairly certain that they outnumber the adults.) was that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be summed up in one phrase for the youth of the church - the title of a Bryan Adams song, "Everything I do, I do it for you." Leaders, parents, isn't that what it's all about?

I love talks that make you really think.

And man, do I love a great Stake.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Somebody's Got To Do It


It's a thankless job, for the most part. Despite my occasional frustrations, it is the best job I have ever had -and one that is immensely rewarding.

Take yesterday, for instance. My little Cowgirl draws like it's going out of style. She goes through a ream of paper in roughly a month. I love that she is sparking her creative genius, but hate cleaning up all of the papers that I find laying all over the house as a result. As I was leaving for a quick errand yesterday, she asked if she could have a piece of tape. I asked what she needed tape for, and it was to make a "Welcome Home" sign for me to see when I got home. Yes, that's cute and sweet, but it is the kind of thing that happens around here all of the time. So, as kindly as possible, I told her that she didn't have to make me a welcome sign since I would only be gone for a very short time, plus it would just use up more of her paper and she probably wouldn't get another ream until her birthday. She didn't make me a welcome sign. Instead, I got this little note from my Cowgirl:

At least I'm a smiling witch.

I love my job.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

We're All Nuts

Do you ever feel unimportant?

A friend gave me a copy of the following poem a long time ago, and I have always appreciated it. Recently, however, it was put into a whole new perspective for me. Without going into too much detail, let me say that tiny pieces of plumbing like the NUT pictured above were something that I always took for granted. Well, at least twice.

Not anymore!

Human Gadgets

We all have a place in the world it is said

And some are the leaders and some are the led.

We all are parts of a great big machine

Where wheels, great and small, work with pieces unseen.

Consider your watch; which part would you choose

As the most necessary - the springs or the screws?

The nuts or the bearings, the large cog, or small,

Which one makes it go? Which part most of all?

Take your car - could you do without wheels, without tires,

The batteries, magneto, the spark plugs, the wires?

If you’d take off the steering wheel, take off the clutch

Or remove all the brakes - would it then be worth much?

No, the greatest flywheel could not spin without grease

And it’s held in place by one small simple piece,

So don’t be dismayed when you seem in a rut,

You’re important…though you may only be a nut!

- Richard Maxwell

Saturday, January 5, 2008

All Clear

For those of you who expressed concern, you will be happy to know that my kid's names have been changed on my Christmas morning post. Although the info was on there for long enough to reveal their identities, they are now protected from blogstalkers.

I suppose that I had too much peace on earth on the mind, it being the holidays and all, and just used the names I know them best by. The new names I came up with are almost as good, and much better than initials. I don't know if I will ever use them again, but there you have it.

Thank you for your concern.