Sunday, February 26, 2017


I write as my mother before me wrote.  P is here right alongside me in all the joys and sorrows.  Today he taught a lesson on prayer.  He touched upon his experience during G's treatment.  He was overwhelmed with all the emotion that crashed down, being reminded of that time.  I don't know his story.  I know how things were for me, I wrote it down.  I hope P will write down some of his feelings and share his journey with me and the kids.  He writes copiously on various message boards.  We each have our own way to write.  I just love the echo chamber! 


The church gives us opportunities to do fundraising for the kids youth camps.  I've been feeling so pleased with my micro-managing abilities.  I calculated who worked how much and gave each child points that multiplied their slice of funds.  Then someone I really respect talked to me about how anyone who needs help going to camp can get help going to camp.  The bishop doesn't advertise this but help is available to those who need it.

I was so pleased with myself for being such a bean counter...  The scriptures say that we will be judged as we judge.  Ouch. 

The presidency wanted to give the girls different credit based on what amount of work they did.  We accomplished that.  But I don't know if it's even fair.  If the amount had been divided evenly each girl would have gotten $80 regardless of if they came for 4 hours of work, or 2.  We combined with the other ward so the amount had to be divided between 16 girls rather than 8.  Last year they probably got closer to $125 each.  Combining with the other ward resulted in $100 more funds, but twice the girls getting a share.

It's a real dilemma.  One thing I know for this year is that the girls did do more of the work because it was my job to create a schedule and keep on them to make sure they were in their places.  Apparently last year moms were helping more and didn't like that.  So this year the girls had a place to be and had to be there.  I took that into the accounting.  Nobody got as much as they "should have gotten" simply because we were covering 16 girls.  The girls that worked every slot still didn't get as much as they would have if it weren't so many people.

The Grace of the Lord is sufficient and infinite.  I'm teaching the girls a lesson on Grace and good works next week.  It's rough in worldly dealings.  But the in the eternal equations there is not point in looking in someone elses bowl.  You just have to look in your own bowl and be grateful.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


On Sunday I talked to some dear friends.  They have been really working hard this past year to take control of their health.  I've been not eating sugar, or sugar replacements, except bananas...  Anyway they encouraged me to start exercising.  So I started getting up at 7:30 and walking the mile loop we are blessed to have here.  So far it's going great!  M started waking up and going with me too.  Monday I was solo.  Tuesday and Wednesday it was me with baby and M.  Today it was just me and M.  My hips are aching less and my legs are getting used to it.   Yay!

Yesterday I was feeling a spring fever so I re-organized the front room.  It was a minor change, not so drastic as I'd been thinking.  But sometimes drastic changes just leave a big mess and I have to keep track of little kids.  And I wanted to chop off my hair, which I did this morning after we walked.

Scriptures and prayer is in a few minutes.  I'm really enjoying mornings.  Something I hate about daylight savings is how it seems like every year I'm just getting into a good groove and then the time change throws us off and there go my good habits.  Not this year.

With all the edicts coming down from Washington, I wish DST would go away.  "President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States in 1942."  I like a lot of what FDR did but not DST.

Monday, February 20, 2017

awkward truths

Tonight I met a young person.  I presume they are in their early 20s, but maybe they are younger.  They said they got a first generation ipod in 7th grade.  P got one in 2003, so maybe this person is actually 25.  It's possible.  They also claimed that the internet was not around when they were a kid.  I find that dubious since the internet was around when we were kids, 30 years ago.  But the internet is more around today than it was 10 years ago.  This person also claimed that whites were the minority at their high school, and they are from a town that is 92% Caucasian.  I guess I just have to accept that this person is a little carried away with hyperbole.  It's annoying, but not my problem, I hope.  OK it was me!  Because I'm so vain....

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fixing the plumbing

On Friday we woke up to no water.  We have a well and a water softener, and an airator.  So there are many expensive pieces of equipment that could have been the cause of this.  After a brief pause, to recognize that this was an emergency, we called the repair company.  At first they were going to send someone on Monday.  Then P let them know that this was the household water and not the yard water.  So they sent someone Friday and it was only $150.  Phew!  We didn't even exhaust the emergency fund.

Today as C taught a lesson in the Young Women, this scenario came up.  The lesson was on Choice and Accountability.  Sometimes you have to choose between a good and a bad.  Sometimes you have to choose between a good and another good.  Sometimes you are forced to choose between 2 things, neither of which are attractive.  This was the case with us and the water. 

This is also the case when we need to talk to our parents or the bishop about a mistake.  We are choosing between the unknown price of pride, and just leaving the mess.  Too often people leave the mess, leave themselves stuck in guilt and unable to progress.  But when you humble yourself and confess to the bishop, you get the help to move on.  You can do it!

nature neighborhood

We have a bald eagle in the area.  We saw him Friday as we were leaving the neighborhood.  He swooped down 20 feet from the car and alighted with something brown dangling from his talons.

Today we saw a bald eagle on the way home from church.  He was perched in a tree near the intersection and there was a big nest under him.  I've seen ospreys in that next previously.  So maybe the eagle is just checking out the area or maybe he ousted the ospreys.  M says she saw 3 fuzzy things in the nest.  We've got to go see it.

Friday, February 17, 2017

birthday box

I learned this idea from a friend a few years ago and it has been a huge blessing.  She had given us some glowsticks and I asked where she got such an assortment.  She said "It was something we had in the birthday box.  I don't remember where we bought it."

The idea is to keep a box of gifts that you can give out for birthdays.  It may be my own children's birthdays or their friends birthdays.  Now when my children are invited to a birthday, they just pick something from the birthday box and wrap it up in paper or a bag that is right next to the birthday box.  The bags are all used, so hopefully we don't give a present in the same bag that child gave to us but if so, eh.

Yesterday we went to Target and they had a "Buy 2 get 1 free" on games.  So we bought some and they went into the birthday box.  B is interested in one of the toys so we may keep it for his birthday.  lP has a friend that may or may not have a party tomorrow.  I still haven't heard anything about it except rumor, and I know that family was sick on Wednesday.  But we've got a present ready just in case. 

I was never on the ball before.  We were always trying to rush to the store and pick out something on the day of the party.  Now it's wonderful to just choose a present and spend the time making a card or having the child wrap the present.  It shifts the responsibility to them a bit and I like that.  And it gives me the ability to just buy nice gifts I see on sale, without an anxious child at my elbow insisting that their friend wants whatever cheap plastic thing they actually want for themselves.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Act your wage

Before we were the kind of family to buy a brand new board game, we bought "Act your wage".  I was not impressed by "Monopoly" which teaches a very selfish, competitive view of money.  And I felt that "Life" was totally unrealistic.  "Act Your Wage" has life cards and debt cards and the goal is just to get out of debt.    And along the way real life events happen like -your kids need braces, -you get a second job delivering pizza...

Tonight I took the game to church and played it with the Young Women.  8 girls came so we modified the play a little.  I just used 2 markers and had 4 girls go at a time.  One team landed on every Save.  The other seemed to land on every Give.  They got to experience the real ups and downs of financial dealings and being able to put their money toward regular things like food, utilities, rent, etc...  I'm thrilled with how the game went.  The girls got to bring up their knowledge of some things, but showed how many things they only have a vague idea of.  I hope I get to talk to them some more about finances!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

doing some good

When things are going badly, talking about it or freaking out, don't help.  I forget this often.  I like to borrow trouble, worrying about things that are not my business.  I like to be upset about things that don't actually impact my life except for the way that I'm letting myself be unhappy about them. 

The weather has been so gorgeous lately.  And our outdoor areas are so lovely to be in.  We set up hammocks recently.  I laid out on the back porch and did a personal progress activity.  It was so peaceful.  These are the sort of restful activities that fill my reservoirs of peace to get through stressful times.

Sometimes life is actually difficult and even perilous.  Screaming about a tragedy doesn't make anyone safer or undo any injury.  Prayer helps.  Knowing you did everything you could to prevent it helps.  Being at peace with yourself is important.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I've been a devils advocate in the story of our Premortal choice.  It just didn't make sense to me that satan would have the ability to make us all be good.  I thought it made more sense that his plan was to make it so there was no law, (and therefore no God), so everyone was able to return to the heaven with no entrance requirements. 

On Sunday P was showing M a video of John Cage's 4:33.  In this rendition the artist sits at the piano, closes the cover on the keys and starts the timer.  I thought that's perhaps what satan had in mind.  We would literally not be able to make any bad choices.  And yes, then we wouldn't need a savior, because we'd never be allowed to sin.  But what a waste of God's creation.

With the lid open, the keys exposed, there is opportunity for terrible sounds.  Fudged attempts.  Raucous, bawdy music, yeah.  But there is also opportunity for the magnificence of melody.  The beauty of youthful attempts that gradually become more and more pleasing to the ear. 

M is so good a the piano.  I just can't believe how good she is and what a joy it is to me.  I still get on her case when she doesn't use the right fingering and stumbles all over a passage.  I still get on her when she plows right through a section with wrong chords in the left hand.  Ugh!  But I also tell her how please I am with her progress and how much I love the music she is making.

Friday, February 3, 2017

loving life

The weather has been just cold enough to make you really appreciate the warmth of the sun.  We've been spending so much time on the back porch.
We have a tarp out there that the kids were using as a fort.
Then P mounted some hooks so it would become a shady spot in the summer.  Hypothetically we'll take it down at some point.  It hasn't gotten old yet.  I laid the baby out there for a nap yesterday.  Today the girls were laying out blankets.  lP and I did several pages on a blanket out there today.  It is so nice!

B is very motivated about doing his daily work.  I love having kids that are eager to learn and grow.  I love having them at home where they are learning so much from each other.  And I love giving them this time where they can tattle to me all they want and know they each can be heard, unless they use an annoying tone of voice.  Then it's "too bad."