Thursday, November 26, 2009


On a barren world God caused the sun to shine.
He caused the plants to grow.
He filled the seas with fish, the skies with birds, the land with marvelous creatures of all kinds.
On a world filled with life and beauty God placed his children.
He sent rain to water their crops.
He sent teachers to make Himself known to them and to show them the way to happiness.
He sent His son to suffer and die for their transgressions.
Sometimes he sent famine and war to remind them of their need for him.
He told them they need only ask and he would answer.
Sometimes, when life was hard, they remembered to ask.
Sometimes they recognized His answering blessings, often they did not.
And only a very few ever remembered to thank Him.

Have we remembered?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trying to be good

The animal shelter called today asking if we could foster four pit bull puppies. I regretfully told them this wouldn't be a good time for us to take that on. I was really sad to have to say that--and of course I shouldn't have been. I'm more than overwhelmed right now with taking care of my family, being pregnant, and being in school--I really don't need four puppies that need to be bottle fed, cleaned up after, etc. But puppies are so incredibly cute...

On another note, here's a random quote from our day that I found amusing--especially taken out of context: "The large intestine broke off. Luke was yo-yo-ing with it."

Why I check my online accounts frequently...

I admit to using a credit card regularly. I like the convenience. I treat it as cash and never carry a balance, and I track my accounts online to keep an eye out for any surprises. Well, this week I got a surprise--I logged onto my bank's website and was surprised to see about $1500 dollars in unexpected charges on a credit card. Of course I immediately called the bank, closed the account, and got the fraud investigation started...then I started thinking. All these charges were local, including over $700 in hotel bills from the town next door. I called the hotel, had them look up the card number--yes, someone with a name I didn't recognize had used that card. They would investigate. We got a call last night from the police department in that town--the people using the card were still staying at the hotel, the police waited until they returned to their room and made an arrest. Would we be willing to testify as victims?
We don't know at this point if these people had just stolen our card number or actually had a card in hand--I have my card, my husband doesn't know where his is but then it's not a card he usually carries or uses. Which of course means it could have been missing for a long time and we just didn't know--or it could be at the bottom of a drawer somewhere here in the house and the criminals just got hold of the card information somehow. I have to wonder who uses a stolen credit card to pay for a long stay at a luxury hotel--seems way too easy to track!
Anyway, hopefully things get resolved smoothly and quickly. In the meantime, I will keep checking my accounts online frequently!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Only Four More Weeks of School!

I knew I was stretching myself thin when I decided to start classes for a Master's program this fall, but I also felt like I should give it a try or I would always wonder if I could have done it. I've enjoyed my classes, my parents would be glad to know I get all my assignments in on time (a major improvement over highschool days). But I won't be continuing next semester--the strain on the family is too much. And I really don't feel bad about quitting--I have higher priorities. So now I just have to get through four more weeks of school (not counting Thanksgiving week as I have no classes). Four more weeks...I think we can survive that. Actually, this week will be one of the worst; I have a 15 page paper due on Thursday, and while I have done a lot of the background research and bibliographic work, I haven't actually started writing yet. I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!
Now if only I can get over the icky part of this pregnancy quickly...everything would be so much easier if I weren't feeling sick all the time. I think I've tried every suggestion out there--ginger, vitamin 6, sea bands, eating snacks throughout the day...but based on past experience the only real remedy for morning sickness is Time. In my past pregnancies I've dealt with the nausea anywhere from four or five weeks to four months...of course I'm hoping for shorter rather than longer this time around!

Everybody needs a sand drawer of their own...

The kids and I were in the kitchen fixing lunch earlier today. Lily opened a drawer and discovered it was half full of...sand. Luke promptly declared: "That's my sand drawer I made!"
Of course. Everyone should have a sand drawer.
This evening, Lily was helping Dad clean out the "sand drawer" (i.e., remove the odds and ends that had originally been in there and separate them from the sand so the sand could be returned to its natural outdoor habitat) and decided this was the perfect time for an archaeological expedition. She found a small paint brush and used it to carefully reveal various hidden "artifacts" in the sand.


How do you know a child should be weaned?

I took my guitar out this afternoon to practice a fingerstyle version of Silent Night I am trying to learn. Esther came up to me and said "put guitar away". I told her I was practicing. She went and got the guitar case, held it up and said very emphatically: "Mommy, put guitar away". I was impressed by her perseverance and put the guitar in its case. She then said: "take off sweater" and proceeded to unzip the sweater jacket I was wearing. With that accomplished, she happily climbed up on my lap and said expectantly: "Mommy, milk!" All preparations accomplished, she was ready to nurse.

I think a child who is this independent and resourceful is ready to be weaned.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Worth It

Sunday was challenging, to say the least. I was feeling really sick all day--first trimester pregnancy I-want-to-curl-up-in-a-ball-and-hibernate-somewhere sick. I managed to get the kids fed, dressed and to church (OK, at least one of them didn't have shoes on, but we were there before the opening song ended). My husband had a meeting in the morning, so he was there already. I spent Sacrament Meeting in the hallway with restless kids, spent the second hour teaching music to the primary children, and spent the third hour huddled in the car feeling miserable. Esther fell asleep in the car on the way home; I carried her inside and collapsed on the bed next to her for a badly needed nap. The rest of the day was filled with the usual mayhem--my four year old brought a big bowl of sand into the house, and the toddler proceeded to dump it by spadefuls all over the living room floor. Lily managed to shatter not one but two glasses on the kitchen floor. I fed my family frozen pizza for lunch and boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner. I sometimes think when the Lord called the Sabbath a day of rest he forgot to take mothers into consideration! (I do need to say that my husband was incredibly kind, patient and supportive throughout the day. And in the evening he took us all out for a nice family walk, then put the kids to bed while I took a nice long shower. Thank You!)

In any case, complaining is not the point of this post. The point is that the things in life that are worthwhile, the things that bring true joy and have an eternal impact, also take a huge amount of effort. Things like building (and rebuilding, and shoring up, and deepening...) a solid relationship with our spouse. Things like bringing children into the world--then caring for them and helping them develop the skills, attitudes and faith that will enable them to successfully forge their way in the world. Things like repenting when we have erred, and forgiving when we have been hurt. Things like turning away from pride and being humble enough to learn the lessons the Lord wants to teach us. It's hard. It takes work.

When I think of work, this comes to mind:

The Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints took 40 years to build. It was a work of great love and dedication, the fruit of faith and hope. Here is one story among many of the sacrifice and devotion that went into building this sacred edifice.

John Rowe Moyle was called to serve as a stonemason for the Salt Lake Temple construction. He and his family lived and farmed in Alpine, Utah, some 22 miles from the temple, and the only transportation available to him was his own two feet--the family owned a horse, but it was needed for work on the farm. Brother Moyle made this trip every week, arising at 2:00 AM Monday morning in order to arrive at 8:00 for the day's work. On Friday afternoon he would retrace his steps, spending the weekend at home with his family and tending his farm. One weekend he was kicked in the leg by a cow he was milking, causing a serious compound fracture that resulted in the amputation of his leg. As soon as he was able, he set to work carving out of wood an artificial leg. He practiced walking on this leg until he felt he was ready to return to the temple work. Early one Monday morning he set out, walking now on his wooden leg, and once again took his place among the stoneworkers. He continued his work on the temple for many years. One of his contributions was the carving of the words "Holiness to the Lord" on the East side:

I think Brother Moyle has set an example worthy of emulation by each of us who seek to live a life of "Holiness to the Lord". The lesson? Keep working. What we are building is worth every effort we can make.