Friday, March 27, 2009

Red Envelope Weekend!

Update: Well mine were sent today. Thanks to everyone who participated, let's hope this helps express our feelings to our President.

O.k. folks I tried to copy and paste a great post from Real Mom, however the blogger sprites are not being cooperative. So I will take this opportunity to remind us all to get those RED ENVELOPES in the mail THIS TUESDAY!!!

The Red Envelope Project

Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.

This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.

Put it in the mail on March 31st, and send it. Then send this website to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.

I bought a box of red envelopes and hope to get them all in the mail on Tuesday. Please join me and the others, write me inthe comments and let me know how well you did!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

I can't help myself...this is one of my favourite flowers. Unfortunately I have absolutely no clue what it is. Update! This last one is for Mel! Although this flower has seen better days, you can see what I meant about the black seed interior...fabulous!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meme- or When your sister wants you to do something really EASY!

According to my sister:
"I think I could do this all day. I love old album covers and this way of naming a band, an album, and using a photo is really quite interesting. You should try it."

So I checked out her album cover and got excited! That was my first mistake! My second mistake was forgetting that I am a technological moron and that copying and pasting and j-pegging a photo and adding a few words would be like me doing rocket science. Did I ever tell you that I managed to go through all four years of High School with a low "A" average (3.8) and NEVER took a science class? Yeah. That was the 70's, skipping science was small potatoes compared with what the other kids in the Art Dept. were doing. Ahem.

Any who, So I followed the rules and did my best and a week later* here are the results. What I lack in technological skills I evidently make up for in political statements...oy, totally random, not my choice, but you can't beat the interesting commentary/coincidence of the combination!

The rules are here:

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click

The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"or click

The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click

Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Post on your blog, facebook or where ever you want.

Go ahead! See what those crazy music industry folk have in mind for your little rock band!

* By "a week later" I mean I actually wrote to Robyn and asked her to walk me through this, which she did, and then did again, and then eventually just has me send it to her so she could fix it and then send it back to me, so that I could finally upload it to blogger. Yes. I am a technological moron.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring

I stood at the door in conversation one day with a sweet duo of women who were out proselytizing the neighborhood in hopes of gaining new members to their church. Known for their devout service and tiny magazines, these women were quite insistent that we, the women's religion and my own, could never see eye to eye, because one of us was completely right while the other completely wrong. We both pretty much figured that both parties would go their own way without much changing of the others' mind.

Unlike most people I know personally, I enjoy when my door is filled with the missionaries of another religion for a couple of reasons. 1. It's kind of cool knowing that there are still people on this earth who actually believe in a Higher Power enough to risk sharing their view. 2. Usually the missionary types are pretty harmless; meaning they try extra well to be nice. 3. Almost every time, after a bit of conversation, we can agree that, although not on all points of doctrine, there are some points where we agree! Who knew? Fabulous!

The fact is that truth is true no matter who possesses it. It is also a fact that truth endures, and false doctrines have a way of dying out rather quickly (remember Jim Jones? Hitler? KC and the Sunshine Band? oy!)

I like to think of God as the perfect Father, well, because He is indeed that. A perfect Father who wants what is best for us, blessing us for correct choices, and also allowing consequences for our mistakes, toss in the gift of moral agency that we all receive and you get a pretty great Father. Some times blessing are hidden or hard to define in the moment...kind of like receiving and "A" at the end of a long semester... it took a while, but we did get it. Usually the consequences are perceived as a punishment, however "punishing" is really more of a teaching tool or a way for us to change our course before we get our self in way too deep. Remember back to Jr. High when you stayed too late at your friend's house, you figured "Big fat hairy deal." but your mom, who knew that kid better than you ever will, freaked a blue streak for you staying past your allotted time. She kicked your behind from here to Tuesday and probably made darn sure you never did something that stupid again. Maybe it was dating a certain someone, or when you got caught experimenting with a "substance" that wasn't normally offered at your home's lunch table. Either way, a good parent will take the opportunity to change your course. And in the long run that "punishment" was really a teaching moment or even a blessing in disguise. Then there is the wild card of moral agency in which the Father allows us to make our own choices and reap the rewards and/or consequences. He will not interfere, he will bless and teach. He is always both just and merciful.

Back in the day, the world was pretty messed up, kind of like today, but for Biblical times, it must have felt worse. God looked around, realized His kids were outta control, and thought "Now what?" He searched all of creation and managed to find one family, not perfect, but trying hard to do what was right, and figured, "Wow. Only one family? This has got to stop! I need to get these kids to a place where they can't harm themselves any more than they already have." He had a chat with the patriarch of the one family that He could trust to do what was right and said "I'm going to teach you how to build a boat. You're going to have to trust me on this, and follow every thing I tell you, or you too will be put in a divine time out." Noah decided to build a boat according to plans, was mocked, and I am sure even a few of the family members questioned his motives at least once, but they supported him nonetheless and in the long run, they all lived while the rest of civilization took a dirt nap in the deep blue sea.

Now my missionary friends saw this as God's ultimate punishment. They were bad, God killed them. Done.

I prefer to look at it a different way. Perhaps God, their Heavenly Father, had already set a plan in place that would provide them with an escape, even from death, and felt they just needed to STOP! digging their proverbial holes deeper. I mean, even with a Savior, we should try our best and we still need to repent. The less we mess up the less we need to repent for, so do the math. Granted, being drowned, probably not my first choice for halting ill behaviour, but it did the trick and in a way, they did have it coming. In the long run everybody dies and everybody gets to be resurrected so -really- where's the trouble? God doesn't have a problem with death because to Him it really isn't that big of a deal. He knows the trick for getting everyone back to life. I am sure one day (one far off day) we too, will understand how it all works and will still be amazed, but we'll understand why for God, death is (as Thor puts it) "No big hill for a high stepper."

So again here we are. Problems, agency, bugs in the system, kinks in the chain. That's life baby. That's truth. Just because we follow the rules and do what we are supposed to do, does that mean we get off easy? Do we have a trouble free life without trials, questions, doubts or fears? Do we get to laze about hoping and wishing for a harp playing afterlife? Um, no. God needs us to be as learned as possible and like the old saying goes, nothing teaches like experience. Another truth: even Christ Himself was tried and tested; and we know from modern day scripture that He had to endure every temptation we will face, He had to suffer in Gethsemane for every sin we have done...He had it pretty tough for Someone who always followed the rules and did everything He was asked to do.

Are we better than Christ? Should we have it easier than the God who suffered for our mistakes and sins?

One of my favourite scriptures is found in Doctrine and Covenants 121: 33

"How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints."

To me this means that we are most certainly going to be tried; and to try and stop that is foolish. Heavenly Father tries us to purify us, to fit us for the kingdom, to help us stand with confidence in His and Jesus Christ's presence. I love, love, love, that the scripture above reminds us that Heaven Father, The Almighty, wants to "pour down knowledge from heaven upon" our heads! Heavenly knowledge can only come from our overcoming doubts, fears, trials, temptations, and all our ills and "unfair" situations. Do we really want to "stay" that power? Or should we go with the flow?

I'm not promoting a messed up life, or saying things like "WAHOO! This week STINKS! AIN'T IT GREAT?" cause frankly, no sane person does that. All I suggest is that, as soon as possible, perhaps we can look back on our heartaches and such and find the purpose for the trial. Find the reason for our lesson, and soon reap the heavenly knowledge that can only come from overcoming what is placed in our path, or perhaps, make us review our path and change our course to get back on the right track.

A world filled with pure rain water to cleanse and prepare it anew for a small family that would repopulate it, sanctifying their lives through a 30 day storm that would go down in history.

A rolling river, clear, and beautifully filled with pure water because of the constant turbulence.

The Son of God, our Saviour, often referred to as Living Water, pierced on the cross, water gushing from His side just prior to His completing His earthly mission for us.

Knowledge pouring from Heaven down upon us.

Three examples of "all these things shall be for thy benefit", the good, the bad, the indifferent, can all be made into a blessing if we choose to allow it.

Truth is true. Knowledge is power. And to get it pouring from heaven, well that's amazing.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Big Blue

Isn't it gorgeous? I can't get enough of these photos. Every time I see them I go right back to that beautiful cove, Laupahoehoe Point on the big island. I see my daughters, plumeria over their ears, standing on the black volcanic rock that guards the shore. I can smell the salt in the air, I can feel the coolness of the day. I can hear the sounds of the crashing waves and the chatter of my girls as they explore and exclaim their excitement and gratitude for being there. It was the perfect moment.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

New Blog News! Get in on the Conversation!

O.k. folks, listen up! The Hygienist has a new blog up:
I love smiling! Smilings my favorite!

It's filled with all kinds of great information on daily oral health. I know I know, but hey can't we all brush up on new things? I found out something new...I am sorely lacking in the rinse department, ack! Noted and changed! (feeling rather embarrassed right now)

She'll be discussing all things dental! Well as they pertain to her specialty: hygiene. Got a question, ask away! She's a smart cookie and can probably give you an answer. Do you wonder about this or that, why does the dentist have to do this? or why does my hygienist want to do that? She can explain it. So go on and click away! It's painless and free! When have you ever heard of that at the dentist?

Now we can all have that great smile we've always wanted!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Just looking at these beautiful flowers makes me happy inside! What is it about flowers that brings such a reaction? Don't know, don't care. But I thought I'd share some old photos from Hawaii with you all, just to brighten the day, and hopefully bring you to the place I feel right now.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Things are looking up

Things have been a little weary lately, and the blog has suffered a bit. Last week I had three different doctors' appointments, then a huge event at church, which I felt I was only able to give about a third of what I normally do because of some physical things I am experiencing, and then some other situations that took me by surprise. It's been a bit of a bummer and the writer's block set in.

While preparing for the church event I was out in Indio, quite a drive for me, but a gorgeous day. The weather in Indio was 81 that day, not a cloud in the sky. I was on a mission to gather a couple of date bearing branches and a few palm fronds. Robyn hooked me up with the plant manager at a huge farm and after a few minutes of catching up we loaded the back of my car with enormous branches heavy with dates. After that our generous benefactor asked us to follow him out to the fields where he stood knee high in the flooded grove and carefully and skillfully cut perfect young palm fronds from the base of the trees with a machete. The fronds, although baby leaves from the base of the tree, were already longer and wider than my car, so he made careful measurements and re-cut the fronds to fit in the back. He stacked my car full and off we rode with our sweet treasure.

I am so impressed with this man's kindness. We asked, he gave willingly. He wanted us to have the best he had so he stood in water to deliver it and would not allow us to even think about repayment. He shared a few humorous stories, looked up to the sky with praise for the beauty where he worked, and asked for us to return and visit again. His additions to our event made an impact.

Lately I have heard almost no good news, but after meeting this good man, I just had to start looking up. Life can be a bummer. Things happen to us that we cannot control. But some things we can. It's puzzling.

God knows what the photo on our life's puzzle looks like. He has put the edges on and is helping us fill in the middle. Sometimes we get fixated on one piece, sure that it fits. We pick it up stroke the waxy top with our thumb, look for the colour details in the tiny piece, finger the rounded edges, let the flat and square edge poke into our skin; we know just where to place it. We place it down in the space and it resists. We pick it up, examine it again, adjust our aim and place it again, this time with a bit more force. We know it will fit, perhaps there is a tab of cardboard on the piece that has come out of align, tap it in, push it in, then pull it out in frustration. We glare. We check the puzzle before us, some pieces already in place forming a picture we like and then focus again on the one piece in our hand. We turn it and turn it, and each time we think it should fit -it just doesn't. We put it on the table with a disagreeable thud. We walk away for a minute, grab a glass of milk maybe, sit down and convince our self, again, that piece should fit in the space we provide. But it doesn't and it won't and all the pushing will just weaken the piece or actually bend one of the tabs...but it will not fit into a place it does not belong.

Eventually we will finally give up our design and go with the one on the box. The picture God has designed for us. Putting down the piece we begin to search for another one with similar colours and shapes but something in that new piece will be different and just like that it will go smoothly into place and add another dimension to our puzzle.

So it is. Heavenly Father knows our life, he designed it. He knows each piece. Sometimes we think we know where each piece fits, we try to force them in, and we waste a lot of time being forceful with things that don't fit. We get mad when we make a wrong choice, we sometimes blame the piece in our hand rather than the hand that holds it. Every piece of the puzzle will fit, its just a matter of where. Perhaps our Heavenly Father needs us to pick up each piece in His order rather than our order. Maybe we need to fill in the sky before we can fill in the scenery, or perhaps in our particular puzzle we need to fill in the center and work out to the edge. Only God knows which piece will fit first time, but like I said, each piece will fit. Maybe in our prayers for Divine help we need to ask what God wants us to feel instead of asking Him to remove our feeling. Maybe we need to ask Him to guide us to what He needs us to do rather than to what we are hoping for. Maybe, as I was counseled just a few days ago, we need to just focus on thanks, prayer full of nothing but thanksgiving, and forget the "needs" we have. Perhaps in the thanksgiving we can find it is that we really need, really desire.

All things we experience in life are meant to be for our good, even the difficult things. Heavenly Father has a purpose for each of us. All of the pieces in our life will end up making a great picture, but we need to place them all. If we leave out the pieces we think don't fit, we'll end up with a picture that is not complete. Heavenly Father is asking me to place a different piece into my puzzle, a different piece than I want to place right now. He knows my picture, He knows which piece to set so that my puzzle will be put together more effectively. So, now, I am trying to look up as I work my puzzle. I will try to give more thanks for the beautiful picture I have been given and I will try to fit the piece He has given me so that I can someday be picture perfect.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009


Be Honest from Jane

Spring has obviously sprung. At least in blogworld. All around us are stories of cleaning, or the lack thereof. Some people hate it, some perople are resigned to it, me I just do it, occasionally. At What about Mom? she's put up a post about home and hearth. And, asking you all to be honest in your answers. I decided to copy it. Sortof like a meme (plagiarism at its finest). heh. (even moreso from me, as I stole this from Robyn! word for word, well except for my answers!) So give it a go.

1. How big is your house? How many people do you have living in it?

About 1400sf. 2 people currently, however we will host the Electrician and his wife the R.N. for a bit until their escrow closes. Also to be noted is that at one time this same house was the home to all of our 5 kids, who shared two rooms and one bathroom.

2. How many hours a day do you spend cleaning?

Depends on the day. Usually about an hour, unless you add up laundry and then it go a bit longer. With just the two of us the cleaning has gone way down.

3. Do you work for money in or out of the home? Do you clean more/less if (now that) you have a paying job?

I am what I like to refer to as a full time volunteer. When I worked outside the home I cleaned considerably less, I was not a good working mom,nope, not at all. I was horrible at it in fact.

4. Are you successful at getting hubs (or wife, my two, dear male readers) or kids (what age?) to help? HOW?

Each member of our family was/is responsible for their own laundry. WE help each other out often by shouting "ANYONE HAVE ANY WHITES (DARKS, TOWELS, etc) THAT NEED TO BE WASHED?" and wait to load them up until all are gathered to make a full load. (When you do your own laundry it gets done to your specific preference, folded your way, ironed if needed.) Dishes were assigned daily, as were other household chores (even when I did not have to work outside the home). We have a philosophy of we all live here, we all need to maintain the house, yard, etc. The "HOW?" part of this began when they were very little toddlers. It was easy then, it was a "priviledge" to help out mommy and daddy. If you weren't a good boy/girl you were not allowed to help. We taught the kids that work is a virtue and also a commandment and responsibility. Some how that worked well for us and the kids cooperated most of the time.

5. Do you clean frantically before guests (your mother-in-law) come?

I used to when the kids were little and the house was a wreck most of the time. As they grew and helped out more, I relaxed. Now the only time I clean like a fury is if I know I will have "certain" people over who I know will judge me in a bad way. That's honest.

6. Does housecleaning/house-messiness/housecleaning-inequity affect your daily contentment?

House cleaning no, the house being a mess yes. I don't like it when the house is a wreck, it literally does affect my mood and if it goes to long I can't handle it.

7. Have you discovered how effective blogging is at procrastinating/blocking out messes?

Blogging definitely effective at keeping me form things that I should be doing, however, if the house gets ugly I have to get it done or I go over the edge.

Now an addendum: I have been asked to go into other people's homes, and also teach classes to groups on how to effectively clean and organize. I am pretty anal when it comes to certain things and when I am working with others I am seriously organinzed. HOWEVER, people assume (incorrectly) that because of this trait, that my house would be immaculate, not so. In fact much the opposite. Most of the time it's controlled caous, a project always in the midst, and who knows what. Living where we do there is always always always dust and it drives me crazy. But, I am still organized, I can find whatever I need immediately (that's the controlled part). Any who. There you go.

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