Thursday, July 30, 2009


Life has seemed especially hectic this week - too many things going on and way too many things going wrong!

We've had soccer games, a soccer tournament, a meeting with our lawyer (updating our will), a trip to Utah Lake, cub scout pack meeting, 1st day of school, YW presidency meeting, Young Women activity, baby shower to attend, activity days, sewing pajamas, book club, girls' lunch at my home, etc...

Things that have gone wrong: Kevin lost his cell phone in Utah Lake, my cell phone is possessed by evil spirits (seriously, what other explanation could there be for its antisocial behavior?), Kevin's car lost its transmission, I cracked my head open with the suburban door, etc...

I think it's time for a nap. Naps solve almost everything!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

kid really hates church

I had to laugh this morning when I read the newspaper. It seems a 7-year-old boy in the Ogden area got pulled over for running a stop sign. Yes, you read that right. On Sunday the 7-year-old led police on a car chase... running a stop sign before stopping in a driveway and running into a home.

When finally caught and questioned, he said he took the car because he didn't want to go to church.

Hopefully, he didn't give kids everywhere any ideas! lol

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

parental deficiencies

I cleaned and defrosted both of my freezers yesterday enlisting the help of two of my children. One of the freezers is a big chest freezer that was coated in frost. It was THICK.

I obviously do not do this often enough because I had to define defrost to my youngest child (an 8-year-old). His response was, "You mean that ice isn't SUPPOSED to be there?"

Other areas in which I'm deficient:

1) Feeding my children peas as a vegetable. Other than the frozen peas that I thaw and throw into salads, snow peas eaten fresh (pod and all), or the peas that we shell and eat straight from our garden, I'm not sure my children would recognize a pea. They certainly would not recognize a pile of hot ones served next to the mashed potatoes for instance.

2) Peanut butter sandwiches. It took me 7 years of my oldest child's life to even think of serving him a peanut butter sandwich. I don't like them so it didn't occur to me to make one for him. Maybe that explains why 4 of my 5 children will basically eat bread with peanut butter on it (hold the jelly). Have I damaged my children by not serving them one of childhood's basic food groups?

3) Spring cleaning. Again, my children probably don't know the meaning of the word. I clean when the urge hits (or when closet shelves are in danger of collapse or I'm afraid of the health department condemning something) and not according to what season it is.

4) Fear-of-being-late phobia. I get positively demented if I'm going to be late. My children may someday need excessive counseling to deal with this phobia that is being passed on to them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

1st day of school

Today was Shanley's first day of school. She is now in 6th grade with Mrs. Becknell -- her final year of elementary school. (I put her and Chandler on different tracks so he still has 3 more weeks of summer.)

I was not ready for her to go back to school! We were having a really fun busy summer -- Summer Games in Cedar City, youth conference, girls' camp, Yuba Lake, Harry Potter movie marathon, cousins' camps, etc...All of a sudden it was time and I wasn't prepared.

I managed to pull it off (mostly). We went school shopping for a new outfit for the first day.

She had a good breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. I remembered to take the back-to-school pictures. I went in and met her teacher and volunteered to help in the classroom. It seemed like success until I got back home and realized I hadn't packed her a lunch. Oops!

Chandler has his first day on August 17th and Alec and McKayla have their first days on August 24th. With three different start dates, I am bound to get at least one of their first days absolutely perfect.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

the power of a Father's love

One of the activities we did at Girls' Camp was a high ropes challenge course. One of our brand-new Beehives was really scared. It took her quite a while to climb the pole. We yelled and encouraged her the entire way. She finally reached the top and then got to go down the zip line.

That should have been the fun part but she totally froze. She was so scared to go down. She didn't want to go and she didn't want to climb the pole back down. She was stuck. It didn't matter what encouragement we yelled, she was not going to budge.

Her father was at camp as one of our Priesthood leaders. He happened to walk up to the ropes course. We yelled at the young Beehive, "Your dad is here." She looked over, saw him, and grabbed the zip line and came down!

What a great parable! How many times in my life am I able to do hard things if I just recognize that my Heavenly Father is there? He will catch me if I fall.
He will bandage my wounded knees. He will even carry me when I'm too injured or tired to walk. Sometimes just knowing He will be there for me is all the encouragement I need to be able to do hard things or to endure a trial or hardship. I'm never alone!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

my funeral

Several years ago I urged all of my extended family members to do a little funeral planning. I gave everyone forms and asked them to fill them out (my aunt got hers back to me -- way to go, Vicki!). It detailed who they wanted notified of their demise, who to speak at the funeral, what songs to sing, where important documents were kept, who was to be pallbearers, etc.

I filled out my plan but came across it the other day and, of course, it's already outdated.

A few things remain constant.

1) I'd like lots and lots of music! Congregational hymns, solos, a men's quartet... My immediate family is lacking a little in musical talent but I think they could round up some of the talented people from my ward.

2) Someone could share funny stories about me that they've compiled from talking to my friends, brothers, and sisters.

3) They could serve lots and lots of chocolate - truffles, fudge, brownies, Costco's chocolate cake, etc. Oh yes, and don't forget the funeral potatoes. Chocolate and funeral potatoes, do you really need anything else? Yum!

4) Put me in a cheap pine box! It's going in the ground anyway and I'm just not a fancy, frou-frou type of person.

5) Don't spend tons of money on flowers. I want the flowers when I'm alive! Otherwise, just plant some wildflowers somewhere in my memory.

Feel free to share your best funeral ideas. Just know that I love to steal good ideas so if I die first...

Friday, July 24, 2009


Kevin and I are going to "Hello Dolly" tomorrow night with friends. In honor of musicals everywhere, I thought I'd list my all-time favorites.


1) Wicked - I've seen this twice now and I'm totally in love with it! It is just plain fun and has catchy, sing-a-long tunes.

2) Phantom of the Opera - This edges out #3 but only by a hair. I like the music better in Phantom. Plus, I've seen it on Broadway which may have added to its rating.

3) Les Miserables - This may have the best story line ever! And it's one of the few things that is better than the book.

4) Mamma Mia! - I've been an ABBA fan since I was 12! Yes, I was one of the people that was dancing in the aisles and, yes, the musical was better than the movie.

5) Aida - loved the music!

Honorable Mention (in no particular order)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Fiddler on the Roof

Beauty and the Beast

The Ark

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yuba Lake

My friend, Jill, and I took some of our children (well, all of hers and some of mine) to Yuba Lake for a few days. We had so much fun. We spent most of the time on the water but we also found time for reading, playing Ticket to Ride, singing campfire songs, and making s'mores. We also roasted (or melted) Starbursts over the fire which was a favorite with the kids. Too bad for our husbands who stayed home to work. We missed them if for no other reason than it would have given Jill and I a break on driving the waverunners. I am actually a little saddle sore.

Shanley and Chandler at our pretty campsite.

Zach reading at the shore.

Chandler and I on the waverunner. He likes speed! He drives about 40 mph and flies over wakes!

Abby and Shanley in Big Bertha (the tube).

Hannah, Jill, and Cole towing the tube.

Towing Big Bertha.

Alec and I. Alec just likes to ride. He whoops and hollers in my ear the entire time. There is no doubt he enjoys himself.

Taking time for a cool break at the Dairy Queen in Scipio (after all, we had to refill the waverunners with gas -- no need to waste the trip into town)

Shanley up a tree.

Alec and Zach.

Yuba Lake camping trip


It's true! I finally learned how! I am quite proud of myself. Yes, I FINALLY learned how to back the waverunner trailer into the water. This may sound like a small accomplishment but I have been unable to master this skill for years, so I am excited!

Years ago we owned a 28-foot camping trailer. I would tow it with no problem but I only backed it up once. I had to since I'd taken a wrong turn. Otherwise, I camped in sites where I could pull-through or I'd get someone else to back it for me.

Last summer we got waverunners. They are so much fun, but there is no way to avoid backing them up. hhhmmmm... I took them out without Kevin a few times. It would either take me forever to get them into the water (and they were usually horribly crooked) or some guy would take pity on me and my pathetic attempts and would come do it for me.

Every guy would tell me the same thing. Hold the steering wheel at the bottom and turn the way you want the wheels to go. I knew that! I just couldn't seem to make it work.

My friend, Jill, and I just spent the last 3 days at Yuba Lake. Monday morning I managed to get the waverunners into the water (the trailer was quite crooked). Monday night when I went to get them out, a man watched me try and then came and did it for me (after telling me to hold the steering wheel at the bottom, of course).

Tuesday morning I went to back them in and a lady was watching. I rolled down my window, laughed, and said "I'll give you quite a show." She watched me for a minute and then said, "You're just not catching it quick enough. Try turning earlier."


Seriously, that is all it took! From then on, I backed in and out with no trouble.

It made me think. Quite often I think it is a tendency for men to want to take care of the problem. They usually just "rescued" me. It took a woman who was willing to sit back and analyze what I was doing wrong to just give me the advice I needed so I could do it myself.

I know it's not just a guy thing. I often do the same thing to people. I get impatient and fix the problem myself. I take over and do it.

I learned a valuable lesson that I hope I can remember. Sometimes it is far wiser and infinitely more helpful to patiently observe and then offer sound advice!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WEE (Wednesday's Embarrassing Encounters)

Every Wednesday I write about some of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Feel free to add any embarrassing moments of your own.

Many years ago, Kevin was usually gone on 4-day trips every week. He would call home about the same time every night. I would expect those calls.

One night I was ready to talk. It had been a bad day and I wanted to vent. I answered his call and only let him get out "How are you?" before I started unloading. I told him I'd helped Brakston deliver newspapers that morning and fallen in the dark. I had badly bruised my knee and ripped my best pair of workout pants. Then I told him that for some strange reason I had been burping all day. I couldn't seem to stop.

About that time, "Kevin" interrupted to say, "Excuse me. I think you might not know who you're talking to. This is _____________."

It was a man from our ward that I didn't even know well. Oops!

It took me months to even feel comfortable looking at him in church. If only I were the type of person that could turn my embarrassment into a laugh riot instead of wanting to crawl under a church bench!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

things I love/hate

Five Things I Love:

1) the smell of the earth right after a lovely spring rain
2) teenage sons who aren't afraid to hug me in public
3) haircuts that mean my hair looks good with 5 minutes effort (oh wait, that hasn't happened in 25 years!)
4) finding a fantastic sale on something I really need
5) cute paper on which to write my endless lists

Five Things I Hate:

1) that my home refuses to stay clean for longer than 30 minutes
2) when I wake up at 4:30 am on a Saturday
3) when I forget ONE thing at the store
4) that chocolate is not fat/calorie free
5) that I have a strange compulsion to finish a book even when I'm not enjoying it

Monday, July 20, 2009

what kind of parent am I?

What kind of parent am I?

I am the type that spends all my time trying to make myself obsolete and useless. Yes, truly, I believe my job is to ensure my kids don't NEED me anymore!

My kids think that translates to "mean parent" -- you know, the kind of parent that makes their 8-year-old do their own laundry. The kind of parent that generally refuses to ever fix her kids lunch but insists they are perfectly capable of making their own mac & cheese or quesadilla or whatever. sigh. eye rolls, more sighs.

I don't think I'd ever qualify as a "helicopter parent". I love it when my children accomplish tough things -- on their own! Some of my favorite words are "I can do it myself."

Of course, this has sometimes translated to a neighbor bringing my child home at night in the middle of winter -- BAREFOOT and with NO COAT! Oops! (I didn't say I was a great parent just that I don't hover!)

Still, my greatest joy in life would be to have my children each be able to say, "Mom, I don't NEED you but I love you and WANT you in my life!"

A gal can dream, can't she?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

kids say the darnedest things

It really is true. Kids say the funniest things -- even when they are not really kids anymore. We got a letter from Brakston this week that made Kevin and I laugh so hard! It also made us wonder what he is really doing on his mission and if his mission president has any idea what he is up to.

Here's what his letter said: "I am having a great week. I've had a couple really good experiences. First, we met a man who tried to commit suicide three times and I helped him."

Huh?!? Does his mission president know about this? Does the district attorney's office know? Do I need to remind Brakston about what happened to Dr. Kevorkian? Or does Brakston just need a lesson in English grammar?

Still, it made me laugh. I hope it brings some humor to your day too!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

memory problems

At our extended family FHE earlier this month, we were planning our family reunion. I played scribe and wrote everything down. We made all the food assignments and so forth. All pertinent details were planned.

There is only one slight problem...

Which notebook did I put all my notes in? We probably have 3 dozen spiral notebooks lying around. How many will I have to go through to find my list?

--scrappinsoccermama has come to the conclusion that lists are only helpful if you can find them later!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry potter madness

Some friends and I are hosting our own version of a Harry Potter movie marathon (about 1 movie per day). It's been fun although we've shown the movies at odd times. The schedule was based on when we could fit it in around swim lessons, soccer practices, a trip to the zoo, scout day camp, Young Women's, taking the wave runners out, etc. The schedule was/is: Monday at 10:15 am, Tuesday at 8:00 pm, Thursday at 6:30 pm, and today at 10:30 am. We haven't managed to find a slot for the 5th movie yet.

Here is Chandler, Blake Pocock, and Nathan Goins.

Cade Pocock and Cole Nebeker are enjoying treats.

Abby Nebeker, Jared Goins, Chandler, and Blake Pocock.

I decided to get creative with the treats so on Monday when I hosted I made magic wands with pretzel rods dipped in caramel, chocolate, and sprinkles.

Today's creativity involved chocolate frogs! I made them from fudge. I am no sculptor (in fact I have the absolute minimum artistic talent possible) but, hey, it's for a bunch of children so they probably won't be harsh critics. Then again, maybe they will. Chandler was sure not impressed. "Mom, they don't even have mouths."

Well, at least you won't have to catch them in order to eat them either.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

books, recommended reading

It is time for my monthly update on reading. It has not been a very prolific reading month. I guess I've been distracted by youth conference, girls' camp, etc. I only managed to read 6 books in the past month. I have ** the ones I highly recommend.

**The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

**Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson

Life is Tough: I Doubt I'll Make It Out Alive by Stacy Anderson

**The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WEE (Wednesday's Embarrassing Encounters)

For the next little while I'm adding a new feature. Every Wednesday will feature an account of one of my embarrassing moments. These are moments that I can laugh about now, and I hope they'll cause you to chuckle as well. Feel free to leave your own WEE moments in the comments.

Okay, this one is way too recent for me to laugh about yet but I have hope for the future.

I have mentioned before that I have very overactive sweat glands. I don't even have to be exerting myself. I sweat profusely just because the room is slightly warm. And I don't sweat in easy to conceal places like under my arms. No way. That would be too easy. I sweat around my hairline so sweat is always dripping off my face and down my neck so that everyone can see it.

That in and of itself is extremely embarrassing, but why stop there? On Saturday as I was rappelling and then had to hang from the rope because of a knot (see last Saturday's post), I had to support my entire body weight with my arms. I had to do this for about 8-10 minutes so it really did take some exertion causing me to really sweat hard.

Finally, I was able to finish rappelling to the bottom of the cliff. There were about a dozen people at the bottom (more than half I did not know) all talking to me about what the knot problem had been like and if I was scared. After assuring everyone I had not been scared at all and walking around for a few minutes, I happened to look down at my pants. The harness had caused all the sweat to pool in the groin area making it appear that I had wet my pants.

I was quite humiliated to think I had been walking around this way and talking to people as if nothing were wrong. Maybe I'll find this humorous in 10 years or so but for now, it's just one more WEE episode! (no pun intended)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

my favorite mail!

On Saturday I received one of my all-time favorite pieces of mail (it ranks right up there with Christmas letters from family and friends and the General Conference issues of the Ensign magazine). This particular piece of mail comes once a year. I look forward to receiving it and then spend hours and hours over the next month poring over it. I use it to plan an entire week of my life.

Have I given you enough clues to guess what it is?

It's my BYU Education Week catalog!

I absolutely love Education Week at BYU. I take classes that inspire me, refresh my psyche, stimulate my mind, and help me to learn and grow. I have my favorite "can't miss" instructors.

I can now officially begin the countdown -- only 34 days until Education Week!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Charlie's angels

I'll have to post more about YW camp, but this picture is one of my favorites! It is the YW Presidency (Nikol, Carolyn, and myself) with semi-automatic pistols in a pose reminiscent of Charlie's angels.

We actually were pretty good shots, too!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

asking for permission to marry

There were many letters to the advice columnist in the paper this week regarding asking for a woman's hand in marriage. The viewpoints were very strong and diverse.

Basically, one camp believed that it was a traditional, thoughtful thing to do. Some women said they would never consider marrying a man who didn't ask their father for their hand in marriage.

The other camp opined that the practice was sexist and treated women as if they were mere property to be sold or traded or given away. They said they would never marry a man who did ask their father's permission.

I was intrigued. I fall into the camp that just thinks it's a beautiful tradition. I felt that my father valued me and just wanted to ensure I'd continue to be cared for properly. I believe most fathers love their little girls and want them to be happy. They might question the man about his ability to provide or about his commitment level but it is done out of love. I have never felt like the "property" of either my father or my husband.

On the other hand, the other camp did make a valid point. With marriage ages getting older and older, often women have been on their own for many years. They are capable of taking care of themselves. Why wouldn't they be able to make their own decision? Why would their father even be consulted? I can see their viewpoint.

Still, I am sentimental. I would truly hope that ALL of my children (boys and girls) would want our input on whom they marry. I would hope they would discuss it with us. And I would certainly hope that the men wishing to marry my daughters would want to ask Kevin's permission. I hope I've raised my children to be capable of taking care of themselves and capable of making their own decisions. But I think it's charming that fathers love their daughters and want to see them happy. Daddies have special places in their hearts for their little girls and that's okay with me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

tie a knot

S. Michael Wilcox once told a group of us that when you reach the absolute end of your rope, sometimes you just need to tie a knot and hang on.

Today I could have done without the knot -- I just would have liked to have reached the end of my rope!

I went rappelling down a 200 ft cliff. It started really fun! I decided I was not going to think about it. I was just going to do it! I leaned out over the edge and started down. I quickly reached the next ledge, took a couple steps backwards, leaned out over the next edge and continued down. I was pushing off the rocks and having a great time when...


There was a knot in the rope and it got wedged in my figure 8. I was a little over halfway down and I was going nowhere. I bounced on it thinking my weight would force the knot through. No dice. I just dangled in midair unable to push the knot through.

After about 8 minutes, a guy rappelled down beside me. With sheer brute strength, he was able to force the knot through and send me on my way.

I've never been happier to reach the end of my rope!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

another weird quirk

One of my weird quirks (and there are many) is my inability to sit back and say, "I'm done."

For example, every Christmas I start early in the year. I try to get presents made or shopped for before Thanksgiving. I make my Christmas cards in July or August and address the envelopes in October. I make candy and bake breads in November and freeze them. You get the picture.

Still, every year I keep going right up until Christmas. I never reach a point where I think I've finished. If I have completed everything on my list, I just add to my list. There is always one more activity I can do with my children or a new kind of candy that I could try to make.

Girls' Camp this year is no different. We are attending a high-adventure boy scout camp and they do most of the work. I don't have to worry about food or tents. So, once youth conference was over and my sister left for Texas, I focused once more on girls' camp. Not a lot to do except collect the remaining paperwork from the Young Women. I couldn't let it go at that. No, not me. I decided I had to make handouts with treats or small gifts attached with scriptures or thoughts that tie to our theme. Then, I decided I had to make cookies so the girls could enjoy some of my homemade goodies.

We better hurry up and leave before I decide I have to carve personalized oars for each girl for our kayaking adventure. jk.

Seriously, when will I learn to say, "I'm done. It's all good.?" Does anyone else do this or is it just me?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Although I forgot last week, I have dedicated Wednesdays to be WEE (Wednesday's Embarrassing Encounters) posts until I run out of embarrassing moments (or at least run out of ones I'll admit to).

WARNING! This post has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA (marvelle posting academy of America). It contains brief nudity and may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13. (or for my mom)

During my sophomore year at Ricks College, my boyfriend Patrick and I drove up into the Tetons to play in the snow (he was from Houston so snow was such a novelty to him). We were able to jump on the snow and break through the crust and sink ourselves in the snow up to our waists or higher. It was so much fun except for one minor detail. Once we climbed back in the car and turned on the heat, all that snow turned to water. My pants were soaking wet and it was highly uncomfortable not to mention chilly. I finally decided to wiggle out of them and try to let them dry. Patrick had a small blanket in the car that I could use to keep myself modestly covered (as long as I was sitting down).

The problem was that it was a very small blanket and didn't wrap completely around me. When we arrived back at my apartment, my pants weren't dry so I decided just to carry them in. Patrick pulled up close to my apartment door and I very carefully backed out of the car (so he couldn't see my exposed posterior). I orchestrated a clever maneuver in order to hold the blanket between the door frame and my hip as I opened my apartment door and then very carefully backed into my apartment closing the door safely behind me. I knew all my roommates were gone so I patted myself on the back for successfully making it into my apartment without being seen by anyone.
Then I turned around to head to my bedroom only to see my friend, Gary, sitting at our kitchen table doubled over in laughter. He had witnessed the whole scene and had had a great view of my exposed buttocks. Yes, I had just mooned him.

I fled to my bedroom, slammed the door, and yelled for Gary to go away. He just kept laughing and begging me to come out saying "It's no big deal. It was just your butt!" I was so embarrassed. I refused to come out until he bribed me with a hot fudge sundae from McDonalds (yes, I'm a sucker for chocolate and he knew it!).

Mom, if you're still reading this, I warned you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

summer's heat

Summer is my least favorite season. This is entirely due to the heat! Yes, it's true, I am a certified heat wimp. I can't take the heat!

The reasons for this are probably as follows:
1) I've always been warm. My temperature gauge must just not work well. Even as a young child I refused to wear coats (in Wyoming, no less) because it wasn't cold! As a teenage girl I (GASP) refused to lay out and get tan because it was too hot (again in Wyoming where hot was 80 degrees).
2) I work out regularly so my circulation is great!
3) I inherited the ability to sweat from my dear old dad - buckets and buckets of it! It is embarrassing!
4) I have some extra stores of fat which help keep me well insulated.

Anyway, enough whining. I've decided to focus on some of the things I do love about summer:

1) family reunions
2) ice cold watermelon
3) fireworks
4) fresh corn on the cob
5) camping (in the mountains where it is cooler)
6) the flowers that you can find growing everywhere except my yard (black thumb, ya know)
7) girls' camp (this week's will be my 19th)
8) Wimbledon and the U.S. Open (yes, I love my tennis)
9) the fact that air conditioning is blowing on me in buildings and not heat
10) s'mores

Monday, July 6, 2009

marvelle unearthed

A few lesser-known things about me:

*Although I claim to be a "soccer mom", my favorite team sport is football and I would have been pleased if any of my children had chosen to play football.

*I was queen of my high school winter formal (surprising since I am totally NOT the queen-type)

*My childhood ambitions were to be a writer, a high-school English teacher, a high-school math teacher, or a high-school guidance counselor. (I became a licensed CPA intead)

*I mock people who wear spike high-heels at soccer games (come on, it's a grass field! Of course you're going to sink!)

*I love to watch tennis! I have watched tennis on TV since I first got married. Some of my favorite players (current and retired) are Andre Agassi, Gabriella Sabatini, Lindsay Davenport, and Andy Roddick. My dream is to attend a match at Wimbledon someday!

*I am obsessed with time. I always want to know what time it is and I hate being late. Currently I am without a watch and it is making me crazy (my teen daughter is hoping a don't replace it so I can lose the ugly watch tan line)

*I don't keep a super clean house (oh wait! If you've ever been to my house, that is probably not much of a secret!)

*I have certain a certain order and method for eating M&Ms or Skittles (too complex to detail here but it involves colors and numbers)

*I often go to movies by myself. (well, I don't often go to movies but when I do, it is often by myself)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

two thoughts (separate but equal)

Two main thoughts are running through my head currently. One is on forgiveness and the other is on the role of God in this great country.

First, forgiveness.

Last week (or two weeks ago, who knows? Time just keeps flying by... but I digress...) I taught a lesson on forgiveness. One thing I learned several years ago is that when we fail to forgive because we don't think the individual that wronged us has paid sufficiently for his "crime" or because we want more restitution, we are in effect saying that Christ's atonement was not enough. When we want someone to "pay" for what they have done to us, we are telling Christ that His Atonement just doesn't cut it -- we need more.

I can't imagine actually saying that to The One who paid the ultimate price. His sacrifice was unimaginable. I try hard to remember that so that I can be quicker to forgive or so that I can forgive even when the person doesn't apologize or appear sorry.

Second, God and America.

It makes me so sad to see so many in our country trying to push God out of it. They claim that belief should not be forced on anyone (true, I am not a believer in force). However, I do believe God had/has a profound role in this country. Our founding forefathers set this country up based on freedom of religion not freedom FROM religion. Our coins say "In God we trust". If you read the words in the last verse of The Star-Spangled Banner it says "Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation".

I am afraid that if we are too successful in pushing God out of our town meetings, out of our government, and out of our schools, we will soon find God deserting our nation and our lives. I love this land I live in! I am grateful for my freedoms asnd for the U.S. form of government and I WANT to praise THE POWER that made it all possible.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

let freedom ring

A few of the freedoms I am thankful for:

*freedom to obtain education

*freedom to raise my children in the manner I see fit

*freedom to vote (just look at Iran)

*freedom to choose how I worship

*freedom to choose my attitude

I am so proud and happy to be an American! Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

more randomness

WEE Oops! I forgot WEE (Wednesday's embarrassing encounters) this week. That's embarrassing! I've got a doozy for next week, so stay tuned.

ALEC Alec had surgery on Monday. All went well. He was so funny! As he was waking from the anesthesia he said, "Whoa, that was fun!" The nurse and I laughed pretty hard.

ENTHUSIASM Speaking of Alec, he is just great to have around! He is so enthusiastic and is not afraid to show it! We went to the Riverton City parade tonight. Alec cheered enthusiastically for anything RHS (i.e. swim team, football team, band), horses, clowns, roller skaters, etc. He laughed uproariously at the clowns. Anyone could tell he was enjoying himself.

PARADE Speaking of the parade. I certainly did not enjoy myself like Alec did. We set up chairs earlier in the week and arrived to sit in them an hour before the parade. We had a nice picnic with all my extended family and settled in to watch the parade only to have people come stand directly in front of us. I'm not just talking about young children either. I very nicely asked a lady if she and her children would sit down so people behind them could see and she told me "NO". She said, "I have a right to stand here if I want." When did life turn into "rights"? Yes, I agree, she had a "right" to stand there, but was it right? Was it polite? Was it thoughtful? I do NOT understand how someone could feel good about themselves when they deliberately block someone's view who was there first. I honestly don't get it. Maybe getting that extra piece of taffy was really important.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

sin and theft

I just finished reading "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini (which was a most compelling book, by the way) and was struck by one of the overall themes of the book. The father says, "Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft."

He goes on to explain that when you kill a man, you steal his life and you steal his wife's right to a husband and his children's right to a father. Then you tell a lie, you steal a person's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal someone's right to fairness.

If you continue in this vein, then you'd say if you rape someone, you steal their innocence and virtue. If you commit adultery, you steal trust and loyalty. If you take the Lord's name in vane, you steal His right to respect.

I thought this was an interesting concept. I have never thought of sin in that manner before. I have tried to think of a sin that you can't tie to theft and I can't think of one. Can anyone else?