Sunday, August 29, 2010

Smells, Thoughts, and Laughter

Today was a great day! I got to visit two of my sisters, hear about the "Victory Over Self" classes starting this Thursday, go to Sunday School, take part in the Sacrament, sing in choir, heat up a meal I had already prepared for us to eat, eat some cake while watching the X Files with my hubby, get our house in order for the week (isn't that such a great feeling?), respond to some emails, and send out the weekly newsletter for Relief Society. I write about a lot of negative things it seems so I wanted to share with you that life is good! Especially when the spirit is strong.

Some thoughts I had today: My mom used to always say "if sin had a smell, how bad would you smell?" I hate smelly things. If I come home and I smell something I go-a-sniffing to find out what it is to get it out of my house (and spray some spray/light a candle for good measure). I'm so glad our sins don't smell! I would hate for someone to be spraying breath mist in my face because they couldn't stand the smell of me.

Our Sunday School teacher likes to stir the pot (his words) and brought some proverbs which suggest we should rely on the Lord and not unto our own understanding (in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct all thy paths...). He asked what that meant and why God's "directing" might not always be straight forward. I suggested it is. The scriptures say the path to God is straight and narrow and the ways to keep on the straight and narrow are really straight forward. Read your scriptures, pray, serve others, renew your covenants... Relying on our own understanding simply complicates things.

In Sacrament Meeting a familiy was sitting behind us and during the ending of the last speakers talk I hear " huh huh huh huh" (soft grunting noises) and PJ and I were holding hands (aww) and I started banging our fists to the beat of the kid behind us. PJ laughs so hard he squeels during the last speakers testimony, and all the way through the closing hymn and prayer. Sorry, yes that was us. Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MItchell-town Massacre

Today will be a day not easily forgotten. A battle. Two against 200. Weapons of choice: Jesus Christ, Plan of Salvation, and Repentance pamphlets. In a matter of 30 minutes, many Flies fell to their doom.

Okay so maybe 200 is exaggerating just a bit, really, there were A LOT. I mean at least 30. Yesterday I came home and noticed there were a lot of flies hanging out on our "screen" door (it's made out of glass..) and I walked in and was hit with an overwhelming smell of dawn scented fabreeze. I asked PJ what happened and he said "oh, there are a lot of flies so I tried to kill them with fabreeze". The smell lingered until this morning I swear he had to have used half the bottle. Then this morning I woke up and saw flies all over my stove and grabbed the closest thing to a fly swat- a Jesus Christ pamphlet- and swung away. I got some but had to eat (somehow) and pack lunches so I tried to ignore the swarm. Then today when I got home and PJ hadn't miraculously killed all the flies, I handed him another pamphlet, he stood at the door, I stood in the kitchen (all one room) and we swatted away. I think I count 5 still flying around too scared to land on anything, but hopefully the spiders will get them.

You see we live in a basement so there are a lot of spiders that like to hide out in dark corners. We've been killing them but I think now they're our friends. We'll let them stay for a little while. Maybe even pick out names for them. Bob? Carol?

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Need a Beating

This week has been a long week. Last Friday my beautiful Passatt broke on my way home so I didn't get home until 8:00. PJ has had a headache for 3 weeks now (although he says it's getting better) and last Friday, after we shoved some food in our mouths, we went to a friend's house so PJ could get a blessing. That was nice. Then we had a family get together Saturday for PJ's birthday (!), Sunday's are always busy (make sure to thank all the Secretary's out there!), Monday PJ went to the doctor, Tuesday I was trying to sleep in when I remembered I needed to take PJ to work (living off of one car is very difficult!) and picking him up was fun, but we had to go get his prescription filled, pick up another car for him to drive, cook dinner and try to clean... Wednseday my car got fixed so after work we picked my car up and dropped back off the car PJ had borrowed and I went out with the RS president of our ward to visit a Sister. Thursday I couldn't bring myself to cook so we ordered out for Chinese and it wasn't very good (the place in the Publix shopping center off Five Forks), and tonight- tonight I am trying to unwind listening to the rolling thunder outside and trying to put in order all the things I still have left to do.

I wrote previously about how I can listen to news talk 750 (now 95.5) at work so I got to listen to Clark Howard. Have you ever listened to him? Not just his advice, but to him? He's such a sincerely nice guy and I almost cried listening to his genuine kindness. It's hard to find in this world isn't it? Last Friday when I broke down, no one stopped. No one asked if I was okay, if I needed help, and I know I usually don't stop either, but in North Carolina usually people at least rolled by yelling out their window "need any help?". I was stranded for an hour before PJ showed up and an hour after that before the tow truck came and everyone raced by trying to get home on a Friday evening. Like I said, I don't blame them but kindness or rather charity is so hard to find.

I read a lot of "mom" blogs and I love it. I think I'm starting to live vicariously through them. And then I start to think "can I do that?" Can I handle 6 kids ranging from new born to 12? Our goal is to be able to homeschool our children at least through elementary school and of course bring them up in the gospel and I wonder can I really do it? There have been so many horrifying stories recently about mothers neglecting or even killing their babies because they just couldn't handle it. One woman smothered her 1 and 2 year old, strapped them in her car, and pushed the car into a lake to stage a car wreck and not be prosecuted for killing her own children! Another set of parents got caught with their 4 year old daughter weighing 90 LBS with rotted teeth, wearing a urine soaked diaper and still sucking on a bottle. Another 19 year old girl took a picture with her baby holding her bong and posted it on facebook because "she thought it would be funny".

I like to think I can. I decided I wanted to go back to school for a Psychology degree which I thought was very exciting. I had mixed responses, the most devestating one from someone I thought was really close to me. I thought a long time on how to handle it and I came across this scripture I had previously posted: "and now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness." Isn't that horrible? Being in a state contrary to the nature of happiness resulting in bitterness. Heavenly Father helped me to realize some people are unhappy. Due to their own choices or things unforseen, some people are unhappy. I can't think every time I get yelled at because someone is unhappy I have done something to make them that way. I never liked to succeed over another person because I thought that was being haughty or conceited but it is okay to be good at something! I am allowed to be happy and if it makes people who are not happy uncomfortable, I shouldn't make myself miserable just to make them feel more at ease. This is something I need to beat into my head.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bandwagon

Okay, okay I'm a little behind and this is "so yesterday". News talk 750 (am station) added a FM frequency and now I can listen to Bortz and Clark at work! On the news now for two days there's been this talk about a woman named Dr. Laura using "the n work" on air and how she's going to resign at the end of her contract. They were making it out to be a big deal so I looked up the transcript or the full conversation this Dr. Laura had and for my mind's sake I would like to put this to rest. (I really suggest you read the transcript or else this probably won't make any sense to you.)

1. I didn't know who this Dr. Laura woman was until this big incident so I am only using this incident as my knowledge of her and her job. I hear she is an unpleasant woman, but I haven't experienced that and will only use my knowledge of this transcript when forming my opinion.
2. Apparently she is known for her "no nonsense" attitude so if I were to call in to her show to ask advice, that is what I would expect- no warm fuzzies there.
3. Jade (the caller) starts off the conversation by stating she is offended because her white husbands white friends come over and ask "do black people...." and she thought it was racist.
4. Being a racist means: having a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. Meaning in asking about a certain culture you may not know about does not make you racist unless you state "My culture is superior to your culture because my culture was born that way".
5. Dr. Laura then rants about how blacks usually see the race issue so one sided for example on HBO commedians use "the n word" all the time (although she actually used the word) but if a white person (like Dr. Laura) uses it it's racist.
6. Finally after arguing back and forth, Dr. Laura (my words) says if Jade was so sensitve about her race and culture to where she can't even explain it to others, she shouldn't have married outside of her comfort zone.

I have experienced PJ's family asking me about my religion asking "do Mormons....". Are they racist? In college we were asked to watch Hotel Rwanda, which is about a mob war in Africa, which they use "the n word" in a pretty hightened moment in the movie. I came to class with the quotes I was planning on using in the discussion to make my point, used the quote with "the n word" and everyone freaked out! I quoted a movie we were assigned in college to watch and it was innappropriate. We shouldn't have been assigned the movie to watch if we weren't allowed to talk about it in detail.

Do I think "the n word" is offensive? Sure! As well as all other derogatory terms such as "the b word" using God's name in vain, and "the f word". The point Dr. Laura was trying to make is that the use of the word is black or white (no pun intended). Either it is offensive for ALL people to say, or it is okay. Also: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". I won't get into the whole Muslim Mosque on Ground Zero deal, but if we're going to allow that to happen under the same ammendment, a white girl can say what she wills for the same reason.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Here Goes!

Here it is. Here is the time I'm going to share with you my feelings on the whole "Prop 8" issue. Let me start off with the official statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:


"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today's decision. California voters have twice been given the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage in their state and both times have determined that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We agree. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of society.


"We recognize that this decision represents only the opening of a vigorous debate in the courts over the rights of the people to define and protect this most fundamental institution- marriage.


"There is no doubt that today's ruling will add to the marriage debate in this country, and we urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual repsect and civility toward those with a different opinion."

I start with this official statment because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (here on out the "LDS" church) has once again been attacked and mocked for upholding their beliefs. Theif beliefs just happen to conflict with another group's beliefs. I approach this post with advice from the last sentence from the statement: "We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion".In case you didn't know, California did in fact have "language" in their laws stating the only marriages they would honor were those between a man and a woman. So two couples (Perry and Steir and Zarillo and Katami) are attempting to change a state's constitution. These two couples are seeking after their "rights" under the fourteenth ammendment which states local and state government should not deprive people of life, liberty, or property. The LDS church has also had a Proclamation in force since 1995 which also states " All human beings-male and female- are created in the image of God...Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose...God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."

So there are the facts. From a religious standpoint: the whole purpose of "A God" is that there is a supreme being who in fact is perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient and thus one to be accountable to. If you suggest God makes "mistakes", you are ripping away His divinity. God did not accidentaly put a spirit of a female in a male's body. God made gender, sexual feelings, and sex for the sanctity of marriage and the continuance of man-kind. From a logical standpoint: you have to have a man and a woman to procreate.

I am, however, not insensitive to those who insist it isn't "fair" (oh how I hate that word) that "straight" people get to get married and "gay" people do not. I think from a completetly governmental view "gay" couples should have the same lawful rights as "straight" people. Qouting the Bible will not hold up in court. I do not think those rights should be referred to as marriage. I think marriage should be left to the churches and religions because in it's simplist definition marriage is a covenant with God- not with the government. If we were to permit "gays" to be married, churches, like mine, would have to by law permit those ceremonies, against their beliefs, to take place or else they would not be seen as a "church" by law. Now is that "fair"? Another quesiton I have is why "gays" would want to be married in a church anyway? Yes God loves them, individually. He does not however support same-sex marriages and I fear in the next few generations we will see the differences in our children, who are really at the "unfair" advantage. The Just way (since we are going to the courts of Justice, not Fairness) to handle this situation is for each party to acknowledge there are different beliefs and belief systems in this world. I cannot convice someone who believes they are "gay" that God did in fact NOT make them that way any more than someone who is "gay" can convince me that God did. I can allow them to have the same tax breaks and I guess societal advantage to be able to call their partner their wife/husband. But I cannot, according to my faith in Jesus Christ, deny the spirit and allow my freedoms to be attacked and taken away just to appease others.

Friday, August 6, 2010

On the Radio!

Earlier this week my favorite morning show, Cindy and Ray on 94.1, asked about how much people spent on their weddings since the average amount people spent on a wedding was $30,000! This is one of my favorite stories to tell and I haven't told you guys about it! How much did we spend? $150:


Marriage Lisence: $50
Palate of Flowers w/ employee discount from Lowe's: $40 (we got 2 palates...)
Down Payment for Private room in Restaurant: $50
Bouquet: $10
Wedding Dress: free
Location: free
Reception Dress: free (generous gift from one of my Mother-in-laws!)
Pictures: free


And it was beautiful! PJ was not a member of the church at the time and even though it is free to use the building, he knew his family wouldn't come if we got married in an LDS church. I didn't want to pay to get married in another church so we setteled on a very quaint monument hidden on a hill in northern GA. PJ decorated with all the flowers he got from Lowe's and we borrowed the chairs from the church. My mother in law gave me her dress (which was a perfect fit) and took me shopping for my reception dress (which I still have and wear My other Mother in Law also let us have 2 of her rings so PJ didn't have to pay for them (another generous gift!). We then drove up the road a bit to Isabelle's Restaurant (which is now closed...) and on our invitations, which I printed up myself on pretty stationary, asked our guests for no gifts- just pay for your own meal at the restuarant. We also asked for an optional donation to our HoneyMoon fund because I had already been living on my own for a year and had dishes and toasters and etc... and really, we needed money more so than a toaster.


I do not understand why people want to spend so much money on their weddings! I understand it is a special moment and (hopefully) a once in a lifetime experience, but it is all money in the trash. What do people do with their wedding dress after their wedding? Where do the flowers go? Where does the cake go? Where do the pictures go? I said to a co-worker the other day (which I thought was very clever) that if people payed as much attention to their marriage as they do their wedding, I bet the divorce rate wouldn't be as high! My sister for pictures decorated disposable cameras and set them on each guest table at her reception to have the guests take the pictures. There are so many innovative ways to save your money so that there's more for, oh, I don't know the honey moon, furniture for your house, savings... And the wedding ceremony only lasts all of 10 minutes. We went to Disney World for our Honey Moon (PJ saved up all summer and we were reimbursed by our guests for our wedding) and it was great! Weddings are very exciting but please try to remember it is one step in a lifetime of good decisions. It is not over at the wedding very many things begin with said wedding. (Click for pictures) Alas, I am a capitalist so if you want to throw your money at a wedding, I'm down with that. As always, Just trying to help :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Inconvenience Has a Way

I've been reading Glenn Beck's books and whoever thinks Glenn Beck is stupid or ignorant has not listened, watched, or read his books. His books have been so packed full of information, in order for me to review them I really need to read them a couple more times to start telling you about them. You may not agree with his view points, but he has done his research and with his valid research (not number fudging like Micheal Moore) he makes pretty valid points.

In "An Inconvenient Book" (which made New York Time's Bestseller list BTW) Glenn takes us through isses with our country today and then suggestions on how to solve them. Issues such as Global Warming, Marriage, Radical Islam, Body Image, The Income Gap, Child Molesters, Minimum Wage, and Illigal Immigration, to name a few. This book was published in 2007 but for the most part it is still up to date considering this is all before the election and before "Obama Care".

I've already written about Global Warming and Marriage. He brings up in "Body Image" how sick it is that teenage girls (especially) are being attacked with a completely unatainable, even for the models they look up to, goal. Now there are a lot in the church who take vanity to a whole other level suggesting we should not wear make up or try to look nice at all and I am a make-up-clothes-fitting-clothes-stylish-high-heeled-straightned-hair kinda gal. Frankly it's how I keep my husband interested in me and not the numerous other girls out there, but body image is different than looks. Body image is, well, how you feel about your body and I know even adults struggle with this. My fix is eat well, don't indulge in sweets (they really do add on the LBS) and excersize! My goodness people you need to excersize.

Glenn also brought out that the Income Gap is going to happen and inorder for everyone to make the same- we would all be really poor because you can't stop those who want to work hard and succeed from doing so and you can't make those who don't want to, do it. Redistributing wealth to poor people who are just happy receiving and not working is like giving a fat kid a king sized chocolate bar for dinner. Pointless. And there's Minimum Wage. I agree with Glenn when he says there shouldn't be a Federal minimum wage- it should be decided by the states. The cost of living in New York is completely different from that in Texas so why should you base the minimum pay of what one should earn on the same rate? Ah, states and power- wouldn't that be nice?

Glenn also talks about Child Molesters and how there was a man with a website who describes in detail how to skate around the law while getting close to "LG's" (little girls) and even outlines the max/min time one would spend being prosecuted for each offense. He spoke about going to public places such as fairs and spoke about how close he was able to get to "LG's". He even talked about how you could take "LG's" out all day through the big brother program but they usually asssign same sex couples. The police could not arrest him however because there was no proof that he actually broke the law. Parents! Watch out!

So that leaves us with Immigration and Radical Islam, both if spoken about in public would result in accusations of me being racist. Glenn pointed out that not all of our borders are even protected both N and S and there are groups which would like for Canada, USA, and Mexico to be the "North American Union" instead of three different countries. Why is this a problem? Read the book. Glenn also defended Muslims by saying Muslims are not who attacked the country on 9-11 but Radical Islams who happen to be "Muslim" and told us that when illigals get caught crossing the border (illigals- anyone who is crossing the border illigally- anyone) unless they can prove they are from Mexico or Canada they are given permission to go free which is how some of these Radical Islams get into the country. A big gathering place for them as well is in Pheonix, AZ and Radicals also want to institute Sharia Law (basically that whoever is in charge makes the rules including "thou shalt not... fly a kite"). This was a very insightful chapter to me to learn about Sharia Law and learn examples from other countries why giving Radicals their way is very, very dangerous to our society. Once again, I have the book and the audio file. I do suggest you read it. Especially if you're not read up on all things political, you will at least get an idea as to where all the heated debates are coming from and at the very least be informed! Vote- it's what we do.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Lost Symbol!

I'm pretty sure Dan Brown is my favorite author. When I read his books I eat them up. I cannot put them down! In this case I was listening to the book which made the experience a little different. For example, Dan Brown splits his books up into usually pretty small chapters and you know when a POV is changing because he begins a new chapter. Even though the reader announced each chapter change, it took a little getting used to not seeing the change myself. The movies of his books have also ruined everything I imagined about Robert Langdon. I love Tom Hanks in Big, Forrest Gump, The Terminal.. but when I imagined Robert Langdon- Tom Hanks was not what I imagined. The begining of this book took a lot of me trying to fight the image of Tom Hanks out of my mind when I went into the imaginary world of Robert Langdon and eventually I got him out of my mind, but it was a little rough at first. I enjoy Dan Brown's books for the above reason (character change/chapter change) and his immense knowledge of symbols. I think I would love history more if I didn't have to remember when things happened instead of remembering what happened. Dan Brown likes to play with words and explain them, not only their definition, but their history and derivation (my word) or from where they derived which I find completly interesting. I guess I have a little conspiracy in me after watching 6 seasons of The X-Files (oh agent Mouldah).

Needless to say I have a lot to say about this book: The Lost Symbol. I don't want to give away too much about the plot and I don't want to go on and on so I'll try to be brief. This story takes place in Washington DC where Robert is asked very last minute by who he thinks is one of his dear friends to give a lecture on Masons. I will stop here and say I totally respect the Masons. My grandad is a Mason and one of my father in laws is a Mason (I don't like to use the word "step" when talking about my inlaws. They don't have a long nose with a furry mole- their very nice people!) and why wouldn't you respect an organization whose purpose is to immenate honesty and virtue among it's participants? So, I loved learning (bits- I'm sure not everything was true) about Masons. An overall theme, Dan Brown suggests, of Masonry is mankind becoming like God. I emphasize the word "like" because people like to take this belief and distort it to say becoming God. There is a huge difference. To become "like" God means to imulate His characteristics. To become God would mean "God" would have to give up something in order for you to take his place. I don't know if this is a true belief of Masonry (I'm not a Mason) but a look at the scriptures would tell you our potential is there. I won't quote a bunch of scriptures at you (unless you ask) but in the Bible we are supposed to inherit the kingdom of God, we were made in His image (I'll just say- presumably to become "like" Him), and the Bible also states that we are Gods ("are ye not Gods?") So just like in The Da Vinci Code I loved hearing about how Jesus might (Dan Brown never says Jesus did) have had a bride and that woman might have been Mary Magdelene, I loved hearing how universally men have the potential to be God-like.

Another point brought up in this book is universal truth. Dan Brown danced around saying those exact words, but this is my interpretation of what he meant. He writes a lot about how different symbols or ideas are "passed down" or even "taken" by different cultures and societies and to me that testifies of a universal truth. At the heart of every major religion there is a "Supreme Being", in most major religions there is a "flood story", symbols and prophecies are the same or are similar and logically you might say we played a bit of "go fish" with all these cultures but to me it testifies of how truth is universal and that these things show up in each culture or society because it is true. It did happen and there is a "Master Architect" overseeing all His creations. I hope Dan Brown continues his research and continues writing because I loved this book, at least as much as The Da Vinci Code and I certainly suggest it! I can send you the file or I did see the book on Amazon for $9.99!