Friday, October 24, 2008


This is our dog, Nick.
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I was thinking this morning. I'm really glad to have a dog, especially this one. He's a really great dog. He obeys better than my kids do. He knows his place in the family -dead last- and he's great with that. I don't have to cook for him (which I hate). I don't have to drive him around or ferry his friends to and from footballs games, practices, etc. I've never had to wait up at night for him to come home. He doesn't mind being chained up in the back yard, in fact he sits there nicely waiting for you to fasten the chain to his collar. He barks only when he's excited and never talks back. When he wants something he'll put his head on my lap and then lead me to the back door or his food dish. His needs are clear, simple and easy to accommodate. When I come home he greets me with enthusiasm and excitement. Some days he's the most friendly face I see. When I talk he listens and doesn't tell me what to do. He trusts that I can take care of things.

So what if he stinks a bit (sometimes a lot). So what if there is dog hair ALL OVER the floor, the couch, the chair, clogging the vacuum, etc. So what if his food attracts ants. So what if there is dog slobber on my back door. So what if he won't leave Charissa's dog, Ginger, alone (he's a boy dog, she's a girl dog, it's what dogs do). So what.

I like my dog. But EVEN BETTER he likes me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Pictures

Autumn is my favorite season. I've used fall colors to decorate my house (mostly). I decided a couple of years ago that for my lil'darlin's yearly photos I'd take them myself with the Autumn leaves as a background. Well, I done did it this evening. I think they are awesome!


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Smile Award - FINALLY!

About two months ago I was given a smile award by my blogger hero, Becky, at abbastories. I was, and still am, code illiterate. This blogging stuff is fun and the more I do it the more I become aware that the links, and cropping, and code, and formats and etc, etc. is way more than I know or want to take the time to learn. So in August when she gave me the award I thanked her and said that when I figured out how to link I would post the award and follow the rules. Well, I still don't know if I've figured it out but I'm gonna make an attempt at it. So here goes!

The Smile Award Rules:

1. You must link back to the award's creator. (I'm not sure how to do this so here's the link - I think?)
2. Post these rules.
3. Choose 5 people to pass this award along to.
4. Fit the award recipient characteristics posted by the award's creator.
5. Post the recipient characteristics.
6. Create a post sharing your win with others.
7. Thank your giver.

The Smile Award Recipient Characteristics:

1. Must be known for a cheerful attitude
2. Must love one another
3. Must make mistakes
4. Must learn from others
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids

I lovingly bestow this award on the following qualified recipients:

1. Kristen at Just Breathe
2. Angie at Leaping thru Life
3. Lisa at A Backstage Pass
4. The Narrator at Stories For Us
5. Tammy at Time Flies

Thank you, my blogisphere friends, for bringing smiles to me! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Questions from my Cousin

Some time ago a cousin of mine posed a very good question. Because her blog is private, only open to those she invites, I have (with her permission) posted some of it here. I invite you to ponder her point, see what you think and respond.

Here are her words:
Think of any family that has all of their children grown up for the most part. Is it me, or does practically any family you think of have at least one child who has strayed or who is struggling in some way? Why is that? Especially when you're talking about some of the strongest families in your church growing up, or family members (close or extended) that you love dearly, that all have some of the most awesome parents ever. Despite parents providing a perfect loving home, centered around Christ, they still always seem to lose at least one child in some way. Sometimes this loss is just temporary and the child overcomes their struggles and comes back. But this seems to be very rare.

It makes me a little disheartened as I'm trying to raise my young family. Sometimes I look at my children and actually have the thought come to my mind, "Which one of these sweet spirits is going to go astray?" "Which one of these sweet spirits is going to cause me heartache beyond compare?" Because it seems like the odds are against me - that no matter how well I try and raise them, the fact remains that they have their own agency. Yet we have been promised such things as, "Teach a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from it" and other promises such as how children who have gone astray will come back to parents who have lived righteously, etc. But how can they make such promises when all the families I think about, usually aren't getting those "promised blessings"? I mean even look at the scriptures. All of those families always had children go astray as well: Abraham and Ishmael, Adam had Cain, etc - but there's very few stories where the "lost" children come back - and these are prophets we're talking about! In general, the parents die believing their children are "lost". Then my mind goes to Heavenly Father - even he "lost" many children. Is that why we must all suffer the same type of pain and anguish - is that part of our "growing" process here on Earth to help make us more Christ-like?

I'm really quite disturbed by it all. I'm not going to lie. The thought of any of my children going off into evil or destructive paths breaks my heart already. The thought alone brings tears to my eyes and makes me feel like there is no way I can endure such heartache later on in my life. I would really like some insight and advice about this topic. My heart is quite troubled whenever I think about this subject and my heart breaks for all those mothers out there who are dealing with this issue. Every time I hear of someone else I know who has "left the fold" so to speak, my heart sinks. Not that I'm totally living the way I should and feel like I'm better than anyone else, Quite the contrary. But just watching the heartache it causes those families, just tears me up inside. Is there no way of caging up my children and keeping them close by me forever? Maybe the compounds in Texas have the right idea (minus the abuse and polygamy)!

This was my comment back to her, but I anxiously await to see yours as well.
This is definitely a topic that hits way too close to my heart. Also, I've really liked reading what everyone else has said. I have a couple of things to add:
First, We kept our first estate, chose Father's plan. That plan, whose central elements are agency and the atonement of Jesus Christ, is simple in that respect. However, I think, that His plan is far more complex and individual to each of His children. I think that His plan includes distinct plans for us, individually. He has and does prepare the path for every person to come unto Him. That is why the atonement is universal and personal at the same time.

The second thing I have to add is that we were never intended to get through our second estate without coming to completely rely on Heavenly Father. I know that as I have struggled with those who have "fallen" I have come to see my own weaknesses, the places that I thought I was enough without Him and the ways I have come to rely more and more on my Savior and my Father. I think that the anguish of seeing those we love "fall" is part of the plan that shows us (those who think we are not "fallen") how much we truly need the atonement and our complete dependence upon God.

Lastly, I am constantly reminding myself that it was His plan I chose and still choose, NOT my plan. I often try to think that my plan and His plan are the same. Thankfully, they are NOT.

I would love to see your thoughts....Please share!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unfinished Paper

I have become VERY lax at posting things regularlly...sorry...I'm crazy busy with school stuff. Actually I have a paper due in a few hours. I don't want to do it, I'm feeling a bit discouraged, and instead of finishing it I'm posting here....

This paper (I'm supposed to be finishing) is comparing curriculum guides from the school district's standards with the state standards and national standards for science. I chose 5th grade. The crazy thing is that I'm comparing a 7 page document (district science standards), a 5 page document (state science standards) and a 265 page book (national science standards). I just don't want to do it. It makes me aware of the immense expectations, and I don't know how reality, resources, time, and large class size can make possible.

Too much the focus for education (because of NCLB) has become reading and math skills. The pressure and consequences have caused many schools to neglect science education or to give it only a few minutes each week. How can I give my students all that I know they need and deserve?

My instructor has shown us teaching methods and tools (kits) that incorporate science into other content areas. These kits have been shown to give depth in science understanding and also to increase student achievement in math, reading and literary arts. BUT, the local school districts, which used to use them, have abandoned them for the sales pitch of a text book.

What the heck? How can anyone REALLY teach science from a BOOK?

So paper is going to be late....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Cool Mom Moment

Last night my girls and I made a necessary trip to Target. SUNSHINE was way past due needing a new bra or two, SUGAR needed long pants (minus torn knees) and SWEETHEART was hunting for PJ's. While they waited for me to finish some homework before we went, SUNSHINE laid down and had to be woken up to go. She was groggy and moody as we all got into the car. SUGAR (10 yrs old) was hyped up and excited. The contrast between their two moods collided like big horn sheep biding for superiority. Neither backed down and each was pushing the other's buttons relentlessly. The drive to Target was not fun. Trying to play referee and drive was unsuccessful. I resorted to repeatedly calling back, "Be nice!" "Be nice!", "Girls! That's enough, please, be kind."

When we got to the store the two older girls took off in one direction and SUGAR and I beelined for the girls section. We crossed paths several times at the dressing rooms. At one point as we were all leaving the dressing area back for another attempt at new sizes and styles I heard, just behind me, SUNSHINE say, "I'm sorry for being such a jerk." Then SUGAR responded, "It's OK I was being pretty annoying." In shock and disbelief I looked back to see them walking each with their arms around the other. It was about all I could do to keep walking and not burst with pride and announce to the whole store what an amazing thing had just occurred. Each girl accepted her part of the earlier head butting, apologized and forgave.


I got a glimpse of how God must feel when we make amends to each other bringing us closer to Him and removing barriers that draw us, His children, to one another.

VERY, Very, very cool mom moment!