Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31st?!?? Already?!?!???? WHAAAAAT???

Oh my flip. It cannot already be the end of the year.

But, apparently, according to all the calendars and major news media, it is!

So ... I'm still a little sick ... but thanks to my mostly-homeopathic arsenal, I'm feeling a lot better today.

(My arsenal?
  • Chewable Vitamin C - Sour Cherry flavored wafers. MMmmmm.
  • Zinc lozenges - Cool Lemon flavor
  • My Neti pot. At least once a day. Usually twice, though.
  • Cold Calm
  • Chestal - for my cough
  • Monolaurin
  • Acidophilus caplets -- to make sure that the good bacteria crowd out all the nasties that are making me sick.
  • My inhalers
  • Sudafed - prescribed by my OB
  • Vicks Vapor Inhaler (it's a tube of Vicks that you can just sniff)
  • Lavender oil applied over pressure points on my sinuses
  • Warm baths with Eucalyptus oil
Yup, that's quite a bit, I know ... and I've been sleeping in. A LOT. I used to get up around 7-ish. Now I'm lucky to be up by 8:30 ... So, yeah, I'm still bouncing back after Savior of the World.)

Bruise and Bucket had half of their dental work done. The other half should be done SHORTLY before BabyGirl comes (still no nickname for her yet). They were both very brave (Michael went back and sat with them while I sat with whoever wasn't being worked on in the waiting room, since they tend to frown upon pregnant ladies being around Nitrous) and are healing well. Bruise had a tooth extracted (BAD cavity) ... so he's sporting a spacer in his mouth (to keep everything in place until his grown-up teeth come in) ... and has a little tooth-hole in there. But he's eating and drinking and doing just fine. Bucket had one cap done (as did Bruise).
However SHE was much more affected by the Nitrous than he was. She was a little loopy and drooling and, well, adorably, pitifully, hilarious.
Kinda like "David After Dentist:"



Besides that, we've kept kinda quiet. Done a little shopping/browsing. I got a new maternity support belt (Couldn't find my old one. Oops!).
We did take the kids to see "Puss in Boots" at a movie theater. It was cute. And, exhausted as I was, I was able to stay awake during the whole show. Michael and I even got to hold hands for a little. (And, really, for $3/ticket, it was great ... even with one lady walking in front of us at least three times to catch one of the kids in her party. But, really ... for less than $5 a ticket, what do you expect?)

Today we cleaned up the house ... well, we made HUGE PROGRESS in picking up the house.
I cleaned up the bathroom counter (which Michael had insinuated he'd appreciate) this morning. He had taken down almost all the Christmas decor by himself (with some help from the kids. And a little from me). We cleaned the living room and dining room, did some dishes, folded and put away some laundry, vacuumed. I cleaned off my desk (It's never PERFECT, but it's a WHOLE LOT CLEANER). I gave Michael a haircut. Finally got a shower and brushed my teeth and shaved my legs and underarms (It's easy to keep up with my underarms ... but my legs? Those are harder to reach. I'm so glad that I'm this heavily pregnant in the cold months. Makes it easier to wear pants and hide it when I don't keep up with my legs).

We still need to finish up the dishes. And the laundry. But the kids' room is a bit cleaner. And our room needs some more work ... but ... well, if I can keep up some energy every day to clean a little, it should be fine when the kids' birthday party comes around in a couple weeks.

Michael went out to pick up sparkling cider (our one big tradition for New Year's. What do we do at midnight? We sleep! Yup, we're such rebels.) ... and came home with pizza and soda. Good man. I'll definitely keep him. Especially since he gave me a foot rub earlier today.

So ... I suppose that I should have some New Year's resolutions ... Um ...
  • We're going to have Family Home Evening.
    We bought a FHE Assignment board over at Deseret Book (on sale, even!!) and the kids are excited about using it. Now to plan what to do. And which day will really work best for us. ^_^
  • I NEED to establish a habit of Scripture Study. I'll accept any and all hints/tricks that you have.
  • I plan to establish a nap schedule ... but this won't get very finalized until after BabyGirl comes. I wonder if she's going to be like her siblings. 10 AM = naptime ... which is the same time that storytime is ... which made life not so fun. Either they'd have a great nap and miss Storytime OR they'd be crankypants during storytime and take a crap nap ... and I'd miss out on a fun opportunity for adult interaction ... *sigh*
  • I will drop the baby weight. Which shouldn't be too hard (*knocks on wood*), as long as BabyGirl is as good of a nurseling as her siblings were. And I really hope she is. I'm a fan of nursing. Cheap/freeish? No prep really necessary? BRING IT ON! ^_^ (Yes, I AM lazy. And I can nurse in my sleep. ... As long as I have something underneath to catch the drool/leaks that occur. Hey, just keeping it real, y'all.)
  • I will go out more often with BabyGirl than I did with Bruise and Bucket.
    Bruise and Bucket are big enough to be helpful. And I'll only have to have one baby carrier on me. (Also, I'm going to try babywearing. Wish me luck!) So I won't have as many excuses for not getting out and mingling with the world. I can't always be a slightly-agrophobic hermit, right?
  • After this girl is born and I have the okay, I WILL put the spark back in my marriage.
    My husband is kind, patient, and long-suffering. He deserves carnal favors rewards.
    Now, I'll just have to find that energy. 
  • When I'm not cooking dinner ... or making healthy lunches and breakfasts for my family. Because that's important, too.
  • I will get RID of this stupid plague-cough.
  • I will make it on time to church ... which will be harder since we're now meeting two hours earlier. And, in a few more weeks, I'll have THREE (not two) kids to get ready ... along with my lazy buns.
And ... I think that's it. For now, anyways.

Also, before I forget, HAPPY NEW YEAR'S!!! Hope your 2012 is full of wonderful experiences and happy memories!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another post in which I attempt to catch up

Still hacking. Still snuffy.
Still tempting fate by using my neti pot with tap water. Yup, we're dealing with a bad-heinie here.

In other news, we survived Christmas. And we had presents for everyone. Phew!!

Now I need to get thank-you notes cranked out. And have the kids do them, too. Better get in the habit, right?? ^_^

What else have we done? Let's go through the list ...
  • We had a playdate over at Joseph and Jenny's. Which was a blast. For the kids and myself. I got to chat with one of my favorite couples EVER. (We've known each other for over a decade ... and Michael's family and Joseph's family have been friends since the early 80s. In fact, Joseph's sister and Michael were best friends in the first grade. I enjoyed getting to know her better during Savior of the World. Good times all around.)
    And they humored me as I added some black humor to the Christmas cookies we decorated. (Hey, the angel's wing had TOTALLY fallen off. It was BEGGING to have some gel-blood and x-out eyes and a screaming mouth! Michael tells me that they shouldn't humor me with this. Spoilsport. :P ... I know that he's secretly proud of me.)
  • We finished Christmas shopping. Even though I ALMOST forgot Michael's grandma. ALMOST. But we didn't. And people seemed to like their presents. PHEW.
  • We went down and visited my family -- Nana, Mom and C, Dad and L, and my Aunt J. And that was very nice. Even though I got about the worst night's sleep, with the kids in the same room (since Bucket was HACKING and snorting. And I had to keep waking up ANYWAYS to pee. And then I couldn't fall back asleep with her racket AND my stepdad's snoring being audible THROUGH the wall. Oh well). AAAAAND, in other news, Mom and C discovered why the well kept running dry (a hose that's leaking will drain it pretty easily! But that's all fixed now. And I don't have to stress about now being able to flush the toilet or wash my hands after peeing THREE TIMES in the night. Ugh).
  • We enjoyed the Ward Christmas party (BEST SWEET POTATOES EVER. Srsly, they tasted like pumpkin pie! SO GOOD!) ... and we also got to go to church on Christmas. We had been told (and so budgeted our time) that it would only be an hour-long meeting. But it was longer. So we were later getting up to Mom and Dad C's than we would have liked. But it was all fine.
  • Even though the kids ended up getting into trouble. ONE COUSIN told Bruise that he had to take off his pants. Which Mom Cox walked in on him with his pants down. Bucket and the other older cousin didn't stop it. ... And later, a younger cousin flashed his goods to the girls. ... I love my family ... but sometimes I really think that some of their cousins are not great influences on my kids. They get SO ROWDY when they're together ... but maybe that's just what happens in larger families (I wouldn't know, seeing as how I only got [older, out of the house-type older] stepsiblings when I was 16).
    Still, I gave Bruise and Bucket THE TALK about respecting everyone's bodies, INCLUDING THEIR OWN, and being like superheroes ... in STOPPING bad behavior. --- That it's okay (in fact, ENCOURAGED) to say, "No, that's not fun/ny. Let's do something else." And that if someone DOES try to get them to take off clothes without their parents in the room, to go tell an adult. STAT!!!! ... And that (I hope) ends my rant.
  • We went to ZooLights ... and waited in a CRAZYLONG line for the train. But it was good overall ... even though this fetal-girl kept trying to stretch out THROUGH my abdomen. Owwwww. And, wow, after all the walking we did, I was SORE. My back hurt, my feet hurt ... and I was exhausted.
  • Bucket got her Christmas wish (after thinking that Santa didn't love her and wouldn't deliver) -- She now has two goldfish: Bubbles and Fishie. They are orange and white fantails. And they've happily acclimated to our house. Freyja-cat enjoys watching them, too. (Well, when she's not playing with HER Christmas swag. Obviously, she was a very good kitty this year.)
  • We've worked at cleaning the house ... progress has been made. And there's still room for improvement. I scrubbed out the shower while I was in there today. I won't tell you how badly it needed it, though. Ew.
But yeah, Bucket got her reply from Santa last Wednesday or Thursday. She read it and cried since Santa described goldfish as slippery and slimy, saying that they might be hard to take in his sleigh.
And she did get a fish tank and supplies for Christmas, along with a gift card to be able to pick out her own fish. It came with a letter from Santa, telling her that Mrs. Claus told Santa that it'd be too cold on the trip to take goldfish ... unless she wanted a fish-sicle. But there was the gift card that enabled her to get TWO fish, a fake plant, a little home for them to swim through, and a thermometer for the outside of the tank. With the $20 gift card, $5 of PetCo Rewards, and a 20% off freshwater fish coupon, we were out of the store only having shelled out eighty cents out of pocket. Phew!
And, when I explained to her, before we went to the store, that the gift card had quite a bit of money on it, Bucket said, slightly awed, "I guess Santa really does love me after all!" Huh, ya think??? :P

I can't wait to be over this plague, this creeping crud that I have. I'd like to be able to breathe through my nose ALL THE TIME. And not cough. AT ALL.
And then, after I have this little girl, I'll be able to sleep at night without having to wake up 2-3 times (on average) to pee. Or I won't go pee and then realize five minutes later that I have to PEE! AGAIN!!!

Later this week, the kids have a dental appointment. And Michael gets to go. Which is good. Since I don't know that they'll let me back with the kids, since they're going to be using Nitrous ... and it's not really good for the baby. And it's not like I can lie about being pregnant, since I'm feeling huge. AND I'm WADDLING (stupid center of gravity having shifted).

It's been pouring today. That should be good for the reservoirs and all. It's been such a dry fall/winter so far.  I hardly knew what to do with non-wet Oregon weather. :P

The kids watched Kung Fu Panda 2 today. They liked it. And I agree, it was cute. I still wish that Jackie Chan (who voices Monkey) got more lines. I heart Jackie Chan.

Bruise has enjoyed playing our game of Battleship (a Christmas present) with Michael.

Oh, we also went to Deseret Book ... the kids had gotten Triple Combinations (for those who don't know Mormon-speak, those are Book of Mormon/Doctrine and Covenants/Pearl of Great Price) for Christmas from my mom. We picked them up Bibles (to complete the set) and Scripture bags to tote them to church. My babies are growing up! They were pretty excited to get their own scriptures, too. Which warms the cockles of my cold, shriveled-up, little heart.

Bruise is reading more and more. At the Book Fair at his school almost two months ago, his choice was a Lego Sticker Book. ... So we've worked it out that HE reads the book (collection description and character descriptions), and as he reads the character descriptions, we put the stickers in there, one by one.
He only has about ten pages left. I keep being more and more impressed by how much of a reader he is.
Bucket still excels at reading. Frankly, I think she'd going to start reading chapter books without any pictures before I'm ready for her to do so.
But Bruise is making such progress. I'm very pleased with them both.

Michael got me a new subscription for Mental_Floss. AND a t-shirt.
(It's the one "I'm an English Major. You do the math." ... No, I'm not an English major. I'm an ECE/Elementary Ed major ... with emphasis areas in Children's Theater and Asian History. I was one year away from having German as an emphasis ... but I was kinda scared of the other German teacher. I had the nice one for my two years of foreign language.)
Now I need to get myself the "Comma Sutra: Making Language Sexy since 1875" tee. It makes me laugh.
So does the "Christians Have The Best Sects" one ... I'm such a bad influence, huh? :P

Well, the kids and Michael will be back at school and work, respectively, next week ... So we're trying to make the most of what we can do right now.
Which makes me REALLY IRRITATED that I'm not completely healthy and well-rested. It feels like I'm dragging down the rest of them. *sigh* Oh well. We're still getting things done.

Even if it involves me being woken up to help save the fish tank after Bruise (trying to be helpful) WAY OVERFED the fish ... and Michael rinsed out almost all the gravel, we had to suction out a lot of flake-infused water ... It was not restful. And I was a cranky mamma-jamma. Ugh. Oh well.

But, besides that, we're doing well and are VERY MUCH enjoying having Michael home for the week.
If it were up to the kids, he'd retire so he could be home that much more.
And, really, I wouldn't argue.
Now, if only we could afford that.

(But we're SO CLOSE now to having the van paid off. Then to pay off his school loan. ... Then it's just the mortgage to go!! Wish us luck! Pray for lots of business for his company! ^_^)

Hope you all had a very wonderful holiday season!

(In other news, we have a Hanukkah velcro chart ... the kids love putting up the candles every evening. Now, if only I could find where I put the dreidels ... since we DID buy those gold-wrapped chocolate coins ... Now, if you can say some prayers so I can find THOSE, I'd appreciate it!!)

Renuzit Fresh Accents - Review

****Disclaimer: I received two free samples of the Renuzit Fresh Accents Air Fresheners for this post.
This is because I'm a Purex Insider. ... Because I like free stuff AND I like Purex.
Just keeping it real. Since these are my honest, candid opinions. Because that's what I do. ^_^


Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I can give you my honest review (since that's the point) of this review ... and of being a Purex Insider.

Truth be told, I ONLY JUST opened one of them today... and I received my kit back in October.
It's been a little crazy around here, can you tell?

BUT, with only having the Winterberry scent freshener out, I can honestly tell you that my bathroom smells MUCH better (Now, just ignore the major pile of dirty laundry and the huge amount of clutter. Please??)

I did notice that Michael's grandma, when we were visiting family at Christmas has the Festive Snow scented freshener in HER bathroom ... and it does smell really nice, too.

There also were three coupons for free air fresheners ... and I WOULD share ... EXCEPT that they expire at the end of this week! Oops!!! So ... well, the thought was there. But, maybe it's just THAT much more important for my house to smell nice. Especially since, in a couple months, we'll have dirty diapers and spit-up to deal with.
(And, really? One of those puppies is SO going into the kids' bathroom. I don't think I have to tell you why. And that's the bathroom that, generally, I clean most often! And it STILL needs air fresheners in there!! Ew!)

But, since I haven't had mine out of the box for long, I can't tell you much about their longevity.
They're supposed to last for 30 days, in case you wondered.
And, judging by the other air fresheners in the Renuzit family, I'm betting they'll last pretty well.
And they ARE pretty. The holders have little snowflake-designs cut out of them. And I hear that they're really pretty in a window or somewhere they can have light shining through them.

If you have any questions about MY experience with them, just ask.
If you just want to know about the product, go and mosey over to http://www.renuzit.com/products/winter-berry-fresh-accents/ and check them out (You can click through to look at the Festive Snow-scented one, too).

And, in full disclosure, I'll let you know that some air-fresheners are WAY STRONG right out of the box (especially to someone who happens to be pregnant and has a bloodhound's sense of smell [well, when she doesn't have the plague, that is] ... This is not one of them. It smells really nice. Strong enough to be noticeable, but not strong enough where I have the urge to wrap it in plastic. ^_^

So, could I honestly recommend this? Sure! It's pretty and smells nice. And it doesn't take up a whole lot of room.  So, yeah, I'm feeling pretty lucky. ^_^

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Mucous Has Arrived ...

Okay, firstly, I FINALLY added my favicon!
Go look! On the tab! That cute itsy-bitsy picture of Bruise and Bucket?
Yup, I made that AGES ago.
And I only learned that Blogger allows favicons EASILY ... starting ... somewhat recently.

But, yeah.

So, what else is going on in my neck of the woods?
Let's see ... I last posted nearly a week ago ... here's the breakdown:
  • We did five nights of performances for Savior of the World.
    Things went well. Michael says that Friday night was probably the strongest performance. But that the "Glory song" was best on Saturday night.
    I totally made that high note my .... PUPPY.
  • Friday night, I started taking Cherry Coke. Medicinally. And another on Saturday. And a Vanilla Coke on Sunday.
  • Sunday, Bucket started coughing. And then threw up. She's doing better. Feeling better ... Still coughing.
  • I am now sick, though. Started with a sore throat and a cough. Now it's just all in my sinuses. So I'm blowing my nose. A LOT. GROSS.
  • I got to help out Friday morning in the kids' classrooms with an art project.
    But don't tell me! It's a SURPRISE for the parents!!! ;P
  • I still need to get presents for the kids' teachers.
    And do laundry.
    And the dishes.
    And clean the rest of the house ...
    It never ends.
  • I need naps. Lots of naps.
  • We drove around town and took the kids to see lots of Christmas lights. That was fun.
  • We've also noticed that Bruise talks a lot more (and uses a MUCH larger vocabulary) since starting school. His Spanish is actually probably better than Miss Bucket's. (Though she IS an overachiever in almost every area ... proven by their report cards. Bruise's was perfectly fine. We're proud of both of them). He is SO PROUD of the fact that he is now a READER and that he's SMART. (Bucket's been a good reader for a while, so it's all old-hat to her, you see.)
  • I need to start working on scarves for them. They've both requested scarves ... probably since I am wearing scarves nearly every day. (This morning? 29°F out there!!! COLD!!)
  • I need to get a haircut. I just don't know how short I want to go. But I definitely want to even out my layers in the back. They do NOT look good. :( Especially when it's cold out and my hair starts to go frizzy. Which is my own dang fault for coloring it as much as I do.
  • I need to clean off my desk ... along with all the OTHER CLEANING and organizing that needs to happen around here ... it's been crazy with rehearsals and performances ... and now I'm sick. Poor house. Poor people who have to live here ...
  • I made sloppy joes last night. They turned out well. Which was satisfying, since I felt just shy of death earlier. (I HATE having to mouth-breathe. It's GROSS.
  • Baby girl is kicking me right now ... Silly girl. She still needs a nickname. And I WANT to give her one. But the other kiddos ... I waited until they were out of the womb and I could get a real handle on their personalities ... And they BOTH have nicknames with the same letter ... should I continue that trend? I don't know .... Thinking is HAAAAAAAAAAAARD!!! Waaaaaaah!!!
  • My neti pot is officially one of my BESTEST friends this week. I should go use it again. Like, right now. So I don't have to be a mouth-breather.
  • We're getting through the Ramona books (by Beverly Cleary) with the kids for story-story (i.e., bedtime stories that aren't reading the Scriptures). They like Ramona ... it's fun. Especially since Michael and I both read (at least some) of the Ramona books when we were kids.
    I would like to read more Christmas-y books to them (e.g., The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Forgotten Carols, and ones like those ... but ... we're just running out of time. And the kids REALLY wanted more Ramona books. So I won't argue.)
  • I need to start my holiday baking ... once I'm not a mucous-spewing mouth-breather.
    I'd like to put together some plates of cookies for some folks. And make cinnamon rolls. And maybe gingerbread. Or pumpkin bread. Or all of the above ... ^_^
And ... well, I think that's about enough of my life in summation ... it's mostly been busy ... but small busy.
Tonight, I think Michael and I will curl up and watch another DVD of Big Bang Theory Season 4. Haven't gotten to do that for a long while now.

But we have watched White Christmas (which the kids liked more than I thought they might. But, really, I shouldn't have been surprised. How can you go wrong with Danny Kaye? Or Bing?) and Holiday Inn (which Michael and I watched alone. It was our first time seeing that one. I prefer White Christmas ... you get Danny Kaye in there, too. ^_^). The kids have been watching some other Christmas shows. I need to bring out Mr. Kruger's Christmas (How can you not LOVE Jimmy Stewart? He's so darling. And humble ... I mean, really ... go read about what all he did in WWII. He's AMAZE-balls.) and It's a Wonderful Life ... along with Miracle on 34th Street (the CLASSIC. With Natalie Wood. I didn't care for the newer one. Ugh. ... YES, I AM a snob. I'm aware).

But first, I NEED to get fully healthy again.
And for this little girl to stop trying to push my left hip out. Owwwwww. (I understand that it's getting crowded in there. That is NOT my fault. Stop punishing me!!!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Busy, busy, busy ...

And here's why I haven't been posting regularly (well, when I haven't been distracted by reading other blogs, that is):


  • After Thanksgiving, we set up the Christmas tree.
    We also have been watching Christmas movies ... making full use of our Netflix account and the new entertainment system.
    (Michael really enjoyed how clear and vivid "White Christmas" is on our new TV. ... And, remarkably, the kiddos really enjoyed it, too. I didn't think it'd keep their attention ... but, combined with peppermint hot cocoa and some kettle-style corn [I added peppermint syrup to hot cocoa. And air-popped some corn, then added butter, some sugar and a sprinkle of sea salt], they sat and enjoyed it.)
  • I've had lots of rehearsals for Savior of the World. Performances start tonight.
    After the kids go to school, I'm running a few errands, getting a shower, a friend's coming over to help clean up my house (Yes, I have friends that do that!), then I'm running the kids up to their grandparents' house (who will bring them down for the performance ... the kids can go home with Michael. ... But I have to be in stage prep 1.5 hours BEFORE Michael gets home most days. *sigh*). And, after tonight's performance, I'm on clean-up crew ... so I'll be home even later tonight than usual.
    THAT'S why I made sure that we finished reading "Ramona the Brave" last night ... since we won't have time to read that bedtime story until Sunday.
  • Tomorrow, my mom's coming up. She'll watch the kids (and bring them to that night's performance) where Michael will meet them there.
  • Thursday, Michael's taking off early from work ... to take the kids to THAT night's performance.
    Friday, he has his early day ... and they're still planning on coming to that performance.
  • Saturday, I have the cast party (and then a finger-food-type early dinner) and the last performance.
Then I am going to want to hibernate.
The kids have one more week of school after this week ... then Christmas break starts ... and I plan on sleeping in a little.
I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

And, truly? I don't want to go out and brave the 28°F weather this morning.
No snow predicted ... just freezing fog. *sigh*
Better grab my boots and coat and gloves and scarf NOW.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For #29 & 30

Yes, I've fallen behind. AGAIN.

And it's going to only get worse this week. Just giving you fair warning.

BUT, here ... to (belatedly) finish up November, here are the last bits of gratitude (for the 2011 list, anyways).

29. I'm thankful for Christmas music. I love it. Even though I get all verklempt when I think about this poor, little innocent whose purpose is to grow up, teach us how to treat one another, and then be sacrificed by his own people for no crime.
And then I have to think about how amazingly INTENSE this gift He gave us is ... and how all-encompassing it is. And how much He and our Heavenly Father LOVE us to do this for us ... And how wise Heavenly Father is to have forseen that mankind would NEED a Savior to redeem us. And how much He loves us to make it possible for us to not only be able to return to Him ... BUT to be able to make our own choices -- especially when these choices don't always benefit us at all. Or when these choices we make hurt others.
But it's ... awe-inspiring ... that everything will be made right.

I know that not everyone is a huge C.S. Lewis fan (although I very much like his writings and respect his opinions) ... and so I really enjoy his Chronicles of Narnia (yay for Christian allegory! ... And the more that I read them, the more that I find wonderful expressions of the Plan of Salvation ... and that makes me happy.), but, when I think of the wonderful Plan of Salvation (which is, truly, the Plan of Happiness), I do reflect on bits from Lewis' writings.

Namely:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.


And that comforts me. Quite a lot.
That no matter what has happened, things will be fixed. No one will have to suffer, especially for things that were caused by the actions/choices of others. That, truly, as Isaiah said, "with his stripes, we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)

It comforts me that, no matter what I, my friends, my family, or complete strangers are going through ... IT WILL BE MADE RIGHT.

There is a plan. It will work out for our benefit.

Right now (and, honestly, throughout all history), there are terrible things that happen.
There are things that occur that I wish my children would never have to learn about.
I wish that I didn't know about them ... in that I wish these things never existed ...

Child abuse, rape, discrimination, genocide, ... so many awful things ...
BUT, we have a true assurance that NO MATTER WHAT, Christ will fix things.

As sung in The Messiah (again with Isaiah ... they don't call him a poet-prophet for nothing!):
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.


The government will be upon his shoulder. He will be in charge. He has the power and the ability to put all to rights. Government corruption will end. Help will go to all those who need it. Justice and mercy will be fulfilled.

And ... the idea of all this ... it amazes me. It comforts me.
It makes me desire to be better, so that when this day finally comes, I will be ready.
I will be prepared to meet the eyes of my Lord, my Savior, my dear elder brother (since we are all children of God) ... whose name we take upon baptism ... and I won't be ashamed at how long it's been since I gave a sincere personal prayer. Or actually studied (as opposed to skimmed) the Scriptures.

That will be a good day. A good millennium, in fact.

But, as C.S. Lewis put it ... "sorrows will be no more." 
And, truly, that is what I would like best for everyone to have.
And I'm grateful that, in the plan of happiness, a way for that has been prepared. Guaranteed, even.

29.1 - After typing all that, I'm grateful for Kleenex.
Just sayin'.

30. Again, I'm grateful for technology (even though sometimes, when it's not working as we'd like it, it CAN drive me BONKERS).
Just this last week alone, I've been able to watch the First Presidency Devotional (well, MOST of it. I'll watch it over again. Promise!!) ... and it's wonderful that they've announced, as a Christmas gift to the world,  the new website that allows us to watch videos the Church has worked on about the life of Christ (They're working on a whole series of Biblical stories).

Also, a cousin (distant) has gotten in contact with me.
She sent me a few pictures of my Nana's (my dad's mom's) grandparents.
I had never seen a picture of Nana's grandmother, Annie, before. So that was a treat.
And, Jo (my cousin) sent me a picture with her father and my great-grandparents ... and she added that she thought the other woman in the picture was my grandmother (aka Nana).
She was right. And I was able to let her know that the other man in the photo was my Pop-pop (Dad's dad). It was very nice to be able to see their pictures again.

I also find fun things to read that keep me entertained (and, hopefully, be a little more entertaining).

And, really, I don't know how I'd get by without my smartphone. It's good that Michael knows me so well to get me something that I really use (EVERY DAY!) and adore. Yup, and doing it through technology just sweetens the deal. ;P

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