Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's too early for attempts at clever titles

A few days ago, I had a crazy/creepy dream.

In it, there was a bookstore (good thing), but the girl who worked there had noticed something odd while she was closing up by herself (it was a BIG, like two-storied at least, with an elevator, building. Seemed rather historical-type of building). She had dropped a pile of her books and ran out, coming to me and some dark-haired guy for help.

We were debating on waiting until it was daytime again to go back, when Bubbles took off and RAN into the building. So, then, OF COURSE we had to go and get her ... might as well get those books while we're in there.

We went up to the floor where the books had been dropped.
For some reason, we ended up sitting at this HUGE, HEAVY wooden table ... and started taking pictures with our phones. As I took a selfie, I noticed that there were a couple statues behind me.
One was a fisherman in a blue hat. The other was some grey female-type statue.

Kind of like this. But in color, without the plaque or wheel.
And, like, ten-trillion times creepier.























As I took a couple more selfies (you know, so that you can guarantee a good shot, you take a handful right after each other), I noticed that the statues were ... getting closer. And the fisherman had this REALLY CREEPY smile on his face, like almost ripping his face in two, it was such a big smile.

I turned around to glance at the statues, since that couldn't be real. Statues don't move. Not that faxt and without help.

And I found myself faced with the statues, which, had indeed moved.

I jumped up, somehow jetting over to the other side of the table (putting the table in between us and the statues), and ... well, I exorcised them in Jesus's name.
And they did stop moving.

And we grabbed up the books, Bubbles, and ourselves and RAN THE HECK OUT of the building.

So... apparently, if The Doctor won't show up, I take matters into my own hands.

But I ended up wide-awake, not wanting to take the chance at closing my eyes, at 3:30AM one day this week.
So I then snuggled into Michael and grabbed the cat. And managed to go back to sleep.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Did you know that my scroll button, when I scroll really fast, sounds rather like a duck? 'Cause it does.

No, I'm not dead.

I wasn't in a coma. Or in prison. Or stuck in a well, waiting for Lassie to fetch help.

Nothing that exciting.

I've just been ... lazy? busy? busy-lazy? lazy-busy?
I don't know.

I have been reading more. So that's something.
I've been trying to get caught up on the bazillion bookmarks I've saved either to my OneTab (LOVE that Chrome extension) or to my list of saved links on Facebook.

I cleaned my desk off (well, mostly. But it's a VAST improvement).
I worked on the "junk counter" ... so that's better.

I'll work on the kitchen, since it's a sty.

I've gotten most of my Visiting Teaching done. Not bragging ... but it does take a little time.
I do my Visiting Teaching, not because I want a trophy ... but because I really want the sisters I've been assigned to visit to KNOW that they matter, that someone loves and cares about them. It makes me sad that not everyone gets Visiting or Home Teachers who are willing to sacrifice a little time to make sure that those sisters/families know they're important enough to merit that sacrifice.
(Which reminded me to go and fill out the VT Survey in my inbox. Which is NOW done.)

Most Christmas presents are bought. Some are even wrapped (not all of them. Not yet. Soon, though).

The good news, I won't be on my lady-cycle on Christmas.
The bad news = I spent a few days FREAKING OUT because I wasn't feeling the true meaning of Christmas ... and I'm not able to go spend Christmas Eve at Nana and Pop-pop's or Christmas morning at my Grandma's house ... and I miss the SMELLS of those places. And you can never go home again because time only goes ONE direction and I hate that and I miss being a child and I miss the feeling of Christmas when I was little ... and  ... and ... and ...

So, well, it made a LOT of sense in a few days. Joy.
(But I have a trunk of my Pop-pop's that spent nearly 40 years in their attic. So it smells like that.
And I discovered that one of the tables from Nana's house has a drawer that smells like their living room at Christmastime ... so that's nice. I wish I could totally bottle those up. Just in case. But I'll accept these as answers to prayers, anyways.)

We had our ward Christmas party. Bubbles had her first dance performance (some of the 2-6 year-olds did a little dance to the hot chocolate song from "The Polar Express"). She had a blast ... though it was a little touch-and-go at times. But, for the majority of the time, she loved it. So that's nice.

I've been teaching my Sunday School class. And I'm bummed at the fact that I'm only keeping one of my students for next year (The rest will be in the 14-15 year-olds class).
And, as I said to Michael today, I've been blogging ... but for them. Because I love them more (no offense. I love you guys, too. And I'll stop being a jerk to you. Pinkie-swears!).
And, it's not even like I've been blogging that well for them, either.

I've gotten through most of my library books. So that's a nice thing.
My main goal is to read my books and not get any more fines ... for, like, the next twenty years or so.

I volunteered a couple times at the kids' school. I've been taking Bubbles to storytimes.
I used to be caught up on dishes and the laundry. That's not the case anymore. Sorry.

We did our family portraits ... just need to get them sent out to people. And the rest of the presents wrapped up.

I (finally) painted my nails.

Bucket and I made brownies a few nights ago.

Michael and I ate cheese. Lots of cheese.
Yeah, I'm sure that we've done other stuff ... but it's been over a month since I blogged and my brain is falling apart. Seriously, it's after 2:30 now and I still haven't taken a shower. And I NEED TO.

We put together our Doctor Who LEGO sets (Michael got me my own. He's sharing his with the kids. Because he's a GOOD DAD). And they had to go and buy the Ant-Man set ... because Bucket NEEDED to get "a messed-up looking dog." (Don't worry, Bruise was totally on board with this, too.)

Bruise earned his Bear patch in Cub Scouts. Now to bust our butts and get him what he needs to finish a couple other things (and hope that our Cubmaster had some arrow points for his uniform, since he earned them, but they've been discontinued).
Aaaaaaaand, I need to sew some patches on. I'm behind.

Well, that's all that's in my head for now.

Just be excellent to each other. I'm tired of news stories and  Facebook posts about people being jerks. There are only so many cat videos that I can watch to combat that ... don't make me find more. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Finally ponderizing

I know, it's been a month since General Conference ... but I'm finally doing the right stuff. Well, trying, anyways.

So, I chose  Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 for this week (even BEFORE the kerfuffle about the new Church policy change/clarification occurred).


Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 - "Look unto me in every thought; Doubt not. Fear not."


I will admit that one of the perks of choosing this verse is that it is SHORT. It's not THE shortest verse in the scriptures ... but it's bite-sized, for sure, in length.

And, with how this week has gone, it's been very helpful. Even though we see "through a glass darkly," and we don't understand all the reasonings behind every bit of doctrine and policy, we can know that we will understand it one day. The truth will come. We will understand.

So, we have two choices:

  • Keep moving forward in faith - knowing that God loves ALL his children, but doesn't approve of all our choices; that He has given us loving leaders who hearken to His voice, for the benefit of the Church and the world; that obeying the commandments of God brings us safety and peace.

    OR
  • We don't. We think that we know better than an omniscient, loving God ... or the leaders that have been called by the Lord. 
I feel for those whose hearts are conflicted. I feel for those who feel that this new policy is hard. I have compassion for them.

Truly, the main reason why I did not automatically meet the news of this announcement with joy was because I know there are those who would malign our leaders as making this policy change out of spite or bigotry. That people out there could think that we, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aren't doing this out of love and compassion for those who struggle with the trial of same-sex attraction.

I have friends who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Does this mean that I love any of them more or less because of their sexual preference?
NO.

(The main reason I like and love people is because of what kind of person they are. I get that everyone is going to sin. Heck, I'm a sinner, too. We all will make different choices. Some will lead us closer to Heavenly Father. Others won't, they'll lead us further away from Him. ... If I decided to only have as friends people who kept the commandments ALL the time, I wouldn't have ANY friends here on earth. We're all in this together. It's our duty to help each other along. It's our duty to show love and compassion to each other. Even when we don't agree.)

Heck, I consider this the same kind of mostly-non-issue as having friends of other religions.
We all have different beliefs and understandings. Dude, even other Latter-day Saints in my WARD (church-speak for congregation) have vastly differing views.
I have friends that are LDS. I have friends that are Catholic. or Baptist. Or Methodist. . Or non-denominational Christian. And there some Christian sects that I haven't even named. I have friends that are atheists. Or agnostics. Or pagan. Or Wiccan. ... I don't know if I have any that are Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist. But I look forward to making friends with them ... because the more that I can learn of their characters and their religions, the better of a person I will be. Not only because I'll have more factual knowledge, of course, but also because I'll be able to better understand THEM and their beliefs and the beauties of the tenants of their faiths.

Just like I appreciate when my friends of differing sexualities help me to learn about and understand them as people. I refuse to pigeon-hole them into their sexuality ... just as I hate to pigeon-hole any of my friends into their race.
It just sounds wrong and belittling to say "my black friend/my lesbian friend/my pagan friend/etc" as if that were the only thing about them.

No, I prefer to think and categorize my friends in better-nuanced ways (i.e., "my friend, L, who teaches theater and I've known since my freshman year of college and we would walk down the main drag of campus saying "little French" and "HORROR" back and forth and had cats named Lucifer and Angel and is hilarious and we joke that we're twins since our first and middle names are so similar and we had tons of fun in German class and she says some of the funniest things and she happens to be black." OR "My friend, H, who I met through blogging and a mutual online friend and she likes cats and she is a powerhouse at working out and she posts some of the most hilarious things on facebook which always makes me smile and laugh and she's just as hilarious when she texts and she wants to be a gangsteeeer when she grows up and I found her doormat for her online and she loved it and actually ordered it which made me feel useful and she's so down-to-earth and seems like the most fun mom/mom-friend ever and she happens to also be a lesbian." OR "My friend, D, who I crushed on my sophomore year of high school and he would insist on carrying my hugely, heavely backpack of doom and he made me the best ever mixed-tape which I still have and he used to have hair like Jareth from Labyrinth and he's very funny and he's a great dad to his girls and I once stabbed him in the leg with a pencil and it left a little scar and he's really forgiven me after I've begged for forgiveness but he loves to rub my nose in it and declares that he'll be telling the  horror story of the ALLANNA when he's in a nursing home to scare the other residents and their families and he's convinced his daughter that he IS Prince Jareth and my friend's daughter that he IS Deadpool and he happens to also be pagan. ... And he and I have some GREAT discussions about religion. He's very well-versed in a lot of mythology that I'm not so knowledgeable about  ... and there are other friends that I have like that.) Yes, there all have differences that I could pigeon-hole these people as, but I really believe that we're all more than just a sum of our parts.

So, love and compassion are what Jesus taught and what I want to emulate.
He also wasn't accepting of sin ... he was compassionate and empathetic to the sinner, of course! ... but, if sin wasn't a big deal, he would never have said, "Go and sin no more."

But he did.
He didn't say, "You do you."
He didn't shun those who sinned or tried to make them feel like crap.
He loved. He led. He showed us how to improve by His perfect example. He gave us a higher law to follow. And part of that was showing love and compassion while eschewing sins. He never promised that it would be easy or feel fair or be easy for us to understand.
So, my goal is to keep the commandments, to do my best to show Christ's love to everyone around me through how I treat them, and to doubt not and fear not.

And that's what I'm going to do my darndest to do.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Rambling Reaction (but not a heat-of-the-moment reaction ... more of a mule-this-over-for-a-bit reaction)

If you've been anywhere around social media during this last weekend, you've heard about the policy changes made by my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

I just need to get a brain dump made ... because I have thoughts. And I deserve a place to write them down.

Before I really start, I want to make it clear that I have friends with many, diverse opinions and lifestyles. And I know that it's my Christian duty to love everyone, regardless of age/sex/orientation/lifestyle/race/religion/whatever. In fact, I consider it an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to have these people in my life (even when I don't always understand their choices). Because, heaven knows, I'm not at all perfect myself. (Seriously, if you think that I am ... well, you're very sweet. And deluded. But I appreciate it. Please be aware that I am SO. VERY. NOT. perfect. I'm a total screw-up. But I'm working at it. Even if I leave myself LOTS of room for improvement.)

Point #1 - God loves ALL His children.
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. (1 nephi 11:17) -- See also this pamphlet - God Loveth His Children
He loves us perfectly, eternally, never removing any of His love from us. Jesus loves us. Again, perfectly. He was willing to give His life for us, to suffer more than any mortal being could possibly bear ... because He LOVES us.
Because He loves YOU and ME, He'd have been willing to atone for just a single one of us.
And, through His Atonement, He KNOWS EXACTLY how we feel, how we suffer ... There is nothing we go through that He cannot understand from OUR viewpoint. (And, since, unlike us, He does have a perfect knowledge of things, He understands us better than we understand ourselves.)

I KNOW that God loves ALL His children. ALL of them. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
When we make bad decisions, when we sin, He STILL loves us with a perfect love.
He is steadfast. He does not change.
We are the ones who, through our actions, either remove ourselves from Him or approach Him.

Still, there is NOTHING that we can ever do that would cause Him not to love us. Nothing.
His love is constant and unwavering. Because He is unchangeable. He is eternal.

Point #2 - We are not our temptations. Being tempted is not the same as sinning.
Think about it ... if Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only perfect being to live on this earth ... if HE was tempted, why shouldn't we -- imperfect as we are -- suffer temptations as well?

Just because someone is tempted or has a proclivity towards a certain behavior that is not in keeping with the gospel, that doesn't mean that s/he is, inherently, a bad person.
If that were true, I'd be completely irredeemable (If I were my main sins, I'd be a gluttonous, slothful, vain, proud lazeabout. These attributes are things I need to work [VERY HARD] to overcome. I'm a work in progress. ... And, for the record, those are NOT my only sins. I've got quite the laundry list to choose from. That's why we have repentance. That's why we have the gospel ...).

We all have moral agency. We have the freedom to choose for ourselves -- to ACT, rather than be acted upon. When we are faced with temptations, we will always have a choice. And, our loving Heavenly Father will always provide a safe way for us to withstand it. If we choose to look for and follow it.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
And, knowing that we are not perfect, He provided a Savior, Jesus Christ, to come to earth -- to teach us, to atone for us, to die for us -- so that we are able to overcome physical death (through the resurrection) and spiritual death (our separation from God's presence -- through repentance).
Jesus was willing. He chose to come to earth and to atone for us, as a sinless sacrifice, and to die for us.

As it says in one of our hymns (#193 - I Stand All Amazed),
"I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine, that He would extend His great love unto such as I, sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify. Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"

Truly, it is beyond description ... He loves us so very, very much. And, whenever I think of this ... I don't have the words to state how awed, how grateful I am ... because it is not possible to comprehend that amount of love and compassion.

And Jesus Christ was willing to suffer for ALL our sins. Because He loves us. Because He wants us to ALL be able to return to His/our Father's presence. Because He considers US worthy of such pain, suffering, and sacrifice. EACH OF US. INDIVIDUAL. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Point #3 - God loves us. He wants us to be able to return to His presence. So, not only did He send His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to atone and die for us; He also sends us, from the beginning of time, prophets to help guide us. Our prophets give revelation to the whole Church and the whole world.

"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." - Amos 3:7
Because God loves us, we have prophets and other leaders to help guide us, to teach us what we need to know, so we can progress and grow and develop those attributes and character that will help us to become more like our Heavenly Parents.

When we choose to be obedient, to make those sacrifices in our lives so that we can become more like our Heavenly Father, full of love, light, and knowledge, ... well, it's rather obvious that we draw closer to Him. And, by following the commandments that He gives us, through his prophets (both ancient [Moses, Abraham, Jesus, etc] AND modern [Joseph Smith, Jr., continuing through our living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson ... and whoever follows him], we are blessed.

Obedience is founded upon faith. And we are not to follow our leaders blindly ... we, in fact, are COMMANDED (though these same leaders) to seek for personal confirmation, from the Holy Spirit, through personal prayer and scripture study.

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me. (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8-9)
I know that when I follow the counsel of our prophet and the apostles, I am blessed. I KNOW this, because I've seen it happen over and over again in my life. I also see that when I make choices contrary to the commandments, I lose the presence of the Holy Spirit and his constant guidance.
Life is (overall) easier when I choose to follow the revelations given to us from God through his prophets.

So you'll understand my sadness over the reactions to the changes in Church policy ... and, truly, they aren't really changes ... CLARIFICATIONS is a better word for this.

The more that I think on this, the more that it is confirmed to me that this clarification of Church policy is for the GOOD of these sweet souls. It is to protect the family, ALL FAMILIES, from contention.

This will help children, especially young children, not to have to deal with very adult/advanced issues of reconciling the fact that their parents are living a life that is contrary to the gospel and eternal progression. (Bear with me on that. I'll explain. Pinkie-swears!) It will allow these children every blessing they have been promised ... it's just delayed.

And, yes, it's quite sad that these sweet souls will have to wait. However, it's just a small matter of time. And they WILL be able to receive those blessings.
And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. 
And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more. (Doctrine and Covenants 78:18-19)
The Lord is aware of you. The Lord is aware of them. He will hold nothing back from them.
Rather like it's said in The Princess Bride, this policy cannot (indeed, does not) stop these individuals from receiving their promised blessings, it just postpones the delivery for a while.

We will face opposition in this life. Satan is striving to make it hard to tell what is good from what is not. And, I think in this case, he's working overtime.

So, back to the point that I promised to elucidate on ... The plan of salvation, or the plan of happiness. It has both names for a very good reason. Because if we follow the plan, we achieve both those results.


from http://courtneyaitken.blogspot.com/2013/01/plan-of-salvation-bookmarks.html

 Here's the plan of salvation, made simple (if you want to read more about it, follow the link in the caption. Courtney Aitken also has a backside for the bookmark FILLED with scriptural references.
You could also ask me. Or another LDS friend that you have. Or the missionaries. Or go to LDS.org and read about it there ... there's lots of options.

  • Before we were born, we all existed as spirit children of our Heavenly Parents.
    Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan to us -- one that would allow us to learn, grow, become more like Him, and return to His presence.
    To do this, we would be born in mortal bodies, on earth. We would have the opportunity to learn the commandments, prove ourselves by making good (or poor) choices, and make covenants with Him. 
  • We would have need of a savior, knowing that we would make mistakes and sin.
    Jesus and Lucifer both offered to be that savior.
    Lucifer promised to return EVERY soul to Heavenly Father (which would require negating agency), if he received all the glory.
    Jesus offered to go, allowing us to have our own agency to choose for ourselves, and the glory would go to Heavenly Father (which is fair, since it was His plan, in the first place).
  • Some spirits followed Lucifer and they were cast out -- Lucifer became Satan. Those other souls that followed him were not able to come to earth and get bodies. This is why they are damned -- they made it impossible for themselves to progress (just like a dam stops the flow of water in a river. At least, for the most part. But you get where I'm going with that analogy, right?)
  • Jesus created this world for us. It is a beautiful place.
  • Adam and Eve came here and were placed in the Garden of Eden. They, as we, were made to forget our pre-mortal existence. If we all remembered everything that we knew then, this life wouldn't be a true testing opportunity (and, as it is, what with the scriptures and prophetic counsel and personal revelation, it's quite an open-book test). They were tempted and chose to eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. This allowed them to become mortal, which enabled them to fulfill the first commandment of "multiply and replenish the earth."
    Also, just for what it's worth, we honor Eve as being very brave and selfless in this decision. Yes, it was a transgression ... but it was for a noble purpose. And Adam, as our first prophet, is quite worthy of admiration, too.
  • Because of this, "The Fall," as we call it, where Adam and Eve were removed from God's presence (by having to leave the Garden of Eden), which is a spiritual death AND being made mortal (so they would die), we all had need of a savior. (Which we discussed a bit earlier).
  • From the beginning of time, we have been blessed with prophets to help guide us. The Lord gives revelations to the prophets that apply to the whole world and the whole church. He loves us and wants to give us every opportunity to return to Him.
  • Jesus came, in the meridian of time, to live here on earth, teach, serve, atone and die for us. Because of His sacrifices for us, we are able to repent (thus overcoming that spiritual death) and be resurrected (overcoming physical death).
  • After we die, we will go to the spirit world, since our bodies and spirits will be separated (that's what death is). Those who did not have the opportunity to make covenants (baptism, receiving one's endowment, eternal marriage, etc), will have the opportunity to receive them through vicarious work done on earth (These covenants require a body to do them, you see. That's why our church is gung-ho about temple work, since the temple is the only place we can perform this service for those who've passed on). We all will be able to learn more and make some (slower) progress here in the spirit world.
  • We will be resurrected. Our bodies will be immortal bodies, made perfect. (That isn't to say that we'll all be supermodels or bodybuilders ... but we'll have bodies that work perfectly, for sure.)
  • After the resurrection, there will be a final judgement. We'll be judged for our choices (Now, if we've repented, God won't remember those sins. Neither will we). If we're worthy, we will be comfortable and confident in His presence. He will be able to welcome us into His presence.
    If we aren't worthy of his presences, we will go to a lesser kingdom. The Telestial Kingdom is the lowest. It's, pretty much, what we're dealing with here. The Holy Ghost can be here to teach and instruct.
    The Terrestrial Kingdom is better. You have to live a higher law than what's required for the Telestial Kingdom. Jesus will come to minister.
    If you want to receive all the blessings promised, then work to be Celestial Kingdom material. We will be in God's presence. We will be able to be with our eternal families. We will have the ability to progress and reach our overall goal of becoming like our Heavenly Parents.
    To qualify for the Celestial Kingdom, we need a few things:
  1. Faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior
  2. Repentance (We show remorse, make restitution, and work to change our character to overcome these sins that are keeping us from our eternal goals)
  3. Baptism by immersion by the proper authority
  4. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (to, if we are worthy, be our constant companion as a comforter and guide) 
  5. Enduring to the end by following the commandments and keeping the covenants that we make with our Heavenly Father
Yes, it is a trifle difficult to explain it all in one nutshell ... but, of everything in this world, it's the one constant that makes sense (at least to me. Per the 11th Article of Faith, you're free to believe and worship as you see fit. You have the moral agency to do so. We respect that).

But, okay, so we're working to be like Heavenly Father -- He is perfect, has an immortal body, is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. Pretty awesome goal, right?

Another blessing that we can receive in this journey to become more like him is to have family bonds that are not ended with our deaths (e.g., "til death do you part.").
Through the power of the Melchizedek priesthood, we are able to be sealed to our families with an eternal bond. A husband and wife can be sealed together. Their children can be sealed to them. (If a husband and wife are sealed before their children are born, those children are born in the covenant, already sealed to their parents).
If we keep those covenants that we've made in the temple, we can be together forever as families.

That's the big reason for the Church's support of moral issues, like marriage between one man and one woman.
It's not because we don't love these other people. We do. We're commanded to. And, if we're being Christlike (like we SHOULD be), we WANT to love them ... and to make sure that they know that they're loved, valued, and cherished by our Heavenly parents.

Sadly, we don't know WHY same-sex attraction is given as a trial for some people.
I do know, though, that they are strong, worthy individuals who are capable of withstanding this temptation ... as we are all capable of withstanding being tempted ... through the power of Jesus Christ.
And if they, like we all do sometimes, fold? They are able to repent. Just like the rest of us.
If they choose to enter into a same-sex marriage, that is their choice. However, that marriage cannot be sealed through the Holy Spirit of Promise. It will end with their death ... and I find it terribly sad that they'd put so much time, effort, emotion, and energy into something that cannot be eternal.

Sometimes, our own choices affect more people than just ourselves.
Sometimes, due to our choices, other people will suffer.
This is yet another reason for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Through the Atonement, ALL wrongs will be made right. All sins will be forgiven. All hurts -- physical, spiritual, and emotional -- will be healed.
Oh, it is wonderful to me.

Will Heavenly Father hold back any blessing from them, if they actively seek those blessings?
No.
Because He LOVES us all.

And, knowing that Heavenly Father loves us, would he send us leaders who would lead the Church to withhold blessings and opportunities due to hate or bigotry?
NO.
So I KNOW that there are reasons of love behind this.
Because I KNOW that our prophet and apostles and all our other leaders are working to emulate Christ and His love for all God's children.

Just like how, because I love my children, I'm not going to condone them doing things that will hurt them.
I gave my kids the example of, "What if we bought a motorcycle? Are you allowed to ride it by yourself?"
"No."
"What if you did ride it by yourself? What would happen?"
"We'd get in trouble."
"Would it make sense for us to get rid of the motorcycle ... especially while you weren't allowed to ride it by yourself?"
"Yes."
"Would that be because we're being mean?"
"Well ... no, not really."
"Then why would we take it away?"
"So that we couldn't get in trouble."
"Exactly."

Just like how, when an individual is excommunicated from the Church, it's NOT because the leaders are wanting to be mean ... it's to allow the person to either continue the problematic choices without being under greater condemnation from the Lord for breaking (and continuing to break) covenants -OR- to allow the person to repent while protecting himself/herself from bigger punishments.

Does that sound like it's something done out of hate? Or a plan from a loving Heavenly Father through loving leaders?

To me, it's definitely the second. Because, even when a person is excommunicated or disfellowshipped, we have every hope and desire for them to return. We love and watch and wait. If they CHOOSE to repent and return, we rejoice. If they don't, we just love them while maintaining our standards and not condoning their actions.
Because we are all worthy of love.

Because Heavenly Father loves us all.

And because I KNOW that He loves us, I know that He would never do something just for the sole reason of hurting people. He will ask hard things of us, just like our earthly parents ask us to do things we'd rather not do (take out the trash/clean our rooms/etc) -- like we ask our kids to do ... because we know that it's (1) important for them to learn and/or (2) it's to help them develop into something better than they were.

I also know that, if ever it should occur that a prophet were to cause God's church to be led astray, He would TAKE THAT PROPHET OUT. And, there's the fact that this matter was discussed and agreed upon unanimously among 15 apostles and prophets. Do you know HOW HARD it is for even similar-minded people to agree completely? ...

Yes, my heart hurts for those who find this news hard to bear. I wish I had a way to make it so that they automatically felt loved and supported enough to wade through any doubts.

Still, regardless of this sorrow, I will not support those who try to tell me that this is an evil move, that our leaders are uninspired ... because everything points to the contrary.

The Family Proclamation was delivered just over 20 year ago. It is Church doctrine. It has not and will not change.

That doesn't mean that we are not under commandment to love everyone. Because we ARE.
But, if we choose to be politically-correct to the point where we eschew the teachings of God, given through His servants, we are putting ourselves (and those we influence) in danger.

So, TL;DR:
  • The commandment to love everyone still stands. 
  • We don't have to agree on everyone's actions. 
  • I choose to support President Thomas S. Monson, our prophet, and the other God-appointed leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as I have raised my arm to show my support. It makes me most sad when I hear/read others maligning our leaders for not bowing down to the demands of the world/being politically correct ... as if they really had a choice to do otherwise.
  • I do not understand all things. But I will keep my covenants, because they are precious to me.
    I have too much to lose, otherwise. I treasure the fact that my family can be together forever.
  • I wish that I could ensure that all God's children, my spirit brothers and sisters, received those blessings that come from making and keeping covenants with the Lord. Because they bring more than happiness -- they bring JOY. In this life and in the life to come. 
  • And I want the best for you all. Because I do love you.
  • If you desire those blessings, they CAN be yours, too. They may be delayed, but never denied. And you will be blessed for your patience. Because our Heavenly Father loves you.
    And it WILL be worth every struggle. 


If you have questions or if I need to better explain things in the rambling, oh-so-very-long post, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Crazy Dream Chronicle: Memoriam Sweater

A couple nights ago, I dreamed.

And it was a strange dream (obvs, since I remembered it, right?) ... In it, I was at my mom's house-but-not ... and we were doing laundry. LOTS of laundry [Art imitates life imitating art, yes?].

And ... well, we needed to get a sweater washed and dried. For my friend's brother. Because he was sick. Like bad cold/fevered/stuck in bed shivering-type sick.

In real life, he was murdered back in 2007. Both the boys who killed him are in prison (sentenced for life, but up for parole after 25 years ... so, in another 15-16 years or so).

...

But, in my dream, he was alive.
I wasn't the closest of friends with him.

He was the first guy (besides one of the sons of a lady who watched me when I was little ... and he doesn't count) to ask me out.

I was too young ... and I knew that it wouldn't be fair to date someone I wasn't really into (Should have remembered THAT when I started dating my first boyfriend. But, well, that would have been SMART. And I wasn't really being super-intelligent right then. *sigh*).

I mean, if I had been his girlfriend, I'd have gotten a nice macaroni necklace ...

Again, not a good enough reason to be someone's junior-high girlfriend.

...

The worst thing about living is outliving other people.
Especially people who go so early.

I mean, I know that there are reasons ... reasons we don't understand ... and that by enduring these things, we learn and grow and all ...

... but it doesn't make it any less sucky, really.

His poor family, though. They took it really hard. Not that I can blame them. There were only the four of them ... and Kevin disappeared ... and was found murdered.
He and his sister, my friend, were quite close ... so it was even more devastating.

I remember when he went missing. She called (she was stationed out of state) ... and she was pretty panicked. I did my best to calm her down ... and I hoped and prayed that maybe he was just being horribly irresponsible and just headed off to Vegas or something on a wild hair and just forgot to call anyone ...

... That would have been a million times better, really. His cat would have forgiven him. So would the rest of us. Because doing something selfish and a little stupid would have been so much better.

But, yeah. So, he was in my dream. And I was scuttling about, trying to help find that sweater ... or to get it washed and dried if it wasn't already.

... It's strange to think of how many people from my high school that I've outlived. Since I'm not horribly old. Yet.
But, at the same time, it's ... sad ... to know of so many people who've been murdered, who've committed suicide, or who died in car crashes.

I suppose it's not too surprising that I think about these things ... since (1) I'm kinda morbid anyways and [evidence: fan of The Walking Dead, reads Stephen King, enjoys creepypasta, etc.] (2) we did just get through Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.

I remember reading an article about how we keep the dead with us ... how we think of them and remember them ... so that they are still around, still affecting us ... It's a comforting thought.

And there's another article I read about how we keep memorials and objects to remind us of those who've passed ... like how I have a lot of my Grandma's books and jewelry ... and how I treasure some of the jewelry that my mom's stepmom passed on to me as presents from her collection before she passed. Or how I have a journal of my Pop-pop (and, apparently, journaling skills ... or, really, the lack thereof, IS a family trait. :P) ... and how I find it very hard to part with things that folks give me after they're no longer around (like a pull-up bar that Michael's grandfolks gave us. We don't use it often ... but I hate the idea of not having is because it was Grandpa C's).

And here I am, surrounded by clutter (of my own devising ... well, with some help from the munchkin-brigade. LOTS of help from the munchkin-brigade) and half-sick of shadows.

Still, I really don't like losing people. Not only temporarily ... and I know that death is just this temporary thing. But I still dislike that separation.
There are times when I miss my Grandma or Pop-pop or Grandpa C so hard that it feels like a blow to the gut ... and I'd give just about anything to be able to hear their voices and have a conversation with them again.

I don't know why I take this separation so dang hard ... you'd think I had abandonment issues or something (which would explain that ... but I don't really have anything to pin that on, besides my parents' not-very-messy divorce. Truly, my childhood was pretty idyllic).

I don't know how much or how often those have passed get to observe the living ... but, sometimes, I'll chat a little at Pop-pop or Grandma D or a friend who've passed. I'm sure they don't mind that I remember them and are thinking of them and miss them bunches.

If they talk back, I don't really hear it. But it comforts me ... and that's reason enough, right?
Cheaper and less harmful than drugs.

Yeah, you usually don't get such an introspective and maudlin post from me, the queen of levity ... but, well, there you go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

MOAR crazy Dream Chronicles! Lucky you!

Yeah, I'm only remembering bits and pieces of my dreams ... but they're sure ... special.

The other night, in my dream, I started out with Bubbles and I driving around a college campus (could have been my alma mater, but it was MUCH larger). And they'd moved the mailboxes OUTSIDE the building. And I had a key that fit ... so I was all, "Hey, I could always have stuff shipped here and pick it up for free!" (Must have been a holdover from reading Ready Player One with Michael.)

THEN, the other part of my dream had me as, like, idk, an adjunct professor ... but I had finished up my term, so I was going to be leaving.
And the building we were in was haunted. By this TALL, strapping, red-headed Viking of a ghost. And he got one of the other professors to jump off the building (her red tartan-print dressed, broken body was still on the pavement below). And I was leaving the building and he took this goodbye-present handleless mug of mine and BROKE it. (Not that it was a huge deal. Since we have a BAZILLION mugs [who doesn't?] AND it wasn't my style anyways.) But I was irked by the PRINCIPLE of the thing. Ill-mannered, murdering ghost.

LAST night's dream was ... odd ... because, OF COURSE it was.

So, here's the deal. IRL, I have written a skit for my son's Cub Scout group. And, since last meeting was passing out flyers for a food drive (they ended up collecting over 100lbs of food!), there was NOT time to even have the boys read the script.

SO, TOMORROW, his den is meeting early so I can (1) pass out scripts, (2) assign roles, (3) have the boys run through it a couple times, and (4) go soak my head.
Mostly kidding on that last one. But I haven't had much practice directing things. I usually just act or sing. Or help with props/makeup/costuming (but not so much on that LAST one in THAT list).

I'm just hoping that it'll go well and that we'll HAVE five boys to play all the parts ... if not, well, It could end up being a Bruise production with starring roles from his Scout leaders, parents, and twin sister. We'll see ... But, apparently, I'm a little worried about the whole thing ...

So, in my dream, one of our past sister missionaries was throwing a huge dramatic spectacle. And, last minute, I was given a script. I didn't have my lines down at all ... and I hadn't really even had time to read over my part(s). And there was some serious swear words ... so I'm taking liberties and editing them out ... because (1) swearing is something that I've worked VERY HARD to not do nearly so much (Srsly, y'all -- my sophomore year of high school, I was SUCH a potty-mouth. Sailors and truckers would have blanched. So my use of "craps," "damns," and "hells" is a TOTAL improvement. Just so you know.) and (2) IT WAS AT CHURCH. You can't say scatalogical terms of THAT kind at church. Because that's Jesus's house.

And then, the other scene I was in, I dropped my script and LOST MY PLACE and couldn't find it ... and so I was having to make up lyrics to some rock song that I'd only caught a wee glimpse of ... so I'm writhing on the floor, turning in horizontal circles on my back, mic in hand, as I try to channel Freddie Mercury at his glammest and maybe a soupรงon of Stevie Nicks, as I'm MAKING UP LYRICS and hoping that the returned sister missionary won't be too put out that I'm ruining her script.

Okay, so I can get that maybe that rock-star element of my dream is because on Facebook folks were complimenting my Jem! costume from around six years ago. My wig and makeup were awesome, if I do say so myself ... the rest of the costume could have gone better.
If I make it again, I know a lot of things to improve.
But it's not going to be this year, since there's only a few days until Halloween. And I don't have a costume at all. *sigh* I don't even know what to attempt to dress as.

In other non-dream-related news, I've passed sixth-grade math on Khan Academy. I did a load of dishes. We had soup for dinner last night. We went to the library's Halloween shindig (and ran into Michael's cousin and his family there ^_^). And I sent a Facebook message to the (ex?) friend who had unfriended me.
I let her know that I noticed we weren't Facebook friends anymore. And that I understood that it could be a glitch (not terribly likely) or that it could have not. But that I wished the best for her, even if that meant that I wasn't friends with her anymore. And that if there had been anything that I had done or said that had hurt or offended her, that it wasn't done purposefully ... and that I was sorry if I had hurt or offended her.

As my mom said, either she'll respond to it or not. And, if she writes back, there's an answer. If she doesn't, there's another answer.

The ball is in her court. And that's ... a little ... nerve-wracking. But, well, it felt insincere to pretend that I didn't notice the change in our friendship. I get that people grow apart ... but, well, when you've been really tight friends, it seems more direct to let the other person know that you're choosing to unfriend them. It'd be kind to let them know why ... even a "we've grown apart" or something.
I've unfriended some folks on facebook ... but they were (pretty much) strangers who we had friended each other for facebook games that I wasn't playing anymore. That's a bit different, right?

I've almost got Bruise's shirt done for Halloween. It's the main part of his costume (the rest is a certain pair of jeans (I should make sure those are in the wash) and trainers). I should make a clasp for Bucket's cloak. Bubbles's costume is all storebought ... and, well, we did pick up about the perfect pair of Crocs for her to wear with it (SPARKLY TEAL, Y'ALL. TEAL. AND SPARKLES. Can you tell that I'm a little jealous?), so her's is all taken care of.

So, yeah. I should check on Bruise's shirt ... do the last bits of paint on it. Get a shower. Do more laundry. Drink a buttload of water (doing this week-long water challenge. Michael's doing it, too. We're only drinking water as our beverage this week. And we're SUPPOSED to be drinking (bodyweight/2) in ounces. ... This is the third day in ... and man I suck at drinking enough water. Sunday, got nearly 3/4 of the suggested amount. Yesterday, I didn't even get one-third. *sigh*).

And I'm working at getting through library books ... physical AND online (Overdrive is a great app. you can use it to read books [e-books or audiobooks] on your phone or tablet, borrowed through your library ... well, if your library is part of it. Or, you could do the free ones that are available to everyone and don't count against how many books you can check out. You're limited to six holds at a time ... and TWO hold came in within a day of each other. And you only get them for 14 days. *sigh* I mean, you can check them out again, if there's not a hold on them, of course .....)

But, yeah. Busy girl.
Who also needs to read her scriptures and plan her lesson (which HOPEFULLY won't be observed by the STAKE PRESIDENT next week. Don't get me wrong, I love our Stake President ... but, well, that's a little stressful to be observed. Especially when I COULD AND SHOULD have been a bit better prepared ... and, bless them, but my class was VERY excitable. So it was interesting making sure that we focused and refocused their attention on the topic of showing Christlike love to others. But I was able to tell them about how the Young Women Theme, this month's Relief Society lesson, and the overall goal of "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" all integrate that theme ... and they had some great insights. And we discussed sharing our beliefs with others and HOW to do it best and HOW to show others, through our actions and words, how much Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love them ... and President C did say that I did a great job, so it was a good lesson ... but a little stressful. ^_^) ... among another billion things that I should get done.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Dream Resolution (I originally wrote "Resolution Dream," but this ordering makes it sound more like Revolutionary Girl Utena. And you should always go for that. If you're me, at least.)

Last night, I dreamed again.

I was in some play/theatrical thing ... maybe something Shakespearian.

It was, apparently, some sort of presentation ...

But I was in it with another guy and girl.

I remember at one point thinking, "Oh! I should take off my [wedding] ring, since my character's not married. Whoops!"

And... something happened where EVERYONE, cast and audience, had to go out into the foyer.

I found myself standing next to, among the throng of people milling about, that friend who unfriended me on Facebook.

"Hi," I said to her.

She didn't really respond, but she did look at me.

"Hey," I said. "I don't know what I did that hurt you so much. But, whatever I did that I did that offended you and hurt you so badly, I want to apologize for it. I've never meant to hurt you. I love you and I want you to be happy. And I get that it might mean that I'm not a part of your life. But I do want to tell you that I'm sorry."

And she let me hug her. And we stood next to each other in the shoulder-to-shoulder line that was being formed.

And I feel more peaceful.
I wonder if I should send her a message ... just so that she knows that I don't really know what I've done ... but that I never have meant to cause her any pain. And, if I've done that, I never did it on purpose and I'm sorry that I took actions that ever caused her suffering.

I get that maybe she does need more time.
And that, very possibly, she'll never want to be as close as we used to be.
But I think that I'm ... okay ... again.

It never feels "good" or anything when you have someone turn from a BFF/sister-of-the-heart into someone-that-I-used-to-know. And, regardless of how another friend described the situation, I can't think of this (ex?-)friend as a frenemy ...

In other, completely unrelated news, I sewed a cloak for Bucket's Halloween costume. ALL BY MYSELF.

YES, I SHOULD have lined  it, hemmed it, whatever ... but it's made of felt and she wasn't picky.
And it's done.

Michael and I still need to finish Bruise's shirt for his costume ... that'll take some time and energy. At least we bought everything we'll need.

I'll need to make the clasp to hold Bucket's cloak closed. But, hey, at least Bubble's costume is all done. I even found a little stuffed animal for her to carry around with it, to complete her costume. Phew!

Okay, I should go take Bucket to her violin class soon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sittin' in mah robe, yeah ... so, so classy

What, what? I'm blogging without at least a WEEK going by between posts?!??

Craaaaazy-sauce ...

So, I blogged last on, what, Friday?

There hasn't been tons of stuff since then, really.

But I figured that I should blog.
My dreams are starting to get back to "normal" levels of weird (Thanks, Mother Nature! Glad to see you headed off again! Between the acne, insomnia, irrational emotions, and the CRAZY-BUTT dreams, I'm always glad when I return to not having a uterus that's sloughing off that layer. ... Of course, funny (TMI) thing: for a couple years, when they kids would ask what was wrong and I'd tell them that I was on my period, Bucket would crow, "You're PREGNANT?!???" "NO. NO. NOT pregnant. The opposite." And then I'd have to give them a pared-down (but still slightly-horrifying-if-you-think-about-it) version of what exactly goes on in a woman's uterus.

Yes, I've been pretty upfront with my kids about their bodies. I haven't yet gone through the DETAILS of sexytimes or anything (I refer to it, when talking to them, as "sex or sexual intimacy"). ... because, well, I'd rather that they ask me for THAT INFO when they're ready to hear it.

(Says the girl who read the encyclopedia entry about sex when she was six. "Mom, did you know the encyclopedia has bad words in it?!?? They say "penis" and "vagina!" ... Yeah, there's another reason why I use the clinical terms (mostly) when dealing with body parts. Don't get me wrong, I say butt and "frontbottom" and "dainty bits" and "boobs" and all that, too. but I make sure that my offspring are aware what things are really called.)

So, yes, my kids have heard (yes, even Bruise) the info that women have a layer of blood that lines the uterus JUST IN CASE an egg is fertilized, so it can implant and turn into a baby.

In other things I talk to my kids about -- we've talked about pornography (and avoiding it. Or what to do when they DO come across it), homosexuality (and that people who are gay or lesbian are still children of God and we need to love THEM. We don't have to approve of anyone's ACTIONS, but we are all more than our actions, so just freaking love everyone, OKAY?!?? ... Seriously, I don't get how folks do anything else. Weirdos ... who obvs need more hugs.), gun safety, sexual abuse (i.e., don't let people touch you against your will. And, if they do, TELL US. Daddy and I will ENSURE that they are dealt with. In a way that we won't end up in prison. And that their doctor will need to check out their private parts, but that if it makes them really uncomfortable, speak up. And, if anyone DOES ever do something, that's on THEM. It's not the survivor's fault. Seriously. Look in the Handbook for the Church. And, no matter what, you're never so far gone that the Atonement cannot help/heal you. Use it. And we'll still love you no matter what.), and abortion (We believe that it's taking a life. But there are a few times when it could be permissible [mother's or baby's life in peril OR due to rape/incest, which would be because someone overpowered the now-mother's agency ... Don't do it as a convenience because one wants to avoid consequences for one's choice -- that also counts for the guy who impregnates a woman. If you can't handle being a dad, don't ... ahem ... go through the motions. Get it? If you're not ready to be a mom, make another choice. Go play mini-golf or something. Because there's no birth control (other than abstinence) that's 100% effective. ... But, if you find yourself pregnant, there's support and help. Things happen. And it's not like anyone can get pregnant on their own. So we should all be a little more understanding. Everyone should understand that because there ain't NO ONE on earth right now who IS perfect. ...)

Okay, SO, that's a lot more than anyone really cared to know about my mothering methods.

But, yeah, I guess I should outline my main parenting goals:
  1. Raise self-sufficient offspring:
    My kids need to know not just how to pass tests and binge-watch Netflix, but how to run a house, create and stick to a budget, cook, clean, schedule a doctor/dentist visit, and deal with the myriad emergencies that life will send them.
  2. Raise spiritually-prepared offspring:
    They will need to have their OWN testimony and to be able to feel and recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I'd prefer that they learn from the mistakes of all who've gone before them so that they don't have to learn all the hard life's lessons on their own.
  3. Raise offspring who know where to go for answers:
    Let's face it, I know that I'm not always going to be around. And, heck, I don't know even HALF of the answers. (Heck, I hardly even know the QUESTIONS in the first place.)
    I want Bruise, Bucket, Bubbles (and and others who may ever come along, if there ARE any) to know HOW to research and find information. And, for what they can't find on The Google, I want them to know how to research in BOOKS and through PRAYER and by asking OTHER PEOPLE for advice ... and to be able to compile it all to find the best answer for them.
  4. Raise well-adjusted offspring:
    I know, when they come from such odd folks as their dad and me, this is a challenge.
    But my goal is that they can be COMPASSIONATE and caring and kind; that they can handle when life isn't always fun or easy.
  5. Raise good citizens:
    If there's a bad law, I want them to go about peacefully and lawfully to make the changes that need to happen. I want them to be involved and to know what's going on -- so they CAN help be a force for good. I want them to have a desire to (and the motivation to carry it out) help others. 
  6. Raise joyful offspring:
    I want them to be able to appreciate the good things, to have that attitude of gratitude. I want them to be able to find joy and peace in everyday things, to find CONTENTMENT. I want them to be able to see the beauty in a sunset, the waves of the ocean, a baby's laugh ... and to be able to share that happiness with all whom they come in contact with.
  7. And I want them to use good grammar, too. And have marketable skills. And to only have the barest amount of sorrow that will allow them to recognize joy, the merest modicum of stress, fear, and anger so they can KNOW when they have peace ...
  8. I want them to have cars that never break down, a bank account that covers all their needs without any overdrafts or debt, bodies that always work as desired and fit into whatever fashions they like best COMFORTABLY, a house where others are glad to gather, friends who are always loyal and honest, AND A PONY (or whatever else they want).
Yeah, I don't care if they're doctors or Nobel Prize winners ... but I want them to be happy, healthy, kind, intelligent, content, wise ... If they all want to be circus performers, that's fine, as long as they can all make enough to support themselves and their families (and maybe their parents ... in the lifestyle in which we'd like to become accustomed, ha ha ha).

Okay, I've blathered on about mostly nothing for long enough.
I should go get more laundry done, clean the hall bathroom and the kitchen (don't worry, I'll wash my hands between those two!), get a shower, read a book, and a million other things that all should BE done. Good times, right?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Some better excuses (for lack of posts) ...

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, it's been DAYS (over a week!) since I last posted.

And here will be my litany of (semi-rubbish) reasons ... or, in other words, my regular kind of post.

So, since I last posted ...

  • I've been keeping up with Duolingo, Khan Academy, Typing.com, and a bit of Rosetta Stone.
  • I've NOT been keeping up with a habit of reading scriptures ON PURPOSE, definite sincere prayers, writing in my prayer journal, or much of anything spiritual. I mean, I'm TRYING ... but when I fall off the wagon, it takes me a little to get caught back up. #SucksToBeMe
    But I'm going to get back on board.
  • I got caught up with the dishes. For, like, a day.
  • I started doing laundry again. Just in time, since guess who ran out of underthings?
    ... Well, it WOULD have been me, but thank goodness I did laundry!
  • I got to go up and hang with my Sis, Roxy (We call each other "sis," not because we're biologically or legally related, but because we KNOW that, deep down, we HAVE to be family. I mean, really, there's no other explanation for how weird we both are. Which is only compounded when he hang together -- even just chatting on Facebook. It's special. So very, very special.). We went to Powell's and bought books. Then we went to her favorite comic book store and I found the Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual. Then we went to eat Thai food. Bubbles was pretty well-behaved. There was one little breakdown when I didn't buy her LEGO or DUPLO, but it wasn't a full-blown tantrum. And she was VERY collected when, as we were driving (slowly), her door slid open. Yup, good times.
    It'd been a while since Roxy and I had been able to hang out. And it's always wonderful to spend time with her.
    On the way home, though, Bubbles had me sing "Tomorrow" (from Annie) about a million times ... and, eventually, she fell asleep for her much-needed (but rather short) nap. It was a good day.
  • I got to take Bubbles to a birthday party for one of her friends from church. It was very fun.
    Bubbles is eager to go back for a playdate soon.
  • PTC (Parent-Teacher Club) was moved up a day (Unfortunately, not all the parents got the message. Whoops!) and I took notes there.
  • Bubbles and I made it to storytime at the library TWICE this week.
  • My Visiting Teaching companion and I visited two sisters yesterday. It's always great to get to talk to them. (Yes, Bubbles was good for them. It helps when she plays on my phone. Ha ha.)
  • My Mom came up to visit yesterday. And that was good. I taught her some basics in editing a PDF file.
  • Bruise decided to switch from the cello to the violin. He actually practiced yesterday! and it'll be easier for him to transport on the bus (Let's face it, the 1/2-size cello is still nearly as tall as he is.)
  • Bucket got a comb stuck in her hair last night. (LESSON: Don't comb your hair in bed in the dark. Please?) We got it out without her losing much hair.
  • I finished some books. (And I started to take advantage of the fact that my Goodreads app on my phone lets you find (most) books by scanning their barcode.)
This morning, I called the school to let them know that Michael and I will pick up the kids after school (we're going to the pumpkin patch) ... and I got an answer that I'd emailed about yesterday
(long story short: I'd like to volunteer to help out with an upcoming fundraiser during school hours. I had to go to three people to find out if it'd be cool if Bubbles tagged along. Yes. THEN I needed to know what time Bruise and Bucket would be participating, since I'd PREFER to be there at that time. SO, I emailed and asked when [different animal groups, since that's how we keep track of the bilingual groups, since they have TWO teachers, from DIFFERENT continent ... which would be the grade that Bruise and Bucket were in LAST year] had specials (Music/P.E./Technology) ... It wasn't until about five hours later, I was standing in the middle of Fred Meyer and it hit me ... I HAD ASKED ABOUT A DIFFERENT GRADE'S SPECIALS. Whoops. ... So I had to send ANOTHER EMAIL to the gal, apologizing that I'm a complete dork and that I really DO know what grade my kids are in ... and she laughed and gave me the RIGHT time for MY kids' groups. *headdesk*)

And, with that in mind, it was great when the School-Family Liaison (who's a wonderful lady and the other gal's mom, by-the-by) asked me, "So, I'll be seeing you here at school today, then?"

 "Um, I wasn't planning on being there ... why?"

"It's the Jog-a-thon."

"I thought that was on the 30th. Isn't it?"

Then we both had a tense second where we glanced at our calendars and wondered, "What day is it? WHAT WEEK IS IT?!??" And we both started laughing.
Yeah, it's been a bit of a crazy month, so, yeah.

And I'm glad that I'm not expected at school today, since I'm still not showered or dressed.

I keep having really strange dreams.

Wednesday night, I had a two-parter ... I don't recall the other part as much. Mostly a bit surreal. A friend of the family announced that she and her husband were getting a divorce. And it was shocking, since they're both much older. But she assured me that it was fine. "We haven't done much stuff together for years. ... Besides, he'll be dead soon, anyways." O.o (No, that's so not the case in real life.)
But in the MAIN part, Michael told me that he wanted a divorce. And I spent (in my dream) most of the day in a sad funk ... then I finally knelt next to him as he sat in the green chair and tried to address him very seriously, which was hard since he had multiple cotton swabs stuck in his ears and nose (he took them out in a bit, though). And he reconsidered ... because it'd be too hard to pack up all our stuff ... and told me that he'd just been under a lot of stress lately. And we were cool again.

But, in real life, he did have to put up with me asking multiple times, "We're cool, right? You don't want a divorce, right? Because you'd tell me if you were unhappy, RIGHT?!??"

"We're cool. And maybe you should avoid Chinese food before bed. That dream sounded stranger than usual."
(See? He's totes used to my wacko dreams.)

Last night, I endured some crazy dreams, too.
In one, I was a teenager-y babysitter for a lot of kids. And I woke up (in my dream) to find that one front-section of my hair was about six inches shorter than the rest ... and sticking straight out to the side. The rest of my lock was lying on the bathroom counter. (I blame Bucket's comb adventure for that.) ... But I wasn't worried when I woke up, because my hair in my dream was a different color (a medium dark brown).

The other part of my dream was that I was in a hospital/compound-type area, carrying around my (huge, even in real life) purse, and I had to decide whether I was going to desert it (and whether I could chance taking my little, injured (maybe comatose) sister with me when I did ... or would I get caught). And there were people turning into zombies or something. And a lot had their hands cut off, but not the blades on them ... (which dream element is from a factoid that I read from a friend's feed on facebook about this Native American who, in the 1500s, had his hands cut off by the Spaniards ... so, when they came back, he led an army against them, with blades tied to his arms. Hard core, right? ... his name's Galvarino (lots of language in the write-up, be warned), by the by).

But, yeah, it wasn't the most relaxing of dreams.

I'm still trying to deal with the fact that I was unfriended by such a close friend ... but, well, obviously, I was more invested ... and I cognitively know that it's more of a reflection on her than of me. But, drat it if I don't miss her.
And I don't want to block her on Facebook, but it's ... really sad when I see that she's commenting a LOT more lately on posts of mutual friends.

But, yeah. If that's the worst thing that's gone on, I'm sure that I'll get over it. Eventually.

Oh! In happy-making, when I was at Powell's, not only did I find books to buy (like that was a worry. No, it wasn't), but I also found the violet-flavored mints and gum that I'd been really wanting to try ... AND they had some more of the LEGO Movie character keychains ... so I picked up UniKitty in her spacesuit (I already have angy UniKitty and BiznisKitty ... I did ALMOST pick up the seasick UniKitty one, but ... SPACESHIP!!!).
And, when you touch UniKitty's face, her horn will light up. So, when I went to make sure that Space UniKitty's horn works, I was a little shocked (in a good way) that HER HORN LIGHTS UP BLUE!!!

Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

But, yeah, that's most of what's all gone on lately.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Talk ... well, not THAT one, really ... that's an ongoing process.

Yesterday, after sending the kids to bed, Bucket came out and asked if we could talk.

"Sure, sweetie."

"In your room."

"Okay. Sure."

(I do love my children more than catching up on the last season of The Walking Dead.)

So, we sat on my bed and she started crying.

It turns out that, for a few months, she'd been keeping something to herself.

A few days ago, we'd watched this video together


And, I've talked with them about seeing things that make them feel uncomfortable.
(We do have a copy of Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen Jenson, which is a helpful resource, too).

Bucket told me that one of her friends, when they play barbies, has the dolls simulate intercourse.
And it made her uncomfortable. And she hadn't wanted to say anything.
I was a little surprised by which friend she named.

First, I thanked Bucket for coming and talking to me.
She confided that she had said a prayer to help her have the courage to talk about her discomfort, and I commended her for choosing to turn to Heavenly Father about it.

I did tell her that it's a rather normal thing that will happen when playing barbies (Hey, my plots with my dolls had a few soap-operatic encounters ... but I was happier playing with a more fairy-tale-esque theme as the main plot. I had a barbie that was the REAL PRINCESS and her beau [Mr. Heart, actually, since he was handsomer] could SEE that, regardless of her shoddy dress, she was worthwhile and precious ... as opposed to the Mean-Girl, GORGEOUS barbie in her FABULOUS gown, who sported an awful snobby attitude ... but the kind barbie was good with all the children and animals and other people ... and, being a prince, he looked through the fancy facade and saw who really deserved his heart ... YES, I KNOW. But it was a FUN plot to play with, okay? Don't even ask about the storylines for my My Little Ponies. ... And my Precious Places figurines would play along to the highlights of  Les Miserables ... Yeah, I was a weird kid.)

And I did tell her that I can't change the past (though the power of Christ's Atonement can help to heal everything), but that we could make plans for when things like this happen in the future.

She determined that, if it ever happens again, she can speak up and state that she's feeling uncomfortable ... and ask to change something (go play with LEGO/utilize a different storyline -- maybe Ken and Barbie are going on a beach trip instead of canoodling) ... but she felt better (more empowered, I think) and better able to deal with things like this in the future.

I did, also, let Michael know about what she and I discussed. As her father, he should be aware of what's going on in her life ... and it wasn't anything horribly private/embarrassing.

Though, I do know that Michael is glad he's married to me, who doesn't have a problem talking about sexuality or intimacy with my kids. Hey, it's a fact of life that we have these feelings ... we have them for a reason. (Boyd K. Packer would tell you that, too. And he is an awesome [now late] apostle).
My mom was very open to answering my questions. And, like her, I'd much prefer that my kids come to me with their questions instead of turning to their friends or (worse, often) the internet.

I do let Bruise and Bucket (and eventually Bubbles) know that we believe that Heavenly Father has a strict moral code. And that obedience to it does protect us. That we believe that sexual intercourse is sacred (though it can also be, dare I say it, fun).
I also let them know that, even if they choose not to obey this moral code, they will still have the fullness of Heavenly Father's and Jesus's love for them (though they will lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost ... and distance themselves from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, until they repent, anyways) ... and that we (Michael and I) will still love them. We'll be disappointed, of course, but we acknowledge that they have their own moral agency and have the right to make their own choices ... though they will have to accept the consequences for those choices. (And, truly, I'd PREFER that they make correct choices and have those happy consequences ... but I get that it's not my life and all that).

I also have let them know that if anyone should disrespect their agency (Heaven forbid that they [or anyone they know. Or anyone they don't know. Or ANYONE] are sexually abused/raped), that they can ALWAYS come to us for love and support. We will do everything that we can to help them. And that, since it wasn't THEIR choice, it's not their sin at all. (And, the Atonement isn't just for sin. It's for EVERYTHING that needs to be made right ... and, through the Atonement, they can be healed body, spirit, mind ... all of that.)

So, yeah. That's a heavier topic than I really wanted to cover with my children ... But it's one that I know I'm going to have to cover multiple times. Like I said, "THE TALK" isn't just a once-and-you're-done type of thing.

*sigh* But it's a good thing, making sure that MAH BAYBEES are prepared for the real world. I mean, that's my main goal as a parent -- to raise (eventual) adults who will be good, self-sufficient citizens, who will be able to make their own choices with confidence, who will have their own testimonies, who will be a source of light and goodness in the world, who will be able to dispel fear and hate and replace it with love and kindness, since the world SURE NEEDS that.

Though, if our children can take care of us in our old age in the manner to which we'd like to be accustomed, though, I wouldn't argue. ;P

Crazy Dream Chronicles - Part Uchtdorf

So, last night, I dreamed and woke up with a recollection of it (from the bags under my eyes, you wouldn't be that well-rested, but there you go).

In my dream, there was something going on in my hometown area (maybe for high school or church).

And my mom had taken my Roxy-Sis out for something ... she and I were scheduled to meet up later.

AND our friend, Mer, was there, so I was giving her a ride (like I'll be doing later this month).

I had a container of makeup and stuff on my desk where she appeared (Not anything like my IRL desk. There's not any ROOM for makeup there, since it's buried in books, papers, and office supplies).
I was going to give her this awesome (wish I had it IRL) pearlescent (creamy green to purple), GLOW-IN-THE-DARK liquid eyeliner.
But she had this special mascara or eyelash treatment, so she couldn't wear it. And I felt bad for offering her something she couldn't use.

On our way to meet Roxy, we were driving on a stretch of road and I pulled into a field to park, not realizing that I HAD pulled into a field.
It was a field that (somehow) was next door to my extended family's property (My great-aunt and her daughters' place), so we started the car again, and I yelled a "hello" (since we were in a hurry) to family members who were visible from the front (eldest cousin [well, first-cousin-once-removed],  then my step-aunt's granddaughter and youngest grandson).

Then we pulled into the old Stake Center in Douglas County for my church (the place where I happened to be baptized, by the by, though that doesn't pertain to this story) ... and there was a meeting there.

In one room, as we walked through, I caught sight of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (the second counselor in our church First Presidency ... so, in short, the third in rank of Church hierarchy), who left off talking with the group that he was with and made his way over to shake my hand.

He asked me how I was doing and about life.
I was a little star struck ... I usually don't get to talk with famous people (at least not without a LOT of planning and some monetary means -- like when Michael got us tickets to see Neil Gaiman, who's also such a lovely, polite person).

And President Uchtdorf wished me a (belated) happy Mother's Day and asked, "Sister [C], how's your calling going?"

(If you're not fluent in Latter-day Saint Church-speak, your calling is the responsibility that you've been extended [and accepted] in your ward/stake/area/etc. You don't get paid for it. My current calling is teaching the Sunday School class for the 12- and 13-year-olds [or that were 12 or 13 at the beginning of the calendar year, I should say]. My most-recent past calling was Nursery Leader. Michael's current calling [for what feels like FOREVER, but is really, what, six years, I think] is Elders' Quorum President. Our leaders, even our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the apostles and area authorities are all called by God. And, yes, we CAN refuse a calling. It's our choice. Though it is recommended to accept, knowing that the Lord will strengthen and qualify you to the work ... If you have questions, just hit me a comment. I can explain more. ^_^ Clear as mud, right?)

And I started gushing (briefly, since I know that President Uchtdorf is a busy man and has lots of responsibilities) that I loved my calling ... which I do. I have a great class of young adults who make teaching really fun ... even if we barely touch on the recommended topic for that class. But I have the Ward's Sunday School President's okay for that. The main goal in the new "manual" (it's all online, really) is to help the Youth to understand the doctrines and be strengthened/ready to face the world. It's a BIG goal, but it's a good one.

But ... and I realized this more after I woke up ... President Uchtdorf KNEW who I was. He called me by name.

Which puts me in mind (especially after I've fallen out of habit [AGAIN] of daily scripture reading and prayer) that our Heavenly Father KNOWS who I am. He KNOWS my name.
Heck, he KNOWS me better than I know myself.

And that's humbling.

Still, as awesome and dear as President Uchtdorf is, HIS knowing my name is a little scary.
Since that could end up in a huge calling for Michael (or me) where we'd have to move to UTAH.
(Nothing bad about Utah, really. Besides the lack of green and that my family's almost ALL here in Oregon ... But I'm sure that it'd be lots easier to get a Caffeine-free Cherry Coke there ...)

But, yeah ... that's my takeaway from the dream. So far, anyways.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mom's coming up today.

I have half the dishes done.
I'm sporting a 98% mastery of 5th grade math (yes!) on Khan Academy
I'm halfway up to getting caught up on scriptures.
I did Duolingo.
Still need to do Rosetta Stone; that'll be later.
I worked on Typing.com ... mostly so that I can run my kids' noses in HOW AWESOME THEIR MOM IS, WHAT?!??

Tomorrow, I'll have a meeting with the kids' teachers about what wasn't discussed at Curriculum Night (a lot ... because we only had 45 minutes scheduled. Yeah. Not the teachers' fault at all. And, well, as an Ed major and daughter of a teacher, I have lots of questions. And I made sure to let them know that I AM on their team and willing to help out with anything that I can!) ... then a few hours (where I'll clean the house and prepare Sunday School lessons and stuff) until I donate blood.
Then the big kids will get home. And there's a fundraiser for their school at a local eatery. AND it's the Strings program's kick-off (Go to the school, get instruments and music books, etc) ... and by then, it'll be time for bed.

Just in time to get up, get everyone dressed, do a quick devotional, run Bubbles to Grandma's house, run the kids to school, and volunteer for School Picture Day. *sigh*
It'll be good ... it's just a LOT of walking and crowd control.

But Michael will pick up Bubbles after work, so I won't have to run into the next town TWICE. Then, it'll be time for grocery shopping and cleaning the house a little more, making sure that we're prepared for General Conference (making cinnamon rolls, maybe?) ... then it'll be time for a good weekend.

Conference, doing part of the annual fire department scavenger hunt between sessions, more conference, ... we're going to try and take some cookies to a (less-active) friend's house (I don't know if HE knows that he's our friend ... but he will now, won't he? Mwhahaha), Michael will go to Priesthood session at the Stake Center (so he can actually pay attention) ... I'm considering having the kids watch it with me at home (yay streaming!) ... then Sunday will have the last two sessions of Conference. And I'll be more ready to study this conference than I have been before.
(This year, I did a 40-day challenge before Conference, where I read a talk a day (more or less) so that I am now more familiar with what was discussed and what I should know.
I also took my copy of the Ensign to Staples and had them laminate the front and back covers and spiral-bound the whole thing. It's such a great idea. As soon as November's Ensign comes out, you know what I'll be doing. And investing in more highlighters ... I had four highlighters, so I used them. Orange was quotes/stories, pink was suggestions/counsel, blue was blessings promised, and yellow was ... everything else. I really could have used at least one more color ... but I worked with what I had at the ready.)

I should go put on my face since I have a Visiting Teaching appointment to go to in a bit.
Don't want to scare anyone, ha ha ha.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Well, I'm almost done with mastery of Fifth Grade math on Khan Academy (humbling, yes ... but I'm working for this. I'm hoping to be done all the way through 8th grade math by the end of the calendar year). And I'm working still on Spanish (Duolingo and Rosetta Stone) and German (Duolingo). And, since my kids are working on Typing.com, I've started there, too.

Michael got home early from work last night and took over being the heavy -- the front rooms look a lot better now. They're going to be working on their room this afternoon. And I need to finish dishes, laundry, clean the hall bathroom, and vacuum. Not that I've done any of that YET.

But Bubbles and I are going to run a couple errands and ... okay, we're back.

Yeah, AWKWARD SEGUE ALERT!

You know you love it. Or something.

But, after while feeling sorry for myself, I took some action.

I messaged one of my friends who I haven't seen in AGES.
And, yes, the message I sent her did sound kind of pathetic.
She'll write back sometime, I'm sure.

Then I checked in with my Roxy-sis ... and we set up a meet-up-in-person book date in a couple weeks. I'm pretty stoked about it.

My mom had called while I was mopey and mucusly-challenged ... and she could tell that I was upset.
She stated that, since old-friend and I had met, she'd gone through a lot that had changed her a bit.
(It's nice when your mom has your back. And, if it were my fault, my mom's cool enough to tell me.)
(Most times, anyways. And in a way that doesn't feel like she's ripping the rug out from under you. Pretty awesome mom, right? [Yes. The answer is YES. There is no other answer.])

And, yeah, that did help me to feel a bit better.

I mean, I still will wonder off and on what happened ... I don't want to blame everything on PTSD or anything. It could very well be that I'm not as good of a person/friend as I would like to be. And I have to live with that.

So ... yeah.

Michael also brought home pizza for dinner. Which meant that I didn't have to cook. Which was nice. And, since he was being the heavy, I could play good-cop. And that was nice ... even though between crying, not drinking enough water, and everything, I did have a headache (nothing that water, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, PastTense, and time couldn't fix.

We watched "The Beautician and the Beast," since it's soon to be off Netflix again. And it'd been ages since I'd seen it (over 15 years ... wow, I'm old). And it was as cute as I recalled. Michael even tolerated it well enough (Hey, he likes "Wing Commander," so I get to enjoy costume dramas and fluffy romances like this. And, yes, I'm willing to be in the room while he's watching his shows ... so it's fine.)

I did tell Michael that I was sorry for being all Mrs. Bennet ... and he got the reference.
(My kids didn't. Time to get them started on Austen movies.)

If you don't get the reference, here's a quick peek:


 


Yeah, not exactly who I want to BE ... though, easy enough to channel at times.

I still need to get caught up on ... many, many things. So many things.

But we (Bubbles and I) went out and returned library books (so that I SHOULDN'T get another fifteen-dollar-and-change fine for late books. *sigh* Yeah, that was last month. It always occurs RIGHT at that point where I start thinking that I have everything together. ... Well, OBVIOUSLY not, huh?) and we picked up milk and a few other things.
She talked me into getting her a book (Hard sell there, right? /sarcasm) which I read to her after lunch (it's a Big Hero 6 book. And I got her to take a nap by telling her that, if she DOES take a good nap, I'm willing to let her watch the movie. #PickYourBattles #Compromise)

Even though I haven't done any of the things that I put on my mental to-do list as I was blearing awake, I DID check the mail. And I cleaned off a good section of the junk counter.And Bubbles and I read through quite a few library books. So that's something ...

Between trying to fill my bucket with drops of awesome, so that I DON'T feel like a total loser and all, I do find myself channeling this video:

(Barats and Bereta - PC Fratboys, if the link's not treating you well.)

Okay, I should go be a little more productive. Those languages aren't going to study themselves. That floor isn't going to vacuum itself. Those dishes? Nope, not going to wash themselves ... no matter how hard I utilize those puppy-dog eyes. The laundry sure isn't going to wash, fold, and put itself away ...

OR, you know, I could just curl up on the couch with a book and watch Pioneer Woman on Netflix or something ... either or.

But I DO need to make dinner tonight for sure.


Monday, September 28, 2015

..... ..

I've not been very productive ... but that'll be changing here shortly.

I HAVE gotten the kids' laundry through the wash (one more load to dry) ... now to have them fold and put it away when they get home, right?

I'll be doing another load of dishes, since that's a NEED. And I'm going to get the front rooms cleaned up a bit more (since they're really not at all right yet. Ha ha...)

So, a few months ago, I did the "see less from" for a friend of mine on Facebook, knowing that we'd still be Facebook friends and that, when I was ready to see more of her posts, I could just go to her page.

I realized today, since I was feeling braver and readier, that somehow we've been unfriended.

I had to call Michael anyway, so he looked too. (An engineer-ish trait is confirming information, just to be sure that things are really things.) He also had been unfriended.

I can hope that this is a Facebook glitch, though there are more than a dozen friends that we still have in common.

I'm not feeling brave enough, though, to send a message, to throw out a "hey! I saw that Facebook says we're not friends anymore! Whoops! I hope that I didn't do that ... or that you didn't do that. Because I still care. And I hope that you do, too. ... Not hearing from you when you were in town was sad, but I figured that you were busy and all. And I didn't want to be that needy friend when you're busy. ... Or it could be that, as close friends as we were, you do just need your space and all ... and maybe I'm not quite as fun/cool/supportive/helpful to you as I hoped I was. ... And, well, that's cool, too. Because I just want you to be happy. ... Even though I miss you. ... But I hope that you and your family are all doing well. And that you're happy. Because I want you to be happy and healed and whole..."

But, really, how do you say all that in a not-at-all-pathetic, no-pressure way?
I'm not coming up with anything.

So, yeah.

I mean it's great that Michael's my best friend and I have him and get to see him and have sleepovers with him just about every single day. And my mom's an awesome bestie, too.
I have other friends-that-are-girls, too ... just not always as close as I'd like or within a 30-minute drive, you know?

And I know that 99%+ is all on me for that. It's easier, with kids, to NOT leave the house and just replace calling people (and dealing with kids in the background/ambient noise/non-complimentary schedules/etc) with emailing, facebook, and blogging. ... Or not even doing those, but striving to achieve a cleaner house and/or making progress in getting through my TBR pile.

I mean, I know that this friendship was on the rocks and all ... we weren't talking or emailing (though, when I'd reach out, she'd respond and it'd be very much like old times ... though with her being far away and having kids and going through school and ... a lot of ands ...) ... I know she's busy. But I miss hanging out with her. And it hurts to have this ... raw space.

And I get that them's the breaks sometimes. And it'll suck for a while.
And I'll need to pray and read my scriptures more. And things will get easier.
And I'll clean my house and invite some friends over to watch movies together.
And, eventually, Bubbles will be in school and I'll start volunteering at the library or spend more time volunteering at the kids' school(s).
And maybe PTC will choose a day/time that isn't the same date/time so that I can work to be more social with the sisters in my ward ...


...
.....
...

So, I obviously need to be more proactive in being social.
And, in order to do THAT, I should clean my house so that I can have people over without them being in danger of bodily harm (from tripping over the mess) AND so they'll have a place to sit (as comfortable as my piles and piles and piles of laundry are ...).

I'm not totally, completely okay yet ... but it's nice to be able to type all this out in some attempt to work out HOW my jumble of feelings can be translated into actual thoughts.

Though, I'll be honest ... I do rather wish that I was back in high school where/when all my good friends lived pretty close. That was handy. If one moves away/starts being homeschooled/whatever, I could still keep in contact a bit ... but there were other friends to hang out with at lunch or before school or at rehearsal. I miss that. I miss it a lot.

Heinz Brand Catch-Up (j/k)

Okay, what have I been up to?

About 5'5" ... same since sixth grade. Har har har ...

But, really, let's see ...

Friday, was a little busy ... Michael got home from work after Bubbles and I were trying to get the house a wee bit cleaner (limited success, though). We finally watched "Home" so we could return it to his cousin. (Very cute. And not just because I think Jim Parsons is funny.)
Then we made sure that our temple clothing fit (and, no, my skirt didn't. I need to lose some inches for sure to get it to fit well).

We picked Bruise and Bucket up from school and took all the kids to Grandma's house (to spend the night. FREEEEEEDOM! Don't get me wrong, I love our kids. But it's nice to have a date-date without any children around) and headed up to Portland.

We stopped by Deseret Book. I got a new temple skirt (elastic waistband, so it's a little more forgiving) and I also picked up a copy of the Teaching, No Greater Call manual, since it's often referred to in the lesson outlines for my Sunday School class. We also saw on a crazy-good sale (nearly 75% off) a book that's by an author that we like (and his wife).
(Sure enough, I was able to find what I was searching for in the hardcopy manual ... so I can be better prepared for my lessons.)

We didn't end up needing to bring our temple clothes, since we opted to do Initiatories for the family names that I had in my bag (What? You don't print out family records, have the baptisms and confirmations done, then carry the uncompleted cards in your purse for a year? *bad great-granddaughter/great-niece*) ... I now have the Initiatories completed for two of my great-grandmothers (both of whom I actually met. One, Betty, died when I was four, but I remember her a little. The other one, Alma, I met the summer before my freshman year of high school ... It was due to that visit that I have a soft spot for reading the World Weekly News. :D). Michael had three names (great-grandfathers and my Nana's brother). I also did five names that aren't from my family ... they were all Hungarian and some of the ladies in the records were nearly 300 years old.

After the temple, Michael and I went to Outback Steakhouse (first time -- he had a gift card). It was good (especially the Coco-berry smoothie). We also tried the Bloomin' Onion. He had a sandwich and I had tacos. Everything was really tasty ... spendy, but good. I couldn't finish what I had ordered, so we had leftovers. LOTS of leftovers.

Saturday, we didn't sleep in ... we grabbed a voucher for Free Museum Day and headed up to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. Michael had never been ... and it was a good time to go, since we could get in for free. It's a lot different going there without kids (you actually have time to read the signs, OH. MY. GOSH.) and I was able to lead him around a bit. We looked at nearly everything ... though it took us nearly four hours.

Then we stopped by The Pita Pit (our favorite) on the way to pick up the kids.
After we got home, I was tired and COMPLETELY FORGOT about the General Women's Conference broadcast. Whoops!

However, while Bruise and Michael ran to Target and the grocery store, Bucket and I cleaned out the kitchen fridge. Ew.

Sunday was mostly good. We had church. I taught my second lesson in my Sunday School class ... and was observed by the Ward Sunday School President (no pressure, right?) ... I emailed him later "So ... how'd I do?"

He responded, "How do you THINK you did?" (Can you tell that we're friends?)

I typed back, "Well, if you're judging success on how well we stuck to the lesson outline, abysmal.
"But, the students were participating and asking thoughtful questions ... It felt pretty good."

And he the told me that, yes, EVERYONE was participating (even one student who often doesn't) and that he agreed that it went well. Phew!

After we got home from church, I put on the YouTube feed of the Women's Conference session and took my notes on that. Bucket was ... a bit surly. I'm chalking it up to the fact that the kids and their cousins were up until 11 on Friday night. Because of that, and the fact that Bubbles was SHOUTING due to not wanting to fall asleep, we sent the kids to bed a little early ... where they all climbed into ONE bunk and Bruise ended up getting hit in the face by Bubbles, which caused him to bite his lip and there was BLOOD ... and Michael took care of that because I was on the phone with my mom.

(I'm so helpful. As Michael is steering Bruise to the bathroom, I call after them, "Put a drop of Helichrysum on it. It'll help with the bleeding," and assure my mom that, no, she doesn't need to hang up, Michael's got this, it's all cool.)

Michael and I are now four episodes into Gotham.

Jumping back, Michael took the kids to a baptism (Michael had been asked to give a talk at it) ... Bucket, though grumpy, opted to go Visiting Teaching with me. We met my VT companion there and we chatted while waiting (and waiting) for the sister we'd come to teach. She'd forgotten that we were coming (again ... After last month, where we waited for around 15-ish minutes, I thought that I'd cover my bases by texting her this morning. Apparently, I need to text right after church. Ha ha). she did come home ... 45 minutes later, but that was fine. K and I got to talk books in the meantime, so that was fine.

Bucket, though, had snitched my tablet out of my purse without asking, even though she had brought a book, so I wasn't thrilled about that. I instructed her that she SHOULD ask every time. And reminded her of the fact that she's grounded, so she KNOWS that the answer really is no. *sigh*

But, yeah, that's really most of Sunday.

Today ... I should clean the house.
I also need to run out and pick up milk.
And I need to pick up a card for a (retired) coworker of Michael's. A's wife passed on Friday.
Even though the company will be sending a card, Michael strongly feels that he should also send one from our family. And I agree. A was one of Michael's mentors when he started working at his company. It's good to let him know that there are bunches of people thinking of him.

I also wrote a couple of posts for my Sunday School blog ... I should email my students and let them know that those posts are up for them. And get the other email addresses for my other students. Wouldn't it be nice to let them be involved, too? :P

Then I should get caught up on reading my scriptures and get back in the habit of saying more prayers. And I should read the other manuals and prepare more for my class ... the usual.

And work more with Bubbles on reading and writing and numbers and colors ...

But I'm still loving my hair. ^_^

Counting ...

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