Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mo-Tab on the life list?

I realized while I was watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir last night that I broke the "think like you're seven" rule when I made my list. If I really made the list as if I were seven, I would have put "Be a member of the Tabernacle Choir" on it. Since I am now not seven, I figured that there is a 99.9 percent chance that I would never sing in the choir. I left it a little open in case they ever get desperate or go back to not having auditions. Perhaps I could be famous like Jimmy Stewart and lead the choir in the new movie "Mrs. Kreuger's Christmas" -- but being famous isn't on my life list.

So, for your reading amusement, here are some of the things on my list:
Enter the hymn writing contest every year.
Finish "Precious Sherie" series of books (about my life).
Ride my bike with Derek on the Provo River Trail.
Learn Spanish
Go on a service vacation with the family(after I've learned Spanish)
Write a rock song for Derek ( he's always wanted me to).
Make a jean quilt.
Learn to dribble a basketball between my legs.
Carve something (it had better be easy -- soap carving never was a skill of mine.
Write a book.
Learn how to cook food that's good that Dan can eat.
Go to the zoo with the kids again.
Feed the ducks (there had to be some I'd for sure accomplish)
Notice nice things about people and tell them.
Finally get 72 hour kits made and rotating.
Go to Finland with E&R and Der
Get those family photos organized (maybe I'd better lose my camera)
Have a nice flower garden at least one year.
Learn to play the guitar (more than the chords I keep learning & forgetting)
Though Derek said I can't really put this on the list since it depends on chance....
Ride on a plane with an apostle (preferably sitting next to them:)
There's lots more but I should perhaps put "Don't write things so long that people start yawning before the end".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Life List

I read an article in a magazine the other day about "life lists". These are lists of things you would like to do before you die. They can be short or long. They are not promises (meaning if you write something down you don't have to do it -- you can change your mind and take it off of your list). The idea is to "think like you are 7". In other words, the sky is the limit -- you shouldn't not put something on the list because you are thinking that is would really be impossible -- though being able to do a backflip might have been on my list when I was younger and I left it off now even though I'd technically still like to do it. It's easy in my imagination and I'll just count that.

I decided a life list sounded like a fun idea and I decided to try it. I went for the "100 things I'd like to do before I die" method. Kayli and I decided to have a race to see who could get to 100 first. I'm at 55 and I'm counting some things that I want to want to do. Kayli is on about 40. She was rather pleased though that she now knows what she wants to do with her life. She wants to earn 50 dollars for charity (among other things). This is, to me, a rather fun experiment. In a future blog I will share some of the things on my life list. For now, I will try "living in the moment" (which is on my list) and enjoy the little boy who wants to ride "the bus" which is my yellow 4-wheeler. What would be on your life list?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Where is Jake?

That is the question that we were trying to answer yesterday at dinner time. I sent Connor to get Jake at the neighbor's house where I thought he was. Connor didn't find him. We sent him to another house and still no Jake. Kayli tried and discovered that he had been seen "selling crystals door to door" with a couple of neighbor girls. Finally, I get in the truck and drive around the two blocks closest to us -- no Jake. By now I am getting slightly panicked. I went and talked to the same neighbor Kayli must have talked to and she said they were going up the street -- not down. So, I headed up. I could see that he was not on the road that we consider busy at the top of the street and so I headed across and -- once I turned the corner to head up I could see Jake (who was at least helpfully wearing a red shirt). He was with the two neighbor girls and a very large container of "crystals" which I didn't get a look at. I told the girls to go home (their sister had been looking for them) and I told Jake to get in. I asked if he thought I was happy with him. "No," he says. I felt like I was remarkably calm. I explained my distress.

Now -- what to do to try to prevent a repeat? We took away his bike priveleges for the next day (today). He said "okay". Later, I realized that he probably wasn't worried about it because he has a scooter. We then took away his scooter priveleges also (though his infraction took place on foot). He said "okay". Either he feels the punishment is justified and is meekly taking it -- or he (and I think this is more likely) -- is just resigned to the weird whims of his parents and will calmly take whatever punishment we come up with the next time too. How do you prevent kids from wandering without your knowledge? None of mine have been inclined to do this before so I'm a bit stumped.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Sabbath -- A Day of Rest?

For as long as I can remember, Sunday has been my favorite day of the week. I have always liked to go to church -- though it was probably for more social than religious reasons at first. After getting used to the Sunday rules we had growing up, I don't remember minding them. We couldn't play with friends -- but we could play with brothers and sisters. We didn't ride bikes, but we sometimes went for family walks. We didn't play in the front yard, but we were occasionally allowed to play in the back. We even had games that were Sunday games that subtly taught us gospel facts.

Now I have my own family and I have to work harder at having Sunday be one of my favorite days. It seems that I have to get up early, make dinner, get me and my children ready, clean up the occasional mess (Gasp! We have messes on Sundays too). I sometimes am doing last minute preparations for lessons, or helping the children with some of their goals for church. At church I am often in the foyer with Dan or listening to Jake. Every minute seems to be packed with things to do and I have wondered before why it is called a day of rest -- and how I can make it feel like one.

I was reading a book once by Sister Holland (Elder Hollands wife). She said that "rest" means to enter into the fulness of God's glory. It doesn't mean, in this instance, to "sleep a lot" or "to recline in a chair". Thus, to try to make Sunday a day of rest -- I try to come closer to God. I have found that this takes preparation. I need to not have so many last minute lesson preparations. Dinner preparations need to be relatively simple, and I need to take the time, throughout the day, to remember the blessings I have been given. Admitedly this is much harder than you'd think. Sometimes I get grumpy, and tired. Sometimes I even feel picked on or lonely. But sometimes, like today, I pray to feel the love of Heavenly Father, and He grants me the blessings of feeling His love. I am then able to notice how many grand blessings I have received and I know that I will make it another week. I will likely not make it without being disappointed in myself at some point, but I will make it.

So, as you get to Sunday and start wondering why this is called a day of rest, remember that it can be. If it is a hard Sunday, remember to pray that you will get a glimpse of God's glory so that you can have it to hold on to throughout the week. I think He wants us to have that kind of rest every single week.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Book Review for Jane Austen Fans

Northanger Abbey is by Jane Austen and, while I didn't like it as well as Pride and Prejudice, it was "tolerable I suppose". No, if you can handle a bunch of shallow people with a couple of genuine, innocent people thrown in, trying to make a perfect (by that read wealthy) match, it's funny. I like to imagine my husband living in that time period as a wealthy man. I think he would have ended up in an insane assylum after someone saying to him "I would love that above all things" more than once and obviously without really meaning it. Okay, maybe that wouldn't do it but being forced to attend balls night after night might. This book is a satire and is meant to be funny so laughing is okay.

The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Althea Darcy is by Elizabeth Aston who has studied the time period and Jane Austen and is, I believe, a Jane Austen wanna be. She writes stories about the Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennett Darcy family (those are the characters in Pride and Prejudice for those who have missed the book and the many versions of the movie). Her writing is interesting but is not what Jane Austen would have written. Every character is immoral. And in some cases the immorality seems to be applauded or approved of by the author. While some of Jane Austen's characters may also be assumed to have been immoral, she would not have pointed it out and written about it so blatantly. It would have been so subtle as to be almost not noticeable. In this book one character is "shocked" to find the other at a house of ill repute (even though they are both there searching out a murder suspect). She suspects him of being there to use the "services" of the ladies. He is shocked and offended that she would think he would do that -- but I couldn't figure out why he would be shocked. He had a mistress for five years and he admitted to having had a dalliance with one of the ladies of the disreputable house when he was young. Hmm. The plot keeps you going but I was disappointed in all of the characters for their lack of moral character, so I can't recommend it.

STOP! What are you thankful for today?

It's raining, and cloudy. The house is messy. I've been to the dentist with Kayli. The car's battery might stop working at any moment. So, as I was thinking of these things I decided to stop and think-- what am I thankful for today? My bran flakes were tasty. Dan had a great time at the dentist. Kayli's chipped teeth are fixed and she is at school for a few hours. The van worked the whole time I was driving. Dan is napping. The rain will likely turn things more green. Tonya was home when I called. I have a library book, or even my own books I can read if I want. I have good family and friends. I can listen to music or play some. But for this moment, I'm thankful that it is quiet and I don't have to hurry to get anywhere. What about you?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

When I was growing up, and after I had just gotten married, I thought that holidays should be celebrated on the actual day of the holiday. I still think that a holiday should be ackowledged in some fashion on the actual day, but I have become more willing to celebrate when there is time, health, and inclination for a celebration. Thus, though it is not February 14th -- today is Valentine's Day for Der and me. Illness prevented us on two other scheduled days, but today we are well and the sun is shining. So, best wishes to all for a happy, romantic day.