Monday, January 27, 2014

My Goal of Health

White crane spreads its wings!
This year I am choosing to study any aspect of health that I am interested in.  I have, in these first few weeks, found this more interesting than I expected.  So far I have made menus, which has allowed me to shop for groceries with actual meals in mind.  I am thankful not to have to come up with meal ideas every day.  We still have days when we eat "whatever we can find in the fridge", but at least there are actual meals to find sometimes!

Derek had the idea of me trying Tai Chi.  So far I have learned that I like the names they have for each move like, "Part The Wild Horse's Mane" and "White Crane Spreads its Wings".  It takes a bit of patience to learn every move properly.  There is a proper order for things; heal down, toes down, shift weight, etc.  The idea is to learn every movement so well that you can do it automatically, and correctly.  It's kind of like doing a super slow motion dance.  I think it is fun, and I will like it better when I know more than 3 of the forms.

There are some aspects of health that I don't struggle with but someone in my family does. I have a husband and some children who have trouble getting to sleep, and staying asleep.  I found Jake on his bedroom floor huddled in a ball this morning upset that he hadn't slept all night.  Thursday night it was Dan who couldn't sleep all night and the poor boy had bags under his eyes by afternoon!  Hopefully I can study out a way to help them sleep better.

I will like to study play because it sounds fun to find new things I like to do, and  I will enjoy studying forms of meditation to help me stay calm in challenging times!  Health is ending up to be a far more interesting goal than I believed it would be at first.  There is always something to learn!

*image from

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dan Says. . .

"Aren't you glad I'm not Calvin?"

I was thinking, "Calvin?  Who's Calvin?"  Then I realized that Dan has been loving reading Calvin and Hobbes comic books.  He went on to explain how naughty Calvin is when his babysitter comes.  I have read Calvin and Hobbes and enjoyed them thoroughly.  Calvin is one imaginative child!  Still, I am thankful that Dan is not Calvin.  Dan is imaginative too, and I love him just the way he is.

This particular cartoon describes how I felt this evening -- only it was my Oscar the Grouch shirt.  Even the Grouch can't help Jake and I be happy that he has piles of math to make up because he's been sick all week.  I need to help him since Derek has other duties tonight.  Somehow we both feel inadequate.  Maybe Jake and I need full fledged super suits.

*Calvin and Hobbes comics are by Bill Watterson

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dan Says ....

(As reported by Derek)

Dad, I don't want to go on a mission when I grow up.  I want to go to college.  Nobody in our family goes on a mission, they go to college.  I want to go to the Payson College.

(Derek explains that there is no Payson College)

Well, maybe they will make one before I grow up.

(Derek suggests that Dan will probably want to go on a mission when he grows up, and then to college -- Goodnight!)

I think that perhaps, after Dan's brothers go on missions, Dan will know that we do go on missions in our family.  His Dad did!  His Grandparents did!  He has 2 cousins on missions, and one leaving soon!  I also think, sadly, that once he's grown he won't be so excited to go to Payson College, but will want to be independently farther away from home.  Sigh.  I'm glad to have him be little for while longer.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Making Everything All Better

One morning not too terribly long ago, I woke up feeling sorry for myself.  I was sitting out by the fireplace having a pity party.  Why?  I had been thinking about all of the people I know who have really hard problems and challenges.  Naturally, I want to make everything all better, and naturally, I can't.  I know people who have custody battles, addictions, marriage troubles, and health problems.  I know people who are lonely, and angry, and bitter.  As I sat on the fireplace, I thought that maybe, since I can't make everything all better, it would be nice if I was blissfully unaware of anyone's struggles.

Just as quickly as I thought, "It might be nice to be blissfully unaware", the thought came, "Don't you want to be like Jesus?"  Well, I do.  I do want to be like Jesus.  If He had come, and been "blissfully unaware" of the challenges of people around Him, and of the challenges I would have, He would not have been able to help any of us.  While it is true that I cannot make everything all better, I might be able to make something a little better.  Heavenly Father and Jesus can make things better for sure, so, if I know about someone's challenges, I can at least pray for them.  Prayer does work.  It will help.  If I know about someone's challenges, maybe I can love them better, and love helps too.

Thinking about Jesus gave me perspective, and perspective cured the pity party.

*Picture by David Bowman

Friday, January 10, 2014

Comparison is the Fast Track to Misery

During Sister Pearce's talk at "Time Out for Women" a few years ago, she said that "comparison is the fast track to misery".  This has stuck with me, and pops into my head regularly.

I often catch myself comparing me to those around me.  My neighbor up the street sings and plays the piano better than I do.  My brother is more skilled at the guitar.  I know people who are better at making others laugh, or feel comfortable.  There are people who are great at exercising regularly, and who actually have the ability to play basketball without it really hurting their shoulders.  I compare my talents, my health, my house, etc.  Granted, I often find a different person for each thing, but there is always somebody out there being better than me, or having some thing or situation that I don't -- and wish I did!   I start to feel ungrateful, and unhappy, because my talents are not as big as someone else's, my things not as nice, or my health not as good.

If comparison is the fast track to misery, then I am pretty sure that gratitude is the key to joy.   Just because someone else is more skilled at something than I am, does not mean that what I do is of no value. Focusing on what I can do, and what I do have, is helpful.  It is also good to remember that Heavenly Father loves me because I am His child, and He does not want any of His children to be miserable.  He loves me whether I can do or say things better than other people, or not.  He loves me whether I have a lot of things, or none.  He loves me for who I am.

Comparison is the fast track to misery, but gratitude is the key to joy.  Today, I choose to be grateful.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy New Year!

I don't think I've ever felt like Calvin, but I wouldn't
want anyone telling me what my goals should be either!
Monday we (my family) filled out our new year's forms.  On these we write down lots of things about ourselves including our favorite movies, and books, and what we accomplished this past year.  We make predictions for a couple of years ahead, and we write down our goals of the year.  When I got to the part about my goals I hesitated.  I had thought, and thought, and finally even decided on a goal, but I was feeling too tired to write it down, so I wrote that my goal was to have enough energy to actually want to accomplish a goal.  I've felt tired lately -- maybe mostly tired of being responsible!  I've had such long to do lists that I am getting tired of to do lists.  A little unstructured vacation time where everyone is healthy, happy, and takes care of themselves, sounds like heaven.  But, I do have a goal or two.

I like to come up with one word goals for the year -- and this year I chose "health".  I wasn't very excited about this idea, but decided that I would like it if I chose different thing related to health to study and work on each month.  Lots of things affect our health, and I am quite excited to learn about some of those things.  This month I made myself do menus and snack ideas because I figured I'd be healthier if we had less "whatever you can find in the fridge" dinners, and less quick junk food snacks.  Now comes the part where I actually have to use the menus -- or it won't make any difference at all.  Wish me luck!

I also have an idea, or goal, for my blog.  I decided that, besides random posts about my family and our activities, I would post stories, or quotes, or ideas that could be talked about at dinner.  I want to be better at talking about important, and interesting ideas at dinner -- but I usually draw a blank and everyone is done eating and gone before I come up with anything.  Maybe I can do better at using the things I write about here to talk about when dinnertime rolls around.  And, if things go really well, we'll be eating delicious, semi-healthy food from my menus, having important conversations, and all smiling like the picture above.  Dream big!

*Calvin and Hobbes Cartoon is from Google docs but was created by Bill Watterson
*The smiling family dinner is from