Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fall Back

This time last year I missed the clock change thing. Did I blog about it? I can't remember, but I don't think I did because I was really embarrassed about it. Nathan was deployed, so no one was here to remind me to switch the clock. We got up for church and headed out a little early, because I had some Primary stuff to do.

I walked in the chapel and everything seemed so strange. No one was there getting ready, or saving seats. Just us. I put down my stuff and we headed to the Primary closet. I saw that the Bishopric was still in their meeting and I wondered why they were having it so late. It was Halloween day, and I wondered if somehow I missed an announcement about no church on Halloween, or something.

The phone rang in the foyer, and I answered it. A woman asked what time sacrament meeting started, and I told her 9am, but that it was getting close to 9 and no one was there and maybe we weren't having it today. She laughed and said - "Did you forget about the time change?" Whoops. How embarrassing. And disappointing, I could have slept in another hour.

So don't forget - Spring Forward, Fall Back.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I just finished the book True Notebooks by Mark Salzman. It is the nonfiction account of the author's time spent volunteering in a Juvenile Detention Center in LA. Each boy had made terrible choices, and were waiting to be tried as adults, likely to end up in adult prisons for much of their lives. The author spends 2 days a week encouraging these boys to write and giving them a chance to be heard.

It reminded me of two talks I heard recently - the first, of course, is the talk by President Hinckely about Forgiveness. He spoke about a woman who was seriously injured because some teenagers threw a frozen turkey off of an overpass, which struck her car. She could have helped imprison one of the young men for many years, but instead chose to forgive the young man and helped find help for him to clean up his life. President Hinckely quoted the article - Forgiveness Has Power to Change Future

And the second is a talk I heard at Stake Conference a couple weeks ago. The speaker told a story about two neighbors who each had snowblowers. Every winter these two men had a little contest to see who could get out earlier and blow the snow off each other's drive. The speaker said that that was a fine thing to do, but across the street lived an elder man who struggled to shovel out his own drive. Why didn't the snowblowers try to help this man who didn't have a snowblower and was truly in need? The speaker talked about giving service, and that sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone and help those who really need help.

I am not at a place where I could give service in a prison, but this book made me think about it. I really think that right now the service I give in my home is the most important, but as these little ones grow, it might be interesting to find a way to help incarcerated teen moms, or something like that.

These things have been running through my head lately. That is not the kind of service I have ever thought about doing before. I enjoy volunteering at school once a week, and I spend lots of time serving through my church calling. This fall I have also been helping with several different activities with the wives group, but I wonder if that time could be better spent serving those truly in need.

Spearfish Canyon

We took a weekend drive up to Spearfish Canyon for a picnic and a hike. The weather has been beautiful, the leaves are just about gone up in the Hills.

A walking stick is very important

Any fish?


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Cousin Fun

At about 1:30pm on Thursday, I got a call from Nathan's cousin Mark. Mark said "We just left Sioux Falls, so we should be there in about 6 hours." Hmm, I thought, but didn't ask, are you guys staying here? How long are you staying? How many kids do you have? Should I plan a big dinner? Instead, I just said "Great, we'll see you soon." and I called Nathan and said - "What is going on?"

I could vaguely remember Nathan talking to Mark about a month ago, and I gathered that he and his family were moving across the country. But I did not hear about an actual visit here with us. Nathan says he told me, but I think he forgot that small detail. Yikes!

Nathan did not return my call until he was heading home from work. In the mean time, I was running around crazy changing sheets, doing laundry, vacuuming, etc. I had Hannah and Sydney working, and Emily playing with John outside. So, at about 6pm (really only 4.5 hours after the initial phone call,) Nathan called and said that Mark was following him home and they would be here in about 10 minutes. So I started to brown some hamburger for nachos and tried to feel calm and excited.

I have met Mark a few times at Barrett family stuff, and I met Shannon at their wedding about 8 years ago. Mark's sister lived with us for a few weeks when we lived in Florida. Oh, and Heather, you may remember going to Sacramento with the Damons one Easter, and hanging out at Mark's parents' house. So I kinda knew who these people were, and it turned out that we had a great time with them here.

Mark and his wife Shannon have two girls, Emily and Jillian. Our girls had so much fun playing with their girls. Our Emily is just a year younger than their Emily, and they kept saying "we look like sisters" and "we are best friends."

Emilies on Crazy Horse

Nathan took Mark to work with him and Mark got to go in the B-1 for a busy taxi. Then we went to Mt Rushmore. The best part of the visit was playing games late into the night, last night. We set the kids up with blankets and pillows and a movie and they had a sleep over downstairs, while we played Sequence and ate ice cream Sundays upstairs. They just stayed 2 nights, but we had fun, and maybe we will be able to see them again next summer when we head to Washington.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Officer Spouse Club Cookbook

My second cookbook (after I publish Don't Scrape the Bottom, a recipe book for distracted moms) will be the Officer Wives Club Cookbook with little tidbits of juicy gossip along with a each dish. I will include elaborate decoration suggestions, dress tips, guilt-trip fundraising, and conversation starters. Hey, this is not a bad idea.

I am a slacker wife, so this year I decided to sign up to help host this month's "Coffee". I have yet to see coffee at these meetings, and if I were a coffee drinker, 7pm seems a little late to start drinking. I am guessing that in the past these meetings were held in the morning along with coffee and pastries (hmm, maybe I should include a history of the wives club in my book) Our "coffee" this month included a keg of beer, so maybe we should change the name to "Wives Kegger"

Okay, so a few weeks before the meeting we had a 2.5 hour planning meeting where we decided what soup to serve, what color napkins to have, and most importantly, what kind of beer to serve - 4 pitchers with a variety of flavors, or a keg with just one choice. Our menu:

Cheesy Potato Soup
White Chicken Chili
3 kinds of cookies
iced tea
keg of beer
water available for me

I get asked by my non-military family if the wifes are a bunch of backstabbing, gossiping, b-witches. But really, we are not so different than your average Mormon Relief Society bunch. Some women seem to glory in their husbands rank, but most are just there to make friends. We have a monthly meeting where we socialize, eat, volunteer to help bake cakes for bachelors or take dinners to new moms, discuss upcoming activities, and sometimes do a craft or have a guest speaker. If you just throw in an opening prayer and a little less brewsky, you've got "Enrichment Meeting"

Last night the meeting was hosted at a paint your own pottery store. There were little beer steins available to paint with the squadron thunderbird logo. Every time our husbands change squadrons they get a beer stein with their call-sign and squadron logo printed on it. So the wives could paint our own lady-stein to match our husbands'. For my family, a beer stein is like a big mug that looks like something Gastan from Beauty and the Beast would drink out of. These steins were smaller and a little more feminine.

I know Nathan's mom loves hot cocoa at work, and her highschool's mascot was the Thunderbird, so I made her a little Thunderbird stein for Christmas. On the bottom I printed "Nate's Mom" so you can read it when she lifts her mug. 1 gift down, 20 to go. Sorry mom, no stein for you

This whole squadron thing is like belonging to another church. There are jobs you can volunteer for, that the women take seriously and treat like a calling. There are monthly family potluck dinners, holiday parties for kids, adult formal evenings, twice monthly bunko, mom's morning out, and service projects.

I think the main difference (besides the beer) is that the women go way overboard planning these activities. We are planning to serve dinner in November to the spouses of the deployed guys in the other sqadron. The theme is Italy. We are providing 3 different wines, 2 antipastas, 5 pastas, 3 breads, and 3 desserts, as well as table centerpieces, hand made invitations, and a takehome gift, not to mention childcare for the children complete with dinner and crafts and games. Also , if you are staying to help serve you need to wear black pants, a white shirt, and your husband's red thunderbird scarf. The planning for this dinner has involved several emails, and 2 planning meetings. (This could be all included in my book)

You can see why I need this book, my ideas are not so involved. I declined to help plan, but I am willing to bring a dish and help with childcare. It's probably a good thing I wasn't at the planning meetings - here's my idea - 2 large Sam's club lasagnas. Garlic bread. Bagged salad. Lemon water. No meeting, just an announcement at the wives meeting along with a signup sheet to help with child care. That's all.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We had our first bit of snow yesterday. Places west of here had as much as a foot of snow, but we had just enough to make a snowball. It has been warm, so I didn't have any hats or mittens out, and we had a mad scramble to get everyone bundled up and out the door in the morning.

I taught John the important skill of holding onto the end your sleeve while putting on your coat. While I was putting him into his carseat I saw that his little fist was still clenched on his shirtsleeve. I guess I forgot to tell him he could relax once the coat is safely on.

The snow has melted, but it is still cold.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Even Better Than an Apple for Your Teacher

Sydney won $100 for her teacher! Remember when we went to the fair this summer? Along with entering projects in the fair there was another contest for school aged children. All you had to do was write your grade and the name of your school on the ticket with each entry, and you would be entered in a drawing for $100 for your teacher. This contest was kind of obscure, and the information about it was in a little square on a page with lots of other items, easily overlooked. Too bad we're not homeschooling this year.

As we were entering the kids projects and asking if we were doing it right, none of the workers seemed to know what I was talking about when I asked about the school contest. But we entered anyway. When the fair was over and we picked up our loot, we didn't hear anything about the $$$ so we just figured we didn't win and forgot all about it.

Yesterday, Sydney's teacher called her over to her desk and told her that she won $100, all thanks to Sydney! I talked to Mrs. H. later, and she said that she received a letter from the fair, and nearly threw it away, thinking it was just advertisement. When she opened the letter she was very surprised to find the check. She told Sydney that she was going to head to Hobby Lobby after school and buy some fun supplies for the class.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Saturday afternoon Nathan suggested that I go hop in the shower so that we could all go out to dinner. I was all grubby from sitting on the couch, listening to conference all day. We rarely go out to dinner, so it sounded like a special treat.

Nathan had all the kids get washed up and dressed in "Sunday" clothes. He even ironed a shirt for me. But instead of going out to eat we stopped at a deli for sandwiches and had a picnic at a park. Nathan was being rather mysterious about a very special surprise.

After we ate, we drove up and down our favorite street and looked at all the old houses. I wondered maybe if we were buying a house? Would he buy a house without talking to me? no, not a new house. Then I thought maybe we were having family pictures taken. nope.

One of the kids eventually had to go to the bathroom, so he pulled in and stopped at the civic center - he said to use the bathroom - but the civic center is not really my usual first choice for a restroom break.

There were lots of other people, all dressed up, heading into the Civic Center, too.

Yippee! Nathan surprised us with tickets to

The Lord of the Dance.

How fun! We had nice seats in the center of row Q. And the kids were all great. I was a little worried about center seats, as there would be no quick exit. But John just sat back on my lap and enjoyed the dancing. He was a great clapper. He fell asleep near the end, but would wake up and clap when everyone else was clapping, then go back to sleep. The girls loved it, but none of the ladies waiting for the restroom could talk Hannah or Sydney into showing off any dance moves. Emily, though, had on her red sparkly shoes and was ready to dance.

The main dancer guy looked strangely like Randy C. Hmm? Mary? Is Randy doing a little moonlighting with a dance troupe? Those guys have the fastest feet ever. I loved the tapping sound that their shoes made on the stage. The women were beautiful and incredible dancers, with long curly hair. And incredibly firm - there is no way to hide the jiggle in that show. They also had a couple dancing fiddlers. They made me think of the Irish sisters from Sonoma who played the fiddle while their dad sang, only with fancier moves. It was a very exciting show.

Nathan really planned this surprise well - I had no idea he had anything planned. He had to have bought the tickets weeks ago, and he managed to pick up the mail on the day that they came without me suspecting anything. I think it was such a fun thing for him to do. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sunday Afternoon

Nelson - Christ is the Master Healer. Our prayers are not ignored. Repent and be converted so that He can heal us. Deepen your faith, work hard, serve others and then your heart will be healed.

? - The world is preparing for 2nd Coming of Christ. Scriptures available to all people, and literacy among all was the beginning of the restoration of the gospel.

? - Scriptures are a history of sacrifice: Alma and Amulek, Christ, Pioneers. Today we are not asked to give up our lives, but to make small sacrifices daily. Small sacrifices bring blessings. Korea celebration. Do not be afraid of sacrifice. Sacrifice brings blessings, and you may find in the end that it was no sacrifice at all.

Paul Calicer? - Making and keeping covenants brings us to the presence of the Lord.

Snow - Liahona lead Lehi's family through the wilderness to the promised land. The teachings of today's conference are directions of the Lord. Do not be slouthful because of the easiness of the way (Alma to Heleman in Alma 37:46)

? - Feed my sheep. Nurture each one to bring to Christ. People not programs. Love one another.

Deiter Ukdorf? - Focus on the basic principles of the gospel. Center of your testimony should not be located in the social aspects of the church. Our safety lives in the virtue of our lives (Hinckely) The light of Christ, not the organizations of the gospel bring others to the church. People are asked to remain in their homelands and build the church there.

President Hinckley - Moroni told Joseph Smith that his name would be had for good and evil among all people.(JS history 1:33) Dec. 23, 2005 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith, Jr's birth. Large celebration.

Sunday Morning Conference

Thomas S. Monson - Joseph Smith taught many lessons for us by example in his life: Courage, Faith, Honesty, Patience, Diligence, Missionary Work, Love

Boyd K. Packer - Ways we are prepared as a church - LDS edition of scriptures cross referenced, available for all. Book of Mormon in 106 languages. We believe all that God has revealed, all that God does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Curriculum rewritten to center instruction on Christ, priesthood, and family. The Family a Proclamation to the World. The Living Christ. FHE. Preach my Gospel. Temple building. Family History.

Batemen - Worldwide church, Universal nature of Gospel. Plan of life. Restorations including a book - Moses and tablets, Lehi, Joseph Smith. Atonement - timeless doctrine.

? Primary - 2 Nephi 4:15 How to read the Book of Mormon:
1 - My soul delighteth - delight in the scriptures. Attitude that i bring with me affects what I learn
2 - My heart pondereth them - carry the scriptures that I have read in my heart. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
3 - heart writeth them for learning and profit of my children - scriptures written in my life and govern actions provide example to children . Bring up children in light a truth.
Draw closer to Savior while reading.
Strengthen family in scriptures
Parents call family together to read, Children respond quickly and happily.
An invitation and a promise, claim blessings of reading the Book of Mormon.

Richard G. Scott - Plan of Salvation - Prove yourself obedient to commandments, grow in understanding, make covenants and ordinances, have a family, go through trials and return triumphant. Light of Christ provides guidance, transgression weakens influence of Holy Ghost, but repentance can restore. A pattern of Light and truth then darkness from Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Joseph Smith.

President Hinckley - Forgiveness is the greatest virtue. Prodigal Son. He that is without sin, let him cast the 1st stone. Love your enemies. Forgive trespasses. I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. Great story about forgiveness and the Frozen Fowl Law. Forgiveness with love and tolerance accomplishes miracles. Lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. I love President Hinckley.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Saturday Afternoon Session

I didn't catch all the names of the speakers, so I just guessed

Opening song - Awake and Arise - I thought that was a great choice - no more napping.

Dallen H. Oaks - Priesthood Authority in Family and Church. Some misunderstanding about use of Priesthood - abusive fathers, women taking over husbands callings (Nathan gave me a little kick, okay, no more scout suggestions from me) Priesthood is the Power of God used to bless all of his children.

Jeffery R Holland - speaking to teenage girls. great talk. Make teenage years a triumph rather than a tragedy. Stay true to standards not fads or fashion. Modesty in appearance is always in style. no midrift. Teens need limits as well as love. Sabbath worship should be in Sunday best in dress and shoes - should not appear to be heading to the beach (does that mean no more flip flops?) Accept who you are. Adult women are an example to YW.

Ben ReJola? - Come unto Christ. Happiness is the purpose of the gospel. quote from BofM Lived after the manner of happiness.

C Scott? - Mexico. Remnant of House of Israel. Arise and shine forth. Sign of gathering.

? of the 70 - Enos. Go and serve. Labor diligently.

Henry B. Eyring - How can I be prepared? Gain an unshakeable testimony of Christ by being quick to obey and steady in faith.
1 - Feast upon the words of Christ - words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do
2 - Pray always - asking what he would have me do
3 - tithing - decide now to control spending, do not procrastinate. Protection in the last day
4 - Sin - the best time to resist is early, the best time to repent is now.

Bower? - Hold fast to the Proclamation on the Family - like a banner. Family is the basic unit of society and church. Be the best parents you can. respect your children - devote time to strengthen family - nothing more important. No happiness without service. No service greater than family. How to strengthen:
1 - consistant in daily prayer and weekly Family Home Evening
2 - teach gospel and basic family values - love of scriptures. do not get involved in so many outside activities that there is no time left for family. Focus on on subject or value and find ways to teach it.
3 - strong family identity - through traditions, rules, chores, responsibility.
Parents must do all they can to fortify family. extended family can help. What matters most is what lasts the longest, and family lasts through the eternities.


I love Conference. I especially love that we can sit here at home and listen from the internet. It would be nice to see the video, but I know from experience that viewing conference on TV is not all that much more exciting.

Notes from Saturday Morning Session: These are just my quick notes and thoughts, no direct quotes, transcripts will be available at

President Hinkley - Temple service is the end product of all our teaching. The sun never set on the English Empire, but empire is no longer. The gospel of the Lord is going out to all people.

L.Tom Perry - Read the Book of Mormon. It is written for our day, those who lived while it was written were not able to read it, it is for us to read. It is not just a history of ancient americans, but a tool for us in our lives to come unto Christ. I liked how he used the story of Nephi to illustrate our journey to read the Book of Mormon. Have a plan, scriptures are worth more than gold or worldly things, following commandments in faith brings promised blessings.

Kieth B. McMullen? (presiding Bishopric) Calamaties can help us chose the right. We should think about ways we could be better prepared - preparedness starts with faith, tithing shields from want, Fast offering, live within means, storage.

YW General President? - The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Modesty is more than just dress. Satan has no body and hates that we have this great gift of a body, he uses many ways to tempt us to defile our bodies - chastity, addiction, objectifying.

Joseph B. Whorthlin? - Depart from iniquity and journey to the higher ground. following the prophet can bring safety. Righteousness leads to prosperity leads to pride leads to sin leads to sorrow...

James E Faust - whoops, didn't take notes and cannot remember a thing. Helping Hannah learn how to move from chain-stitch to actually crocheting.