Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dog Attack

Last night Tiffany was taking care of a friend's dog, and it attacked her. It left deep puncture wounds on her right forearm, hand, and her knee. She had to kick it repeatedly to get it off of her, then called us to take her to the hospital (Adam was in a class and had his phone turned off, so he got to the hospital later). She was very traumatized. We are so glad her injuries were not worse.

If I heard correctly, the police are going to watch the dog for a certain time to see that it doesn't have rabies, and then its life will be TERMINATED.

What a scary horrible ordeal for Tiffany.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zac's Birthday

Happy 16th Birthday, Zac!!!
Here are Adam-11, Isaac-9, Seth-8, Bryce-5, Tara-20 mos at the hospital welcoming Zac sixteen years ago. (Below) I think Zac is about 6 in this picture. He has had glasses since he was almost 2.

Zac loves to rock climb, camp, hike, be in the Hill Cumorah Pageant, shoot his AirSoft gun with his friends, listen to music, watch Mythbusters and Doing DaVinci, tie knots, and ride a unicycle.

He very willingly helps his parents by lifting heavy objects and doing yardwork, and faithfully attends early morning seminary. He is a Life Scout and hopes to get his Eagle soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I am looking forward to watching General Conference this weekend, Oct. 3 and 4. If you have satellite (DirecTV) here in NC, it is on the BYU channel, 374, 12 noon to 2 pm, and 4 pm to 6 pm both Saturday and Sunday.

I am telling my seminary class to watch the Sunday sessions very carefully, because I always give a multiple choice test in seminary the next day, and the students receive fake "seminary money" for each correct answer (they buy stuff at our seminary auction using that money.)

The other exciting thing that will happen, is that our Morrisville Ward is going to be divided on Oct. 3, and the new Green Level ward will be created. Everyone is very curious to see where the dividing line will be. All we know is that it will be split into a north and south ward. But our Morrisville Ward had 230 children in Primary, so I heard that they had to be really careful with the dividing line to make sure they got a similar number of children in each new ward. We'll see how that turns out.

Well, on to another subject. JUSTICE. Doing what is right is important to me. And seeing someone blatantly breaking the law causes me to call the police. This is what Zac and I did in May when we both saw a person back into another car, get out and look at the damage, and then drive away.

We told the police about it, and filled out a police report, and agreed to be witnesses in the case. Zac was served a subpoena last week, and he and I went to the Wake County courthouse on Friday, where we were asked to speak to the defense attorney in a closed room. We were able to give our very solid testimonies as eyewitnesses to her. I guess she realized that we had a strong case against the perpetrator, and that we were willing to testify about it in a criminal trial, because after that, the defense attorney spoke to the perp in another closed room, and the perp pleaded guilty, instead of going through a trial. We felt triumphant!

The District Attorney spoke to me and said that most witnesses never show up, especially for hit-and-runs. So I think we did a good thing.

And I am especially proud of Zac, because he was very willing to do this whole thing, even though it was probably scary. I am thankful he wanted to do what was right.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ken Burns' National Parks

Tonight at 8 pm is the start of the new Ken Burns PBS 6-part-series on the National Parks. We are excited to see it, because Wayne grew up in several national parks. His dad was a park ranger in Yellowstone, Zion Canyon and Scotts Bluff. He was a ranger at Acadia NP in Maine when Wayne was born. Wayne's first memory is looking out the window of his house in Bryce Canyon National Park. His next memories are from living in the Great Smokies. Later, when his dad was no longer a park ranger, they still adored national parks and stayed in them all the time. He and his family camped out every where they ever went, I think.

Sadly, he married me, a girl who can't stand to leave indoor plumbing or air conditioning and never camped at all in my life until I was married. Thankfully I presented him with 5 sons who like to camp with him. (And a daughter who doesn't.)

Here is the description of the series:
"The National Parks: America's Best Idea"--Ken Burns explores the remarkable story of America's National Parks, from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to Great Smoky Mountains. His latest documentary series reveals the parks' unique histories and how they are intertwined with that of our nation.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Joy, Happiness, Creativity #2

The Uchtdorf talk that I mentioned yesterday reminds me of a turning point in my life. I was a young mother, with three tiny boys. I was struggling with keeping my house clean and all my other duties, but I had an innate desire to create items of beauty with needle and thread. I would make myself do all my housework, and then I would let myself sew one thread on my handmade quilt. ONE THREAD. That was my daily allotment. I figured if I did one handsewn thread per day, eventually the quilt would get done. (Note: Back then I sewed my quilts by hand. Now I do most things with a sewing machine.)

I even felt guilty for that tiny amount of "fun". I sometimes asked myself, "Shouldn't I be using my spare time to do genealogy or make a garden, etc.?" But I didn't WANT to do those things with my spare time, I wanted to SEW. I continued to sew, but I continued to feel guilty.

Right: photo of a bird carved from wood by Boyd K. Packer

Then, around 1985, I attended my brother Larry's graduation from BYU, and they gave Boyd K. Packer an honorary degree. As they presented the degree, they told how he (an apostle of our church) has carved many, many beautiful wooden sculptures of birds, and painted them. Some of them took up to a year to complete. This completely shocked me----I had the mistaken belief that apostles just do church work all the time. When I learned that an apostle can take time out from his busy schedule to create items of beauty, a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders, and ever since then, I have known that God approves of us having wholesome creative outlets in our lives. I am eternally grateful for that knowledge.

2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have JOY.

(If you want to read about Elder Packer's bird carvings, click on this article

Friday, September 25, 2009

Joy, Happiness, Creativity #1

This is from a talk by Dieter Uchtdorf, one of the twelve apostles of our church. Reading this makes me know that the Lord approves our creative desires, and as we enjoy creating, we can feel something of what God feels as He creates.

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.

Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.

Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children.

You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.”

If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination.

But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy.4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.

If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us.5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it.

Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.”6

The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.

My friend Lyric brought this quote to my attention. It is from a Relief Society broadcast, Sept. 2008, and published in the Ensign Nov. 2008. You can read the whole article by clicking

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe for disaster

One load of laundry.
Plus one full pocket of Kleenex.
Yes, I washed it all together. And didn't find out until I went to get the clothes out of the washer. I had to wash all the clothes twice and dry all the clothes twice, plus spend at least an hour picking more Kleenex off the clothing, and vacuuming the laundry room, hall, bedroom, and bathroom because the finished laundry still shed Kleenex everywhere.

Some other news:
Zac just got served with the subpoena to appear as a witness in a court case on Friday. He witnessed a hit-and-run and has to testify about it. It makes me a bit nervous. I don't like it that the perpetrator will know who we are.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Indian Territory

I grew up in Oklahoma, and there were plenty of Indians around. Everyone I knew called them "Indians". It never occurred to us that they were, actually, Native Americans.

Now I live in North Carolina, and my neighborhood is about 50% Indians, really truly Indians from the nation of India. So I really don't feel comfortable calling the Indians in Oklahoma "Indians" anymore, it sounds stupid to me. Duh, they are not from India!

With that said, I just went to the Woolaroc Museum near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, which is mainly about Native Americans and cowboys and oil wells and all the other things that have a history in Oklahoma. The museum was built in the 1920's, so all the displays refer to "Indians" but I will say "Native Americans" in this blog.

A really sick display of shrunken heads from Ecuador.

This statue of a pioneer family made me sad. It reminded me of my grandpa Hap's great-grandfather, James Box, who was shot with arrows and scalped by the Kiowas in northern Texas around 1866. His wife and daughters were taken prisoner, and the baby daughter Laura was killed. (see my blog entry March 16, 2009)

War hatchets from the Missouri tribe. Obviously they did not have the same idea that we have when we use the "heart" symbol.

This was one of about fifty Navajo rugs displayed in the museum. My grandparents Hap and Vinnie lived among Navajos in northern Arizona, and purchased many large beautiful Navajo rugs, some for as little as $100. My grandparents' rugs were way larger and more intricate than the ones in this museum. Unfortunately, my dad's brother Everett inherited all of them.

NEWS BULLETIN! We received the email yesterday that our ward is getting split on Oct. 3, in a meeting that will be held just before the General Priesthood Broadcast. Our Morrisville Ward will be split into the Morrisville and Green Level wards. During fast and testimony meeting this coming Sunday, I'm going to look around and see which man looks like the weight of the world is on his shoulders, and I'll assume that he is probably the new bishop.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Real Cowboys Know This

As my family and I were just walking up to the entrance of Woolaroc Museum, we saw a couple of lifesize statues of a cowboy and of Belle Starr, a female outlaw. My brother Larry immediately pointed to them and said, "Do you want to know how I can tell that these statues were not made by a real cowboy?" Then he pointed to their spurs. "They are wearing their spurs on the wrong feet". He said the buckles are supposed to be on the outside, and the wide leather piece goes on the inside, so it will rub on the horse and protect the boots from rubbing.

Who knew?

P. S. Ixnay on the Three Nephites story from Sept. 20. I guess Anne must have given me the keys. Only the bad news is that they really didn't unlock the high council room, they only fit in the keyhole. So today I was locked out of my classroom. I had told the man that was unlocking the door for me that I had a key, and he went out of town for a week with no worries. I had to give my lesson in the choir seats of the chapel, without a chalkboard or any of the students' supplies or scriptures. Now I have to scramble to get a key for tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lin and the Rattlers

While we were in Oklahoma, we visited the Woolaroc Museum, which is a famous museum between Bartlesville and Barnsdall which was created by Frank Phillips (the founder of Phillips Petroleum). I had always thought "Woolaroc" was a Native American word, and was disappointed to find out that Phillips' secretary had made up the name from the landscape around there: Woods, Lakes, and Rocks.

My dad and I were looking at this stuffed rattlesnake, and he once again told me his two very favorite rattlesnake stories.

When my dad was a teenager, he was fishing in a creek in Arizona, and afterward climbed up a steep bank to go home. As his head came up even with the top of the bank, he came face to face with a curled up rattler. As the snake began to strike, he hit the snake with his fishing pole. He said, "I don't know where the snake ended up, but I went back into the creek."

Next story. Also when he was a teenager in Arizona.
He was hunting with some relatives. He said, "I was plumb give out, and thought I would sit down for awhile and wait for the others." As he started to sit on a big rotted log, he got the feeling that there was something wrong. He turned around and looked again, and saw that there was a curled up rattler exactly where he was about to sit. He said, "I shot it in the head. And the funny thing was, I wasn't tired at all anymore." He said he suddenly had plenty of energy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ask a General Authority

Saturday night was our adult session of Stake Conference, and Jay Jensen was the visiting general authority. During his talk, he told us that for ten minutes we would break from the usual format, and he would take questions from the audience. A question popped into my head, so I raised my hand and I was one of the ones he called on.

My question was: "I enjoy using to prepare for talks and lessons, but find it very difficult to use the search engine. It just won't point me to what I am looking for. Are there any plans to improve the search engine on that website?"

He answered that he is on the committee, and that they know that there are concerns, and he gave us some hope that it would be improved someday.

That was cool to be able to ask a general authority something.

But until they improve that website, I have my own answer to the search engine nightmare. I have gmail for my email, and it will search for any word in any email you have ever written. So now when I have a talk I want to reference later, I just write an email to myself with the Speaker, Name of the talk, what Ensign, what page, etc. Then when I want to pull up that talk, I search for it on my email instead of using the stinky search engine on Then I just go to and go straight to the correct Ensign.

ALSO (different subject) ANOTHER COOL THING HAPPENED YESTERDAY. I have been struggling with teaching seminary in the Apex building, since our Morrisville building isn't finished yet, they have put me in the stake high council room for a month or two. Only I haven't had a key to it, and was told I couldn't get one. So I have had to rely on one of the parents to let me in the room each day when he brings his children to seminary, because he has a key to it. Except I usually have to wait for him.

Yesterday I looked in my purse and found some keys, I have no idea where they came from. So when I was at stake conference last night I tried the high council room door and the key fit! I think one of the Three Nephites made a special delivery to my purse!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Songs that are best forgotten

When we were in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, last Saturday, we passed the grocery store that Mother shopped at when we were kids. My older sister Cindy said, "Amy, do you remember those songs we made up?" I was surprised, I had no idea that Cindy remembered them also. We spontaneously started singing all the words to these two songs, which we had created as children on the numerous times when Mother left us out in the car while she shopped (of course parents would be arrested for that today, but back then kids were left alone all the time.)

I can very clearly remember laying in the floorboards of the back seat of our car while we made these up.

Here are the lyrics to our two exciting songs, and if you could hear the tunes, you would be equally impressed with our melody-writing abilities.

Song #1, I'll just call it "What I Want When I Grow Up", written between ages 5-7.

I'm gonna drive a pink Toyota,
My husband's gonna drive a blue Toyota,
I'm gonna live in Honolulu,
We're gonna have a girl and a boy.

I'm gonna live in an underground house,
I'm gonna paint it purple,
I'm gonna have a dog named ________ (can't remember)
Thats all, Thats all.

Song #2 - Untitled (A different tune, but equally bad. Also written between ages 5-7)

I went to the store
And opened the door
I bought a light
It was so bright
Then I went home
To my home in Rome
And that is all
Of my funny ball.

I was amazed that after about 43 years, Cindy and I could remember the tunes and sing every word.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tic Tac Toe Behind

While I was out on Daddy's land on the river, I saw this grill that my brother Larry had set up there. He and his family would come out there to fish.

It reminded me of a similar grill that Larry was fooling around with when we were kids. It looked a lot like this, and was in our yard. He was burning something on it, and my younger sister Carla, who was about 18 mos. old at the time, toddled backward and sat on the grill. She had a cloth diaper on, but at the edge of her diaper she burned her legs on the hot grill, forming little tic tac toe scars. It was very sad at the time, but we have teased her about it ever since.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Mother, Real Estate Developer

When I was a kid, my mother saw an ad in the paper that the old hospital in Hominy, Oklahoma was being sold. She put in a bid for $5,700 and won. So she completely redid the interior and made it into 9 apartments. She furnished it beautifully with antiques which she bought at the Manford Auction and refinished herself. Later, she sold it, and I am still sad about the gorgeous furniture that got sold with it.

Around the same time, she bought 17 acres in Pawnee, Oklahoma and put in the curb and gutter, roads, utilities, etc, and made a subdivision, with 37 lots. She creatively named the streets after herself and my dad, Chris and Lin.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great River View

While we were in Oklahoma, my dad and brother Larry took us to see the undeveloped land that Dad bought along the Arkansas River. The 200 acres extends a half mile on the riverfront, and goes 3/4 of a mile back.

This picture shows Larry standing on a 30 ft. tall cliff, made of boulders. We could see driftwood all around our feet, sometimes the river floods that high. That would be A LOT of water.

As I said, this land is undeveloped. They had created gravel roads back into it, but the farther we went the more it needed a four-wheel drive vehicle. Here is the view out the windshield. We finally got out and walked the last 100 yards or so. AND LATER I FOUND TWO TICKS ON ME, which I didn't appreciate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Living on Tulsa Time

There is a country song called "Living on Tulsa Time" which of course I sing every time I go to Oklahoma. I think my mother said one of the things that bugged her about my dad (they are now divorced) was that every time they went on a trip, he would keep his watch on Oklahoma time and have to count ahead or behind an hour every time she asked him the time.

I flew to Oklahoma Thursday through Sunday. All my siblings were there, to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday. My mom came too, because she likes to be where her kids are. We kept our parents on separate sides of the room and in separate cars so there were no altercations.

Each time I arrive in Oklahoma, one of the first things I see is men in cowboy hats and boots. You just don't see cowboy hats and boots in North Carolina. Here are some of my family at a restaurant, and you can see a hat in the background.

To commemorate my trip, I bought this cute little purse for a souvenir. I will use it as a little sewing bag (I keep needles, thread, scissors in almost every room in my house.)

There are oil wells everywhere in Oklahoma. The styles have changed over the years, now they don't look like it so much, but there used to be a little metal thing that the oil well appeared to be bending over, and as it pumped up and down it looked to my imagination like a gigantic metal mother ant caring for her baby ant.

Our family toured all over, and I was excited to see Hogshooter Creek (by my childhood home) and also Hellroarin Creek (near where my dad had a rock crusher). I remember it felt naughty as a kid to say "Hellroarin Creek" because it was almost like cussing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Age Progression: Lin (my dad)

Today is my dad's 80th birthday.

Here is my dad with my baby brother Jamey and my older brother Larry in 1968. My dad is about 38.

Here is my dad on his 75th birthday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sunflower Cake

The only thing Seth wanted at his Cary open house was a Sally Plautz cake. So I told Sally I wanted a topsy-turvy crooked cake with a sunflower theme. This is what she came up with. WE ALL LOVED IT!!!!

This is her second wedding cake to make for our family. Adam's and Tiffany's was an absolutely fabulous funny Halloween themed cake. I plan to show it on my blog around Halloween.

This is Sally's website:

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 Quilt that travelled the world

Eight years ago, when the terrorist attacks happened, I was feeling depressed and designed this quilt. It is titled, "The Flame of Hope". It is small, about 9" x 17".

Within a few days of my making it, Karey Bresenhan, the owner of the International Quilt Festival, called for 9-11 quilts and quickly put together a large display of them at the Festival. Mine was chosen as the front page image of the Houston Chronicle. Three hundred of the best quilts toured internationally for three years, and were published in a book, "America: From the Heart", by Karey Bresenhan. Mine was included in the exhibit and the book.

When the quilts were exhibited at the Knoxville Museum of Art, my quilt was chosen as the image which was on all the brochures and posters to advertise the exhibit. This quilt (and "Make an Appointment") are two of my most famous quilts.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Auto Mechanic

We really think Matt Breneman is a great auto mechanic. We've been taking our cars to him for years. He lost his job at Last Chance Garage, and now has a new job as the mechanic at Express Oil Change and Service, 901 E. Williams Street, Apex (south of the temple a couple of miles). Their phone number is 387-8570. I recommend him to everyone!

Also, here are a few things that are happening in my life:

Today I am flying to Oklahoma to attend my dad's 80th birthday. I get home Sunday evening.

Our 11-month-old dishwasher is putting water all over our floor. So I need to get it fixed while it is still under warranty.

We're looking for an Eagle project for Zac. Anyone have any suggestions?

And our Morrisville ward building is STILL NOT DONE. I saw it on Tuesday, and there was a huge hole dug next to the building, and there was a plumbing truck parked there. I can hardly wait to have it done, because currently I have to drive 9 miles each way to teach seminary at the stake center, and this new ward building is only a half mile from my house.

And finally, here's a terrible joke for you:

Q. How many men does it take to open a can of beer?

A. None. It should be open when she brings it to him.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: Tuesdays with Morrie

Written by Mitch Albom.

When Mitch Albom heard that his college professor (from twenty years ago) was dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig's disease, he went back to visit him. He started visiting him every Tuesday. Here are excerpts from the book.

p. 1-2. The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house...The class met on Tuesdays...The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience...The last class of my old professor's life had only one student. I was the student.

p. 12-13. "When a colleague died suddenly...Morrie went to his funeral. He came home depressed. "What a waste," he said. "All those people saying all those wonderful things, and Irv never got to hear any of it." Morrie had a better idea. He made some calls. He chose a date. And on a cold Sunday afternoon, he was joined in his home by a small group of friends and family for a "living funeral". Each of them spoke and paid tribute to my old professor...His "living funeral" was a rousing success.

p. 42. I remembered what Morrie said: "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it."

p. 43. I thought of something else Morrie told me: "So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they are busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

p. 66. "Ask me anything," Morrie always said. So I wrote this list: Death, Fear, Aging, Greed, Marriage, Family, Society, Forgiveness, A Meaningful Life."

(You'll have to read the book to find out all the answers Morrie gave him.)

p. 81. "Everyone knows they're going to die," he said, "but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently...There's a better approach. To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time. That's better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you're living...Do what the Buddhists do. Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, 'Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?'"

p. 174. One time, I asked if someone were to wave a magic wand and make him all better, would he become, in time, the man he had been before? He shook his head. "No way I could go back. I am a different self now. I'm different in my attitudes. I'm different appreciating my body, which I didn't do fully before. I'm different in terms of trying to grapple with the big questions, the ultimate questions, the ones that won't go away. That's the thing, you see. Once you get your fingers on the important questions, you can't turn away from them."
And which are the important questions?
"As I see it, they have to do with love, responsibility, spirituality, awareness. And if I were healthy today, those would still be my issues. They should have been my issues all along."

I was really touched by this book. It was very difficult to read the end, where Morrie died. What a wonderful soul he had. This book has changed my way of looking at the world. I want to be more prepared to die, and more appreciative of what I have while I am alive. I recommend this book to everyone.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Food Storage Challenge

I just heard about a Food Storage Challenge that is being done at I might be a week late in telling you about it, but it is still interesting to go there and learn about it.

They are going to announce, on a surprise date in September, when you are supposed to experience an "emergency", whether it is an electrical blackout, or loss of water, or an evacuation, etc, and you are supposed to try to live as if you are in that emergency. I doubt if I will do it, but I am going to follow along and read the blog posts of everyone else. I need to learn how to get through those types of things.

Wayne and I did a somewhat similar challenge when we were engaged. Our student ward bishop at BYU surprised us one sacrament meeting by asking the whole ward to go without shopping at the store for one whole month, to see if anyone could do it. Wayne and I made it through a couple of weeks I think. I know his roommate Dave quit after just a few days, because he was forced to eat popcorn for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Names in the Book of Mormon

I am fascinated with the names of people and places in the Book of Mormon. Here is a great poem I found.

There was an old woman who lived in the lanes.
She had so many kids with unusual names.
She called one of them Lemuel and one of them Lehi,
One of them Laman and one of them Nephi.
One of them Hagoth and one of them Harrod,
One of them Heth, one the Brother of Jared.
One Corianton and one Zechariah,
One Rameumptom and one Jeremiah.
One boy Mahonri and one Moriancumer,
One child Lamoni and one son Teancum-er.
One Gadianton and one Giddianhi,
One Gidgiddoni, one Gilgah, one Manti.
Helaman, Helorum, Gideon, Akish,
Shemlon and Shemnon, and Shiblon Riplakish,
Pagag and Pachus and Enos Uzziah,
Tubaloth Ezrom and Zenos Uriah.
One of them Gid and one of them Gad,
And one daughter Abish, that's all that she had.

Written by Gayle Platt Spjut
From the book, "Mother Goose for Mormon Youth"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Plan of Salvation Sea Turtle

Every year in seminary, we teach the Plan of Salvation on one of the very first days. It is also called "The Plan of Happiness" This lesson covers the basic questions,
"Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
Why am I here?"

(Here is my very short explanation of the Plan of Happiness if you've never heard of it: We lived in the Pre-existence with our Heavenly Father, then we were born, then we die, then we go to the Spirit World, either to Paradise or to Spirit Prison. Later we get resurrected, which means our spirit and body get put back together in a permanent way. We are judged, and are sent to one of three different kingdoms, depending on our choices that we made on earth, whether good or evil.)

Here is a much better explanation on if you want to check it out:

While we were talking about the three different kingdoms, my seminary students reminded me of a very easy way to remember the names of the kingdoms in order.


You say "Sea Turtle".


That stands for Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. (Celestial is the best, Terrestrial is the middle, and Telestial is the lowest.)

Now you don't ever have to be confused as to which order they go in.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Corn Maze

(Written Friday afternoon) A corn maze opened today about a mile from our house, so Wayne and I went on a date there soon after he got off work at noon. We were their very first customers! It cost $12 each, which was a bit pricey, but it was a fun experience. I've never been in a corn maze before. (I think I went in a hedge maze at some palace in England when I was on Study Abroad in 1979, but I hardly remember it.)

You can find it here:

The man told us that the corn wasn't your regular corn-on-the-cob, it was actually grown to be used as silage or fodder for animals, so the cobs were quite yucky. They were infested with some kind of fungus.

After we went through the maze, we got to shoot a Corn Cannon, which was powered by compressed air. It shot corn cobs a very long way.

Then we played on the kiddie features, which included a mini-maze made of haybales, and a slide. Unfortunately, since we were the first customers of the year, the slide had not been tested and Wayne went down it first. There wasn't enough padding at the bottom and he hit his tailbone super hard on the ground at the bottom. I think he has injured his back. We will see how he is feeling tomorrow.

(Added two days later: He is fine.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Book of Mormon Made Simple

Here is a YouTube video explaining the Book of Mormon for those who don't know about it.

For those of you who DO know about it, watch the geography in this video. In their cartoon maps of Central America, whats the deal with putting Nephites on the right and Lamanites on the left? I think it should have been the other way around. No matter where you place them in any spot in Central America, scripturally the Nephites have got to be able to expand to the North, and in this video they have placed the Lamanites where they could expand to the north. So I think they are wrong.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Insulating Attic Stairs

Here's something to do before cold weather starts:We have pull-down attic stairs, and the opening wasn't insulated very well. So we took an old sleeping bag, cut it down the middle and staple-gunned it around the opening in the attic.

Now when we climb the stairs, we have to unzip and zip the sleeping bag, but there are no more drafts around the door.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Big Smile

Here is a photo of Tara at Seth's and Janette's open house in Morrisville. She got her braces off only four days before the open house. Now she has such a big pretty smile. The money we spent on her orthodontia was some of the best money we ever spent. (click on the photo to make it bigger.)

Just for your information, Dr. Gurley told us that in his 30 years of being an orthodontist, Tara's mouth was the most messed up he had ever dealt with. When she first went to him, he looked at her x-rays and said, "You're heading toward ugly at 100 miles an hour. But we're going to fix it." And he did.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tiffany's Birthday

It is our daughter-in-law's birthday today. Tiffany is going to be the most educated person in our family, she is about to get her doctorate at Duke University. "Dr. W______"--doesn't that sound impressive?

She married our son Adam in October 2007, and they live in Durham.