Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Family Life

It has changed my life to have children. It has made me poorer and more confused.

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
See if they are yelling at the same kids.

Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain.
--Martin Mull

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
--Harry S. Truman

There’s one thing about grandchildren-- They never go around showing snapshots of their grandparents.
--Bessie and Beulah

When I said "I do", I didn't realize it meant I'd do everything.

A father is a banker provided by nature.

I can handle any crisis--I have children.

Hug me, hold me, squeeze me...Pretend I'm the remote control.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Recipe

Here's an old ad I found. MMMMMmmmmmm.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Baby Dress

This is a baby dress that I wore when I was a newborn. It is beige now, but it was robin's egg blue 51 years ago. The thread is all blue but the color of the fabric has faded away.

I am not wearing that same dress, but here is a baby picture of me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Dream Garages (and Dream Home)

Above: This is my favorite house style. Wayne and I both love wrap-around porches. I always picture myself living in a house like this, maybe someday we will build one.

Below: This is a house west of Cary, in Chatham County, that has 3 garages on the house and an additional 3 garages across the driveway. That is the exact number of garages we need on our future house. (DREAM ON!!!!!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Still Want a Painted Sky

We went to a wedding reception at Greg and Heather's house. He has painted this gorgeous sky in the tray ceiling in their dining room. This is exactly what I want on my ceiling someday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fun Little Trip

Wayne only took a half-day off for our 30th anniversary, because we consider the cruise we took in March to have been our real celebration.

But we wanted to spend time together, so we took a long drive in his Mustang, and drove through Pittsboro, Sanford, and Lillington. We took pictures of houses, we ate lunch at Mrs. Lacey's Magnolia Tea Room, we shopped in antique stores (We loved this purple leather chair) , and we browsed in the huge showroom of East Coast Classics Auto Sales in Lillington.

Then we ate supper at Carabba's, rented two movies "When in Rome" and "Alice in Wonderland", and came home and set up my new digital projector and played the movies on the wall, like a huge big screen TV.

It was quite a lovely anniversary.

P.S. I quite enjoyed both of the movies, and recommend them to everyone. It was great that neither one had any cussing or immorality. ( I guess the only warning I would give is that "When in Rome" showed a bit too much cleavage.) I probably won't buy them, though.

"When in Rome" made me laugh out loud many many times. I just loved Jon Heder's role as a street magician.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Slippery Slope to Tyranny?

I read an article a couple of days ago written by Thomas Sowell, "Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?" .

Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.

And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated.

But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men."

If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion — or $50 billion or $100 billion — then so be it.

But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law."

Mr. Sowell points out that "The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP's money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed "czars" controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are."

And now, here is what I am thinking:

Remember that old quote about not caring when the Catholics were persecuted, because I'm not a Catholic. Not caring when the Jews were persecuted, because I'm not a Jew, and so on. Are we all saying, "Hurray, they are taking $20 billion from BP, and BP deserves it?"

What happens next when the government powers decide to take away assets from YOUR business or YOUR church or YOUR non-profit or anything else you care about? Shouldn't we be concerned that constitutional law is not being followed here?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bryce's Birthday

Happy Birthday to Bryce! Here is a picture from when he came home from his mission last July.

Right now he is about to leave Provo and go off to become a counselor for the "Especially for Youth" program. For 7 different weeks, he will be in these cities:
1-Lawrence, KS
2- Normal, IL
3- Bloomington, IN
4-Granville, OH
5- Bowling Green, KY
6 and 7- Nauvoo, IL.

They get off work when the kids check out on Saturday mornings, then have to provide their own transportation to get to the next venue, and start again on Sunday night with orientation meeting for the counselors, then the kids arrive Monday at 10 or 11, and the whole full-time counselor job kicks in again. It sounds like a really hard job to me. I wonder when they do their laundry?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Cutest Car

I have loved the new Volkswagons ever since they came out a few years ago. This color of yellow is my very very favorite.

Wayne keeps saying he will buy one for me, but I said no. I have never driven one, and how do I know if I would like it? All I know is that I love to look at them.

The cutest one I ever saw had a Smiley face for the front license plate, and daisy hubcaps. And a few big Flower Power stickers (or magnets?) on the sides. I could be quite happy driving a car like that. That is the image of myself that I want to portray.

Instead of the stupid 15 passenger van that I am currently driving.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our 30th Anniversary

Wayne and I got married June 21, 1980 in the Salt Lake Temple. Here are two photos I have from that day that have been scanned to digital (I need to get the rest done).

Above: Wayne's dad is in the front with Elizabeth, Wayne and I are walking with Ashlee. My mother and her husband Gil are behind Wayne's dad. And lots of other friends and relations are behind us.

Below: This is a sweet photo of Wayne's grandparents. It was a rare snapshot of them being cute and romantic to each other.

I can remember driving to the Salt Lake Temple that morning with my mother. I was absolutely panicked that we would get in a car accident, or that Wayne would, and that one of us would be killed before we could get married.

And my fears for Wayne were actually pretty realistic, since his grandpa was the one driving to the temple. Halfway from Layton to Salt Lake, Grandpa suddenly swerved and exited because he remembered he had left his temple recommend at home. They had to go back for it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Wayne

What are Wayne's best skills, talents, attributes or character traits?

Amy said: He gets a task, and sticks with it until he is done, even if it takes forever. Wayne is the best father in the world to our kids.

Adam said-He’s quite patient and understanding. Even with my considerable skills, I only got him to snap a couple of times in all the years I was growing up.

Tiffany said-He really cares about people and thinks about their needs. He recognizes and appreciates other people's strengths.

Isaac said- Giving advice and coordinating people and gear, enjoying time with his kids, loving my mom, discussing difficult topics when they need to be discussed..

Seth said- One of Dad's amazing skills is his ability to back up a trailer. It's harder than it looks! He's also always willing to serve when he sees someone in need or the church needs his service.

Janette said-
Wayne is very easy to talk to and makes me feel like I am funny and interesting even if I'm not. :)

Bryce said-He’s super friendly and he sacrifices himself all the time for his family. He always treats Mom with love and respect, and as Joseph Smith said “teaches us sound principles and lets us govern ourselves.” He trusts us. He is always temple worthy and ready to give us a blessing when we need it.

Tara said-Being cuddly.

Zac said-Being a good father.

What do you appreciate most about Wayne?

Amy said-He goes the second mile, always doing the utmost to help. Doesn’t cut corners, wants to do things right, even if it takes a lot more time and effort than other people would give. AND HE IS THE BEST HUSBAND IN THE WORLD TO ME.

Adam said- He’s a totally fantastic dad.

Tiffany said- He was an excellent father to my husband.

Isaac said-The time and attention he takes to teach me, whether it be rock climbing, packing, marriage, or people skills.

Seth said- He's always been a great example of how to be a good father. When I have a family, I want to treat my kids like he treats his.

Janette said-I really appreciate Wayne's easy-going personality. I was instantly comfortable with him, and I find his presence very calming.

Bryce said- He’s the best dad in the world.

Tara said- Being cuddly.

Zac said-How he has raised us so good.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thirty Years Ago- Going to the Temple

I went to the temple for the first time thirty years ago today. All these many years later, Wayne loves it when I wear yellow, he says that was the prettiest dress I ever wore.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Evacuating: What to Take

I took this whole quote from the May 5, 2010 blog post of Totally Ready. I love to read that blog because she constantly talks about things we should be thinking about for emergencies.

It was interesting what things this woman did and did not remember to take when she evacuated from the San Diego fires two years ago.

"We had a half hour notice to evacuate. A friend called when he was called by a friend who received a reverse 9-1-1 call. My initial thought was, this is a drill, we’ll be back tonight, we’ll be the only ones on the road. All of these assumptions were wrong. My husband grabbed the kids and told me to grab a few things. What did I grab? Makeup! Of course when he came in and saw me I woke up to the important things. We ended up taking three days worth of clothes, photo albums, camera, computer, file documents, journals, scriptures, 72-hour kits, and the kids each picked one toy. There was no forethought; I just grabbed what I could, what was visible.

I wish I had taken past journals, letters from my mission, my wallet, CDs and movies for the long drive. Can you believe I forgot my wallet?

A drive that would normally have taken an hour took three times that long. We did not take food, so our 72-hour kits were used to supply snacks in the car. We learned that you should never put mints or minty gum in your kit without wrapping it separately. Everything tasted like mint.

I now have a plan, an updated box of important documents is ready to go in the garage, and we always have at least a half tank of gas. The experience affected my children more than I thought it would. The smoke was very scary for my son, and he still talks about it. He still pretends to put out fire in our grass. I know they had feelings of displacement and confusion. We went to Toys R Us when we were in LA that night. Toys and food are what they needed."

(After that woman's story, the blogger, Carolyn Nicolaysen, gave these tips.)

There are a few unspoken tips here. First, you need to take food, at the very least the food in your 72 hour kits. You may be heading to a great final destination (your out of area contact) where they will feed and pamper you but the drive there will be long. You will not want to exit to purchase food as there may be long…lines of traffic waiting to get back on the freeway. Avoid stopping for anything if at all possible. A quick ten minute stop may end up adding an hour to your trip.

Second, you grab what you can see so place a list near your exit door so you will SEE it. This list should include items you had deemed important to grab when you need to evacuate quickly. A great list does you no good if you fail to use it. Place your Disaster Preparedness Binder next to your computer so as you grab the hard drive you remember your binder which will also contain vital information.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eliminating Shelving

We took care of Elizabeth and Thomas on Monday and Tuesday while Isaac and Rachel took a two day trip to Charlotte. I decided I am too old to be a mom. Wow, those little kids really wore me out.

I had some shelving units in our kitchen next to our kitchen table, where I prepared and stored all my seminary lessons for the last 4 years. Since they were empty, the little kids pretended they were bunk beds.

Today I spent a long time cleaning out more shelves, and moved them out of the room. Maybe we can start using our kitchen table again, instead of having lesson plans all over it.

On Monday night, we walked over to Rita's, to buy Italian ice from Tara, who is an employee there.

Also, Janette's mom, Jill, recommended these books written by Chris Stewart, The Great and Terrible series, which you can buy at Deseret Books. Does anyone have them, and can I borrow them?

These are the titles:
1- Prologue- The Brothers
2- Where Angels Fall
3- The Second Sun
4- Fury and Light
5- From the End of Heaven
6- Clear as the Moon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some Stuff I Taught in Seminary

Seminary has been over for awhile now, but I wanted to record some of the coolest points that I was able to teach the kids this year.

1) Why didn't the Lord leave the Gold Plates on the earth for us to use as evidence for the truth of the Book of Mormon?

One reason is because, it would be harder to guard them than that Faberge egg in the "Ocean's 12" movie. Just think how much money they would be worth.

On May 27, when I taught this, gold was worth $1,211 per ounce.
If the Gold Plates weighed 60 pounds, that equals 960 ounces.

960 ounces X $1211 per ounce equals $1,162,560.00

2) The "plan" is not mentioned at all in the Bible.
The plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, the plan of redemption, etc., is mentioned 2 times in Pearl of Great Price, 2 times in the Doctrine and Covenants, and mentioned 42 times in the Book of Mormon.

3) King Benjamin had an angel for an alarm clock. Mosiah 3:2. That same angel told him what to say in his speech from the tower (wouldn't that be a great help when you have been assigned to give a talk?)

4) Mosiah 3:13, Alma 24:14, Alma 39:17-19 It was just as hard for them to accept Christ before his coming as it is for us to accept Christ after his coming.

5) How great a prophet was Alma the Younger?
120 pages out of 491 pages of the Book of Mormon are about him. One-fourth of the pages in the Book of Mormon cover his ministry, and yet his ministry was only twenty years out of 1021 years total.

6) I love the hidden meanings of words, that Joseph Smith could not have known when he was translating the book. The Anti-Nephi-Lehis got kicked out of the Lamanite lands, and the Nephites gave them the land of Jershon to live in. The word "Jershon" in Hebrew means "Land of the Expelled."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rolling Can Storage

Here is a video of a clever way a woman made a storage unit that fits behind her sofa. She made it from an old dresser, and put in rolling shelves for canned food storage.

(Added July 19, 2010: I just found out this video was made by my friend Keri J. of the Green Level Ward! I had no idea I was watching a video made in my own town!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bartering in our Future?

I had highly recommended the book "One Second After" in this blog on 4-14-2010, so my friend chose it for her book club to read.

She said the whole group was enthusiastic about the book, which is a fictionalized account of what happens in North Carolina when several ElectoMagnetic Pulses are caused by nuclear bombs exploded over the U.S.A. I was interested to find out that each of the women of the book club, after reading the book, unanimously said "We want to buy a gun."

One of the fascinating things in the book is that after both the government and communication system fail, the barter system blossoms. One of the favorite bartering items in the book is bullets.

My sister said some women in her ward were canning cigarettes to use as barter. (I wouldn't do that.) And others were canning M&M's.

I wouldn't know what kind of gun to buy if I wanted to buy one, and I also wouldn't know what kind of bullets to buy if I wanted to store them for bartering.

However, there ARE other things I am quite knowledgeable about. I think I could do a great job buying a large amount of feminine hygiene products and storing them in my attic. I betcha there would be a lot of women wanting to barter for those supplies.

The other thing I thought of was cloth diapers. Who has cloth diapers anymore? And even if you had cloth you could cut up to make some diapers, who in the world has any diaper pins? So last week when I was at Walmart, I bought several packages of cloth diapers, and many packages of diaper pins.

I don't want to invest in gold. I think Kotex and diapers will be better than gold.

Just a heads up:

It looks like other people are seeing bad times in the future as well. I had to read this article from CNBC when I saw the headline: "Markets About to Turn Nasty, Buy Barbed Wire"

Anthony Fry, senior managing director at Evercore Partners, told CNBC Monday....Fry is telling investors to play it safe and buy physical assets like land.

“I don’t want to scare anyone but I am considering investing in barbed wire and guns, things are not looking good and rates are heading higher,” he said.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thomas' Birthday

Thomas is 2 today! What a cutesie tootsie little toddler! We love him!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seth Fixed My Sewing Machine

I have 4 sewing machines. One old top-of-the-line Bernina from 1977, one NEW top-of-the-line Bernina from 2004, one $7 Singer from a yard sale, and one $400 Singer Featherweight which was built in 1952 and only weighs 7 pounds, and which I bought specifically to take to classes and service projects because it is so easy to carry.

The last three times I have taken my little Singer Featherweight to a Young Women service project or a Relief Society service project, someone has hit a pin or jammed it in some way. The first two times I had to take it in to be repaired, and it cost me $80 each time. I was determined to never take it anywhere or let anyone else ever sew on it again.

Then we had a sewing project where a woman needed a sewing machine. I figured that since she knew how to sew, she wouldn't hit a pin the way the young girls did. But through no fault of her own, some thread got jammed into the bobbin case and the machine was unusable AGAIN.

I was so frustrated. I thought that I could never live the law of consecration at this rate, if it cost me $80 every time we did a service project.

But when Seth was at my house a few days ago, I asked him to look at it. It took him more than an hour, but he took the whole thing apart and was successful at removing this microscopic little piece of thread, which had completely jammed the bobbin case.

It gives you a whole new perspective on the mote and the beam.

(P.S. The pink tools are mine, not Seth's.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tara's Spinning Graduation Cap

We all attended Tara's graduation from Panther Creek High School last night.

Seth had come over earlier in the day, and had helped Tara deconstruct her graduation cap and install a spinning motor, battery pack and switch.

Adam was the first in our family to manufacture one of these spinning hats in 2000 at Cary High School. Seth continued the tradition at Green Hope High School in 2004. And now with Seth's help, Tara has gone on to do the same at Panther Creek High School in 2010.

Our high schools only give diploma covers during the ceremony, and the kids pick up their diplomas afterwards backstage. All the schools threaten dire consequences to students beforehand to dissuade them from doing anything disruptive during graduation.

As Tara walked up onto the stage, she flipped the switch, and her cap started spinning. She shook hands with the principal, and he told her, through his clenched teeth, "We will be holding your diploma for this" and she said to him, "Yes, I know." and took the diploma cover and wore her spinning hat back to her seat.

With Adam and Seth, they both just had to go in to the school later to get their diploma. I foresee nothing different this time (I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

Here is the contraption inside the cap.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zac's Eagle Project

Last night, Zac got his Eagle scout project approved!!!

He wants to finish it as soon as possible so he can get his driver's license.

He is going to be making cubbies on wheels for Bond Park Community Center. Kids take after-school classes and summer camps there, and this will be a place they can store their backpacks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thinking of Hurricane Season

Tuesday morning I was walking with Patti, and we were reminiscing about Hurricane Fran, which was our last big hurricane here in the Raleigh area, ( I think it was September 1996.) She was out of electricity for nine days, I was only out for one day. There were fallen trees blocking all the roads. We knew of plenty of people with trees on their house or car. Stores and businesses were closed.

I said to Patti, "If we found out there was a big hurricane heading straight for us right now, what would you do to prepare?"

And we both started brainstorming.

(Remember, we both already have lots of food and water storage, so these are just extra things we would do.)

(For those of you who have moved here since 1996, and have no idea what to do to prepare for a hurricane, pay close attention.)

Here is the list we came up with:

Buy another propane tank for the grill. (For cooking outdoors.)

Do all the laundry. (You may be out of electricity for awhile.)

Fill up all the spaces in my freezer with 2-liter bottles full of water. (A full freezer stays frozen longer. And ice is always handy when the power is out.)

Fill up all the cars with gasoline. (Gas stations can't function without electricity. Also, if there is a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, the refineries might be nonfunctional for weeks.)

Get the bikes repaired. (It is good to have another form of transportation if gasoline is unavailable.)

Get sandbags. (I'm going to get 4 bags of playground sand from Home Depot, to put across my front door. During Fran, we had 9 inches of rain in one day. I think my front door is low enough that I fear some water is going to come in there if the water can't drain from my front yard fast enough.)

Obtain a battery or solar radio, buy a replacement for my little portable TV. (We threw it away because it was analog. We loved that TV during hurricanes because we could plug it into the car and find out what was happening. So now we need a digital TV with an antenna.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To Morrow

Here is another of my very favorite songs recorded by the Kingston Trio. It is so much more fun when you hear it, than when you read it.

To Morrow
written by Bob Gibson

I started on a journey about a year ago
to a little town called Morrow in the State of Ohio.
I've never been much of a traveler, and I really didn't know
that Morrow was the hardest place I'd ever try to go.

So I went down to the station for my ticket and applied
for tips regarding Morrow not expecting to beguiled.
Said I, "My friend, I'd like to go to Morrow and return
no later than tomorrow for I haven't time to burn."

Said he to me, "Now let me see if I have heard you right.
You'd like to go to Morrow and return tomorrow night.
You should have gone to Morrow yesterday and back today
for the train that goes to Morrow is a mile upon its way.

If you had gone to Morrow yesterday now don't you see,
you could have gone to Morrow and returned today at three
For the train today to Morrow, if the schedule is right,
today it goes to Morrow and returns tomorrow night."

Said I, "My friend, it seems to me you're talking through your hat.
There is a town named Morrow on the line now tell me that."
"There is," said he, "but take from me a quiet little tip.
To go from here to Morrow is a fourteen hour trip.

The train today to Morrow leaves today at eight thirty-five.
At half-past ten tomorrow is the time it should arrive.
So if from here to Morrow is a fourteen hour jump,
can you go today to Morrow and get back today, you chump?"

Said I, "I'd like to go to Morrow so can I go today
and get to Morrow by tonight if there is no delay?"
"Well, well," said he to me, "and I've got no more to say.
CAN YOU GET anywhere tomorrow and get back again today?"

Said I, "I guess you know it all but kindly let me say,
how can I get to Morrow if I leave this town today?"
Said he, "You cannot go to Morrow any more today
'cause the train that goes to Morrow is a mile upon its way."

I was so disappointed. I was mad enough to swear.
The train had gone to Morrow and had left me standing there.
HE HAD NO RIGHT in telling me that I was a-howling jay.
I could not go to Morrow so I guess in town I'll stay.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Getting Released from Seminary

Sunday night I was officially released from being a seminary teacher. I feel a great sense of freedom. I think I endured it well, and gave it my best shot for 4 years, and now it is time to move on to other things.

I heard a speaker at BYU Education Week once, who had been a seminary teacher. He talked about the fact that there will always be some students who don't want to be there, or who don't listen, or who try to talk to their friends through the whole class.

He said there was one time he had a class so bad, it was so hard to teach them. He figured that it would be easier if they would all die and he would just do their temple work for them.

Well, I never felt as terrible as that, but I did have my feelings of inadequacy and wondered sometimes if I was helping those kids at all.

This school year I taught them for 170 days, for 45 minutes per day. That adds up to 127.5 hours of teaching. That is about three times as much time as they would spend in Sunday School. Or in Young Men/Young Women.

During our last lesson, the kids each told the things they had learned during the year that had affected their lives and made their testimonies of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon grow. Many of them related stories of things they had learned this year, and it gave me great satisfaction to know that I helped them to learn those things.

Here were some of the things they learned in class this year:

Chiasmus (a type of Hebrew poetry) that shows up several times in the verses of the Book of Mormon.

Isaiah telling about trains and airplanes (2 Nephi 15:26-30)

"The Plan"- the plan of happiness, the plan of salvation, etc. The word "plan" is used about 40 times in the Book of Mormon, showing that Heavenly Father has a plan for us. The plan is never mentioned in the Bible.

Geography and maps of how the towns and events were related to each other, and how they are all consistent throughout the book. They always go "up" or "down" to the same towns, the same towns are near the sea, etc.

Prophecies about the Lost Ten Tribes and how we will soon receive their records.

The Pride Cycle. First a society is righteous, so the Lord blesses them with prosperity. Then they begin to have pride, then they become wicked, then prophets come to warn them that they will be destroyed, then destruction comes upon them, they become humble and turn to the Lord again.

The Proclamation on the Family. We covered that a lot this year. Especially the last phrase:
"We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

War. I love to read the history of wars, so I had lots to share with them as it related to the wars in the Book of Mormon.

Amulek's family- When he saw the people burning, we have to remember that if his family was righteous, he was watching his own wife and children burn. If they were wicked, they were completely destroyed with the city of Ammonihah later. Either way, he lost his family.

How Mormon loved Captain Moroni so much (they were both righteous military commanders) that he named his son after him.

How Moroni must have loved Ether, because as Moroni was translating and abridging the record of Ether, Moroni was alone the rest of his life just like Ether was.

The story of Teancum, sneaking into the camp and finding the tent of Amalackiah and then killing him and escaping. But the next time, it was more complicated because he had to climb over a city wall, and find the palace of Ammaron, so after he killed Ammaron the Lamanites killed Teancum.

The main theme of the Book of Mormon: About 34 times it repeats this similar phrase: 1 Nephi 2:20
"Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Half Hour of Silence

The 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants is all about the second coming of Jesus Christ.

That section talks about earthquakes, tsunamis, all things being in commotion, men's hearts failing them.....all the things we have been taught concerning the condition of the world just before Jesus comes again.

In verse 95, there is a prophecy:
"And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled."

(In case you didn't know, Bruce R. McConkie made a joke once at a CES conference in the 1990's. He said that verse proves that there are no women in heaven. But that was just a joke.)

That "half hour" could be a literal 30 minutes of our time.

But another way to interpret that, is if you think about one day in the Lord's time being like 1000 years of our time, then the half hour in the Lord's time would really be 20.5 years in our time (1000 years divided by 24 hours).

After I read "One Second After", the book about the ElectroMagnetic Pulse that could knock out all technology and media and communications, I was talking about it with my friend. She said, "Oh, an EMP is probably what will cause the 21 years of silence."

She was interpreting silence in the heavens to mean an absence of radio waves and satellite transmissions.

Yeesh!! I really really don't want 20.5 years of no cordless phones, no cell phones, no wireless, no TV or radio signals, no computers just prior to the Second Coming. I wonder if she is going to be proven correct.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Memorial Day cookout

Tiffany and Adam invited the whole family over for a cookout on Memorial Day. I had such a fun time!

They had bought a badminton set, and bubbles for the kids, and some screaming balloons that shot all over when you let them go.

Tiffany's mom is a landscape designer, and Tiffany's little back patio shows that she has a lot of talent that way too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm Doomed

A few weeks before Stephen's wedding, I told Anne I would love to help her with any of the wedding clothing. She had some things that needed altered and hemmed and fixed, and I was happy to do it.

I did not offer to cook anything for the reception.

I found out many years ago that I am cursed when it comes to food. If I offer to bring a dinner to a sick person, every part of the dinner gets ruined. I have delivered disgusting or raw things too many times. When I am tempted to volunteer to bring food, I quickly stop myself.

The evening before the last day of seminary, I thought it would be nice of me to bring in some food for the students the next day. I decided to make my tried-and-true Cinnamon Cake, which I have made hundreds of times. What could go wrong?

Apparently, I must have put in too much baking powder, because it puffed up and foamed up out of the pan, and more than half of it ended up in the bottom of the oven.

Then the rest of the cake was glued solid to the bundt cake pan, and I had to pry it out. This is a picture of the whole cake.

So, I went to the store and bought some donuts for seminary, and told Tara and Zac they could eat the cake. They say it tasted good.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stephen's Reception

Our family attended Stephen's and Malerie's reception on Saturday night. We absolutely adore the Arnold's house and property, what a wonderful place to have a reception.

I really enjoy the tradition of having funny groom's cakes. Stephen (and all my sons) really loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were kids.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

General Honore's Advice- Texting

I just read a really good book, Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save You and Your Family From Disasters by Lt. General Russel L. Honore' (U.S. Army, retired). He was the commander of Joint Task Force- Katrina, the officer on the ground in charge of all active-duty military forces sent to Louisiana and Mississippi.

I liked the way that he stayed completely apolitical in this book. He especially explained the policies, traditions, laws and regulations that existed prior to Katrina, and how they prohibited or discouraged municipal, state, federal, and military leaders from doing what they should have done to prepare ahead of time. He had some great ideas for changes that could be made so that the next disaster of that type could be handled better.

It is amazing how much red tape and confusion existed when some leader wanted to accomplish something. And having all the communications systems knocked out made it exponentially worse.

I appreciated the fact that he knew what the people of New Orleans were going through, because he grew up poor and black in nearby Louisiana. He expressed his sympathy for the suffering people, but at the same time explained that it was a cultural thing among the poor to be patient and wait for the government to help in a disaster. He disapproved of that culture, and said that we all need to prepare in our own homes, not wait for the government.

He was very critical of the way that people don't even think about the possibilities, such as all the people who built houses below sea level instead of putting them up stilts. He blamed the local and state government for allowing those types of building codes.

At the end of every chapter he gave ten- to- twenty "Lessons Learned for Building a Culture of Preparedness."

One of the tips that I got from the book was to teach myself to send and receive text messages on my cell phone.

"Text messages were still working for many people even though the cell towers were down. There were a few cell towers out there somewhere with just a hint of life in them. They had enough power to enable people to send text messages.

Anyone who has a cell phone needs to know how to send text messages in the event of an emergency. A text message is a burst transmission and uses only a fraction of a signal whereas a voice call will eat up a lot of bandwidth.

It is especially important for the elderly or the disabled who live in areas prone to hurricane, floods, earthquakes, or wildfires to have a cell phone and be able to send text messages. Learning that simple skill could mean the difference between life and death. " page 117

"Shortly after our arrival in New Orleans, my headquarters in Atlanta began receiving text messages from people trapped in their homes...These people would send a text message to a friend who would forward it to the Times-Picayune, which would then send the message on to First Army headquarters. The message would be sent from there to the Coast Guard search-and-rescue officials with information about where these people were... " page 116.

(Not from the book) I was also thinking about communicating in a disaster where there are no cell towers left. I am really proud of my friend Patti, who just got her Ham Radio license. I am definitely planning to take that training someday and get my license too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tattooed Lady

When I looked up the words to "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm", I also found the lyrics to another one of the songs our family used to sing when the boys were little. Again, not the most uplifting lyrics. I guess we have some tradition of teaching our children naughty things.

Tattoed Lady

Nick Reynolds/Bob Shane/John Stewart

We came to town to see that old tattooed lady.
She was a sight to see, tattooed from head to knee.
My uncle Ned was there. He came to gape and stare.
"I've never!"; he declared, "Seen such a freak so fair!"

And on her jaw was the Royal Flying Corp
and on her back was the Union Jack, now could you ask for more?
All up and down her spine marched the Queen's own guards in line
and all around her hips sailed a fleet of battleships.

And over her left kidney was a bird's eye view of Sydney
but what we liked best was upon her chest
A little home in Waikiki! (What did you say?) (Repeat all lines)