Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mother/Daughter Time, round 2 and Happy Thanksgiving

Thanks to the school district for giving Erica and I some more fun mother/daughter time. The entire school district has Wednesday off for Thanksgiving, but for some reason, the highschool only has a half day on Tuesday as well. It worked out well for us, though. See, Erica turned 16 recently and her permit was expiring soon and she finished her driving course at school so we made good use of her time today and went to get her a drivers license. Woo hoo!

One Happy, Licensed, Young Lady

(When did we we get over training wheels?)

(Side note- It's kind of weird for me still. I'm not too excited to have her take the car out the first time alone. I think it's the control freak in me and a little paranoia sets in when I think what COULD happen, though probably WON'T happen. I've already explained to her I'll probably be a little weird about it and to just be patient and humor me when I don't want her to go farther than the church! She just smiled and said ok and then very wisely didn't ask to drive today. A nut case mom can only handle so much excitement in her life in one day! I got over driving in the car with her, I'm sure I'll figure out not driving in the car with her. Surely I was an older 16-year-old- not that she's a problem child, I just remember changing diapers and helping her learn to ride a bike. There was much more time between those things and driving for me, at least from my perspective!)

There was a miracle involved with this experience. School got out at 11:40 and I was 5 minutes late picking her up at school. It's a 15 minute drive, or so, over the the Driver's License Division from school. We were done and driving away at 12:24 on the van clock (which is set 3 minutes fast, so it was really 12:21). In case you don't want to do the math, that's 36 minutes from pick-up at school to finished at the DLD. Never, in my wildest dreams would I have thought a person could get a new driver's license in such a short time. Granted, she did both the written and driving portions of the test as part of the driver's ed class at school (finally found a good reason for that school fee!) so all we had to do was turn in paper work, pay for it, and take her picture. Still, I think that's pretty amazing. Here I was, hoping that the 3 hours I had before Steven and Ryan got out of school would be enough and we were done in 36 minutes. We ran a couple of errands on the way home and celebrated with Sam's Club deluxe pizza at the end. (I know, you're jealous!) Pretty fun day thanks, again, to the school district and their days off.

Tomorrow everyone (except Greg) is home. The kids are planning an all day Star Wars marathon and I'm starting the baking for Thanksgiving. If everyone shows up for the movies that has said they're coming, I may have to bake a bunch of extra goodies! We'll see!

What are you grateful for this year?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Football or New Moon...Decisions, Decisions

For those of you not following the UT 4A High School Football playoffs (and that would include us), Erica's high school made it to the championship game. It happens to be today. For some odd reason, they play these games in the middle of the day on a school day. Maybe it's just because we're a 4A and not a 5A school and the 5A might play tonight. And, since they play at the U of U and there's a chance the U of U might want their team to play on the field tomorrow and not ours. Either way, the school district has this little policy that if the school can pre-sell 1000 tickets to the game, they'll cancel school for the day so all the students can go. Erica pointed out that there are very few high school students who wouldn't pay a couple of bucks to get a day off, whether they actually go to the game or not. She assures me that she did not do that, though. So, it's been an anxious week as they've waited to hear on the school status for today. The great news arrived during lunch yesterday. 1000 tickets had been sold! No school at the high school today! Erica called to tell me right then and woke me up from a nap, so I was less than excited or supportive in this wonderful turn of events.

I suddenly found myself with some quantity mother/daughter time and I changed up my plans so it could be quality time as well. She chose to sleep a bit this morning, which was fine. I walked the boys to school like normal and then planned to take Erica shopping to get the items I meant to get for her birthday (Happy Birthday!) but circumstances prevented my actually getting to the store. She had other plans and met me at the door when I got home excitedly announcing that there was a showing of "New Moon" at 10:00 this morning. We could see it and still have time for me to get back to help out with Book Club in Steven's class. Why not?! She's been pushing for this movie to be the "reward" movie for all those in the family with no cavities- which would be everyone but me. I know for a fact that Greg doesn't want to see it and no matter how much Erica tries to convince herself and them otherwise, I'm pretty sure her brothers don't want to see it either.

We picked up friend, Katie, on the way and had quite a bit of fun. The movie's better than the first- at least at following the storyline. We had to split up because we weren't three hours early for seats. I got to sit behind Erica and Katie, right next to 2 pre-teens who were skipping school and at the movies with one of their mothers. Judging by all the twittering and nervous giggles, they weren't the only ones who should have been in school and were not. Pre-teen girls should not be allowed to watch this movie. They also should not be allowed to be interested in boys. There are way too many new hormones trying to figure out where they belong and too many parts in the movie that get them all out of whack. Pre-teen boys would probably be ok, though they'd wonder why a good action flick has to be interrupted so often with all the lovey stuff. Either way, I've now seen it, Greg hasn't, the boys are off the hook, and Erica, Katie, and I had a fun morning. Thanks, football team, for making it to the championships and giving Erica the day off.

Oh, BTW, we won 35-6. We learned that from the teen-age boys in our house who went to school today and saw snatches of the game on TV there. Maybe the school district should hold school and just show the game instead of holding class. Just a thought. Of course, I wouldn't go to school to watch with Erica, so maybe this way's better in the end- quality, quantity mother/daughter/friend time. Though, showing the game and holding school would not result in my being anywhere near twittering pre-teen girls on a Friday morning. Ah, decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nice Surprise

I found out today that there are at least two radio stations here who are playing Christmas music all day everyday already. Bit early? Maybe. Sure did make me wish it would snow today, though! I'll have to pace my listening so I'm not burned out by December!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I was released as YW President yesterday. It was a bittersweet day, tempered somewhat by the fact that I get to be the new YW Camp Director, so I still get to hang out with the girls. The up side was that I suddenly found sections of free time that I didn't previously have on my calendar. So, I had grand plans for today.

Today's schedule included the following:
8:00-9:00 walk the boys to school and take the long way home for exercise
9:00-11:00- read my scriptures and check/answer email, shower
11:00-2:00- make apple and pear sauce out of the remaining fruit in the garage so the van can be parked in there before it snows.
2:00-2:50- clean-up kitchen and run a vacuum through the living room.
3:00-4:30- start dinner (Dinner in a pumpkin which takes a bit more time than normal) and help kiddos with homework.
4:30-5:00- pick up Erica from orchestra rehearsal
5:00-6:00- finish dinner to eat when Greg gets home.

It's amazing how little things can change the entire direction of a day.

1) Was reminded by Erica at 7:00 that I needed to stop at the store and pick a book for her. She needed it last week. Decided to delay the applesauce a bit so I could run to the store after my shower.

2) Left home at 8:00 with my keys to walk the boys to school. Realized part way up the street that Ryan forgot his back pack which helped me to realize that the house key Erica had borrowed yesterday was no longer on my key ring and we couldn't get back in the house.

3) Walked home the short way so I could use the car keys to drive to Greg's work and get his house key so I could get back into the house, get Ryans back pack, take it to him, and then get back home to get back on track for my day. (FYI- my neighbors do have a copy of our house keys just for times like this, but they couldn't find it. I appreciated their efforts, though.)

4) Spent a touch longer on the scriptures and email than planned, but it was for a good cause (see previous post). Still pretty close to target to get the book and get it to Erica, but Applesauce may have to be moved to later in the week.

5) Showered and got out the door to the store. The 30 minute trip became a 2 hour trip when the first store didn't have the book and had to run to the next store. And store #2 I realized I'd left my planner at store #1. Store #2 did not have the book, either. Returned to store #1 and searched high and low for the book. Spoke to the cart guy outside as he was picking up my cart, the service desk, the cashier, the service desk again, then found the planner in the cart corral, still in the front of the cart. Applesauce is out, so is pretty much any house cleaning.

6) Got to home a message on the phone from Hollywood Video. They had a call from the library where we had accidentally turned in our Hollywood Video DVD last week. It needed to be returned to Hollywood today or we'd be charged an extra late fee. Switching dinner to something else (who knows what) so that I can help woth a little homework, then leave to get Erica early and have time to stop at the library than Hollywood on my way to school.

7) Thank heavens for cell phones so I could talk to children and my aunt and make more use of the drive time.

8) Home from school. Still no idea on dinner. More homework. I can do algebra, but not in my head. Algebra student has head-ache and is somewhat grouchy. 8-year-old suddenly obsessed with earning money and is constantly asking for extra jobs to do. 12-year-old (scored major points with his mom) helps with algebra and takes over making dinner (scrambled eggs and toast) so mom can have a few minutes by herself (which is a nice thought but not a reality).

So, now I've made unplanned trips to Greg's work, the elementary school, 1 store, the library, and the video store and not made applesauce, or dinner or done anything to clean the house except throw away a couple of papers. I'm ready for bed. First, though, I will go eat my eggs and toast, talk with my sweetheart, and have family home evening. I think those were in the plan for today at some point.

Thoughts on a Monday

A friend emailed this morning. She was concerned about the world, politics, and changes she sees occuring in America. She also asked me what I knew about the 7th seal spoken of in Revelations. I have read about it, but don't know a whole lot, so I opened to Revelations and read again. It does sound pretty scary, especially since there aren't too many specific dates listed so you know whether or not now is the time to begin worrying or to get yourself and family prepared. It was a thought provoking hour trying to come up with an answer for her. There are a couple of things I do know, though.

1) D&C 77 is a "question and answer" session with the Lord about some of the things in Revelations. That would be a good place to start if you have questions about it.

2) Matthew 24 and the Joseph Smith Translation are also about the signs of the last days. They, too would help.

3) We know that before the Lord comes again our nation and the constitution are going to hang by a thread. In my mind that means it's going to appear that the inevitable conclusion is that they are going to fall and that means that there's a very good chance that politically, socially, and economically things will be pretty bad. Like most things, there's a chance it will be a gradual decline over decades, with maybe a few spikes, that most people don't notice. Just look at the difference in TV over the last 50 years and that gives you a pretty good idea which way things have been heading for a long time already. Satan generally can't take a people from righteous living and drop a bombshell that will cause the constitution to hang by a thread over night. He can get us to a point over time where the bombshell will be effective, though, and we need to be careful about that. He's working just as hard to make his side win as we are.

4) In those days the ONLY safety and security is going to be found in the gospel. The scriptures say that the saints will be gathered together in Zion and that the wicked will fear and tremble at the sight of it.

5) The Lord promises all over the place in the scriptures that the righteous will be protected. Mosiah 2:41 talks about the happy state of those who keep the commandments. I think that means not only day to day, but also when times get tough, and even afer we die. Another great scripture with respect to both keeping the commandments to be happy every day and to receive protection in the trials of the last days is D&C 64.

See, we aren't just working to keep things at a status quo. We're working to prepare for the day when the Savior will come again and life on earth will be better than we could ever dream it could be. Yes, there are going to be some pretty dreadful things that happen between now and then. Yes, our government and the people in our country are going to have some very difficult times. Yes, it's hard to know it's going to come and wonder if "this is it". That's why it's so important for us to be aware of what's going on, do our part to see that good men and women are elected to serve in government, and that we make our voices heard on the issues. Satan and those following him are certainly going to do so.

The most important thing we can do, though, is take care of ourselves. I don't just mean food and money, though that is part of it and will be important. I mean that the time will come when we all will have to decide where we stand with respect to God and His commandments and the Church. The world is going to go to heck in a hand basket, but we don't have to. The Lord has promised protection and guidance here and exaltation in the world to come if we choose to be humble, obedient and follow Him. No, it's not easy, but it will so be worth it in the end. We also don't have to worry or face it alone. We're all here to help each other through and the Savior will be there to guide, direct, and comfort us as well.

Have you ever really thought about what it means when we say that the Savior stands at the head of the Church and guides and directs what goes on here on earth? It literally means that He is in charge- not some human trying to guess the next step. There isn't one thing that is going to happen that He isn't aware of and that He can't stop if He chooses to. Most of these trials will be to create a people worthy of the Savior and to separate the "wheat" and the "tares". The Lord is going to let us choose where we end up when all is said and done. It's not a popularity contest or random judgement. He's a loving God and will let us go where we will feel and be most comfortable- and that in large measure is chosen in earth life. Do we want to humble ourselves pay the price now to live righteously and have an eternity of happiness, or pay the price later and live with an eternity of regret and sorrow?

President Kimball once said that there is no sorrow in death, only in sin. I think the idea behind that applies to these last days, too. There is no need to worry or fear if we are right with our Father in Heaven. If we're in good standing, it won't matter if the government collapses, nations fight against nation, or disease ravages the earth. We will be ok. We will be safe- at least (and most imprtantly) in the spiritual sense. The physical is temporary by design, anyway. That being said, it's somewhat easy to write all this when we aren't actually living through most of it and I hope that someday my faith is strong enough to carry me through everything that will come. For now, though, I'm just trying to work on the basics and be a little stronger today than I was yesterday. I can say, without a doubt, that Christ is standing at the head, He is directing the affairs of the Chruch and the world in the last days. If we choose to plant ourselves squarely on His side, then let the rest rage around us. We will be where there is safety.