Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Sacrament Meeting Talk

If you are in my ward - here's the real deal. If you want my notes, skip to the end!!!

“My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord” – Susan W. Tanner – May 2008

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

Much like Maria, the nanny to the Von Trapp family children in the movie “Sound of Music,” Sister Tanner spoke in her General Conference talk of things in which she delights, and I must say, her list was pretty impressive. It got me thinking about delight myself.

According to Merriam-Webster, delight means “a high degree of gratification, joy, extreme satisfaction, something that gives great pleasure, or the power of affording pleasure.” Especially at this time of year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I started looking at the things that give me delight.

Two of the most important are my own children. Sister Tanner spoke of her delight in her “role as nurturer.” It “allows her to express [her] deepest identity as a woman.” It is not only a mother’s primary responsibility but also part of our ‘individual premortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose.’ To nurture is to teach, to foster development, to promote growth, to feed and to nourish. Who would not shout for joy at being given such a blessed role?”

What a wonderful role, but what a long list of responsibilities and work. Where does a mother begin? Fortunately, Sister Tanner did not leave that question unanswered. She also described several other things that she herself delights in, and all of them will help us with the nurturing of ourselves, and the children in our lives.

“I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me.” – Last week, we heard from the Primary children about this very topic. Each of these children knows that their Heavenly Father loves them, and as their parents, it is our job, and should be a delight to remind them all the time. A couple weeks ago, I was with some friends of mine at a movie, all of us well over the age constituted as children. We were separating to do those things one does before the movie starts, and I was joking with them, “hold hands and stick together.” One turned to me and said “Remember who you are.” At the time, it was funny, but this simple phrase uttered by parents who know their children are children of God was truly a testament to the relationship we should all delight in, that as children of our Heavenly Father. It is something we should never forget.

“I delight in out Savior, Jesus Christ.” – “His ministering and saving roles… provide light and hope. [He} has given us the Holy Ghost for further guidance and comfort along the pathway we should go. It is only through Him that we can return to our Father.” Yesterday, my family put up our Christmas tree, and as we remember the symbolism of the tree, and some of the ornaments upon it, I am so grateful that I can see the delight in my children’s eyes at the wonder of this time of year. Further, because Christ came to Earth and lived as we have, and then suffered for our grief, pains and hurts, there is someone who knows me, and who knows my children. He understands, and already took care of everything, if I do the best I can to follow the commandments.

“I delight in the examples of those in the scriptures who walk by faith on their earthly journey.” – We have their words, right here in our hands, waiting for us to use them. Our Heavenly Father gave us the instruction manual when He sent our children to us. He wants us to know what we need to do to get back with Him, and to help our children return as well. My mother has a sign on her wall. It reads “Have your read my number one bestseller? There will be a test.” This is the test. Read the scriptures, and delight in them.

“I delight in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ built upon the foundation of prophets and apostles.” By reading and following the things our leaders say, we can become better parents, better equipped to nurture our children through these tough times. Twice a year, we are given the opportunity to hear the words of the prophets over the pulpit in the conference center. Once a month we receive our Ensign, New Era and Friend subscriptions. They too hold the words of the prophets. We need to study these words, because they are the words of the Lord. “Whether by my own voice, or by the voice of my prophets, it is the same.”

“I delight in priesthood keys and temples that dot the earth, making available to each of us eternal ordinances and covenants.” – Just this past year, my daughter, Katie, was baptized and confirmed by her uncles. My sister in law received her endowment, and my brother was married and sealed to his wife in the temple. Although my grandfather passed away without the benefit of these blessings, I know that his ancestry has received them, because I have had the opportunity to help with that work. Three and a half years ago, I was able to go to the Nauvoo temple and have my Great-Grandmother’s work done for her. I was present as her baptism and confirmation were done, and then I completed the remainder through endowment. What a wonderful blessing, and a memory I delightfully remember.

Unfortunately in this life, some things are not so delightful. There are so many THINGS out there that are meant to cause fear, angst and unrest. The news media, reporting on events of the last days, and the current troubles of the many weigh down upon us, and strive to crowd out the peace, love and delight in our lives. We forget to look for the good, in the tempest that rages around us. The best that we can do, is use the spirit in our homes to strengthen our children, and know that they are prepared for what is to come.

Sister Tanner spoke of her granddaughter, who, prompted by the forthcoming arrival of a new baby to their home, asked the inevitable question “where do babies come from?” “The lesson about this holy subject were taught by loving parents in a sacred family setting, in the celestial climate that accompanies a new soul’s birth into mortality, and in the context of our Father’s great and eternal plan. By contrast, the next day, upon returning home from kindergarten, our granddaughter reported that she had learned that day in class ‘a big new term called sexual abuse…’ I delighted as never before in a nurturing family founded upon the teachings of Christ.”

In this day and age, we cannot wait for our children to grow up to learn the serious stuff. We have to teach it now, before someone else does. And when life is hard, as we all know it can be, we have to be ready to weather the storm.

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

Death, adversity, thunderstorms, whatever may come, we can remember the delights given us of the Lord and count the blessings that come our way. This time of year gives us the opportunity to remember these things, remember who helps us through them and delight in that knowledge.

This morning, as I was typing the final draft of my talk, I was listening to Christmas music on my player. I thought I had turned the shuffle feature off, but for some reason, the player moved to some more secular music. Also on the player is a song “You’re Gonna Miss This.” I almost hit the button to go back to the Christmas music, when I stopped and realized that the lyrics spoke to me.

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this

As we look to our children, to the delight they are, and to the jobs we have as parents, and other responsibilities, we need to remember that this is what it is all about. We need to delight in what we have, and use it to better the future. We need to take the time to remember who we are, what was done for us, the gospel, scriptures, priesthood and temples. We’re gonna miss it if we don’t. And especially in this world where so many things are pressing against us, its good to know we can take delight in something.

I know that the Lord loves each of us. I know that as we follow Christ’s teachings, we will find joy, happiness and peace.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I am not much of a public speaker. Small groups and children, okay, but in sacrament meeting I get so nervous.
I had the opportunity to speak today. It's interesting how the Lord knows what you need, and then can help you with how to say it.
I just want each of you to know that I delight in my relationships with you. You are such wonderful friends, and I can't imagine my life without you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

oops... i did it (sadly) again!!!!

Click on the title to check out my latest escapade!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Whole KITT and Caboodle

No big secret... I am completely addicted to the new Knight Rider series. I'll take a black Ford Mustang that sounds like Val Kilmer anyday. (FYI 0 I have been trying desperatly and unsuccessfully to find a digital audio file of the theme song, such that I may load it to my phone as a ring tone.)

My new thing is that in order to watch my DVR shows (since I work when they are actually on), I have to be riding my stationary bicycle. (BTW - I went to aerobics mon and wed and rode 30 mins on the bike Tues (Two and a Half Men, CSI:Miami and thurs (Knight Rider!!!)

As I am completely out of shape, and struggling to remedy the ailment, I only biked for about 30 minutes of the show, and then had to find something constructive to do with the remaining time.

SO I cleaned out my Caboodle. (I should have taken pictures, but alas...) For those of you who are unfamiliar with a Caboodle, basically, it looks like a girls tackle box, dividers and all, and is designed to hold girlie things. These were huge, what, twenty years ago?!? The thing is, I still have mine. It refuses to break. SO I throw make up and stuff in there, and sometimes use it, but more often than not don't. Every so often I will get a wild hair and clean it out (usually finding wild hair in it), throwing away mascara that has glunked up, etc.

So, there I sit, on my bed, watching as Micheal chases down a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, and, wouldn't you know it, the darn thing breaks, right there as I am opening it, the little latch on the front falls off, and the shelves crack. Twenty years and it finally breaks.

I start to think - you know Knight Rider with David Hasselhoff was huge twenty years ago, or so. Maybe the Caboodle has a similar shelf-life as David Hasselhoff... (If you did not get that joke, I reference BayWatch...) hmmm. What other shows were big back then???

MacGyver... hey, I can jerry-rig this caboodle back together.

I pause the replay of the new tv show, and run for the kitchen junk drawers where I find (eureka!!!) duct tape, super glue, and some toothpicks, and back to the caboodle I go.

Suffice it to say that I am not MacGyver, and that the Caboodle did not survive.

Oh well, off to the store to find a new box for my girlie supplies...

Where's that Mustang when you need him???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Daytona Beach

Could it be Magic???


EPCOT is truly a gem of the DisneyWorld experience, and of the 4 "lands" my favorite! I like it because it appeals to me on an intellectual level, and Figment is there!!! Kool and the Gang performed - I have video on my camera. And I got a blanket!

Sea World Day

Okay, so there are tons more, since I totally figured out how to use my continuous shutter on my camera, but here are the true greats of the Sea World Day.

Our start was taking this ride way up high into the air, and I took some great shots looking down, and a not so great shot of H&K&I sitting in the ride.

Then we went to see the Sea Lion and Otter show with Clyde and Seamore. The real benefit to this show is going about 15 minutes early to watch Tom the Mime-Pirate (who is DJ's personal favorite). I'm not gonna give this one away for those who have never been. Trust me - worth the entire day's admission to see this guy!!!

We saw the dolphin show, and of course, Shamu. The night Shamu Rocks show is totally awesome, by the way!

Florida Pictures!!!! - The Caribbean Night

Our arrival in Florida was true on first sight of the palm trees. I love palm trees. Green, leafy, and no bags of yard waste!!!

On Saturday night we went to a little party at the condos. There was an entertainer there. She was on stilts, dressed up all carribbean and made balloon things. They are amazing!!!

Pictures from the Patch

The Elder's Quorum was kind enough to let H&K&I bring two friends to the pumpkin patch!! WE had a pretty good time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'll be the very first to admit that politics is not my personal joie de vivre! I could take the whole thing and dump it, to be honest, but I was very interested in the progression of last night's news coverage.

I found it fascinating that 2-3 hours before the polls closed, the news anchors and analysts were announcing the winners. Some people hadn't even voted yet!!! As alarming as this was, I found it truly disheartening that because of these "projections" made in the media, some people didn't even bother voting because they were afraid that their vote wouldn't matter in the scheme of things. Additionally, by their own admission, some people only voted for candidates because of nationality, or political party, rather than researching what the candidate truly was working toward.

I had to take a citizenship issues class in high school... my senior year. I'll be honest, I didn't retain much. This year, though, I wanted to understand the power of the vote, and the responsibilities each of us has to our nation. I downloaded, directly from John McCain's website, and Barack Obama's website, their plans and platforms for the presidency. I printed off transcripts of the debates. (I don't learn well by just watching and listening. Reading, for me, is better.) I was terribly confused by everything.

So I went back to the beginning.

I found a free, online course, put out by Brigham Young University called An American Citizen's Guide to Government and Politics. I was ecstatic! I enrolled (it takes, like, 2 minutes) and started reading the lessons. Further, I found this cute little book at Barnes and Noble that has the exact wording of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation. My research had begun!

Now, the ideas and foundations of government make sense, but the platforms put out by the candidates don't. I really struggled with how to take the knowledge of government I had and apply it to what the candidates were saying.

Further, I had to wonder how they were going to put these platforms into place since I wasn't even sure the presidential candidates had that kind of power.

I think perhaps we, as Americans, are not given the right information to be the best citizens we should be. Further, I truly believe that taking a course in Citizenship Issues, and demonstrating a knowledge of the subject matter, should be required to obtain a voting license, and the license should be renewed every four years. (They test us to drive, they should test us to vote!!!)

That set aside, and back to the news coverage, I didn't hear anything about a candidate's platform, or the actions they were going to take as an influence to voting last night. All I heard was demographics: race, religion, political party, past voting, etc. Does the press think so little of us to believe that we cannot think for ourselves??

I, for one, do not intend to be one of the nameless and faceless many who do exactly what they are told by the person speaking the loudest. The only way change is truly going to come is by people educating themselves and then doing something with the education they have. Don't let the press decide for you what you are going to think - figure it out for yourself, and then do something about it. This year I did. I voted for the person who I believed would best follow the government as it was outlined by the founding fathers in the Constitution, which, as I understand it, is still in effect.

I didn't vote for a nationality.

I didn't vote for a political party.

I didn't even vote for a platform.

I voted to support the Constitution.

What did you vote for?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Doctor Visits

Not many people can say that they love their doctor.

I LOVE MINE!!!! He is the best!

I went in this morning for my 3 month diabetes check up. Long story very short... I have three months to get back on track or I get to use insulin... (Unless of course miracles happen and I end up preggers, which is not recommended or on the likely scale.)

He also reminds me that I am 31 and that mom had her hysterectomy at 34. (He is mom's doc too.) My biological clock is ticktocking fast!!! He reminds me that he knows I want to have a little Bink. He tells me I have three months to fix it, or he will.

I have an appointment with the lifestyle coach at my doctor's office Monday morning 8am.

I have a follow up appointment with my doc in three months.

I promised him I would start excercising more.

I promised him I would take better care of myself.

He promised me that if I do better and am losing weight, and am excercising, etc, he will help DJ and I get a baby Bink.

He gives me a hug when I leave. (Okay, I am a natural huggy, so this means the world to me!!!) How great is it to know that your doctor truly cares about you as a person!

Okay, okay... aerobics classes twice a week at church. I will come now.

I'm not thrilled about the yoga thing on Fridays. I think it is too much for me, but I am willing to try.

I'm trying not to work in the mornings anymore so I can take better care of myself, excercising, etc.

How great is it though, that my doctor cares enough to look at my whole person??? I love it!! I love him!!! and I want to do better because I know he is rooting for me, and that somewhere so is my future baby Bink!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We're Back!

We're back, and over the course of the next week, I will be filling you in on our little excursion.

But for today, I would like to discuss the power of the break!

We pulled into Lincoln just before 8 PM last night, unlocked the house and all of us promptly fell asleep. Rather than send the girls to school this morning, I called in and gave them the day off. I cancelled their piano lessons, and I let everyone sleep in a bit this morning.

While this may seem a bit unorthodox, I am convinced that we all need mental health days sometimes, and that coming off of a vacation is a perfect time to take one. (I needed one, believe me.)

One of my friends described the need for time after vacations to get resettled into life.

I agree with her completely.

Furthermore, after the stress of vacations, it has come to my attention that we should be taking mental health days more regularly than we do. It is simply a part of our very well-being. The more I considered on this topic over the past few hours, the more I realized that the Lord has encouraged us to look for the peaceful moments in our everyday life, such that we can maintain our mental health.

What do you do to maintain/improve your mental health?