Friday, November 28, 2008

Let the Little Ones Come Unto Me

This year our family decided to celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday instead of the traditional Thursday. So today, we gather at the ward, thirty-seven strong to eat turkey and all the rest of the required delicacies. Everyone is pitching in with the food and entertainment. As part of this special day, we have the privilege of blessing my cousin's new baby. Which will be wonderful, since the entire family will be able to witness and partipate in her blessing.

And this brings me to what I am thankful for today. I am grateful for children. I am grateful for their innocence and exburance. I delight in watching them grow and learn. It is amazing to me how varied each little personality is from the moment they join this great human family.

We talk of children teaching us, and this is true. The experience of working with or raising children changes a person for the better. To be a caregiver for children requires us to develop and strengthen our best characteristics. We learn to love more, to have more patience, to teach, to serve. I find that my children help me to reflect on areas of strength and weakness and in doing so, I can resolve to be a better person. I understand myself better because I try to understand them.

I am especially grateful for my own beautiful children. I am overwhelmed when I realize that the Lord has entrusted me with the care and nurturing of these little spirits. I pray constantly to be up to the task and often fall short. Yet, despite my own shortcomings, my children are able to love me and forgive me. I love my little ones, and am grateful for the experience of motherhood.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Turkey Day! Happy Thanksgiving.

I am very grateful today for food. I have access to an abundance and variety of delicious foods and this weekend I will celebrate this abundance with family and dear friends. Lately, I have been made more aware of what a great blessing this is.

Information on poverty and hunger in the US for 2007 has recently been released. According to our government, 13% of Americans experience hunger and are unable to meet basic food needs. That number is huge! That means that millions of Americans go to bed hungry every day. That is a staggering number for a country that has the ability to feed the world. It is horrifying to think about.

Thank you to my friend Valerie for reminding me of King Benjamin's sermon to the Nephites where he asks, "For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment . . . O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another."

For more information on how to help alleviate hunger in the world please check out these organizations:

Heifer International
Salvation Army
Feed the World
Food not Bombs

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Modern Medicine

This week I had an argument with a tooth of mine. For awhile, I thought the tooth would win, but thanks to the modern miracle that is dentistry - I shall triumph. Actually, I needed oral surgery on an old root canal. The surgery involved cutting the gums and drilling the bone. Good times.

As I sat in the chair at the endodontist, listening to the drill reverberate through my jaw bone and into my skull, I was so grateful that I couldn't feel a thing. I feel like it is a great blessing to live in modern times where so much physical discomfort has been removed from daily life. This tooth for example, I don't have to live in excessive pain, waiting for the tooth to just decay and fall out. I don't have to have my tooth extracted after taking a big swig of whiskey. And even though I am a bit swollen and bruised right now, it will pass easily because of the wonders of iboprofen and lortab.

I am thankful for modern medicine!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Week of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving coming this week, I've been thinking about all of the things for which I am grateful. I have so much to be grateful for, I'm sure we all do. So I decided to spend each day this week blogging about the things that make me feel the most grateful.

Today I am grateful that I know how to cook and bake. I am glad that I have this skill, no matter how unsophisticated or basic it may be. Its great to be able to make good, healthful (well, most of the time) meals for my family.

My mother is an excellent cook and she had a great influence on my learning how to do the basics in the kitchen. At an early age she would let me watch her cook and eventually, begin to help her and finally to make my own dishes. I remember one summer in particular when my brother and I experimented with all the possible ways to make Kraft macaroni and cheese. (There aren't that many.) We ate it everyday for a month. And then of course, I loved to make cookie dough - not cookies mind you, just the dough. Then we would eat until we were sick. I think we could only do this when my mom left me in charge - because I was really responsible that way.

Douglas also had a great influence on my culinary tastes. He introduced me to new, exotic flavors that came from far away places like "the east coast" and places called "sushi bars." mmmm. sushi. From Douglas I leaned all about cooking with butter and garlic - very naughty of him don't you think?

I do enjoy cooking, and sometimes I am pretty good at it. (Don't ask about the other times.) And I really love baking. Cookies, cakes, breads, so many, many yummy things. I get very excited to learn about the science of baking, things like the difference between baking powder and baking soda, what makes cookies and cakes rise, why cookie dough should be refrigerated before baking. These things fascinate me.

I am grateful that I've had influences in my life that have taught me about food.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pop Culture Hang Over!

I have not posted here in ages and what I really want to post about Michele probably would not approve of so, instead of doing that, I am going to try to recover from watching Ironman last night. FEH!  I admit it I am the one guy who did not like that movie at all.  Sorry, my inner 12, no, 10 year old has locked himself in a closet and will not come out to play.

Anyway, at first I hated youtube, thinking that it's only content was home videos of bar fights and "real" bigfoot videos.  I was wrong.  Youtube also has things that really help one heal the splitting head ache, and double vision that define the hangover created by a night of pop culture indulgences.

Pop culture hang over cure #1 Minimalism!

Minimalism is admittedly hard going for some.  But actually seeing it performed can bring new appreciation.  This was the case for Michele when two years ago she took me to see the PREMIERE of Steve Reich's Daniel Variations.  Even Michele was very much impressed seeing the work performed.  Myself, I was moved to tears.  This video is of a group performing one of the best sections of  Reich's Music for 18 Musicians.  The video gives some idea of the complexity and challenge of performing such a composition. 

Pop culture hang over cure #2 Post Structural Theory!

Anyone familiar with Derrida either loves of hates him.  I love him, his work has had a dramatic impact on my thought and led me down roads that I have throughly enjoyed and benefitted from.  In this clip Derrida talks about forgiveness and how the only thing that actually calls for forgiveness, the only thing that is forgivable, is the unforgivable.  Good stuff.

So there you have it.  How to use youtube, the central clearinghouse of all pop culture dreck, to find a cure for pop culture.  Other things to check out on youtube include:  Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle, videos of John Luther Adam's music, and just for fun all the Pat Metheny videos (here) the most absurdly skilled guitarist on the planet. 

Of course the true cure for a bad pop movie is the visual poetry of the great one himself!

Hyperbole is the BEST Thing Ever!

Sadly I realize now, that no one is reading this.  Because if you were - you would have been laughing your head off at the last post!  That video is Hillllllarrriouus!  

Oh, for some very funny tshirts - check out Mental Floss.

So here are a few more pics for Grandma (I think you still read this on occasion.)  This is what Addison has been up to at school - Harry Potter Dioramas, Field trips and crazy hair day.  I swear they do No work at school anymore.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Star Wars Rocks! Or What A Geek Am I?

if you haven't seen this yet - enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Conversation with Elias

Sitting in the living room, I can hear Elias rummaging around quietly on the kitchen counter.  So I call to him.

Me:  Elias, don't put your fingers in the cake.

Now  I hear more shuffling as he gets down from the stool and comes into the living room.

Elias, holding up his hand to me:  Mom, this is my tasty hand!

Me:  Your tasty hand?

Elias:  Yes, it tastes cake.

Pause . . .

Elias:  Two times, uummm three times.  (Longer pause) No five times.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday

Addis0n turned nine this weekend.  She celebrated with a few friends, tea party style.  The girls made 'fancy' hats, ate finger sandwiches and sipped hot cocoa from china tea cups.   We played a few party games, opened presents and finished off the afternoon with cake - just in time to spoil everyones' dinners.   The girls had a lovely time.  

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Can I Get a "Yes We Can!"

The vote was Baracked!  Prop 8 has probably passed (we're still keeping our fingers crossed because it's very close.)  And I am so glad that the election is over.  Let's move on now to rebuilding our economy, ending the two wars we started, reforming health care, mending our political ties here and abroad.  

And as members of the church, let us look at how we can strengthen our communities through service and the sharing of the gospel.  If we truly want to address the moral issues of our day such as abortion, defense of marriage and the strengthening of families, let us do it by reaching out in our communities and living lives that exemplify the gospel.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Little Words

I found that I can summarize my parenting philosophy in three words: