Thursday, June 30, 2016

Get Out and Laugh!!

The other day I was in such a funk cuz nothing was working the way I had planned it to work.  I wanted to scream, shout, and pull my hair out!  I was supposed to go shopping with my two sisters, and we were supposed to leave at a particular time in the morning.  Well, I had a lesson to prepare and needed to make sure my video was working properly.  I thought I had everything ready, until I realized that my video was not compatible with the "smart TV" I was trying to play it on.

I spent a couple of hours working on this project and NOTHING was working.  I tried to reformat, I tried to copy it to a DVD, I tried standing on my head (OK - I didn't go THAT far - but you get the picture).  I was sooo frustrated that my sweet hubby begged my sisters to drag me out of the house, bodily if needed, and bring me back happy.

Well, I reluctantly left my unfinished project behind, and I was determined to make the most of the day I had left.

Ya know what?  It was the most amazing day with my sisters!

When we went to go eat, I told my sisters they had to order actual food and not just a drink.  This started some playful banter back and forth between us sisters.  This made the young man taking our order laugh.  I asked him if we were "making his day" and he said yes we were.  I was grateful that I could help his day go better than mine had up to this point in time.  When he asked if we were going to stay to eat our lunch or take it with us, I told him "We are going to stay here.  We'll just be your crazies in the corner!"  This made him REALLY laugh!  Thing is, we really were the crazies in the corner!

It didn't stop there!  Oh, no. 

We went to a store to purchase some "support clothing" for my one sister, but instead, after about an hour, we came out with two pairs of shoes for me!

Next was the second-hand store that we lovingly call "The Fashion Place" or "The Treasure Store", but is known to the outside world as the DI (or Deseret Industries).  This is were you can find anything from a nice outfit for super cheap to a bowling ball.  (I have bought both - recently!)  Anyhow, we were shopping and having a grand old time - laughing our heads off.  It got to the point we were grabbing stuff off the racks, in each others sizes, and the standard phrase of the day was "It's in the cart, you have to try it on".  When these words were said, there was no turning back no matter how ugly the item of clothing was!  Oh the fun we had with this!  I just wish we would have gotten pictures - next time I guess.

We spent THREE HOURS in the store!!!

We were pretty much on fumes when we left the store, but I was no longer in a grumpy mood and I really did have a good time with my sisters.  They decided that I would make a pretty good comedian as well.  We were laughing so hard all of us were crying,  my one sister couldn't breathe really well and I couldn't see where I was driving.  Thing is, we couldn't STOP laughing no matter how hard we tried.

So, my hubby pleaded with my sisters to take me out and bring me back happy.  I think they accomplished this goal.  My advice to you, my reader, is this, try to let go of things that you have no control over.  Take a break from what you are doing that is driving you insane and making you super frustrated, and just get out for a few hours and laugh.  Be silly with a friend or a sibling (one that you like is best).  Let your hair down and remember who YOU are for a change.  Don't worry so much, things always work out in the end!

P.S.  My lesson turned out great after all!  It also helped to have a new outfit from the "Fashion Place" and a new pair of shoes for just a bit of confidence!

Monday, June 27, 2016

What Makes Your Country Great?

This post is really long, but it is something that I am very passionate about.  I was recently asked to give a lesson in my church and this is the lesson that I shared that day.  I know that some of my readers are not from America, but I hope that you can take this post and apply it to your feelings about what makes your country great.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that all people are great in their own way.  I also feel that no matter where you reside, you have the same challenges of standing up for what is right and good at all times.  I also feel that we all need a reminder of who gave us the freedom to make those choices.  With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this post and the video that I have included at the end of this post.

When we were in Heaven, we were given a choice.  A choice to follow our Heavenly Father's plan to come to earth and gain knowledge and experience or the choice to follow Satan and be guaranteed a return trip to heaven but where we would forfeit our freedom of choice.  Since we are here today, you can guess what choice we made.  We all made the choice to come here to earth and have an earthly experience.  I for one am extremely grateful for the chance to make my own choices, weather they be good or bad.  That is the only way that we can truly learn.  One of the best gifts that Heavenly Father gave us was the gift of agency.

President David O. McKay stated:  "Next to life, we express gratitude for the gift of free agency. When thou didst create man, thou placed within him part of thine Omnipotence and bade him choose for himself. Liberty and conscience thus became a sacred part of human nature. Freedom not only to think, but to speak and act, is a God-given privilege. "

When America was in its infancy, they faced many trials.  The people who fled to America were seeking freedom to choose.  In this case it was the freedom to have their own religion.  In their homeland, England, the king didn't want to let go of the people and he most definitely didn't want them to have their own religion.  (This sounds very reminiscent of what Satan wanted - control over others).

As the Colonists grew they were determined to keep this newfound freedom that they had worked so hard to find.  They were inspired by Heavenly Father to write a Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that shaped this wonderful land that we call home.

President J. Reuben Clark said:  "the Constitution is an inspired document drawn by the hands of men whom God raised up for that very purpose; that God has given His approval of the Government set up under the Constitution “for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles”: that the constitutional “principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before” the Lord. (D&C 101:77, 98:5.) . . .

President Wilford Woodruff stated:  "Those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits . . . inspired of the Lord."

Image result for founding fathersWriting and signing these documents was a very bold act for these men to do.  They could have been found guilty of treason and killed for such acts.  But as Pres. Clark pointed out, "the constitutional “principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before” the Lord."  If the Constitution had not been drawn up we would not be allowed the privileges that we enjoy today.

As with anything, with great privilege comes great responsibility.  We live in a time when we, as a people, are more concerned over how many "likes" we get on Facebook, how many texts we can send or receive in a minute, or who is winning the battle on the online game we are involved in.  We are also absorbed in the latest trend on Pintrest, Twitter, or Snapchat.  We become devastated if someone doesn't "like" us or text us back in a timely fashion.  We tend to think that because we exist we "deserve" the things that we have.

In this way of thinking, WE ARE WRONG!  We need to remember those who toiled to grant us what we have today.  We need to ask ourselves if we are truly worthy to have these freedoms if we ourselves are not willing to pay the price.

James Russell Lowell stated: "Our American republic will endure only as long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue dominant”.

I am not saying that we need to go into battle on the battlefield, but we do need to be willing to enter the battlefield we call daily life.  We need to teach our children and grandchildren what it means to fight for our freedom and to stand for what is right at all times.  We don't have to go looking for a fight, but we need to be ready to face the fight when it comes to us. In the words which Captain Parker gave to his minutemen on April 19, 1775,

"Stand your ground, don’t fire unless fired upon,
But if they mean to have a war
Let it begin here."

People, the battle is here, now.  What are you doing to protect your family and prepare your children?

Image result for John AdamsJohn Adams stated: "If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready. . . . But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.  All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it."

May we too feel so determined to make our future better than it is now.  We have forgotten that those who fought so hard for our freedom had a grim determination, they opposed every attempt to rob them of any liberty they had gained.  We too need to be this determined to keep our freedoms and to teach our offspring the importance of protecting these freedoms.

Nephi too recognized the importance of teaching these principles to his people.  He understood that if we turn to God seeking help we will be strengthened so we can win the battles that come to us day after day.

Image result for Nephi image“And I beheld, that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle. And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations” (1 Nephi 13:18–19).

We are bombarded every day with choices.  Some are good and others not so good.  One thing that I have noticed is the lack of respect for ones-self.  Another thing that I have noticed is the lack of courage to stand up for what is right at all times.

This is especially difficult when dealing with children.  Most parents are not willing to stand up to their children when faced with a serious situation.  The parent is more concerned if their child will like them over if the choice that child is making is a good one or not.

Let me remind you parents, and grandparents - you are not here to gain popularity points with your children.  You are not here to be their best friend, they have enough friends their own age.  You are here to lead them to greatness.  "NO" is a very difficult word to master, but as a guardian of the future you must learn to use it well.  We cannot overindulge our children into thinking that they are entitled to anything.  We must teach them the hard lessons that greatness comes to those who work for it.  We must teach them to have self-government and self-control.

Elder Albert E. Bowen put it: “Self-government involves self-control, self-discipline, an acceptance of and the most unremitting obedience to correct principles. . . . No other form of government requires so high a degree of individual morality”.

The task we have been given as guardians is difficult at best, but with the help of Heavenly Father we will make it through.

I come from a very strong patriotic background.  My father served over 20 years in the Air Force.  He had the distinct opportunity to repatriate to POWs of the Vietnam War.  He saw the difficult situations the military faced on a daily basis in order to protect our freedoms.  He taught his family how to love both God and country.  He taught us to stand for what is right at all times no matter the cost.

I am so grateful to a father who gave me his example.  I know that I have truly been blessed to live in this beautiful free land we call America.  I also realize that that freedom did not come by accident.  God is an amazing being and can do miracles to achieve his purposes.

Pres. Benson stated  "it is not just another nation, not just a member of the family of nations. It is a great and glorious nation with a divine mission, brought into being under the inspiration of heaven. It is truly a land choice above all heart fills with gratitude that I am privileged to live here, and that I have the honor and pleasure not only of serving in the Church but also of serving in the government of this great land. I consider it an honor and a privilege.

"the Founding Fathers…recognized…our freedom is God-given…that this glorious principle, this great boon of freedom and respect for the dignity of man, came as a gift from the Creator.  That the freedom which we enjoy did not originate with the Founding Fathers."

D&C 101:80:  “And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood”

Pres Benson continues by reminding us that "we have a rich heritage,"…and warns us "that nations ofttimes sow the seeds of their own destruction even while enjoying unprecedented prosperity, even before reaching the zenith or the peak of their power. I think history clearly indicates that this is often the case. When it appears that all is well, ofttimes the very seeds of destruction are sown, sometimes unwittingly. Most of the great civilizations of the world have not been conquered from without until they have destroyed themselves from within by sowing these seeds of destruction.

If we will keep the commandments of God—live as he has directed, and does now direct, through his prophets—we will continue to have his protecting hand over us.

In these challenging days, when there are so many influences which would divert us, there is a need to rededicate ourselves to the lofty principles and practices of our Founding Fathers."

I too add my testimony to Pres. Benson.  I know that we need to teach the rising generation to remember who gave them their freedom.  We need to teach them to stand for truth at all times, no matter what.  Standing up for what is true is lonely at times, but it will make you strong and you will never stand alone as long as you stand with God.

It is my hope and prayer that we may remember that our freedoms aren't free.  They came at an incredible price.  Let us not forget that price that has been paid.  Let us remember who is the founder of the freedoms we enjoy and thank Him each and every day.  It is my plead to you as guardians to teach your young charges about these principles that they may too gain a strong testimony for these things.

I love my country and the freedoms that I enjoy on a daily basis.  I love my family and the joy they bring to my heart each day.  Most of all I love my God who has given me all.

I pray that as you watch the following video that you will reflect on the price that was paid for our freedom and how we can instill respect in our children for these freedoms and those who won them for us.  But most of all I hope that you too will thank God each day for the freedom that you too enjoy.
Click here to view video

Thursday, June 23, 2016

When Life Gets Hard Just Remember.....

I recently was talking to a neighbor that has been having a really bad time of things lately.  She feels as if everything she touches is ruined.  Now, this is absolutely NOT true, but it is the way that she feels.  I can respect those feelings, but I also know differently.

Do you ever feel like this?  Like you put your whole heart and soul into something and it seems like nothing works out the way you planed?  Like when you do anything, you are judged for what you do, whether it turns out good or bad?  Like what you DO do isn't good enough?  Like you should be doing more than you really are?

Facetious Minions images with quotes (10:25:19 PM, Wednesday 03, February 2016 PST) – 10 pics: I ran across a quote just yesterday, (I got to say Pintrest is a GREAT time waster with good ideas).  It put into perspective how we should really look at ourself.  We are who we are.  We shouldn't have to apologize to anyone for the way a loving Heavenly Father made us.  He made each of us different for a reason.  If we were all the same, some of us would not be necessary in this world.  I for one am super grateful for the opportunity to be an original.

The thing that gives me great comfort when times get tough, and I feel I just can't go on another day, is that I have a loving Heavenly Father who knows my needs and is there for me no matter what.  He knows what I can handle, He knows my trials, He also knows how to show me He loves me.  He either sends his love in the form of a soft breeze, a friend who cares or just a feeling of being loved.  Sometimes these things are difficult to feel, but if you just stop and "listen", take a break from all you are going through, you will be able to feel that love He has for you.

Heavenly Father is always there and knows our needs.  He really is a perfect Father.  He won't leave us comfortless, we just got to let Him in and help us heal. hubby shared this video clip with me just this morning.  I loved it so much that I want to share it with you now.  It is a perfect example of how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  He is the perfect Father.  If you are struggling in any way, know this one simple truth - YOU ARE NEVER ALONE WHEN YOU TRUST IN GOD.  He loves you deeply, no matter what you have done.  He loves you for who YOU are, after all, He made you who you are.  He will never apologize for his creations, why should you apologize for being who God made you.  

 When someone asks you how your day is, stop to think for just a minute then reply "You know, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, my picture didn't show up in the obituary section of the paper, so today is a pretty good day!"  If you start your day like this, things will most definitely get better.  Things will never be perfect, but they can be as good as you choose to make them. 

You are an incredible person for just being you!  Keep up the good work!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lesson in Insanity

So yesterday was Father's Day here in America.  

Happy Father's Day 
to all you Dads!!

In preparation for this special day, I decided to take the two smallest children shopping for a special surprise for their daddy.  Let me back-up just a bit before this wonderful lesson in insanity.  

We had taken our van (Eddie) into the shop once again to be fixed.  (We bought her a year ago and she has been in the shop more than she has been in our garage.  That is another story for another day...).

When we went to pick her up, we had to take the younger children with us cuz our oldest daughter was at Girls Camp which left us without a sitter.  It made for a very long hour car ride even with the portable DVD player!

We were able to pick up Eddie without any problems, however, we decided to go grab dinner before we went shopping.  This should have been a good thing right?  Well, not quite so much!

The kids couldn't decide what they wanted to eat and finally after begging and pleading for them to tell us what they wanted, they ordered their "usual" meal.  I decided to order my "usual" on toast instead of a huge bun.

Yeah, THAT was an epic fail!!  You see, when I order a cheeseburger, I order it with ONLY mayo & ketchup cuz I have some crazy food allergies.  You think that this would be a simple order, but apparently ordering a cheeseburger with just mayo & ketchup on toast instead of a bun was WAY TOO complicated for the eating establishment!  What I got was a fully loaded cheeseburger on toast - looked great, but had the potential to KILL me!  When I told the server that I was allergic to most everything on it, he apologized and took it away to "fix" my order.  What he came back with was an overcooked patty (minus the cheese) on toast with gobs of mayo and a little ketchup.  Let's just say, I will not be putting in any "substitute" requests next time!

During dinner, my youngest girl ate like a horse!  She ate everything in sight and was still "grazing" as we were starting to clear the table to leave.  My son, on the other hand, wasn't eating anything cuz what he really wanted was tacos and they didn't serve those at the burger joint we went to.  He took FOREVER to eat and that was with much prodding!

After dinner we went shopping.  This is super difficult cuz we were trying like crazy to keep both children somewhat near the cart and not running around the store like chickens with their heads cut off!  When they were in or near the cart, it was a chore just to keep their hands and feet inside the cart and not knocking off the merchandise that was so nicely stacked on the shelves.

At one store, I decided that I would take the two children by myself to purchase my hubby's Father's Day gift.  THAT was mistake #1!!    

We picked up a gift card tin (we didn't end up using) and my daughter pulled off the price tag.  (She loves to pull off tags of any kind - whether we purchase them or not! Ugh!) 

Next was the card.  The kids couldn't decide on a card even though we looked at like 100!  There was another mamma right next to me in the isle doing the same battle with her children.  I made the comment "Sometimes it's easier to go shopping by yourself and then show them what they got dad, right?"  

She then replied, "It sure is.  But my hubby is working so I really don't have a choice."  

This made me stop and think a second, then I said, "Yeah, that's rough.  I'm just insane cuz my hubby is somewhere here in the store!"  

She then replied, "Boy, you didn't think that one through!"  

And you know what?  She was right!

When we finally decided on a card, the children needed to visit the little kids room -ugh! (remember my toilephobia?)   I don't know if they really had "to go", but we did wash our hands about a zillion times!!

Then it was off in search of a gift for daddy!  Yeah!!  We found it quite quickly and grabbed it up.  We got him a baseball glove and a baseball so he can play catch with the kids.  This is also a good way for him to "bond" with our son and his love of t-ball.

That was the ONLY thing quick about our trip.  Even at 8:15 pm, the store was positively PACKED!!  Every person and their dog decided to jump in line as soon as I wanted to check out.  It was like they knew I had every button pushed in the last 25 minutes and was at my breaking point, but they wanted to see how much farther they could push the envelope.

Hahahahaha: So, there I stood in the line that stretched to New Jersey, which was actually the shortest line there.  Meanwhile, my children were "done" with the store and starting to grab everything in sight.  I said "No, please stop", "don't touch that", and "keep your hands in the cart" so many times that people were beginning to stare at my predicament.  It's as if they have never before in their life witnessed a mamma at her wits end with the children/shopping experience.  My only hope is that they have children of their own someday and have this EXACT experience!!  

As I am standing in line trying REALLY hard not to scream, yell and pull my hair out, the customer two people ahead of me had a problem with the cashier!  UGH UGH UGH!!!

After waiting for what seemed like an hour, I foolishly switched to the next line over that was miraculously moving forward, to only get stuck behind them because of some silly "problem".  Boy, I really learned my lesson there!  Just cuz the line is shorter doesn't mean that it is moving!

After what seemed like an eternity - but was probably only about 20 minutes, we had our little purchase that was sure to make daddy smile, and we were finally headed out the door.

During this whole time, my hubby was waiting for us outside.  We got to the car as quick as possible.  When my hubby saw us he offered a giant smile and a great big "HI!"  Then upon seeing my frazzled expression he asked "What's wrong?"  I answered with a polite "I'm NOT talking about it!"

It was a good thing we had two cars with us (hubby's car and my van) cuz I needed some silent-quite-mamma time.  Can you guess which vehicle I drove home?

All in all, I learned my lesson.  Don't take the kids on multiple excursions and cram all your errands into one trip.  If you have to make multiple stops, hire a sitter and then show them what "they" bought daddy!