Thursday, January 31, 2008

Media Misguidance

The media is famous for twisting facts, taking quotes out of context and various other ways to misrepresent fact to fit their agenda. Last night as I was perusing headlines, I came across this one "Mormon Women Look For Greater Role in the Church." Ok. You've got my attention. While reading it, my own little thermometer is seeing the mercury rising as I realize that the media is once again misinformed and have no clue what they are talking about. The piece said

"Last fall, the head of the Mormon church's Relief Society delivered a treatise on motherhood that equated nurturing with keeping a tidy house. Women in poor countries who dress their daughters in clean, ironed dresses, the speaker said, honor a sacred covenant.

Julie B. Beck's exhortation at the church's General Conference that Mormon women strive to be ``the best homemakers in the world'' "

And that was just the start. ( )

For any non-LDS (mormon) people that may come across this post or those who are LDS and struggling with what it means to be a woman in 2008-don't believe this article. Yes, the prophets have told us time and again that the woman needs to be in the home. Here is the difference of the "barefoot and pregnant-male dominance" mentality the article has to why we do stay at home. We stay at home so that our children can get us when they need us. We stay at home because women are natural nuturers and that is where we will have opportunity after opportunity to excell at what we do best. We stay at home because the world is ever decreasing its morals and somebody should be responsible for teaching children right from wrong. We stay at home because families are the basic building block of society and if our families fail, our society will come crashing down around us.

Men and women are just different. Point blank. There is no getting around that. We are built differently physically. Our minds our also built differently. That does not mean (as has been mistaken for centuries) that women are inferior creatures. We are equal, just different and that is okay.

I have never been made to feel inferior in my almost 20-year membership in this church. In fact, quite often I have felt the men of this church have reverence and deep and profound respect for women. If you want to read a great talk go read Richard G. Scott's (quorum of the 12) talk entitled, "The Sanctitiy of Womanhood." Here's a little taste: “Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.
“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth.”

Let's talk about Sis. Beck's statement about being the best homemakers in the world. She does very clearly equate homemaking with keeping a tidy house. This is an area where I constantly struggle (small children will do that to you :) ). However, I do find that when my home is neat and tidy there is a better feeling there. We are kinder to each other, more willing to work together and to help each other out. If someone can find the faults of a clean home, feel free to share them. Also, reading her talk, you'll find that she points out more than just keeping a clean home is involved in being a woman and mother. We are teachers and we are leaders.

There is so much more I could say, but my kids are now destroying the house. :) Read Sis. Beck's talk for yourself. Make your own informed decision. I for one want to go on the record as defending both womanhood and motherhood. It is sacred and divine. It is the highest calling we can aspire to (and trust me, that is not an insult). It will bring us the greatest joy and give us the most opportunity for selfless service.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Picture Post

These are my favorite posts to blog and to read. Okay-from bottom to top, here is what they are. For FHE we learned about how we got the Book of Mormon and that is a very special book that we need to take really good care of. For our activity we colored pictures of the BoM to hang on their doors. Sophie, of course, had to have one and sat and "colored" it all night. Next-Yesterday while I was cracking the usual morning whip to get kids to eat, I looked up and noticed McKay was busy "reading" the Friend while munching his muffin top cereal. Then-Lyndsi (especially) and McKay are always telling me they want a sleepover, so one Friday night we let them have one. We blew up the air mattress, brought up the little TV/VCR combo, and threw in some popcorn and all the left over Christmas treats. They had a ball and we got a free date night! (Jeff went and got Chinese and we watched a movie or something.) Next to last-Sophie loves reading books. I am sure it's because between the 4 other people in the house, someone is usually looking at a book. usually she will bring you a book and grunt at you until you put her on your lap until you read it. Finally-This is my binky baby. A week or two ago we thought we had lost the last of the binkies and decided it was as good a time as any to quit the habit. Think again. We were all miserable that day. Fortunately we found the dumb thing (and 2 more besides), but I have limited binky time to naps and bedtime. Now when I put her down for her nap, Sophie just giggles and giggles because she is so excited to have her binky for a little while. When she wakes up she'll hand it to me and point to the shelf where it goes. She is such a funny kid.

Monday, January 28, 2008

President Hinckley

Last night while playing games with family I was shocked and saddened to hear that President Hinckley had died. I knew it was coming, but the news literally hit me like a tons of bricks. I do feel so blessed to know where he is and what will happen to the Church now. That is one of the things I love about being a member of the LDS faith. I know that when we die we will go on to a better place and be with loved ones.

President Hinckley was sustained a prophet when I was in 9th grade and I remember feeling and immediate connection and excitement. I had already learned to love this man, probably because he already had a love for all people. For some reason he reminded me a lot of my Grandpa Marchant and that sealed my affection for him. Each conference I looked forward to hearing from him and got to multiple times. I loved his continuous reminders to "raise the bar" and "do a little better." Once as part of family home evening, we hung a picture of the Savior and one of Pres. Hinckley on our back door. Every time I walked in and out of the kitchen his loving smile was always there to remind me that either a) I was doing a good job and to keep it or b) Come on, Ang, you can do a little better.

He will be sadly missed, but I am grateful I had the opportunity to get to know him a little and learn a lot from him.

(Isn't that a cute picture?? I found it on MSN's news story of Pres. H. death.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Power of the Father

We all know the 13th Article of faith. "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." In a world with ever decreasing values, it's exciting to find something that fits the above, so when I so find something like that, I want to share it.

Jeff's been out of town resulting in lots of hours by myself. THe other day I decided to hit redbox to see if there was anything worth renting.

Movie #1: The Game Plan. I heard this movie was similar to "The Pacifier" with Vin Diesel. I didn't really care for that movie and I don't think VD can act. I also had only seen Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson in the Mummy movies where his physique was important but not a lot of acting involved there either. I wasn't too concerned about seeing this movie, but thought the kids might like it. I ended up watching it by myself and loved it. The Rock is much more talented than i gave him credit for and it was just a good story overall with good messages. I especially enjoyed the discussion between Joe (the Rock) and his daughter's ballet teacher. She tells him that fathers have a lot of influence over their daughters and they talk about it. It was nice to see such an important message in a mainstream movie. There's football and ballet, so it's a great fit for my kids. There is one awesome sequence where they show Peyton's ballet recital. It is amazing. BTW-the little girl, Peyton, is too cute.

Movie #2: Stardust. Ok-this definitely would fall into the "fantasy" genre, but if I had to compare it to another movie it would be along the lines of Princess Bride. I loved it. Adventure, romance (very clean), humor. It was all there. The main character-Tristan Thorn was played by a little known actor named Charlie Cox. He did an excellent job, especially since he was up against (or with) actors like Michelle Pfiefer, Clair Danes, Robert de Niro, Rupert Everette, etc. I don't think I'd let my kids watch it because it can get a little scary (at least for mine), but in a few more years, I really think they'll love it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bonfires and Amplifiers and Dads and Daughters

Last night my dad and I went on our first daddy-daughter date since I was a Merry Miss (for those who are too young to remember Merry Miss-think Activity Days.) A couple of weeks ago I decided that I really wanted to go to the Brad Paisley concert. Jeff was leaving town and I needed someone to go with me, so I asked my dad. It was so much fun we went out to dinner before and then to the concert. Openers: Chuck Wicks (Stealing Cinderella) and Rodney Atkins (If your goin' thru hell, keep on going). They both did really well. Unfortunately, the concert was held at the Energy Solutions Arena and the acoustics were horrible. Rodney A. was really fun to watch, lots of energy, talked a lot about his kids and was having fun up there. If he ever headlines here, I would definitely go see him again. (In fact, I am going out this morning and buying his CD). Brad Paisley was, of course, awesome. He is so talented. He sings fabulous live, he had some great animation that he did himself, and he plays the guitar like it's no ones business! It was so cool.
We did meet lots of interesting people there. I was a little surprised by the lack of hats and funny cowboy shirts, but I guess the cowboy trend is seeming to go away from at least the shirts (thankfully). I did see a lot of "high maintenance" girls , ya know, trendy clothes, lots of makeup, perfectly styled hair. We had 2 cute girls in front of us who gave us a cotton ball. (Concert tip: When at the former Delta Center, stuff cotton balls in your ears and then you can magically take all the echo out and understand what is being said/sung.) There was a cute little couple next to us that couldn't have been older than 17 or 18. She was adorable and he was the perfect gentleman. Very smooth. Hope he had enough gas in his car. ;) (I'm sure that probably came out wrong. Sorry!) There were 4 kids that came in on our row (none older than 18 I'm sure) all with a beer in hand. As you can guess (thankfully), the arena staff checked their ages and escorted them all out, taking away their beers. Yay E.S.A.!! Then there was the row of rowdy girls behind us. (Ok. Really they were grown women, probably all having to take their kids to school today, but acting like girls for the evening. ) They joined us part way thru the 2nd opening act and were apparently much in love with Mr. Atkins. I won't repeat things I heard. They had obviously started their party before they came to sit with us. The alcohol was already taking affect. :) I was glad when they moved though.
I am so glad I went. I've been trying to live without regrets (or as few as possible) and I don't think I will ever regret this fun night-drunks and all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Little Tidbits

As I was cleaning my room this morning I came across a couple of little notes I had written to remind myself of a couple of things I wanted to blog. A few weeks ago we had a cute family in our ward speak. One of them spoke on the talk "Good, Better, Best" by Dallen H. Oaks. This is the 2nd time in my life one of his talks really struck home with me. I think it did with a lot of people. Right before Christmas we attended my mother-in-law's ward and in her Relief Society, the lesson was on this very talk. I seem to always get the same teacher when we are there, but she always does such a wonderful job of teaching from these talks. She had a visual/object lesson to help drive home the point of choosing the best over the better and good. She place a large jar on the table and then held up 2 bags. One bag was filled with golf balls and represented all the things we are supposed to do like scripture study, prayer, visiting teaching, etc. The second bag was filled with small marbles/pebbles and represented all the other good things in life: hobbies, running kids around, reading, etc. She dumped the marbles in the life, filling our "day" with good things and then tried to fit all the golf balls in on top. They didn't fit. After emptying the balls and marbles back into their bags, she tried it again. This time she filled our "day" with the best things and then dumped the pebbles in. It all fit. (Well, actually it didn't, but it was supposed. I think it would've if she had shook the jar just a little, but there were sleeping babies.) The point was when we put the Lord first, we will find the time for all the other good things in life that we want to do and the fluff will all drop out.

Another little note I found was some advice from author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). I happened to catch her on Oprah and got drawn in. She had gone through a bad marriage, horrible divorce and then an amazing road to self-discovery. She was very happy and bubbly and told Oprah and her viewers 3 things she writes down daily to help her.

1. What do I really, really, really want? Then answer it.
2. Write down the happiest moment of the day.
3. Change your mantra until it works for you. (Is "I'm a dork, failure, etc really working for you?)

I went on to read her book and loved it. There were of course parts I could do without, but her journey was amazing and inspiring. I loved the 3 little things to write down, and think the world would be a better place if we all took time to figure out what we want, what makes us happy, and change our thinking to be positive.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scrapbookin ballerina

Lyndsi has taken dance since her 3rd birthday. This last summer she decided it was time to try something new. Thus we ventured into the world of gymnastics. Two months (or so) in she decided it was not for her and wanted to go back to dance. After Christmas I tried calling the dance studio a couple of times to get her re-enrolled, but no one was there due to the break. Apparently Lynsdi did not think i made enough effort and one day brought me the brochure and phone and very directly said, "Call her mom." Eventually we did get enrolled and then it was torture for Lyndsi to wait for 4 days before her first class. She has been excited about it ever since. The other day I informed her she had dance that night and she was literally dancing all over the house in excitement. It has been so fun to see her so excited about something!
She has also taken up the hobby of scrapbooking, having received a kit from Grandma for Christmas. With a little direction ("don't put stickers on the pictures" and "nothing hanging over the edge of the paper"), she is turning into a budding little scrapper, if a little obsessed. (ALWAYS wanting to scrap)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Funny Little Things

This was too cute not to blog. As Lyndsi and I were munching our mid-afternoon snack, she said :

"Mommy, we don't drink enough. We just talk and talk and talk and talk. But not me. I never talk at nighttime when I go to bed. I just go right to sleep."

Anyone who knows us very well know the first 2 statements are absolutely true. (I'm sure my family is just laughing recalling my younger days.) That last part however...I guess we'll have to have some more lessons on what it means to tell the truth. :)

Sunny Day

There is nothing more motivating than a bright, sunshiny day (well, unless it is also warm :) ). Despite the haze I can see blue skies and sunshine and I am inspired to clean my bathroom, read my scriptures, prepare family home evening, and make lunch. I have a few things I"m excited to post about, but you'll have to wait in eager anticipation while I try to stop procrastinating uploading my pics to the computer. Speaking of, I was doing just that a few weeks ago at a place called Winkflash. I noticed that they had their calendars on sale and, looking at my empty wall space where one once hung, I ordered one. Now being a scrapbooker, I did feel a twinge of quilt at not doing anything ultra creative, but it didn't last long. The calendar came within a couple of days and is so cute. Nothing is more fun than filling out those little squares while staring at my cute kids. By the way, the quality was fab. In fact, I was so impressed that I will order some large prints (that I have also put off ordering) of some family photos and a couple other favorite ones. Until I get around to posting more, here's a new photo. Enjoy the sunshine and do something fun today!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Healthy Resolutions

I love the start of a new year and all the resolution setting that comes with it. This year I've decided I want to be healthy. I want to get in shape and be more active. I want to replace fat with muscle and I want those endorphines (happy hormones) that come with exercising. To help me with my goal, I wanted to join a group, but thought I would feel self-concious at a weight-watchers meeting or the like since I am mostly aiming to lose only a little fat. I ended up going with Denise Austin's online program "Fit Forever!" Ok-so she can be a little cheesy, but I find the constant cheerfulness somewhat uplifting and she's very encouraging. Today is day 1 but so far I like it. It's also nice to have a place to report in, to get help with meals, track my progress, etc. I am very excited about it. I have other goals this year like actually scrapbooking, save a little more $$, give up the credit card, going to the cabin, getting together with friends/family more, but becoming healthy and adopting a more healthy lifestyle is my focus this year-both physically and spiritually. Does anyone have any fun goals for 2008?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Book of Mormon

I've been thinking for the last couple of weeks about what Elder Ballard spoke about in regards to using your blog to help foster positive images of the church and to spread the gospel. I've tried to ponder some on that and what I could write about. Well, my friends, tonight I had an experience to share. Completely out of the blue last night Lyndsi (my 5-yr-old) handed me her copy of the Book of Mormon and said, "Mom, we need to read scriptures." How can you refuse her that? So, we started reading. I kind of wondered if it was a little whim, but tonight again, she pulled out that little blue book and handed it to me. Again we read. This time I tried to put a little more effort and explain on her level what was going on. Now, we're on page 2 maybe a couple of verses down the page, and I felt the overwhelming feeling that yes, this book is true! I've known it all my life, but to have that confirmation again is wonderful. After that I was so excited to try and help my sweet baby girl understand what was going on. I feel very grateful that my 5-year-old is excited to read the scriptures and that I get to be a part of that.