Thursday, July 31, 2008

Warning "This new convert may say or do inappropriate things."

I was a sophomore in high school when I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I realized that I would never really be like the LDS saints that grew up in the church. It has been an ongoing adjustment and gradual change for me. The church really has its own culture and mini cultures within it, with it being world wide. It’s my opinion that it can be quite the shock to try to fit in. I've seen converts that seem to not have an issue with the adjustment and so I speak for myself as usual and point out that my life experiences and environmental and biological dynamics have contributed to my situation.


I remember wearing sleeveless dresses and funky clothes to church because I didn’t know better. I’d wear my mom’s dresses because what average high school kid that doesn’t go to church has a church wardrobe? My mom happens to be 4’ll (I’m 5’3) and is much shapelier than I ever was and ever will be. I must have looked ridiculous!


It’s not just the Mormon fashion or modesty thing either that takes some adjusting to. It also includes language and presentation. My parents are both immigrants from different countries (one from Asia, the other from Central America). They met at English school. You can imagine what communication issues that created in our home. At least for my parents, their English was simple and to the point. There is no tact because it already is an accomplishment to learn another language. There was no continued education on that point and no one really to keep them in check. So, I’m usually not a rude person on purpose but I may seem like it at times. The reality is I lack tack. I just wasn’t raised on it and as a result I’m pretty straight forward. I grew up hearing swear words and with lots of dysfunctional ways of expressing anger. So trying to be a sweet, Christ-like, Mormon girl has been an inner battle.


Kids that grew up in the church saw there parents teach, serve, share testimony, give talks and prayers, volunteer, socialize, cry in front of a congregation and doing the whole shebang. I on the other hand was embarrassed of my (actually cute) parents and much rather not see them embarrass themselves out in public places like church with their lack of tack and funky clothes (actually not bad just worse in my mind). I can’t imagine them bearing a testimony or teaching a lesson. It’s so out of their nature. And as it is for them, it was/is for me. As converts it’s a new thing to do all of the above. It takes a little getting use to. Some do better than others and boy have I said and done LOTS of inappropriate things along the way!! With baptism I should have come with a warning “This new convert may say or do inappropriate things.”


Well, being na├»ve, I made the decision to go to BYU to quote “become a better member of the church.” I absolutely LOVED my experience at BYU, but it far from made me a better member of the church. As soon as I entered my first ward, I was drowned out by all those talented and beautiful, confident, Mormon girls that had stamped on their foreheads “Relief Society President.” My time there was long before Hinckley’s talk on converts needing a friend, a calling, and the good word. I fell through the cracks and wasn’t given much convert encouraging from my church leaders and fellow members.


I was glad that I felt strong inspiration to go on a mission soon after my baptism. I felt strong promptings that I was going on a mission. I felt gratitude for the Gospel and the love I felt. I was amazed at the change from not having the spirit to having the gift of the Holy Ghost. I was blessed and experienced many miracles and the fire that burns in the bosom. I wanted to share my experience to others as a missionary. But by the time I became pre missionary, I had lost all the genuine feelings of why I originally wanted to be a missionary. I knew I wanted to go. I knew I was inspired to go. But by 20, my reasons became worldly. I hoped I was going to Japan so I could learn Japanese. It was going to be a good experience. It would make me more marketable to get married. Yada Yada Yada.


I see the blessings from following spiritual promptings. My mission was a refiner’s fire. I worked my tail off. I had trial after trial. The Book of Mormon became alive for me. I devoured it for the first time in my life in the MTC. I saw miracle after miracle. I seriously felt like I was protected by the hand of God. I was given the opportunity to see God’s missionary work progress and all the amazing things that happen and we don’t get to see on a regular basis. My mission was hard; it was what God knew I needed in my life. I learned what it takes to be a member of this amazing church sanctioned by God.


My focus on Mormon culture moves to how to raise a good family. I watch successful Mormon families very closely, examining what it is that they’ve done right. I realize that the spirit leads us. I realize that the Gospel teaches those basic truths. The prophets remind us of the way to do so. We just have to do it. And so I watch how it is done, sometimes mimicking, sometimes just coming up with good things on my own. Obviously, Christ’s example is the way to go. But with it, the church people have a culture and norms that perhaps have been passed down from generations before. My visiting teaching companion comes from a great family. She said that her parents always served in their calling and they continue to do so without ever complaining. That impacted her in a good way. Some may see it as a no brainer but it was a real eye opener to hear this. So although I have the gospel and study it, I learn a lot from my fellow members on how to apply the gospel in my daily life. I realize that my complaining can have a negative impact. I’m reminded of my temple covenants. And so I grow a little closer to who I want to be and who my family needs me to be.


There is still the fact that I am ME. I am who I am; Liberal on some things, conservative on other things; Comfortable in the Ghetto, comfortable in Zion; Comfortable and uncomfortable that my brothers are covered in tattoos; Indifferent to several ear piercing but glad I don’t have them; O.K. with abortion and previously to gay rights but worried about admitting it; Confused on how to raise kids in the church having never experienced it before. I have some positives that come from my life experience. I realize I am tolerant. I can have non member friends and am friends with all my neighbors regardless of their religious beliefs or membership status. I’m respectful of different types of people. I respect religious diversity and believe we aren’t the only good people in the world. Perhaps I’m no different than you but I perceive myself as such. I’ll keep working on becoming more Christ like and as I progress I realize it won’t matter to me if I fit in or not.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

potty training......What mother would post a picture like this? Shameful!

A has been using the toilet for numero 2 since last November. What a kid! However, while we were in Jackson, he regressed. Then when we came home, same. So we're potty training this week. Yesterday, I took off his diaper (usually only used for number 1) and put on underwear. After the first couple wet messes, he had improved. By the end of the day, there was a pile of wet and semi wet bottoms on the bathroom floor (because that's all I could manage to do with my pounding head) but he's realizing that he can make it before making a mess. This morning same and still doing well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How we travel

I must admit that life with three little boys is getting a little easier well at least for the getting around part. 2/3 can buckle up on their own and both know how to buckle and unbuckle their baby brother in and out of his car seat. So instead of me breaking out in a sweat before we even leave the garage, I plop down on my seat and wait for everyone to be ready. The older ones get dressed on their own and don't need to be picked up and carried around. So they aren't as physically needy of me which is very nice. It's been a long road to this point and I'm liking this deserved break.

Today I'm sick with a cold and have spent most of the day resting. I told them I wasn't feeling well and to not make a mess. They've been self entertained, A laid himself down for a nap on his own, and they've even fed themselves. As for the not making a mess.........well that didn't happen. But, I can't complain.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I guess I'm sleeping on the couch tonight

Loyd, Chris, and I played a game of Cities and Knights tonight. I was a point from winning when Chris took his turn. He took my merchant and my longest road for the win after manipulating all his cards. The last five or so games I've played I've been one point away from winning when someone else rips my heart out and takes the win (usually Chris). Oh well he has a gift for that. If you are competitive and love playing games, Chris and Loyd are very fun to play with. We all get worked up. Ticket to ride is a second favorite game of ours. It's quick paced and competitive.



And it wouldn't be a game with me if I didn't do something poor sportish....
Loyd who was losing miserably the whole time says on my turn when I'm so close to winning, "winner cleans up." I didn't have any problems with that, no one did. Not at all. But when Chris took the win and I walked out a little disappointed that I lost and happy that "winner cleans up" I got the 3rd degree.

What's up with that?

Friday, July 25, 2008

In need of a little Couple's therapy

It's been a while since we've taken a picture together or gone on a date or had a good conversation. Sound familiar? Last week we went to dinner and a movie, talked about the future, and took some pictures. That counts as good therapy, don't you think? Being married for several years now we should be masters at communicating with each other and practically be able to read each other's minds by now, right? That's being unrealistic but sometimes I wonder......... were we even in the same room when we had that conversation?

I think having been married for so long, being spread thin, and getting into a routine, it's easy to get lazy with the communication and take each other for granted. I had a friend say her parents can't stand each other after all these years of marriage and trying to build up a good life. It's easy to forget to nourish a marriage when we're going in a hundred different directions and some of the goals we're shooting for are distracting us from doing so. I certainly don't want to end up like that and am closely observing couples that have made it work.

I've noticed that both my parents and Chris' parents rely on each other a lot for things such as friendship, companionship, and guidance. When hard times come, they only have each other to rely on. There's also one other thing I've noticed, they haven't completely mastered the communications thing either. I'm thinking that skill will always take more work and it's nothing to be too discouraged about.

Now if we can just work on listening to one another without getting all worked up that would be awesome. And if I can spit it out without having to cry like a little girl, I think I could sound more reasonable and intelligent. Although he seems to soften up quite a bit when I fail miserably at trying not to cry. Maybe that crying like a little girl thing is a skill I want to keep. And why can't I be satisfied with his manly one liners? It must be a female thing to want all the details, to ask way too many follow up questions, and to interpret everything from every angle.

Well there definitely is a lot of tolerating that we do around here on both ends. But there's a lot of fun as well and it does take good hard work that we're willing to put in.

We're Back

We went on a short trip. It was good for me to be away from my computer. I love being away from all the work at home. Daily maid service was an added bonus. This time I had the chance to go running as well. Last time we went up to Jackson Hole it was still pretty cold and dark when I could go out for a jog. L relearned to ride his bike without training wheels. He actually could do it last Fall but since winter got rusty and came Spring he had forgotten how completely. I saw the above shot (the Snake River) and couldn't resist.

Monday, July 21, 2008

the Dark Knight













This movie exceeded our expectations. Heath Ledger's performance as the joker was brilliant to say the least!! And Christian Bale....well I must say he comes very, very close to the Edward I imagine when I read the Twilight series.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Who is Mr. Dizzle?

ClickMr.Dizzle

I got this random comment by a Mr. Dizzle that was actually quite descent but when I went to go and try to figure out who this person was I got nothing from his/her profile. Then I did a google search Mr. Dizzle and things got a little shady and then I started clicking on people who use the title "Mr. Dizzle" for their social network profiles and things got REALLY SHADY. So the question is "Do I need to worry?." lol. Well I'm not really although there are a lot of creepy people out there. I'm curious to know who left the comment and also as to why people make comments anonymously. I did some further research on Mr. Dizzle and came up with the following three Mr. Dizzle users. What do you think?



Beet This


Today's pickings from our garden. Title.....courtesy of Chris.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Poor K...........

Besides the boys, I'm probably the only one that thinks the following clips are hilarious. The two older kids wanted to make a video/movie of themselves. I had no idea what they were going to do; I was just the cameraman not the producer. K dressed up as the villain trying to overtake the other two. He couldn't even get out his "weapons" (which were just Lego parts) from his pockets to throw at his opponents before they (his 2 little brothers) "attacked" him. You'll see him struggling to be tough and failing miserably. No one got hurt but A threw in some good punches. What I found so funny was that poor Ki makes a terrible villain; He couldn't hold up his character at all.

There was a part 2 and I had to call it quits after that because I'm sure they would have loved to do it all night long. And as you will be able to tell the second one got aggressive.....typical.

No my kids aren't violent and I don't encourage it either (although this post contradicts that). They just think like boys and wanted to show off their stuff on video. As a parent I've learned to let my kids have some space to be themselves even if it means putting up with some of this type of silliness. Anyhow, my kids and the clips gave me a good laugh and I hope they do for you too.

video video
In the end, it appears that the good guys won as poor K pathetically lays flat on his back in defeat. As a side note, I'm thinking L might make for a good wrestler and A seems to have a taste for fighting. K, however, I think we'll stick with golfing that's unless he wants to do martial arts or wrestling (he'll have to work hard like anything else). Who knows, maybe he'll produce movies someday, but not be in them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Missionary Models?............Half Exposed (rated pg13)

I rarely watch T.V. in exchange for my other hobbies. But, since C's out of town I actually watched 20/20 and the news. I was very interested in hearing about a RM calendar (ClicktheRMCalendarwebsite) having sold 10,000 already. The guy who created the business has been summoned to a disciplinary meeting by his local church authorities (Click DisciplinaryMeeting ).

I have mixed feelings about this. I think it's sending the wrong message to people about missionaries. They're not sex symbols but servants of God and are to be respectful and need to be respected. I agree that some missionaries are really good looking and are even more attractive because of what they do, how they're required to look, and how they naturally look because of their spiritual strength. I know my husband was chased as a missionary by ladies in his areas. Some random guy asked me to marry him on my mission. People have met their future spouses on their missions. It happens. On Sunday morning, when my handsome husband, is cleanly shaved and in Sunday dress, he looks exactly how I would imagine him on his mission.....rrrraaaaarrrr. Missionaries are attractive. It's a fact. They're easy to love and dangerously easy to fall in love with or at least have a crush on.

But a calendar? That's pushing it. I can understand why church officials might want to deal with this situation instead of let it go on. It dangerously encourages the bad side of the fact that missionaries are attractive.

I think the guys on the calendar are good looking. The owner may just consider another take on the theme. I get so sick and tired of seeing women exposed on magazines like it's nothing, everywhere. It's nice to see the coin flip. Either they remove all the symbols of what is sexy or they make it equal. Guys need to feel how uncomfortable it is for us women when there's a gorgeous, half exposed model or even more, right there to stare at. How would it feel to see gorgeous men half exposed on those magazine racks you see on your way out the store and how they as average men don't measure up? Feel the pain, baby! Feel it.

Some C's I can do without

1. Charms, Lucky Charms that is--at one point in my life I appreciated this cereal because it was one of the very few that K could have with all of his food allergies. Now however, all they do is pick out those nasty, squeaky, marshmallows to eat and leave everything else behind. What's the point?

2. Creme filled sandwich cookies--I don't care how cheap they are, please don't buy them any more, babes (speaking to my wonderful hubby). They have no nutritional value and all the kids do is lick the creme and leave the cookie behind. Then what's left is a pile of licked up cookies no one wants. No matter how cheap they are, they're never worth it.

3. Cats--I use to have a couple, loved them dearly. Now, however, they irritate me. Will you please stop pooping in my kid's sandbox and our garden? It stinks, is unhealthy, and makes more work for me. GRRRRRR.

4. Cellulite--Will you please go away and stay away?! I never noticed it before and now it's just a nightmare. Seriously aggravating. What did I do to deserve this?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

JMTBOT

Click Me

Chris went to Bear Lake with the Young Men today. Lucky him. He gets to water ski this weekend. I'm jealous and have a little bit of extra time on my hands so thought I'd update my other blog. Click on the link above to see before and after pictures.

Stinky Sweet

Today we played soccer, made bird houses, took swimming lessons, individually flicked 4000 lego pieces all over the room, fought with swords that were really hot wheel tracks, made ninja stars and masks out of paper and tape, rode bikes, made each other wet with waterguns and the hose, ate all of lunch to have slushies, played pbskids.org while taking turns, and sat very patiently to take this picture

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Perfect Summer Day




It really was just a pretty day. We're just doing more of the same......relaxing, hanging out with friends, and trying to be good.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yesterday

A kept saying, "Rayer, Rayer, Rayer." We had no idea what he was saying and trying to get us to do. But, he kept on insisting it. Finally, we figured it out. Rayer=Prayer. He was gathering us for family prayer before Chris left for work yesterday. How sweet is that?

Yesterday Continued...........Yard Work




















I don't know why I picked the hottest time of the day to do yard work, but I did. I was miserable and I see why Chris has been a little neglectful with yard work lately. I thought I would mow the lawn and do the basics (pick up toys, garbage, pull weeds, and rake leaves) so that Chris can work on other details that normally he can't get around to. I even got to the garage and now we can both park in it again. The chosen detail.......... getting rid of more dead trees. You see above that the boys are saying goodbye to the dead Aspens and getting a kick of the trees falling over. Since we've moved in we have lost four trees and we are now left with one, pathetic, little Nashi tree that's not doing any better.

Yesterday Continued...........An Addiction

On Tuesday I left my car to get the emissions/state inspection at the new place they just built by Albertson's. We walked to the pool across the street and played for a couple hours. We came back to the place having passed with flying colors, and leaving with a free six pack of Mountain Dew, a carnation, and a discount. Highly recommend the place. I've never liked Mountain Dew before but all of a sudden I couldn't get enough. I had one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner yesterday, having been in the hot sun all day. It was great. So this morning I go looking to see if there's another can left. I think I have an addiction. Thank goodness I'm too cheap to buy this stuff.

Yesterday Continued.........."Rap is Crap"

And lastly, on our way to soccer practice last night, I was trying to find a station to listen to. I stopped on 97.1 to a rap song. I normally don't listen to rap. But, it was catchy and then I recalled a Sunday school lesson we had within the last year where the teacher voiced his opinion..."Rap is Crap." Hello? Earth to Teacher? I'm O.K. with statements like......"Some music is distasteful" or "You'll find bad lyrics in a lot of different types of music." But "Rap is Crap" ????? Ummmm. There may be someone in the room that listens to Rap. Why just pick on one type of music? For a lot of different reasons it was.....Just plain rude. So as I was recalling his lame opinion, I decided to turn it up, turn up the base, roll down the windows, and cruise. (I know I'm a dork but it was fun.)

I was having so much fun when K yells out, "MOM?" "YEAH?" "I THINK YOU SHOULD FIND ANOTHER SONG." "WHY?" "BECAUSE I THINK THIS IS A BAD ONE."

I was not expecting that. I had a good laugh and then obeyed.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Host

I finally finished the book. It was less than mediocre but I wanted to know what happened in the end. Weak.

Way Too Early



L was out at 7 am riding his bike. It felt like noon. One thing led to another and we had a pool, an umbrella, and waterguns. It was a street party pretty much all day long! I was ready for a break.