Thursday, October 30, 2008



The atonement doesn't cover only our sins, but our adverstiy. And that part is very broad. God does not turn up his nose or turn away from us because of our weaknesses, or our sickness or heartache. He sees in them the seeds of our sanctification, a way in which we can be more like His Son. Weaknesses are a key pattern to how the Lord works with us. He has told us often that He purposefully picks the weak things of the world to accomplish His work.

When Christ appears to the people in the Americas, at the temple Bountiful, he asks them to come forth and touch his wounds. Why his wounds? Usually we think to prove, as evidence, that He is who He says He is. But what about this--what if he wanted them to feel his weakness, his humaneness and scars, so that we might know that it's OK for us to be the same? " I think he calls us all to touch the woundedness in Him, and in ourselves, so that we can be one with Him. REAL INTIMACY COMES THROUGH SHARED WEAKNESSES, NOT STRENGTHS; OTHERWISE, HE'D HAVE US FEEL HIS BICEPS, NOT HIS WOUNDS."

Some people seem to be more open. More open to my pain, more open to feeling and hearing and experiencing it with me. While others turn away because it is "too hard for them." Do you know how much it means to have someone acknowledge your pain? Through an awakening of what this would mean in their own lives. It makes the pain so much less in vain. Does this mean we go around being negative and only speaking of our weaknesses? No. It's about honesty. And openness. It's about being real. Including celebrating our blessings. We may be making someone feel unnecessarily isolated because we choose not to share our weaknesses in appropriate ways.

We may be causing our fellow sisters or brothers to feel even MORE weak, when we turn away from their pain and show them only our "best selves". Do you agree with me? Take the example from this article about a Relief Society talent show, where women come and show their very best. Some may come away feeling diminished and alienated, like they don't measure up to other ladies in the ward. The activity of sharing strengths often produces feelings of personal insecurity and separation, if not downright competitiveness. (Church basketball with the men?)

But what about three or four of these same women in a Visiting Teaching moment...sharing some tender moments of the grief of losing a child, a failed marriage, a wayward teenager, a fractured testimony. Has this happened to you? You've wept a bit with your sisters and come away feeling a closer bond, feeling the wounds of a fellow sister, and had a connection, warmth, and uplift perhaps not possible from the talent show. Again, Terrence Smith says, "I think there was something about touching Jesus' woundedness that built a Zion culture in ways that touching His strengths would not have done."

--Personal thoughts from another blog... as well as quotes she gave from Dr. Terrence C. Smith

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


A boy and his dog

No, this is not one of my sons, but I'm sure it would be just as sweet if it were. :o)
Look how intense the dog looks? Way too cute!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who Knew??

Have you ever rented or borrowed a car and when arriving at the gas station wondered...mmm, which side is the gas filler cap? My normal solution was to stick my head out the window, strain my neck and look, try to see in the side mirrors or even get out of the car! Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to share with you my little secret so you will no longer look like Ace Ventura on your way to the gas station or put your neck at risk of discomfort or injury. If you look at your gas gauge, you will see a small icon of a gas pump? The handle of the gas pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the gas pump? If your tank is on the left, the handle will be on the left? If your tank is on the right, the handle will be on the right (see photo). It is that simple!

Don't feel dumb, just go out and share the world's best kept auto secret with your friends.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Foundation of our Country

"It's been said, 'the right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins'.
Although the argument of redefining marriage is couched in happiness
or equal rights, it's really about gaining control; forcing all of us
to give up the very foundation of speech and religious freedoms on which
this country was founded."
--Taken from a video clip supporting Prop. 8

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"I'm John Stossel (bonnie freebairn), and I say 'Give me a Break'"!

Ok, I am so ticked off at my credit union! I found out the hard way this morning that my credit union, the one I thought was avoiding the "corporate America" way of dealing with customers, is worse than the "corporate America" banks. Now, perhaps I'm the dumby who doesnt' know if ALL banks pull this nasty little trick, but it's the first time I've had to deal with the fallout! Here's what happened...

I lost my debit card for our joint account over at "corporate America". I had to cancel both mine and Isaac's, since they have the exact same number. So, I deposited money into my credit union account, since I have a debit card for that, just until our new cards come in the mail in 7-10 days. Seems reasonable, right? One would think so. So, as of the 21st, (yes, two days ago) I had $73 in my account. Watching to be sure I know how much is left in there (as the rest of our money is in the "corporate America" account), I get gas. Only $10.05. Okay, so I do some other little things, $11.95, $7.56, $2.00 and then $9.05 in gas again. So I should have roughly $32 in there, right? Yeah, I thought so. This morning I wake up at about 5:45 thinking I should go check my account. Just a feeling. I go online and find that I am in the negative $107.56!! WHAT???? I must've forgotten to put something into Quicken, I think to myself. Oh no, no, it wasn't my mistake, it was "corporate America" at work in my credit union. Long story short, I double check everything and discover what must surely be an error. When I got $10 in gas with the $73 balance, somehow I got a $28.00 overdraft fee. Huh? For $10? Then, another one after the next $2.00 thing. How is that possible when right there in black and white my balance is $43.05 at this point?? Needless to say, all the little things also got fees. Yeah, so I should have a positive balance in my account, but instead I have 5 overdraft fees of $28 each, and a negative balance of $107. So I call. I talk to the first "customer care" lady, she explains to me that the gas station pre-authorized my card for $100.00. Okay, fine, but only $10.05 came through. "Oh, but that doesn't matter, the pre-authorization put you over your available balance". Huh, again?? I say, "So even though you see that it was only $10 I spent, you are going to overdraft me for a pre-auth amount"? We go round and round. I go round and round with 4 people total. All of them tell me it's all done automatically by computer, and no they cannot reverse the charges because it's been their policy since January to overdraft customers if the pre-auth is over the amount available. NICE!! Does this make any sense to anyone?? I just don't get it! The one guy told me I need to have a buffer of at least $100.00 at all times in case I get a pre-auth! Okay, I don't even mind the doesn't effect my balance. The credit union kept saying "it's the gas stations that are pre-authorizing such high amounts". I said, "Yeah, but it's you guys who are charging me for something I did not use". Anyway, I kept telling them that clearly I was not trying to use money I did not was $10.00. After I called higher and higher up the authority chain, the 5th person I spoke with reversed my charges, but DEFENDED THE POLICY to the death!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Future planning

Abbey said two funny things just now:

First, she said, "I'm gonna get married as soon as I find a boy". Okay. Then she said, "I hope my daughter will have curly red hair just like her mother". Wow. She talks about being married and about being a mom all the time, but that's pretty dang forward!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Whose been an artist the longest?

In our house, anything can be turned into a contest, er, a fight. How many peices of bacon did you eat? Three? I only had two! Or, I can eat four pancakes and you can only eat three. You get the picture. So today Abbey and Bailey are at the table drawing, and I hear this bit of a conversation:

Abbey: Is my drawing good, Bailey?
Bailey: Yes, but mine is better. (really, he said this very sweetly)
Abbey: That's not very nice Bailey.
Bailey: Well Abbey, I've been an artist longer.
Abbey: No you haven't. I've been drawing for two years.
Bailey: Well, I've been drawing for like, five years.
Abbey: Actually, I've drawing since I was five years old!
Bailey: Abbey, you're only six!
Abbey: So!?
Bailey: Well actually Abbey, I've been drawing since I was two. That's seven years.
Abbey: Well, I've been drawing since I was one years old.
Bailey: That's only five years and I've been drawing seven years.
Abbey: Well, Bailey, I started drawing when I was negative nine years old.
Bailey: Abbey! That would mean mom was pregnant with you and there's no crayons or colored pencils or paper in there.

Ahahahahaahahaha! This is one of the best ones I've heard yet!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Are we willing to battle for the Hearts, Minds & Souls of our Children??

Please scroll down to the bottom of this page to view a very well done interview with a couple regarding Prop. 8. I didn't know the ramifications could be this severe. These parents are very concerned about thier children as well as others' children and our rights as parents to teach a moral code that is in line with our beliefs. They are extremely straightforward, yet very respectful, while at the same time demanding change. I believe they are being cautious about "bible bashing" for lack of a better term, but being very bold and I think that's the way it needs to be. Anyway, let me know what you think.

P.S. This would not fit on the side and it has to be in a "gadget" so I had to put it at the bottom.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms

Anyone remember these?? I can remember having them at Primary activities as a kid. I thought of them about 6 years ago but had no idea what they were called. I have asked so many people by now "do you remember those cookies that looked like mini peanut butter cookies, but they had a Hershey's Kiss in the middle"? No one seems to remember. Well... I happened to come across the recipe with a picture of them in a Rachael Ray magazine! Yay! I'm so excited to try and make them and see if they still taste good to me. I think they are adorable and that has always been part of the appeal to me. So, if they turn out to be gross, don't be surprised if I bring them to some sort of function anyway! Oh, we have a ward pot luck this Friday....

Where's Bailey?

We had a really scary experience last Thursday, and I wanted to blog about it but honestly, every time I thought about doing that it brought tears to my eyes again. So it's taken this long...

This is the first year the kids have ridden the bus to school. Spencer walks, but Bailey and Abbey get to be "bus riders". The bus stop is right on our corner...three houses down from us. I spent the first few days going out in the mornings to wait with them to get on in the morning, to make sure what time and do the whole "stand HERE, not HERE...too close to the curb". And also to do the whole, "Someone comes by and offers you a ride to/from school and says your mom said it was ok. You do what"?? Abbey says, "do you have the password"? I say, "No, your mom said it's okay". She says, "No"! Good girl! So then I say, "what's the password guys"? With a resounding "ONE HOT MAMA" and alot of laughing, I knew they were prepared!

After school, I hear the bus, then I hear screaming, laughing, running kids. Abbey is always the first in the door, and the first thing out of my mouth is always, "Where's your brother"? Abbey always says, "He's coming", and in he comes about 30 seconds later. K, just a ritual to not only remind her to be aware, but to, I don't know, ease my guilt for not walking the 100 steps to the bus stop to make sure? Anyway, so last Thursday, same as usual, same ritual upon coming in the house. Thursday is cub scouts for Bailey, which starts at 4:30, and they come home at 4, so it's snack, change clothes, out the door. So at 4:15 I'm hollering up the stairs for Bailey...of course he's not answering. Hollering louder...okay, going up the stairs. Not in his room. Since he spends an exorbitant amount of time in the bathroom for a 9 year old, usually singing all the while, I check there. Nothing. Downstairs again.... "...if he's on that X-box, he's dead meat"... I'm thinking this to myself. Nope. Now I'm asking the other two where he is, Isaac had just walked in the door about 5 minutes earlier, and now we're starting to panic. "Abbey, where is Bailey"? Abbey says, "I don't know". Me, "Did he get off the bus"? Abbey, "I don't know". You can imaging the grilling she got trying to get details out of her. Now we're in FULL ON PANIC MODE!! I call the school, explain that my son may or may not have gotten off the bus, but if he did, he is nowhere to be found, it's been 20 minutes since the bus came". She wants name, teacher...bla, bla, bla..., I'm trying not to scream at her to FIND MY SON! She puts me on hold...comes back to tell me his teacher put him on the bus, so he did ride it home. More panic. I ask her to call the "bus barn" to find out if he got off the bus...I'm on hold way too long...hand the phone to Isaac and say, "Here, sit on hold, I'm calling the bus barn myself" and get on my cell phone. Thankfully, he had just missed his stop and the bus was coming back around to drop him off. All I could do was stand there, frozen, but shaking, and just stare! Staring at Isaac who is staring at me. In that moment we hear the bus, and I kid you not, not only are Isaac and I out the door, but Spencer and Abbey are out running as fast as they can. We come back in the house, and Bailey just starts bawling! Sits on the floor and cannot speak he is crying so hard. Silent crying, but oh my gosh. Finally get him talking, no, nothing happened to him on the bus by anyone else. He said he realized he missed the stop right as the bus was pulling away. We asked him if he went up to tell the bus driver, and he says, "We're not allowed to walk on the bus". So he spent the next 20 minutes scared out of his wits because he just thought "too bad, so sad, you missed your stop". He thought he would not have a way home and, I don't know, he'd have to spend the night in the bus?? We sat there on the floor together, and I tried so hard not to cry and show him how scared I was. Needless to say, he did not want to go to scouts. Did not want to leave the house. Every time I thought about it the next couple of days, and believe me it was ALOT, I would just start tearing up. I've thought about how far someone could have taken him in the 20 minutes I didn't know he wasn't home. What someone could have done in just those 20 minutes alone, not to mention.....

So I am the loser mom of the year. Bad, bad Mom. Do I think I should stand at the bus stop every day? No. But you bet I've made sure he's come in the door each time.

I am so thankful for the blessings in my life. I am so thankful that nothing happened to him and that it was just a "silly mistake". I was literally praying in my head and heart the entire time! Each morning I send them off to school, feeling assured that they've reached their destination, and that the school and it's teachers/staff will keep them safe. I never want to experience anything like that again in my life!! We've had alot of talks in Sacrament Meeting lately about family. About how no matter what happens in your life, it all comes back to family. Yes, it does. Losing one of my kids is the worst nightmare I can imagine. As a Mom I pray for their safety every day. Thankful does not even touch how I feel...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Redneck Fire Detector

My friend says this was what they used in her husbands house growing up, because then they'd have dessert ready right after dinner. I think she was being sarcastic?? LOL