Thursday, April 30, 2009

What did she know? She was 14 and had terrible taste in men!

What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name
would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd . . .

Sure, Julie, you go ahead and think that. And while you're at it, try to convince yourself that knives are only for eating, and maybe for slicing cucumbers. (Trust me, you'll be a lot happier for it.) Slight problem with the logic there: you're comparing flora to fauna*** (and totally forgetting about poor Merryweather!), and it just doesn't work. Because a rose doesn't care if it's called rose or begonia or purple stinkweed of death. It just doesn't know any better. Having no ears it is indifferent.

But those fauna things. They know. As proof I offer the pets my family has hosted.

Once upon a time, there was a lovely family which felt the need of a canine companion. And so they went to the shelter, and picked out a very dog-ish specimen and called it Sidney, after a certain long-past amour. And it was good. The dog responded well to its name--intelligently enough for something that derives such great entertainment from licking food off the floor. (HA! You thought I was going somewhere else with that sentence, didn't ya?!) But in time, the dog waxed old and passed, and the home was empty of animal companionship again.

And then the father--the dominant male figure in animal terms--had the bright idea of bringing a kitten into the home. A cute, cuddly kitten, who would play with the young offspring in joyous games involving yarn and brightly-colored balls. And he and the son--the one who was speaking and walking, because the others were not so capable--went to choose the kitten, and the son chose a tiny, coal-black cat-kin.

And here's where the story goes awry: the mother, having entirely too much education, and too little brain, named the kitten Nero, "because," as she hopefully explained, "it's the Italian word for black, and it's just a description, and not a character judgement."

Poor, silly mommy.

Because the cat, having ears and a fiendish sense of the appropriate, lived up to its moniker--but not just the part about its coloration. The other part, the one associated with a really rotten dude of ancient vintage. The kitten developed a fondness for lurking in corners, lying in wait for his next victim, upon whom he would pounce with opened claws, and then slide bloodily down back or legs. And he took unholy delight in sleeping on the mother's head, and on finding inventive and unusual places to deposit his bodily wastes. He was a creature from the fourth circle of Hell.

But the family was not done yet. Bereft of their canine companion, and needing an update on their BBD alarm system, they adopted another dog.

Still, having learned their lesson of naming animals after despots, they chose to name the pooch after another Roman emperor--just not a bad one. This time, they honored a loopy one:Tiberius. The one who made his horse a senator. That one. (Still from the first century A.D., though. They are stunningly and stupidly consistent in their mistakes!)

And the dog knew it, and responded accordingly. (Go ahead and think of all the loopy things a hound can do. Then imagine them from a large, affection-gluttonous hound, and you know what I deal with every day.)

The moral of the story--because every good story needs a moral--is be careful what you name your pets. They have ears, and they know how to use them.

***And really, Romeo isn't anything but a glorified animal. Sadly, he combined the worst of both kingdoms: no more intelligent than the fly which buzzes stupidly around my computer as I type--and which is slated for immediate death, just as soon as I finish typing, and no more effective than the wilted fern I tossed out two summers ago for terminal gnat-infestations.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swedish School Drop-Out

I aim to create an unpretentious blog--one where the guiles and fibs of life are avoided, where I can tell the plain truth, stark and simple. I am realizing that this goal may be a bit far off yet. I've fudged the truth for too long. It's time to state the facts: I am not as good as I like to pretend I am.

In the interests of naked--shall we declare it NUDE?--reality, I will now admit the truth:

I ditch Swedish School.
I make my children go, but I skip. Every possible week.

This whole ditching thing is new to me. I was too mortally afraid of what the consequences might have been to try it in high school. And in college, once I finally got a work ethic, it just didn't make sense. Call me a late-blooming rebel. And, sadder to admit, I never intended things to go this way.

I was soooooo excited for my children to learn Swedish. I always regretted not learning it when I had the chance in college. And of course, I'm still slightly, but not in a testimony-shaking kind of way, bummed that I served a mission in a non-Swedish-speaking region of the world. (Albuquerque is known for many things. Its Swedish-speaking population is not one of them.) After all, wasn't it drummed into my head throughout my formative years that next to being a Merkley, the most wonderful thing anyone could be was Swedish? And didn't I start thinking of Robert as slightly more interesting when I learned where he had served. (Stockholm, '92-'94.)

Swedish school was my chance to redeem myself. I could not reach exaltation, but I would ensure that my children did.

And so we started attending. Roberto loves it, since he gets to lilt away with everyone, and they think he's wonderful. Jobe and Charlie have a good time, learning the Swedish works for "elk' and "badger", although when these would be helpful in conversation is beyond me. (Picture Jobe, in eleven years, on his first fast Sunday in his mission in Sweden: "Brothers and Sisters, I'm just a humble missionary, but I'd like to share with you my testimony of woodland creatures.")

Here's my problem: I don't speak a word of Swedish. Remember that bit? I have a quick ear, and I pick things up relatively quickly, but when words are rushing by at supersonic speed--it's true, I feel their passing, then hear them two minutes later--and are not only spoken, but practically sung with this crazy Scandinavian lilt-thing, it blows me away every time. There's no way to compete conversationally with a fully-loaded Swede; they'll beat a plain-speaking American every time. And I'm the only one there who doesn't have anything to say in Swedish. Even the other American have learned enough to smile and nod at appropriate times. I'm alone in a sea of lilting humanity. (It's more of a pond, actually. They are strong in enthusiasm, but few in number.)

And so I ditch.

I've tried to make it sound efficient. "Oh Honey, I'll just get the shopping done while you and the others are at school, and that way we won't have to waste the time on Saturday." Rob acts like he accepts it, but he knows I'm playing hooky. Really? What tipped him off? The fact that we don't NEED the forty rolls of TP I have on my list (Well, Sweetie, the Young Women are TP-ing for Mutual tonight!), or is it the knocking sound my knees make when we're within ten blocks of the school?

So, there you have it: my true confession. I am, ladies and gentlemen, a Swedish School dropout.

You may hum softly as you file out the door.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome Home, Elder and Sister Merkley

My parents are home from their latest (and greatest?) mission. Yipeeeee!! I know they were only gone for 12 months, and we had a chance to see them in July, but still. . . .

In honor of their return, here's my top 10 list of things I missed while they were away:

10-Meeting with the siblings at Mom and Dad's house. It's amazing how much more time we spend together when we have a central meeting spot. We're not lazy, we're gas-consumption-conscious.

9-Sunday dinners. We got used to taking care of it ourselves, but there's no substitute for good dinner-table conversation. And you don't get that with children under eight.

8-Getting out of the house during the day. Whoo-hoo!

7-Talking to Mom for no reason at all. We survived the adolescent "I can't stand you!" years, and are now entrenched in the "Wow, you're my amazing best friend!" stage.

6-The swimming pool. Not for me--I haven't donned a suit in years, but my children love it mucho!

5-Dad's projects. All power tools, all the time.

4-Arguments. The good kind, obviously. Because we're Merkleys and nothing is as much fun as a totally meaningless, knock-down, drag-out, in your face argument on something truly inconsequential just for the sheer pleasure of exercising one's wits. Stimulating and fun.

3-Discussions that do not revolve around whether or not the kids' schedules need to be altered or whose underwear is currently stinking up the laundry room.

2-The air-conditioning. I'm cheap, that's just a given, so the comfort factor in my house during the summer is not significant. But my mom is a wonderful, generous person, who likes her home much cooler than mine and does not mind enriching the power company. Where would YOU choose to spend time if you were me?

1-Mom and Dad. I'm not ready to be an orphan, even a temporary, religious-duty-created one, so stick around for a while, please!

Welcome home!

Friday, April 24, 2009

In the Wee, Small Hours . . .

Il Roberto is out of town again. He's in LA. This is something that happens with regularity around here. It is not new. BUT, after several years of such occasions, I have yet to get used to them. After much introspection and self-debate, I realize that I don't like being here alone.

That's something I wouldn't have predicted twelve years ago, when I was very happily living very alone in my very small apartment in the very middle of a decent-sized city. Worry? HA!
Now I worry.

I fret, and I peer out windows, and prowl the house at all hours, randomly turning on lights so any would-be intruders are thrown off by the signs of wakefulness. I raid the fridge (nervous eating, and very detrimental to my self-image the next day). I look up odd things on the Internet. (Last night it was translations of my children's nicknames.) I pick up and put away the detritus of life that I was successful in ignoring throughout the day.

Eventually, I get very sleepy. That tends to happen when one is consistently wakeful at three in the morning, and has had a long and frustrating day. So, at some point between midnight and two a.m. I attempt to make myself comfortable on our family room couch. (Not my bed. Because the bed is upstairs, and the kids are not, and I don't want to have to rush downstairs in the middle of the night, swinging my fancy red aluminum bat--my weapon of choice, because bludgeoning someone just seems more humane--if I can just stay downstairs and sleep with said bat on the couch.)

Slight problem: I am not the only one who has trouble sleeping when the paterfamilias is away. Soon after I snuggle down with my bat and my phone--set to speed-dial 911 at the slightest press of a button--I am joined by at least two kyddos. And our couch is not large enough for three of us. So, it turns into something like this:

I am left to make myself comfortable in the wee corner of the couch still available, and attempt to drift gently to sleep. Which I would gladly do, except for one problem:

Our peachy poochie snores, with a force that can be measured by seismic instruments. And she refuses to sleep in any other room, because she gets nervous when il Roberto is out of town, too. Fabulous.

And now, I'm really tired, and verging on cranky, and wondering if it's too early to start checking the flight status of a plane that isn't due to arrive for five more hours.

Hurry home, Roberto. We need you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Guys

I'm not a braggy person. I don't talk about how smart I am (very), how clean my house is (extremely), or how incredible my homemade bread is (WOW!!!!!). It's just not something I do. (Not these days--I wasn't so restrained in Junior and Senior High, for which I am profusely sorry to any I may have stomped on in my quest for self-confidence. Mea Culpa.)

But here's where for once I'm going to exceed the limits of my normal modest self: my boys, who are spectacular examples of youthful American masculinity. Seriously fabulous people in progress here.

We just returned from our very first pack meeting for cub scouts--whoo-hoo to the triceratops in act one! Such presence, such poise, such a great mask! Great work, Jobe!

And if you like showstoppers, get a load of this pair:

That's our Tiny Tiger. Cute and cuddly on the outside, growly and fierce on the inside.

So thanks for enduring me while I bragged a bit. I'll return to normal programming in just a moment.

An "F" in Earth Day

I try hard, really I do. I'm conscientious, and frugal, and eco-friendly. I ride the bus and hang laundry on the line. We eat very little meat. (Go ahead and hum the tune to In Our Lovely Deseret . . . there's a line that applies.) We recycle, and I get up early in the morning just to turn off the hall light el Roberto leaves on to keep the children from freaking out at night. (Note to beloved spouse: it doesn't work; they still freak out!) I've considered myself for many years now to be a good steward to the earth.

So, for Earth Day I thought I'd be extra kind to the planet and cook our dinner using my trusty solar oven. Great idea! Even better: make it a vegan solar-cooked meal! Yes! I am sooooooo getting little green points for this.

I started early. I was going to make beans, and they have to be soaked overnight unless I want to boil them for extra hours--and that would take electricity. Electricity bad on Earth Day. So I soaked. Great! One step closer to bean heaven. Then, on the fateful morning I drained and rinsed my beans, put them in my handy solar oven pot, added tomatoes and chilies and some water, plopped it all in the solar cooker. Now the hard part: I dragged a table out to the driveway (our backyard is too shady to do this anymore. Shade is good for backyards, but hard on solar cookers), set the cooker on top, lifted the reflective flap, oriented it to the sun, and ran back into the house to get on with the day. (Also to escape the proof that was 7 a.m. and pushing 90 degrees!) Through the day I carefully repositioned the cooker--making sure it was getting all the sunlight it could get. The sides felt hot, and heat was definitely building up inside. OH, this was going to be good! Call me Mommy Nature!

5 p.m. rolled around, and I ran eagerly out to the driveway to collect our cuisine de sol. Yum, yummy! What's this? Still not cooked? Raw? Unpalatable? There wasn't enough heat to do the job? In ARIZONA???????

Long story short: too long since we last used it, insulation worn down, leaky heat seals. Wasted effort.

We ate frozen pizza, hot from the electric oven.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not Quite Sure What This Means

I'm willing to bet a psychologist would drool over the possibility of analyzing me. (Ironic enough, because I was once engaged to an embryo psychologist. Missed out on free analysis for life!) Why, you ask--innocently, unaware of the chaos you unleash. Because I do stuff like this:

"What?" you ask, "make a bed like a perfectly normal, rational homemaker who is concerned that someday the Relief Society President may make a surprise inspection to see if she is indeed the person who can be trusted with an important assignment, like Homemaking leader?" (Not that she would do this. She's a lovely person, not at all snoopy, and already knows what a nut case I am, since we served together in YW. But I digress.)

No! I tie-dye sheets, and in RED, mind you. I'm pretty sure there's a logical, Freudian reason for it. There's always a Freudian reason for everything. And then, just to complicate the psychological stew, I cover it all up with a pristinely WHITE bedspread (which I didn't show, because it's so boring). Is this, or is this not, a cry for attention!!! (Albeit smothered by my desire to appear normal and average.)

I could give you a plausible explanation for why my sheets are red and slightly retro, like a VW bus or a fringed vest. I could say that once they were lovely white sheets--my favorite set, in fact. That my children have a fondness for coloring and an aversion to cleaning up the tools of their endeavors. I could explain that the intersection of those two facts was sheets permanently marred by large red splotches. And I could add in that I hate to see something wasted when I can wreak creative havoc on it. BUT WOULD IT BE THE TRUTH?????

All you budding psychologists are buzzing with ideas, I'm sure. "this," you will opine, "is a classic case of _____________ [go ahead and fill in the latest mumbo], and is clearly caused by the subject's inability to accept the realities of her existence." (I can mumbo with the best of them. Thank you high school psychology, even if you were taught by a teacher whose name I can no longer remember.) Fine, you can think that if you wish.

Here's my take on it: I am BORED! Bored and cheap, and unable to get to the craft store. But my sweet husband did fall into the trap of taking my grocery shopping last week. And there I was able to buy a bottle of red dye. And why red? Because I like it! Because the splotches were red anyway, and I thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity it afforded to have some crazy sheets. Because I don't dare WEAR red tie-dye clothes--except for when I'm at Girls' Camp, but then, you should see the fabric I've set aside to make into pants for this year's adventure!!!--because I'm afraid the Relief Society President will betray my faith in her and check my closet to see if I really am the normal person I try so desperately to convince people I am. (And hopefully on that day the sheets will be safely in the linen closet, where no one would ever think to check. Because who does a thing like that?)

And I'm pretty sure I'm loony.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Can I speak?--Pick me!!!!!

So, I have this problem: I LOVE to talk in church. And not the "psst! howareya?" whispers that get you frowned at by the bishopric. No, my friends, I love to speak--as in stand up in front of everybody and pontificate as if I were some sort of amazing authority. Which I realize I'm totally not. And I thought this weekend was mine to shine, because it was Stake Conference, and everyone was asked to come prepared with a ten-minute talk. YES!

So there I was with my talk in my hot little hand, but nothing. No announcements that we would next hear from Sister Kydd, no statement of any kind referring to me or mine or anything, in fact, related to me. Bummer. 'Cause I would've had everyone on the path to righteousness in nine-and-a-half minutes, and we could have had some extra time for singing. (Which I don't do so well, but which I still very much enjoy, much to the pain of all those around me.)

Now here I am, 9:45 on a Sunday evening, with a talk prepared and nowhere to give it. But I'm willing to give you all a break. If, for some reason you find yourself called upon to speak, and you have no desire to do so--and really, this is hard for me to imagine--you can let me know. (I respond to emails, snail mails, phone calls and general shouts of "Hey, you!".) I happen to have a dandy talk, all written out, never been given, in mint condition.

(PS--those who were called to speak did a wonderful job. It was a great conference. )

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Kydds Head to the Museum

I'm all for fostering creativity and adventure in my children, and it helps when I'm not the only one volunteering to do so. Thanks to the invitation from Stephanie Morris, my sweet cousin with the membership and the know-how to get there, the kyddos and I enjoyed our first-ever trip to the Children's Museum of Phoenix. (To make it even MORE of an adventure--and really, why not?--we rode the bus and the light rail to get there. So it was sort of a creativity/community exploration/PE-kind of field trip.)

Did they have fun? Yup.

They're already asking their father when HE plans to take them back.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Occupation? What do YOU think?

I love it when tax time rolls around. Not because I get a thrill out of funding government projects I barely understand. Because I get to sign my name on the line markes "spouse" and then I write in my occupation: MOM. That's right--not homemaker, not unemployed--MOM (with capitals, thank you).

I'm a mom--a stay-at-home, hanging-laundry-on-the-line, dust-mopping, child-rearing Mom. By choice. My job starts the minute I wake up--whether that's three a.m. or ten (oh how I dream!) a.m.--and ends when the blessed bundles of energy and creative destruction fall asleep. I get no overtime pay, no government-mandated lunch break, and OSHA should see this place.

I'm a mom. I'm creating the people of tomorrow, today. I'm a teacher, a motivational speaker, a first-aid specialist, a child psychologist, and an entertainer wrapped up in one person. (The fact that there's so much wrapped up in one person explains the weight issue--there are just too many roles for me to be 125 pounds. I'll stick with that one, at least until the diet works.)

I'm a mom. Iwake up with high expectations, and do my best to meet them by eleven p.m. I try to remain cheerful and optimistic in the face of melted crayons in the laundry. I have space in the budget for emergencies--and it's usually taken up be accute peanut butter shortages around the 20th of each month.

I'm a mom, and I love my job. Most of the time. Sometimes I get grouchy around lunchtime. I've considered picketing, but one woman carrying a sign isn't a strike so much as free entertainment for the neighborhood.

I'm a mom, and if the IRS wants to quibble about my choice of terms for filling in the "occupation" line, I've got their proof right here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unmistakable Signs of Impending Summer

I know most of my friends, and a few of my family, live in places that are only barely achieving spring status--enjoy it, kids! Because the alternatives are not nice. You can live in the frozen semi-wastelands of the far North, or you can move to a place like my hometown somewhere in the never-frozen, rarely frigid deserts of the Southwest. While all you in latitudes of a slightly more northern flavor are enjoying your crocuses and early spring bird migrations, we of the arid regions hereabouts are anticipating the imminent arrival of summer. In April. And knowing it will last until Halloween. Or later, like last year, when it barely cooled down for Thanksgiving.{Sigh}

And so, in a frenzy of attempting to feel as normal as possible, and to reassure myself that the coming months won't be THAT bad, I try to do everything possible to make thing at least look less warm around here. I cut roses from the garden and stick them in light-colored vases (so Country Living, where no one is ever picture sweltering on the couch wishing for the next Ice Age to come). I plant late spring flowers--pansies and nastursiums, knowing full well that they'll be fried by Friday. I put up light spring-worthy curtains in spite of the fact that in one month what I'll really need is ultra-sun-blocking black-out shades. (Not so lovely, and never pictured in slick spreads in decorating mags.)

Basically I'm playing a psych game, trying to convince my all-too-well-knowing brain that summer is nothing to be feared, that 115 degrees isn't really so bad, that we'll stay active and creative and not just sink into heat-induced hibernation. It works, too. At least until the afternoon, when the house is up to 86 degrees, and I know that worse is lurking just around the corner.

Pray for me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Answering Ayla's Questions

I love serving the young women of the Church--it's always exciting and it stretches my abilities like nothing else except motherhood. (Which it closely resembles!) We have the most amazing young women in our ward--small in number, great in faith and possibility.

On Sunday, one of those wonderful young women asked me to fill out a questionnaire for a research paper she's writing. The questionnaire is designed to determine the attitudes of the religion on the things that make us human--music, scripture, belief systems, etc. (At least that's what I think it's for. Ayla explains it better!)

I sat down this morning to answer the questionnaire this morning, and had one of those profound spiritual experiences that make the skin tingle and the heart swell. What a great opportunity to share the things I love with people who are looking for answers.

So, I'm including the questionnaire and my answers to it here. I'm not a spokesperson for the Church. I'm not a PR person or a General Authority. I'm just a believer and a follower of the Savior Jesus Christ. I'm doing my best to explain the things that make me who I am and which lie closest to my heart. If you want to answer the questions yourself and share your thoughts, please do so. I love to learn form others. And if you think I did okay, let me know that, too. (We all can use a little positive reinforcement.)

Warning: I tend to be quite verbose. Read at the peril of your wakeful status.

Religion Questionnaire

What is your religion’s view of what it means to be human?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes referred to as Mormons) teaches that humans are the literal spirit children of God. He created our spirits and gave us life as His spirit children we have infinite potential and eternal possibilities. He has sent us to earth to learn, to be tested, and to prove ourselves worthy for eternal life with Him. Because we are His children we share some of His divine qualities, although in undeveloped form. While on earth we are to improve our qualities, becoming through faith more like Him. To be human is to be a child of God.

Does your religion have a specific set of morals? If so, what are the morals based on (i.e. the Ten Commandments)?

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are taught to live by all the commandments of God, which are transmitted to us through prophets called of God. We keep the commandments found in the Bible and in the other scriptures, and follow the teachings and counsel of our living prophet. Among other moral elements of our faith, we are taught to be truthful and honest in all our dealings, to live the law of chastity, and to have charity and compassion for all people. For us, the commandments are woven through all parts of our lives—we choose to live at all times as witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Does your religion have specific “church” music? What is the purpose of music within your church (i.e. for learning purposes, for expression, for fun, for peace, etc.)?

A scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, one of our books of scripture, sums up the role of music within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song
of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered
with a blessing upon their heads. (Doctrine and Covenants 25:12)

The singing of hymns and other spiritual music is a form of worship. Music is a way of communication, and opens the heart to the promptings and teachings of the Holy Ghost. We sing hymns—some unique to our religion, and others common to Christianity (e.g. Onward Christian Soldiers, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Be Still My Soul, etc.)—in all of our worship meetings.

We also encourage the creation and performance of non-hymn, but still spiritual, music. We encourage our children to sing in praise of God, and some of their earliest religious teaching comes in the form of religious songs. One particular favorite is I Am a Child of God.

Additionally, we recognize the great power of music in our daily lives. Another scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, section 136, verse 28—given while the members of the church were crossing the plains to escape religious persecution— states:
If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving
We sing in our homes, we sing at our meetings, we sing to express our joy and to unify ourselves. Music is an important part of our worship and our culture.

Does your church you follow have a set of scriptures or religious texts? What are they?

Our eighth Article of Faith states

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as
far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the
Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

We accept, use, and follow the teachings of the Bible, both the Old and the New Testaments. We also have the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ—which is the writings of prophets of God who lived in the Western Hemisphere. Additionally we have the Doctrine and Covenants—a compilation of revelations given in modern days, and the Pearl of Great Price, which consists of revelations, translations, testimonies, history, and doctrinal statements from the prophet Joseph Smith.

We also believe in an ever-expanding canon of scripture, since we accept literally the definition of scripture found in 2 Timothy 3: 16:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
We accept the inspired statements of the modern apostles and prophets as scripture given to us in our day to clarify, to counsel, to inspire, and to guide in a confusing and contradictory world.

The common theme of all our scripture is the testimony of the divinity and the eternal mission of Jesus Christ. He is the focus of all our scripture, our study, and our worship.

Can you provide a scripture that represents your religious views on what it means to be human?

One of the most beautiful expressions of the nature of humanity is found in the book of Psalms, in the Old Testament:

1 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

When considering the vastness and beauty of creation, the psalmist asks the great
question: who is man, and what is his place? The answer is that he is a “little lower than the angels”—not perfect, but still crowned with “glory and honor.” Man is precious and dear to God; it is man for whom He has created the world, and to whom He has given stewardship over the whole earth.

In addition, humanity, their progress and spiritual growth are declared in scripture to be the focus of God’s work throughout eternity:

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)

Is there any other information you would like to add that you feel would be helpful?

So much of what is said about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints these days is based upon hearsay, misinterpretation, or supposition. We invite all people to learn about us from the source—from those who live their lives as faithful, committed members of the Church—and not from second-, third, or even fourth-hand gossip. Those who are sincerely interested in learning what we have to say are encouraged to go to and to learn for themselves what we stand for and what our message is. We urge all people everywhere to come unto Christ, to accept His sacrifice and follow His ways. Our great message is that He lives, and loves us today, just as He did in ancient times. If there is any scripture that best describes our devotion to the Savior, it is 2 Nephi 25:26:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Essence of Unpretentiou-osity

Why unpretentious--and I have to look it up every time I write it!--? Maybe because I know darn well who I am and where I fit in the grand scheme of things. (Cliche, as Kate would say. I know, but sometimes a cliche is the best way to make sure everyone's on the same page. And, yes, THAT's another cliche, too!)

I'm not important--except to my family, who worship the ground I walk on (in my famtasies). I'm not famous, and time is quickly running out for me to become so. I'm not even gorgeous any more. (Oh to be 25 again!)

All I am is an average, semi-decent-looking, (dare I say it?) middle-agish (GASP!) mom, who feels that if the kids won't listen, at least I can scream it out to the universe via the internet. And it won't ask Why? and it won't ask me five minutes later to repeat myself. That is a blessing, and I'm sure all my great-great-great grandmothers are insanely jealous--if they even care, because I'm sure they have much more important things to do these days.

So, here I am, universe. 37, college-educated, very Mom-ish, and ready to share all the accumulated wisdom that I've filched from much better people. And don't ask me to repeat myself!