Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scripture Sunday

Today my neighbor Tom saw my daughter and me in dresses and he asked her, "Did you go to church?" I asked if he is a church-goer (finally getting more information, after knowing him for two years). He is not, but he was raised Catholic and he is reading the New Testament right now. He is the friendliest person in our building. I remembered that I love John 16:33, so I read some of that chapter tonight:

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I do feel peace when I read verse 33. Because Christ was able to overcome the world, we have reason to have hope and to be cheerful. He understands every one of our tribulations. What stood out to me, though, was verse 31. Do I now believe -- right now? Have I renewed today my testimony that He suffered for my sins so I don't have to, and that He is a resurrected, living God?

I want to study the Bible more, to be more familiar with it. I know daily scripture study makes a person's life better. Just this week D and I were talking about this quote that applies (and shows that even leaders of our Church are imperfect). Here's the quote:

“I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel.”
-Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 67

Saturday, September 27, 2008

22 Months

Our daughter is already 22 months old. I took a bunch of pictures of her at the park (I tried to take even more but her smiling-and-not-moving lasts for only a half-second, too quick for the camera to capture before she gets curious again). We had so much fun in spite of the heat. I let her roam where she wanted to most of the time. She got pretty dirty when she splashed in a puddle and played in an old greenhouse. In the bottom middle picture she was saying "Hep [help] me!" because it was hard for her to get her hand into the small pocket.

We saw this guy after his dog jumped into the water, losing their frisbee. He was not happy with the dog for doing whatever it was doing in there. When we came back their direction the man was in the water up to his knees and feeling around with a stick for the frisbee. Then he was so mad that he threw the stick into the water. Poor guy.

Shboogoo decided to gather some pinecones and carry them around everywhere. She lined them up on this picnic table and counted them a few times. She can't say four so if I remember right it was "one, two, wee, two." Then after counting she
would say "yay!" and put her arms out to the side and then up to where you see them in the next picture. She is such a happy girl.

This is a nice gazebo. And I love the word gazebo, don't you?
This squinty look on her face became a regular cute smile less than a second after I took the picture. I guess that's the way she smiles.

At 22 months:
  • She loves to pick up rocks, sticks, leaves, and pinecones.
  • During this past month she started speaking in longer sentences, like "Thank you, Katy" instead of just "thank you." I told her to say "love you" to my brother, but she actually said "love you, Mart" and he was happy about that. She still can't make the k sound. She'll try to say just about anything we ask her to say. Of course we as her parents understand her language better than other people do. However, her nursery leader says she can understand her little voice and thinks she is more mature than the other toddlers.
  • She likes to take her shoes off, usually in the car. She only occasionally puts them on.
  • She's still a great sleeper! She sleeps 11 to 12 hours at night and has about a two-hour nap. In the last week or two she started (although she doesn't do it every time) telling me "my bed" or "crib" when we're on the reading chair, so I know she wants to be put in there.
  • New words or phrases: see ya [pronounced HEEya], chocolate milk, couch, stirring, pumpkin [pronounced like tumpin]
  • When she gets a sticker she typically puts it on her hand.
  • I'm teaching her colors; I point and ask her, "what color?" She can say most of them pretty well. Sometimes, regardless of what color the object is, she says it's red.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Because we have been given much, we, too, must give

There are several things I want to blog about. This is all for now, but stay tuned . . .

1. I don't know the Nielson family, but I've read about them on a couple of blogs and they need prayers and donations! If you click on that image you'll go to their site.
On Saturday, August 16, 2008, Stephanie Nielson was in a plane crash with her husband, Christian Nielson, and his flight instructor, Doug Kinneard, near St. Johns, Arizona. Doug Kinneard passed away soon after arriving at the Maricopa County Hospital.

Christian & Stephanie remain in critical condition at Maricopa Burn Center. Christian has sustained burns on over 30% of his body. His wife Stephanie’s body was burned over 80%.

2. If you have a PayPal account, I think you should give five cents to this man, an e-buddy of my husband's. Yep, he is asking for just a nickel at a time. Read THIS, you'll see. It's easy to do, and I'm pretty sure you can afford to give five cents. :.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Emily-Style Letter #1

Dear people who drink from glass bottles,

I know you were there recently, on the busy street not too far from me, because I saw your green and clear glass broken on several parts of the sidewalk and street. I really hope you liked your beverage. But I have a question for you. Why do you break the bottles when you are done? Why throw them at all? Don't you know littering makes the world uglier? Are your drinks alcoholic, and you are stupider after you've been drinking? Were you in a fight?

I avoid running over the beautiful bits of glass so I can be nice to my jogging stroller. (I know people ride bikes here, too, and there are bus stops). If you want to leave something for me to see when I run past, how about a dollar instead. You can recycle or reuse your bottles. Thanks so much.

(This fine photo is from Justinsomnia.
Similar photos are here.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Race!

I really enjoyed participating in my first race. It won't be my last. D was proud of me for reaching this goal I had worked for, but he's the one who inspired me in the first place. I knew I could do this because I have been training pretty consistently. I was able to run 5.9 miles four days before the 10K (which is 6.2 miles).

D and I were both sad that he had to work during the race. I had planned on having Shboogoo be with him so they could see me run. But I didn't mind using the jogging stroller since that's how I am used to running anyway. My wonderful sister came at the end, just barely after I was done because I had thought it would take me longer than it did.

The chip I wore on my shoe knew when I crossed the finish line; I thought it was way cool. My time for the 10K -- with some 1-minute walking breaks -- was 1 hour and 11 minutes. I placed 67 out of 83 in my age group, and 172 out of 217 women overall. Including the 5K runners/walkers, a little over 600 women participated. Part of our registration fee benefitted SPEAK. We got goodies like a t-shirt, a Powerbar and hair elastics. My one regret is not waiting for a free massage!

Although I only want to compete against myself, I think the desire to pass people helped me run faster than usual that day. As Erin O'Brien says, "We are so fortunate we get to exercise."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Out-of-State Trip

On Thursday my daughter left our state for the first time in her life! She and I went with my mom to my grandma's sister's funeral in Idaho. Unfortunately I hadn't seen Aunt Fran in a few years, and I didn't know her as well as I would have liked to. Her husband Bruce (in the photo talking to the two women) was able to help me with a car problem seven years ago when I was in college. I wanted to put a picture of Fran on here but could not figure out how to copy it from the obituary. She and Bruce had been living at their own home, but she fell into a coma for a little while and did not wake up from it.
It was nice to be able to get away for this short trip and, most importantly, to see family. All of Bruce and Fran's descendents were there: two children, four grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (three, I think) . During the funeral I was able to take notes on my cell phone; I learned so much about Fran. I didn't know that she was very detailed or that "the conversation was never about her" or that she liked to go dancing with Bruce. She was beautiful and humble and a domestic diva.

We went to the church for lunch, and then to the cemetary for a dedication. She was cremated and somebody make this nice wood box for both her and her husband. (I had left my regular phone at the mortuary, so I mainly took pictures with my cell phone. Most of them didn't turn out very good.)

On the drive home Shboogoo cried, slept, and read. I got excited for her when we saw the sign at the state border, but she is way too young to understand. It was a good trip. I wish my brother Mark would have come; we missed him. I have been thinking about how glad I am to still have my grandma and (step-)grandpa pretty nearby; she is almost 90 and he just turned 91.

I have great memories of their condo where we would swim in the summer, party every year the Saturday before Christmas, and eat delicious food any time. They were good cooks! I also have my step-mom's mom here, and her dad and step-mom in Wyoming. Drew's grandmas are both alive. We wouldn't be here without our grandparents, and we know they love us.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Scripture Sunday

I still wanted to share a scripture even though it's now Monday morning. This is another verse from the BOM. It's part of what the prophet Lehi taught to his son Jacob.

2 Nephi 2:11

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

Like Jacob, I know "the greatness of God" and that He has and "shall consecrate [my] afflictions for [my] gain" (see verse 2). I think we can gain humility and learn other things when we go through hard times.

Verse 13 talks more about the need for opposites:

If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

I like these verses because I think everyone, no matter what their religious beliefs, would agree that these things make sense and are true (especially verse 11). Everyone appreciates their good health after they have been sick, and without ever getting sick it wouldn't feel so good to be normal. There would be no comparison. Doesn't everyone
like it when gray and rainy skies become sunny and clear? And as the chapter heading says, freedom of choice (agency) is essential to existence and progression. I know this is an eternal principle.