Thursday, January 25, 2018

What I Want for my Children

This morning, I did something that inadvertently upset Peter, and he started sulking, and I got frustrated and wondered why I bothered, and after I left him at school, I started thinking about what the important things are. What do I really want for my children? What should be my priority, and what things should I let go?

Ultimately, I decided, I want my children to be happy. I want them to be happy in this life, as well as in the life to come. I'm not alone in this idea. As the ancient prophet Lehi told his son Jacob, "Men are that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25)

What do my children need in order to be truly happy?

First of all, I believe my children need to understand that their Heavenly Father loves them dearly, and has a plan for them. They need to understand that this life is only one small stage of their eternal existence, but it has everlasting consequences. We are here to learn and grow, and challenges and hard times are part of life. Like a baby chick laboring to hatch out of its shell, our challenges in this life are intended to make us stronger so we will be prepared for the next stage of our eternal progression. (See Elder Ellis' talk from the October 2017 General Conference)

Next, they need to understand the role of Jesus Christ and his atonement. When God sent us to this earth, he knew that we would make mistakes. Perfection is a long journey, and none of us will make it there in this life. Jesus Christ came to earth not only to set an example and teach us how we should live, but because of his great love for us, he also suffered in Gethsemane and took upon himself our pains, our sorrows and our sins. He paid the price so we don't have to if we repent and rely on him. (See Jeffrey Holland's talk from same conference)

Third, they should learn to heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. When we learn to recognize the Spirit and obey his whispering, we will be guided through this life and delivered from many challenges and hardships that we might otherwise have to endure. His presence comforts and sustains us through those challenges that we do have to endure. The Holy Ghost teaches of truth and brings us peace. (See Elder Stevenson's talk from April 2017)

Next - and I believe this helps with the first three, my children need to develop a personal relationship with their Father in Heaven and his son Jesus Christ. They need to pray and commune with their Father. They need to study the scriptures and discover the treasures of wisdom and love that are written there. They need to submit their will to the Father, striving to keep his commandments, trusting in Him. They to learn the truth Alma taught his son Corianton, that "wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10) (See also Sister Marriott's talk from October 2017)

I want my children to become competent and productive members of society. They need to learn to work and find joy in it. They need to gain the education and skills to become self reliant, responsible for their own well-being, able to provide for themselves and their families, to have sufficient for their needs, to have order in their homes and in their lives. (See Elder Christofferson's talk from October 2014)

I want my children to learn to look outwards and to see the needs and desires of those around them with the desire to help and serve them. I want them to feel the joy that comes from selfless service. I want them to experience the satisfaction of using skills and talents they have developed to benefit and bless others. I want them to feel the joy that comes from helping others learn of the gospel of Jesus Christ. (See Sister Oscarson's talk from October 2017)

I want my children to develop strong and satisfying relationships with other people. I want them to make good friends, to marry in the temple and create family relationships they will want to last into the eternities. I want them to learn to communicate in healthy ways, both to understand and to be understood.

Finally, I want each of my children to be the person he or she wants to be in the end. I want them to be comfortable in their own skin, acknowledging their weaknesses, but also rejoicing in their talents and strengths. When the time comes for them to pass from this world into the next, I hope they will go without regrets, trusting in the Savior, rejoicing in the knowledge that they did their best. (See Sister Bingham's talk from October 2017)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Greek World Word Find

This weekend I had fun creating a word find from one of my favorite book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. Over one hundred words related to Greek Mythology (and a few characters from the books) are hidden in a 30x30 grid. Do you have some free time over the holidays? Do you like word searches?
Click here to view and print yourself a copy! Or just look below and see how many names you can find. (Sorry, there's no way to mark the ones you find here.)

RIORDAN'S GREEK WORLD WORD FIND
M I Z N O T E A M E D U S A U R E P E N E L O P E T H A N L
N N T E N A K A A O H T O L C R A E O L U S K R E M O H A E
O O N Y U O U L E M J U D C A N E L I S U A T Y S O N Y N H
N R I E P S L C D M A E Y L R M I N O S E S I U S E B D A C
E I K M B H R Y E R S O S A G S I A A N N I R E E C R R N A
H H E R T E O O M R O K S R R A O G D N O A D C S O I A O R
T C L G O X N N R P N R E I O V E A E N T R E O T P A L H A
R I Y E U N N E S M U H U S I P I A S R O E H S N P R P T I
A P T L T E O U S A I S S S A R S H A E L I A E O S E E E A
P R L A C H C S T T I D H E A E S T F F O C R L R R S T G H
H O E E N L E O O L N S A T R E T E M E D B L Y G M O D E I
P S B P A S N N O P E A R S T C R C Y A R O S N H D E S L P
A S E N N I A P H R O D I T E A A R I X A R A O B P T S H P
S N H D M E O T H J S O U G M I V I I Y C E L T L I R O P O
U E R N A R G U S N P C E E I Y I C E T H A T H A E B O R D
T R T H C H R O U G Y H I N S T S A P S M S A A R O A I P R
S I D A D R Y A D C L X T H C A R U M S A T C L S O O R C O
E S I S E H C A L L A Y O D P E S E O I T K H I E N D O Y M
A S S S O O R O S O C F D E A L L A P T R H T A Z H E Y T E
H Y E C U R P O G R O V E R S E E A S O S I T S O R E H P H
P C L F R S E A E A X N I H P S D D D O R A S I E V E H Y E
E R U E A R Y P N S N A E G I S T A P U A C Y X A S I Y T D
H O C N N T D N F O R E G E E S R O L R S N T O E A T P H I
H H R E O R E I O V E R H T I I R S O U O A L U L E T N O T
O P E H S E I S N I C O O T N T T D H S S I S T H Y E O N P
R I H A N E A C A R D B O R A R N I E U R B E J O U M S R I
A A N N A B E T H N Y Y T Y O A S E R M D S E I R U F P A R
C V S U M E H P Y L O P E T P T H R A E N A C H E R O N I E
L W J A N U S O O S D A I A N R L E D R O M U L U S O F T A
E E T A C E H P H E G S I S E M E N O D S E T S U R C O R P

Acheron Clotho Hera Nico Pompeii
Acropolis Connor Hercules Nike Porphyrion
Aegis Cyclops Hermes Nyx Poseidon
Aeolus Daedalus Hestia Odysseus Procrustes
Alceoneus Delphi Hippodrome O'Leary Python
Annabeth Demeter Homer Olympia Rachel
Aphrodite Dionysus Hydra Olympus Remus
Apollo Dracaena Hypnos Oracle Riptide
Ares Drachma Iris Orion Romulus
Argus Dryad Janus Otis Satyr
Ariadne Enceladus Jason Ouranos Silena
Artemis Ephialtes Kronos Pan Sirens
Athena Eros Lachesis Pandora Sphynx
Atlas Fates Lethe Parthenon Styx
Atropos Fleece Luke Pegasus Tartarus
Bianca Furies Medea Penelope Thalia
Boreas Gaea Medusa Percy Theseus
Briares Giant Midas Phlegethon Titans
Calypso Grover Minos Phobos Travis
Castor Hades Minotaur Phorcys Typhon
Chiron Hebe Naiads Pollux Tyson
Circe Hecate Nemesis Polybotes Zeus
Clarisse Hephaestus Nereids Polyphemus Zoe

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What is that?


My thoughts this morning while on a walk through a park when glimpsing something unusual in a tree some distance off the path:

Hmmm. That looks odd.

That's not a squirrel nest....
What is that?

Oh! It's a bird!

That's a BIG bird! Wow!

I went back to take pictures, hoping it would stay put.

I needn't have worried. I got my pictures, continued my walk, and it was still there on my return trip.

 It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures (my phone camera isn't the best) I think it is some kind of hawk, but it was huge - definitely over a foot tall. It had a white chest, you can kind of see in the bottom photo.

Friday, November 17, 2017

This Morning's Message from Hannah:

Guess what we've been working on! - (Sent at 1:37AM)

I'm so glad she's having fun, and doing what she enjoys. That pie does look delicious! I scratch my head at her timing, but I guess that is college life? 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Halloween 2017


Josh was a grave cleric (a D&D thing).
Peter was a mudkip (a Pokemon thing).
And John was a boy from the early 1800s.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Has it Really Been 30 Years?

Thirty years ago I was a little twelve year old, uprooted from the only home I could really remember, and tossed into a new house, a new ward, and a new school. And in the whirlwind of adjusting to a new home, I met Tabitha. She was close to my age, petite with a round face and a cloud of bouncy, curly black hair, and she literally bounced when she walked. She quickly became my best friend. She lived around the corner from me and frequently we walked home from school together, and we had an ongoing joke about "walking her to the corner" while never exactly specifying to which corner we were walking the other - there were three street intersections between our homes. We wrote notes to each other. We had a little black book that we would write in and pass back and forth. Over time, I developed other friendships, but Tabitha was always one of my close friends.

Eventually we graduated from high school, and while we both went to BYU, we lived at opposite ends of campus and so we saw each other much less frequently. Then she got married. I went on a mission. We moved to different parts of the country. Nowadays, we don't see each other very often. I'm not very good at keeping in touch. She has eleven kids, and she home schools. But every once in a while we are able to get together and renew our acquaintance. She lives in Missouri now, near where my sister Kristy lives so last Thanksgiving when we were staying at Kristy's home, we were able to get together with Tabitha one day.

Last week, Tabitha and her family came to spend the night with us. They had been on a long vacation, and our home is conveniently located between Utah and Missouri, so Tabitha had asked if they could spend their last night on the road with us. When she first asked, I looked around our cozy three bedroom condo with our five at home, and then pictured their family of thirteen here as well and wondered how we could make it work. Tabitha assured me they didn't mind sleeping on floors, and I really was looking forward to seeing her, so I agreed to it.

In the days before they arrived, I set about cleaning up the boys' room. We would need to pick up the clutter on the floor and move the bunk bed if there was to be room for anyone on the floor in there. The week before Tabitha's arrival, my brother Joey spent the night on a mattress on the floor in John's room due to an overnight lay-over in Denver, and the mattress was still there, so I asked John to wash the bedding.

And then the day arrived. They arrived in the evening having already eaten dinner elsewhere - just Tabitha, her husband and nine kids since one is on a mission and another was elsewhere. We talked and enjoyed each other's company. The older kids quickly became wrapped up with mine in creating D&D characters. The younger ones dashed here and there looking at my crochet creations, playing the piano, drawing pictures and chasing the cats. One little girl ran around in circles for several minutes while repeating, "I'm almost tired!"

We put most of the boys, including John, to bed on the floor in Josh and Peter's room. The girls slept in John's room, with the oldest on the bed and the three little girls sharing the mattress on the floor. The oldest boy slept on the floor in the living room, where Tabitha and her husband slept on the couches. I hope the cats didn't walk over them too much in their sleep.

The following morning we arose and pulled out cereal and oatmeal for breakfast. My kids didn't have seminary or school due to Veteran's Day, so we were able to sleep in, just a little. Tabitha's family loaded their stuff back into the car and they were gone.

Who knows how long it will be before Tabitha and I see each other again? But it seems that no matter how long it is between visits, we can always pick up where we left off. We still are and will always be friends.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

John and the Congressional App Challenge

A couple days ago, a friend texted the following photo to me and said, "Not sure if you've seen this, [my husband] saw it on the congressman's twitter feed."

Well, I hadn't seen it. I recognized some of the people in the photo:  a high school teacher, the high school principal, a blind boy I had seen around the school, and of course I recognized John. But the congressman? When had John met a congressman?  I had to do some asking to find out what it was all about. 

So there is this Congressional App Challenge, where students are encouraged to learn coding, and then winners are recognized by their congressmen. John wrote an app to help the internet be more accessible for blind people. It uses text-to-speech technology somehow, to describe what is on the screen. He has been working on it with the help of the blind boy in his coding club. Perhaps because he was the only student to submit an app in our district, he was recognized by Congressman Perlmutter. 

I wonder, though, when did he find out he was going to present his app to the congressman? Was he excited about it? Why didn't he mention it to his parents? Did he just forget? Or did he not think it was important enough to bring up? He's a crazy kid, but I love him!

Besides Congressman Perlmutter's twitter feed, he was also mentioned on the high school's STEM facebook page: