Sunday, November 29, 2015

Faith Verses Logic

There are a lot of commandments that don't make sense: the conflicting commandments to Adam and Eve to not eat of the tree of knowledge but to multiply and replenish the earth, or Nephi being commanded to kill Laban and lie about being him when that would be breaking two of the ten big commandments. 

Commandment aren't about logic, they're about faith. Not blind faith, but conversing with God faith.

Andrew Whittle gave the following insight on a quote: "President Henry B. Eyring: 'Human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God.' This really spoke to me because I am a logical thinker and have struggled with certain things because it did not make logical sense. I have learned to increase my faith so I can one day understand things I may not know now. [Someone] asked ... what the opposite of faith was. ... The opposite of faith is logic."

My friend, Jackie wrote a blog post about it as well: Jackie's Post. She gave a great example of how sometimes your kids do something and you get mad at them without letting them explain what they were doing. Then later after you've calmed down, you go back and ask them what happened and they give a reasonable explanation that makes you feel bad for not listening before. You know your kids are good kids and next time something out of the ordinary happens, talking with them is probably the best solution.

When God, not a church and not some guys in charge, but when God decides to make a commandment, there's a good reason behind it which will only be found by talking to Him.

Faith is something that cannot be logically explained. It's something inside you which comes from an outside heavenly source. It's believing without seeing the whole picture, but knowing it's a good picture. It's opening up your heart and mind to something beyond yourself and the world you see around you. It starts small and grows. Faith defies logic.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftovers Remade

Thanksgiving is full of wonderful foods: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, veggies, and lots of pie. But the magic wears off after having the same dinner all week, so here are some Thanksgiving leftovers remade. (Pictures from, thanks.)

 Cubed or shredded turkey + gravy + cook the carrots and celery from 
the veggie tray or any cooked veggies + pie crust = pot pie

Green beans or any other cooked veggies + can tomato soup + cooked ground beef + mashed potatoes on top (can sprinkle cheese on top of potatoes for more deliciousness) = shepherd's pie

 Turkey + cream of chicken + sour cream+ stuffing over the top = 
turkey casserole, can add green beans too

Mashed potatoes + hot dogs + cheese on top = hot dog surprise 
(also known as weenie boats if you do them in individual portions)

Leftover rolls can be turned into breadcrumbs. 

Turkey can be put in a roll for a sandwich (dip in gravy), put in salads, wraps, casseroles, 
soups, stir fry- pretty much any recipe that calls for chicken can be substituted with turkey.

Gobble gobble!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Good Book And Good Movie Day

Libraries are great for browsing, trying books and movies you don't necessarily want to pay for in case you don't like it. You can even browse your library's collection on ereaders too. 

I was looking in the comedy section for anything that looked remotely entertaining but that we could also watch in front of the kids. This movie, Mom's Night Out, caught my eye, and my husband and I actually watched it twice before we returned it.

It was fun and funny and very relatable if you have kids or take care of kids. The part where all she sees is salmonella all over the counter is totally me. Check it out and enjoy a fun movie night laughing about the follies of parenting and trying to get a night out.

If you're in the mood for a sweet story about being a parent through out your life, check out I Will Hold You 'Til You Sleep by Linda Zuckerman, illustrated by Jon J Muth.

My daughter picked it out at the library, and I'm glad she did because I might have looked right over it. She called it 'the mommy book'. I read it to her a couple times then decided I had to buy it. It's a sweet reminder that a parent's love lasts a lifetime.

To everyone who isn't a parent- you still make a big difference in the lives of everyone around you and are very loved and appreciated for just being who you are right now.

To all the parents out there reading this blog- hang in there! At the end of the day, the month, the year, what a child will cherish the most is every moment you loved them.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Blessings Part Two

If you have a blessing, if you have a miracle then appreciate it, hold it close, marvel that you were given it and do not take it for granted that it will always be around but enjoy the moment.

Blessings are things we have and appreciate. Usually something we have that others do not have, which makes it more special.

People say they are so blessed to have certain things. Why are they blessed to have it and not someone else? Did they earn it, win it, deserve it? I haven't figured out the rule for blessings yet.

Why are some blessed with sight while others are not? Why are some blessed with children when others are not? Why are some blessed to live in prosperity while others are not? Why are some children born into loving and safe homes while others are not? There seems to be no rhyme or reason other than God's will, pure luck, or random chance.

Miracles fall in the same category. It's a miracle he survived the car accident, survived the war, survived cancer, survived all sorts or tragedies. But why him? Why not her? It's almost more a miracle to have a miracle than the actual happenings.

So many lose their children, spouses, houses, jobs, pets, and health with no miracle. It's not a lack of faith or knowledge, a matter of choices or desire. It seems to be a matter of happenstance or unknown God's plan.

So if you have a miracle, if you have a blessing then appreciate it, hold it close, marvel that you were given it and do not take it for granted that it will always be around but enjoy the moment. Hug your children, your spouse, your cat, your car, or yourself because life is a gift.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Blessings Part One

We're told to not compare ourselves with those that are prettier, richer, smarter, have more possessions or friends, or are more successful because you usually feel worse if you don't live up to them. We're supposed to count our blessings instead.

The funny thing about counting blessings is that it's like comparing yourself to those less fortunate than yourselves. But I guess that's okay because you feel better about yourself after. :)

Wolfgang Staudt

Rarely do we hear people saying they give thanks for being the third planet from the sun so that mankind can survive at the right temperature, or giving thanks for the right mix of nitrogen, oxygen and other things that make up the air we breathe. That's because every single person, animal, and plant on Earth has this.

You do frequently hear people give thanks for the country, city, or house they live in because there are many people who do not live in that country, city, or house. You do frequently hear people complain about the bad air, but give thanks that at least it's not as bad as in other countries.

It's a funny thing, but as long as it's done in the right attitude it's fine. A humble attitude, not proud. A caring attitude for those less fortunate.

I think the best thing to compare yourself to is yourself. I'm wiser than I was in the past because of my life experiences. I'm more beautiful now because I've learned to be myself and love myself. I have a deeper level of love because I have a husband and children. I am thankful for the health I have now because I've been sick and broken in the past. I'm thankful for all these blessings because I know what it is to be without them.

Count your many blessings and give thanks.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Guest Post: The Potential Of Your Life

My husband and I were talking last night and he had some great things to say, so I had him write a post.

I believe that there's more to this life than just living and dying on Earth. We have more potential than that. The only answer I can think of to explain it now is God. 

You look at a child and how fast they learn and just imagine all the things they can do. It just seems like such a waste of a perfectly good life to watch someone grow like that then just die. You can even consider some of the great accomplishments specific individuals have made in the world, their talents and abilities. To say that is all gone just because their physical body couldn't contain their spirit anymore, again it just seems like such a waste. 

Everybody has potential, it's just a matter of the choices they make in life that may or may not show their potential. It's a matter of if you value your life or squander it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Laughs

I was cleaning up my computer and found these goodies that still make me laugh out loud! 
I don't know where they all come from, but probably from some comic geniuses!

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Bottom Of The Pond

You are always an influence, for good or bad. Your actions have effects, some you notice and many that you don't notice. The effects of our actions are like ripples in a pond. The influence of our actions can spread very far, and combine with other's ripples for greater effect.

Many times though, we don't look at the ripples to see what's happening. What we do is take the rock's perspective. The rock gets thrown in the water and sinks to the bottom. The rock thinks, "Well, that was anti-climatic. All this talk about ripples going out affecting others, and all I see is that I sunk down to the bottom under the water. Humph. Guess I'll just sit here." The rock doesn't get to see the effects of its drop to the bottom.

I've had many people that have affected my life, but they don't know that, and they never will. Some have had a positive effect, some a negative, but I learned from them all.

I've had people tell me they've noticed things about me, and I didn't think they ever gave me a second thought. People don't usually spend a lot of time thinking about you, but a small moment can make a big difference.

Remember, what you do, how you dress, what you say, how you act- it all sends a message. The absence of these actions sends messages too.

I would like to have my ripples be ripples of love, acceptance, and kindness. Even if I don't see the end results, I know that having a good affect on people results in good things. I don't aspire to fame or the spotlight, but I would like to be remembered in a positive light, even if I'm only ever looking up from the bottom of the pond.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Cute Mommy

My three year old was looking at pictures of us in the hospital after her little sister was born. There was one of me holding the baby not long after giving birth. I was swollen and sweaty with a tired smile on my face. I said to my daughter, "Oh, cute baby!" My daughter's response was, "Cute Mommy!"

It doesn't matter if I have bed head and holey pajamas, or whether I've spent an hour making myself look all done up, to her it's all "Cute Mommy!" She loves me purely as only a child can, so to her I am beautiful all the time because she sees me as my best self.

I became a mother the minute I was pregnant for the first time. I lost my first child, but he is still my son and I am still his mother and always will be. Even though he's not here and my two daughters are, he made me a mom.

Being a mom is intense. There is so much love for my children. The more I love them, the more vulnerable I become. Their pain is my pain, their joy is my joy. My love for my husband has grown more as I watch him be a dad. The love and appreciation for my parents and all their sacrifices, tears, and prayers has grown as well. My relationship with God, my father in heaven, has changed- first the loss of our son caused an adjustment in our relationship, then raising my two daughters has given me insight into his godly mystifying mind.

Growing up I always wanted to be a mom, and now that I am, it's a journey that I love and that defines me each day. I want to thank my son for making me a mom, a cute mommy. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Do Something

I've been thinking a lot lately about where I am in life and where I want to be headed. It's an on going process that will never end. It's easy to imagine where I want to be, but it's a lot harder implementing the steps to take me there. It's much easier to dream and wish that I could keep doing the same things but with new amazing results.

That won't happen though. If I want certain things in life, I need to take the necessary actions. For example, in high school I wanted to go to college. A lot of high schoolers want to go to college, but not all do. I took the necessary steps. I applied to college, applied for a scholarship, and figured out what I wanted to major in. I was accepted to college, received a scholarship, and decided I wanted to major in psychology.

It might sound easy, but it took work to figure out which college, fill out the applications, write the essays, and discover what I was the most interested in. But it was more than just those steps- it was a lifetime of learning, studying, working to achieve good grades, participating in school clubs and events, and making good choices. I was set on a path to a college degree from when I was little, but I also had to make the choice for myself, and I did. I did three years of preschool before kindergarten because I was eager and ready to learn. Then after twelfth grade, I jumped right into four years of college.

Graduating with a Bachelor's degree didn't just happen, it wasn't just a lucky chance, it was a lot of little bits of work that added up to a grand happening. Sometimes I see people who have lost a lot of weight, or achieved great success at work, or some other thing adults love to have happen. It makes me wish I could do that too. Why couldn't I wake up tomorrow and have lost fifteen pounds or have a hefty bank account or have a published novel? Because I haven't taken the steps that they have to achieve the success. People who have lost great amounts of weight generally have exercised and been wise in their food choices. People who have succeed in business have generally worked late and long hours and sacrificed for their financial gain. People who have published novels have spent hours upon hours writing, editing, researching, and re-writing to have a publishable work.

If there is something I want to achieve, I need to work towards it. Scott Adams taught me not to set a goal, because until you achieve the goal, you are always failing. Once you achieve the goal you bask in the winning for a little, then set a new goal to which you are always failing until you achieve it. He taught that a better way to achieve your desires is to think of it as a system, a life change.

Work at making small but sustainable changes in your life to set you on a path you want to follow, not just an end destination. If you want to lose weight, make small diet changes, start with adding small exercises in your life and gradually build up as you acclimate to each change. If you want to be a nicer person, start smiling at two people a day or saying one nice thing to someone until it becomes a habit, and then you'll feel a difference in your life that will encourage you to continue on this way until one day you look back and realized that slowly you've become a better version of yourself.

Today I will do something small and sustainable to keep me on my path towards my better self.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

In One Minute Or Less

I'm reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin on my Kindle. I mention it's on my Kindle because it has the ability to highlight passages for later, and I've been doing that a lot with her book.

She talks about many inspiring things she does to be happier, including one that I've been trying to do with good success. Her idea is that if she can do a small task in a minute or less, to just do it. Throw away the candy wrapper on the floor you've walked by ten times. Refill the soap dispenser. Answer a quick email. Whatever it is that takes a minute or less.

I've been getting lots of little things done without taking up noticeable time. It helps free up your brain from trying to remember to do something and from feeling guilty about not doing something really easy.

So, give it a try if you want- if it takes a minute or less to do it, then just do it!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

More Empathy

People love to make goals for the New Year. Here is one that almost everyone could do better at and will make relationships better. Learn the power of empathy. This short video explains the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Sometimes with someone we don't know, the best we can do is sympathy. But for those you want a good, deep relationship, try some empathy. Get down in the hole with the person.

Learn to accept empathy and sympathy as well. Someone expresses sorrow by saying, "I'm sorry." The other person responds by saying, "It's not your fault." Not a great response. Instead say, "Thank you." In this case, saying, "I'm sorry,"  is expressing that they feel sad for/with you, not that they are taking the blame for it. Don't push their sympathy aside, just accept it graciously. As with a compliment, a simple, "Thank you," is usually the best response.

"It's not so much about sympathizing with people and making them feel better with things or with stories to please their ego. It's about getting to the core of things with people. Connecting with them, feeling what they are feeling, relating to them and bringing no judgement into the situation at all. Next time you are the ear that listens, provide words that don't fulfill an ego/mind story and see how much of a difference it makes for the other person." quote