Tag Archive: happiness


bullyI have been thinking a lot lately on why people get so offended by the smallest of things. Sometimes it doesn’t even relate to them personally, but they choose to be offended by it or they seem to make it about themselves so they can thrive on that feeling of being offended. I sometimes think that perhaps they have lived their life day after day looking for something to outrage them. Feeling deeply that perhaps because of some incident that happened in their life as a youth or adult gives them the right to do so.Twisting things that are said to help feed the rage inside them to give them a reason to be offended, hate or mistrust. I wonder how they can live day after day with this kind of drama in their life. Not one of us was born filled with hate. Hate is of Satan. Taking offense to every little thing that happens in your life is of Satan. When you choose to be offended or take something wrong, then you have chosen to follow Satan. I personally will choose to be happy. The thought of living every minute of my day trying to find something to offend me is exhausting. I will give the human race some credit. I do not believe that most people start their day by saying or thinking, “Hey, what am I going to say to Jim, Bob or Nancy today to offend them”. I think most people don’t consciencely do that. None of us was born with a communication manual stapled to our butts. It is a skill that many of us take a lifetime to master. I see it as a parent. Things I tell my children to help them in their lives frequently are seen as, “You don’t love me”, or “You hate me”. When in fact it is the complete opposite. They choose not to see it that way, because perhaps it is easier to take offense than to learn and grow. When I take a step back and look at what I said and how I said it, I can see where perhaps I could have worded some things differently that would have made a difference, but the child also wanted to see it the way they wanted to see it. If we all were perfectionists at communication, do you think some will still choose to be offended? Probably, because as long as Satan exists, it will exist. In junior high, I was relentlessly bullied. It was awful. To this day, I have not even told my children what was said to me, because I do not want them to see the flaws that these three young men apparently saw in me. Every morning having to stand at the bus stop with these three boys was a trial. They humiliated me in some of the worst kinds of ways during one of the most awkward stages of life. It couldn’t have been worse in my mind. One day my friend that was with me, that usually stood up for me, even laughed at one of their jokes. That devastated me and made things worse because I felt even more vulnerable with no one to have my back. I was a shy kid and it took a lot for me to speak up let alone make friends. One day I decided to try out for the school talent show with some encouragement from my parents. I made it and ended up singing. It was scary, and I think I was more happy that I lived through it than for my actual performance. Afterward, I ran into these young men in the hall. They proceeded to poke fun at my singing and humiliated me in front of others. I almost didn’t sing again publicly because of them. If not for loving parents who persistently encouraged me, that probably would have been the end of my singing. One day while on the school bus, one of these young men got separated from the other two. He happened to be in front of me and my friend. I remember taking advantage of this situation and we plagued him with every mean personal attack we could come up with. He sat there silently taking it all. When my friend and I were done, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I was sick. Sick of the way I had just acted. I had just become the very thing I loathed, a bully. I don’t care if he and his cousins treated me like that, it was not who I was and not how I wanted to be. That was a changing point in my life. I chose from that time forward to never treat someone like that again no matter what and have tried like crazy to teach my children to be the same way. If I would have used this childhood experience to base my assumptions and judgments on others and to dictate my relationships with others, I would have one of the most miserable lives ever. I would never trust, nor would I ever be able to fully love or feel love. Who would want to live like that? How would that dictate the way I taught my children? That you should never trust anyone because they will hurt you or offend you? How terrible would that be to start your children on a course like that to travel throughout their lives, passing it on to generation after generation. God wants us to be happy. We dictate that emotion in our own lives. patrickplungerWe choose to be happy because of life’s experiences or we choose to be miserable because of life’s experiences. I CHOOSE to be happy despite what I may or may not think someone said about me or thinks about me. There is enough hate, misunderstanding and intolerance in this world. We need more love, acceptance, understanding and happiness. If it doesn’t start with ourselves who will it start it? Because our children will be just like us.

Liberalism Wary of Mormonism

I read an article where the liberals were increasingly becoming wearing of a Mormon being a president. As I sat and contemplated this, I decided I would take the liberal belief system and compare it to the Mormon belief system and see perhaps why they are wary of us. I am only going to touch on a few of the differences.

Liberals view on abortion:

A woman has the right to decide what happens with her body.  A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights. The government should provide taxpayer-funded abortions for women who cannot afford them. The decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government must protect this right. Women have the right to affordable, safe and legal abortions, including partial birth abortion.

Mormons view on abortion:

As sons and daughters of God, we cherish life as a gift from Him. His eternal plan provides opportunities for His children to obtain physical bodies, to gain earthly experiences, and to realize their divine destinies as heirs of eternal life. 

With that understanding and reverence for life, we deplore the loss of life associated with warfare. The data are appalling. In World War I, more than 8 million military fatalities occurred. In World War II, more than 22 million servicemen and women died.  Together, these two wars, covering portions of 14 years, cost the lives of at least 30 million soldiers worldwide. That figure does not include the millions of civilian casualties.

These data, however, are dwarfed by the toll of another war that claims more casualties annually than did World War I and World War II combined. Worldwide reports indicate that more than 40 million abortions are performed per year. 

This war called abortion is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice.

This matters greatly to us because the Lord has repeatedly declared this divine imperative: “Thou shalt not kill.”Then He added, “Nor do anything like unto it.”  Even before the fulness of the gospel was restored, enlightened individuals understood the sanctity of human life. John Calvin, a sixteenth-century reformer, wrote, “If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, … it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” 

Man-made rules have now legalized that which has been forbidden by God from the dawn of time! Human reasoning has twisted and transformed absolute truth into sound-bite slogans that promote a practice that is consummately wrong.

Concern for the health of the mother is a vital one. But circumstances in which the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life of the mother are very rare, particularly where modern medical care is available. Another concern applies to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. This tragedy is compounded because an innocent woman’s freedom of choice was denied. In these circumstances, abortion is sometimes considered advisable to preserve the physical and mental health of the mother. Abortions for these reasons are also rare.

Some argue for abortion because of fear that a child may have a congenital malformation. Surely the harmful effects of certain infectious or toxic agents in the first trimester of pregnancy are real, but caution is needed in considering the termination of a pregnancy. Life has great value for all, including those born with disabilities. Furthermore, the outcome may not be as serious as postulated.

Relatively few abortions are performed for the special circumstances to which I have referred.  Most abortions are performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies. These abortions are simply a form of birth control.

Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.

To understand this concept more clearly, we can learn from the astronaut. Anytime during selection or preparation, he or she is free to withdraw from the program. But once the spacecraft has lifted off, the astronaut is bound to the consequences of the previous choice to make the journey.

So it is with people who choose to embark on a journey that leads to parenthood. They have freedom of choice—to begin or not to begin that course. When conception does occur, that choice has already been made.

Yes, a woman is free to choose what she will do with her body. Whether her choice leads to an astronaut’s mission or to a baby, her choice to begin the journey binds her to the consequences of that choice. She cannot “unchoose.”

When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life—and a lifetime of choices that her child would make.

As Latter-day Saints, we should stand up for choice—the right choice—not simply for choice as a method.

Nearly all legislation pertaining to abortion considers the duration of gestation. The human mind has presumed to determine when “meaningful life” begins. In the course of my studies as a medical doctor, I learned that a new life begins when two special cells unite to become one cell, bringing together 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from the mother. These chromosomes contain thousands of genes. In a marvelous process involving a combination of genetic coding by which all the basic human characteristics of the unborn person are established, a new DNA complex is formed. A continuum of growth results in a new human being. Approximately 22 days after the two cells have united, a little heart begins to beat. At 26 days the circulation of blood begins.To legislate when a developing life is considered “meaningful” is presumptive and quite arbitrary, in my opinion.

Abortion has been legalized by governing entities without regard for God and His commandments. Scriptures state repeatedly that people will prosper only if they obey the commandments of God.  Individuals will prosper only when they walk in faith and obedience to God, who said:

“I, the Lord, … built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine.

“And it is my purpose to provide. …

“But it must needs be done in mine own way. …

“For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.” 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has consistently opposed the practice of abortion. More than a century ago, the First Presidency wrote, “We again take this opportunity of warning the Latter-day Saints against those … practices of foeticide and infanticide.” 

Early in his presidency President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said: “We have repeatedly affirmed the position of the Church in unalterably opposing all abortions, except in two rare instances: When conception is the result of forcible rape and when competent medical counsel indicates that a mother’s health would otherwise be seriously jeopardized.”Current policy now includes two other exceptions—incest and if the baby cannot survive beyond birth, as determined by competent medical counsel. Even these exceptions do not justify abortion automatically. It “should be considered only after the persons responsible have consulted with their bishops and received divine confirmation through prayer.” 

Life is precious! No one can cuddle an innocent infant, look into those beautiful eyes, feel the little fingers, and kiss that baby’s cheek without a deepening reverence for life and for our Creator. Life comes from life. It is no accident. It is a gift from God. Innocent life is not sent by Him to be destroyed. It is given by Him and is naturally to be taken by Him alone.  I testify that life is eternal as He is eternal. (Russel M. Nelson)

Liberals view on same sex-marriage:

Marriage is the union of people who love each other.  It should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, to ensure equal rights for all.  Support same-sex marriage.Opposed to the creation of a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  All individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to marry.Prohibiting same-sex citizens from marrying denies them their civil rights.

Mormons view on same sex-marriage:

The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Liberals view on Welfare:

Support welfare, including long-term welfare.Welfare is a safety net which provides for the needs of the poor.  Welfare is necessary to bring fairness to American economic life.  It is a device for protecting the poor.

Mormons view on Welfare:

The objective of the welfare program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to care for the needy while teaching principles that will allow needy persons to become self-reliant and retain their self-respect. The program also provides opportunities to all other members of the Church to serve — fulfilling the commandment Jesus Christ gave to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick.

Employment resource service centers that are provided by the church help provide a place where people can receive job training, learn to enhance their résumé and find job opportunities. There are 259 centers around the world. These programs are in place to help get people off of welfare and become self-reliant to help them retain their self-respect.

Liberals view on Global Warming:

Global warming is caused by an increased production of carbon dioxide through the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).  The U.S. is a major contributor to global warming because it produces 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide. Proposed laws to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. are urgently needed and should be enacted immediately to save the planet. Many reputable scientists support this theory.

Mormons view on Global Warming:

For a brief period, following his postresurrection ministry among his disciples in the land of Jerusalem, Jesus ministered among them here in America. During the thousand years of their history they were repeatedly taught and warned by prophets—including the resurrected Lord himself—that their occupation of the land was conditioned upon their living repentant lives.

For example, Samuel, the Lamanite prophet, thus warned the Nephites some six years prior to Christ’s birth: “Behold, saith the Lord, concerning the people of the Nephites: If they will not repent, and observe to do my will, I will utterly destroy them, … and as surely as the Lord liveth shall these things be, saith the Lord.” (Hel. 15:17.)

He had before said, “Nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. …” (Hel. 13:6.)

All such warnings were in the end ignored. About A.D. 400 the Nephites became so hardened in iniquity that in a fratricidal war they were utterly destroyed.

Other witnesses to the truth of the message “repent or perish” are the consuming of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Against this background we will do well to ponder the Lord’s diagnosis of the predicament of the inhabitants of the earth today.

“They have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant,” he said.

“They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.

“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

“And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world. …” (D&C 1:15–18.)

The commandments referred to are replete with reminders to us of this generation that we must “repent or perish.”

Here are some of those reminders:

“Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;

“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.

“And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;

“… He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

“And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; …

“Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” (D&C 1:12–14, 32–33, 37.)

Many of the said commandments foretell in detail the manner in which the unrepentant shall perish. For example, we read in the fifth section of the Doctrine and Covenants “that woe shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth if they will not hearken unto my words;

“For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming.

“Behold, I tell you these things, even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem; and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.” (D&C 5:5, 19–20.)

In the 29th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, we read that before the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come, “there shall be weeping and wailing among the hosts of men;

“And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.

“And it shall come to pass, because of the wickedness of the world, that I will take vengeance upon the wicked, for they will not repent; for the cup of mine indignation is full; for behold, my blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not.

“Wherefore, I the Lord God will send forth flies upon the face of the earth, which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof, and shall eat their flesh, and shall cause maggots to come in upon them;

“And their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me; and their flesh shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets;

“And it shall come to pass that the beasts of the forest and the fowls of the air shall devour them up.” (D&C 29:15–20.)

Although these scriptures, and numerous others to like effect, clearly and forcefully emphasize the message “repent or perish,” they are not unkind, harsh, nor flippant. Neither are they arbitrary. They express the logical and inevitable consequences of the violation of natural law—that law which was “decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated.” (D&C 130:20.)

These warnings have been declared to the world now for more than 140 years. The world is without excuse.

The signs of the times bear ominous testimony that for this generation the hour of reckoning approaches.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15.) If we keep the foregoing scriptures in mind, they will help us understand the “signs” of our times.

As dark as the picture seems, however, there is a bright side to it. He who really listens will find that all the warnings, ancient and modern, have a silver lining that give cause for rejoicing. Both history and the scriptures are as replete with promises and proof that the repentant shall live, as they are with warnings that the unrepentant shall perish.

In the days of Adam, “the Lord God called upon men by the Holy Ghost everywhere and commanded them that they should repent;

“And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved. …” (Moses 5:14–15; italics added.)

A great lesson from the ancient world is evidenced in the contrast between the destiny of Enoch’s Zion and the fate of the wicked at the time of the flood.

In the days of Enoch “there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;

“And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.

“The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. …

“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; …

“… And lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. …” (Moses 7:15–18, 21.)

The same contrast may be seen between the glorious society enjoyed by the righteous Nephites during the two centuries following the ministry of the resurrected Lord among them and their ultimate destruction.

Of them it is written:

“In the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, … and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

“And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

“… and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Ne. 1:2, 15–16.)

We come now to the promises the Lord has made to us of this last dispensation:

As long ago as 550 B.C., Nephi, seeing in vision our day, was moved by the spirit of prophecy to say:

“The Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

“And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

“For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.” (2 Ne. 30:8–10; italics added.)

When the Saints were being driven from Jackson County, Missouri, the Lord gave the prophet Joseph Smith a comforting revelation in which He said:

“I have sworn … that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.

“Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.

“And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.

“Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

“Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.

“They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion.” (D&C 101:10–12, 16–18.)

In conclusion, I quote again from the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants:

“Verily I say unto you, O inhabitants of the earth: I the Lord am willing to make these things known unto all flesh;

“For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.

So I guess in my view as a Mormon, and most other Mormons that if you don’t repent and get rid of your lack of conscience  when you sin. Or if you repeatedly throw God, your very own Creator, to the wind and not take responsibility for your actions, then Global Warming is God’s way of saying, “I have asked and asked you to repent and be humble but since you repeatedly stiffen your necks and refuse to hear then I will compel you to be humble”. There are always consequences to our actions. Whether in this life or the next. No one gets a free ride.

So in closing if liberals are wary of Mormons it is because our belief system goes against the very core of theirs and unfortunately we have more evidence to back up the validity of our existence and why we are here, than they ever will and this puts fear in their hearts.

So my first two children were girls. Girls were so much fun.  I could dress them up and they got along most of the time. Rarely did I have a smack down between the two of them. My next two children were boys.

Boys are an entirely different species all together. When my boys were younger, they got along great together. Better than the girls. As they grew into teens, I started noticing BIG differences in their behavior. I am not sure where in the genetic code of humans that the burping and farting in public gene mutated in males. This is hard to understand as a female and one that I will never understand. For some reason the teenage…and I might add, older aged male, seem to think this is the best way for impressing the babes.  Let me put that myth to rest right now. That would be no.

When my youngest son turned 13 something changed. Not only did he change, but he passed whatever he had on to my son that was 15.  My polite 15-year-old son suddenly started farting wars with the 13-year-old.  Two years later despite my constant nagging things have not changed.

This is not the only problem with teenage boys.  The burping and farting they are constantly doing seems to drown out common sense or deadened it.  I am still not sure which.  I truly believe they will do anything to embarrass me even if it isn’t on purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys and they make me laugh everyday. They are hilarious, but they come with horrible side effects sometimes.  Take my trip to town a couple of days ago.  We came to a store where they were selling newspapers outside of the door.  I am sorry, but I hate this.  I hate being  jumped at a store door without an exit route.  I have told these guys over and over that I do not want a newspaper.  As I sat in the car looking at the front door and trying to figure out how to get into the store without getting a sales pitch, my son says this “I got an idea, I will just go up and “pants” him and then when he is distracted you can go into the store. I bet he will never want to sell anything to you after that”.  After I recovered from envisioning this scene, we opted to go through the garden area and avoid him altogether. I wasn’t sure my son wouldn’t try something.

Amongst my purchases at this store was a toilet plunger. As I am getting into the car, I find that my car has a new hood ornament which took some doing for him to get it off after he put it there.  I seriously counted my blessings that I saw that before I got going down the road.  Once we get going down the highway he then proceeds to stick the plunger on the roof of the car to pretend it is a police siren, you know like in the movies. I had to put up with this for 7 miles.  With my neighbor driving right behind me the whole 7 miles.  Then he has the nerve to tell me that he wants to make a bow that will shoot one. Guaranteed, I will be the first to get it in the face.

Then the other day we went into a store. I was stuck there with him again despite the many times I have told him he is not coming with me ever again.  We came out of the gardening area and started down an aisle where we both saw this really cool green glass looking ball. We both reached for it at the same time to feel it. After touching it we realized it was plastic and that is was a toy ball.  My son quickly  grabbed it and started reading the label.  “Hey”, he says “this says this ball can bounce 150 feet in the air, I don’t believe it”.  As soon as the, “I don’t believe it” came out I knew he was going to see if the claim was true. The first words out of my mouth was, “Don’t do it”.  He must have turned off his “hearing aids” and decided that not only was he going to bounce it on the floor, but he better make sure he gives it enough power that it will do what it claims. He was standing at the top of one aisle and I started down another aisle just as he bounced it.

I looked up to see the ball go through the ceiling tiles.  This was a good 30 feet up.  The ball hit those tiles just right that it lifted them up and turned them enough that they fell out of the rim they were sitting in and came down on his head.  I personally did not stick around for the whole thing to play out.  When I saw the sky falling, I wasted no time in disappearing.

My first thought…”Dang it, they just saw everything on security cameras”.  My second thought, I am getting out of here before they realize he belongs to me.

When my son finally caught up to me, he begins to complain about the paper cut that one of them gave him on his face.  No, “sorry mom, I should have listened to you”.  No, nothing.  It has been 3 days and still no apology. Perhaps someday when he has a son I will get an apology. Because despite my hopes for change, I think the gene will mutate in his future sons also.

So after a few busy weeks, I am back. My life has been chaotic lately.

I also started a new blog called “Where In The World is Jay”.  A little bit about how it started.

To understand how funny I find my husband, I have never seen anyone as tenacious as he once he starts mowing. We live on a five acre piece of land which gets covered with field grass.  One day he was out mowing our regular lawn and he disappeared. I found him clear out in the field mowing. He is the kind of guy that once he starts going, he will find anything that needs mowing down and go at it.

A couple of years after we were married he was out mowing with the riding lawn mower and I looked out to see nothing but a giant ball of dust.  All of a sudden I see him running toward it and in the middle of this dust ball was the riding mower climbing a fence post. I stood there with mouth open trying to figure out how the mower got up the fence post without my husband on it.  I still to this day don’t know and neither does he.  He is as tenacious with the weed whacker as he is the mower. Many times I have seen him in the field chopping away at anything that looks like a weed.  I have lost many of flowers and plants to that thing. May they rest in peace.

So a couple of days ago he was mowing the lawn.  I went to the kitchen sink to get a drink. I looked out the window and saw him mowing the lawn in shorts and snowboots.  Earlier that day we had been hauling stuff to a recycling place and he had stepped in a horse size pile of dog poop.  We don’t have dogs that size, nor do our dogs ever go in the front yard. So stepping in it was an unpleasant surprise. So he put them on to mow the lawn to keep from getting dog poop on his good shoes. It was nearly 80 degrees outside, I don’t know how he could stand it.

I was on the phone to my sister and told her that she needed to see what he was wearing.  She wanted me to upload the picture to my facebook page for her to see.  Well I decided that that was too boring so I was going to have some fun and I Photoshopped him into mowing The White House lawn.

It started from there that we decided to start a series called “Where in the world is Jay?”.  We started coming up with some really funny ideas of where one would find my husband and his mower.

So click on the link on the side under “Family” on  “Where In The World is Jay” and it will take you to the site.

Can I Embarrass Myself Enough?

I grew up in a family that enjoyed having a good time.  My brothers were constantly pranking us five girls.  Of course we would always pay back. One particular week stands out more than others when one of my brothers was off work and made our lives miserable.  In the process we all started pranking each other something terrible.  My father even got in the action.  Which was out of the norm.  Usually Mom was the one who would go toilet papering with us kids and other “various activities”, all good and legal fun (at least it was legal back then). Toilet papering was our favorite thing to do. If you got toilet papered, you were the coolest people on the block. I remember my friend and I saving up tons of paper towel and toilet paper to get a boy’s house that I had “liked”.  I remember one buying spree prompted the store checker to ask us what we were up to….we just smiled.  Admitted nothing.

This  particular week off for my brother was a nightmare for the rest of us.  We would find the neck and arm holes of our pajamas sewn shut when we put them on.  We found the legs of our nylons sewn together.  My mom found her clothes missing (that was my dad), my brother found a brazier in his gym bag while he was in the boys locker…(this was a  good one).  My sister found a fake snake in her bed and we found fake spiders (that looked very real) hanging from our ceilings.  We were renting this home and the basement was unfinished.  My father had been in the military and somewhere my parents had picked up military cots for us to sleep on.  We came home from school to find all of these nailed to the beams on the ceiling. We came home and found our beds outside..this was in the winter.  We got my brother back by hanging all of his clothes off the roof of the house, including his tidy whiteys.  We put vinegar in his cologne….(I think this made my extremely patient brother upset) At this point, things were getting out of hand. We knew my father had had enough when we built a snowman in the front yard and instead of using a broom, we used a toilet plunger.  This did not sit well with him.

One prank that went bad was my sister had put shoes above a door that led downstairs hoping that she would nail someone in the head when they opened the door.  Well she did alright….the telephone repairman.  Nailed him good she did, then she blamed it on the younger, less-defensive siblings.

Anyway..this  is kind of the way my family is.  One of my sisters imparticular will call and give any child of mine that answers the phone…including my husband….a good teasing about one thing or another before asking for me.  I pretty much do the same to her children or my other sister’s children. There have been times when she or I or another sister will pass on the street and pull the old “finger up the nose” gag to be funny.  These types of things are just normal for us.

The other day, my sister called asking me to help my nephew do his taxes.  She gave me his cell phone number and I gave him a call.  I was half way through giving him crap about how I work cheap, etc…when the voice on the other end told me I had the wrong number.  Well…that was embarrassing.  If we weren’t always trying to pull one over on each other, then things like this wouldn’t happen.  Take today for instance:

I went to help my sister do something for my father.  She left before I did, but I came upon her at an intersection.  As I came closer, I decided I was really going to get her good.  She was directly behind a truck that was waiting to make a left hand turn.  There was no one in front of me and I was going straight.  I went really slow and stopped right by her.  I stuck my finger up my nose as far as I could get it and put the stupidest look I could conjure up on my face.  I sat there right next to her knowing full well she would see the color of my car and turn and look.  Sure enough, when I turned to see the look on her face half expecting her finger to be up her nose too…I came face to face with an irate looking woman who did not resemble my sister at all.

I don’t think I have ever covered my identity as fast as I did at that moment.  I sat there thinking to myself…”idiot, idiot, idiot”.  How could I mistake that car for my sister.  I ran through my head where the car was exact make, model and color.  Her big hair looked like my sister’s big hair from the back……yada yada yada..

If I was not constantly trying to pull one over on somebody, stupid things like this would not happen to me.  Next time, I will be more cautious.  I will drive up slowly take a good look to make sure it is who I think it is…then I will shove my finger up my nose.  Problem solved.

Why I Love My Kids

Today was a very stressful day.  In the area we live in, we have been receiving a lot of rain instead of our usual snow.  It made for some very scary roads.  This morning the sun had come out and the roads were wet, but not icy. Or so we thought.

My daughter came home from school yesterday telling her father that her car acted like it was overheating.  So this morning he put some antifreeze in it and took it for a spin to see if the problem was taken care of.   He hit an unseen patch of ice and totaled her car.  He is O.K., but the car was not.  My husband was so broken hearted to have to tell his daughter what he had done to her car.

Kids have this ability to be so resilient when as adults we worry ourselves into the ground.  I happened upon the following entry that my daughter wrote in her blog.  I have to share it with you because it brought a huge smile to my face during an extremely stressful time and put what is really important into perspective.  My family.

Arianna’s Entry:

RIP, Sparky

BENSON, Utah- 1996 Dodge Intrepid “Sparky”, 16, met his demise Jan. 20, 2012 after sliding across an icy road and slamming into one heck of a mailbox post. His bumper was torn to shreds, his lights were shattered, and both of his airbags were ejected. Due to my family’s inability to pay for his medical bills, he was euthanized at Cache Valley Metals the morning of his accident.Sparky left us with a rich legacy of driving into ditches and growling like a hungry grizzly bear. He was a morose individual, always snarling unhappily when his engine came to life, skittering across the road when the snow was falling. Sparky hated winter and winter hated Sparky. He would be glad to realize that he no longer has to deal with snow again.Sparky was adopted my junior year in high school after my parents’ Intrepid exploded on their way to get him, thus, forcing them to bring him home. He was a carefree car at one point of his life, his power steering ripping you across the asphalt, his engine a gentle hum.

The day that he first drove into a ditch and had to be pulled out by a tractor was the day when part of Sparky died. He’s never been himself since.

Sparky and I had many adventures together, such as driving to BYU on the freeway for the first time and that time when I ripped off his BYU tramp stamp with a spatula. He got the nickname Sparky after his battery died at Steve’s house and the jumper cables nearly electrocuted poor Steve. His battery failed him two times that night. I thought I would lose him.

How Sparky could have looked in his glory days.

He is survived by me, and I don’t know how I’ll replace him. We’re all as broke as the Sphinx’s nose around here, but we’ll find some way to make do.

The world will be a lot more quiet without Sparky around to growl at it.

Here’s to you, my dear friend. May your axle be straight and your engine a proud roar in car heaven.

So with yesterday being the last day before everyone went back to school, we wracked our brains trying to find something to do as our last “hurrah”.  After a lot of thoughtful contemplation we decided to have a Nerf gun war.  Feeling like I do today, I wish I wouldn’t have suggested it. We got all of the guns and ammo together and found a place for the war.  We sat up the bunkers and made up teams.  After the first round we decided that the teams weren’t working for us so it suddenly became a “free-for-all”. I realized after about 45 minutes why they suggest you wear protective eyewear.  I was hit in the face 4 times.  I nailed my son right between the eyes once and just as he turned around his sister shot him in the forehead.  Ears were impaled, and heads were shot.  Nothing was sacred people, nothing. One thing that has been a problem with me for years is that if I get laughing, I quickly become immobilized.  I lose all strength in the body and can do nothing to protect myself.  This is a huge weakness of mine and it has been used against me many times. Yesterday was no exception. Some of the Nerf ammo has velcro on one end.  I shot my daughter in the butt and the ammo was just hanging there.  She could not deny I hit her, the proof was there waving to the world. I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t pull it together.  In my moment of weakness, my son shot and hit me in the tooth.  That was it.  I fell to the ground unable to move because I was laughing so hard, tears flowing.  It took me a good 10 minutes to get myself back in the game. Not once was I able to be “King of the Ring”.  I never could get everyone out so that I was the last person standing.  I seriously need to brush up on my skills.  I have to admit I pwned on loading.  I could load and shoot faster than you can say “Bob’s Yer Uncle”.  I had to, I was an easy target for everyone, which pretty much sucked. It has been decided that the war must have a second, third and fourth round at least.  I have to admit, despite the pain…it was pretty fun.  Next time…game on.  I am showing up looking like Rambo.  There will be NO survivors. Someday I will have to decide to grow up…but today is not that day.

As I look back on my most memorable Christmas’, the ones I remember are the most simplest ones.  The years that we have struggled and some dear “Angel” has come to our rescue.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times that has happened.

One year we started a family tradition of giving each brother a sister a tree ornament.  I remember the time and effort that was put into some of those.  My sister had handmade hers and they were beautiful. I cherished these ornaments.  I thought of each one of my brothers, sisters and in-laws as I would put those on the tree.  It became especially important to me after the death of my mother.  Family became the most important thing to me.

This particular year stands out to me as one of the most memorable.  We used to keep our tree and ornaments in our garage because we didn’t have enough room in the house.  As tradition, we always put up the tree on Thanksgiving or the day after.  I had my husband go out to the garage and bring out my box of beautiful ornaments.  When he came into the house the look on his face caused me alarm.  Our tree and ornaments had been invested with mice.  We live on a farm, so it is normal to have mice all over but for some particular reason this year was worse than previous years.

When I opened the boxes, I realized that nothing was salvageable.  My first response was tears.  All of the hard work that had gone into those ornaments from my family, plus all of the handmade ones my children had made for me came rushing to my memory so fast that it was overwhelming.  I was devastated.  They weren’t just ornaments, they were family memories.  After the tears passed, then came the thought of how are we going to have a tree this year.  My husband had been unemployed, his father had recently passed away and it had been a hard year financially.   We eventually found a small fake tree and decided that it was going to have to do.  We would just find something else for ornaments.

One night as we pulled into our home, I noticed a big box sitting on our back porch.  We all walked cautiously toward it not knowing why it was there and what was in it.  As I slowly opened the box, inside lay ornament after ornament.  No name, no nothing to identify the giver.  Tears filled my eyes as I looked at those ornaments.  No, they were not the handmade memories I had cried over a few days ago, but they were memories of the love I felt for this stranger who had helped make my kids Christmas a special one.

This was not the only time we have felt the love of our Father in Heaven through special people that we have in our lives.  Some we know, some we don’t.  The giving did not stop at that year.  One year we found a beautiful handmade quilt on our front porch.  No name, nothing to identify the giver only the two sets of footprints left in the snow; one big, one small.  I looked at those prints and thought to myself, someone is teaching a child the importance of giving service to another.  I have cherished that blanket ever since.  I know it had to have taken hours to make and I was overwhelmed that someone would spend that much time on a gift for us.  As we knelt in family prayer that night, we thanked our Heavenly Father for another “Angel” that was now part of our Christmas memories.

Another year of hardship, we found money taped to our front door.  A simple message of “Hope you have a merry Christmas” was all that was written on it.  As I look back on these moments, there is nothing I can do to pay these dear souls back.  We still don’t know who some of these acts of service have come from, but it instilled in us a greater desire to serve others.  So each year the “Rees” elves try to do something to make someone else’s Christmas one to remember.  We never tell who, what, where or when; that takes the fun out of it.  Today a complete stranger will hopefully feel the Spirit of Christmas from some “Angels” who are paying it forward and being the hands of a loving Father in Heaven who knows all.  He knows our sufferings and our joy and always places people in our  lives at the right time and the right place to ease that suffering.  This is going to be fun!

Merry Christmas and may you remember the blessings that you have this Christmas season and pay it forward.  This is what true happiness is all about!

My Mother, may she rest in peace, had an immaculate home.  Nothing ever out of place.  It was not always like that.  There were seven kids and she had her moments.  I remember a story she told of getting a call that someone was coming over and the house was a mess.  She had to “cram for the examine” so to speak before the company arrived.  She found the closest room to get rid of things and stuffed everything inside.  I guess that the company complimented her on how well she kept the house up with so many little kids.  This particlular incident made my mother into the “Clean House Nazi”.  She taught us kids to be clean, neat and organized.  I used to be, until I had children.

I know there would be days that if she saw my home she would roll over in her grave.  She is probably looking down on me from Heaven telling to pull it together.

I do know that over the years of having kids, I have gained a lot of patience and I tolerate more than perhaps what I should. Case in point:  A couple of months ago, we bought an electric scooter from a thrift store to help save gas.  It is mostly for the kids to get to their friends house, etc.  My son came flying through my kitchen on it the other day, almost running me over.  I just looked at him with that look that says, “Really?”.  He informs me that there aren’t many mother’s who allow their children to drive the scooter through the house.  What I didn’t tell him is that He has taught me more patience than my other children.

Well, this lead to a choice that I made that should have put me in the child category instead of parent category.  I walked through my house and saw the scooter plugged in.  I decided to climb aboard and just sit on it.  Then the thought occured to me that perhaps one of my dogs would love a ride on this thing.

I called one of them and stuck it on the foot rest and gassed it.  I didn’t want her jumping off while I was going.  Well….that was a stupid thought, because she did jump off.  Out of fear of smashing her flat, I swerved and lost control of the scooter, flew down the hall and into my daughter’s bedroom hitting her keyboard and almost knocking it onto the floor.  In the panic of everything, I forgot it had brakes.

I wish I would have been alone when this happened, but my 19 year old daughter was in her room next to the room I went plowing through.  According to her…”All I saw was legs flailing and heard screaming”.  Dang it.  I didn’t want an eyewitness to this at all.  Not even sure what possessed me to try it to begin with.  It goes about 15 mph.  I probably topped off at 17 through the hall judging by how long it took me to stop and how much damage I did.

I won’t even begin to explain why I attempted this.  I don’t even have the answer for that.

Little Unknown Use for Hair Wax

In continuing my quest for some resemblance of sanity this Christmas season, I have not found any solace.  If I keep doing stupid things I am never going to recover.

Yesterday I was asked to say the opening prayer in church.  So I decided to sit on the stand before church started so that I wouldn’t have to walk up during the opening song and draw extra attention to myself.  Well….despite my best efforts to not draw that extra attention to myself, I went to sit down on the folding seat right when it folded back up.  I fell to the floor grabbing the chair in front of me which startled the young man who occupied it.  I then had to apologize for my complete and utter stupidity.  This ranks in the top 10 worst things that can happen to you while wearing a dress.

To add to my frustration, I was so excited to win a pair of snowboard pants for my son on eBay. They were Italian made and I got them for $11.  Whoohoo! I had contacted the seller to see what the inseam length was.  I opened my email this morning only to find out that I had purchased my son a pair of Lederhosen snowpants.  He is 6′ 1″ and the inseam was 24 inches.  Not going to happen.  No amount of stretching will get that kid into those pants.

I then discovered this morning a new use for hair wax.  To give your armpit hairs that piecey, modern look that is the rage all these days, apply hair wax instead of deodorant.  Of course this won’t work if you shave your armpits…(which I do).  So in that case, it turns out to be only a case of mistaken identity that  should never be used.  It only glues your armpit to itself.    Leaving you to wonder……”What the carp did I just do to myself?”

Uuuggghh!  Will this ever end???