Tag Archive: Life


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.

Home remodeling is not for wusses.  During my growing up years, there is only a couple of houses that I recall not being involved in a remodeling job of some sort.  My mother had this innate ability to take something ugly and make it beautiful.  I remember one particular house that I went with them to look at.  I remember walking into this four walled container of fecal matter and telling my parents that I would not move into that house if they decided to buy it. It seriously looked like someone had urinated on the walls or something in the front room.  The toilet was so disgusting.  The house smelled horrible.

My parents bought the house because they got a great deal on it.  I moved in kicking and screaming.   The house did have to be cleaned up before we moved in which helped a little bit.  When my mother was done with it, it was beautiful home.

I will be the first to tell you that I hate remodeling.  Mostly because I hate things being in chaos and it would eventually lead to not having a bathroom in the middle of winter. Utah winters in the past were not kind. You would sometimes have to plow a walkway to the car through 3-4 feet of snow. This year it has been 3-4 inches.

When my grandmother passed away, the doctors did not want my grandfather living alone.  He was pretty feeble.  So my mother and father sold our home and we moved into my grandfather’s house.  It was a two bedroom, 1 bathroom home.  There were 5 of us.  My parents made do until we could remodel the home to have 3 more bedrooms and a bathroom. See, I told you all remodeling leads to being without plumbing at one point and time.

This remodel job started in the summer and went into the winter.  My grandfather had a greenhouse that he had made that was in his backyard about 200 feet away from the house.  When it came time to install the new toilet, shower and sink, the water had to be shut off to the bathroom.  My father built us a porta-potty of sorts in the greenhouse for privacy.  Unfortunately it was in the winter and we had a lot of snow.  I remember a few mornings making the trip out to the greenhouse dreading the frostbite I was getting braced to receive.  This makes you pretty tough.

I am about to “out” my mother on this and may she forgive me.  I did not understand her situation then like I do now that I have had four children.  The birth of children seriously damages anything related to the bladder and the lack of control thereof.  Did not understand this at that time.  I am a lot more sympathetic of her situation now.

One particular morning when our bathroom was still located in the great outdoors, she woke up and had to go out to the “greenhouse”.  She realized as she got up that she had to go pretty bad and wasn’t sure if she was going to make it.  She had a pretty steep flight of stairs to go down and realized when she got to the bottom that there was no way she was going to make it without having an “accident”.  So she made an executive decision to just step off to the side of the steps and go. She hit a patch of ice which caused her to go down along with her pants.  Even now, 25 years later, I still laugh at the picture this paints in my mind. I envision Bambi when he first stepped on ice.

Now thank goodness Google wasn’t around to do a drive by “shooting”.  I would hate to find her on a Google map search somewhere.  I could not stop laughing that entire day.  I had graduated from high school and was at home so I was stuck there painting all day.  When it would get quiet…you know the 7 minute lull….I would envision my poor mother in her predicament and start laughing.  She would just look at me and give me that “I know what you are thinking about look” and then proceed to tell me that she wishes she would  have never told me what happened.  Well today I almost had the same experience she did, only I kept my pants on and ice was not involved.

The first house my husband and I lived in had to be completely remodeled for it to be livable. I decided after the 10 years of that that I would never remodel again. I will paint, but I won’t tear the entire house apart. So for the last couple of months, I have been giving my walls a fresh coat of paint after 7 years.  Today I decided that my children’s bathroom needed a new look.  I have unfortunately been smacked with the short stump and am at a huge disadvantage at reaching ceilings, let a lone vaulted ceilings.  I have not to this day spent money on a step-ladder.  That is probably why I have nearly died a few times.

Today I had the can of paint on the bathroom sink and I was standing on the side of the tub trying to paint around the ceiling.  I had a chair in between me and the sink so I could just step around to make things easier.  I stepped on the chair with one foot to reach the paint can and for some reason the chair slid, thus causing me to do the splits.  I am sure even when I was a baby that I could not do the splits. I am not genetically built for them.  My sister tried forcing me once which, quite frankly, I was lucky I could still have children afterwards.  Anyway, as the chair slid I felt the muscles pulling in places that no woman wants muscles pulling.  My daughter and husband was on the other side of the house discussing bikes and handlebar tape.  I yelled for help, groaned for help, prayed for help.  No one came. I managed to grab on to something and get myself pulled back together. I had a flashback to when I was 24 months pregnant with my youngest son (not really, but it felt like 24 months), I went to kick a ball and missed.  Couldn’t walk for weeks from a pulled groin.

I do not think that I will be walking the same after today. There is something about pulling the groin muscle that just messing everything up.  I nearly crawled into the kitchen to where the beloved family with hearing problems were.  No comments like, “sorry, we didn’t hear you” or “are you OK”.  All I got was laughter.  It haunted my ears as I am sure it did my mothers years ago.  Why did I even tell them.  Everything you do as a teen comes back to haunt you as a parent.  At least I was within the privacy of four walls and my pants were stretchy.

I know it is a job and someone has to do it, but in my opinion the salesman is the worst job on the planet. I sometimes think a prerequisite for this job title is being obnoxious. The job in and of itself is obnoxious in nature.   To mix that with a personality of someone who has to be pushed to her limits before she would mistreat someone is nothing more than a setup to get taken advantage of.

As I have gotten older it is a lot harder for me to mistreat someone. I haven’t always been kind and have said hurtful things in the past, but it is just not in my nature anymore to mistreat someone.  I have to get really mad at someone before I rip into them and it takes a lot to get me to that point. I hate this about myself at times because it sets me up to get taken advantage of. My husband on the other hand is not like that, but I force him to be because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t think I have done him any favors.  Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a very kind, honest and truthful person and his fault to this is that he thinks everyone else is and so he trust people whom he shouldn’t.  Women’s intuition plays into this somewhat because if I have any red flags go up over anything, I don’t trust very quickly.  I am honest also, I am just more cautious.

This is where run ins with salesmen are just horrible for me.  I don’t trust any of them because of the experiences I have had with them and yet, I can’t mistreat them. My mother didn’t take garbage off of anyone and my father was the opposite.  I am most like my father in this way, but it took a salesman for me to see a side of my father I did not know existed.

When I was four years of age I remember being at home with my mom one day when a salesman tried breaking into our home. My mom was on the phone to her sister when the guy tried every door in the house.  Her and I was curled up in a corner of the kitchen hiding with the phone hoping the guy would leave.  It scarred me. I have never been trusting of them since this and I haven’t had one that has changed my mind.

Another time when after I was married and was home alone a guy showed up selling something. I told him I wasn’t interested and he insisted on coming back when my husband got home.  I thought to myself that if the guy showed up I wouldn’t open the door.  I had to leave for some reason and had put a note on a whiteboard for my husband that said this, “Some obnoxious salesman said he was going to show up tonight.  If he comes, don’t answer the door”.  Well, I came home and had gone upstairs for awhile, pretty soon my husband called me and as I came downstairs there stood the salesman. My husband obviously didn’t see the note I left for him, but the salesman did.  At that point, the look that guy gave me sent shivers down my spine.  He was extremely angry.  He said nothing and stomped out of the house.  After he left, my husband asked me what was up with that….I pointed out the big note I had left him.  We both laughed pretty hard over it even though I was a little rattled over the look he gave me.

Years ago when I was a teen, a Kirby vacuum salesman came to our home.  My mother answered the door and told the guy she was  not interested.  He became extremely pushy and even trying to forcing himself into the door.  My mother had braced her foot against the door to keep him from getting in, but the guy was still trying.  This is where my father showed up and told the guy with “fist in the air” to get out or he would do something he regretted.  The guy left, but we soon  found out that he had been causing problems like this throughout the whole neighborhood.  We reported him and he never came back.

I am not sure what rigors Kirby goes through to train their salesmen, but they are the closest thing to Satan’s spawn I know of.  I don’t have a peep-hole on my front door and have opened the door to many a people  I would have preferred to keep the door shut on.  The Kirby salesman who came back later peeping in my daughter’s window was one of them.  I threatened Kirby that if one of their salesmen ever came back I would call the cops on them.  It didn’t stop them.  A few years later I had one show up that tried to force his way into my house.  He didn’t come right out and tell me the company he represented or else I would have followed through on my threat.  I refuse to let anyone in my home when I am here alone.  He was trying every means possible to get into my home to demonstrate a shampooer.  When I told him that I have a shampooer then he started on a vacuum, this is where the red flags started going up.  I immediately told him I was not interested, I was supposed to get a free set of knives despite the fact.  Eight years later and I have not received them.  It wasn’t until I got a follow-up phone call from Kirby that I realized that they were the company this guy represented.  I went off on them again and threatened them with a lawsuit. I haven’t seen them since, but that don’t mean they won’t try some other way to get in.  In 1992 a woman was raped by a Kirby salesmen.  In 2010 a Kirby salesman hit a poor man in the head with a handheld vacuum when he was asked to leave the property. These people are evil. The list of crimes these people commit against others is deplorable.

Next to these guys in line for the Satan’s Spawn title would be insurance salesmen. When my husband and I were newlyweds we had one show up on our doorstep.  I swear they scope the neighborhoods looking for new move ins. From the start I knew this guy was a scam artist.  He started his sales pitch by telling my husband and I all of his marriage problems.  I thought to myself…”Are you selling insurance or needing marriage counseling?”  If it was marriage counseling I would have told him his first mistake was telling complete strangers way too much information about his personal life.  My husband and I patiently sat through 3 hours of his going on and on about his life.  I was about ready to take a bullet just to put myself out of misery.  Neither one of us wanted to be mean because of the sad story he had just given us.  When he finally got around to selling the insurance, he  showed me a list of people who had signed up with him.  One name in particular jumped out at me.  It was a lady that I had used to work with that had cancer.  After the sucker left, I called  her and she told me she had no idea who this guy was and that he was lying.  He had somewhere gotten medical information about people that he was fraudulently using.  We thought we would not see the guy again after we told him we weren’t interested.  Nay, nay…a month or so later he showed up as we were leaving.  This time I let my husband do his thing and he pretty much told him where to go and how to get there.

The list goes on and on.  Salesmen remind me of Bill Clinton.  In what way you ask?  Bill Clinton seemed to think that there was more than one definition for the word “is” during his scandal with Monica Lewinsky. ????  What? Is? Salesmen seem to think that there is more than one definition for the word “No”.  Since a small babe in arms, I knew what no meant and if I did the opposite I would get it. Salesmen don’t seem to know how to differentiate between No and No.  Case in point:

Yesterday, someone knocked on my door.  I was expecting a delivery that I had to sign for.  Thought it was them only to find myself in that all too familiar uncomfortable spot of being face to face with a salesman.  The guy asked how I was doing…1st red flag…Then he was halfway up the sidewalk and I wasn’t sure why until he asked..”We are selling meat and wondered if you had ever bought from us?”  I said no and before I knew it he was running back to his truck to grab the other guy and boxes of meat.  Didn’t give me one chance to decline.  If I had a backbone, I would have shut the door and locked it just then.  They pretty much came right through my front door and headed for my kitchen…2nd red flag. I wondered how the guy knew where he was going.  This still disturbs me.  I kindly told him to come back to my front room.  Within seconds flat he had 10 boxes of meat out on the floor pitching  numbers and cost faster than you can say, “Bob’s yer Uncle”….3rd red flag.  He was trying to trick me into accepting his offer by asking me if I would use it…I thought what kind of stupid question is that.  If you buy food, don’t you usually eat it?  After he told me that the cost of meat would be $3000 for a 3 months supply, that was it.  I told him I did not have that kind of money. Then comes the “My boss will give you a deal” pitch.  I hate this by-the-way, it really insults what little intelligence I have.  I am thinking to myself, if your boss allows a deal then why  are you trying to scam people for double that cost….4th red flag.

Despite me telling him numerous times that I won’t buy he keeps going from one angle to the next.  Finally he asked if they were wasting their time.  I told him yes.  He then asks me to tell him a name of a friend to go sale to and in exchange I would get a free box of meat.  I absolutely refuse to do that to anyone.  The ironic thing is that this is a farming community where a lot of the people grow their own beef. Which I informed him hoping he would leave people alone.  I don’t think it phased him.

After they left, I yelled at myself for 2 hours about how stupid I was to let them walk right into my home.  If these two had bad intentions, I would have been in an extremely bad situation.  I have gone years without a “no solicitation” sign on my door, but decided to put one up yesterday because I am sick of the confrontations.  Ironically enough, my daughters were against this.  We had a warm 1 hour discussion on how I need to “man-up” and just get mean.  “Tell them no, mom” they said.  My dear sweet daughters don’t realize that doesn’t work.  They were embarrassed by everything I put on the sign.  I made it myself and was quite proud of it.

But…what makes me laugh at this whole thing….my daughter asked me to excuse her from her first hour today.  Why you ask? She received a love letter from a boy in that class and she didn’t want to face him.  Ironic isn’t it? My response…”Man-up you can’t avoid it forever”.  I then asked her if she wanted me to make her a sign.. in which she refused.

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.

Doggie Buffet!

Every neighborhood has one right?…The dog that won’t stay out of everyone’s garbage?  We happen to be so lucky as to have two.  The other day I happened to look out the front window and saw one of the critters actually inside of my garbage can.  A few years back, the county I live in went to what we call the “Black Beauties”.  Everyone has these huge plastic garbage cans with wheels.  Anyway I am not sure if the dog tipped the can over or if the garbage truck did when it put it down, but all I could see was the dog’s butt.  That was a new strategy, I have to admit.

Our nightmare happened on Monday, January 2.  We thought the garbage people had the day off to celebrate the New Year. No, they showed up and  half the street didn’t have their cans up to the road.  This was right after Christmas and everyone  had extra garbage.  So we had to take to inconspicuously stacking it by the side door until the next week’s pickup.  Unfortunately “Sherlock and Watson” found the garbage yesterday.  I wasn’t sure at first it was the dogs until later.

When leaving for school, I saw a box where it shouldn’t have been.  I came home, picked up the box and stuck it in the garbage.  Later that afternoon I left to run my son up the street and saw a somewhat nicely laid out buffet on my front lawn.  Salsa, oranges and chocolate milk.  As we were pulling out of the driveway and seeing various pieces of garbage scattered up the driveway, I was mumbling and threatening the culprits.  As we got to the top of the drive, I saw “Sherlock” making her way down the road.  My son had made the comment that the two of them were “working” the street.  One on one side and one on the other, although we only saw “Sherlock”.  I watched her as I pulled out of the driveway and sure enough she returned to the scene of the crime.  I floored it to get back home before more garbage was strewn up the driveway.

When we returned “Watson” had showed up, thus verifying the “working the streets” theory.  When she saw us, she hauled butt out of there.  

One time “Sherlock” left a cow head on our lawn.  Yes..you heard me right a cow head.  My husband threw it in the trash.  Do you know how many times I was startled by that head when I opened that can?

I would like to hide something in the garbage can that would literally scare the crap right out of the next dog that attempted theft.  Something spring-loaded, so that when that lid was moved…. Although, I think I would be the first to get it right in the keester.  I would forget and open it. I know I would.  Got to put the mind in gear to come up with something to deter them.  I will market it with my crapapult and make millions.

Game On!

For Christmas every year, we buy one or two boardgames because we love playing games as a family.  Every Sunday night we have what we call Family Home Evening and we have a lesson on gospel topics and then we plays games and have treats.  Everyone takes turns doing different things.  Family Home Evening is not Family Home Evening with the games.  We take turns picking a game and spend the night laughing or fighting if it is Pictionary.  It never fails, something about Pictionary brings the worst out of at least one person.  If you put my two daughters together on a team, guaranteed you have your work cut out for you to win.  It is like they can read each other’s minds or something.  The family joke, “Hey, I feel like fighting…let’s play Pictionary”.   Pit is also a family favorite.

This year for Christmas I found one of the funniest games.  It is called Redneck Life.  I bought it at www.newegg.com.  That was the cheapest place I found.  They also offer an expansion pack which is worth the extra cost to buy right off. This game is based on The Game of  Life only it is in redneck version.

You shake one or two dice (depending if you are using expansion pack) to see what grade you graduated from.  Then a payday comes with that education and a job i.e. Monster Truck announcer, bouncer, bass fishing guide…etc.  You roll the dice to pick your spouses name.  i.e. Big Belle, Corndog Pete….

The first time we played we were all depressed because you automatically go into debt.  You have to buy a house and a car etc.  Throughout the game you have “accidents” that make you loose teeth.  The object of the game is to see who has the most teeth at the end.  There are factors that determine this at the end.  You can gain some teeth back through various ways.

The worst part of it for me was that I ended up with 34 children and 31 of them were all named Darryl and had red hair.  This forced me to buy enough vehicles to get this family around.  There is a space you land on where you can take the kids to the babysitter (babysitter being whatever player you choose) and “forget” they are there.  Then the babysitter adds that many more kids to their kid list.  By the way, each kid you have takes away $10 from your payday.  So if your payday stunk in the beginning, it really stinks if you have a ton of kids.

We have laughed so hard during this game.  Tears streaming.  The first time we played, I landed on a square that said, “Your parents didn’t want you when you were born and left you at the hospital, start over”.  This pretty much sucked, but I did get even at the end.

This is a hilarious game.  I had to edit some of it for my kids (they are 14-19) just because I didn’t feel it was appropriate for our home but it is stuff you can work around.  The cars and houses that you have to buy are actual pictures of real homes and vehicles.  I would hope that people don’t live in things like that or drive things like that, but I have an uneasy feeling that they do.

If you want a fun game to play, this is it.

I am not sure there is one woman on this planet who enjoys cleaning a toilet.  If there is I would like to meet them.  Yet, to have to clean something so disgusting is far better than not having one at all.  At least during the flu season.

When flu season arrives, toilets are our friends.  About 3 Christmas ago, we found out just how grateful we are for those porcelain pieces of furniture.

We had a family Christmas party at my sisters.   This is once when I can honestly say, those who weren’t there are the luckiest suckers on earth.

The family Christmas party was held just days before Christmas.  We have about 70 plus now in the extended family, but I believe at that time there were probably only 60 something and of those sixty I believe only 35 of us were there.  My husband and kids and I always have a Christmas Eve party.  I planned big, we had Chinese food and all kinds of goodies.  It was great fun until later that night one of my kids complained of not feeling well.

I hoped that it was just something passing so that their Christmas would not be ruined.  By the time we went to bed three children were sick.  We started dropping like flies people. Christmas morning welcomed the entire family having the flu.  The worst Christmas ever.  We barely managed to get packages opened between trips to the bathroom.

Most of us laid and moaned all day.  I began to wonder if some of my cooking had given us all food poisoning, until I started calling around and getting calls from the family.  What we realized is that within a five-day period 26 of the 35 people had the flu.  It nearly took out the entire family.  We then thought that perhaps we ate something at the party that gave us food poisoning.  We could not find a common denominator.  I do believe to this date nothing has made me sicker except for morning sickness.

When  every Christmas rolls around at least one child tells me that they never want to see Chinese food again.  It is not what made everyone sick, but everyone remembers what it is like revisiting that meal over and over again.  I have always been one that hardly ever throws up.  I remember the few times I have it has been with a migraine combined with motion sickness.  Other than that, morning sickness with my first child for 5 months was the only puking I have done.

Up until this Christmas day, I had not thrown up for 15 years.  I broke that record and made up for all those years in 6 days.  None of us could eat for about two weeks.  It was horrible.

I bring this up because I think there should be laws that only person can get the flu at a time in a family.  I don’t know who to talk to about this, but it is unfair for a mother to have to deal with.  I came to this conclusion last night while I was up most of the night with two sons suffering from the flu.  It is going on three days now and neither one of them has slept for the last two nights because of the attachment they have with “John”.

I breathe a sign of relief that we made it past Christmas before this hit, but now I await to see how many of us get it.  Unfortunately when Mom gets sick I still have to be mom.  No quitting for me.  I am keeping my distance and crossing my fingers.

So the next time you mumble under your breath while elbow deep into the toilet, remember what it would be like if you didn’t have one and what you would have to clean up.  Puts everything into perspective, I say.

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.