Friday, October 30, 2009
1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.
4. political or national independence.
5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
6. exemption from the presence of anything specified
1. Freedom, independence, liberty refer to an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one's rights and powers. Freedom emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one's rights, powers, desires, or the like: freedom of speech or conscience... Independence implies not only lack of restrictions but also the ability to stand alone, unsustained by anything else: Independence of thought promotes invention and discovery. Liberty, though most often interchanged with freedom, is also used to imply undue exercise of freedom: He took liberties with the text. 9. openness, ingenuousness. 12. license. 16. run.
Last Sunday I was in Primary (the Sunday meeting for children in our church). The story of Captain Moroni was shared very creatively by my friend Merrily and she involved the children. But what struck my mind was that we need a Captain Moroni.
Captain Moroni was very young but because of his integrity, honor, intelligence and spiritual strength he was put in charge of a large army to fight those who threatened their freedom, their very way of life. Here is a short summary:
He rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. Alma 46:12
Amalickiah was a wicked man who wanted to be king of the Nephites. His promises and flattery persuaded many rich and power-hungry people to support him. Even many Church members were deceived into following Amalickiah. (See Alma 46:17.)
When Moroni, the chief commander of the Nephite armies, heard what Amalickiah was doing, he became angry. He tore his coat to make a flag. On it he wrote: "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" (Alma 46:12; see also Alma 46:11). He fastened the flag to a pole and called it the title of liberty. Then, dressed in his battle armor, he prayed to God, asking Him to allow the people to keep the freedom they had. (See Alma 46:12-13.)
When Moroni finished praying, he went among the people, waving the title of liberty in the air. He cried out, "Whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them" (Alma 46:20; see also Alma 46:19).
The people came running, dressed in their armor and tearing their cloaks as a symbol of the covenant they were making to obey the Lord. They gathered around Captain Moroni, ready to defend their freedom. (See Alma 46:21, Alma 46:28.)
So I am NOT Captain Moroni in any form of the imagination nor am I claiming to be BUT I feel we need a Captain Moroni today or maybe we each need to become a person like Captain Moroni. I have felt I need to do more that read and pass on emails and write my representatives. Maybe this is part of the answer of what I should do. And maybe if I share things here each Friday we can work together to keep our freedoms. And find the success Moroni had if we obey the Lord and become worthy of His help in turning things around. We are living in times that have been foretold and although we know it all ends right that does not justify inaction. We will be held accountable for what we didn't do to stop the forces threatening our freedom. Now if you feel overwhelmed, I can relate. But what it means is that other things need to drop out of our lives if we can't AFFORD to take time to save our freedoms because what will it matter in the end what we were doing instead?
My first thought is to share this website: http://asamom.ning.com/ these are busy women who take time to keep us informed.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?
Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers-- that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?
Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?
Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?
Does any of this sound like America?
How about a federal agency giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president? Merely being assigned to sing his praises in class is apparently not enough.
How much of America would be left if the federal government continued on this path? President Obama has already floated the idea of a national police force, something we have done without for more than two centuries.
We already have local police forces all across the country and military forces for national defense, as well as the FBI for federal crimes and the National Guard for local emergencies. What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.
How far the President will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin.
Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to "change the United States of America," the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country.
Jeremiah Wright said it with words: "God damn America!" Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted. Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.
Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.
Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn't know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?
Nothing is more consistent with his lifelong patterns than putting such people in government-- people who reject American values, resent Americans in general and successful Americans in particular, as well as resenting America's influence in the world.
Any miscalculation on his part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration's enemies list.
Nothing so epitomizes President Obama's own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year-- each bill more than a thousand pages long-- too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up. Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question-- and the biggest question for this generation.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We had a her choice for breakfast cinnamon buns--these Tim makes not the store bought kind. Then she opened presents from us. Then my mom took her to lunch and shopping. She had a lot of fun. Emily wanted a boy/girl party for her 12th birthday. So we centered the theme around dice. They came for dinner and we had planned to incorporate dice with the dinner but thought better to simplify. After dinner they did a scavenger hunt but they had to use dice to figure out which house to go to--they were split up into teams for this. Then they played the candy bar game with dice--Emily won one of them as you can see in the collage (we had 2 going at a time). Then we had them play the Skittle and straw game with dice, it's tricky. And for the final dice game they played Farkle. They were ready to run around again so they went outside and played night games, without dice. We had sundaes for dessert outside too since it was still nice weather and not too bad after dark. She seemed to have a lot of fun and I think her friends did too. We included Emily's birthday with the big Pew party to celebrate Gwen, Shellie (Tim's sister), Erin (our niece) and Daniel (our nephew). It was a lot of fun as well. Sunday we had Emily's birthday dinner since we hadn't really done that and her dessert she wanted was lemonade pie but I felt like there might be too many kids who wouldn't like it so we should stick with basic chocolate and vanilla. We will celebrate her birthday with my family with the November birthdays so more fun to come! Birthdays are so fun with all our family around!
PS I would have posted more photos in the collage but not enough of them turned out. I am bummed that I forgot to get a photo of Emily and Gwen with our family on their birthdays! Owell.
So I am finally getting around to writing about the last two birthdays. The kids happened to have Gwen and Emily's birthdays off for Fall Break. So we decided to take everyone to the zoo since they had quite a few baby animals on exhibit. The day was perfect weather. The animals were all out but the snow leaopard and her babies, maybe next time. But the baby elephant was adorable as well as the baby giraffe and baby tigers. Gwen liked the baby giraffe the most. The zebras were out so Zane was thrilled. The teenagers came and seemed to enjoy themselves as well. We had our family picture taken that afternoon, that can be stressful but my friend Merrily made it feel less so! She is awesome and I can't wait to get the photos! Then we had my family over for pizza and cupcakes. Gwen loved all the fun princess stuff she got and has been playing with all the stuff since. We had a Pew family party since we had 5 birthdays on that side within 2 weeks and that was also alot of fun. Grandma Pew made her the most adorable dress--the blue one in the collage. She also got princess dress ups the cinderella dress up photo in the colage and some my little ponies that she loves too. She has loved all the birthday fun, she feels very loved!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Last summer, in July Taran was on his way to a Switchfoot concert at Saltair. His friend, who is a year and a half older was driving. They got hit from behind and went into a spin and hit the divider and spun back across and stopped on the shoulder, this is across a three lane freeway during rush hour. A miracle alone that they didn't get hit multiple times and that they weren't seriously injured. When the mother of his friend called me about it I felt total peace, of course neither of us knew the half of what had happened yet. Taran's other friend in the car had an aunt close by who took the boys onto the concert and Tim picked them up later after it was over. That's when we started to hear the whole thing. Later my friend told me how they went up to see the car--totaled. Those boys were recipients of God's tender mercy. They had a lot of fun at the concert but I think they all knew that God had spared them and they had been protected. The reality of this hit me as I read my son's notes about his EFY experience which he had asked me to read, his testimony of God had been strengthened. I was so grateful for that and his safety.
Last Saturday my niece was coming from a band competition in Idaho. She is the member of the AF Band that had an accident. There were 4 buses and she was on the one bus that crashed. If it hadn't been for the teacher who tried to correct the path of the bus after the driver passed out (now we hear from kidney stones) they would have crashed in a worse spot. The only fatality was the teacher. She sacrificed herself in the end for the people on the bus, she was thrown and killed. Everyone else lived, with minor injuries at that. Another miracle, another tender mercy. God is great, kind, merciful and loving. Sometimes things are more tragic, that doesn't mean he loves those people any less or their loved ones, it just means that it was the best outcome for all involved and someday we will know why. But in this case only one tragedy occurred when many could have been seriously injured or killed. This experience seems to have inspired the band as they have gone on to compete in honor of this brave teacher and won. They know they must live worthy of her sacrifice that they were spared and must do their best and be their best selves in honor of her gift.
This experience along with my son's has strengthened my testimony in God and his son Jesus Christ. They live and love us and watch over us. How many times do they save us from ourselves? Some day we'll know. It has caused me to ponder, Christ sacrificed for me, that I might have peace in this life and live again after death...shouldn't I live to merit that sacrifice?
Friday, October 16, 2009
Today Emily turned 12. WOW! Parts of her beginnings are clear and others foggy so she must be getting older! It's true you start forgetting...bummer! Anyway, are you ready for another labor story? Too bad, here it goes. Emily was due on my niece Erin's birthday so I was really hoping she would be born that day. Erin is awesome and I think it's cool to share your birthday with someone cool! Taran was 4-1/2 and had a soccer practice and Tim would help out. I decided to come along with Timo and go for a walk around the school. So I pushed Timo around in a stroller and we found a playground he played at for a little while then we returned. I had a few contractions while we walked but nothing significant. Then early the next morning I woke up around 3 AM after an hour or so I woke Tim, it wasn't going away. Then we called my mom about 4 AM and we left once she arrived. We got to the hospital and had to wait. Tim convinced them that I was in labor, I am not sure how far I was at that time. But they finally let me sit in a jetted tub to labor and after an hour I was done sitting and ready to get out. I was feeling like I should push. I could barely walk to the bed to deliver. I had to have Tim the labor & delivery nurse and the Nurse Midwife. She checked me and my water broke. It was so painful I was frustrated and tried to push her out. The midwife calmed me down--I was yelling more than usual. She helped me focus and then when my body was ready Emily came--it seemed like forever but it was about 15 minutes. Taran and Timo were thrilled to see her in the hospital.
But I should tell you how we got our first little princess. When Taran was about 3-1/2 he came home from a birthday party and this friend happened to be a girl. I am not sure if this had anything to do with but it's background. I was asking him about the party as I gave him a bath and he said to me,"Mom, I want a baby sister." Now I had been trying for 9 months to get pregnant. I was quite frustrated at this point which I know is nothing compared to many. I got a tiny feel for the frustration and monthly disappointment those who have fertility issues deal with, very difficult. My heart would have broke had not things changed. Back to Taran in the tub, so I said to Taran," Why don't you pray for a baby sister? Maybe Heavenly Father will send us one." So he resolved he would start praying that night. I got pregnant that week. Then when it came time for the utlra-sound he was positive it was a girl. We tried to explain that he may not get a sister THIS time but eventually. He insisted that the baby was a girl and was very confident. So when we found out he raised his arms in the air and said,"I knew it, I knew it!" He was thrilled! It was so cute. It's unfortunate that he and Timo have lost some of that lovin' feeling as they have become preteens-teenagers. She adores them and looks up to them, hopefully someday they will treat better than an abandoned dog that follows them around annoying them. Emily has grown into a wonderful person, she is very nurturing. She reaches out to others that are left out and befriends them. She cares about most people and rarely talks negatively about anyone, ever. She has many talents and willingly shares them. We were thrilled she joined our family 12 years ago and look forward to her future.
So what are the chances that I would have seven kids and only 2 of them be girls? And that they would be nine years apart and have their birthdays not only in the same month but within a day of each other? I am sure what those chances are very slim but Gwen was very close to being born on Emily's birthday but she couldn't wait! She was 10 days early as it was! She tried to come on Friday the 13th. Yes, it was a dreaded Friday the 13th in October I started having contractions close together that afternoon-early evening. But I had had a scare earlier in the week because I was not ready so I went out and got everything I would really need after that scare! I was up all night in labor but really didn't go past 15 minutes apart. But they were strong enough to keep me awake. Finally after 7 AM they stopped and I finally slept. Tim took care of everything since I was a zombie. He had stayed up with me as well so I know he was also exhausted. In the afternoon the labor pains started again but without a pattern or consistency. I was concerned, this being my 7th I knew that meant my body was tired and so it couldn't get into a good rhythm of labor. My parents had been in Idaho visiting family there and got back Saturday. They came by our house about 9 PM and I shared my concerns with them. I asked my dad to give me a blessing. Tim had already given me one during the previous night but he thought it was a good idea to have my dad give me one then. In it he told me that I would have the people helping me that would know what to do for my situation. And many other things that comforted me and helped me face what I knew was coming...labor. My mom said that she would take my dad home and come back and take care of the kids because I would be going to the hospital by then. I wasn't sure but Tim thought it was a good idea. So sure enough by the time she showed up I was ready to go--although I was not thinking that I get kind of crazy in that stage and don't think it's time to go. Tim and/or my mom have to say, "okay, it's time to go!" They know the signs. So we got to the hospital and the I was to 5 and progressing so they admitted me. The labor and delivery nurse had had 6 children her last 2 with an epidural the others with out medication. I told her how exhausted I was etc. I told her I was considering an epidural since I had not ever needed one before (I usually have my babies within an hour of arrival to the hospital). She told me the benefits one being I could sleep and then be rested enough to push the baby out. She that they could make it light enough that I would be able to feel to push and have use of my legs afterward. So I decided to do that. It took 4 tries but they finally got it to work! Then I slept. Just after midnight she checked me and I was close enough she turned off the epidural. The Nurse Midwife came in to deliver and I couldn't feel to push the first time. She checked Gwen's head and she was turned so she turned it the right way, and I pushed and this time I could feel it. She popped out the second push! The nurse midwife said that she would have probably come on her own if she hadn't been turned. After I nursed her I showered the epidural had worn off by then. It was great and I was able to go back to sleep!
She is a wonderful little girl, our Gwen and we feel so very blessed she is in our family! I included some of my favorite photos of her first year the top being the photo done in the hospital.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I thought I should post about Fall before Winter hits! And we also have birthdays tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday. Gwen & Emily and so I will need to post all that.
Fall in Utah is amazing. I took some photos of the mountains near our house but they really didn't turn out. Unfortunately we've been busy most days with soccer and flag football. Soccer ended last Saturday until Spring. I am going to try and get a photo of the kids in their uniforms since this will probably be last time we have 6 soccer players. So I digress but we haven't made it up the canyon to enjoy the beautiful colors. One day the kids had off it had snowed so I was leery of going up there but neighbors said that it was just gorgeous! The kids have 2 days off this week for Fall Break so maybe we can fit it in between all the birthday festivities.
We have had parent teacher conferences over the past couple weeks and so far so good. Of course there is always room for improvement but it could be a lot worse.
It was a Hillbilly Chili cook off that was at the church and everyone was suppose to dress up. Our older boys did not dress up and Zane and I stayed home since he had a fever and I felt like I was fighting something as well. They had a lot of fun and I guess they took pictures there with props so I'll post those if I ever get a copy!
We've had fun getting our pumpkins last family night and we had caramel apples and decorated with our Halloween stuff the week before. I love the feel of fall, cool, crisp with amazing colors. It's truly a feast for the senses!
We continue to enjoy BYU football, Tim usually goes to his parents with the kids to watch the away games. I usually try to get stuff done while I listen on the radio.
We have enjoyed reading Halloween books and our favorite is Jerry Seinfeld's Halloween so if you don't have it, get it or borrow it...it is the best!
Have a great fall, y'all! (I know I am copying someone but I am not sure who!)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Last Friday night was a BYU home football game. They were playing Utah State. We have season tickets and I always get the weeknight game and the kids take the other games. Why? Oh, it's the blue side of me (personality colors--it was big in the 90s), I have a hard time giving up half my Saturday to football. My mom was a lifesaver and let us drop the kids off there on our way to the game because our big boys wanted to go to the Lone Peak vs AF game (rival). We traded cars and she drove them home so they were all in bed when we got home from the game around 11 PM. The game was great fun. We got dinner at the stadium, I usually get a polish dog at these things...I feel like it's part of the whole experience. So I got one and we got some yummy fries too. We were early enough we could eat calmly before we went and sat down. It was so fun to feel the energy in the stadium. I'd forgotten. Last year I didn't go because I was flat on my back most of the season. Tim and I had a great time watching the team warm up before and chatting with people we knew and hadn't seen in awhile. The game was fun but a funny thing happened after half-time. Tim and I got some kettle corn at half-time. It had gotten a bit chillier by then too so I had a blanket on my lap. It has a fleece side and a nylon side. When I stood up to yell crumbs fell off my lap from the kettle corn onto the guy in front of me, who was wearing a fleece jacket--but I didn't realize it. When he got up to leave during the beginning of the 4th quarter I noticed and so did Tim. We laughed so hard--there was a small pile of popcorn on his chair too! I am sure he was totally put out when he saw this because I think it bugged him that I yelled so loud--I almost lost my voice. Anyway, Tim and I giggled all night about it. It reminded me how much fun we have together and how glad I am he is my best friend and my husband! I am one lucky girl!
A week or so ago I took Zane and Gwen and Zane's friend to the 'duck pond' to feed the ducks. This was around noon--I had them eat at home first so they would eat and not be distracted by the park. So we fed the ducks first and it seemed like no one has been feeding them because it was kind of a frenzy. The geese were the worst they showed up half way through the loaf of bread and would take the bread away from the ducks. We saw 3 Canadian Geese and one goose that looks like your typical 'Mother Goose' goose, white with an orange bill. This later one is the most intrusive it got up on the grass with us so we tossed the last of the bread and ran off to the playground part of the park. They had the whole place to themselves and enjoyed it. I think we may go back this week if the weather doesn't stay too rainy.
I am jumping around on this post but I am trying to retrieve a photo off my computer so I can post it here! Yesterday was Izak's last soccer game this fall. It has been challenging since his team is new and they are still learning a lot and it's competitive. He seems to play hard and try to do his best despite it all and I am proud of him for that. I am also impressed with their team as a whole. They lost on Wednesday pretty bad but they didn't start fouling or anything out of frustration they played their best and I felt they held their dignity. I have seen this happen a lot since Taran, Timo and Emily all played competitively. We still have one more week of recreation soccer, just as the weather is cooling--hopefully no snow this week in the valley. We already have snow in the mountains with the beautiful leaves! I missed all the flag football games because I had other places including soccer games to be. We have a few more weeks of that.
Yesterday was General Conference for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This means we have the opportunity to hear from our church leaders over 2 days. On Saturday nights they have meeting for just the men of the church 12 and older, because they hold the priesthood (confused click here for more info). It's not secret, we had a Women's meeting last week. They publish all the talks and I enjoy reading the talks for the men. They usually encourage them to be good husbands, fathers and sons. Sometimes they address topics like pornography and it's dangers. They also seem to also encourage the men to serve others as well. I guess last night they spoke about controlling anger for one of the talks. Anyway. We had a family gathering at Tim's sister's afterward. Tim takes our boys out to dinner before which they enjoy. Then they met up with my brother-in-law to watch it with him. Our nephews from Texas met at my sister-in-laws as well as my sister-in-law from Idaho and her 2 daughters and the rest of us 'Utahns'. It was a fun evening. The nephews are brothers and one is at BYU and the other just got home from his mission so they hadn't seen each other in 3 years so I am including a photo of them together. Cute guys! If their parents read this they can see their boys together here! One of my nieces from Idaho just got an internship with the LDS Church Humanitarian Services in Salt Lake so we will be able to see her more often too, yeah! We think it's so amazing to have family close by since we both didn't have that growing up! By the way, General Conference was fabulous and I can't wait to go over the talks again since I was a little dozy during a few talks even though we had plenty of snacks to keep us awake! It helps me feel greater resolve to make good choices and hope that I can be what I need to be. I may include more specifics on a future post but it was very inspirational!
Last update is to explain this photo, if you look close you can see my kids all have fake facial hair it was Facial Hair Day this week and it was quite funny! I had to share!