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From bbell: Parental Pet Peeves, Birthday Party Edition

I recently read an article about a really expensive elaborate birthday party that P Diddy held for his son.

I personally think that P Diddy is an uncouth yahoo and his kid in in process to be the same but I offer up this extreme example to illustrate the point that the birthday culture has gotten out of hand. Read more »

My Boy will be Bishop

Conversation in the Church hallway after picking my son up from nursery:

Me: How was nursery?
He: (enthusiastically) Great! One more meeting?
Me: (also enthusiastically) No.
He: Oh man!
Me: But now we can go home for lunch.
He: I want one more meeting!

Scene Read more »

The 2009 Niblets Are Here! – well not here but there

Don’t forget to make your vote count!

Comments Off on The 2009 Niblets Are Here! – well not here but there

I got two new students today. So far, I have only met one: he is a quiet fifth grader from Haiti. We hope his younger brother will join us in second grade next week. The family of five are here staying with a sister for a while. After the earthquake, they got out of Haiti by driving to the Dominican Republic, getting to Puerto Rico, and then to Miami, and finally up here. For some reason, the seven-year-old ended up in New York City, but they hope to drive down to retrieve him this weekend. Can you imagine? I couldn’t quite understand why or how or when they became separated from the seven-year-old (my Creole sucks), but they didn’t seem TOO worried about it, so I won’t be.

Can you imagine? Any of it? Having your country tumble down on you? Fleeing with about nothing and not being able to communicate with anyone at home to find out how your loved ones are? Rooming with your sister and her whole family and your whole family for an indefinite period? Arriving from the Caribbean in upstate New York in January?
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2 Weeks

It took only two weeks for the Relief Society teacher in my ward to break out a Bruce R. McConkie quote from Mormon Doctrine (of course since I taught last week, this is the first week it could have happened). It made me laugh as some have noted that the McConkie quotes were removed for this new edition of Gospel Principles. Read more »

Holocaust Survivor

Just a little while ago I was sitting at my desk and happened to be chatting a little bit with an older man I had not met previously.  He seemed very nice and I was enjoying the conversation.  It was basically just small talk.  He asked me about where I had been employed previously and among other things I told him I had worked in Salt Lake City.  He then asked me if I was Mormon and I said yes.  He said he knew we had a beautiful chapel with a congregation for single people nearby (he was referring to our chapel in Inwood) – I asked him how he knew and he said he’s interested in religion.  Then he simply told me (I’m paraphrasing here): Read more »

LDS Hood

Much to my disappointment, my current calling does not include any song picking. I would, quite frankly, be happy to select the songs sung at any and all of the Church meetings I attend. Ben Pratt apparently has that privilege and yet abuses it; look at his list of hymns that they did not sing even once in Sacrament Meetings in his ward last year. There are some shocking omissions. I am not sure if you qualify as an LDS congregation, for example, if you don’t sing “The Spirit of God.” Go look at his list if you like, but more importantly, consider your own musical worship.

What LDS hymn do you think is vital to our LDS-hood?

[By the way–thanks to Ben for being such a good sport about this–I would hate to post all of the things I should have done in my calling last year and did not!]

White Horse by the Numbers

The Church’s newsroom blog just put up a post here to address this Idaho political candidate‘s nutjobbery, which centers around the White Horse Prophecy of the constitution hanging by a thread, and the Elders of the Church (perhaps led by Mitt Romney or David Archuleta) somehow coming to the rescue of our constitutional system of government.

I would also point out that in Dallin H. Oaks’ landmark 1994 talk Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall, Elder Oaks singled out people’s obsession with the U.S. Constitution as being an annoying, possibly dangerous, gospel hobby:

My first example [of a personal strength becoming a weakness] concerns Satan’s efforts to corrupt a person who has an unusual commitment to one particular doctrine or commandment of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This could be an unusual talent for family history work, an extraordinary commitment to constitutional government, a special talent in the acquisition of knowledge, or any other special talent or commitment.

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Grandparents Need to Stop Giving Themselves Weird Nicknames

Is there an increasing trend of grandparents giving themselves weird nicknames?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who has a baby that is the first grandchild of his wife’s parents. He said the new grandparents were trying to decide what they’d like to be called. His brother-in-law had recommended “Poompa” (?!) for the grandpa. The grandpa didn’t like that option and instead wanted to be called “Misha” (??). My friend just wanted to call him grandpa. This has set off a rhetorical tug-of-war, with the grandpa referring to himself as “Misha,” and my friend insisting on “grandpa.” My question is why this grandpa feels compelled to have any nickname at all. What’s wrong with just being grandpa? Read more »

Let me help you to go and see Avatar

Tonight my wife and daughter were out of town and I found myself in traffic on a DC-area freeway.  Rather than seethe in traffic hell, I pulled off the freeway and went to a theater to see James Cameron’s new movie Avatar.  This is a film that has conservative-leaning people in a tizzy these days, as they try to reconcile the left-leaning messages of the movie with the indescribable awesomeness of its viewing experience.  What follows are my five reasons why conservatives and others should put aside ideology for a few hours and head to a really good theater (this is critical) to see Avatar:
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Be a Teacher’s Pet

I am lucky enough to be the go-to substitute in my ward. In the last three weeks, I have substitute taught in Primary, Young Women’s, and Nursery. Next week it is the Relief Society’s turn to hear from me, and I can only hope some Sunday School teacher falls ill the week after. I think there are two major reasons I am such an attractive (if I do say so myself) substitute: 1–I have a stake calling and therefore am free for ward gigs most weeks, and 2–I never say “no.” Read more »