Outrageous!

TLC, king of quality programming, had this show on last week called Outrageous Kid Parties. The premier episode features a family preparing to celebrate their 6-year-old’s birthday in style. Apparently, the party cost $32,000. Yikes. The behavior from the birthday girl is exactly what you would expect, along with the indulgent mother and gob-smacked father, who never quite knows what is being planned nor how much is being spent.

This is the kind of crazy party we might expect from famous or fabulously wealthy people–probably people who live on the coasts, right?

Nope.

Within 1.5 sentences of narration, I had this mom pegged as a Utahn or a Mormon (it’s the accent). A little further research shows that they do live in Layton, although I cannot speak for their religion. Still, they had enough friends and family in a fairly Mormon community who did not think this party was an outrageously bad enough idea not to attend. Outrageous is not the word I would have selected; I would have gone with obscene.

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Book Club last Thursday…..

I’d been threatening to have everybody read “Dreams From My Father” by President Obama, but now that I’m trying to be more peaceful and spiritual, I decided to choose “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriott. I have all five of that series and re-read them every few years. Always make me smile. James Herriott (this is a psuedonym) has a gift for seeing and interpreting the human condition with kindness and humor—and keenly. I don’t know how many times I’ve read his books, but re-reading “All Creatures Great and Small” still made me laugh, even in parts I already knew by heart. Read more »

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How to proceed with a Golden Contact

Recently my wife and I have been blessed to have a friend of ours independently express serious interest in joining the LDS Church and already start to socially integrate herself with ward members.  She claims that God is pointing her in the LDS Church’s direction thru personal revelation.  We have been teaching her the gospel on our own and based on my mission exp she is a golden convert.

How and when should we formally involve the Elders and the local mission? I have some reservations about just turning her over to the elders.  Basically I am a firm believer that only about 20% of the Elders and perhaps 75% of the Sisters are really capable of good teaching.  Our current elders are socially awkward and I am not comfortable with them teaching her.  I think she will of course at some point need to be taught by the elders but I think that they need really close supervision in their contacts with her.

 In addition I know that she will need a MP interview to actually get baptized and I am not totally comfortable with the idea of a 20 year old interviewing her.  So I turn to the collective wisdom of the bloggernacle.What would you do?

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The Nursery Parents…

My wife and I are Nursery leaders in our Ward. It is always very interesting the different approaches that parents who have new kids or are visiting take with us. There seem to be four major types of parents:

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I Heard a Voice Giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and it was Female

And it sounded totally…normal.

I suppose there are places or people who would not have allowed this to happen, but no one around seemed to sweat it.  Read more »

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I’ll never be lost again. Damn. (Guest Post from living in zion)

 
My husband just got a new Smart Phone to use with his job. It is a huge leap forward in technology for him. His new phone can access his e-mail, the internet and play games he has only imagined. He is in the process of learning about “apps” for his phone and seems pretty excited about them, whatever they are. I don’t even have a cell phone so his latest toy is way beyond my comprehension.
 
The first time we went out after he got his phone we needed directions to a resturant. Normally this would be a problem but Rob gleefully pulled out his toy, magically got on the internet, looked up the restaurants address and googled directions. We arrived 10 minutes early for our dinner appointment. Completely smooth.
 

I should have been all grateful and amazed but instead I was kind of melancholy. It was the end of a Young Family Era.  The Lost Years were over, replaced by a handheld device that can play solitare and balance my checkbook. How sad.
 
You have to understand that for the first 10 years of our married lives, my husband prided himself on his sense of direction. We married in Arizona and never bought a map. We lived in Utah and then Colorado and still never owned a map. We didn’t need to. Rob never got lost. He used the mountains and valleys as his guide and always knew where were headed and how to get where we needed to go.
 
Then we moved to Illinois. Illinois has no mountains, no valleys and absolutely nothing on the horizon to hint where you are. Thus began THE LOST YEARS. For seven years we spent endless hours driving in circles down country dirt roads, unable to find our way out of a paper bag.
 
One of the most imfamous family stories we have of getting lost was the time we drove two hours to St. Louis, couldn’t find the major (How Could You Miss It) bridge across the Mississippi River into the city and ended up crossing on a bridge that was closed, slated for demolition.
 
 As we drove across, completely unaware the barricade had been removed, we both commented on the bridge’s terrible shape because we could see the swirling water through the gaping holes in the concrete road underneath us. A couple of gang thugs met us half way across the bridge at a broken down toll booth where they had manually lowered a bright yellow fence arm across the lane.  There were no other cars on the bridge in either direction. Rob rolled down the window and the kid in the booth said it would be 50 cents to cross the bridge. We had to scrounge in the glove box for change. They lifted the heavy yellow arm and we decended into the middle of the ghetto of downtown St. Louis. Two hours later we emerged, two stupid white people in a beat up Honda Civic, having cruised naively through the most violent part of the then ranked #1 most murderous city in America.
 
Two weeks later we watched the evening news, shocked to see  the bridge we traveled on being blown up as the ribbon was cut on the nearby major roadway replacing it. We are probably the only people in the whole world who ever paid  a 50 cent toll to get into St. Louis. All because we were lost and had no map to lead us efficiently  and safely on our way.
 
I wish I could say this was the only story I have of hair-raising fun while being lost in Illinois, but its not. It took my husband a long time to accept he had no special powers of direction and that on the flat lands of the Midwest, he needed to use a road map.
 
But those years are gone now, replaced by a Smart Phone which will guarantee we will never be lost, never be out of gas in the middle of nowhere, never be told we are no longer needed to drive the Church youth group to activities because we will get lost with other people’s children in our car. What will our future family reunions consist of? Stories of traffic jams avoided, amazing gas milage accrued because we only used the most direct route? 
 
You can obviously see why I am a bit sad about the march of technology moving us forward.
 
Unless, of course…. my husband’s habit of constantly forgetting to pack his phone charger on trips holds true and his beloved toy runs out of juice. I can only hope.

 

 

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Reaction the the 5 Browns situation

Recently in the news its come to light that the father of the piano group the 5 Browns has been accused of sexually abusing his daughters while they were growing up.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51257838-76/brown-browns-charges-child.html.csp

To me the allegations seem credible based on the totality of the circumstances.

My own personal reaction is that it makes me really sad to see a father in zion take sexual license with his own daughters. We all know what Jesus says about those that harm his little ones. I also feel proud that the 3 daughters have stepped forward publicly and I pray that the power of the atonement can heal the wounds that they bear from their abuse.

What is your reaction?

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Fiction or Reality? You be the judge.

Ok, there was a comment on a recent post supposedly from a Stake President who has his own blog. Now for some interesting entertainment read some of his posts. Given how extreme (and blatantly incorrect) some of his views are, I vote that it is a farce. However, what I don’t like is that someone is parading around acting like a Stake President spouting ridiculous rhetoric that does not accurately portray the Church. What do you think?

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Dumped

My Home Teacher called last week to let me know he was dumping me.

I understand. Read more »

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Egypt Overthrow – Could It Happen Here?

I was struck by the fact that a large group of people protested and wanted the leader to resign. They held out for nearly three weeks and Mubarak resigned. I wondered if such a thing could happen in the US? If millions of people protested, would the President resign? I don’t think so – we saw widespread protests in the 1970s and Nixon didn’t budge or did he? Similarly, there were a lot of anti-war protests with W and nothing changed. Is it because large protests are accepted here, but politicians don’t take them serious enough to change things or does it have to do with the fact that elections happen often enough that we just deal with those we don’t like?

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Ronald Reagan at 100

I don’t remember a lot about Reagan’s first election except that I was the only kid in my elementary school class that voted for Carter (note: my parents were probably one of three Democratic families in my small Utah town). I do remember how much the Mormon people seemed to love him to the point of a cult-like following similar to what you have with GAs. I don’t remember that same sort of worship for either Bush and certainly not for Clinton or Obama.

So was Reagan as good as I remember Mormons thinking he was (or was it just that he was a complete shift from Carter that the world was excited)? Why does he still matter? Why do politicians still invoke his memory to try to influence voters? He seems to have that achieved that unique and special status that others like Kennedy and Roosevelt…

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Relief for Underwater Mortgages

Just a month ago, the idea of a government-driven solution to the mortgage problem made my blood boil, but I’ve grown to be a lot less hostile to the idea.

Charles Krauthammer does an excellent job of summarizing the problem with underwater mortgages:

If your mortgage is underwater and you can’t sell a house, and there are jobs that are opening up in America — traditionally in America you pack up and leave. If you are stuck in the same location, in a place like, say, Detroit where jobs are falling away and there are job openings elsewhere, you are stuck because of skills or location. When you add them together, you have this chronic unemployment issue which is new in this country.

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Eating Our Sins? And other insights from the scriptures….

I’m reading the Old Testament, which is a mixed bag. There are some lovely parts and others which I feel are pretty worthless. Although some are historically important, I think. Just finished Jeremiah and boy, did he wear me out with his negative attitude. I’m now into Ezekiel. Ezekiel is a poet. There’s a beauty to his writing, although a lot of it is the same kvetching to God’s chosen people about their shortcomings as Jeremiah. But yesterday, I read this and it hit me. I’ve read the Old Testament I don’t-know-how-many times but never noticed this:

Ezekiel Chapter 4, verse 16: ” Morever he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem and they shall eat bread by weight and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment:
And 17: That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away their iniquity.” Read more »

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Going to Hell

If your son or daughter reported to you that their (early morning volunteer) Seminary teacher told kids that they would be going to hell for conduct x, y, or z, what would you do?

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