|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
- clean out all cupboards, wipe inside and out, reorganize & dejunk, clean all small appliances, polish cupboards
- clean all large appliances (dishwasher, microwave, range, stove and fridge), wish inside and out, move fridge out and clean coil and underneath
- wash all chairs, bar stools and table, polish with wood polish
- wash walls, base boards, ceiling
- clean all light fixtures inside and out
- clean computer desk
- strip and wax floor (we really need a new floor!)
- wash rugs and garbage can
- wash valances and blinds and clean windows
Man hours it took me and my trusty assistant to accomplish this work - at least 16!
Friday, May 29, 2009
I use to years ago, but I don't anymore.
I just pull the covers up and I'm gone.
We don't go back to our bedroom until we're ready to go to bed at night.
No one sees the unmade bed, not even the owners of the bed.
I don't like making my bed.
And I don't like putting all those pillows and shams on the bed that decorate the bed either.
So I don't do it.
I also don't like bed skirts.
They are such a bother.
They rarely hang right.
They get all hunched up and they usually look bad.
We recently got a new mattress, thanks to our niece's husband Adam.
It's a dream to sleep on.
It's very thick and high.
So, I've decided to turn over a new leaf.
My mother just got a new "bed in a bag"so that encouraged me to do better. She chose a beautiful comforter with shams and pillows. She makes her bed every day and it looks great.
I decided to get a new bedspread and some new sheets.
Forget the pillows and the shams.
Forget the dust ruffle.
I think I can handle a bedspread.
I have a thick, heavy comforter for the winter months and now we'll have a light weight, light color bedspread for the summer months.
I plan to tuck it around the pillows the old fashion way.
Maybe I'll be encouraged to make the bed every morning. What are the chances?
So, the question is...which bedspread do you like better?
Choice A with more of a pattern and the color green or Choice B with less pattern and the color purple? Of course our room is still eggplant purple. It has old fashioned WALL PAPER and I still love it.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Two weeks ago I was involved in a conference that our office hosted on family obesity. Seven leading scholars came from prestigious eastern universities to join with five of our faculty to discuss the social implications of obesity on family life. It was fascinating! My capable assistant Bryan and I were in charge of making the conference happen under the direction of the conference committee. We picked up the visitors from the airport (yes, we were the dorky ones standing there with the name signs) and drove them to Sundance resort, the location of the three day conference. The weather couldn't have been better. In addition to the meetings, we took our guests on a short hike along the trail to Timp and they thoroughly enjoyed the location for the conference. Six of the seven had never been to Utah before and they were stunned by the beauty of the place and the setting of our campus. I realized once again how much we take for granted living in this beautiful location. We had our wrap up session in the new Hinckley building and it was a great place to conclude the conference. It was interesting to answer the questions of our guests about the state, the valley, the university and our religion.
Each of the 12 presenters took some time to present their research on the topic of family obesity. I now know more about the reasons behind the obesity epidemic that I ever thought possible. Twelve different perspectives on various topics were presented by professors in social work, economics, sociology, psychology, public policy, dietetics, marriage, family and human development, human movement sciences, marriage and family therapy and family medical and community health. They pretty much left no stone unturned. Bryan and I took notes on their presentation on a lap top and we also recorded the sessions with a camcorder. They will reassemble next year and share their research with the campus community and eventually they will publish their findings. The goal is to raise awareness of the social implications of obesity and to try make a difference in the fight against this epedimic.
It would be impossible to share all I learned, but I want to share a few interesting points from off the top of my head:
- the American culture has been hit by an obesity epidemic in the last 30-35 years...basically in one generation
- the long term health implications are staggering
- the causes are many but basically boil down to a couple of things - we're not moving enough and we're eating the wrong food
- BMI - body mass index is a fairly good measure of fitness, but not the only measure that should be considered
- obesity rates among children are skyrocketing. Even many infants are overweight. These trends have huge implications for future generations and for the medical services needed now and in the future.
- Obesity causes a range of health problems, most notably Type 2 diabetes, coronary problems, asthma and breathing problems and many social problems
- Obesity causes a loss of self esteem and causes feelings of self loathing
- Overweight people are often treated with disdain by others and are thought to have little if any self control
- Glossy magazines do more harm than good and present an inaccurate image of what the human body should look like
- our culture puts too much emphasis on looks and appearance and perfect body proportions which can't be achieved by the vast majority of the population
- Obesity is caused by environmental factors, inactivity, personal choices and by genetics
- Two of the main culprits in causing this epidemic are too much screen time (which includes TV, computers and the Internet, video gaming, texting, cell phones) while sitting around and not getting outdoors to exercise, work, play and just move. The second culprit is that we have changed the way we eat. It's all about fast and convenient now.
- fewer and fewer families eat dinner together. (this topic was mentioned repeatedly by many of the presenters.) With more women working out of the home, families are turning to fast food and frozen food to feed their families. They don't have time or knowledge on how to cook a meal from scratch anymore.
- the family dinner hour is very important for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is simply serving the family healthy foods and watching what and how much is consumed by individual members
- families in the inner city don't have easy access to grocery stores. They buy their food from convenience stores and fast food establishments.
- it's cheaper to eat healthy foods than to eat convenience, pre-packaged and fast foods
- obese people become more isolated as they age. They generally don't like to go out and it is harder for them to literally fit into chairs, movie theater seats and such. So they stay home and watch TV and eat to comfort themselves.
- Who is going to take care of obese parents when quite often obese children in the same family have their own health issues to deal with?
- Obese people live shorter, poorer quality lives
- large girls will often sell themselves short on their goals for life and the future because of poor self image. They do not think they can control anything in their lives, so they settle for less because they think that is all they deserve.
- most people give up too early on trying to lose weight. Being successful takes time and dedication and a complete change of eating habits for life.
- some girls and women will resort to drastic measures to get to the ideal size for important occasions in their lives such as prom, quinceanos, weddings and graduations ceremonies. They will often resort to extreme measures to lose weight and then become dependent on those measure to continue to look acceptable.
- Too much emphasis on eating quantities (either small or large) can lead to eating disorders. Sometimes children with obese parents get caught in eating disorders because they don't want to end up like their parents.
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.
The goal should be to find your individual best weight with the help of a professional (doctor if necessary) and then to come up with a program to maintain that healthy weight. Some ideas to consider:
- turn off the TV and get moving by walking at least a half hour a day. Limit screen time and replace it with other activities that will promote movement and exercise. (I totally agree with this important step because I am NOT a fan of TV...but that's a topic for another day.)
- shop around the edges of the grocery store, purchasing the real food items like dairy, meat, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid as much packaged food as possible.
- establish a family dinner hour. (I have a testimony of this one :) Serve real food and enlist the help of all family members to prepare, serve and clean up the meal. This time fosters good communication and bonding time for the family. The statistics of children who avoid drugs and other anti-social behavior is HUGE - all based on who has a family dinner hour and who doesn't.
- if your family has bad eating habits, work on a plan to change those habits as a family.
- introduce new food into the family menus and keep trying to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
- introduce children to participating in sports teams. Be careful not to overwhelm the family schedule with these activities, but get the kids moving and find something that they love to do
- find a life sport that you enjoy and can do for the rest of your life. Enlist friends and family members to join you. Group activities are so much more fun than an individual fitness program. You're much more likely to achieve success with exercise if you have a buddy.
- Drink water. Lose the soda. All the additives in soda are causing people to get fat, especially the diet types. Ironic but true.
- Women generally buy the food, so they need some education on what to buy, how to store it and how to prepare it. Education is key to successfully feeding a family a healthy diet, but everyone should be responsible to learn and follow healthy eating practices.
- Teach children healthy eating habits from early in life. It's a lot easier to prevent weight gain than to initiate and sustain weight loss.
- Consider quality of life issues as an overweight person and a normal weight person. You'll still be living, but under what circumstances and restraints? Which type of life do you want for yourself and your family?
- We have to MOVE and we have to BE CONSCIENCE of every bite we consume, especially as we age. Portion control become a must as weight begins to accumulate.
And what did we eat at the conference? Lots of good healthy food! Sundance food is amazing.
What are your thoughts on this topic and what to you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle? How can we help each other?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Growth has increased in the past year or so in Mongolia, with missionaries indicating that the mission has recently broke previous records for convert baptisms in a month and Church attendance. Most of the members live in Ulaabaatar (the capital) or in the Darkhan Mongolia District which is to the north of Ulaabaatar. Missionaries have reported that branches in the isolated towns of Choibalsan, Erdenet and Hovd have grown to around 150-200, making it likely for more congregations to be organized considering branches typically have 50-100 or so active members.
Mongolia is the country with the second most members without a stake. Nearly 10% of Mongolian members have served missions and membership stands at around 8,400. The vast majority of Mongolians are Buddhist. Not all of the dozen or so branches in Ulaanbaatar will be part of the new stake in the capital. Another district already exists in Mongolia in Darkhan.
Membership has not increased as rapidly as it did in 2008 in Mongolia since 2004, growing by 9.36% last year. A couple mission branches not a part of a district also exist in Khovd and Choibalsan, each of which have been steadily growing to 150-200 attending sacrament meeting every week. One of the challenges the Church in Mongolia has had in the creation of a stake has been that 70% of the members are single (according to an article published in the Church magazine the Ensign a year or two ago).
One interesting note about members who have served as missionaries from Mongolia and received their Patriarchal blessings in other countries where there are stakes and patriarchs: All but the tribe of Zebulun have been found among the declared lineage of Mongolia missionaries (as of December 2003). For more information, visit this link to learn more about the gathering of the Lost Tribes. It's facinating! How exciting for Elder Andy to be a part of this important service and work among the Mongolian people. He loves his mission and the wonderful people in Mongolia.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Lee...this one's for YOU!!! Although, sadly, he passed away when he was only 30 years old.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
We hear from Andy every week through email. He is serving an LDS mission in Mongolia. Last week he said that the work right now is difficult and they had a tough week. He had a "downer" week you could say. Through it all, he is enjoying the ride. I sent him the quote below as a reminder that more good days are ahead.
My friend Colleen gave me a wall hanging years ago with the Jones quote. It's hung on the wall of our family room for many years. Jordan uses it as the title of her blog "Enjoy the Ride."
President Gordon B. Hinckley quoted it on more than one occasion and it was written by Jenkin Lloyd Jones who was a syndicated newspaper columnist years ago. Here is some wisdom he shared:
There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks, to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and ravishing wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear, the divorce courts are jammed.
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .
Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.President Hinckley added: Life is like that--ups and downs, a bump on the head, and a crack on the shins. It was ever thus. Hamlet went about crying, "To be or not to be," but that didn't solve any of his problems. There is something of a tendency among us to think that everything must be lovely and rosy and beautiful without realizing that even adversity has some sweet uses.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Almost twenty nine years ago my mother lit my torch. I've tried my best to keep the flame shining brightly and to not let it go out over these last almost 29 years. I've been the keeper of that flame and I've been honored and privileged to be in the race.
Three years ago I lit the flame of the torch my daughter had just picked up. I went back again a couple of years later and lit another little flame of her additional torch and responsibilities. She was nervous and anxious about the second torch. Could she do it? Could she keep the flame going? Could she do the job that needed to be done? Could she keep both little flames burning brightly? Would she be a good keeper of the flame?
Even though a woman is made a mother in cooperation with her husband, I believe she becomes a mother because of the influence of her own mother. Usually it's the mother of the new mother who teaches her how to do what needs to be done. She demonstrates, she instructs, she encourages, she models and she gets out of the way when the time comes. The young mother looks back on how things were done in her home growing up and in large measure, she does what she was taught and in similar fashion to what she saw. And another generation of motherhood begins all over again. It's through trial and error, through experimentation, through tears and unbelievable joy, it's through discussion with other women, it's through watching good mothers and trying to emulate what they do, it's through never giving up that a woman becomes a good mother. Perfect? No. Striving daily? Yes.
The torch had been in the very capable hands of these two women. Grandma Mayme and Grandma Mamie. (How cool is that to have TWO Grandmothers named Mayme/Mamie?) They each brought their own skills and strengths to the assignment when they picked up their own torches. They each had different trials and successes, and they were each victorious in the end. They stayed in the race. They kept going. They laughed. They cried. And they raised some excellent children. They were exemplary mothers to the very end.
And this good mother is my own (although I do share her with six siblings.) She gave me every tool I needed to succeed. She lit my torch and she stood by to assist if I asked for help. Because of her, I am who I am today. No question about it. She passed a mighty torch and shared her love of motherhood. I'm honored to be a mother. It gives my life meaning and purpose. I've stumbled, I've fallen, I've gotten back up and kept going. It's hard, hard work. But those things in life that come with a price, that come through effort and striving, are always the things that we value most in the end. I love my husband and my four little torches who have taught me, who have been patient with me and who have helped me keep the torch burning, ready to pass on to another generation of torch bearers.